Saturday, February 26, 2005

So Take Your Hat Off, When You're Talking to Me, and Be There When I Feed the Butt

I still have not entirely concluded that Pete Nikolai is 100% right about Project Runway, at least as it being the best single season in relaity history. I think it will have to stay in my mind for the next couple months before I give it that, but it is, at the very least, a strong contender. The more I think about it, the more I am sure that Jay McCarroll is the greatest reality show contestant of all time. Some things that Project Runway has in its favor:

1) the right conflict went the WHOLE season--usually the villain or some half of the great conflict disappears early, i.e. Rupert goes out as one of the first individual immunity weeks, Omarosa barely makes the top 10. For all that I don't enjoy about Wendy Pepper she provided great plotlines the whole time. The entirety of the audience enjoyed watching Jay rip on her and the finale was a great opportunity for Jay to prove his humor wasn't mindlessly cruel. It also complicated our hatred for Wendy by the Kara Saun shoe disaster, which was so incredibly weak I can't even describe it. She wasn't just a whiney Omarosa, but at least once per season, she had something not stupid to say.

2) the show was funny--while obviously there was alot at stake, besides Wendy's daughter's picture-mustache situation (which relates to the above complication as well), never did this show get way over serious. I mean, Wendy cried when Jay and Kara Saun were running late, but it was hilarious, not presented like the people on Big Brother who haven't seen their families for 40 days. The conflict on the get-together episode was awesome and the person who stormed off was on the show for like a week and not very interesting, which meant we didn't have to care if she was all pissy. Reality TV that doesn't always make itself life or death is good.

3) the right character won--if you don't watch alot of reality TV this may not be such a huge shock, but its a big freaking deal. I can't imagine anyone who watched this show and wasn't cheering for Big Gay Jesus by the end. He was my obvious favorite from the first moment I turned Bravo on back in December. While it was nice that Rob and Amber had final 2 or that Eva pulled it out, but its not the same. Jay was the coolest, from beginning to end. He wasn't the technically proficient robotic winner week in and week out that Kara Saun was.

I hope the second season can stick it up, that it doesn't go all Dream Job on the bit (the third season of which I won't even glance at) and follows closer to the ANTM model that its obviously based in. Heidi Klum still bites it in comparison to Tyra Banks not to mention that the catch phrases (I mean, "Wendy, you're out" doesn't compare to "Kelly, congratulations, you're still in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Model") the prizes ("a mentorship with the Banana Republic Design Team" gets smacked by "a photo shoot with world famous fashion photographer Gilles Bensemot") and the judges (Nina Garcia vs. Nole Marin, how's she gonna beat his little dog huh?) are all leaning huge in favor of ANTM. Regardless, the three factors above all tilt towards Jay over Norelle, and thats a hard thing for me to say.

So I am in Vermont, after like a seven hour drive yesterday which included a one hour stop at Target, for reasons that, while still very cool, are entirely bizarre to me. We did make pretty good time and managed to beat everyone else up here though I drove all but 67 miles of the journey (Steve Perry) this is not something I am likely to repeat on the way back to Asschester. Today apparently features 5 more JV-Novice debates, and as excited as you might imagine I am about that prospect, I would literally rather make one of those little clacky desk toys where you drop the one silver ball and it makes the one on the other end fly up etc out of my balls then listen to two more of these. At this point in the season all the kids I am judging should be sucking it up and debating varsity, but this weekend being NDT quals saps that idea so instead its just low-level varsity debaters mucking their way through complicated arguments they sort of understand. The exception to this being of course, my round 2, which featured the Cornell "masochism" affirmative.

I put that word in quotes because its the oddest definiation of "masochism" i can possibly imagine. I will explain it further later on, but now I must go to round 4. 4:00, round 4, on floor 4. Thats some scary hullabaloo!



Thursday, February 24, 2005

Win Big, Mama's Fallen Angel, Lose Big, Livin Out Her Butt

I still personally prefer the pug, the St. Bernard, the Bernese mountain dog, and the Irish wolfhound, but I really do believe that the best named dog breed out there is the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. I am watching our tivoed edition of day 2 at Westminster and the sporting group, which is a not shabby set of puppies in general, is really coming strong this year. I mean, all of the water spaniels are pretty cool and no one can dis the German wirehaired pointer, which has a terrier like muzzle and the same mottled gray body with a brown face as, for instance, the Australian shepard. Not to mention the clumber, which is by far my favorite spaniel. Its a big dog that looks like it has at least some relation to a Newfy or even the Neapolitan mastiff (one of the year's new breeds, which I saw earlier at the Eukanauba show and is freaking awesome). Anyway, more power to the sporters.

So it is now Wednesday eveningish, on the verge of the second to last debate tournament of the year, well for me at least. I suppose Katie is still well in the thrall of the multi-headed beast. Hopefully the lack of debate tournaments will allow me to get beyond caught up with the reading lists and actually ahead. I am feeling pretty confident about psychoanalysis with Steven and I think I can read literature fast enough that the 20th Century probably won't be a problem. Luckily for me, the list that I am not as good on is with the professor who likes me the most. I know that I'm capable of reading this enormous mass of shit, but I just have not gotten as much of it done as I would like. Anyway, a little bit of worry is helpful, but I'm not panicing until I absolutely have to. I just need to find a way to enjoy the "filler" stuff in those texts like I can with Lacan et. al. I mean, the moments in the Critique of Pure Reason that are great are truly fantastic. There is just so much that is repetitive or summarizing or just a review of literature I don't care about. Thats not to say its not important for the overall argument of the book, but simply that it makes it harder to keep going and going.

Regardless, probably the reason I haven't been blogging to mention any of this was my overrelaxed nature following the night in Niagara Falls which Katie gave me for Valentine's day. We went up to the Niagara Fallsview Marriot, which is directly up the hill from the Canadian (far cooler) section of the falls. Its right in the same area as the new casino, which we visited in fact. But that barely makes the highlight reel of the weekend. We should begin, of course, with the room. I can say with a good amount of certainty that it is the second coolest hotel room I have ever stayed in. Our wedding-night suite at the Hyatt obviously takes the cake and while the suites we use for the party at Blake are pretty awesome, they don't have any of the elements available here. To begin with there was the view. I mean, what a sweet ass view. We were 18 floors up and directly in line with the horseshoe. I will put good pictures online at some point, this is one from my moblog:

I know thats not especially clear but its the best I can do. The giant puff of mist you see is the dead center of the falls. You cannot believe how incredibly clear this all looked, the rushing water, the spraying mist, the ways you can literally follow the flow over the side of the cliff. I spent probably an hour, in toto, just watching the falls from our window. Thats not even to mention the two other important facts of the room. 1) the fireplace: it was gas of course, but it was still gorgeous and it was right along side the almost floor-to-cieling window. I turned it on the second we walked in and only extinguished it when we left the next morning. Having a fire roaring was all but intrinsic to a relaxing evening in the Baxter household when I was growing up, and while a big part of that was obviously the wood crackling and the smell, even just the aesthetics of the orange glow does alot. It meant the room stayed a Katie-riffic temperature as well, I suppose. 2) the jacuzzi--in terms of pure jacuzzi-dom, by which I refer to just the actual tub itself, this thing was the nuts. It was ginormous, to begin with, designed for two people to be able to lay side by side with room to spare. Beyond that there was also the fact that, due to a window in the wall, you could choose to watch tv from the bath or enjoy the view of the falls. I did both and overall my back felt incredible when I walked away from that hotel in the morning. Admittedly it didn't have the gray marble or the LCD tv for Buffy/Sportscenter but it was stell a great tub and bathroom overall.

Alongside the great accomodations, there was the great food. The restaurant in the hotel, The Terrapin Grille, was actually where we went to dinner last Valentine's Day (well, as close as we get to Valentine's Day). They have great fish, so its a perfect lenten choice not to mention that it has a pretty view of the water and overall solid quality and atmosphere. We arrived about 7:00 for dinner and sat down soon after. I was going to eat fish anyway, so Katie chose the wine and it was a pretty decent Riesling. I must admit that I'm not a fan of sweet grapes, but if you've gotta drink white wine I would prefer a riesling with some character to what seems to me a universally lame chardonnay. We started of the fish-festival with a tasty platter of smoked salmon, which apparently Katie had never had before. I figured she would enjoy it and I was fairly sure when what came was true high quality salmon I knew I was right. Soon after finsihing that we received the entrees: Katie went for a repeat performance of the Pan Seared Chilean Sea-Bass, which was really perfectly cooked. It was about as tender and soft as you can make a piece of fish like that, it didn't flake or crumble in any way. Not to mention that whatever the glaze happened to be, it added a perfect sweetness to the whitefish that simply accented the mouth feel without in anyway interfering with the flavor. It wasn't a marinade, and that shows intelligence in preparation, you didn't need more flavor in a fish that good. I don't know if it was the exact same as last year, but it was chweet. I selected the special for the night, a pecan-crusted rainbow trout. Katie had apparently never even enjoyed the wonders of a trout fillet, which surprises me from a midwest gal, but nonetheless, it was truly a great meal. I can't describe it with the detail of the sea-bass, but let me simply tell you that it was as good a piece of trout as I have ever enjoyed. The lemon-garlic-butter sauce accented it perfectly and the contrast in crunchy pecans and firm but flaky flesh was solid. We finished the whole thing off with a chocolate gateaux that was really like a tiramisu for someone who hates either marscapone (impossible) or coffee (even less possible).

We made our way back to the Terrapin Grille for the breakfast buffet, primarily because I fucking love the breakfast buffet. The buffet in general is a fine art, but a truly excellent breakfast buffet is a masterpiece, a Sistine Chapel of my culinary world. It doesn't take anything special, you don't have to be innovative, but you have to execute a number of things in specific ways. Step 1) adequate "regulars"--by which I mean that you have a decent selction of breakfast breads, coffee, juice, milk, prolly some cerial, you know. This step includes most of the shitty you would find at a decent contintental breakfast, some bagels, croissants, maybe pastries. Step 2) quality meats--I didn't eat them, but they looked and smelled good and Katie like the requisites of sausage and bacon. Our buffet didn't exceed those requirements, there wasn't a carving station or anything, but it satisfied. Step 3) The fine touches--fundamentally the fine touches could be anything from hashed browns to some pancake like item to eggs and so on. Terrapin Grille proffered oven roasted breakfast potatoes and scrambled eggs to begin with. This was tipped over the edge by what may well be my two favorite things about breakfast buffets overall: fluffy waffles with whipped cream and an omelette station. Oh my God do whipped cream coated waffles and omelette stations rock. A fresh omelette made by someone who really knows what they are doing (which you fucking well better when given both your own fucking station and the nutzors of omelette making equipment) and has all the necessary fixings is awesome. I think that not only does its speediness and self-serve nature beat the omelettes that come out of a kitchen, but the fact that they know you are watching means they don't leave the omelettes alone to let them cook forever and dry out.

Alright, thats as much as I can humanly say about the breakfast buffet for now. Subject to begin with next time: Project Runway and its general ruleitude.



Friday, February 18, 2005

Just Like the Pied Piper, Led Rats Through the Butt

Katie and I finally watched the Project Runway end of the season get together thing and its freaking hilarious. Pete's contention is that Project Runway Season 1 is the best single season of a reality show in all of time and while I haven't been convinced entirely yet, this hour leads me towards that conviction. I think there is no question it is in the top three or so, if for no other reason than Jay is one of the best characters reality has ever seen. The behind the scenes shots indicate that not only is Jay funnier than he is portrayed (the impression of Olga's boyfriend, his "Hoe-si Klum" thing, etc) but that Robert is even stupider than you can imagine and that Wendy Pepper didn't just get Omarosa-ed. It seems that she is the jerk she looks like on the show.

Our tivo situation is dire at the moment, we are completely unable to keep up with the being gone every other weekend thing. I mean, its not like we don't record a buttload of shit, and at the moment we're behind on the Daily Show and Ellen. I mean, I'm also a week behind on Point Pleasant and a little more on 24 and Carnivale. I have finally been in the mood to catch up on those shows, at least 24, and I really want to watch Carnivale, but I feel so behind on the premise of the program that I don't know when it will make enough sense to prove completely enjoyable. Its got some great David Lynch-like moments and I'm a sucker for large scale good-evil conflict played out in unlikely small time circumstances. Anywho, Katie was gone last night and I watched tv like it was going out of style, but we were still like 90% full. Hopefully being home for most of the weekend will mean that we can catch up before we go on the final debate bender of the season.

That bender is a vicious whore, by the way, that for me includes Vermont and Washington, D.C. Thats two pretty extensive drives, espeically in comparison to previous trips to Buffalo, Rochester, Cornell, and Binghamton. Not to mention that I hate driving in the first place and certainly am not a big fan of doing it with a bunch of college personnes qui je ne connai pas. Apparently the drives are 6 and 8 hours respectively, but I'm not entirely sure I agree with that assessment, seeing as how last year's trip to Vermont took between 8-10 and I fundamentally just don't believe that D.C. is 8 hours away. I know what mapquest and google maps and rand mcnally all say and Katie has told me as well, but there is no way its only 8 hours away. While the tournament at Georgetown is hella far away, at least the schedule is pretty easy for a pretty cool place. Burlington, on the other hand, while seeming to be a pretty legit town, is a repeat of the ass-licking schedule from last weekend. 5 debate rounds on Saturday munches it, even if it is just JV and novice. I can hope/assume that they will lag power round 4 and since there are fewer complicated debates/decisions, that we will be out by 9 or so. Nonetheless, the prospect of another 14 hour Saturday looms large on the horizon. After those two Katie will likely be gone for a 10 day jaunt around the Northwest from San Francisco to Spokanne. Obviously the first half of that journey is way fucking cooler than the second. It means that while I will likely get alot of work done in early March, I will spend the 10 days leading up to and including Easter alone with Hippo.

Alright, I just wanted to say happy weekend. If you need me I will be watching this week's all new "The O.C."



Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Can't Fight the Seether, I Can't See Her Till I'm Foaming at the Butt

There were a ton of possibilities for butt-lyrics in this song. If I ever begin repeating tunes Veruca Salt has a couple more go-rounds. So Katie thinks my transcription of the Andy-Sanjay message is inappropriate. I think it both evades the use of naughty language and, since it is a direct quote/transcription, I don't think I get the blame. Not to mention, I just don't think there is a funnier way to convey the story than by transcribing it. I avoided the text of the less than presentable Auld Lang Sygne message so I think thats hard core restraint.

I haven't mentioned recently enough, how great a program the O.C. is. Important plot updates, it looks like Marissa is about to get involved with Alex, Seth's very brief girl-toy. Seth Cohen is still my second favorite character on TV and to be honest with you, now that Josh left the Bartlett administration, he's gaining some ground. Not to mention that Seth is in that great melodramatic angsty sarcastic situation that seems to always precede his relationship with Summer. I don't know for how many consecutive seasons they will be able to pull off that plotline, I guess you can keep varying his opposition from Luke (the anti-Seth) to Zack (the non-Seth) and at the very least you will have whoever happens to fill next season's logical role (according to the Grascian square) of the non-anti-Seth. Maybe it will be a sensitive water-polo player, I don't have the concept down yet.

The points I intended to make about this point in the season were twofold: 1) it rocks, everything about it rocks on and rocks hard, watch the OC, its one of the best shows on the air. 2) people are really pissy that Marissa likes girls. I mean, I can't say that most people are pissed about it and I don't really give a shit about what idiots who post on the O.C. forums have to say, but outside of people whose opinions I could have predicted (i.e. non-bigots) they are my only source of info. I can somewhat understand people who would say its a cheap publicity stunt, but if you've watched the show at all, its completely not the case. The whole idea fits pretty well into Marissa's life at the moment. A number of people indicated that their kids were pissy about the show, even if it didn't bother the parents, which just goes to show that you eat balls at capitalizing on potential teaching moments with your children.

Katie and I had a very nice Valentine's Day. I got her a pajama-gram which featured a pair of cashmere pjs I think she is very happy with. It was, of course, complemented with a box of Watson's truffles, a throw-back to the chocolates I gave her the night we got engaged. Even better, we are not done, since we are going to a suite in the falls next weekend, when we actually don't have a single debate to judge.

I am tired and I can't continue typing during one of Katie's favorite programs What Not to Wear. As a result I will say adios until sometime later. I feel profoundly unwitty. How bout this to wrap up. Should we get a google bomb started? Katie suggests "penis penis."



Monday, February 14, 2005

Nothing Can Stop Us, Not Now, I Love You, They're Not Gonna Get Butt

I am writing from the Binghamton debate tournament. It blows. I have judged every debate the whole tournament, including all 5 that occurred yesterday. Not to mention that each of those rounds was scheduled for like 3 hours, which meant that I literally left my fifth debate at 10:05 pm. That doesn't even account for the fact that 1) my last round was JV and 2) I get my shit started and finished on time. We didn't leave the school until about 10:45. It sucked ballz and sucked them very aggressively. Yesterday was a bad day all around. I officially have it off my chest and absent something more shitty occuring over the course of awards, sems, and finals, I will make no further mention of it. Leaving it there.

What follows is a literal transcription of a phone message I received the other day from the mobile telephone of APK:

"Penisssssss, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis. No dude, we should, uhh, watch Lost first. Penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis. Can we watch Lost first...(trailing off, phone handed to Sanjay)

Penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis penis...(2 second break)...penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis. (to Andy) You wanna do some penis? (phone handed back to Andy)

Penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis.

(Sanjay in background) I wanna do some penis. Lets do some penis. (phone handed to Sanjay) Penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis, penis.

(handed back to Andy) Penis, penis, penis, penis, penis. Penisssss!"

Its up there among the best messages I have ever been left. It doesn't really top the genital version of "Auld Lang Syne" or Kevin's series of computer speak raps. But its a high quality message none the less.

I am in one of the weirdest debates that could possibly exist. If you know anything about debate I've probably told you my general feelings towards performancey args. While I have voted for them before and will do so again (unfortunately) I don't find them really interesting. The thing that really doesn't make sense to me is that this is a novice debate and at this here Binghamton tournament, the novice debates are supposed to be (and I think mostly are) true novices, in their first or second debate tournament. While I certainly am not intending to imply that as a result they don't know anything or aren't capable of sophisticated argument, but what they certainly are not capable of are arguments about the way "debate is always done" or the way "debate traditionally deals with the concept of history." Not because they are stupid, but simply because they don't have any experience with policy debate. It doesn't seem genuine and its not a convincing personal advocacy when the audience knows for a fact that its no more a personal advocacy than any other team that has had their 1ac handed them by their coach. I think that would be a good argument, but its irrelevant for the purpose of this debate.

If you want to fuck with traditional debate, thats cool. You can debate however you want in the time allotted to you, don't get me wrong. That doesn't necessarily mean you win, it doesn't necessarily mean you don't. The way you win performance debates is by being such a quality debater that you can overcome the general stupidiy of your arguments.I think thats alot easier to do if you've learned the basics of the activity, the way to most efficiently phrase and articulate arguments. Its alot easier to mess with something when you understand it then it is to screw with it from the outset. I should also note that during the 1ar we were about as close as its possible to get to a repeat of the dot's NDT performance without public indecency ( I don't know if bras count or not).

Last comment about the debate I am judging. One of the dude's from Army has a distinctly non-American accent, seems to be Eastern European, I'm not smart enough to place it more specific than that. Anyway, the dude from Bard spent a fair amount of time juggling and the Army folks caught on this really quickly and it was their specific example of the ridiculousness of the aff. This resulted in both the 2nc and 2nr noting that he did not come "to learn about juggling balls." Thats funny in anyone's book.

I would normally add something to this, since I wrote it yesterday and am posting it today. However, it is Valentine's day, and hence the day Katie and I got engaged 2 years ago, so I'm going to spend my time with her.



Thursday, February 10, 2005

Miss A Beat, Lose The Rhythm, and Nothing Falls Into Butt

The WB is currently promoting, during pretty much every commercial break that I saw, both going into and out of the program "A World Premiere Valentine Scooby Event" and while that does serve to differentiate it both from the "Rerun Valentine Scooby Events" and the "World Premiere St. Patrick's Day Scooby Events" I'm not really sure how the whole concept fell together. If you wanna go with a whole stoner love theme or something chure, but that doesn't appear the case. In case you didn't watch the WB New Tuesday you might not be aware of these changes, I thought I should make you so and while I still think you should fucking start watching the Gilmore Girls (sidenote to AJ: though you are still obviously on the Uncle Pervy train for Rory over Lorelie, how hot did she look as Richard's best man? they're trying to make her hair all wavy and full so she can catch up with her mom...) since its really funny.

You take the good you take the bad, you take them both and there you have...the Project Runway Final Three. By that I mean to say that while Jay made the cut fucking Wendy Pepper beat out Austin Scarlett. I like Austin and hate Wendy with the burning passion of a red hot pair of testicles, so it was a bittersweet moment. Really I can't imagine anyone beating out Kara Saun anyway, so Jay essentially won by not going out at this stage. I'm sure that Bravo will have a marathon to catch everyone who didn't get the opportunity to share in Jay's gay-Jesus-ian glory up with the situation before the finale. They like marathons over there, Bravo : Marathons :: Baxter : Mashed Taters .

Tuesday, being Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Martes Gordo, Phat 2sDei, was the last day before Ash Wednesday, and hence time for a yearly delicious-steak dinner. We made the trip to Outback because Katie enjoys the comfort of the chain rather than the less certain atmosphere of a local joint. That doesn't really bother me, both cuz the Outback is pretty cheap and has a fairly decent porterhouse. The steak is not quite thick enough to be really cooked very-rare, but I still dig it. The whole thing was paid for by a leftover Christmas Visa gift card. Katie had the salmon that Hippo mentioned on her blog the other night. The one thing I will give Outback over and above most chain restaurants is the high quality breadstuffs that begin the meal in earnest. Obviously some quality joints have tastier bread, but a majority of places don't stack up to the pumpernickely goodness.

Did ya ever wonder why they call it Tinseltown? I mean, I haven't been there, but I doubt there is tinsel anywhere. Fuck tinsel anyway.

We are going to Binghamton tomorrow for the old Valentine's weekend debate tournament. It shouldn't be a bad time, though the Saturday schedule is more than a little dangerous. I mean, I can appreciate the necessity of not wanting to make the tournament three days or whatever, but if we're debating until 10:00+ on Saturday and don't leave the tournament until 9:00 on Sunday I don't think I will be very awake for the drive. The tournament has some tacky fundraising items which seem hella high school to me (not things that were hella cool in high school, either) but at the very least many people enjoy it and it raises more than a couple bucks for legit causes.

Alright. Best of the weekend to you all. I will say hey if the chance arises,otherwise rest assured that I will do more than my fair share of chocolate eating from now until Monday-ish. I suggest the lot of you do the same and enjoy the holiday if/when you celebrate it. Hippo says hey. And meow. And Purr. Chweet.



Sunday, February 06, 2005

Lets Get it Started, Ha!, Lets Get it Started in Butt

So we are counting down the moments to the Super Bowl and while we do so, I should simply mention to you the amazing thing that is currently taking place on Animal Planet. It is THE PUPPY BOWL!! You should tune to Animal Planet right now and see if you can catch a little bit of the show, especially if you're reading this on Sunday. Literally, this is a three hour program of puppies playing on a mini-football field. I have no idea who came up with this programming concept, but I think its clear that s/he is the smartest person ever to exist in any context ever. Without question. While you are on the Animal Planet website do me a favor, hi up the "Vote for MVP" link and vote for Itsy, the French Bulldog, as most valuable puppy. It was really really cute when it was playing with the big German Shepard.

I watched this Budweiser commercial that was rejected from the Super Bowl telecast. Its available at their website if you want to see it. The two things to note are: 1) its not really very funny, like the people on local sports radio were arguing for the entire fucking week 2) its not at all offensive, holy ass. I mean, I get that they don't want to draw attention to the fact that last year they showed a titty, but no one has forgotten. Why not allow a commercial that makes the whole thing seem like an accident? The Ostrich strategy is not going to get you anywhere on this one.

We're having a fairly low-key Super Bowl evening, just Katie, Hippo, and I. Hippo got a bunch of invitations to Super Bowl parties but she decided to stay in and enjoy some snacks with us. We're having cheese and crackers, sour cream and cheddar chips, bacon wrapped water chestnuts, fresh chocolate cake, and cheddarwurst with french fries. Its a tasty collection of foods but I sort of wish we had a group of friends in the area, the idea of throwing a Super Bowl party, or really any party, is very appealing to me. We have a great amount of entertaining materials and abilities, but I think the last person who came over to our apartment was Andrea on Katie's birthday. Admittedly we did plenty of hangin round the holdiays and we spend alot of our weekends at debate tournaments, but its still kinda sad. Maybe someday we will be able to figure something out so I have an opportunity to show off my wife, kitty, and skillz. We don't have much space I suppose, irregardless...

Fox just did a little piece on Javon Kearse and his inspirational brother-dying story. The intro to the film was Pam Oliver explaining that "Kearse lived for sacks." Unfortunately, the woman doesn't seem to differentiate enough between her soft "a" and "e" sounds and I had to rewind to determine that #93 isn't APK style.

I've been taking part in a virtual superbowl party at Big Screen's house this afternoon. Its pretty chweet. I am now officially a dual user of AIM and MSN Messenger, so go fuck yourself technology. Its just like being at home except everyone is small and they don't talk clearly and I can't talk to them and they look a little like there is a strobe light constantly going off. I wish I was there having a PBR right now.

Anywho, the game calls. I will betray my beloved NFC (as Pete has rightfully noted) and cheer against the Eagles. I just can't forgive the 4th and 26. Alright, time to enjoy the last NFL experience of the season. Its bittersweet, like the chocolate that went into this delicious moist cake, in front of me right now.



Friday, February 04, 2005

I'm Hooked on a Feeling, I'm High on Believing, That You're in Love With Butt

It was like medical day in the B-K household or something, regular doctor and optometry for Kate Marie and the vet for Hippo. I hate the medical establishment and I really do feel like all the fringe specific doctors are 99% sham. I know this is not accurate and a pretty silly distinction in the grand consideration of the fact that they are both subject to the same functions of capital and fundamentally, your average family practitioner makes about 10 times as much as the corporate dentist, but regardless. I feel like real doctor's shouldn't be trying to sell you shit. Your doctor is never like "We can cure your strep throat and if you want something else cured, we are offering a second condition for 1/2 off" or "You can go with the regular penicillin, or for an extra 39.99, you can get the SuperPen, which will do it in half the time." Not to mention that at a real doctor's office they try to keep the ads sort of in the background, mostly in the form of useful products which just so happen to be marked with random Proctor and Gamble shitty. You've got a pen from Mucinex and a stapler from Pfizer, etc. The eye-doctor, nope, they just fill the waiting room with brochures and booklets and posters and displays. Its like getting your oil changed at Precision Tune, where they really try to make their money by offering you useless shit and get you into the store with a $15 oil change thats worth a buck and a quarter. Pisses me off, but whatev.

Katie is listening to country music, and it blows. I'm not saying all country blows, I can totally handle country thats just twangy pop (i.e. Shanaya) or country thats just twangy rock (i.e. some Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, etc.) but the shit that is truly country just horrifies me.
Bottle of Red...Bottle of White...Bottle of Pineapple Schnapps

Hippo started her own blog the other day. She doesn't have a complete grasp over the medium yet, but I think she will get the hang of it soon. Today she was talking to me about the fact that she feels Adorno's condemnation of contemporary art is too harsh, but resonates with her general anti-aesthetic sympathies. I told her that this is exactly what she should be explaining to the world, that she would help to remove the common perception that female persian cats have no interest in philosophy. She articulately explained that she doesn't feel that every time she presents herself to the epublic that she should be held responsible for the entire persian kitty community. Power to the pussycat.

I reread Bret Easton Ellis' Glamorama today. Its on my 20th Century American Literature list and it might be my favorite book. Its certainly not for the faint of heart and it kinda blows that Katie will most likely never read it, but seriously its an incredible read if you've got some resistence to language, sex, and violence. I have a pretty high tolerance for representations of all those things, so I think its pretty notable that there is one scene towards the end that I can barely read. If anyone else has read it and can comment on the scientific viability of what happens to Chloe, I would be intersted. I can find no further information on the subject online and while I think Katie might be able to, she rightly figures that if it causes me to audibly groan, she doesn't want to know. Someday I'm gonna teach this book, but I think I'll wait until I've got tenure at a conservative christian school...

If you haven't started actively cursing the Eagles in advance of Sunday, its never too late to start...



Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Got Me A Movie, I Want You to Butt

Look, I have put off commenting on this for a long time. I didn't even see it until way after everyone else had and my guess is that most people here have seen this. Anywho, I should provide it for the people who haven't, because along with Ludacris' "Get Back" and Lindsay Lohan's "Over" it is quickly becoming my favorite song. Once you get addicted and spend half your time on the Internet doing the roof-raising dance in tribeuce to the dude (who, yes has some fucked-up similarities once he tilts his head back) you may want the lyrics and their translation. You may also not care about the lyrics since the best part about this song being in Romanian is that you can do a bunch of crazy make-em-ups and make the song about, for instance Hippo and how she likes to play with fishies or the idea of meowing. You could make it about APK and his proclivities for butt if you wished. The possibilities are endless.

So American Idol this season is interesting. The folks at Fox intelligently realized that the audition episodes do inordinately well in comparison to how hard they are to make and hence are airing like an entire month's worth. A shitload of people have tried to pull this year's William Hung but as of yet no one has been nearly that badly hilarious. The interesting thing has been the tremendous amount of people who are soemwhere between not traditionally attractive and completely butt-lickingly ugly but who, in the epic words of Randy, "can really blow." One dude today looked like he had mild mental disabilities but I could see him getting in the top 10. I forget how much I like American Idol and how fabulous the combo of judges is. There are combinations that just work on TV and Simon, Paula, and Randy are among those combos.

The only other television I will mention at the moment is Medium, which is a decent program. I think of it in much the same light as the show that immediately precedes it, Las Vegas. By that I mean that both are decent programs, both in their stand alone episodes and their overall plotlines. I wouldn't be upset if I missed either of them, but as long as they are on they will make my tivo. Medium has a tremendous amount of potential, since every episode opens with a dream. They could use those dreams in the style of Six Feet Under, but I can't expect every series to measure up to HBO Original Programming. Instead they would fit in with a serious moment on Two and Half Men or something. The show doesn't really explore much of the implications of her psychicness, though this week's episode had a moment very much reminiscient of the Oracle in the original Matrix. Its really just a decent regular cop-show with a psychic, though its fun to see how the dream's manifest in the context of the show. The true test of good mystery television is entirely lacking (there are no moments like occur with Locke on Lost for instance) but if you aren't a CSI: Miami fan or need something else to fill the lack of Monday Night Football its worth giving Patricia Arquette a try.

I need some new blogs to read by the way. I've got a number of good ones, but some of the folks I used to count on quit the biz in the past several months. I mean, I can just randomly select people's blogs but it does little for me. I don't have Katie's fascination with reading blogs simply for the voyeuristic qualities, I prefer stories I can follow in some sense, i.e. I have at least some tangential connection to. I read some high school debate kids blogs, both because I somewhat know them and because I have reference to their subculture. I could write an ethnography about them, probably better than the fake ethnography I wrote about ska culture my senior year. I don't know if that was a better acheivement than the fake quotes I made up from Joe and Cort for my American Studies paper when I was a sophomore. I wonder if those teachers paid enough attention to those term papers to find it odd that like 5-7 debaters cited two Minneapolis attorneys and "foreign relations experts" for their interview subjects.

A related story I don't think I've mentioned. In 10th grade district 196 "randomly" selects 3-5 English classrooms to participate in a writing sample thing to grade the district's overall composition abilities. I put randomly in quotes because what they actually do is select 2-3 random classes and then the two specialized-track English classes to artificially jack the scores, at least thats what they did at good old RHS. So anyway, the day we were to do these little writing things the teachers sat down and had a little conversation with us about how important they were for the school and the district and shit. We weren't the most respectful kids in the world around 10th grade so a bunch of us decided that, besides each choosing assinine ways to answer the potentially more assinine question "What was the most disappointing moment of your life?" we would each put my name into the essay somewhere. We were specifically told to not put our own names on them so as to prevent cheating or some nonsense, so we decided that got us around it. Corcoran wrote his about a track practice where I used to physically beat him, Ruiz indicated that when I lost the tiebreaker-game to Deep Blue he almost never recovered, and a number of others were fanstastic as well. Mine described the disappointment I felt when Nixon lost the 1960 election to Kennedy. Regardless, about a month later the whole class got a firm what's-for from Chazbo (Chuck Hokkannen) when the district flipped out that their ringers' scores were actually well below those of the regular classes. The readers also asked who the hell this "Baxter" person was, which did give Chazbo some hint as to who may have been responsible for the scores, not that he thought Jamie Tschida was screwing around on the assignment, but still. Good times.

Kurt on the Gilmore Girls tonight mentioned that the breakfeast buffet had "bagels and a variety of shmear." That is my new favorite phrase, all spreadable sauces are officially dubbed shmear from now on. I might have toast with peanutty shmear tomorrow. I could make a chocolate cake with a cream-cheese shmear. My shmearing life has just begun, I have alot of catching up to do.