Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Triplets of Belleville

I like to catch up on Oscar-nominated films, and while The Triplets of Belleville didn't stand a chance against powerhouse Finding Nemo, I had been wanting to see it anyway. Hooray for Netflix!
Triplets was really, really odd, but in a good way. I don't think I can give an accurate synopsis, but let's just say there are bikes, triplets, frogs, a kidnapping, trains, evil henchmen, and a fat dog. One of the things that was super sweet about Triplets was the minimal dialogue. It wasn't a dialogue-driven movie, like Nemo, but rather picture-driven. Remember those picture books you used to read when you were a kid, and they didn't have any words but the pictures told you everything you needed to know? The Triplets of Belleville is just like that. The music is cool, the pictures are cool, but I didn't LOVE it. I liked the minimal dialogue, but I was confused a lot, and kept waiting for the action. Maybe it's a French thing.

The Triplets of Belleville - B

Monday, February 27, 2006

Move Over, Brangelina

Celebrity couples - you can love 'em, you can hate 'em, but you have to link their names. Bennifer, TomKat, Bennifer, Brangelina, and others, I'm sure, but this weekend, I heard the best one ever:


Say it our loud - Filliam H. Muffman. From what I understand, Steven Colbert came up with this, and made himself laugh on his show. That's genius right there.

Filliam H. Muffman - A+

(if you know these people, don't tell them I said this, unless they'd think it was funny, in which case, just tell them about my blog in general...)

Hall and Oates

Private eyes are watching you!

Hall and Oates arer looking a little worse for the wear these days, but in their heyday, they were total studs. Check out that mustache - eat your heart out, Tom Selleck!

Hall and Oates - B

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Elmo's Coloring Book

As many of you know, my very good friend (and former roommate) Dustin is a member of the national tour of Sesame Street Live: Elmo's Coloring Book. Our friend Linda and I made the little trek to Detroit's Fox Theater yesterday to see the wonders of Elmo's Coloring Book for ourselves. After seeing the show, I have decided that being a high school drama teacher is not my true calling. No, I'm giving all that up and I'm going to follow Elmo's Coloring Book around the country. You know how some people do that with Phish, or used to with the Grateful Dead? Well, I can't get enough of the ECB, so I'm going to take my life savings and see them as much as I can. For real.
The show was AMAZING. I knew it would be good, but I thought it might be a little cheesy. There was no cheese here, I tell you! It was high-energy, super cute, really engaging, and with just enough sexual innuendo, whether intentional or unintentional, to keep two grown-ups without kids highly entertained. And it had a plot that everyone could follow! I couldn't believe it! Someone (or something) was stealing colors - Oscar the Grounch turend white! - from Elmo's Coloring Book, and it was up to Professor Art, Elmo, and the rest of the Sesame Street Gang to figure out who and why. In true Sesame Street fashion, when the culprit was found, apologies and friends were made. And the dancing! Those Muppets were incredible. I couldn't believe how fast they could move in those enormous costumes, or how high they could kick. Telly was my favorite - I could totally tell that there was a sassy gay man inside that big purple costume working it out! One of the perks of knowing the STAR of the show was I got to attend the "meet and greet" with Elmo and Grover. Elmo was much shorter than I expected. There were some little kids at the meet and greet, and they just about lost their minds with excitement. It takes special people to be good with kids while wearing big fuzzy costumes, so mad props to the Elmo and Grover folks for being super nice. From left to right: Dustin, Linda, David Copperfield, Elmo, Grover, and me - a melange of color!
There was one thing about the show that really bothered me: who the hell was the bear in the overalls with the speech impediment? About halfway through the show, this bear showed up, didn't add anything to the plot, talked all crazy, and then left. Who was he? I haven't watched Sesame Street in years, and this character was completely new to me. Plus, why introduce a new creature in the middle when it has nothing to do with the story? Linda and I kept looking at each other like, Who the eff is that?
Other high points: cotton candy at 10:30 AM, and the tiny girl in the seat in front of me who bounced up and down every time Elmo came on stage... aww!

Elmo's Coloring Book - A- (that damn bear)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Do You Have What It Takes?

Blogs aren't for everyone. I know a few people who started blogs and couldn't hack it, and quit after about two weeks. The world would be a better place if we still had regular updates from these charming bloggers, but what are you gonna do?
Two of the newest additions to the blogosphere are Doctor Fun and Mommy Look What I Made - penned by these fine folks you see here, my brother and his lovely fiancee. Ya'll should check out their blogs. I am expecting greatness here - these are two of the wittiest people I know - but what if blogging doesn't take with Pat and Nat? At least we will have seen this gorgeous picture, and this post will not have been in vain.

Doctor Fun and MLWIM - I for incomplete - show us more!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Constant Gardener

Hmmm, The Constant Gardener... this movie was wonderful, thought-provoking, complex, and visually stunning, and I would say one of the best movies I've seen in 2006, but I don't usually go for complicated, quiet "thrillers" that don't come together until the very end. It was painful, really, because the movie made me angsty. I was worried for the characters, and I wanted to know the outcome immediately. Also, when a movie confuses me long enough, I get a little turned off - like, Get on with it and tell me the truthful answers, so about an hour and forty-fvie minutes into it, The Constant Gardener started to really piss me off. I think The Constant Gardener will require a second viewing so that I completely understand it, and I'm not ashamed to admit that.
Rachel Weisz was magnificent, by the way - I get the "hype," and I totally think she's gonna win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Big step up from The Mummy 2, huh?

The Constant Gardener - B+

Project Runway Reunion

Wow! Kara's engaged! Kirsten's pregnant! Emmett has bizarre hair! Lupe's crazy, and John's THIN! Last night's show was pretty exciting. I liked how they tried to feature everyone, even though some people just didn't have as much exciting stuff to start with. I mean, Heidi Standridge is stupid AND was only one on show, so she wasn't too much fun to hear from. I was stunned by how nuts Lupe seemed. Maybe she was just super drunk, but I think she has some issues. Also, I'd like to know more about this big Nick-Santino falling out. It didn't seem that bad on the show, but at least five months have elapsed since they shot it and when they aired it. Maybe s celebrity gossip column will fill us in.

Where's Andrae?

Project Runway Reunion - A-

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

T-Shirt Quilt

Oooh, I'm so excited! One of my many little sisses from sorority days is an accomplished quilter, and a few months ago, my parents sent her all my old sorority, band, theatre, and a couple miscellaneous t-shirts so she could turn them into a quilt... and I got it in the mail today! I really, really like it. It's so big, I think it would fit a king-size bed - granted, I don't have any beds that big, and it barely fits in my linen closet, but she fit in all the shirts I wanted, which is super cool. Also, Heather quilted it in this beautiful hearty-swirly pattern. Really, it's totally gorgeous. Mom had thought that the quilt could be backed in fleece, but Heather's machine can't handle that, so she backed it in bright turquoise and hemmed the fleece, so now I have a new quilt and a new fleece blanket. I don't know it it's anything I will ever put on a bed, but it's really cool to have as a memento, and if anyone ever comes to visit again, now we have some extra blankets!

my new t-shirt quilt - A- (a few points off for its massiveness, but only a few)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Jenny Lewis, All Grown Up

A few weeks back, Noah and friends were talking on their blog about Shelley Long and her bad movies, including Troop Beverly Hills. Now, I love Troop Beverly Hills - it's one of my most favorite movies; I always like that Tori Spelling, Kelly Martin, and Carla Gugino were in it when they were young, but I always wondered what happened to Jenny Lewis, the little girl who played Shelley Long's daughter (that's her in "A Friendship in Vienna"). Well, just yesterday, while reading an old copy of Jane, I discovered that Miss Lewis has been keeping busy with a little band called Rilo Kiley. Jenny's all indie-fied, and I don't know if I like it. Look at her! She's so hip and beautiful in that cultivated, I'm-a-musician kind of way. How much do you think she paid for that dress? Either twelve dollars or seven hundred dollars, and both prospects kind of gross me out. I guess to me Jenny'll just always be the little redhead doing the Freddy on the lawn of the nursing home.

the new and improved Jenny Lewis - C+

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Blue Nile

One of the best things about out-of-town guests is their desire to eat out. Last night, Nate, Meggie, Nate's mom and dad, Nate's friend Tony and I ate at The Blue Nile Ethiopian restaurant. I had eaten Ethiopian food once before, with Nate and Tony at this little place in Lansing, and it was super good, so we all suggested that the whole crew try it. Tony says Ethiopian food is like what they eat in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (although I thought they ate monkey brains in that movie, but whatever). There were no utensils - you use this thin spongy bread to sop up the food. Blue Nile gave us jasmine-scented hot washcloths to clean our hands before we ate, which was a really nice touch. We ordered the meat feast, which was delicious. My favorite part was the spicy red lentils, and I also liked the mild chicken. Everything was really good except for the potato/carrot dish; it was just too much like what comes on the side of pot roast, and had nothing interesting about it. For dessert, we had the tradition Ethiopian dessert of chocolate mousse in a white chocolate cup... what? It was good, but was it Ethiopian?

Blue Nile - A-

The New Face of Badgley Mischka?

Mary-Kate and Ashley look amazing, but aren't they a little short to be models? Good luck to Mark and James in working with the new proportions.

Mary-Kate and Ashley "working" for Badgley Mischka (like they need the money) - B

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Godiva G Series

My little Meggie is visiting this weekend, and to show her thanks for the home stay and to have a little Mom celebration, she brought a box of Godiva G Series chocolates. Mad props to Meggie for bringing such an awesome host gift! Nate, Meggie and I had a chocolate tasting party last night - we cut most of the 15 pieces into three little pieces so we could each have a tiny taste of each of them (mad props to Nate for suggesting this idea). As you can kind of see from this picture, these chocolates are works of art - lots of them were hand painted, and all of them were "hand crafted." From top to bottom, left to right, the flavors were:
P.B. and Jam; Passion Orange; Tart Raspberry; Mexican Hot Chocolate; Tasmanian Honey; Praline Crunch; Bananas Foster; Palet d'Or; Tahitian Vanilla; Italian Espresso; Vermont Maple Walnut; Key Lime Pie; Salted Caramel; Apple Pie; Thai Coconut... jealous yet? They were all basically fabulous, but some more than others. I LOVED the Tart Raspberry and Key Lime Pie, while the Apple Pie and Tahitian Vanilla weren't chocolately enough. The more "traditional" flavors, like the raspberry, walnut and praline were superb, but the exotic ones like the orange and honey were just a little too over the top for my simple tastes. The tasting and commenting was super fun - Nate and Meggie are both foodies, so they knew what was good and why.
Sad to say, the G Series has been retired - I'm glad I got to know it while I had a chance.

Godiva G Series - A-

Friday, February 17, 2006


the set-up: I'm walking behind these two girls, when suddenly a guy starts to walk past them.

Him - Cheryl?
Her - Christopher!?
Him - Hey, how's it going?
Her - Good, good! How's it going?
Him - Good!
Her - So, what's up?
Him - Nothing! What's up with you?
Her - Nothing!
Him - Well, see ya!
Her - Yeah, see ya!
to girl #2, while walking away - That was my cousin!

And, scene.

LAMEST CONVERSATION EVER - D+ (points for sheer absurdity)

Cordless Razor

I saw a guy using one of these yesterday standing next to his car in the parking lot at school. And he was wearing full fatigues. It was truly bizarre. I didn't think people actually did that, but what do I know? At least he wan't using it while he was driving.

parking lot shaver - C+

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Pets In Clothes

My friend Erika thinks pets in clothes are super creepy, but she's never seen Wombat in his fancy turtleneck. My future sister-in-law knit this for her parents' dog, and I think he looks like a champ. Notice the sassy orange stripe, mixed with the mottled sage green - very chic. Plus, he's a pretty little dog, and probably gets cold when those winds blow in off the ocean, so I think this sweater is perfect for when Wombat gets a chill.

Wombat - A-; Wombat in his sweater - A+

Project Runway - The FInal Three!

Kara is OUT. I'm a little sad about this, because she really started to grow on me, but ultimately the top three designers made it in to Fashion Week.

Which happened just last week, by the way. One of the things I love about Project Runway is that they have the last designer out still design a collection for Fashion Week, as a decoy. Doesn't Kara look great? I think it's so cute that she said "I'll be there on the front row," but really she was working her clothes on the runway. Yay for Kara!

So, Daniel, Chloe and Santino. Not sure how I feel about that. It was so obvious that Chloe did not "want it" - the other three all said it! Well, I'm sure she presented an outstanding collection. As for Santino, I'm sure his collection was awesome, too, but probably too gaudy, and his bitchiness probably didn't help things. I'm pulling for Daniel. A little 24 year old from Michigan winning Project Runway? Yes, please!

Project Runway - B+ - c'mon, you know it was sort of a filler episode... bring on Fashion Week!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I'm In Love, or Too Much Information

I have a secret - I have a penchant for African-American men. Well, African-American celebrities. My first celebrity crush was Denzel Washington on St. Elsewhere; a few years later, I fell for Blair Underwood on LA Law. In November, I fell head over heels in love with Jesse L. Martin - he has the most beautiful smile. Now I have a new favorite - Robin Szolkowy, the Olympic pairs figure skater from Germany. Why him, do you ask? Because of his ass. Robin has the most luscious ass I've ever seen. True, those figure skating costumes totally accentuate how wonderful it is, but he really does have a luscious melon ass. Look at those cheeks! They're like pillows made of muscle! I just want to squeeze them. Robin, if you ever need your butt squeezed (by someone who does NOT look like Christina Aguilera - what's up with that?), just give me a call and I can fill your butt-squeezing needs.

Robin's beautiful ass - A+

Grey's Anatomy Season 1

Curse the impulse buy! I was in Best Buy looking for a video game chair for Nate, and saw this little gem on sale for $16.95. I had to get it! I want to catch up on all the things I missed during the first season (which is basically everything, since I started watching about four episodes from the end). I'm pretty excited about it. Now, I shouldn't have even gone into Best Buy, since I already had a Valentine's Day present for the Nate-Dogg, but I did, and I left with something I wanted just a little but couldn't resist.
And I didn't buy the chair.

impulse buys - C+
Grey's Anatomy on DVD - A-

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


If you've seen Monster, starring Charlize Theron, or Unfaithful, starring Diane Lane, then you've seen Transamerica, starring Felicity Huffman. All three of these movies were only slightly better than average, but with phenomenal performances by their lead actresses. No way would any of these movies win the Best Picture Oscar, but the women are beyond great in each picture. You dig?
More about Transamerica: Felicity's makeup is perfectly awful... or awfully perfect. She does not look like a natural woman, and since that's the point, the makeup artists got it exactly right. In some scenes, she looks completely ridiculous, and I love that! Felicity is a force to be reckoned with. Her voice is different, her face is different, and even though at times she pulled out a couple staple Felicity hand mannerisms (watch a couple episodes of DH and look for her to wave her hands dismissively in front of her face), they worked for the character of Bree. There is one emotional scene that just ripped my heart out, then she transitioned right into a nude scene, and the few masculine things that she does are hilarious. Yowza. She did it all. Even though I still think Reese Witherspoon is going to win the Oscar, I want Felicity to win. Okay, so the movie was formulaic and trite, with some very typical road-trip, "I'm looking for my father", bizarre extended family story arcs, but Felicity kept it real. Well, as real as a woman playing a transgendered man can get.

Transamerica: movie as a whole - B; Felicity - A+

Monday, February 13, 2006

Inside Deep Throat

For those of you who are unaware of the existence of this little film, Inside Deep Throat is a documentary about the adult film that changed America, and the key players that made it the phenomenon it was and still is. This was a hell of a documentary. I knew so little about Deep Throat before, and now I feel like I understand some cultural references I was missing (that's one of my favorite feelings, when I "get" something). Did you know that the actual name of the male lead of Deep Throat is Harry Reems, and now he's a Christian real estate broker in Park City, Utah? Strange but true.

And yes, you actually see the deep throat performed. As someone who doesn't watch a lot of porn, I was amazed at what little Linda Lovelace could do. It was astounding.

Feeling adventurous? See this movie, but not with your kids or elderly relatives!

Inside Deep Throat - B+

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dick Cheney Shot A Guy!

OK, not on purpose or anything, but damn! You'd think that a guy who could shoot a quail could avoid shooting a person, right? Lucky for Harry (the millionaire attorney that Dick shot) that the veep is in kind of poor health, and has an ambulance on call, so he got some instant medical attention. Also, good thing they were shooting quail and not, oh, I don't know, elephants? 'Cause that probably would have really, really hurt.

Bad aim - F

Asparagus Pee

Nate and I had a delicious dinner last night: pork chops and mushrooms in a delicious Worcestshire/wine sauce, with asparagus on the side. The asparagus was super yummy, but about an hour after we ate, my pee stank like nobody's business - well, I guess it's YOUR business now. Seriously, asparagus pee is one of the nastiest things on Earth. Scientists have been debating the cause of the smell for years, and no conclusive evidence has been found. Some say it's the presence of methanethiol, some say it's sulfur, and some say it's metabolites. Whatever it is, it sure is gross.

Asparagus pee - D-

Saturday, February 11, 2006

B School Follies

Last night, the Ross School of Business had their 20th anniversary Follies show at the theater where I work. To all the participants of the B School Follies, I say... don't quit your day job. Oh, they tried so hard, but it was just one inside joke after another, and the sweet audience made up of parents and professors laughed along as best they could, but it was really pretty painful. There was a tune from The Little Mermaid, with business school lyrics, "Wish I could be an MBA 2," and another one was to "Circle of Life" from the Lion King, but it was "Circle of MAP." What's MAP? Possibly the lowest point of the evening was the B School rap, set to "Lose Yourself" by Eminem; the "rapper" was this short Jewish guy, and the backup dancers had a distinct lack of rhythm.

B School, I applaud your efforts, I really do, but how about you stick to business stuff?

B School Follies - C- (points awarded for being comically bad)

Friday, February 10, 2006


Butter is good. I work pretty closely with lots of butter three to four times a week, in both solid and liquid form. The liquid is my favorite. At certain temperatures, the creaminess separates from the oiliness and THAT is the good stuff right there, my friends! You have never had popdorn if you hadn't had pure creamy liquid buuter and a dash of Parmesan cheese as popcorn topping. No wonder I weigh 529 pounds. Solid butter is fun, too. Formerly hot liquid butter, when cooled, will take the form of its container; in my case, that's usually a really big cup. The butter is so hot, I have to double-cup it so the butter doesn't burn my hands.
Sometimes I get grossed out by all the butter I experience in a day, but it's kind of interesting stuff, if you take the time to notice it.

Butter - B+

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Project Runway

When you look at this picture, which designer makes you think, "Yep, that one will be the next to go?" Based on picture alone, Kara should have gone - she looks drunk and lame - but Nick was next in line. That vest is nasty.
So, I'm sad and pissed off that Nick is out, even though I realize the misstep he made with his gray-purple suit for Daniel. I agree with one of Chargenda's readers that Nick really peaked early on and hasn't been performing as well lately, but he really seemed to be everyone's favorite - everyone I know wanted him to win. Farewell, Nick - my new Barbie and I will miss you.
BUT... next week will be very, very exciting. I think that the four remaining designers have all made huge mistakes so far. Let's recap: Chloe has won two challenges, but some of her designs have fallen short, and she has problems with time management. Daniel has been seriously awesome for many weeks, but his outfit for Chloe was crazy bad, and he can't let that get him down. Kara struggled for a while at the beginning, but has started coming on strong; however, she seems like an an emotional basketcase and the pressure could get to her. And then there's Santino. He is SO erratic - one week good, the next week awful. He'll probably excel at an evening gown challenge, but if PR throws in a twist like they love to do, he might mess up for good. My hope is that they bring Nick back to help them sew, like they did with Robert during season 1... I'm just not ready to let Nick go!

Prooject Runway - this week, B-; the excitement of next week - A

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bad Beyonce!

My poor little car Beyonce has to get a new water pump and timing belt. This makes me very sad. For one thing, I love my car - she's been through a lot, like some long road trips and once a tree fell on her, but she keeps on truckin'. Also, I totally can't afford to pay for major car repairs right now, but of course I will be paying for them so I can get my car back. Finally, Nate and I don't do so great as a one-car family. We both have extracurricular activities and jobs that take place at almost the same time, but not close enough to be convenient for one person to drop off the other person. It's going to be a little messy and I'm pissed off.

Beyonce's ailments - D

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Baby On Board

Oh, Britney. No one is going to believe that you were fleeing from a dangerous paparazzi situation - you look too serene for that. People who AREN'T being photographed all the time should put their babies in car seats, but you especially should, because PEOPLE WILL SEE!!!

Britney's child endangerment - D+

Monday, February 06, 2006

Dave's Summer Zen Buddhism

One of the most interesting things to happen while I was in Arkansas last week was Nate and I became high priest and priestess of a new religion called Dave's Summer Zen Buddhism. I never thought I'd see then day when I became anointed as a spiritual leader, but some things are destiny, I guess. Like all good religions, Dave's Summer Zen Buddhism has some key points for its practitioners to follow. They are:
1. Never trust a smiling dog.
2. No barking on Fremont.
3. Transcend dental medication.
4. All promises are adjustable in multimedia (or insert your own field of expertise here).
5. No sex in March.
Also, the icon of Dave's Summer Zen Buddhism is a wooden cat named Mr. Cat. I have never seen Mr. Cat, but I'm hoping he looks a little something like the cat you see here.
Now, I realize that Dave's Summer Zen Buddhism might seem strange, but I encourage you to look for the deeper meaning in the five key points. For example, #3, transcend dental medication, has its roots (no pun intended) in David, the founder and my cousin, not opting for a strong anesthetic when having oral surgery, just to save a little money. However, in hindsight, he should have paid the money to prevent the pain of surgery. Short term pain is far better than long term pain, hence "transcend dental medication." It's all metaphor, baby.

I hope I get some cool high priestess robes soon.

Dave's Summer Zen Buddhism - B+ (mostly because of the sex in March thing)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Back From Hiatus

As most of you know, after a long struggle with cancer, my mom Nell died last week. It's been a really tough time the past few days - and months and years - but we're pulling through pretty well. If you're interested, you can read Mom's obituary at legacy.com. I just wanted to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers... I have the best friends in the world!

Me, loving you - A!