Monday, May 28, 2007

Some Late Commentary

So, not long after my last post, Rosie quit The View. I'm so disappointed in her. Her feelings are hurt, and she's letting it get in the way of her job. I mean, it was obvious to everyone that everyone involved was glad she was leaving at the end of the season. But, they all seemed to be dealing with it fairly well. She should have completed her obligation. I think it is kind of sad that she couldn't have held a debate with Elizabeth (who could seriously use a nickname! "Elizabeth" is just too long) about their opposing beliefs without it turning into an argument about who is being a bad friend and whose feelings are hurt. I'm sure the media scrutiny isn't easy, but it seems like Rosie was the only one I ever heard using terms like "fat, mean, lesbian" to describe herself.

I had other stuff I was going to say, about a lot of other topics, but I still have to write something about the Paradiso. Heaven is so boring, I swear. Thirty-three cantos and not a thing I want to talk about. Hell was so much more interesting.

Coming soon: Pictures! I am going to take pictures of the finished bathroom tomorrow - I've decided to wait until someone buys the nice towels for me off the registry, so I'm putting up pictures with our old non-matching towels. Also, we got bookshelves for what will now be referred to as "The Library" because, that's where I'm keeping my books. This is the first time in my life that I have had more shelves than books and it's AWESOME. Of course, this too will change once I go back to my parents' house in June and send the rest of my books back to myself. I'm so excited to have them all together again!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The View

So, I have been watching The View every once in a while when I’m home and supposed to be working on papers for school. I am completely and totally fascinated by the interactions between the hosts.

I love that Elizabeth stands up to Rosie and argues with her. I think it is really interesting to hear someone who strongly agrees with Republicans argue their points. I don’t happen to agree with her, but I think Rosie is also a little too far to the left. But what I love is the way they argue.

All of the women on the view know that Rosie is a lighting rod for criticism, and Rosie, I think, enjoys that. You can see the other women just waiting for this season to be over, so that they can get back to what the show used to be. But you can also see that they are annoyed with her, and I think she knows it. Because these debates between Rosie and Elizabeth always include something about how Rosie is portrayed in the media. The most recent debate – from the May 23rd show – has them arguing about President Bush.

Joy Behar starts the conversation with a list of things that Bush has done in his presidency. Al Gore and Jimmy Carter have recently come out saying that Bush is doing a terrible job, and Joy wants to know why he’s still in office. [I have to say that while the way Bush got into the White House is something of a sham, he did win the election in ’04. The democrats screwed up and couldn’t find a candidate who could defeat Bush. We can’t get him out because, though he has screwed up mightily, he hasn’t done anything worthy of impeachment. We shouldn’t have gotten into this war, but we’re in it, and we can’t pull out now. It would be immoral to go into a country, throw it into chaos, and not help get that country back on its feet. ANYWAY] Elizabeth has something to say, of course, and Rosie interrupts.

For Rosie, this whole thing is not about her lefty beliefs versus Elizabeth’s righty beliefs. It’s that she thinks Elizabeth doesn’t like her. Someone on Fox news said that Rosie think that our troops are terrorists. When that was brought up on the show, Elizabeth said “why don’t you take this opportunity to explain what you meant.” Rosie took that as an insult. She thinks Elizabeth should have defended her. Now, what she said was something along the lines of – innocent people are dying in Iraq every day, so who are the terrorists? I think she meant to imply that our government, who sent the troops over there, is treading dangerously close to being just like the terrorists. But, she never clarifies that on the show. I think she could have made a valid point, but instead of explaining herself and discussing what she intended to get across, she focuses on how Elizabeth should have defended her. Elizabeth is trying to say that what Rosie said was a little ambiguous and, while she realizes that Rosie isn’t accusing our troops of terrorism, she can see how people might have misinterpreted it. Rosie can’t believe Elizabeth is siding with the crazy republicans. They’re supposed to be friends, and Elizabeth should have supported her. Personally, I love watching Elizabeth try to talk over Rosie (which I think is impossible) and I love watching Joy attempt to mediate and bring it back to the issue at hand. You can see her thinking “I’m supposed to be the loud-mouthed broad on this show.”

Now I’m off to watch today’s show, which will hopefully have more arguing fun.

You can watch the May 23rd argument on You Tube here.

Edited to add: Just to be clear, I consider "loud-mouthed broad" to be a pretty high compliment. Joy Behar is a great comedian and has performed in the Vagina Monologues (as have I) which makes me like her a lot. She's very smart, and I think adds a lot to The View. I recently discovered that she started out as a High School English teacher, which makes me like her even more.

Also, today's show had no arguments. They cut the intro / chat portion significantly, I guess so they'd have time to do all of the many summer cooking demonstrations. It kind of sucked.

Told You So!

I never get around to watching Dancing with the Stars when it is actually on. I was under the impression that this week would be the finals, not last Tuesday. When I realized my mistake, I took great pains to not hear who won, so that I could watch it myself. I watched it this morning. While I did manage to skip through a lot of it.... damn. They stretch that shit out. The final show was two hours long! Two hours!

Anyway, Apolo won. Yeah! I think that Joey Fatone was excellent, and was looking as good as Apolo near the end, but I think Apolo came farther. Joey is sort of a trained dancer and an experienced performer. While Apolo was probably used to the kind of pressure they were under, he had to learn a whole new skill and he did it beautifully.

I just love that show.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Honeymoon Dreams

So, we're not sure where we'll go for our honeymoon. We were thinking Hawaii, because it seems like the thing to do for a honeymoon. Then, we were thinking we should go somewhere in the Caribbean - it's cheaper than Hawaii and basically the same thing, but with gambling! Except that we're getting married in October, which is still Hurricane season. Mr is not lucky, and if we go there, we will get to experience a hurricane.

So we're back to Hawaii.

One of the ideas we had thrown out there was Disney World. I think it would be fun. We can go at an off-peak time and save money and experience less crazy kids hopped up on sugar. So I did a little research. Turns out, Florida is in Hurricane season, too. I know, I should have realized that, but I didn't.

Not that it matters to Disney. Nope. Their season is entirely determined by the school schedule, and not Hurricanes. But whatever.

I was looking at Disney again this morning, because though we do think we'll go to Hawaii, we both agreed that it might be fun to go to Disney World someday. I thought I found a really good deal. Disney has these "wonderful weeks of Disney" where you can go for cheaper. I found a villa at their beachfront resort with a dining plan for less than a regular room at the same resort. Awesome, right? So, it's a studio, no big deal, that's like a regular hotel room with a kitchen. Here's the details:

Studios offer views of a parking area. The Studios have one queen-size bed and a double sleeper sofa, dining table with two chairs, and private balcony. Studio amenities include microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker and wet bar.

1 Bedroom Villa

Ha! "Studios offer views of a parking area." I love that. Like it's a bonus or something. I can just imagine us sipping coffee, reading the paper, watching the morning valet guys come in for their shift. Ah... the magic of Disney.

Of course, you can get a view of the water or the park or whatever, it will just be an extra $816.72.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I have never been tagged before. I feel honored. I generally skip memes that require a lot of independent thought. Not that I don't like thinking, but I always like what other people say better, and am more clever with guidelines to follow. Anywho...

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write on their blogs 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog.
  1. I am taking a class on teaching literature, and we did a poetry unit first. Though I hate poetry - in the sense that I just don't really get it - I am fascinated by the teaching of it. I find myself wanting to try out assignments and try writing various very difficult forms, just to see if I can. (My favorite form of the moment, The Villanelle: wikipedia explanation, awesome cartoon example)
  2. I miss Gilmore Girls. Thank goodness Dancing with the Stars is still on.
  3. I have to skip the ceremony of a good friend's wedding because of the comprehensive exam for my master's degree.
  4. Last week, I hit a new all-time low weight since I started dieting last March (that's a year ago, not two months ago). Total weight lost: 16.5 pounds. Time to lost it: 14 months. I am not a good, consistent dieter, but I seem to have turned a corner in my relationship with food. Now when I go "off" the diet, I seem to still eat (relatively) well and maintain my weight, plus or minus about three pounds. Before, I would exercise like mad, eat very little and then give it all up altogether and eventually get back to my original weight. I think this is a very positive thing. So what if I only lose on average 1.2 pounds per month?
  5. I am waiting, expecting something to happen, to give me an excuse to sabotage myself and my weight before the wedding. Everyone tells me that "all" brides lose weight before the wedding because of stress, and I know I'll be stressed, but I am not all women. My reaction to most emotions is eating. So, though I feel more confident, I'm also waiting for something to happen so that I will be just over the point where I like the way I look in pictures. Then, for the rest of my life, I can hate my wedding pictures because I was "fat." That is, of course, until I have children, gain even more weight and then feel bad that I hated myself then when I wish I could weigh that now (as I currently feel with most pictures of myself from high school).
  6. I recently discovered that Dante's Divine Comedy is pretty good if you get the right translation. Stick with Ciardi. Avoid like the plague the Oxford World Classics translation which seems to think that blank verse is the best way to get across Dante's brilliance. Morons.
  7. Hank is stinky. We have to give him a bath tonight, so that I can give him his flea and tick protection (you don't have to bathe a dog before you give them the stuff, but you essentially just pour it on their back, between the shoulder blades, and you can't wash them for several days after and that dog needs a bath NOW).
And now for some tagging. I'm not sure I can get to seven, because I don't really know a ton of bloggers. Plus, the ones I do know have been tagged already. But, here goes: Mavis, and um... yeah. The other two people I might have tagged have already been tagged. There are a lot of awesome blogs I read, but I don't really "know" them in the sense that I've ever communicated with them, so I'm not tagging.

The Coffee Stash

I used to work for Starbucks.

I really enjoyed my time at the buck. I started the summer after my sophomore year in college, and continued in the summers until graduation, when I moved to Chicago and worked at a different Starbucks. It was a good gig. The people are generally cool on both sides of the counter, the hours aren't too bad (sure you're either opening the store at 5am or closing around 9, but you either start work at like 2, or get done at 3 so it really isn't that bad), and if you work there (at least when I was there) at least 20 hours a week, you get benefits. PLUS a free pound of coffee a week.

One pound of coffee each week.

Do you have any idea of how much coffee that is?

It's a lot of coffee. When I was living at home I would stock up on coffee I liked when it was available - like New Guinea Peaberry, which is only available every couple of years or so - the rest of the time I would give my pound a week to my mom or I'd get tea or something. I brought some coffee to school with me and I always had plenty for the entire school year. When I moved to Chicago, I lived with my aunt and uncle for a month and then I moved to a different aunt and uncle's house. That first month I didn't have a job, I just did odd jobs around their house. I didn't pay rent. I moved to the next aunt and uncle house and started my job search, going to Starbucks first so that I could get health insurance, should the whole job search thing not be as quick as I would like. When I started at Starbucks, I started giving my first hosts Italian or French Roast every once in a while because they made espresso in the mornings and those make good espressos. I gave my other aunt some decaf, some mild roast that they'd like and started building a good stock of coffee in their freezer. I would also save some coffee for me.

Then, at Christmas, my aunt got an espresso machine. See, there's one week where Starbucks gives their employees a bigger discount than usual and the Barista Espresso machines were on sale. Not to sound like a corporate drone or anything, but those machines are awesome. They are really high quality and they make an excellent shot of espresso. It doesn't take much to learn how to use it, either. Anyway, so with the big discount, I bought a machine for myself and my aunt bought one, which I taught her how to use. So, now I was giving her espresso too.

My younger brother also worked for Starbucks for a while, though we were never at the same store at the same time.

The point of all of this is: It has been six years since I worked for Starbucks. This past week, I had to buy coffee. Seriously. I mean, a pound a week is 52 pounds of coffee a year. I am the only coffee drinker in my house and I don't make it everyday. My brother did give me some coffee when he still worked there and I didn't, but still. I quit Starbucks six years ago, and I just now ran out of coffee.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Prediction: Revision / PS: Girls Guide to Boxing

I know I haven't written much lately, and I apologize. Soon I will be caught up, and shortly thereafter, done with school (for six weeks). I promise to be more attentive then.

In the meantime: Dancing with the Stars

I watched part of last night's episode and I have to say that these are the best celebrity dancers they've had in a really long time. I loved Emmit Smith, but he couldn't hold a candle to these guys. I think Apollo could actually have a side gig as a ballroom dancer. You know, if the whole gold-medalist thing doesn't work out.

But, I no longer think Ian Ziering is going to make it past this week. I know, it isn't much of a prediction, since he'll get voted off tonight, but get off my back, already.

I think Joey Fatone is freakin' fantastic, and he's really improved over the course of the show. He has something of a dance background, but dancing at Disney World and with 'N Sync isn't anywhere near the same as ballroom. He's dropped at least 20 pounds, and he's looking good.

Laila Ali is also good. Not as good as Joey and Apollo, but good. Plus, I think people only know Ian Ziering as Steve Sanders, and Steve was sort of a jerk. Joey has (or at least had, at one point) millions of teenybopper fans, who probably still love him and will vote for him. He's like the class clown and he's got a lovable bear of a guy thing happening. Laila is good and her dad was just on the show so people are feeling sentimental for her. Apollo is just amazing and if he were voted off, I would think the show would be rigged.

I'm not sure, but I think the finale is actually going to be a three-way, because I think next week is the end. So, my guess is it will be Apollo, Joey & Laila. Apollo should win, but Joey might because he's a little more cuddly than Apollo.

PS: if you're wondering, as many sportswriters are, why boxing is becoming less popular, if you're bemoaning the loss of heavyweight super stars of the past like Foreman and Ali, it's because Muhammad Ali is still making public appearances. He has Pugilistic Parkinson's Syndrome, which is what happens when you make it your life's work to get punched in the head repeatedly.

Don't get me wrong, I think Ali was the greatest. He was charismatic and massive. He was this huge guy who spouted out rhymes and he was really good looking, even after he finished his career. (I read somewhere that he wanted Will Smith to play him in that biopic, but he told Smith "You're not pretty enough to play me." I love that.) Now? Now he is the shell of the man he once was. He seems unable to respond to the world around him and he looks shrunken and fragile. This is why people don't box.

Think about it: You're young, strong, athletic. You can box, play basketball or play football. Maybe you're not tall enough for basketball, but you're a big guy. You wear your body out playing football, but with the exception of some freak, fairly rare accidents, you're going to retire rich and relatively healthy. Boxing? You might retire rich, but you're guaranteed some serious repercussions. You're guaranteed concussions and detached retinas and all sorts of painful injuries. Because the point of boxing? Is to beat up a person until they can't stand up anymore - or else get beat up until you can't stand anymore.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Dancing with Cliff

Ya'll know about my Dancing with the Stars obsession, but I seriously love John Ratzenberger. He's so cute, and he is actually a really good dancer. He won't make it much farther (I'm watching the show right now, so I haven't seen the results show), but he's great. He actually reminds me a lot of my dad.

My dad (step dad, technically, but he's also my godfather, so I've known him my whole life) thinks he's an awesome dancer. And he's actually pretty good. He isn't great, but he's got a passion for it that makes up for any technical deficiencies.

I really wish that he lived closer to me, because I know I could talk him into taking lessons with me and working up a routine for the father/daughter dance at the wedding. Maybe I can get some intensive lessons with him when I go home in June for my shower, and then when they come here in August. Hmmmm...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ew. Just, Ew.

A while back we found a tiny collection of mouse poops under the couch in the addition. No one goes in there, the couch is currently the only thing in the room. So, it isn't like we had been hanging out with the mouse. One day, Hank went nuts digging around the couch and we didn't know why. When we moved the couch to clean and prepare to paint the walls (pictures soon!), we found the poop.

So, Mr went out and got some traps and set them up with yummy tempting peanut butter in places where mice would like to go, but Hank was unlikely to get them. Hank did find one and got snapped in the face, but it didn't catch him and he wasn't hurt.

We were on the lookout for more poop. Our house had been empty for months before we bought it, and they left food in the pantry. It was mousy heaven, but we never saw anything. Then, Mr's mom brought over some of our stuff that had been in their basement. Where they have mice. Then we found it. So, I'm blaming her.

Anyway, we never saw more traces of the mouse and figured that he had seen Hank and chosen a safer haven.

Then, last night, Hank was nosing around the refrigerator.

"Hey, did you put a trap behind the fridge?"
" No, it's next to it"
" Are you sure? Hank's into the back of the fridge and he won't leave it alone."

So, I get the flashlight, just to make sure the trap is still there. It was. Only. It wasn't empty.


So, I got an eyeful of the dead mouse. Interestingly enough, I couldn't look at it directly, but I had no trouble taking pictures of it. I was going to post a couple, but figured that a dead mouse in a trap would be a little gruesome and disturbing. I mean, I think it was as humane as killing can be. His little neck was snapped, so it should have been pretty quick and painless. But it is still a mouse that we killed. I hope he was the only one and it wasn't a momma with babies somewhere.