Wednesday, December 19, 2007

She's Not! That! Innocennnnnt!

OK, I realize that all sorts of people are going to be blogging about and commenting on Jamie Lynn Spears' pregnancy. I could have taken the high road and not commented... but where's the fun in that?

I have to hand it to Jamie Lynn. She has single-handedly taken the heat off Britney, which I didn't think was possible. While many have dubbed Britney the Trainwreck of 2007, I think that JL's little announcement may have derailed that train (nice follow-through on train analogy!). The only thing that will keep Britney on top is if she, too, is pregnant, and does something completely whack like lets JL use K-Fed for Lamaze support.

What's next for celebrity siblings? Haylie Duff with veneers? Aliana Lohan in rehab? Time will tell. It always does on the mean streets of Tinseltown.

Jamie Lynn's bun in the oven - C- (at least six more months of Spears family coverage in the tabloids - wheee!)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Project Runway Recap

OK, Project Runway, you're starting to lose me. I will never fully leave you - much like how I feel about ER, or how my dad feels about the Dallas Cowboys, you will always be my favorite reality show, and I'm not giving up on you... but this crop of designers isn't moving me, and the challenges haven't been that exciting yet, and WHERE ARE THE MODELS!? Every other week, there's some crazy challenge that means the designers have to use other models, or it's a group challenge and we only see half the girls. Of course, maybe it's because the models aren't as good this season, either. Where's the drama? Where are the innovative outfits? Where are the tears? Oh, right, Ricky provides the tears.

This week's episode: we said farewell to Jack, who left the show due to a raging staph infection in his lip. I was getting into Jack, but it has to be said - that infection made him look like a monkey. But I have to give some credit to Bravo for bringing back Chris, who was auf'd last week. Aside from him leaving too early in the first place (Ricky's good TV, but his look last week was no good), it's good to have the "right" number of designers for this stage of the competition. It would have felt like there were too few people.
I didn't love this challenge - make clothes out of pre-existing clothes. Haven't we seen this before - season 2, the second challenge, Kirsten didn't use that scarf? Again, it's great that they honored the women who had lost a bunch of weight, and some of the designs were really good, but I am ready to see something spectacular - like the couture challenge or dog challenge from season 3, or the garden challenge from season 2. Please, Bravo - put the spice back in my favorite show!

Project Runway - B

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Movie Madness: American Gangster

I can best sum up this movie by paraphrasing my good buddy ES, with whom I saw this decent film last night: "I felt like I've seen it before." This is not to say that it was bad - on the contrary, we both thought it was quite good. But the story line's the same as it ever was: there's a bad guy, doing some bad stuff, there's a cop, doing some stuff that's not perfect, but not as bad as the stuff the bad guy's doing, and the cop is going to bring the bad guy to justice. Simple as that, right? Going into this movie, you have to think that the bad guy is going to get caught eventually, because even if it's based on a true story, movies like this don't get made where the ending is "good guy sucks, bad guys win." It just doesn't happen (here's where the film buffs tell me I'm wrong and name movies where this happens - go ahead! I'm curious!). Two things I really liked: the countless fine actors who appeared in this movie - you never knew who would be on screen next; the violence - yes, I had to cover my eyes, because sometimes it was really, really bad, but it was completely appropriate for a film about a GANGSTER. Come on, violence haters! It's based on a true story, so roll with it.
Oscar worthy? In any other year, I'd say a lock for Best Adapted Screenplay, but not up against all the other stuff coming out. Maybe a nod for Denzel, but not Russell, and maybe for the aged Ruby Dee, who had a dynamite scene that everyone's talking about. That's all it takes for a supporting nomination, one phenomenal scene, and boy, does she have it.

American Gangster - B

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Two Weeks

Here's a recap of the last two weeks:

Project Runway of 12/5 - B: it is not nearly as exciting this season as it has been in season's past, I'm not rooting for anyone yet, and Michael Kors and I are still bored

having a cold - D-

clothes shopping - A-: I have found a few new cute things, and my wardrobe is getting better all the time

J. Crew short-length pants - A

needing a haircut - C+

less than two weeks until my Christmas vacation - A

possible airport delays - D- (will certainly become an F if they actually happen)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Project Runway Recap

I really only have one thing to say about this week's episode of PR: Ginny Barber looks like Kimora Lee Simmons.

OK, I'll say more. I was a little disappointed by the episode. I think that the majority of the designers fell flat in the menswear challenge, and I was certainly expecting more drama when Jack used his shorts as a pattern for pants. I supposed that the drama could still surface, especially since he won the challenge - could it be that the shorts were an unfair advantage, and maybe he'll be disqualified? Doubtful, but it would be interesting. I didn't really like Jack's outfit. The stripes were too much for me. I thought Kit should have won. That fleece jacket was may-jah.

Project Runway - B+ (as Michael Kors would say, I'm bored - spice it up a little!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Movie Madness: Enchanted

I can't even lie and say I saw this because of the Oscar buzz surrounding Amy Adams' performance (although it didn't hurt). No, I saw this movie because I straight up wanted to. The trailers looked precious, I love P-Demps, Amy Adams is adorable and I just wanted to have a feel-good movie experience. So there.
This movie was everything I thought it would be. Amy Adams was perfect as Giselle, the cartoon princess who is banished to real-world NYC by an evil queen. She meets P-Demps and he helps her out... and of course he falls in love with her! He was perfect, too - very believable as the harried lawyer/single father too busy to believe in the fairy tale version of love. I like him. I also really liked James Marsden, who plays Prince Edward, Giselle's true love who comes down to New York to rescue his bride. He was completely ridiculous and had some of the best lines in the whole thing.
Oddly, Susan Sarandon as the evil Queen Narissa was the weak link. She did this weird flicking thing with her tongue that was just too much for me.
And the musical numbers were fabulous! There are only a few, but they're all wonderful and over-the-top (in a good way). I think that Alan Menken and Steven Schwartz will get nominated for an Oscar for one of them.
If you're looking for a feel-good movie that you don't have to think too hard about, then this might be the one for you.

Enchanted - B

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Movie Madness: La Vie En Rose

This is one of those movies that I felt obligated to see. Marion Cotillard is receiving HUGE Oscar buzz for her performance as Edith Piaf, French singer and tragic figure, and you know me - if it's got Oscar buzz, I have to see it. But other than that, I wasn't really interested. I don't know a whole lot about Edith Piaf, and what I do know is that the sound of her voice bothers me. Or so I thought. More on that later.

Marion Cotillard is truly outstanding in this film. Not knowing anything about EP, I can't say that no one else could have played this role, but who cares? Marion completely embodied this role, and turned Edith Piaf into a real person and not a caricature of a real person. She acted the hell out of this. She WILL receive an Oscar nomination, and she'll probably win.

But as a whole, I didn't love this movie. It used a filmmaking device I like to call "FUBAR Chronology." Basically, this film starts in the middle, then goes back to the beginning, then a little before the middle, then later than the beginning, then the end, then back to just after the middle, then... you get the idea. But unlike Pulp Fiction, which also employs FUBAR Chronology, LVER just confused me. I never really knew what time I was watching - was this before the collapse, or after? Before the brothel, or after? Before or after the boxing match? That sort of thing. Ultimately, it kept me from being totally taken in by the story - I never forgot I was watching a movie. Also, as BHunt says, it's just another biopic. A good one, sure, and Marion Cotillard was awesome, but in this age of Ray and Walk the Line, I'm sort of over singer biopics.

One more thing - Edith's voice! It grew on me. I think that seeing "her" sing helped, but I still don't think I want an Edith Piaf album in my collection.

La Vie En Rose - B

Monday, November 26, 2007

Movie Madness: No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men had three things going for it: it's gotten some Oscar buzz, Nate wanted to see it, and I could get in free. When these stars align, you know I have to see it. I wasn't disappointed. NCFOM was pretty awesome. It wasn't one of those movies that I left thinking "that movie was awesome (like Capote);" I had to think about it for a little bit. In fact, I'm still thinking about it - in a good way. Because it was that awesome. Let's start with the scenery and cinematography. NCFOM had a Brokeback Mountain feel to it at times - little people and cars in a huge, empty expanse of land. I like that. I also like some of the interesting camera angles chosen for certain shots. The sound is also pretty cool - I think. The big downfall of the theater where I saw this film is that it's right above a super hip cool trendy clothing store, and you can hear the bass of the store's music through the floor and walls of the theater. Nonetheless, I could tell that the soundtrack (and by that I mean the music and the sound effects) is good and perfectly fitting for the film.
But when it comes down to it, a film makes or breaks itself for me in the actors - and these actors made the film. Tommy Lee Jones was great. He was just the right amount of new character with the perfect dose of the TLJ we see in every movie. He plays a small-town Texas sheriff... of course he does. And Josh Brolin and Kelly MacDonald were great, too. When you see this movie, think about the fact that Miss Kelly is from Glasgow, Scotland. Just... think about it.

Ultimately, this movie belongs to Javier Bardem. He is nothing short of sensational. If I were a high-powered movie reviewer, I would say that he is a "revelation." He completely embodied this role, in a way that I bet haunts him at night. I truly feel that if he is not nominated for an Oscar for this, every Academy voter must have been smoking drugs at the same time.

By all means, go see this.

No Country for Old Men - A

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Project Runway Recap

Oh Project Runway, I am thankful for you. Here's why: Sarah. Jessica. Parker. She never even crossed my mind. You picked the perfect guest judge... although I am VERY skeptical of her Bitten line. Steve and Barry's? Really? The last thing I bought at S&B's was a yellow polo shirt, and it shrank after the first wash. But, it was $5.99. So there. Sarah Jessica Effin' Parker. I love it. I feel like she dialed it down and was more real, less Carrie Bradshaw, for her stint as a judge. Way to go, SJP.

As for the challenge: I appreciate that the designers needed to make something that retailed for less than $40, but it was also incredibly disheartening to see what chintzy material the designers used, since most of my clothes retail for less than $40. Also, why the leggings? If Project Runway designers not only endorse leggings but MAKE them, I fear for the state of fashion. Ricky's dress was adorable. I liked Victorya's dress, and the little vest was super cute, but I can't see any "real woman" wearing that vest. It was way too tiny. As for Elisa and Sweet P... I stand by my opinion that the cape was lame. Who buys capes? And Elisa needs to go with a different color. That's two weeks in a row of teal/turquoise.

Ricky's the crier this season! I'm glad that's settled.

Project Runway - A

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Six Degrees

Hi - I (zero) have a brother (that's one).

My brother is close personal friends with Felicity Huffman (that's two).

Felicity is on a hit show with Eva Longoria (that's three).

Eva has recently opened a restaurant with Todd English (four), where a nice young man named Seth is the main man in charge in the kitchen (five).

My bestie is Seth's sister.

So you see? Even if we didn't know each other, we'd still be only six degrees away from knowing each other. Awesome.

Six Degrees of Separation - A

Sunday, November 18, 2007


My parking structure has a new elevator lobby, and it is very fancy. Not quite as fancy as this picture, but pretty close - the floors appear to be made of marble, in a lovely shade of light brown. Actually, it's just the floors that are fancy. Everything else needs to be finished, like the bare walls and exposed electrical wires and buttons, but the floor is beautiful. But I wonder at its necessity. It's just a parking structure, where hundreds of office workers park every day, but nothing more than that. Is this why my monthly fee went up so much?

fancy parking structure lobby floor - B+

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Project Runway Recap

First, big props to Blogging Project Runway - they had this awesome photo over on their blog, and I'm borrowing it. Thanks, BPR!

Next, if you haven't watched the show yet, stop reading now.

Well, I need a little more time to get accustomed to this crop of designers, but I think I'm really going to like Rami, Carmen, Kevin and Chris. Rami's design was my favorite of the challenge, and he won! It was totally deserved. I also really liked Jack's design, but I think at some point his queeniness is going to make me not like him as a person. Time will tell.

Elisa is whackadoo. I knew she wasn't going to get kicked off because she is good TV. But seriously, that dress was a nightmare.

Project Runway premiere - A-

Photos: (top, l-r) Christian, Elisa, Jack, Jillian and Chris
(middle, l-r) Carmen, Kevin, Sweet P, Marion and Kit
(bottom, l-r) Rami, Simone, Steven, Victorya and Ricky
photos courtesy of Bravo and BPR

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Project Runway!

Wheeeee! I am so excited for the premiere of Project Runway season 4. I'm getting ready by wearing my most fashion-forward outfit and telling all my co-workers "you're out." Of course, I have to work tonight, but if I know Bravo like I think I do, I'll be able to watch the instant reply at 11 PM. There aren't too many shows I'm willing to stay up for, but PR is one of them.
There is a bit of overexposure as far as the new contestants go, but I still don't know anything about them (figure that one out). I want to hate Christian - he's the one who says "I'm kind of a big deal" - but Tim Gunn says he's a prodigy and I bet his clothes are awesome. But Nate says that there always has to be a villian: Wendy Pepper, Santino/Zulema, Jeff (and especially Marcel and Hung from Top Chef). I predict that's the role Christian will play - the man you love to hate. I can't tell who I'm rooting for yet. If PR plays out like a typical reality show, a woman will win this season, probably a minority - so good luck, Carmen and Victorya! Keep watching.

Project Runway - A!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


On Halloween, I got my palm read. I've always wanted to get my palm read - there was a weird little place where I went to college that would do palm readings and crystal ball gazings, and back in the '90s, it was ten bucks per reading. What a bargain. I love Arkansas. But on Halloween, it was a fun extra part of a concert at work, so I had Dr. Voodoo read my palm. He told me that I'm attracted to assholes. He also told me that I need to be more assertive and stop giving people the benefit of the doubt over and over. He also told me that it was possible that I would probably have one child. Yeah, thanks for the specificity. Good times.

palm reading - B-

Monday, November 05, 2007


Since I am not a member of the Writers Guild of America, I am not crossing any picket lines to continue writing this blog. I suppose that, in a show of solidarity, I could refuse to write until the Hollywood writers get their due... but that's no fun. Besides, I have stories. Stay tuned.

writers' guild strike - C (I support their decision to get what they think they deserve, but I do worry about the effect it will have on my TV/movie watching)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All I Want For Christmas...

... is for this rumored pair to be true. Please, Santa, will you bring me an Ashley Olson/Lance Armstrong canoodling in Cannes picture? Puh-LEEEEEZE?

surprising celebrity couples - A

Thursday, October 25, 2007

J. Crew

Dear J. Crew,
I love you. I love your colors. My favorite look this season is your bright pink hoodie over a poplin shirt patterned with skiers. So cute, and so deliciously cozy-preppy. But if our relationship is ever going to flourish like it should, a couple things need to change.
1 - your sizing. Your stores tell me that I'm too fat, that you don't stock clothes in my size, and if you do, they are way too long because you don't have short-length pants. But I have a feeling that you've changed your sizes, that a real 10 is a J. Crew 8, a 12 a J. Crew 10, and so on. But I'll never really know, because I see that you don't have "my size" in your store, and I would never try on something that appears to be two sizes too small.
2 - your prices. That pink hoodie I love so much? Seventy-four dollars. For a hooded sweatshirt. The cute little poplin button-down shirt? Eighty-four dollars. That is way too much, J. Crew. When I wandered over to the sale rack the other day, you had a super cute navy-and-lavender cotton button-down, but marked down it was still about eighty bucks - because it had originally been $120. I'm sorry, dear, but that is just too much for what it was. I know some people will pay it, but not me. I won't even buy your $28 headbands.

I'm sorry.

J. Crew - C

Monday, October 22, 2007


On Saturday, I took Nate and his two friends out to dinner as part of Nate's Good Times Birthday Weekend. We had delicious Indian food and a righteous time was had by all, and since I was feeling generous, I decided to pay for all the boys. Now, you should know that all these guys fancy themselves to be ninjas. There was much sparring and wrestling and purchasing of training tools earlier in the day, and I like to show that I can hang, at least as far as the witty repartee is concerned, so when they all started thanking me (because they are ninjas with manners) I said "You're welcome... no problem... but I'll be taking it out of your ass later on."
At which point Nate choked a little on his water and the other two ninjas said "WHOA! Didn't know it was going to be that kind of weekend! Har har har!" And then I realized: the euphemism "take it out of your ass" implies nothing more than a beatdown to me (i.e. "I'm going to take this out of your ass by tanning your hide"), but means something much... naughtier to most other people. How did I miss this? Was I absent the day the teacher explained this? And more importantly, am I really the only person who thought a different meaning was THE meaning?

Cast your votes in my comments section. "Take it out of your ass:" regular ol' spanking or something dirtier?

euphemism misinterpretation - C+

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dog Sitting

Nate and I have been dog sitting for the past few days. I sort of viewed it as a trial run for when we get our own dog, whenever that fateful day may be.
Sloane is, I believe, half terrier, half gazelle. She has the slimmest body and longest legs of any tine dog I've ever seen. And she can jump very high. One of my favorite things that she did is, when I was getting ready to take her for a walk and got her leash out, she would walk behind me and jump and use her front paws as a lever to springboard off my butt. It was hilarious. I wish there was a video of it. Sloane is also very cuddly. She liked to sit right next to me on the couch while I was watching TV, and sometimes she would rest her little face on my leg... so sweet!
But it wasn't all candy and roses. Sloane is a bit of a barker. By the end of her stay in our apartment, she was pretty good about giving one small bark when someone would come into the building, but on day one, she went nutso anytime the outer door opened or closed. Much time was spent saying "No barking!" Also, one day I got her poo on my hand. I'm not sure how this happened, but it was less than awesome.
We really enjoyed having Sloane stay at our house, and we miss her already. Come back, little lady!

Sloane - B+

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mr. Impatient

Allow me to set the scene: I arrived in the elevator vestibule of the parking structure where I park every day, after a long and productive day - meetings, paperwork, numerous phone calls, etc. Ready to go home, yes, but not in a huge yank or anything. I had already pushed the 'down' button for my elevator, and the light had gone out, meaning the elevator was on the ground floor, just getting situated and the doors hadn't opened yet.
Cut to: impatient guy. He speed-walks into the vestibule, comes to a halt in front of the elevator doors, sees the light on the down button not lit up, and pushes the button in rapid-fire succession about eight times. Whoa, buddy! It's on its way! The doors open, he gets in first, pushes the '6' button, asks me my floor (7- I was a little late), then pushes the 'close doors' button. Nothing happens - I think elevators are programmed to wait a minute before taking off, in case someone else comes tearing around the corner - so they guy pushes the 'close doors' button four or five more times. I'm starting to get the picture here. The doors close and we head up. We reach six, and the elevator does what it is supposed to do: stop and settle. The doors never open immediately when the elevator stops, right? Because that could be potentially bad, if there had been a malfunction or something. But Mr. Impatient can't stand it, and he drums his fingernails on the elevator door. Yes, the sign of impatient people everywhere, but in an enclosed space with one other person! It was so bizarre.
As soon as the doors open, he bolted out of the elevator to his car. I hope he didn't get hung up at a bunch of red lights on his way home.

Mr. Impatient - D+

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I think that bikes are a great alternative to cars for the health-conscious consumer without a lot of money. Let's face it - you don't have to buy gas, or pay car insurance, or take care of those pesky parking tickets, and all the while you stay fit. But last night, on my way home from work in the dark, I saw some bad bikers.
1 - the girl without the helmet, the least of the offenses. She had a flashing white headlight and a flashing red-and-yellow backlight, so she was doing her part to stay visible, but I think she needed a helmet.
2 - the guy without the helmet or headlight wearing a dark shirt. I feel that if bikers are going to observe the rules of the road at night, they should be wearing reflective gear, or one of those cool lights.
3a - the guy without the helmet or headlight who rode across the road against the signal - meaning that even though oncoming traffic had the green light, he rode across anyway. This is colossally dumb.
3b - the same guy was wearing headphones. This pisses me off. Maybe he was enjoying some tunes, but I tell you what, when he doesn't hear somebody honking at him and gets clobbered, he won't be enjoying those tunes when he's learning how to feed himself again.

I also saw, much to my horror, a good biker - helmet, headlight, light-colored shirt - fall off her bike into traffic and nearly get straight up runned over. It was awful. And all this happened in one short drive home. I had to eat cheese and crackers to soothe myself.

bikers - B-

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ella Minnow Pea

I read Ella Minnow Pea last week. This is one of those books that I see every time I go to the bookstore and think, Wow, I should really get that. So I did. And it was AWESOME. I loved it.
Ella Minnow Pea is a story about a girl named, naturally, Ella Minnow Pea. She lives on the island of Nollop, named after Nevin Nollop, the man who coined the phrase "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." It is a tiny independent nation in love with language, but all hell breaks loose when letters start falling off the statue of Nevin Nollop - and the town elders take this as a sign that those letters should be removed from language altogether... and to the delight of gimmicks everywhere, author Mark Dunn drops those letters from the novel. It's pretty incredible. The first letter to fall (don't worry, I'm not ruining anything for you) is Z - not incredibly dramatic, given its minimal usage - but then falls Q, then D, then J... and soon all manner of bad things happen. Can Ella save her town, her nation, and the English language?

Also noteworthy is this is an epistolary novel. Wow, look at the new word I know! This means that the whole novel is written in letter form - letter as in "Dear Cousin Ella." It's very fun, and I like it.

Ella Minnow Pea - A-

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Try It, You Might Like It

At a recent work gathering, when fancy drinks and snacks were so generously purchased by my place of business, I decided to branch out from the things I usually would order and try something new. First up: the Pimm's Cup. I've been reading about the Pimm's Cup for years - they're mentioned all the time in one of my favorite book series. I did a little research on Pimm's this morning, so that you too can know what I'm talking about: Pimm's is its own kind of liquor, sort of like Southern Comfort, but Pimm's is gin-based (had I known that in advance, I wouldn't have ordered it - I'm not into gin). Pimm's Cups are traditionally made with Pimm's No. 1 and lemon soda or sometimes ginger ale, and always garnished with a cucumber. That's fun. I'd never seen one on a menu before, so I retracted my offer for a Cosmopolitan and tried the Pimm's instead. And... it was OK. I didn't love it. It was too much like champagne, or ginger ale, and I don't really like those, either, and it also didn't have a lot of flavor. I would have been better served getting that Cosmo, or just a beer.

Next up: mussels. Yes, I had never had a mussel before last night. I tend to not be into shellfish, and I think that it's a waste to try (read: pay for) something that I probably won't like - but this was one of those "get an order and pass it around and share" sort of things, so I tried one. And... I didn't like it, and this was not a surprise. It was the texture, sure, but I also didn't like the flavor.

I wonder why I don't like this fancy stuff. If we had gone to Buffalo Wild Wings for nachos and beer, I would have been all over it.

trying something new - A
not liking something new - C

Friday, September 28, 2007

2007 Breast Cancer 3-Day

Today marks the kickoff of the 2007 Breast Cancer 3-Day. I walked in the 3-Day last year - that's my team on Day 1. I'm not walking this year, but my team from last year, The Bodacious Tatas, are walking again, and some of them haven't reached the $2200 minimum, so go give 'em some money!

Kristen's page
Kimberly's page

This is an amazing event for a worthy cause, and these ladies need your support!

Breast Cancer 3-Day - A

Thursday, September 27, 2007


This movie was pretty good. I'd label it a "psychological thriller," or maybe even just a good ol' drama - Ryan Phillippe and Chris Cooper star as FBI guys, and Chris Cooper has done some bad things and Ryan has to infiltrate the badness and bring Chris down. And that's all I want to tell you about the plot, so I don't give anything away. Of course, it's based on a true story, so you could always find a news story and get the scoop, but I'd rather talk about the movie. Lots of people have talked about how hot Ryan Phillippe is, and yes, he's a good-looking man, but he was actually not just a pretty face in this film. There was acting, decent acting, and I'm glad that Ryan has emerged from the shadow of his more-famous and more-praised ex-wife. As for Chris Cooper - the man is awesome. I've loved him for a long time, and this role was outstanding for him: creepy and a little sinister but highly intelligent and somehow sympathetic. There's been Oscar talk about Chris for this role, but I think the movie will fall off everyone's radar come nomination season. It's OK, Chris - one Oscar's really all anybody needs.

Breach - A-

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Game Day, Part Two (A Different Kind of Game)

I won't event write the story. I'll just give the grade.

drunk/stoned/other guy passed out in the lobby at my place of business - D- (saved from failing by the excitement of a fire truck)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Game Day, Part One

Dear college-age football fans,

I appreciate how fired up you get about yet another home game. I also appreciate the joy of condoned daytime drinking (my readers might know that I'm a BIG fan of drinkin' in the daytime - it feels so naughty) and hanging out on your porch or your yard, sipping keg beer out of a red Solo cup - this is the stuff memories are made of, and I'm not being snarky. You go on with your bad self.

But please, under no circumstances is it OK to throw a football from one yard ACROSS A BUSY STREET to another yard WHILE I AM DRIVING ON SAID BUSY STREET. You looked like jackasses. I was actually hoping that the football would fall out of the sky and hit my car, giving me just cause for pulling over and tearing you a new one. And no one was behind me - couldn't you have waited an extra five seconds? No, because that would have cut into your beer pong time.

To you, football thrower guy, I give a C-.

love, Helga

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Love You, Posh!

Last night I happened upon Victoria Beckham: Coming to America on VH1, and you know what? I totally love Victoria Beckham. She was adorable, and so sweet and really pretty funny. This is a picture of Posh throwing out the first pitch at a Dodgers game - she's completely ridiculous, and look at her high-heeled sneakers, but that's what makes her so cute. My favorite thing she did on the show was go therapeutic shopping - she was feeling down because David and the boys were back in England and she was in L.A. house-hunting, so because she was a little sad and missed them, she went shopping. I love this because this is what millions of women worldwide do when they're a little down - but since she's Posh, she went to super fabulous stores and bought teeny tiny, very expensive denim shorts. She's very accessible and yet MAJOR. I've decided that I'm a Posh fan. I've seen through her glossy veneer to the gawky goofball underneath, and I love her for it.

Victoria Beckham - A

Friday, September 14, 2007


I'm not really into jumpers. I used to be, when I was 11 or 12, but now, I kind of think they're a copout - not quite a dress, because you have to wear something underneath, but not sweatpants, and yet they're comfy because you don't have constricting waistbands. I think my biggest problem with jumpers is the cute factor. Jumpers are inherently cute - there's usually a floral print, or plaid, or the top underneath has embroidered ladybugs or some such thing. Only kindergarten teachers should wear jumpers, because little kids need cute, bright colors on their teaches.

jumpers - C-

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Le Dog

Is Le Dog an Ann Arbor institution? All I know is it's been around for 35 years and shows no signs of closing - ever. EVER! Don't let the name fool you - yes, Le Dog serves three varieties of hot dogs, but they're best known for their huge variety of soups, which they change every day. Just look at this picture! I went there for lunch yesterday with AJ and JJack. I had New England Clam Chowder, AJ had beer & cheese, and JJack had chicken tortilla; we had a little taste test in our break room. My clam chowder was very good - lots of potatoes and celery and the right amount of clams - and AJ's beer and cheese was pretty good, too, but JJack's chicken tortilla was the winner. It was loaded with tortilla strips, and the creamy chickeny brothiness was yummy.

Le Dog is a funny little red stand, and it doesn't look weather-proof. I thought they closed in the winter. I was so wrong. I asked yesterday "how much longer will you be open?" and the nice young lady said "Until 2:30" while the crusty old man said "Hopefully another 35 years." I said, "No! Ha ha! No, how much longer until winter?" And the crusty old man said "WE DON'T CLOSE! WE STAY OPEN! Have you been spreading that rumor?"

Yes, he's a bit of a soup Nazi.

Le Dog - A

Monday, September 10, 2007

Going the Distance

I wonder how long it would take me to run 100 meters. If the guy in the fron of this picture just broke the world record at 9.76 seconds... you'd probably have to multiply that by at least three... and then figure in some kind of ratio based on the size of my tatas... I'm guessing 40 seconds, from start to wheezing finish.

Anybody out there who ran track? Am I way off base?

running fast - B (cool if you can do it, not so cool if you can't)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

An Hour That May Have Changed My Life

I watched Tim Gunn's Guide To Style last night, and I think it may have changed my life. I have already begun mentally going through my closet and sorting everything into four piles: keepers, menders, throwaways and giveaways. I'm going to start with - wait for it - PAGEANT DRESSES. I've kept them thinking that someday I would sell them, or keep them forever for dress-up clothes, if I ever have a little girl (or a fabulous little boy), but really, they're out of style and they just take up space in my closet. Bye-bye, pageant dresses! I'm also going to take this "mender" category seriously. I have clothes that might be nice, particularly pants, but they're just too long. I should give my seamstress acquaintance a call.

The thing I loved most about this show was Tim doesn't want you to change your figure and then go shopping for the "new you," but rather dress to fit the you who you are right now. I love that. I've had enough of "makeover" shows where the first goal is to lose weight.

And Veronica Webb is a bitch! I love her!

Tim Gunn's Guide To Style - B+ (points for featuring Tim, but points off because it's not quite Project Runway)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

They're Baaaaack!

This here is my annual post bitching about the return of the university students. Jjack and I went out for lunch today, and we had to skirt around scores of college kids roaming the streets. I love my town from May to late August, when the kids are away, and I love my town from October-April, when I'm used to them being here, but I don't love my town in early September, when the gutters are filled with red Solo cups, debris left over from nightly beer pong, and the sidewalks teem with girls in big designer sunglasses and Soffe shorts and boys in white caps.

college: the return - C

Friday, August 31, 2007

Those Crazy Catholics!

I just got back from singing at a Catholic wedding, and let me tell you, those Catholics are nutty! After singing the whole service, I had to get up and try to do a rousing rendition of Schubert's Ave Maria - after I'd already sung about 43 songs! Why does the hardest song have to come at the end?

And here's something else: do you think the Pope ever wakes up and goes, Holy shit, I'm the Pope?

Catholic weddings - B+

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hey Buddy!

My friend Graham just stopped by! I haven't seen him since last summer. And he reads my blog, so I told him I'd give him a shout-out. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of him, so I had to put up a picture of graham crackers - like he's never been called "Graham Cracker" before. Sorry, friend.

Graham crackers with peanut butter are good.

Graham - A!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Poor Little Lamb

Hang in there, Owen.

possible Wilson brother meltdown - D

Monday, August 27, 2007


Last night I went to a fondue dinner party at Jjack's house - and it was simply delicious. Jjack and Mr. Jack did the fondue work while the Psych Boys and I did the prep work on the dippables. We had quite the spread - bread, apples, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, red & green peppers, bagel bites, mushrooms, and the incredibly popular mini-toasts. Those mini-toasts were awesome - not exactly easy to spear with a fondue fork, but when used by fingers, the perfect mechanism to pick up cheese. And what good cheese! We used a classic three-cheese fondue recipe with Gruyere, Emmenthaler, and Appenzeller cheeses, with some nutmeg, white wine and garlic. So good. We ate it all.

Then, after a rest & digestion period, we had chocolate fondue for dessert, and it was delicious, too. Dippables for this round were strawberries, raspberries, bananas, pineapple, marshmallows, and (the group favorite) coconut macaroons. We didn't do quite so well with this one - there was quite a bit leftover in fondue pot, but since we had annihilated the cheese, we didn't feel too bad about it.

This was not my first fondue party, and hopefully not my last, either. I like foods that require any kind of dipping.

fondue - A- (points off for the sick feeling I had after eating all that cheese and chocolate)

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Why is is so hard to find a roll of quarters on the weekend? I asked at three different places who wouldn't give me quarters - and one of those places was a bank. Yes, a bank wouldn't give me quarters. She said they were out of quarters and hundreds. OK, so this bank was in Meijer. They should still have enough quarters to give people on the weekend, when they know that folks are doing laundry and will need those extra coins. Seriously!

the elusive quarter roll - C

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Where the Rubber Meets the... Playground?

Nate and I went for a walk Tuesday evening, and ended up at the playground across the street from our apartment. Oh, what a good time. There was swinging and monkey bars and funny little knobby seat things that you had to balance on. It was tons of fun, I tell you.

Most importantly, the playground gave me my first experience with rubber mulch. At first glance, rubber mulch just looked like regular ol' wood chips - but when I jumped onto it, good Lord! It was springy! It was a super-weird sensation. It was fun to fall off the monkey bars and have the fall be cushioned. But why do we need cushioned falls at the playground? When I was a kid, my school playground was covered in loose gravel, which made for some awesome scrapes if you fell down, but I survived. Is it such a litigious culture that schools have to put down the equivalent of chopped-up rubber mats to protect the children, so parents don't sue if their kid gets a scraped elbow?

rubber wood chips - C

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


It is no secret that I don't like Nickelback. Never have, don't expect I ever will. The sound of Chad Kroeger's voice makes me cringe, and his face ain't much better. That song "Hero," from back in the Spiderman days? It was probably the best of their tunes, and it was dumb. They reached what I thought was their low point with that "If everyone cared, nobody'd die" song, with the meaningful video about Amnesty International and Nelson Mandela. While I appreciate the sentiment, the song was atrocious, and I thought it couldn't get any worse.

I was so wrong.

"I Want To Be A Rock Star" gets my vote for worst song of 2007. This song is terrible. I understand that it's a send-up of celebrity "rock star" culture - I don't think Nickelback really wants to have a drug dealer on speed dial, or lip sync all their songs so they don't mess them up - but it doesn't work for me. It's not clever. The music sounds like so many of their other songs, and the lyrics are really, really bad (and don't forget, Chad Kroeger's voice). But the video puts me over the edge. Random nobodies lip-sync their hearts in front of world monuments - OK, I get it, everyone wants to be a rock star. So why are Nelly Furtado, Wayne Gretzky, and Kid Rock in the video? They already ARE rock stars! Do they just love Nickelback and wanted to do something sweet with their favorite band? I hope not. But they don't need the money, so what could it be? You know what? It doesn't matter. It just furthers my point that Nickelback sucks.

Nickelback - F

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tragedy at Dior

Back in February, my fabulous theater hosted Oscar Night America (in case you've forgotten about my outfit, you can remind yourselves here), and my friend JJack and I managed to snag two swag bags. Included in said swag bags were fabulous gift certificates from Christian Dior for: a pampering mini-facial, an expert makeup application, a relaxing hand massage, and a deluxe sample. After months of procrastinating, JJack and I decided that the time was right to go to the super-swanky Somerset Collection to experience the wonder that is free stuff from the Dior counter. Sounds great, right?

Not so much.

I will only briefly mention the part where we decided to toss aside our Mapquest directions and, as JJack said, "let fate be our guide" - the end result of which was a 55 minute trip that took just over two hours. I will also only briefly mention the man who tried to give us directions to "the mall" (when Somerset is so much more than a mall) but only made us feel bad for not understanding that some cruise was taking place on a major thoroughfare and we would be hard pressed to get there from here. Thanks for nothin', buddy. When we finally arrived at Somerset, an hour late for our appointments, the fun really began.

No facial. No hand massage. No sample. Instead, we were treated to the fine experience of horrible makeovers. Here's a before picture:
(much before, actually, from back in January)
Don't we look happy? Don't we look normal? We were trying on wedding gowns, just for funzies, and that was not the best day because we had horrible customer service, but at least we looked normal. Alas, here is the after picture:

Seriously? Drag queens. Or hookers, maybe. JJack appears to have a grand total of seven eyelashes per eye, as well as the most amazing purple eyeshadow and skin color that doesn't occur in nature (unless you're Tara Reid). I somehow manage to look mannish and whorish at the same time - there is eyeliner on UNDER MY EYELIDS. I didn't think that was possible. Also, my lips were super effed up - and the amount of lip liner I had on couldn't have helped. And don't get me started on Blaine and Svetlana, our makeup artists from hell. Blaine was incompetent, and Svetlana was Miss Popularity - she kept flitting off to help other customers with their purchases. She must've known that we weren't going to buy anything...

When we went to get a snack at California Pizza Kitchen after the debacle had ended, they sat us in the corner. No lie.

For Jjack's take on the whole situation, go here.

tragedy at Dior - D-

Cold Stone Creamery

In a world of mom-and-pop dairies that provide excellent customer service and top-notch product made with only the highest quality ingredients, it's nice to know that there's still room for mega-chain ice cream stores like Cold Stone Creamery. Now, Cold Stone is delicious, for sure. On Friday I had one of their Signature creations, the Oreo Overload, with sweet cream ice cream, chocolate chips, fudge, and lots of Oreos - and it was good. Really good! Nate had the Coffee Lovers Only, and while I did not sample his concoction, it looked super yummy. But here's where my beef comes in with Cold Stone (and I don't mean that literally - leave the meat ice cream to Top Chef): why so many choices, and why the singing? Choices: yes, people want lots of fun things in their fun ice cream, but at our wedding, we're having five kinds of ice cream, seven toppings to choose from, plus whipped cream and cherries - and if you can't make something you like out of that, then too bad! I think Cold Stone would be well-served to get rid of the Gummi Bears and Nestle Crunch bars. Singing: people, you do NOT need to sing every time you get a tip. You do NOT need to turn TV theme songs, campfire classics and hip-hop favorites into Cold Stone songs, with Cold Stone lyrics! When Nate was getting ready to leave his tip, I said "Can we leave them the tip with the instructions to not sing?" He said no, and we were serenaded with the Cold Stone version of "SpongeBob SquarePants." I just wanted ice cream, is all.

Cold Stone Creamery - B-

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I went to Bed Bath and Beyond yesterday in search of a wedding present for wedding #48 - and by the way, after looking through 19 pages of registry items and falling flat on two or three fun ideas, I gave up and just bought the coffee grinder - and I have decided that BB&B is full of crap. Literally. Don't get me wrong, they have good stuff, too, but they have a lot of shit that people don't really need, and this point is clearly illustrated by the MANGROOMER. From what I can tell, the MANGROOMER is an electric razor on a long-ass wand, so that a MAN can GROOM his own back. Genius, yes, but necessary? Not really, unless you're allergic to wax. But, for some reason, worthless as it is, I love the MANGROOMER. I think I really just love the name, and I love the manly black-and-red packaging. Beware, hairy men. I might fall victim to the appeal of things no one needs and get all of you MANGROOMERs for Christmas.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Terrible Twos

My blog has been very, very bad - and I blame the terrible twos. You see, for my blog's first birthday, I made a big deal - hooray, I've been writing for a year! But ever since my blog turned two, back in late July, it's been harder and harder to think of things to write about. And trust me, I've done things! I moved, went to three states I'd never been to before, found out that someone I know is having a baby, maybe booked my wedding DJ, and got to hire my first new employee. But at the end of the day, I don't want to rehash all that stuff. I want to tell you about funny clothes I saw or good food I ate, or the perks and pitfalls of trying new toilet paper. Althought, while I was writing that last sentence, I thought of two topics that might work...

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I love this blog, and I hope you hang in there. Once my blog is done running around naked banging on pots & pans, I'll be back.

the terrible twos - D-