Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Slutty Blogger

This year, with all the travel and work-move and general hoopla* I decided to bow out of any sort of Halloween festivities.

But now that I have decidedly ZERO Halloween spirit, I'm a bit frustrated that the rest of the country isn't also ignoring the damn holiday.

When I was a little girl, all I ever wanted to be was one of three things:
1. A fairy
2. A princess
3. A fairy princess

This was because I wanted a tiara, a wand, and generally "pretty" get-ups that I could complement with elaborate hair, blush and lip gloss.

My mother, however, thought that this was a very boring direction for me to go in.

(Also, my parents had quite a sense of humor. When I was about 3 years old, for example, they dressed me up as Whistler's Mother. As you might imagine, this was not only lost on me but on 90% of the households my dad took me around to. But my parents got a good laugh.)

My mom was always trying to talk me out of being a boring fairy/princess/fairyprincess and into something more interesting.

I found this photo from 4th grade. It was 1984 and ALL my friends wanted to be variations of "punk rockers" (note that two of them were). My mom did not think that was very interesting either, so I ended up as Peter Pan (her choice).

Please note that I felt the need to include my costumed Cabbage Patch Kid in the trick-or-treat festivities.


Things haven't really changed much in all these years. I still have aspirations of wearing "pretty" costumes, except that by "pretty" I apparently mean "slutty" because -- and I'm not sure where I was when this change happened -- Halloween has become the trampiest night of the year.

I'm not complaining.

I just think it's a fascinating turn in pop culture/pop anthropology how we've made this societal shift, and now EVERY costume for women is about exposing cleavage and legs and wearing fishnets and platform heels.

I guess the point is that women can, at least one day a year, wear these things unapologetically? Or something?

Well, whatever. I'm down with it. Or rather, I would be, if I felt like wearing something of that ilk in public would be "sexy" instead of "horrifying." I'm not totally psyched about costumes such as "Naughty Plus-Size Nurse!" because -- and let's be honest here -- the outfit would more appropriately be called "Enormous White Vinyl Sack! Self-esteem not included."

And I don't really feel like shelling out $59 for that kind of humiliation. Especially not when I could go out wearing an assortment of white trash bags to the same effect. ( WITH the belt or without sexier?)

I'm not actually bitter about this -- it's my own damn fault my body isn't hotter, after all. But I am getting a bit tired of it. Surely there is a way to be both slutty and creative?


This morning I arrived at work and went to the ladies' room and there, in all her glory, was some woman from another office. She was putting the final touches on her Slutty Devil costume, which included a teeny-tiny mini skirt in shiny red material, devil horns, black fishnets, and red spiked heels.

In. The. Office.

For like, WORK.

So okay. I think when the Slutty Costume has gone mainstream enough to be worn to the office, there's only one of two directions we'll be headed next.

One: we rename Halloween "Go Naked and Have Sex with Lots of Strangers Day"; or

Two: we take back the idea of "creative."

And believe me, we can be "creative" without giving up the slutty entirely.

I wished that the girl in the bathroom had asked me about my costume, so that we could have had the following conversation:

[Devil Girl in Office Bathroom notices me looking at her.]

Devil Girl: Haha, I dressed up like this because my office is having a contest.

Me: Oh. Um...

[I try not to stare directly at her boobs.]

Me: ...It's a great costume.

[Devil Girl looks at me in my street clothes.]

Devil Girl: So...I guess your office isn't doing anything?

Me: No. But I decided to wear a costume anyway.

Devil Girl [suspiciously]: what are you...?

Me: I'm a Slutty Blogger.

Devil Girl [not understanding anything, least of all subtlety]:

Me: Trust me, this is what a slutty blogger looks like.

[I exit, triumphant. No vinyl or trash bags needed.]

I'm not sure if this would make my mom proud, exactly. But it's better than a fairy princess.

*What an awesome word. People should use it more. I'm totally bringing it back. "I'm bringin hoopla back..."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I Am Not The New Stale

Damn it.

After all this time, I still can't leave negative comments alone.

I appreciate all of you who are hoping I will receive the POWER of BURNING, your support is awesome. And I have to be honest, if I lose to The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks I will not be upset in the least, as it's inventive, funny, and Bethany seems to be a very cool (and nice) person.

Plus I don't really need to be walking around with a device that can burn things.

However, I received this comment this morning from an anonymous commenter named "frankly speaking" and I HATE that it's bothering me:

Kristy is self-absorbed and cannot handle criticism of any kind and she calls herself a writer? a wannabe writer? Grow a spine, Kristy. Get over yourself already. You’re the new stale *bleh*

Every blogger out there has to deal with negativity, and everyone has their own style for managing it. I'd LOVE to know if any of you have a fool-proof solution, because I know I don't.

But I do have three points to make for Ms./Mr. "frankly speaking." And sure, these points have been made repeatedly by me and by other bloggers everywhere. But apparently there's still a need.

1. Blogging is personal.

I am always surprised and confused about people who criticize bloggers for being "self-absorbed." My blog is not a news site. It is not a general social commentary. It is not a gossip site. It is not fiction. And I am most definitely NOT providing any sort of useful/technical information.

My blog is my personal web journal. I am, in effect, writing something of a real-time memoir.

Criticizing someone's personal blog for being self-centered is like reviewing a biography on George Washington and saying it wasn't very good because it focused too much on George Washington.

2. Blogging is personal.

It is true; I am NOT good at handling critical comments here...but that doesn't necessarily make me a bad writer.

The problem is that the criticism I receive is never about my writing. I don't get feedback like, "Kristy, your sentence splicing is offensive!" I don't get feedback about my use of non-words or hyperbole. I don't get actionable suggestions, such as "This part was hard to follow" or "The humor didn't work here because _____."

Instead, I get criticism about me. My life. My life choices. My "story." Well, except it's not a "story" because it's not made up.

And that IS hard to stomach.

I write about my life, yes. But I edit, too. There is always more to the story -- I am just presenting pieces. Sometimes life is boring, or happens slowly, or not in neat or orderly fashion. So I take a series of events and put them into perspective and write about them in a structured way and then I post it.

And then I get feedback.

So yeah -- if someone calls me out on poor behavior or a decision they disagree with, I tend to engage. For example, when someone recently announced that I had clearly badgered and guilted my boyfriend into going away with me, I responded.

Because again, this isn't some fictional character I'm writing about.

3. Blogging is personal.

Here is what it comes down to, for me.

I write a blog that chronicles my life. I am more than the sum of my posts, but I am truthful. Every time I write a post, I am putting myself out there.

Why? Because it feels good. It feels good to get it out. It feels good to share my experiences in the hope that others feel the same, that others know what it's like. It feels good to hear the "me, too"s. It feels AMAZING to know that people laugh at my writing, or feel things because of what I write. I mean, how COOL is that?

Way cool. It's the best thing ever. So I keep doing it.

And you, "frankly speaking," well. You might not like what I write, and you might not like how I write. That is fine. (Though may I ask why you're reading me at all?)

But I will always take personal comments directed at my personal life personally. That's just how I'm built, and I'm not ashamed of that. In fact, I think it takes courage to put myself out there -- out here -- knowing that I'll be misunderstood and judged.

Blogging. It's not exactly easy.

So yeah, you wanna talk spineless? How about insulting someone's personal blog ANONYMOUSLY?

That's not just spineless AND lame, but it is the stalest of the stale.

And so I say to you and to all the mean-yet-anonymous commenters, *bleh* yourself.


Friday, October 26, 2007

"Stiff" Competition!

So I am currently "losing" to a blog that highlights inexplicable quotation marks.

And I will tell you -- I am a "bit torn." I'd like to win, because of the POWER of BURNING and all, but bizarre punctuation is, frankly, a good cause.

Still, did you know that you can vote EVERY "24" HOURS?

I'm just saying.

(Please vote more. I love you very much.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Special Kind Of Asshole

Without getting political, let me just say that I think this photo perfectly captures the essence of the kind of American foreigners hate:

It's just...SO obnoxious!

I took this photo in my office parking lot when I returned from lunch and watched a gray-haired white male tear into the parking lot and park his vehicle with complete abandon. He parked in the "compact" car area, despite that he was driving a full-sized SUV, then took up two spaces without any concern. He just sauntered out of his car and toward the building without care. I was incensed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wicked Lasers!!!

I have a real post coming (well, like, dozens of them), but in the meantime, would you please do me a favor?

There are few things in this entire world I could use LESS than a $260 Phoenix 75w Laser Pen, but I can't even think of what they are. Mostly because I don't really know what a $260 Phoenix 75w Laser Pen is, or if it's like, WAY better than a 74w Laser Pen, or what I would ever need to laser with a pen anyway.

But if you see the image -- here, let me go steal it, hang on --

-- you will realize that by voting for me, you will be giving me the greatest gift of all. And that is the POWER TO BURN.

In military grade!

And in green no less! It will match my eyes!

In truth, I cannot imagine a worse person to give the "power of burning" to. But then, you can feel safe that I will use that power for good. Or at least for accident. In which case I will have much to blog about ("What do you mean, do I know how the fire started, Officer? I just-- hey, do you happen to know what a blog is?")

Oh, my. Just think of the photos of the pen! And the lasering! What could be more amazing!?!?

Vote here!

(Um, and if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can always see this post.)

Saturday, October 20, 2007


"So your boyfriend...he's divorced now, right?"

Yes, thanks.

In case you're just catching up or didn't know or forgot or whatever, when I started dating Ish/Pete, he was separated. Several wonderful and yet terrifying months later, his status changed to going through a divorce. And then, a mere year and nine months after we met, he was officially divorced. Piece of cake! Just like that! La la laaaaaa!

< / sarcasm >

So but here we are now. On the one hand, he's only really been single for a little over four months.

On the other hand, the hand that I happen to be waving at the moment, we've been together for over two years.

I have written comparatively little on our relationship because I wasn't supposed to, back when he was separated and then getting divorced. But now that we're more or less a "normal" couple, I don't even know where to start. I spent so much time and energy blocking him/us out as a possible blog topic that it's like I don't know HOW to write about him/us without sounding stupid or boring.

The plain truth is that our relationship has been overall great, and fun, and really, really funny.

But it has also been scary and sad and hard. Because right, it is a relationship.

One day last April, without warning, I found myself writing about the hardest part. I wrote this post -- about feeling on the outside, when we were so very unsure, when we were not going to Europe, when we were maybe not going anyplace.

The gist, if you don't want to read my heartbreak directly (and I wouldn't blame you), is that Ish is the kind of guy who can and would take the right girl to Paris. And I wrote about how I wish I could be that kind of girl. And how I'm afraid I'm just not built that way.

That post exposes my deepest fears and greatest self-doubts. And it is brutally honest and true.

But I think it's probably time to say, here in writing, that it's not my only truth.

As much as I have this horrible dread, this deep-down fear that I am never going to be "good enough," well. I have this other, deep-down belief, too.

The one where I am fan-fucking-tastic.

SO WHAT if I spill nearly anything I ever sip because you know what else? I am not about my clothes. I am smart and interesting and funny, and no pair of designer shoes are going to make me smarter or more interesting or more funny. Yeah, I know I need to lose weight, but have you seen me dance? And what good is having a fantastic body if you still insist on lights-out-only sex? What's that all about? Lights on, covers down, let's rock this casbah, baby!

I am a mess, sure, but I clean up okay. Sometimes I have my feeling down, feeling fat days and I don't want to wear anything but pants with elastic waistbands and t-shirts and no make-up. But that doesn't mean I don't also have my cleavage-exposing, curve-hugging outfit days where I blow out my hair and rock the smoky eyes and seductive glances.

I have baggage and I have strength. I have sadness and loss, and I have hope and an unshakable belief in love, good, and a glass-half-full tomorrow. I have some pretty good talents, some pretty good stories, and I almost always have something to say. I am vibrant and present and every day, I show up for my life.

And so I have my doubts, of course, but I also have my fierce conviction that if he doesn't see it, doesn't get it, doesn't want it, then we're both better off moving on. No matter who that "he" is.

Right now, that "he" is Ish. And for all his path-wending, he does, totally, get it.

"I really do love you," he will say.

And sometimes I think that's amazing and hard to believe. But most of the time I just say, only half-kidding, "You'd be pretty dumb not to."

We leave for Paris in two weeks.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Crazy Singing Cat Lady

I believe I responded about this a long time ago, following a thread on my friend's now-defunct blog, but I was too lazy to go look for it I couldn't find it, so I thought it was worth bringing up again.

I currently live alone, in a small apartment, with two cats.

Now, I do love animals and I did grow up in a household that doubled as a zoo. But we always had dogs as kids, not cats. And when we finally did get a cat, I was already in my late teens. I had formed the "cats have no personality" and "cats are aloof" opinion that most people who have never lived with cats develop. I didn't know.

Oh, I learned.

When my ex and I moved into our first apartment together, it was the first time I'd lived anywhere for any extended period of time and not had a pet. And it was lonely.

My philosophy was to wait until we could afford a house and get a dog.

But he ("he" being my stupid ex) was partial to cats, and I -- having no real objection, though far less enthusiasm -- said okay.

So I researched, found a home-raised litter of non-purebred Russian Blues, and went and got one. One. For our small apartment. The next day, however, we went to work, and I came home at lunch to find him howling and moaning -- he did NOT like being alone. I felt horrible and guilty for having plucked him from his family only to dump him into an empty apartment, so that evening, I did the only sensible thing I could think of: I went and picked up one of his brothers.

That was well over eight years ago, and the two cats continue to be the bane of my existence joys of my life.

I love them. I take care of them. They get the food they like, and treats galore. They have full domain over my entire living quarters. Sherlock knows how to play goalie, how to fetch -- even how to sit. (Don't believe me? See the video.) We all cuddle, we sleep together. I have even managed to find space for THREE litter boxes in my tiny apartment so that they might, possibly, sometime, occasionally ONLY use the litter boxes to pee in. Alas, they do not. But they could, and that is all that matters*.

But this post isn't intended to bitch about how living with two sheddy cats isn't especially fulfilling or pleasant-smelling. Or about how Sherlock beats up his brother every chance he gets, or how Moriarty takes out his fear/aggression by peeing, basically, anywhere he feels like it.

It's about that other side of owning cats. The side that is actually filled with cuteness...


and silliness...

and charm...

and unexpected delight...

Sherlock camped out in the center of my tutu of his own volition.

...that happens every day you share your life with a cat.

(That is, if you bother to look for it. Sometimes you may forget how adorable your little purr-purrs are when you're stepping in a hairball with your bare feet in the middle of the night because the little darling waited until you were asleep to hock it up, quietly, at the foot of your bed.)

Specifically, I am talking about the strange and almost universal affect that pets -- and cats in particular -- have on us.

The affect that inspires us create and SING SONGS to them. For them. About them.

Bad songs. Ridiculous songs. Songs that make no sense and that the cats (or other pets) pretend they couldn't care LESS about, but which you sing with fervor because you know -- KNOW -- that they secretly love it. Love. It.

I don't actually have a LOT of songs for my cats (erm, though I think when you get to the crazy-cat-woman part of your life where you're qualifying how many songs you sing to your kitties? The point is mostly moot).

Moriarty, for example, only has one song. But before I get to it, I must also point out that most songs don't just come out of nowhere. They seem to come out of the nicknames we first create for our pets.

After we got Sherlock home and then got (Professor) Moriarty, we discovered that "Moriarty" is really hard to say.

Moriarty is also really hard to move.

So I started calling him Monster, instead. Except when I pronounce it, I am required by single-woman law to use some form of baby-talk, so his name comes out as "Mosser."

And then that often morphs into "Mosser-Butt."

I know. This is what happens when I'm totally honest with you.

So then -- and I'm not sure where or why this occurred to me -- but um. Remember that Simpsons episode where Homer starts driving a plow? And he calls himself Mr. Plow? And then he writes a jingle for himself? Well, he does.

It goes:
Call Mister Plow, that's my name
That name again is Mister Plow

It's very catchy, too. Here's a wav of it if you'd like to listen.


Mosser-Butt, that's his name
That name again is Mosser-Butt

Because I am a creative genius.

But it gets better!

Years and years ago, back during the Ally McBeal days, their wacky law firm had a talent show for Christmas. And Peter McWhatshisbucket, "The Biscuit" character, sang "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." I had never heard that song before (with good reason), but once I did, it got stuck in my head for weeks. This, in turn, resulted in me calling everything "-opotamus," even though that's like the opposite of a nickname. It's awkward to say, it doesn't just roll off the tongue, and it adds FOUR syllables to any other word.

Yet that is how Sherlock became Sherlock-opotamus.

Well, except I do tend to shorten "Sherlock" to "'lock" when I'm being grossly cute. Which means that his name is often, "Lock-o-potamus" and/or MISTER Lockopotamus. Because you know how we crazy-single-cat-ladies are with the formal salutations and all.

(Also sometimes he becomes "Lock-a-les" as in "Hercules" except with "Lock" in place of "Herc." Yeah. I'm so fucking sexy.)

But back to the singing.

You know the theme song to I Dream of Jeannie? Think about it. Get it going in your head.

Got it?

Now sing with me:

Ba doop boop BOOP!


I will admit to being slightly horrified that I have shared this officially with the internet. And yet there it is, in all its ridiculous glory.

NOTE: If I were still totally single I would NOT have posted this. In fact, the ONLY reason I feel okay in doing this is that my boyfriend** ALSO has cats, and he ALSO has songs for them, and if he wants to give me a hard time about this, I will post his songs as well. (We call this "leverage," folks.)


Having shared this, I now turn to you.

It's YOUR turn.

Time to tell us your crazy pet-name songs.

Because it can't JUST be me, right?



*I do not actually believe this, not for one second. I am now considering kitty prozac, and I am not kidding.

Ish Train
**Leon likes to ride piggy back!

A List Of Top 1 Thing I Will NOT Be Doing On My Lunch Break

Number One:

But thank you for this VERY HELPFUL LINK ANYWAY, Gmail.

Monday, October 15, 2007

100 Reasons Bravo Should Be Ashamed of Itself

This post was alternately called "100 Movies Bravo Had The Rights To," and

"100 Movies, Some Of Which Were Funny, Presented In No Particular Order."

For no good reason, Ish and I got sucked into another countdown show. But instead of it being anything decent, like the sorts of QUALITY COUNTDOWNS VH1 produces, it was horrifying.

Bravo decided to name the top 100 funniest movies of all time. And I am deeply troubled.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I pretty much love Bravo. Bravo is the main ingredient in my television diet, and I am breathlessly counting down the minutes until the new season of Project Runway begins. Top Chef also won me over, and while I very much hated that Ilan won a couple seasons ago (yes, I'm still bitching about it), I thought Bravo's producers went out of their way to make the show better this season.

Gosh, I thought. How classy Bravo is!

So! When Bravo decided to embark on this "funniest movies of all time" countdown, I thought -- hoped? assumed? -- it would be fantastic.

It wasn't.

For starters, the countdown suffered from two HUGE flaws.

ONE - It heavily weighted movies that have come out recently. Nothing on the whole list wasn't American (which is fine, but that should be noted, I think), and nothing came out more than 45 years ago. No Marx Brothers. No Laurel and Hardy, no Abbott and Costello, nothing that would have once been described as a "madcap caper." Bringing Up Baby and Some Like It Hot spring to mind. But then, the AFI knows what it's talking about.

TWO - It spent a lot more time discussing the movies it happened to have clips for. Several of the major movies included in the list got all of 5 seconds worth of commentary and showed no clips. They just threw in a few still shots, zoomed through a perfunctory narrative, and then moved on to the next, thorough dissection of a Ben Stiller vehicle. How can a major network (or major network affiliate, anyway) not manage to get clips? (But then, they don't own either, so whatever.)

Overall, I think the list was AT BEST about 70% accurate as far as which movies they decided to include. But it's not just that they omitted at least 30 really funny flicks, it's that at least 30 of the "films" they included should never, ever have been made, let alone dubbed "comedy" let alone CELEBRATED.

Meet the Fockers? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Worse, however, was the ORDER in which they counted these movies down. The Top 10 list in particular was an abomination. You want to know?

Prepare to be horrified.

* * *

10. Arthur

I am not saying that Arthur isn't funny, but I do not think it is TOP TEN FUNNIEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME funny. Shouldn't one criterion be whether or not the movie stands the test of time?

Dear Anyone Reading This Who Is Under The Age of 30:

Have you ever seen the movie, Arthur?

I didn't think so.

9. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
I think that if a committee over at the American Film Institute were to make a list of the 100 funniest movie stars of all time, Jim Carrey would probably have to be put on that list. However, I am certain that they would include him only begrudgingly, through gritted teeth, justifying their decision by citing his insane box-office draw and movies such as "Man on the Moon" and the un-ignorable "Dumb and Dumber." And they would still feel horribly, horribly guilty.

For shame!

8. Blazing Saddles

This is so ridiculous I couldn't even put it in the headline.

It's... The Wedding Singer.


The Wedding Singer.

In the top 10.

The Wedding Singer doesn't totally suck as a movie. It's light, cute, and fun, and sometimes it has funny moments. It is not, however, laugh out loud funny. And the thing that makes it most enjoyable (aside from Steve Buscemi) is that it pokes fun of the ridiculousness of the 80s, even though it's totally anachronistic.

I swear to you, though, even Adam Sandler himself has more sense than to include this movie on the top 100. And yet there it sits, mocking all that is sacred.

(And speaking of sacred, Annie Hall is #28. That puts Meet the Fockers, which came in at #26, ABOVE IT. HAHAHAHAHA!)

Mickey Blue Eyes made me laugh a lot harder than The Wedding Singer. And that's saying something.

6. Airplane!

Airplane! might be my all-time favorite comedy. I remember watching it at my grandparents' house once, with my dad. And he laughed so hard he -- quite literally -- fell off of the couch, clutching his belly.

And surely that is a Top 10 comedy.

It is a comedy. And don't call me Shirley.

5. Southpark: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
I am happy that this movie made the list at all, although I can't say I'm totally surprised, since as best I can tell this list was made by people who've only seen movies that make great drinking games.

Still, the Southpark movie was enjoyable on many levels and surprisingly clever -- especially if you're familiar with musical theatre.

Top 10 clever? Good God, no.

Top 100 clever? I'm not sure. Maybe. What would Brian Boitano think?

4. There's Something About Mary
I could probably be convinced that the performances, along with the prom-night bathroom scene and (of course) the hair gag, could land this movie on the Top 100 list. I think it will stand the test of time on the general American humor-o-meter. But I have to ask: was it really better than any of the wild and raunchy movies of the 80s? Like, say, Porky's or Smokey and the Bandit Part II?

Hmmm, maybe those weren't the best examples. But you get my point.

3. Shrek
I have to wonder if Bravo is just totally pulling our leg. Maybe it's all one big joke? Like, maybe Bravo was competing to win The Funniest "Top 100 Funniest Movies" list? And maybe someone is going to give them a prize for how HILARIOUS their "list" is?

Maybe someone?


Bueller? (#54, btw.)

I thought Shrek was ingenious and artful. It told a good story, and made fun of itself all at the same time. Kind of like Monty Python and the Holy Grail (#40) except animated. Or, you know, ANY Christopher Guest movie.

But I do not see how groundbreaking animation equals funny. And, be honest, if Shrek had been live-action, it wouldn't have been half so entertaining.

When you get down to it, the funniest thing about Shrek is how it throws in a lot of adult humor, stuff that will fly over most kids' heads and entertain the parents. I agree, that makes the movie fun -- but those crazy Muppets have been doing the same thing for decades. And call me old-fashioned, but I'd posit that The Great Muppet Caper is every bit as funny as Shrek. Eddie Murphy as a mouthy donkey is funny. Charles Grodin as a criminal mastermind in love with Miss Piggy? Priceless.

2. Caddyshack
I will not argue that Caddyshack is Top 10 material. It has proven, over time, to be the quintessential movie of the 80s. The comedy to define all comedies. The script by which all other comedies since have been judged.

That is, if you're a dude.

Ladies, may I ask: How many times have you seen this movie? Enough to know the names of all of the characters? Enough to quote the movie from start to finish?


You do not have a Y chromosome, and therefore you simply remember that Chevy Chase was in it. Oh, and Rodney Dangerfield. And there were caddies. And Bill Murray was crazy. And um, there was that Baby Ruth thing.

But it requires that Y to know more than this. And while the Y makes the dudes love this flick, it does not also give them the ability to explain WHY it's so great. No guy I know can offer more than "It just IS" and then, having stupidly opened the door in the first place, I will be subjected to at least 10 minutes of quotes that mean nothing to me. God forbid another dude be in the room, because then the entire afternoon will be shot.

So it's not that this movie isn't funny, it's just... I find it hard to believe that men and women were equally represented on whatever sort of panel Bravo used to compile this crappy list in the first place.

1. Animal House
See: Caddyshack

* * * *

I reiterate: the list was absurd. Offensively so. And I'm not the only one who thinks so. If you Google "Bravo Top 100 Funniest Movies" you get forum after forum of people bitching about this atrocity, which I believe is made worse because it's coming from such an otherwise reputable source.

But let me ask you --

What do YOU think is the most offensive thing about this list? And what's most obviously missing?

Because this is just silly:

Top 100 Funniest Movies, according to Bravo

100. Anchorman
99. The Birdcage
98. School of Rock
97. Happy Gilmore
96. Four Weddings and a Funeral
95. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
94. Waiting for Guffman
93. The Aristocrats
92. Father of the Bride
91. Revenge of the Nerds
90. Clueless
89. Slapshot
88. Team America
87. The Kentucky Fried Movie
86. Zoolander
85. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
84. Silver Streak
83. Sister Act
82. Tootsie
81. Half Baked
80. Lost in America
79. Three Amigos
78. Bananas
77. Flirting with Disaster
76. Ghostbusters
75. Dumb and Dumber
74. Trading Places
73. City Slickers
72. Moonstruck
71. Roxanne
70. The Nutty Professor (Eddie Murphy)
69. The Blues Brothers
68. Broadcast News
67. Kingpin
66. Dazed and Confused
65. Office Space
64. This is Spinal Tap
63. Manhattan
62. The Pink Panther
61. Election
60. When Harry Met Sally
59. Police Academy Series
58. Private Benjamin
57. Swingers
56. Young Frankenstein
55. Bull Durham
54. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
53. Dr. Strangelove
52. Meet the Parents
51. National Lampoon's Vacation
50. The Princess Bride
49. American Pie
48. American Graffiti
47. 9 to 5
46. The Incredibles
45. Raising Arizona
44. Sixteen Candles
43. What About Bob?
42. Harold and Maude
41. Austin Powers
40. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
39. Mrs. Doubtfire
38. Best In Show
37. Dodgeball
36. Good Morning Vietnam
35. Beetlejuice
34. Rushmore
33. Clerks
32. Groundhog Day
31. The Big Lebowski
30. The 40 Year Old Virgin
29. Legally Blonde
28. Annie Hall
27. A Fish Called Wanda
26. Wayne's World
25. Meet the Fockers
24. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
23. Big
22. Beverly Hills Cop
21. Shampoo
20. The Jerk
19. Wedding Crashers
18. Stripes
17. M*A*S*H
16. Old School
15. Fast Times At Ridgemont High
14. Napoleon Dynamite
13. Naked Gun Series
12. The Producers
11. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
10. Arthur
9. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
8. Blazing Saddles
7. The Wedding Singer
6. Airplane
5. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
4. There's Something About Mary
3. Shrek
2. Caddyshack
1. Animal House

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Glamorous Deconstruction Under My Umbrella

The other day as I was driving to work, the ridiculously stupid radio station I was listening to treated us listeners to a ridiculously stupid news tidbit.

The story involved a man who was driving down the street when the police asked him to pull over because they suspected he was intoxicated.

They thought this because he was driving very erratically.

On his tractor.

While drinking from a can of beer.

Which he pulled from the case of beer he had on the tractor with him.

And when the police asked him to pull over, he "took off," trying to get away.

Except because he was -- right -- driving a tractor, he wasn't going very fast. And so the officers were able to catch up to him.

By walking.

Ah, morning radio. How you tickle me.

(BTW: I went in search of the article to post here, but couldn't find it online anywhere and didn't want to spend too much time looking up variations of "drunk tractor man police foot" "man drives tractor beer" and "intoxicated case of beer tractor pull over.")

Now that I'm commuting, I try and listen to NPR-related stations (KQED mostly) as much as possible. But sometimes, like in the middle of the 3rd week of the pledge drive, I can't take it and have to listen to something else. Anything else.

Which is how I discovered the fantastic inanity that is:

(Also? I find when blatantly stealing images from corporate websites,
it's best to include the little TM, because that totally makes it more legal. What?)

Now on my way to work, in between hearing heartbreaking stories of Burmese monks being slain for denouncing violent governmental anti-democratic crackdowns, I can tune in to these two cheery pieces of ear candy --

This is Balthazar and Lisa.

Because they will tell me about great tractor escapes and dissect the finer points of Britney's hair. Because for all its worldliness, NPR hardly ever mentions Dancing With The Stars, and how else am I going to have something intelligent to say about it?

But anyway, as you might suspect from the catchy name of the radio station, "Movin" plays only dance-y stuff. Stuff to get you "movin." [Note: it does NOT play songs to get you "movinG." Because movinG is lame and totally something soft-rock listeners would do. LOSERS.]

So for the last few weeks I've been listening. And I have come to the following conclusion:

Fergie's song "Glamorous" is really, really stupid.

Now, it's not like me to go and have a negative opinion about something so ridiculous in the first place. Mostly I'm like, let the stupid be stupid and SO WHAT if I work out to Kelly Clarkson remixes?

But somewhere around the 3219th time I heard the Glamorous song, I decided it didn't really make any sense. At once, Fergie is both celebrating the glamorous life and denouncing her involvement in it. And somewhere from deep within my English major soul came my sad realization that the song is lacking a distinct point of view. Its logic doesn't hold. And when I allowed myself to really internalize this realization, well.

The whole song just came apart for me.

Dancy pop songs should be simple, and involve only one basic concept. Like the current Rihanna hit, "Umbrella." This is not a complex song, and it's not trying to be.

Although truth be told, I'm not sure why I, too, am not making a gagillion dollars by taking a single three-syllable word in the English language, stretching it out to be four syllables, and then repeating it five hundred million times.

In case you're unfamiliar, the chorus of this little ditty goes:

You can stand under my umbrella.

That's it. That's the chorus.

Well, except you have to pronounce it "um-ber-el-la," and then go "el-la el-la" and then add "eh eh eh" just to make the word last long enough to make sure Rihanna can pay her mortgage. (I'm pretty sure that extra "eh" paid for her second summer home.)

So yeah. I could totally come up with something just as catchy. Like, um:

You can unleash my Chihuahua.

Awesome! You can pronounce it "Chi-HU-ah-hua" and then add "hua-hua hua-hua, ah ah ah."

And you know what? "Unleash" is a way more active and interesting word than "stand." Plus? "Unleash my Chihuahua?" How double-entendre is THAT? Or more than double! I could mean ALL SORTS of things. Am I saying "unleash my yappy dog who's currently tied to the parking meter outside the grocery while I run in to buy some yogurt and a pack of gum?" Or am I saying "unleash my shaky-but-ocassionally-ferocious-inner-canine. Barkbark!!"? Who's to say?

Also, Chihuahuas are NEVER featured in songs (unlike stupid rain) so I think I've already I've written a better and more interesting song than Rihanna and I did so BY MISTAKE.

But I have digressed.

Simple concepts -- from umbrellas to chihuahuas -- work.

Whereas convoluted or contradictory messages are dumb. Thus, Fergie's song is dumb.

Begin Needless Deconstruction

Glamorous begins (with a little help from Ludacris):
If you ain't got no money take your broke ass home
You say: If you ain't got no money take your broke ass home

G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S, yeah

To me this says, "If you are poor, you are not glamorous. And you need to go home."

And okay. I generally agree. I think that broke ass people should stay home, what with how it helps save money and all.

But here's where I take issue: if you're so damn glamorous, why are you spelling the word? I'd think that if I were so super-glamorous that I didn't need to pay attention to things like grammar, I wouldn't really have to pay attention to spelling, either. And if I did, I'd have someone do it for me. Like my butler.

Anyway. We move on to the first full verse. Which is also sort of the chorus.

We flying the first class
Up in the sky
Poppin' champagne
Livin' the life
In the fast lane
And I wont change
By the Glamorous
Oh the flossy flossy

So okay.

"We" are flying first class -- in the sky no less -- and drinking champagne and all that, AND YET "we" are unchanged by the glamorous.

Hard to believe with all that champagne getting in the way.

But also? Remember that time? When in the first line she sent someone home for their broke-ass-ness? That does not seem like something an "unchanged" person would do, you know?

The logic. It is not there.

Now, I will admit. When I first heard this song, I was also ready to rail against Fergalicious because I thought she was saying, "Oh the FLOUNCY, FLOUNCY." And I thought she didn't know what the word meant.

Turns out, she's saying "FLOSSY" and it was I who didn't know what the word meant.

[Sidebar: Ish read a draft of this ("it's too long") and got to this part and said, "You didn't know what flossy meant? Like, THE FLOSSY??" No, mister 39-year-old white business dude, I didn't. WHY DO YOU?]

Apparently "flossy" means "over the top bling."

And I guess I feel much hipper knowing this, except of course I don't have any idea how to use the word in a sentence. Is it "THE flossy"? And if so, is "THE flossy" people? Or is "THE flossy" the bling itself? Like, am I wearing the flossy? Or did I invite the flossy over for drinks? Can I just own "flossy"? And is it ever like, an adjective? My word, but that's a flossy necklace you're wearing*!

Personally, I think instead of finding stupid filler words, Fergs should've just gone with "Chihuahua." Now THAT would have made the song come together.

Anyway, the song takes us into the official chorus, which goes -- and I quote:

The glamorous
The glamorous
Glamorous (the glamorous life)
By the Glamorous
Oh the flossy flossy

I'm not sure how long it took Fergacious and her butler to come up with these lyrics, but I am not exactly impressed.

And anyway, what I don't get is...well... what is she even saying? Is glamorous good? Bad? Is SHE glamorous? Are WE? Is someone ELSE glamorous? Where is all this glamorous coming from?

Or like, is the point that glamorous something that just IS? Because whoa. That would be zen.

But now we really get into the meat of the song.

See, up till now, we've mostly heard about how glamorous the glamorous is. But here we go in a new direction and you're like, wait, what?

Wear them gold and diamonds rings
All them things don't mean a thing

[I forget. What's it called when you rhyme a word with another word that doesn't totally rhyme but has the same vowel sound? Assonance? Okay, then. Well, what's it called when you rhyme a word with the SAME word? Like, say, "things" with "thing"? I can't seem to find that anywhere.]

Chaperons and limousines
Shopping for expensive things
I be on the movie screens
Magazines and bougie scenes

You do be? Musta missed that.

But Fergie? Remember how I had to look up what "THE flossy" meant? Now it's your turn. Tell me what "bougie" is short for, and then use it in a sentence. And then I'll give you a million dollars if you can put it in historical reference.

Anyway -- here is the crux:

I'm not clean, I'm not pristine
I'm no queen, I'm no machine
I still go to Taco Bell
Drive through, raw as hell
I don't care
I'm still real
No matter how many records I sell

I believe that Fergie is implying that by ingesting raw Taco Bell, she is still in touch with her pre-glamorous side.

When Bill Clinton was in office, he sometimes ate McDonald's. This did not make him not the President of the United States. If you know what I mean. Going to Taco Bell doesn't make Fergie any less hateful. Especially since she casually reminds you, in the same breath, that she's sold tons of records.

(I also think it's kind of amazing that I mentioned a Chihuahua and now we're at Taco Bell. It's like foreshadowing, except dumber.)

After the show or after the Grammies
I like to go cool out with the family
Sippin', reminiscing on days when I had a Mus--

--tache? I totally ALWAYS think she's about to say she reminisces about the days of having a mustache. And THAT would have taken the song in a whole new direction.

Instead, she used to have a Mustang. Yawn.

In the next part of the song we hear from Ludacris again, and he goes on and on about how rich and famous and special their lives are. After which, Fergs returns to spelling, and then the last verse is her bitching about how cruel the industry is.

(Oh yeah? Spend a day in the blogosphere, babe!)

But again I'm left asking: Which is it? Is she glamorous, or is she real? Does her penchant for Taco Bell outweigh her Grammies and "half-mil in stones"?

Answer: IT DOES NOT.

She should have stuck to singing about being glamorous and left it at that.

It's not like other pop dance favorites haven't taken on being self-referential. Plenty of others have sung about their fabulousness -- without complaining about it -- and as a result, their songs didn't suck.

Exhibit A: MC Hammer's U Can't Touch This
Lyrics here.

In this insta-classic, MC is thankful for his talent. He, too, is self-referential. He, too, speaks of THE flossy (in his case, his flossy = his pants).

But he doesn't whine about how real he is, despite how unfortunately glamorous his life is. No. He's all like, yeah, I'm a fucking rock star. Look at my pants.

Message: I rock. You U suck.

Exhibit B: J.J. Fad's Supersonic

I bring this up because not only do they know that they are awesome --

Everybody knows that J.J. Fad is devastating
We know you like us girls so you better get steril
'Cause we are the homechicks that are rockin' your world

-- but because they also spell. And then they explain WHY they are spelling.

The S is for Super and the U is for Unique. The P is for Perfection and we know that they are freaks. The E is for exotic and the R is for Raps. So tell those nosy people just to stay the hell back.


And then? Somehow? They bring up a llama.

Yes, a LLAMA.

Lyrics are here (Note that you can download a complimentary Supersonic ringtone!)

If you ask me, a llama (ah-ma ah-ma) isn't too far from a Chihuahua.

Message: We're badass, we know it, we spell it.

So Fergs, whaddya think? Maybe next time you stop trying to be deep, you stay away from spelling, and you incorporate an exotic animal of some sort. Yeah?

I definitely think you should try it.

Yo quiero el flossy!

*I do not know why I became my grandmother in this example.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Right-Brained or Left-Brained?

I just saw this on Daily Kos and it's the coolest thing on the Internets EVER.

Check out the spinning lady. Which way is she spinning?

Some people see her spinning clockwise and some counter-clockwise.

This is not a trick.

And what's really cool is, if you stare at it long enough (different people focus on different parts of her body to do this), she might change directions.

Now, in THEORY, if you see her spin clockwise, you are right-brained.

And in THEORY, if you see her spin counter-clockwise, you are left-brained.

(I am not sure the definitions are quite that easy, especially since you can perceive her changing directions, but it's cool nonetheless.)

And to refresh your memory, thanks to this site, I remind you:

The Left Brain associated with verbal, logical, and analytical thinking. It excels in naming and categorizing things, symbolic abstraction, speech, reading, writing, arithmetic. The left brain is very linear...

The Right Brain
...functions in a non-verbal manner and excels in visual, spatial, perceptual, and intuitive information. The right brain processes information differently than the left brain. For the right brain, processing happens very quickly and the style of processing is nonlinear and nonsequential...The right brain has been associated with the realm of creativity.

So I ask, which way does she spin for you?

(My answer is in the comments.)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Angry Yaks & Analrapists

So a few entries ago, I did the 8 Random Things meme, wherein I mentioned my childhood fear of yaks.

And then there was this terror-inducing comment:

Biff Spiffy said...
I'm only on nummer 3 or 4. I looked at your Yak video, and the original (on the sidebar) brought back the same vivid horrifically scary memories.

What were those crackheads thinking??

The original yak bit:

OF COURSE I had to go look and see what the original looked like and it turns out? YAK ANIMATION STILL SCARES ME.

Why create a yak in cartoon form only to make it mean and gruff? And that end part? When the yak comes CHARGING at your screen?

That is one totally indefensibly angry yak, if you ask me.


So the way these things work, I now tag 8 more people to do the same thing. And I will. Except first, I need to introduce you to someone in particular.

Ages ago, my friend Lisa alerted me to this funny blogger, named Dan.

She'd told me all about this one post of his where he discusses his adventures of wearing a Tobias Funke "analrapist" shirt and how it turns out that most of the country never watched Arrested Development.

Now, if you're any kind of fan of Arrested Development, you know exactly what this is and you're going to read the post and laugh until you cry.

But if you are like most everyone else and you never watched or paid attention to the show, you're probably thinking I'm sending you to the site of an anal rapist.

That's funny, Kristy has never asked us to go look at an anal raping blog before...

But back to Dan.

Shortly after Lisa announced to our singing group that Dan has the funniest blog on the internet, and then suddenly looked horrified and added, to me, "I mean, aside from yours!" I discovered him, Dan stopped blogging. So there was no point in bringing him up here and encouraging you all to read him.

But then he created the Redacted Blog and returned to regularly posting.

And I have to tell you. He really is hilarious.

So then, right. I was GOING to mention him here ages ago, but didn't. And you're perhaps wondering why. (Or not, whatever.)

But I have two very good reasons.

1. I am petty and jealous and afraid that if I told you about Dan's blog you would never ever come back here. Especially because he's so goshdarn cute.
Losing my entire readership = Strike One

2. I decided I would get over myself and link to him, but I wanted to introduce myself first. I thought perhaps we could become blog buddies. Right? Makes sense? So I wrote him and expressed how much I enjoyed his blog (and sure, maybe I also proposed marriage, but who's to say exactly?) and that I thought we should connect. And then he never replied.
Not thinking an uninvited email proposal is cute = Strike Two

Oh well, I thought.

But then several weeks later I got a mass email from him! And was like, HOLD THE PHONE. If he managed to get my name onto his mailing list, he at least got my email and knows I'm a reader.

So I wrote him. Again.

And he did not reply. Again.

I wasn't really taking it personally, but I also couldn't figure it out. I mean, if I were him, I would want to connect with me. What was I doing wrong? Why wasn't I interesting enough?

Why wouldn't he pay attention to me?

(I will NOT be ignored!)

So I kept reading his blog. And waiting.

And then one day, I saw my chance. A golden opportunity to write Dan about something sort of kind of useful. Dan had made a very common grammatical error, and I decided I would call him* on it.

And that time he replied. A-ha!

I was thrilled.

Except my excitement was short-lived. Because rather than his response being the beginning of a long-running email exchange between us, an Internet friendship, a meaningful relationship...well. To him it was just a one-time thing. Casual. Forgettable.

Which made me a little bit, you know, cranky.

However, I am pleased to say that this story has a happy ending. No dead rabbit boiling on the stove. No police report filed. No me pretend-innocuously finding a way to show up in "Brooke's" living room, only to have Dan come home and be all, "What is SHE doing here" and me being all, "I'm sorry; Dan was it?" complete with blank stare and eyelash batting and then me with the whole, "Brooke was just telling me that you're a 'bloggist,' I believe it was?"

Yeah, no.

Instead, we have agreed to acknowledge each other's online presence. And I think that is swell.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

Remember about how it's my duty to tag more bloggers to write 8 Random Things about themselves? Well, here's who I'm tagging:

**Oh, and while I encourage you to follow the basic rules of this game, I am also asking that, if possible, you please include at least one tidbit about some form of livestock.**

1. Dan, who you might recall from 7 lines ago.

2. Sam, darling IIF.

3. Michele, despite her praising anything in the state of Delaware.

4. Shannon, who is in the throes of weddingmania as well.

5. Dizzy Ms. Lizzy, who is in need of a few blog posts! (ahem)

6. Leila, because she complimented me and I am SO EASY like that. (Also she's cute and asked.)

7. Elle, because she complimented me and I wasn't lying in #6.

8. Tami, who blogger hates, apparently.

And there it is. Good luck!

*By which I mean I basically sent him a bitchy email alerting him to the fact that it's "champing" at the bit and not "chomping" at the bit.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Wedding Weekend

Hi Kids!

Susan and Steven are getting married on Saturday (this is the wedding I'm helping plan and organize). And since my day today is filled with both work and a fevered pursuit of outdoor space heaters--

-- because the temperature in wine country has taken a sudden, significant downward turn, of course --

I will not be able to post. So you'll have to wait till a little later to be tagged for the 8 Random Things thing.

But I did post a couple things last night (below), so hopefully they'll suffice.

Or, if you're REALLY looking to mess around at work on this lovely Friday, if you click on "photos" above, I have started reorganizing my Flickr page and currently have posted the images from Bemily's VERY DRUNKEN bachelor/bachelorette party. HA!

Lastly, I just wanted to say "Happy Anniversary" to my best friend, Emily, and her amazing husband, Nick. They were married six years ago, also on October 6. Emily has just lost her grandfather, so I hope that amid all the sadness and grieving, she's able to find some joy in remembering that gorgeous, happy day (and the gorgeous, happy family she and Nick have built since).

Love to all,

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Just Now

On the way to Ish's place, I stopped in at the neighborhood liquor store to get some wine to have with dinner. I don't usually go to this place, and the man working at the counter has never seen me before, nor I him.

When I brought my bottle of pinot grigio to the register, I pulled out my wallet and handed him my debit card. And the young Chinese man asked me, in somewhat stilted English: Please see your ID?

I am always thrilled when this happens, especially when someone who could be younger than me asks to see my ID. Because it means that there lies the possibility that this stranger thinks I could, maybe, possibly, somehow still be around age 21.

And that is fantastic.

Oh, ABSOLUTELY! I said, probably way too enthusiastically.

I gave my license to him and stood dwelling on my youthful good looks. Until I saw the sign:

ID required for anyone using a credit card.


But because I was feeling emboldened (well, and wearing pigtails), I wanted to be sure. Maybe it had nothing to do with my card and everything to do with my cuteness. Right?

"You know, when you asked me for my ID I thought it was for the wine," I said. Not entirely sure he'd understand what I was getting at.

But he did.

"Oh, no, we have to ask anyone who gives us credit card," he said.

And still I pressed.

"I was kind of hoping it was because you thought I might be 20."

He smiled as he handed me back my card and my receipt and replied -- with a heavy accent and perfect poignancy --

"Oh sure. We can pretend that if you want."

Dear My Boyfriend:

Look how frickin' cute ours could be!

My sister and her son



Wednesday, October 03, 2007

8 Random Things! Woo!

Wherein "8 Random Things" roughly translates to
"Something of a meandering novella. With livestock..."

So literally -- LITERALLY -- seven weeks ago today, a very fancypants marketing/tech/sales professional named David Dalka pinged me.

If you take a moment and go visit his site, you will notice that he is a professional, like for real.

[I am too, I suppose, but one would NEVER imagine that from this site. Because I do things like draw pictures of bagels and my butt and chart liquor ratios.

I did, once, briefly entertain the notion of starting a marcom-related blog (because I swear, I do actually know grown-up job stuff), except the idea just exhausted me. I would feel compelled to like, NOT ramble and NOT swear and NOT talk about boozing it up. Instead, I'd have to...oh, I dunno...make points or something. BO-RING. La la laaaa.]

So I'm not sure if David's hoping that I will respond with something like, um, "insight" or a topic related to something actually "important," but hopefully he knows better. (Hi, David!)

Okay but first I have to play by the rules.

This whole tag thing seems to have come from yet ANOTHER serious bloggy guy named Paul Ruppert. (See his super-serious post here.)

For those of you not clicking on his link, let's just say that his blog focuses on the newest trends in Mobile Technology.


(Hi, Paul! I have a pink phone! I chose it because it's pink! Sorry!)

Regardless, here are the rules of the 8 Random Things game, directly from Paul's blog but perhaps with some commentary (shocking):
  1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
    Totally rocking rule number 1!

  2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
    Wait, "habits"? Really? Like do you mean "highly effective" ones, or like, "I bite my nails" ones? Hmmm...

  3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
    I see where this is going...

  4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
    Do we know why Paul has a thing for the number 8?

  5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
    Oh, don't you worry!

So here we go. With the 8 things and all.

Random Thing #1

I was once licked by an ox.

Now, I know there was no way you could have predicted that sentence, and so there you go. My next seven things may not be that great or interesting, but who cares? Because that is the best opening ever.

So I was ten years old, and my family decided to do something all New England-y and holiday spirit-like, so we drove upstate to go to some "authentic" Christmas tree farm.

Families drive for miles to do this sort of thing. You pay some fee, and then you and a bunch of other families pile onto a huge, tractor-drawn wagon cart and drive out to a field of trees that were grown specifically for this purpose. You then walk around the trees and pick the one you want and say to the guy, "that one." And then he cuts and tags it and you take the wagon back to the parking lot and your dad spends the next 45 minutes figuring out how to get the tree onto the roof of your car. Meanwhile, the kids wander around and drink cider.

I was doing just that when I wandered on over to the couple of oxen that were behind a not-so-high fence. And because I was ten and the oxen seemed docile, I did what all ten-year-old girls do: I petted them. I just put my hand on one of the ox's heads, gently. And for whatever reason -- maybe I smelled like ox food, I don't know -- it stuck its ENORMOUS tongue out and licked my jacket, from my midsection on up.

I was rather shocked, but it didn't happen SO quickly that I jumped or screamed or anything. I was surprised, sure. But also...flattered? I mean, how IS one supposed to feel after being licked by an ox?

Random Thing #2

I once served as a runner for a Czechoslovakian bluegrass band.

You know, I was wondering when I should bring this up.

I could -- and probably will -- make this into a much longer post, because it warrants it. But the gist is that ever year, my hometown had (still has) an Oyster Festival. I have heard that it's grown to be quite an amazing event, but back when I was in grade school, it was mostly ridiculous. More on this later.

When I was in the high school marching band (and come to think of it, I have not written nearly enough on this godforsaken topic, either), we raised money each year by working at the Festival. And for whatever reason, one year, my job assignment was to be a runner (aka "assistant" aka "gopher") for one of the festival's musical acts.

The act was "featured" on something like Stage E, waaaaaay over by the water somewhere I didn't even realize the Fairgrounds stretched to. And their prime performance time was like, 11 a.m. on Sunday, the last day of the Festival.

But there I was, running around fetching coffee and helping with sound checks (Sound Czechs? HAHAHAHA!) and, ultimately, watching their show. With about 11 other people.

Did you know that there exists an accordion you can play with your mouth?

Not just "random" but "educational" too, huh? Aren't you so glad you're reading?

The highlight of the show was their amazing, truly unforgettable rendition of, "Wake Up Little Susie." I don't know why this was part of their repertoire, but it was. Or rather, "Vake Up, Leetle Soo-oo-zie!" was.

Random Thing #3

As a child, I was deathly afraid of yaks.

You're probably thinking I'm making this up, what with the bizarre assortment of livestock in this post already, but I am not.

As a small girl, I was really, really scared of yaks. My mom did her best to try and figure out where my yack-phobia came from, as there were precious few yaks roaming around in Darien, Connecticut. Alas, it remained a mystery. And so my poor mom was saddled with the challenging task of trying to convince her toddler that her fears were completely unfounded. But a frightened three-year-old is a frightened three-year-old, and no amount of "but yaks are nice" or "Tibet is very, very far away" would do the trick.

So my mom went to the store and bought some anti-Yak spray. Because she was ingenious. And as it turned out, the spray was TOTALLY more convincing than that stupid Tibetan argument.

Years and years later, I was flipping through channels and was stopped dead in my tracks. Sesame Street! There was a feature on the letter "Y" and the little cartoon was all about "Y is for Yak" and it all came flooding back. It had been that stupid cartoon that had scared the bejeezus out of me.

For the purposes of this blog post, then, I went to the internets to try and find a clip of the old cartoon. (Dear Google: That is why I was searching for "Y is for Yak," in case you were wondering.) Except OH MY GOD. Instead of the OLD Y/Yak cartoon, they have UPDATED it. And now it is like, eleventeen times more terrifying than it ever was!

Go see for yourself, the terror that is ANIMATED YAK!

(Wow. We are only on #3.)

Random Thing #4

My parents (and I) were once blacklisted by the only cab company in Newark, Delaware.

Invisible Internet Friends, I could not make this stuff up if I tried.

Again, this one factoid deserves its own blog post, because -- from start to finish -- the one trip my parents and I took to Delaware should have served as a red flag GLARING RED BEACON that I should never, ever set foot in that state again. Instead, I actually attended a whole semester there, at the University of Delaware, home of the fighting blue hen.

Yes, really.

In the history of Truly Bad Decisions I Have Made, somewhere up there with permed bangs and "I think this chicken is still good," was my decision to attend UD. I still get anxious thinking about it.

A few weeks before the semester started, they hosted a weekend for freshmen and their parents. We went. It was disastrous for many reasons. We didn't rent a car, for one. And then after dinner AT THE MALL we called a cab to come bring us to the hotel, except it was late. And then later. And then later. And my father -- not exactly known for his patience -- called the cab company and yelled at them, explaining that we were stranded. And they apologized but said there was nothing they could do. Swearing may have ensued. The cab company eventually hung up on my father. And it was only after this happened that we learned that no other cab company serves the area we were in.

Luckily, the kind assistant manager of the Disney Store (see: Random Thing #5) noticed us looking stranded, and offered us a ride back to the hotel. We had no choice but to accept.

The next day, when we needed a ride from the hotel back to the University, the cab dispatcher would not send a car for us because, we discovered, the Sammises had been blacklisted. I had to call back and USE A FAKE NAME to get a cab to come.

And by the way? It's pronounced New-ARK, Delaware, and not NEW-erk, like the one in NJ. Which is way better.

Random Thing #5

I spent a year working at The Disney Store.

I started on Sunday, November 1, 1992. I was a senior in high school. I remember the day because it turns out that the "holiday" season begins in The Disney Store on November 1. And the holiday music they played was on a shortened repeat cycle of about 30 minutes. Which meant that if you work an 8-hour shift, you will hear the same Christmas carols 16 times.


But you know, truth be told: I actually enjoyed my time there, because I have always been a Disney fan. Also, my boyfriend worked there with me. (He was adorable and totally straight. So cute!)

But I will say that any rumors you have heard about working there are true -- it was a very demanding part-time job. And there is a "Disney Way" for everything, right down to how we looked: We had to wear the costume, which included a skirt that you HAD to pair with nylons, AND white ankle socks AND white sneakers. You couldn't have your fingernails be longer than 1/4" past your fingers. No visible tattoos. No earrings that dangled. No scrunchies (it was '92; this was problematic). No elaborate makeup, such as black under-eye eyeliner or red lipstick.


Random Thing #6

I won a national writing contest when I was 11. (And have not been published since.)

At the time, I thought it was a life-changing experience, one preparing me for a life of fame and fortune as a writer (oops).

I found out about the contest through my Language Arts teacher, Miss Wallerstein, in 6th grade. Since I had already determined that I would be a writer when I grew up, I figured I may as well enter the contest.

The contest was held by Shoe Tree Magazine, which as far as I* can tell is no longer in existence. I also have no idea how wide its circulation was or many kids entered the contest with me. For all I know I could have been chosen among all both entries.

My story was called, "Just Another Sunday Morning." See, I'd waited until the last possible day before the entry was due (because nothing ever changes), and then wrote the only thing I could think of. It ended up being about that day in my life, and was intended to be funny and autobiographical (because nothing ever changes). (Oh, that Blogger would've existed in 1986.)

I do find it amusing that the story I wrote at age 11 may very well be the ONLY story I ever publish. That'd make me like, the Kriss Kross of the literary world. Except even LESS famous.

Sigh. Moving on.

Random Thing #7

I am surprisingly talented at remembering jingles (ads and tv themes, for example) that I never meant to learn in the first place. Also I can spot C-level actors in varying capacities like nobody's business.

I don't know if this makes me talented or crazy (well yes, I do know), but these are the sorts of things that my brain does do, totally of its own volition. Instead of remembering which way to turn outside my apartment door or what my locker combination at the gym is, I can sing the Velveeta Cheese song from 1985.

There's no single cheese like Velveeta!
Cuz Velveeta is more than one single cheese!

Like Colby, Swiss and Cheddar,

Blended all "togeddar,"

That's the creamy taste that melts with ease...

And then I do the even more useless thing, which is point out random almost-actors from one lame acting vehicle as they appear in another lame acting vehicle.

Oh, look! See that guy? That guy in the Home Depot commercial holding his wife's purse next to the paint samples? He was also one of those background dancers in that stupid soup commercial a couple years ago. He was also the doorman in one of the Sex and the City episodes, but he didn't have any lines.

This does not mean, in any way, that I will ever know or remember their names.

I have also noticed that this "skill" has not made me rich.

Random Thing #8

I have always had a fascination with Marilyn Monroe.

My grandfather was the editor of Photoplay Magazine.

What's amazing is that I didn't realize this latter fact until I was older, and what it meant. My grandfather was smack-dab in the middle of Hollywood's Golden Age. He actually met Miss Monroe (more than once) and had the honor of presenting her with -- or perhaps she had the honor of receiving? -- the Photoplay centerfold of the year award. I have a video clip of it. Utterly mind-blowing!

And yet ANOTHER piece of information that should and will be its own post.

I haven't found any decent information online about the history of Photoplay Magazine, or else I'd link to it here. But basically, Photoplay was the People Magazine of several decades earlier. And my grandfather, Fred Sammis (who himself was a writer and photographer), worked his way to being. The. Editor.

Which means that now, my family has dozens of AMAZING pictures of my grandfather with Hollywood icons. (They were his day job, you know?)

I will include many more when I actually write that post, but for now, here's a taste:

Fred & Judy. Crazy!


I can't believe you made it through that nearly insufferable post. Congrats.


This is the part of the blog entry where I am to declare who I am tagging. And I would, except I always feel kind of bad about doing it. I love getting memes/tags myself (even if it takes me upwards of 3 months to finish them), but I'm not sure that YOU feel that way.


If you wanna take on the "8 Random Things" task, please let me know and I will devote a post all to you.

And then I will say: YAY! Your Turns!!!

And also I'm sorry this was so long. Thanks for hanging in...

*I = Google

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Booze Pyramid

The American Food Pyramid is kind of ridiculous.

Taken at face value, without reading any asterisks or detailed information on "portion" control, I would look at the pretty diagram and think I should be eating 11 bowls of cereal a day for optimum health.

"Oh hey! I've only had two bowls of cereal so far today. I'd better have some toast and crackers!"

On the one hand, I get that this is a "guide" and that it needs to be taken in a larger context.

On the other hand, you may note that this pyramid includes "chips."


So while the entirety of the world is laughing at our enormous American asses and pointing at our version of the food pyramid and snickering, I embrace it. Because, you may note, along side the "yogurt" there appears to be a chocolate shake. And I can have up to three of those a day.

Anyway, I started thinking about how even though there are generic chocolate shakes and mayo in this pyramid (and I'm pretty sure that's a lollipop there ABOVE THE FRIED EGG), SOMEHOW there is no wine. No beer.

Just, no booze at all.

If you ask me, this is precisely the problem with this country. We are ONE step away from featuring DEEP FRIED COCA-COLA on our food pyramid under the "use sparingly" category...

America: First we invented Coca-Cola, then jazz music. Then we put humans on the moon.
Then something bad happened. Now we deep-fry Coke.

...and yet not a single martini glass is featured.

This is flawed logic to the nth degree. It simply doesn't make sense. If you can feature a chocolate shake, SURELY you can include one tiny little bottle of tequila. No?

Well, fine.

Then I present to you the companion pyramid.

The Booze Pyramid:


Many of you have wondered, "Hey, Kristy? How can I incorporate alcoholic tendencies into my overall nutrition plan?" And you know. It's a good question, really. One that I will endeavor to answer with an equal amount of scientific evidence and research-based facetiousness.

At the base of the pyramid, we have the Beer and Wine group. Because beer is made from grains -- much like cereal -- you can have plenty of servings of it. Beer is loaded with carbs, so it gives you all the energy you need to do active things. Like lift beer bottles.

Wine is made from grapes, which are fruit. Now, you may have noticed that in the "normal" pyramid, it is suggested that you consume 2-4 servings of fruit a day, yet I have it in the 1-12 servings category. I am very glad you are paying attention.

See, this is because "science" has not yet agreed on what a "serving" of wine is. Some say it's "4 ounces," while some say it's "6 ounces." However, other, more brilliant experts who are me say it's "a bottle."

Regardless, drinking wine provides you with all the health benefits of other fruits -- antioxidants, for example -- plus has the added bonus of making you seem very sophisticated even when it's making your lips and teeth purple. And grapes alone cannot do that.

Next we have the Mixed Cocktail Group. They're here in the middle because really, it's hard to gauge how many is appropriate for maximum health benefits. Some bars will serve a tiny little bit of liquor for several ounces of mixer, in which case 7 rum & diets makes perfect sense. In other bars, however, sometimes the mixed drink comes in a pint glass. And 7 pint glasses of booze might sound like a good idea, but I assure you -- you will see diminishing health returns after the 4th serving.

(Trust me, I have extensive empirical evidence.)

As we continue our climb up the pyramid, we get to the "-tini" Group. It's a lovely, decadent group to be sure, and its health benefits derive mostly from the fact that:

a. "-tinis" are the sorts of drinks you order when you're either on a date or looking for a date,


b. your chances of getting lucky (in either circumstance) are greatly enhanced by the "-tinis," as they are essentially small bowls of straight liquor

And I don't need to tell you about all the health benefits of getting lucky.

Lastly, however, we have the fried Coke of the Booze Pyramid. The "use sparingly" dark side of this otherwise sun-filled ancient structure of boozy goodness.

The basic problem with this last group, the Straight Group, is that it takes the health benefits of the other groups and warps them.

You will THINK you're getting the energy of beer, but really you're just careening toward a hangover. You will THINK you're appearing very sophisticated, what with your ability to hold your liquor and with your adorable proclamation of "Oh my heavens! There appear to be flecks of real gold in my drink!" except what you actually just said was "Whatthefuck is that gold shit floating in my drink!" And you said it like, 12 times.

Mostly, however, with the Straight Group, the warped health benefit's not so much "getting lucky" as it is "finding a way to leave his place silently in the middle of the night so he doesn't wake up dear God I hope I didn't give him my phone number."

* * * * * * * *
So yeah. There you have it. My very useful Booze Pyramid (think how many college freshmen would benefit from this diagram!), which is JUST as scientific and healthful as the American Food Pyramid.

I swear.

"We'd like to interview you"

I know. You're all like, WHO? Who wants to interview you? Time? CNN? The New Yorker?

No, no. It's way better. Because it's like, underground. Sort of. And they only interview a select number of people, such as the ones they email or the ones who fill out their form.

(See? VERY elite!)

And now I'm supposed to hound people for votes. Or something.

So you can go vote for me and my interview if you'd like, but please don't feel obligated. You pretty much know the story anyway.

And here is the part where I post the image that's going to totally impress you: