October 16, 2009

Pump Up the Volume

Seriously, do it. You will want to hear this.

Welcome to the world of Viva and Jerry's Country Music Videos.

I think it's best to jump in. It's really only necessary to watch the first few minutes of this. Yoda is involved in this one, so naturally you will never. Be. The. Same. Again.



Yeah. That has been on TV.

I stumbled upon Viva and Jerry earlier tonight while they were doing what I *think* they refer to as the comedy portion. At the end of each show (at least of the ones that I've found) V&J stand behind a table with lots of random products and tell you how great! They? Are!

It's always a little awkward, usually they don't really know how half the stuff works, but it is (perhaps unintentionally) consistently hilarious. The one I saw LIVE (not really) was all about Halloween. I twittered (because OF COURSE I did) that I was pretty sure Viva thought a bowl that has one of those hands that clamps down and makes noise was powered by magic.

And I stand by that tweet.

My favorite quote so far comes at the very beginning of this episode, when Viva makes one of the most entertaining reading mistakes I've heard in a loooooong time.

Thus sayeth Viva:
"This fabulous piece of work...art."

Oh Viva, you card.

I know I'm kind of making fun of V&J, but to be honest, I think their show is great. Because, well, why SHOULDN'T an old dude dress up like Yoda for no other reason than for laughs? Why shouldn't the staff mess with the green screen all the time? When aren't sexual innuendos by old people funny? (Aside from whenever it's your own grandparents, of course)

It's fun and silly and it reminds me of a vlogbrothers' video, that reminds us that it's AWESOME to marvel and be excited at the miracle of other people's creativity. While making fun of people for feeling this way is easy and accepted by just about everyone, because they have this very belief, it doesn't change the awesomeness or the excitement.

So never stop making videos, V&J. I'll definitely be watching.

October 8, 2009

The First Big Number

 In a week I'll turn 21. This, even to me, seems crazy.

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

I can't help but think that on that Thursday, a normal day to most everyone on earth, will be the day I am actually an adult. Logically, of course, this is completely ridiculous.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit. 
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible 
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

In nearly every way, I'm already and adult. I'm in college and living on my own. I pay rent and buy groceries. Still, there's this feeling that this year, when that digit finally spins all the way around from 0 to 1, I will suddenly feel adult.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the lat afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house, 
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today, 
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

Will my heart suddenly break more for others? Should I take on more responsibility? Will I be held more accountable for my actions and for my impact as a citizen of the world?

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

Maybe this is something everyone feels, or maybe it's unique to me, but I can't shake this feeling. On your birthday everyone always asks if you feel different. In the past my answer has been no. This time, it feels like life as I know it will be different in 7 short days.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life, 
I skin my knees. I bleed.




Poem: On Turning Ten by Billy Collins

September 29, 2009

Ready to be surprised? Too bad.

Last weekend I went to see I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.

Let's let that sink in for a moment.

Okay, so I went to a bro movie. What can you do? I was invited, thought it would be a fun, completely ridiculous movie (SPOILER ALERT! It was.) and more importantly, I would be able to laugh at all the stupid people there.

And in a crowd like the one there that night, it was soooooo easy to do (my row of friends and acquaintances excluded, OF COURSE). I mean, never before have I seen flask use so prevalent in movie theater before. I guess it's possible that last January when I saw The Reader that the guy sitting behind me had some Jack in his coffee, but it was at least a bit less obvious.

Though one time someone was smoking in a movie theater. I don't even remember the movie, THAT'S how annoying it was.

Anyway, the movie was what you'd expect. Sort of raunchy, all kinds of offensive and mostly a waste of time and money. The only thing I enjoyed about the movie was one of the main character's friends played by Jesse Bradford*. He was pretty funny, self depricating and really the only bright spot. Given the movie he was in, however, a "bright spot" really is more like a dusty reflection off a 2-year-old Mountain Dew can on the wall of your parents' basement. Sorry Jesse. Let's work better on our script selection next time, yes?

One of the mantras of the movie is What would Tucker Max do? (Tucker Max, for those of you still playing along at home is the main character played by this guy, who played a completely different douchenozzle on Gilmore Girls a few years ago). Throughout the movie, the answer to this question is usually something along the lines of "have sex with that hot girl over there" though at some point in this morphs to the completely unpredictable** "lose all your friends," then "get really wasted and get poisoned by some less hot girls" and finally "have an epiphany and save the day!"

I don't really know what the point of making this movie was. Maybe it was a chance to make all the sex jokes that were rejected from recent Judd Apatow movies. Possibly someone was just bored and wanted to test the limits of stupidity allowed, or at least tolerated, by society. A more likely answer is that all the dudes in suits at the studio wanted a different kind of sexist movie on the market. Who knows?

I happen to think that what Tucker Max would do is not make a lame movie. But then again, I've been wrong before.


*Full Disclosure: I may only have liked Jesse Bradford's character because Mr.Bradford had a guest arc on The West Wing a couple years ago. This forgives all career missteps, people.

** Jokes!

September 6, 2009

Food Poisoning? Dehydration? Karma?? The choice is YOURS!!

I meant to publish this blog post looong ago, but didn't. (See FAILURE in dictionary, and OH LOOK, my picture!) Anyway, here's the whole messy story a little bit late, and a lot more edited.
Sometimes vomiting is a great solution to your problems.

If, for example, you need to get out of going to an event or gathering you could say you're not feeling well, or that you had vomited earlier in the day and wouldn't want to spread whatever you have and then be all "Aw shucks, sickness! No awkward social situations for me until next year!"

Or! If you find you're using the "Oh, I need to wash my hair" line a bit too much (though, does anyone actually do that? Does it actually work??), you could switch it up with "I have to..." and scurry toward the bathroom.

Vomiting solves many a problem, is what I'm saying. Other times, however, it just sucks. Though I suppose "blows" might be more accurate.

In June my sister got married. I was very excited about this. I bought a kick ass dress, awesome shoes, got a haircut and flew to Virginia. I arrived and made plans with people to go into DC and play cards in the lobby and go to breakfast.

Then Friday came. And I got sick. The first time I threw up (should I have mentioned at the beginning that queasy people should not read this? Oops. Sorry about that.) it was at the beginning of a tour of a Civil War battlefield.
Yeah. We're THAT kind of family.

Anyway, suddenly I felt nauseated and ran inside to the bathroom. Enter the first happening of what shall henceforth be known as The Deed. Then, I felt...fine.

Like an idiot, I reasoned that this was as bad as it would be. I thought that I must have been dehydrated and over tired from my flight or the previous day of EPIC sightseeing.

So I went about my day, feeling just fine until an hour after lunch when The Deed happened again. I pretty much made it to the bathroom this time. Thanks garbage can! About 15 minutes later, oh Hi Deed, back again I see!

Oh, and did I mention, Deed 2.0 and 3.0 were in public? And more specifically, at a nail salon?

Well, they were.

After that, aside from royally embarrassed FOREVER, I was pretty much spent. The rest of the day I was in bed nursing a fever and some gatorade (one guess as to how THAT went). Amazingly, I was sort of okay the next day and was at the wedding and reception, THANK GOD. I lived on cheerios, the aforementioned gatorade and hope for the next 2 days. Heart healthy like you wouldn't believe. But that's another story entirely.

I feel like I should have learned something from this. Like maybe there should be background music and a Very Important Lesson to be learned and discussed, just like on Full House when Michelle learns the value of sharing or the atrocity of theft or whatever crap Danny is slinging her way. I mean really, we all know stealing is the only way to get yours.

Anyway, not to be a bad capitalist, but I just don't see it. People get sick, life happens (and clich├ęs abound, apparently). All I can to is remember the good things, laugh off everything else and toast to the happy couple.

May 29, 2009

Resume Building

There's a job opening I recently came across that is pretty exciting. I'm not sure if they're still taking applications, so who knows if I'll actually apply. It seems like it might be just out of my league, but if I want experience in the field I've gotta start somewhere, right?

The perks? Job security like you wouldn't believe, decent pay, room for promotion (to an extent) and I can determine how committed and engaged I am day to day! They don't advertise much about benefits, but I have a feeling they'll be adequate.

There are, of course plenty of cons to this particular job. Moving to Washington DC, wearing a lot of black, having LOTS of older co-workers. But, come to think of it, I could probably handle it.

The weird thing is, there seems to be some competition for me ALREADY. I saw a commercial last night on TV about another candidate's back story, and though she's my competition, even I have to admit that it was pretty compelling. Needless to say I'm a little nervous she'll get the job before I even get a chance to - wait a second...

Apparently, she's a racist! This is excellent news.

I'm glad someone came forward and brought this to our attention. Can you imagine, a racist in a position of power, influencing their peers and social policy?! What would have become of us?

Honestly, if not for a patriot utilizing his startling ability to only read one line of one speech and construe a meaning contrary to that very text, we, the American taxpayers would never have known The Truth!

And let me just say for the record that I am not a racist, new or old. Or an opposite racist. Or a communist sympathizer, member of an anarchist group or of the democrat socialist party.

Is it just me, or is that last thing grammatically incorrect? Well, if good grammar is fascist then I'll use ain't everyday at inappropriate times. 'Cause a fascist, I ain't.

Oh, and did I mention my lack of racism? Because trust me, there is a huge lack of it.



**UPDATE: It turns out, she's not a racist. I guess it's back to the classifieds for me.

May 14, 2009

Time for Vacation, or is it?

This summer I'm going to have a lot of free time. A LOT. I don't have school, (unless I end up enrolling for a class, that is) I'm working about the same hours, maybe a bit more.

Lately I've been thinking about what I'll do, and I've decided to make a list. Apparently I'm turning into my Mother. There isn't an actual, literal list (at least not yet) but I'll probably make one.

My list is mostly composed of books I want to read, but there are also habits I want to form. Like getting up everyday when I'm awake instead of laying in bed for another 40 minutes. Think of all the time you throw away! Another one is writing something every day, even if it's a description of my day or a fake profile of someone, good writers write all the time. I plan to be one of them.

When I started thinking about this summer, I happened to read this column about talent and genius vs. effort. The truth is that it really doesn't matter how much "God given" talent someone has, because without effort and work ethic you don't make any progress. You could be given the perfect hands for playing the cello, for instance, but still get beaten out for prestigious jobs because there's someone who practices more. Despite not having the "gift" they come out on top because they want it and work to be the best.

A week or so after I read this I got the New Yorker (Yeah, I'm one of those people and I like it) and read this article by Malcolm Gladwell. The story of David beating Goliath has always been fascinating to me. The ultimate underdog pitted against the ultimate warrior. No one, even his own people, expects David to come out on top, but he, as Gladwell says, plays his own game and beats Goliath.

So. The last thing on my list is to be a David. I am by nature a procrastinator and somewhat lazy. But with practice, with effort, I think I can be better, and do great things. I don' t mean to get too cliquey or sappy on here, but isn't this something we should all strive for? To challenge ourselves, expecting more than anyone else and if we're lucky, be able to prove it? Wait, no, not lucky. If we work and care and sweat and never stop, then we'll be able to prove it. Yes.

That's my real goal, and maybe even my entire list.

April 18, 2009

Updates!

Well. This whole "blogging more often" thing I keep spouting off is going SO WELL is it not? Hmm. I really don't feel I should even comment on it. It is a toxic topic, so moving on.

Since I last typed something on this blog:

- I went on spring break to DC (wassup doshtate!) and NY.
- When in NY I promptly lost my iPod touch. Because I am an IDIOT.
- I have, on three separate occasions, gone on WebMD and nearly convinced myself that I had tumors. Once in my tear duct, another time in my nostril and maybe once in my ear? I don't remember. Anyway, basically WebMD is TEH DEVIL!!! Tell your friends.
- Twitter has replaced Facebook in, I believe, my heart.
- Went to visit family in Brainerd for Easter weekend. Fun times accomplished.
- The weather has changed. I expect to become sick any day now. And since the weather is amazing, I've been riding my bike. Earlier this week I bought an air pump because the mechanic one I use at the student union has the wrong thingy on the end. You know what I'm talking about. Anyway, my air pump broke. Because Schwinn is full of FAIL. I will be emailing to complain. I'll keep you updated (maybe).
- The other night I watched an episode of Grey's Anatomy, something I haven't done for almost a year. I don't think I miss it.
- I got a new iPod (!!!!!!!!!!) yesterday and we are very happy together.
- I had a bagel for breakfast yesterday, and I really want one right NOW. This is probably not great, but I don't care. Bagels FTW!!!
- And finally this morning, I went on CNN.com to see what's going on. Their poll was about twitter, and naturally, I answered the question. The responses made me laugh so very hard.


I guess twitter has a ways to go.

March 25, 2009

In Which I Make Fun of Commercials

Bayer
Woman: "I had a heart attack and thank God..."
I think the commercial should just stop there.

Commercial for Toffee (I kid you not.)
Owner: "We decided to make a business about my mother's toffee."

Steps for making such a business:
1. Put toffee on plate
2. Place plate on table along side of road
3. Put up a giant TOFFEE sign
4. Include an arrow of some kind pointing to said toffee (optional)

BA-DA BING!

Beneful Dog Food
This guy is obnoxious and I don't trust him to even pretend to take care of a dog.


Ok, switching to TLC.
Holy Cats!! It's an old episode of Jon & Kate Plus Eight.

New Monsters Movie
Basically just Monster's Inc, but less funny and with jelly monsters instead of furry ones.
Subtext? LAME. Don't mess with Pixar, kids.

Pictureka
WTF. Where's Waldo, but with a blue penguin.
OH and it's timed. I don't understand.

Vonage
This still exists? I thought everyone had cell phones. Also, these commercials used to be good.

Priceline
Oh William Shatner. You're only doing these to make people feel pity for you, right? Well, it does work...

Allstate
I really liked this actor in Far From Heaven. I wonder how he feels about the fact that his career is an almost insurance salesman, instead of you know, an actor or something. Hmm....

Bissell
Who seriously has white carpet? Grandparents? Sure. Rich people? Always. Dog watchers? NEVER.

Peppridge farm
You know, their cookies aren't really that good. They're dry and ruin your tea. I do not approve. And why are they bragging about cookies made in the "European Tradition"? Isn't it an American company? Maybe Europeans do the advertising??
Or is it supposed to be exotic? Does that work for other things? Porta-potties in the European Tradition. Not so much.

TLC commercials
I dont' know how I feel about Little People Big World. It's a little strange, no? That is my only comment.

This 18 kids show seriously freaks me out. I don't even have kids, and I feel pain when I think about that amount of labor.

What is Say Yes to the Dress? Who would participate in such a thing? It should just be called, shitty reality TV in which everyone looks equally terrible and everyone's name should end in zilla.

Mercedes
That looks like a Subaru. Which would probably work and last longer.

Scrubbing bubbles
The sound is messed up. It's a split screen with 2 women and on one side you can barely hear the sound. Which kind of defeats the purpose of an ADVERTISEMENT. Way to FAIL.

Jif
They have used the same spreading footage with the peanut butter being spread over the peanuts for the last 10 years. At least.
Also, no bread ever baked could hold up that much peanut product. And who would eat that? Protein overload!!

February 27, 2009

Hungry?

I'm in a documentary film class this semester. It's a great class, and probably my favorite - my professor is hilarious, and we watch a documentary every week. What's not to love?

I haven't seen many documentaries, and sometimes feel in over my head, especially since there's a guy that usually sits behind me that has seen EVERY DOCUMENTARY EVER AND HAS SOMETHING POIGNANT TO SAY ABOUT EACH, SO THERE.

Ahem.

Anyway, for our end of the semester project, we have to document something in our lives. I had NO IDEA what to do. My first thought was to count the number of people I see everyday wearing Uggs, but that's not that interesting and I would just make myself seem crotchety (or more so than I already am). My next thought was to write down something new I learn everyday, which while an intriguing topic, I found that I suck at keeping up with.

Finally I decided to take pictures and describe using my typewriter every meal I make. I decided not to include things like Mac & Cheese or pizza, unless it's from scratch. I guess my idea is that I'm not the typical college student that lives on Pizza Rolls, Campbell's soup (barf!) and Cheetos. Not that there's anything technically wrong with that, per say, but I don't think I should have to be typical. So I guess the real goal of my wee document is to show my awesomeness.

This may also be a warning of many pictures of food to come. Stay tuned.

February 13, 2009

Plunger Etiquette

Forewarning: Now would be a good time for you to put down any food you may have in your hand.

I have a confession to make:
Until earlier today, I had never used a plunger.

It's sad, but true. Ok, mostly true. When I was in middle school I remember "helping" my dad unplug the drain in the bathroom a couple times. This mostly consisted of me sort of holding on to the plunger, and him doing all of the work. I also vaguely remember getting diluted toothpaste-water in my hair on several occasions.

I. Was. Not. Amused.

Today, however, my inexperience came back to haunt me. The toilet in my apartment decided not to flush completely, causing me to stand in the bathroom staring at the toilet Scooby-Doo style ("Ruh-roh....") for several minutes.

After the first flush the contents of said toilet literally stayed put, and the bowl was filled nearly to the brim with water. Reflexively I stepped back from the toilet because A. Gross and B. There is no way I'd ever be able to wear those socks again no matter how many times I washed them.

After doing this I realized that I had no plan for an over flowing toilet except screams of "OH SHIT!!!!" that, while strangely appropriate for the situation, would solve absolutely nothing.

The water started draining, and after it had gone down to below normal levels, I flushed again.
Guess what happened! Nothing! Woooooo!

What did happen? FAIL.

Decided to flush one more time, while praying that it wouldn't overflow. (See above for results this time. Heh.)

So. What now? I anxiously glanced at the plunger we keep next to the toilet and decided to wash my hands. Mere proximity to the plunger made me feel dirty. Next, I consulted with my roommate. She advised using the plunger.

Siiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

I thought about asking said roommate exactly how to use plunger, but then decided against it and instead to try and make the impression that, erm, I KNOW SHIT and am not a complete idiot (pun very much intended).

Honestly I think I've already sort of blocked this from my memory, but a few minutes later, after using the plunger, I flushed the toilet again and it did what toilets are frickin supposed to do.

Crisis Averted.

But then I didn't know what to do with the plunger. We keep it sitting in a bag next to the toilet, but I felt weird just setting it back. Should I wash it? Or at least rinse it off? If I do wash/rinse it, should I let it dry before it returns to its place in the bathroom??

These questions led to further holes in my knowledge. How long should we keep the plunger? When we someday replace it, is it recyclable, or do you just throw it away? Is there a plunger relocation program where those less fortunate get our old plungers? Could it actually kill a demonic bunny????

In the end I just rinsed it off.

So you tell me, Internets, was it a damning faux pas, or a completely acceptable practice? Perhaps I'm just an idiot? Would Emily Post approve of my behavior? Aside from writing about poo on the internet?

January 23, 2009

Apology Time

Apparently I have sort of forgotten about this blog. I really didn't mean to not post anything for 6 weeks, it just happened. Actually it's kind of interesting that during my month long vacation I wrote exactly zero blog entries. One would think I would write many more than usual, with all of the glorious downtime, but sadly, I'm just not that, erm...good? Normal? I don't know.

I'd really like to defend my laziness, but there's really no excuse. It's not like nothing happened over break. Ooh, good topic: Things that happened during my vacation. Here comes a flaaaaaaashbaaaaaaack........


- More hellish traveling experiences. Unfortunately, said catastrophies did not result in a first class seat and subsequent blanket stealing adventure as during the great (near) debacle of Thanksgiving '08. Instead, they resulted in missing luggage for a few days, me officially hating O'Hare forever, and oh yeah, a free round trip ticket anywhere in the continental US. Can I get a Boo-Yah?

- Sledding with Wally. Heck. Yes. (Fyi, that's not me in the picture, as you may guess. But my Wally is the exact same type of whale.)

- The testing of the German-made incense burner mentioned in previous post. Boy was it fun. Boy did my mom hate it. Definitely has my name on it so I get to take it when my parents move. (Or die, I guess. Morbidity, thy name is Klue!)

- Played many hilarious installments of Apples to Apples, Pictionary, and Scategories. For future reference, Tarabull kicks ass at Scategories. Seriously. She will annihilate you. Actually, she and my sister should play each other. Titans, people. Titans.

- Ventured to Tennessee to visit oldest sister and family including my 6 year-old nephew. Hilarity ensued. Silly string was discovered for the first time by said munchkin, and our lives shall never be the same again.
Also: weather down there was surely an abomination of some sort. Jackets and gloves unnecessary in December? Check. Greenness that can only be found on St. Patrick Day cards everywhere? Check. Klue disgusted by these very ideas? Double check.
But more on that trip later.

- Another test while home. One of these. Swedish Angel Chimes. Another treasure dug out of the piles of crap in my parents house. Ours isn't nearly as shiny as the one in the picture, but still it's awesome. The candles when lit propel the fan near the top, which spins the three metal angels around the main structure. Small bells on either side are struck with tiny hanging mallets attached to each angel's stomach. It's ridiculous, but hilarious and oddly soothing. In other words, perfect for Christmas. Heh.


See? Lots happening. Laziness also just happens to be under the category of "Lots" so, my bad. I'll work on that.