March 31, 2008

March 31, 2008

Tylenol: Today’s Balm of Gilead

As someone who is both fairly religious and starkly intimidated by science, I might perhaps have understood the story about the Wisconsin couple who decided to treat their 11-year-old daughter’s illness with prayer instead of medicine, resulting in her death. Perhaps, that is, if I were CRAZY.

According to this article, “The girl's parents…were unaware their daughter's recent illness was caused by diabetic ketoacidosis…Although the family has no ties to a specific church or religion…they prayed for her and then attributed her death to them apparently not having enough faith.”

Though I rarely agree with extremism in the name of a higher power, I can respect misguided actions on behalf of [insert deity here]. I mean, when you’ve drunk enough of the Kool-Aid, some form of exploit would seem to be a logical next step. You’ve made your bed, now use it to bludgeon people who disagree with your faith. (Aphorism abuse alert!) (Also, alliteration alert!) (Wow, I can’t stop.)

My biggest problem with the entire story is that it makes any relation of faith to health look bad to the general public. Phrases like “the power of prayer” are already dubiously regarded by most people, and events like this don’t help.

So, if I may appeal directly to the 0.0069% of my readership that consists of parents: Please supplement your actions of faith (whatever they may entail—prayers, donations, goat sacrifices, what have you) with a little medicine. If you’re unsure where the balance lies, check to see whether your child is dying. If so, it may be time to contact an official whose degree is from an institution with “medical” in the name. Just a thought.

March 28, 2008

March 28, 2008

Grainy Provocateur

Being the well-informed and intelligent person that you are, you’ve probably heard about the two Illinois sisters who recently sold a cornflake for $1,350. Before you start formulating plans to profit from your own breakfast (“This English muffin looks like Elvis!”), you should know that the sisters’ cornflake was special. It was shaped like Illinois.

Allegedly.

I mean, far be it from me to criticize anyone’s geography skills. I’m a live and let live sort of person.

[pause for laughter]

I can totally see the Illinois resemblance:

But did anyone, at any point, consider flipping the thing over? Because I believe you’d get another thing entirely. (No, it’s not the Virgin Mary or anything. It’s Maine!)

Thus the sisters failed to capitalize on a whole other market. I would imagine the people of Maine (Mainians? Mainites? Mainders?) are up for a little crunch after all the lobster. [/stereotype] Frankly, this is a rarity among cornflakes: a MULTITASKER. It goes well with milk. It's high in fiber. It does impressions of TWO states.

Who knows what else is hidden inside its starchy-yet-versatile soul?

(I did Photoshoppy stuff just for you. Happy Friday.)

March 27, 2008

March 27, 2008

See, it's not just me!

Few things sum Milwaukee and this winter up so well as this story from my local newspaper:

Snowball fight turns to stabbing
A stabbing in the 2700 block of N. 24th St. appears to be another sign that winter has hung on far too long. What turned out to be a felony offense started with an innocent snowball fight between two men, 21 and 19, according to Police Department spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz. As it escalated, the 21-year-old put the younger combatant in a headlock, drawing a threat of retribution. When the 19-year-old escaped the headlock, he made good on his threat and stabbed the 21-year-old in the stomach, Schwartz said. The 21-year-old went to the hospital and is expected to recover. The 19-year-old went to jail and is expected to be charged with recklessly endangering safety.


Rest assured, this was in a completely different part of town from where I live (south side shoutout!). But STILL.

Addendum: I realized today that I disparage my hometown a LOT. I hope at some time in the not-too-distant future to present the Milwaukee apologetic. There is one, and I think it's rather good. I hope to avoid the shootings and stabbings long enough to get the chance to post it. *coughs*

Where was THIS in the vows?

In yet another attempt by a Wisconsinite to do the state proud, a Racine woman appears to have offered $50,000 and a motorcycle to anyone who would kill her husband. I have to assume the bike was her husband’s, and she saw an opportunity to get rid of both the man and one of his toys in one fell swoop. I can admire the “two birds with one stone philosophy,” even if this was going to be a $50,000 stone. (That sound you just heard was the metaphor, breaking.)

I must give props to the husband. He was stabbed 13 times. AS HIS WIFE WATCHED. Yet, when asked for comments on her involvement, had this to say:

“According to police reports, yeah, she was involved. Can I honestly go out on a limb and say she was involved? I don't know how far I can go with that.”

Sir, she watched as you were stabbed. Repeatedly. After giving the stabber $50,000 and the promise of a pretty sweet ride. (Or so I’m told. I’ve never been on a motorcycle, what with my aversion to sudden death and all.)

Thus I’m going to go out on that limb and say that the wife was probably a little involved, yeah.

(Racine is actually known for a really great little zoo—one of the last free zoos in the country. Perhaps a few more trips to see the animals could have done this couple good.)

March 26, 2008

March 26, 2008

Nor Have I Ever Owned a Pair of Mary Janes

Readers, fear not. This unusual fashion-related post is once again my prepayment for a week or so of entries mocking, pleading with, and/or snarking about recent news events. Murderous wives and celebrity cereal pieces are ahead. You have been warned.

If the women of Sex and the City are to be believed (and nothing on that show was exaggerated, right?), there is no greater joy in a woman’s life than shoes. You’ve probably heard about Imelda Marcos and her giant closets of footwear. Perhaps you are or have dated a girl who buys new shoes on a weekly basis. I had a college roommate with a giant tub of shoes--30 pairs at least. And those were just the ones she brought to school.

However, in yet another difference between me and Carrie Bradshaw, I am not a shoe person. I am of the “one is enough” mindset when it comes to, well, just about everything. If you find something that does its job really well (like a pair of shoes, for instance), why get another version that only halfasses it?

When I do find that one archetypical thing, though, I’m not afraid to tell people about it. Thus I’d like to present to you my apologetic for Mudd shoes.

If you work in an office of any kind, you probably need to dress well. (Unless you work for one of those newfangled dotcoms where people wear jeans, eat vegan, and ride scooters, of course.) I’m not totally sure what this entails for men, since the men at my workplace all wear uniforms. For the women, though, there are a lot of skirts and heels.

(Side note: This is perhaps the main benefit of a strict religious upbringing--I’m very comfortable in a skirt. Makes it worth it. Um, yeah.)

While I’m entirely too clumsy to handle anything remotely resembling a stiletto, I also want a pretty high heel. It helps me pretend that I’m tall. Also, I’ve somehow lost the ability to walk in flats. Luckily, Mudd makes a decent-looking shoe with a great 3-inch-ish chunky heel.

Get some in black and some in brown and you’re all set. Two pairs of shoes, so many possibilities.

March 25, 2008

March 25, 2008

“Lazy” Sunday

Despite the rigors of graduate school and the joys of pirated wireless internet access, I sometimes get bored. Usually on Sunday afternoons, after I’ve finished listening to Wait Wait. If the race is in a long green flag stretch, I find ways to make noise in the kitchen. (NASCAR terminology? Oh, yeah, I went there.) Organizing the pantry is a good choice, with my lack of either reach or coordination making tumbling canned goods an all-too-real possibility.

Which is worse: That I took the time to do this when the pantry wasn’t really messy in the first place…or that I took a picture afterwards because I so admired the result?

I also appear to create new blog themes when I’m bored and/or avoiding homework. And, yes, the recent redesign of grassrootsmovement may have been some of the inspiration. I believe they call that “synergy.” (They don’t, but just because I misuse a term doesn’t make it a bad word. I think a year of my blogging has taught us that.)

March 24, 2008

March 24, 2008

In My Opinion: 10,000 B.C.

If you find yourself wondering whether the events depicted in 10,000 B.C. could have happened, well, you’ve already put too much thought into it. Don’t worry about logistics or things like character development. Go into this movie as you would into one with a number in the title or starring Bruce Willis: expecting mindless entertainment.

All that aside, there is an ostensible plot. D’Leh, the male lead, is one of a tribe of mammoth hunters. (Side zoological note: Mammoths! Yay!) At some point during his childhood, Evolet, a girl with Giant Blue Eyes, joins the tribe. He’s chiseled, and she’s blue-eyed, so they fall in love. Obviously.

Of course, you gotta have a little conflict. That’s where a tribe of raiders (I wanted to write Mongols, but I’m pretty sure there was no Mongolia in 10,000 B.C….oh, wait, I’m getting logistical) comes in. They sack the village (though nothing too graphic--this is PG-13) and take several captives, including She of the Giant Blue Eyes.

Thus our hero must tirelessly travel over hill and dale to rescue his people and his woman. In my opinion, these scenes are some of the best of the entire film; they’re very Lord of the Rings’ three hunters-esque, with the sweeping vistas and whatnot. Plenty of excitement, as well. (Side zoological notes: Giant carnivorous ostriches! Sabre-toothed tiger! Yay!)

The climactic battle (you KNEW there was going to be one, didn’t you?) takes place in a city with some pretty wicked ziggurats. (I really hope someone finds this blog after Googling “pretty wicked ziggurats.”) I won’t spoil it by telling you who wins, but…yeah. TAKE A WILD GUESS.

10,000 B.C. was brought to you by the same man who did The Day After Tomorrow. While I’m always up for burning a Wendy’s, I suppose you
might not be.

March 21, 2008

March 21, 2008

Today’s Weather: A Threeve

In comic form:

In picture form:

(Looking outside my living room window--notice the absence of violence.)

In verbal form:

You have GOT to be kidding me. Ten to fifteen inches of snow…on March 21? As one of the local radio guys put it, it’s been an interesting Lenten season. We got a blizzard on Ash Wednesday. Now another on Good Friday.

I say this with as much sanity as remains in me:

WHEN WILL IT END?

March 20, 2008

March 20, 2008

March Madness—Catch It!

I realize it's been an odd little string of blog twofers. Seeing as I'll be busy cranking out 30 pages of strategery for Burger King tomorrow, I'm pretty sure this will be it.

From an IM conversation today with a college friend:

Me: How's your bracket so far, then?
Amanda: so far i'm 1-1
Amanda: i picked uga over xavier
Amanda: and msu over temple
Me: I'm 2-1, I guess.
Me: If I'm interpreting facebook correctly.
Amanda: who else played?
Me: I didn't pick MSU.
Me: Kansas/Portland.
Me: Yeah, I picked Temple. Boo.
Amanda: who won that game?
Amanda: so then you're 1-2
Me: Kansas.
Amanda: winners go first
Me: No, I got Kansas and X.
Amanda: oh, gotcha
Me: But didn't pick MSU.
Me: It's sorta mathy. Blah.
Amanda: i'm 2-1 also
Me: High five!
Amanda: *slaps*

Is it just me, or did it take us WAY too long to figure out how we were doing? Notice how excited we were once we finally did, though.

(Mini Open Letter: Dear CBS Sportsline, How about explaining what the bracket colors mean? And how are you serving the colorblind sports fans? Cheers, Heather)

Remember This? Volume 5: Lamb Chop’s Play-Along

When considering sock-based entertainment, Lamb Chop has to rank in your top three. Maybe top five, if you can juggle.

(A Google image search for “Lamb Chop” results in a very mixed bag, by the way.)

Lamb Chop’s Play-Along (thank you, Wikipedia, for informing me of that hyphen) aired when I was young enough to appreciate it but not so young that I thought Lamb Chop was actually speaking of her own volition. (My “extensive” Googling is inconclusive, but I’m almost positive that Lamb Chop was a girl. Right?)

My friend Gwen and I would rush home after school to catch the show. One of us would call the other and we would “watch” it together over the phone. I like to think this was the precursor of the IM conversations I have during shows now, only with less snark and more complaints like, “Man, we have to do the multiplication tables up to 12 now!”

While I only vaguely remember most of the show (I’m thinking it was short skits with vague moral overtones—CliffsNotes Virtues, if you will), one thing has stuck with me all these years. And that, my friend, is “The Song That Never Ends.”

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, STOP READING NOW. Do NOT click here. You may think you want to know. You don’t. It’s like Pandora’s box: you hear this song once, and evil is let loose upon the world. Or something like that.

But, anyway, for those of you who know what I’m talking about, are you similarly afflicted? I find the song popping into my head at the most inopportune moments. Worse still, in perhaps a subconscious attempt to soundtrack my life, I automatically start humming along. I’m pretty humming to oneself is socially acceptable only for children and the INSANE.

Then again, when have I ever worried about social acceptability?

March 19, 2008

In My Opinion: In Bruges (Part 2)

Unlike most of the big-budget, high-profile films I see (you know, the ones with numbers in their titles or starring a Scientologist), In Bruges is hard to find. Readers in rural areas, small communities, or the state of Iowa* are unlikely to have access to a theater showing this film. Even I had trouble finding it (as detailed yesterday), and I live in a metropolitan area.

But that's not why you called.

Bruges is a little town in Belgium. As is the case with apparently every little European town, it’s picture postcard perfect--historic buildings, a river with swans, cute shops…you name it. It’s the perfect place to spend a couple of days. Even if you’re a contract killer, like the characters played by Colin Farrell (Ray) and Brendan Gleeson (Ken). When the two are told to spend a few days in Bruges, Ken goes into tourist mode, while Ray can’t wait to leave. Little do they realize there’s much more significance to the trip than a bit of breathing time. *dramatic sound effect*

There are quite a few disparate plot threads in this movie (midgets! drugs! fog! beer!), but they get tied up surprisingly well in the last few moments. Be warned that This Film Is Rated R for good reason. These are hitmen, remember, and that’s a little messier than being an accountant. (Unless you're a mob accountant. But that's another movie.)

I recommend this film for people interested in European travel, hitmen, or midgets, as well as for anyone who wants to see Colin Farrell in a decent performance. (The man can act--who knew?)

* But you get to vote first! And have access to lots and lots of corn!

March 18, 2008

March 18, 2008

In My Opinion: In Bruges (Part 1)

I ventured to Milwaukee’s east side on Saturday.

If you’re unfamiliar with Milwaukee, the east side is our version of Greenwich Village. Filled with artisans peddling organic goods and protesting the establishment. I dare not go there too often for fear of getting recruited into a band. Or asked to buy pottery. Or asked to MAKE pottery.

However, some occasions warrant the risk. As, for example, when I want to see an obscure indie flick. Regular readers know this is not an uncommon occurrence for me. I can usually find some place on the south side showing what I want, even if only on one screen at the local uberplex. Sadly, such was not the case with In Bruges. For that, I had to travel ALL THE WAY across town (30 minutes--an eternity to this spoiled city girl) to the Oriental.

The Oriental Theater is actually an Historic Landmark, one that gets mentioned in Important Periodicals and noted as a Place You Must See When You Go to Milwaukee. (Ironically, I’ve lived here for 24 years and have now been to the Oriental a total of…one time. Yeah.)

See, it’s fancy.

And classy. No “bathrooms” there.

Though not too classy for a (corrected) typo.

The people are different at an east side theater, too. The employees are all pencil-thin guys with artistic facial hair and glasses. You just KNOW they’re reading Proust on their breaks. Similar thing with the patrons. I overheard a woman asking the guy she was with (boyfriend? husband? gallery co-owner?) whether he wanted the blueberry smoothie. Yeah, they sell SMOOTHIES. Even the concessions are cooler.

Contrast this with the sort of things heard in a south side theater: “Damn, it’s dark in here.” “Finish that before it starts so we can get the refill right away.” “I need more napkins.”

Milwaukee: Just one city…but so many subcultures. (And not all of them violent, surprise!)

Tomorrow: My review of In Bruges concludes with an actual review of In Bruges.

March 17, 2008

March 17, 2008

Me and Fox News: Keeping an Even Keel

(This is going to be an uncharacteristically introspective blog post. I try not to do these often ever, because I figure that if I don’t want to read my emotional ramblings, other people certainly don’t want to. That’s what diaries are for. And therapists. Rest assured, the frivolity returns tomorrow.)

(Also, I wrote this while at work on a Thursday. So there was a bit of "Someone please put me out of my misery" going on. Yay.)

Anyway, my days lately have been rather…dragging. Maybe it’s the winter doldrums, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or something else that you can take a colorful pill for (but NOT if you’re pregnant, nursing, or taking MAOI inhibitors). I seem to recall convincing myself I had Seasonal Affective Disorder last winter if only so I could tell people I was “SAD” and then explain how that was actually an acronym…that meant the same thing. “It works on TWO levels!” I would say. (In my head. Because no such conversation ever took place.)

It’s harder now that I’m an Adult. When you’re a kid, there’s school and there’s summer. You can spend an entire day debating the best ice cream flavor. Your biggest worry is that you can’t find a library book. Even in college, there’s school and there’s summer. Structure.

But once I graduated, things melded together into a messy work/grad school/I-can-do-whatever-I-want-now-because-I’m-an-Adult mélange. (Foreign vocab bonus? Oui.) Thus I find my days running one into the other. They all consist of commuting to work, tolerating 8 ½ hours of mostly mind-numbing work, commuting home, doing homework, watching some sort of entertainment programming, and sleeping. Which isn’t necessarily a bad existence; you’ll note that “doping,” “whoring,” and “money laundering” appear nowhere in that schedule. (How fun would that schedule be, though? "I'm sorry, I can't go to lunch tomorrow. I have whoring in from 11 to 12:30.") (Whoa, is that how Spitzer did it?)

And of course there are the weekends. When I travel, and eat out, and have generally Good Times. I’m just a little saddened that I have already become one of those “living for the weekend” people at 24. I know it’s just temporary (the next life phase kicks in May 5, yo), but STILL. I once had someone very important to me tell me that I was “always ready for the next big thing.” He was right. Is that a bad thing, though? It’s not quite blind ambition; maybe visually-impaired.

On a more Fair & Balanced note, how alarmingly happy am I that Banquet is making pot pies again? Recall, schmecall!

March 14, 2008

March 13, 2008

March 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home

As anyone born in the 1980s is starting to realize, getting your own place is a pretty Big Deal. After years of living with parents, siblings, and roommates, most of us are itching to have a space to call our very own. One that will house our collections of books, musical instruments, and/or Sweet ‘n Low packets culled from McDonald’s locations around the world. You know: our valuables.

Unfortunately, finding said kickass apartment is easier said than done. (As opposed to “systematically assisting Sisyphus’s stealthy, cyst-susceptible sister,” which is easier done than said*). You have to find that perfect storm of “in your price range,” “has comfortable amenities,” and “is not bullet ridden.” Depending on your city of residence, that could be almost impossible.

[“I Know a Guy” Anecdote: I know a guy looking for a condo in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. I tried helping until I realized the rent numbers were just depressing me. $1500 a month for what amounts to a smallish hovel? Eh?]

Luckily, once you manage to find an acceptable domicile--whether through connections in real estate, relatives offloading surplus property, or the profits of a lucrative drug deal--you get to do what kids these days call “pimping it out.” I’m talking painting, hanging art, assembling furniture (ideally, from Ikea), and other Martha Stewart-sanctioned activities.

Which brings me (finally) to the point of this blog post. When I get my first apartment, the one thing I must have alongside my laptop and my lava lamp is the peephole picture frame from Friends.

I’ve done extensive Googling on it, and while many websites tell you to save money and make one yourself, I plan to pony up and get a professionally-made one here. (“40 bucks for a FRAME?” I hear you ask. I know, I know. Apparently my cheapness does not apply to tv-related memorabilia that is also functional and decorative.)

What item MUST you have in your apartment?

*Thank you, Lemony Snicket.

March 12, 2008

March 12, 2008

To the World’s Third-Richest Man

Dear Bill Gates,

I was sorry to hear that you are no longer the world’s richest man. In fact, as you may have noticed, you are now number three. (Or not have noticed; I’m unsure how much of your time is spent reading the news as opposed to swimming around in your vat of golden coins.)

While third place probably isn’t what you were hoping for, I’d like to point out that it’s not a bad position. Third place in the Olympics means a bronze metal. As I’m sure you’re aware, there was also a Bronze Age. Was there a Gold Age? A Silver Age? Nope. Obviously, that means…something

The third Lord of the Rings movie won the most Oscars. It could be argued that those awards were given in recognition of the trilogy as a whole. Or that they Oscar itself is but an arbitrary, self-congratulatory recognition bestowed by a Hollywood cabal with little interest in popular tastes. Hmm.

Actually, now that I’ve written this letter, I realized that you’re pretty much screwed as far as this list goes. You obviously saw your impending retirement as an excuse to slack off and settle for a net worth of $58 billion.

Well, there’s always next year.

Cheers,
Heather

March 11, 2008

March 11, 2008

In My Opinion: The Bank Job

I should start by saying this movie had the oddest combination of trailers beforehand. First, you had 21, which looks like one of the most entertaining movies I’m not going to see this year. (While I love a good bildungsroman, I prefer them to have a least a modicum of plausibility. MIT student takes over Vegas? Nuh uh.)

Then I got the one-two punch of Shutter and Midnight Meat Train. Shutter freaks me out because you never know about that supernatural crap. Midnight Meat Train had the distinction of having both a gross plot and the WORLD’S WORST TITLE. Seriously, how many people okayed that title while wondering if they were being Punk’d? Anyway, luckily for me, the featured attraction was one of the best films I’ve seen so far this year. (Granted, it’s only March, but I watch a LOT of movies.)

Allow me to boil The Bank Job down to the salient points. Jason Statham (Handsome Rob of The Italian Job--hey, now I’m rhyming) plays the leader of an amateur gang that stumbled into one of the biggest heists ever. Set in 1971 London, the film has a great juxtaposition of British classiness with ‘70s funkiness. It’s all posh…until someone has to find a pay phone.

It’s not just that this film is based on actual events. It’s that those actual events were hushed up. By the press? By the government? By (as the film muses) the royals? WHAT WAS IN THAT SAFE DEPOSIT BOX, I ASK YOU? *breathes*

Word to the wise: this is not a date movie. It’s a pretty hard R. So go with friends, if for no other reason than to have someone to laugh with when the words “Midnight Meat Train” come on screen.

March 10, 2008

March 10, 2008

I Want My Hour Back

To me, daylight savings is like physics: I understand the theory, but the application doesn’t seem to make sense. (Actually, I don’t even understand most of the theory of physics. I just wanted to mention physics at some point here, since I figure any blog that both gives a shout-out to physics AND writes a letter on a breakfast cereal is going to give Google a headache.)

As fun as it is to fall back, I really hate to spring forward. For one, time change always happens on a Saturday night. Thus my Sunday morning is all thrown off. Plus I have to endure pulpit comments about how people are going to be late. (Note to church announcement-makers: people who forget to change their clocks are probably going to be late to church anyway--there are obviously greater issues in play.)

In addition, a recent study that daylight savings actually INCREASES energy spending. (I would cite it here, but you can Google just as well as I can.) The phrase “failed social experiment” is coming to mind. I could understand screwing up the circadian rhythms of millions of people if a cost savings were involved. Or as the result of a game of “Truth or Dare” with France gone horribly awry. Or if the entire country did a marathon of every existing episode of 24. But those are really the only acceptable reasons, don't you think?

March 7, 2008

March 7, 2008

I Think We'll Live

It finally happened: Brett Favre announced his retirement. After about six years of Tractor Watch, in which the Wisconsin media would anxiously observe Brett’s Kiln activities hoping for some clue to his mindset. Until this year, he always rode around a little, cleared some brush, and announced his return (usually while wearing a baseball cap and a sheepish grin).

Then 2008 rolled around. The Packers had had a pretty phenomenal season, tying the franchise record for wins. Almost making the Super Bowl. No one saw that coming. Yet it apparently wasn’t enough for Brett. To be honest, I’m pretty sure THAT’S OKAY. He’s been quarterbacking with the Packers since 1992. For the math-challenged, that’s 16 years. A long time to be in any job; much less one that involves dozens of men who want to literally grind you into the ground.

Since Favre is revered in Wisconsin only slightly less than God himself, the retirement announcement was met with quite a bit of chagrin. Merchandise started flying off shelves. “What’s your favorite Brett Favre moment?” became the vogue question to ask of strangers (replacing “How ‘bout this winter, hey?”).

Before the press conference on Thursday, this sentence was actually spoken by a member of the press: “Brett Favre’s plane is now circling the airport.” For some reason, that evoked thoughts of “The Eagle has landed” to me. Folks, it’s football, not the space program.

Yes, we’ll probably never have another quarterback like Favre—at least not in our lifetimes. He’s certainly the greatest living (if not greatest ever) in the position. But there are so many other things to love about Wisconsin. We now just have one fewer.

March 6, 2008

March 6, 2008

To Be Fair, I Don’t Use Any Rude Hand Gestures

Like ambidexterity, fluency in Spanish, and the ability to tie a cherry stem into a knot using only my tongue, good driving is not a skill I possess. I’ve never gotten a ticket or into an accident yet; I realize it’s probably only a matter of time. See, while my overall technique is good (I think—it’s been a while since I studied for the road test), my execution sucks. I take corners way too fast. (Never ride with me in the snow. Ever.) I swerve in and out of lanes a lot. I decelerate alarmingly rapidly (good brakes are a girl’s best friend).

Perhaps worst of all, I’m an angry driver. If you’re not ready to go as soon as the light turns green, I WILL honk at you. Other phrases I’ve been known to employ (expletives replaced with animal names for my more sensitive readers—use your imagination):

“Son of a BADGER…the light is green. Go!”

“Make the DINGO turn already.”

And my personal favorite…

“Pick a FERRETING lane, AARDVARK!” (Spoken at 7:12 a.m. on the way to work. Don’t screw with me when I’m staring down the barrel of a long day.)

I could blame my Asian heritage or the fact that I’m a woman. But where’s the fun in that?

(Not only did I have to Google to find that picture; I also had to use Word AND Paint to flip it so the subject is in the driver's seat. I hope you appreciate the work I put into that while avoiding my ACTUAL work.)

March 5, 2008

March 5, 2008

Sorry I Missed It: Battlestar Galactica

I’m not proud of the fact that I watch this show. I mean, this really isn’t a cool show--it’s on the SciFi channel. I start watching things on the SciFi channel, and I’m really one comic book collection away from being THAT girl.

And yet.

It’s a combination of good writing, the endearing use of the word “frak” for every expletive (“Frak me,” “Holy frak,” and “No frakkin’ way,” for example), and, well, these guys:


The show’s set in the distant future. After the Cylon robots decide to take over and blow the planet to smithereens (that may be the first time I have ever used that word), what’s left of humanity flees in spaceships. The Galactica is charged with finding Kobol and, just maybe, the mystical land of…(wait for it) earth. If earth even exists, that is.

Actually, this 8-minute video says everything I did and more in a much funnier way. Watch it instead.

(I wonder if I can find 8-minute videos for everything I blog about? That would greatly simplify the process.)

March 4, 2008

March 4, 2008

In My Opinion: Vantage Point

I like guy movies. Ones with explosions. And car chases. Fire. Shooting. Maybe a little intrigue. The beauty of Vantage Point is that it has all of that AND Matthew Fox. Win-win.

The plot gets a little complex, but the basic premise is that the president gets shot while speaking at a huge rally in Spain. Then a bomb explodes nearby. Then a bomb explodes UNDER THE STAGE. So, after the initial wtf moment, everyone’s trying to figure out the who, the how, and the why.

We see the event (and the stuff leading up to it) several times, each from a different perspective: the media (Sigourney Weaver), the secret service (Matthew Fox and Dennis Quaid), a tourist (Forrest Whitaker), the bad guys (…no one famous) and others. You might think this would get annoying. And I guess it could have, if each flashback wasn’t punctured by CAR CHASES or EXPLOSIONS or FIRE. I love all of those things so very, very much.

(Seriously, the car chase in this movie may have been the best I’ve ever seen. Several characters DIE during it. Wait, does that make me sound bloodthirsty?)

And somehow, the movie ties all the disparate plotlines (ice cream! oscillating fans! body doubles!) together in just 90 minutes. Cinematic magic.

March 3, 2008

March 3, 2008

On Books

A couple of my friends have been weighing in lately with their opinions on one of the big decisions of 2008: books vs. e-books. Like any good republican, I’ve decided to throw out my opinion without consulting either of them. We can get Petraeus to clean it up later.

For the attention-challenged among you, I’ve broken it down into the talking-point-only short version and the in-case-the-moderator-asks-for-clarification long version. (McCain campaign officials: I’m available for speechwriting after May 4. Call me.)

Short Version
Paperbacks. Cheap. Light. Guy named Chad.

Long Version
There’s something about a paperback that cannot be replicated in any other form. Yes, that’s right: a PAPERBACK. Cheap enough that you if you get several at a time (as I do), you don’t break the bank. (Wait, who am I kidding? I’m too cheap to buy books. If I did, though, I’d buy paperbacks.) Light enough that you can stuff three or four in your bag before a long car, bus, plane, train, or wagon ride.

Grab a decent-sized paperback, something around 300 pages. Hold it in your hand for a minute. Feels good, no? The beauty of the paperback is that it can easily be managed with one hand during a meal. Almost two thirds of my meals are accompanied by reading, so this feature’s a pretty big deal. One of the few exceptions: Atlas Shrugged, which even in paperback weighs more than Nicole Richie.

I understand people who buy hardcover books because they look impressive and weighty. It’s like ordering off-menu or dating a guy named Chad—coolness by association. But if you want a workhorse who’s willing to be squeezed into odd places, marked up, or dog eared, I think you have to choose the paperback.