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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Get Down and Break a Sweat

Something that holds a special place in my tiny, shriveled heart is fitness-themed 80's music videos. In all seriousness, I cannot get enough of them. It's like a glorious dance belt-fueled drug. There's just something about way-too-tiny spandex meets way-too-enormo hair that makes me feel completely at peace. Prior to today, my top five favorite fitness-themed 80's music videos were:

1. Call On Me - Eric Prydz - it's the gratuitious leotard thong shots. I'm a sucker for them.
2. Go For It - Hot Sundae
(Note: I realize that Hot Sundae is less of an actual group and more of a very special Saved By the Bell episode, but helllllllloooooo, there was totally a scene where they were dancing/working out/workin it on synchronized trampolines. What's not to love?)
3. Let's Get Physical - Olivia Newton John
4. What A Feeling - Flashdance
5. Don't Lose My Number - Phil Collins

Today my world was rocked when I was sent what is undoubtedly the greatest gym-themed music video of all time. Ladies and gentlemen, Carl Lewis.

Friday, March 24, 2006

This site has gone from hating pets to being about nothing but pets. I am nothing if not consistent.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Last night I got free tickets to see Movin' Out: The Billy Joel Musical. The combination of free tickets plus 2.5 straight hours of pure interpretive dance (sa-weet!) plus the fact that the musical did have multiple scenes which included the use of a grassy prop hill chock full of human skulls, made me feel like this: So I prepared for the event by making a special commemorative garment that would let everyone in the audience know who the biggest Piano-Man-inspired-interpretive-dance-musical fan was. It looked like this:

That shirt pretty much let everyone know that I was not to be trifled with. I came home, had a glass of tea, then said to my rockstar boyfriend, "man, I wish it would snow." Not two seconds later, the TV weather man announced that it indeed was snowing. And it was beautiful:

Today we're adopting a dog:

We might name her Ella Cool J. Also, three friends/family members were tested for cancer the week before. This week, all tests came back negative. This has been a fantastic week to be alive.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blogger has decided that it's no longer willing to upload pictures. Everyone's a fascist.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Like heaven.

Link courtesy of Flyingcarsdotnet

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sort of Political, Sort of

One of the major cultural differences between the French and the United Statesians [sic] is what subjects are considered taboo. One of the things that I love about le francais is that you can openly ask what someone pays in rent, what their political beliefs are, and in some instances, how much their salary is without any weird vibes coming out of nowhere or the feeling that an argument may be lurking just around the corner. I think one of the main reasons that it's ok to talk about political views is that the French recognize that politics is a spectrum, with the vast majority of people falling somewhere in the middle. Since everyone falls in a gray area, it's acceptable to clarify where exactly everyone stands in a rational way without the words "no fuck YOUR mother" ever coming into play.

The US of A, on the other hand, really struggles to compartmentalize opinions. You're either liberal or conservative, feminist or chauvinist, Huffington supporter or O'Reilly lover, and while there are voices of reason out there, all too often they're overshadowed by crazy, irrational jerks. What I particularly love to see is when one side goes so far to the extreme that they actually garner support for their opponent (i.e. people who compare Bush to Hitler...wtf?). Today while doing research I came across The Largest Set of Liberal-Baiting Merchandise on the Net. You don't even have to click that link to know that it's going to be ridiculous. This piece is probably my favorite:

not only because it disses any and everyone who speaks Arabic but also because it comes in baby bib and dog t-shirt form, the two best mediums for spreading a message like this. I like the picture above because a polo shirt is versatile and can go anywhere you want to offend an enormous chunk of the population. Other personal favorites include this bumper sticker:Who knew grand-children was hyphenated?

Double click on that and you'll find a trucker hat featuring Kerry on the flag of the Jolly Roger wearing an eye patch above a pirate cross of potentially poisoned catsup bottles. I feel like that's the kind of thing I would see if I did acid.

And finally:

I have always thought that tolerance is for pussies.

My main concern with this crap isn't really that it goes against what I believe, but rather that it doesn't even make sense. I have no idea why you would ever ask someone about their CONSERVATIVE grand-children or how a correlation between John Kerry and pirates exists. I cannot imagine that this stuff appeals to anyone, much like this shirt from the other side, found here:

What does that even mean? Am I not supposed to bag my groceries because the triceratops is extinct? Why does the person modeling this shirt have such a veiny arm? Is it because he pays homage to the Mesozoic era by refusing both paper and plastic? I'm so bewildered.

Or these shirts, found here:

Who thought this was a good idea? Why does Rumsfeld look like he's about to touch boobies? Where did they get that enormous gun? I mean, that's like comically big. I imagine that whoever drew this works at rodeos and has the unique ability to catch pies in his/her pants.

Or this:
Is this a lesson in anatomy? Or perhaps chiaroscuro drawing? Why is Jesus so pixilated? Would Jesus use a dot matrix printer? Is that what I'm supposed to understand from this picture?

As my grandmother once said, "Nobody likes a truckload of nonsense." I wish I had that on a t-shirt.

Happy Pi Day everyone. P.S. I love these shirts that just say "Math."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Shit Happens

The past two weeks have been craptastic. Not craptastic in the "the weather sucks" or in the "too bad I didn't get that promotion" kind of way. Craptastic in a way that involves the death of friends and possible cancer diagnoses (mmm plural) and job stress and many uses of the cliche "when it rains, it pours." Or floods. Whatever. Normally I'm pretty good about the whole 'be there for other people thing,' but recently it seems like there has been so much to handle that I've kind of withdrawn and been a way less-than-perfect rock for loved ones in need.

Loss and depression seems to be the theme of not just my week, but my family's as well. When my nephew (the 14 year old one) lost a friend in a car accident this past week, I went to my sister's house to babysit my 7 year-old niece so that the family could go to the memorial service. By the time I got to her house, I was a mess, they were a mess, and everyone but my niece was having some sort of a mental breakdown. My sister quickly shuffled her family out the door and then I was left with all these feelings of depression and resentment and anger as well as a 7 year-old who has no idea what's going on. Wanting to do something structured, where neither she nor I would have to think too hard about the awkwardness in the room, she got out her homework and proceeded to show me her assignment for the night.

"You have to change a letter or a sound," she said, showing me a list of ten spelling words. "Like this one. The word is bite, but I have to change a letter to make a new word, like kite, or change a sound to make a new word, like spite."

It sounded easy enough and it was until we got to the last word, which was 'hit.'

"I'm going to change it to shit," she said with a completely deadpan face, and for a moment, the first thing I thought of was, "Holy shit, I've been so careful not to use this word around her and she already knows it!"

Teaching kids about curse words is a parent's responsibility. This is not my place, nor do I feel comfortable educating children about why you shouldn't use words like shit when I, myself, am so very fond of them in the company of friends and on occassion strangers. Being emotionally drained and not having any idea what to do, I just said, "Julia, let's not use that word. It's not very nice and some people might get offended."

"People get offended by a lot of words," she replied. "You wouldn't care if I used the word 'angry' or 'mean.' Those aren't nice words either. I'm going to write down 'shit' now"

"Julia," I said. "For me, just because it's been a terrible week, please don't write down any curse words. They're not nice to use, they might hurt someone's feelings, and there are lots of other words you can use instead. Why don't you use the word 'bit' or 'fit?'"

And with that, I heard one of the loudest, most mellodramatic sighs I've ever heard followed by a slow motion eye roll followed by, "'Shit' is a word. duh. It's in the dictionary. My teacher is a grown-up. Stop being soooooooooooo immature."

And with that, I laughed for the first time in days and stopped being sooooooooooo immature.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I read this out loud to three different people today because yes, it was THAT funny. In other news, I saw three different people today! Excruciating loneliness that comes from working at home and never ever leaving the apartment, consider yourself hosed.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

When You Have a Kidney Stone the Size of a Nickle, I'll Make One For You Too

The 14 year-old who received this loved it.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Funeral

26 weeks ago, the first of my friends got pregnant. Not just any friends, perhaps two of the most mature, prepared, loving people I have ever been lucky enough to meet. After moving from a foreign city where families are started much later in life to the good old American South where at least 80% of my friends have the house, the ring, the dog, and in some cases, the physical white picket fence too, I have been anticipating the “I’m pregnant and we’re both very excited about it” call for months now along with all the weirdness that would come when friends first start making people.

When you live life for yourself and your own selfish whims, and a friend is living their life for the good of someone else, there will inevitably be a shortage of common ground. Disregarding the sharp change in nighttime activities, having a child is such a beautiful, momentous, terrifying adventure for those involved that it’s hard to relate if the most difficult thing you did with your day was fill up your car with gas. What did you do today? Ate ice cream and thought about who the cutest captain of the Enterprise was, by the way, it's totally Picard. What did you do today? Celebrated the friggin miracle of life and worked tirelessly to raise a small part of the next generation of humans...Booyah. People with kids (rightfully) always have the trump card whereas people without kids tend to have better shoes.

Today I got to hear my friends speak of their child growing up, of teaching him to drive, to fish, to respect others, to become a giving and thoughtful person and a part of something much larger than himself. Songs were played and letters were read. Tears were shed and hugs were given, in part because we really didn't know what else to do. Everyone who attended today's service tried, as best as could be expected, to celebrate that child’s short 26-week life through photos and prayer while trying to show his devastated parents how much we truly love them as well. And there when all was finished, there was a weirdness, but there was no lack of common ground.