Friday, January 27, 2006

Speaking of the Big O

Oprah's birthday is Sunday. Not that I'm such a fan that I have her birthday memorized, but everyone can name at least one person born on their birthday. I can name several:
  • Oprah, whose quoted as saying "All my life I always knew I was born to greatness." If I'd have known that years ago that she'd said that, things would make a lot more sense to me. Like the whole "Remembering Your Spirit" segments.

  • Tom Selleck: Quigley Down Under. There's a price on his head. A girl on his mind. And a twinkle in his eye. That's all I'm saying.

  • Edward Burns: Directed one good movie and had one good soundtrack. Unfortunately they weren't for the same movie.
  • Heather Graham: Dated Edward Burns. Perhaps the competing birthday parties lead to their break up. Either way her birthday this year is marred by the cancellation of "Emily's Reasons Why Not" after one episode. One reason why not: No viewers.

So I'm turning 27 when these people are turn...older than me. Yet that provides me with little solace. I'm young. I get that. However, I realize that the days are numbered when that could be my excuse. Don't forget to remember me on MY day.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What exactly is the 'emotional truth'?

About two years ago a book came out that I almost picked up. It had freaky-looking cover art and was a memoir. At the time, that's all I really looked for in a book.

Since I started reading David Sedaris books about that time, I started looking for other humorous memoirists. I stumbled upon Augusten Burroughs who was both funny and so utterly sad that my childhood looked perfect in comparison. Let's all admit it: the best memoirs make us feel better about ourselves and most do it because we're damn glad NOT to have gone through what the author has.

Anyway, I almost picked up James Frey's A Million Little Pieces because it was related to Augusten Burroughs (a memoir about addiction), but I heard it wasn't all that funny. So I put it down and didn't think about it again...until Oprah thought about it.

Last Fall, she picked the book as her next book club selection. I breathed a sigh of relief from having avoided it. Only once have I read an Oprah selection and that was because she picked the book AFTER I had read it. I really don't want to read anything that would remotely be considered"uplifting," "inspiring" or anything that claimed to have an effect on my "soul" or "spirit." I'm not that kind of girl.

However, she picked the book; Frey lied about what happened to him and got caught. What happens? First Oprah supported him because the book conveyed the "emotional truth." What the hell is the "emotional truth"? How can you "emotionally lie"? Is there an "emotional lie detector"?

Then she gets so many emails from people pissed off that they bought the book that she invites Frey on the show to berate him publicly and resend her previous defense of the book.

Here's what I don't get: Hundreds of customers are calling to get their money back. They know they only bought the book because Oprah told them to. The book was supposed to entertain. Did it do that? Yes. If you read it, then you got your money's worth.

Thousands of people are going to see "Munich" right now. Many of them believe that everything that happens in the movie is true because it was "based on true events." Should they get their money back too? A memoir is not a documentary or non-fiction piece. There isn't a lot of supporting statistics or studies that can validate an anecdote. People, you bought the book. Get over it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I'll Admit it, I'm Watching Celebreality shows

I resisted Dancing with the Stars. I graciously didn't have to witness Strange Love, the Flavor Flav/ Bridgette Nielson thing. I try to avoid reality shows that feature celebrities. I prefer to watch amateurs that think that their reality show will make them a celebrity.

However, it started this summer when I got addicted to My Life On the D-List. Mostly because I love Kathy Griffin. I'm totally watching her new Bravo reality show Alledly when it comes out.

But then came Celebrity Fit Club. I have to admit there's always something fascinating about seeing stars you remember as a kid that have been Supersized. They have great excuses for it to, like "I didn't want to be a sex symbol anymore" when the truth was "I wanted to taste every flavor of Haagen Daaz ever made."

My favorite was Jeff Conaway because he was clearly messed up. Not only on drugs, but also on ego. I don't care if you're the pope, when you start referring to yourself and using "THE" in front of your name, you deserve the fall, buddy.

And then last week came the worst of my digressions: Skating with Celebrities. I won't watch them dance, but add the element of potential danger and I'm there. Plus it had Todd Bridges, who didn't let me down by 1) not being able to skate and 2) using a phrase from Diff'rent Strokes that wasn't even HIS character's catchphrase. Priceless, but endearing in its sadness.

I watched again this week. I think Jillian Barberie and Kristy Swanson are the only ones worth really pulling for. What the hell am I talking about? I'm watching this for the same reasons I watch any celebrity-based reality show: I'm waiting for someone to fall.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I don't know what makes me more sad

I was driving to an appointment this afternoon and looked to see a homeless person rolling his cart down a major thoroughfare. Upon closer inspection, I saw that his cart was from Hills. I don't what makes me sadder: that the man was homeless so long that his cart came from a store that was prosperous in the Reagan days or that I miss the slightly warmed over pee smell that came from the Hills dressing rooms.

In my hometown, the Hills store closed down just as I moved into town. Shortly thereafter it became a Venture when I was in middle school. I got what I thought was a very cool purple suede vest there. I didn't, however, buy the bodysuit to go under it that was so popular at the time.

After Venture failed, it became a ShopKo. ShopKo is like a generic version of K-Mart, only with cheaper merchandise. Seeing as K-Mart had just opened the first in the line of "Super" stores to come to town just a few months earlier, ShopKo became the place to go when you needed toilet paper or Crystal Pepsi at a good price, but didn't want to wait in line.

After ShopKo left, I think the place became a warehouse of those transient mega blowout sales for a while. I'm not sure, but I know that Lara could tell me if I could get a hold of her. Now it's a Burlington Coat Factory but those in the know say it's in the old Hills building.

On another note, the Chinese New Year is on my birthday this year. It's the year of the dog and I'm trying to decide how I feel about that. I wish I could say that I wanted a dog for my birthday, but I'd settle for an ipod of any type. Damn all you ipodians!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Happy Cyberversary

I actually missed it. Last Wednesday was actually the one year mark of this blog. I think in honor of showing commitment to something for a year (God knows it wasn't my healthy eating plan), there should be a name. And not just a name, but crappy name that combines two things together and tricks you into thinking it's cute and clever. Plus I want royalty rights like Pat Riley with "Three-peat." I heard that Paris Hilton tried to get "That's Hot" trademarked.

So it was down to "cyberversary" or "annivblogary."

Nonetheless, it's Monday and it sucks. I was actually sick all weekend and not just faking it on Monday, like Presh. The only good thing about being sick on the weekend is that it gives you an excuse to lay in bed watching TV the whole time without the guilt of thinking "I should be doing something."

Friday was a day that I did everything on. I had a TV shoot, a 2 hour meeting and in between my boss was in town from Atlanta to do my mid-year review. It's days like that that make me realize why I don't schedule shit on Fridays. I prefer my jeans-wearing, slacking, blog-writing Fridays, dammit.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Why is Melanie Griffith famous? And other Burning Questions

Was it "Working Girl" that did it? Her also borderline famous husbands? Do two craptastic stars who are married equal one decent single star?

I actually didn't watch the Golden Globes last night. As much as I indulge in star gossip, I still can't sit through 3 or 4 hours of people congratulating themselves for reading well and working. Because that's what it is. Think about it: True celebrities aren't busting ass to make ends meet, so they only end up doing one movie that's released per year. How do they choose what movie? They read or have someone else with taste read and figure out what would be the best role to make a splash in.

Lately it's pretty easy to figure out. Here are some good standard rules for picking an award-winning or at least award-nomination garnering roles:

  1. Play the part of a recently deceased musician. (examples include Ray, Walk The Line) Hello? Who HASN'T seen VH1's Behind the Music? Make it a 2 hour episode and cast some cuties for a sure hit. Drug abuse never looked so good.
  2. Play the ugly person...for a change. (examples Monster, The Hours, TransAmerica, Million Dollar Baby, Bridget Jones) We like to see pretty girls gain weight so that they think they're "normal" in size. However, they're still usually about 30 lbs under the average American weight, so throw in a prosthetic nose for good measure.
  3. Add homosexuality, transsexuality or sexual ambiguity into the script. (examples Brokeback Mountain, Capote, TransAmerica, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Tootsie, Shakespeare in Love, anything with Hillary Swank) Tape down those tits. Tuck your schlong and kiss someone of the same sex. Then wait for Middle America to be pissed and the critics to rave.
  4. Play someone with an emotional or physical disability. (examples Rain Man, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, As Good As it Gets). It kind of goes with the audience wanting to see a person ugly. We also want to see them have a disability of some sort. It makes them seem like the dumb person we all secretly hope they are.

Enough about awards. I didn't watch the Golden Globes because I was watching '24'. It premiered over two nights with four great hours of Jack Bauer. It almost made the Colts losing on Sunday hurt a little less. It did, however, get me out of bed after my depression set in.

I'll get over it soon enough. Just not yet.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Luckiest Unlucky Athlete

Just a quick word today but the word is luck.

Over the weekend, a football player faced probably the worst luck in his otherwise lucky existence. Carson Palmer the Country Club Quarterback got his knee messed up on his second play on the field. Not just walking funny messed up, but physical therapy after two surgeries and some odd looking knee braces messed up. He's out of the game and the team trudges on with a back-up who was relegated to back-up because he couldn't get the job done. And he didn't on this day either.

That's bad luck. Here's the good news: Palmer signed his contract extension a mere 10 days before this incident guaranteeing him $118 million over the next nine years. Had he waited to focus on the playoffs he would've been worth about tree-fifdy.

That's lucky. Oh and he completed the pass for 66 yards that sacrificed the knee.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Have Your Cake and Puke it Up Too

Is anyone really all that shocked that at least one of the ultra-skinny stars in Hollywood has confessed to having an eating disorder? Are we taking a page out of the book of Tracey Gold now?

We know it's not a great trainer.

We know you aren't naturally "small-boned."

We know people aren't supposed to count ribs showing as a six-pack.

We know you don't really "pig out" on fast food when no one's around, unless you throw it back up again.

At least the "Growing Pains" girl had the balls to admit that her anorexia. Now it's Lindsay Lohan and bulimia. Shocking. A girl loses a shitload of weight and it's attributed to drugs and an eating disorder. The sympathy card has finally been played.

Excuse me if I don't have a lot of sympathy for someone who gets paid millions to read with emotion, sings as a second job and gets to party like it's 1999 every day of the week. There are plenty of girls with actual problems of divorce, rape, poverty and other horrors we like to pretend don't exist who have eating disorders without the public support of Vanity Fair. In fact, some of them are currently dancing to Lohan's songs at strip clubs.

Most of these celebriteens say they want to look good and feel pressure to lose weight for roles. However, some people NEED a little pushin' cushion to retain their cuteness and appeal.

Case in point.

Hillary Duff was passably cute on Disney. Now she looks like one of those all-day suckers you'd get at Disney World.

It's okay to have fat on your body. In fact, if you do it at the right time (ala Renee Zellweger and Charlize Theron), it might land you an Oscar.

For the love of Krispy Kreme, pick up some Glazed. At least some donut holes. And let them sit in your stomach.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I'm Gonna Flaunt It

I had to get out of the office this afternoon. It was one of those days that I couldn't break out for lunch and it was too early to leave but if I didn't get the hell out of my office, the walls would close in on me. So I did. And I recruited another refugee.

After piddling around the neighborhood, we ended up at this new little area of shops that just opened up. One of those places that make you feel 5 (or more) years older than you really are because of the cool factor. It's oozing from its hiply painted walls. I wanted to stop in because I'd heard of a hair salon that I'd been wanting to try. My last salon was great until the stylist told me she wanted to do a $200 every 2 months hair color on me. Then I was out the door.

Anyway, next to the hair salon was something I've been waiting for for the last 7 years: a plus size boutique. In my world, boutique usually translates into "overpriced clothes for old ladies." However, in this city, boutiques mean "overpriced clothes you that are unique." The place was called Flaunt, which seemed like a reasonable name because the owner was a big lady who was flaunting it.

For those of you who haven't had the experience of walking into a store and instantly having to dart to the shoe section because you know nothing else will fit you, you aren't missing much. What you are missing are the looks of disdain and annoyance (some imagined, some real) from salespeople who know that either you aren't going to gain them any real commission or your going to require scissors and needlenose pliers during your visit.

Flaunt had none of that. I walked in, felt at home and a great sense of freedom and satisfaction knowing that everything in the room would fit me. Not only fit me, but was designed to look good on people like me. The prices didn't even give me convulsions. In fact, with all the increases at Lane Bryant, the prices at Flaunt were about the same. So, I'm officially hooked. However, if this saga ends anything like my love affair with Arrested Development, I'm totally screwed.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Hatfield & McCoys of the Discount Dining Realm

Living in an urban area, I don't often get too inundated with the redneckness. I mean, there's the usual Rebel Flag stickers on trucks, the occasional "This Trucks too Low for a Fat Ho" decal and of course Calvin pissing on a myriad of things from company logos to NASCAR driver car numbers.

However, every now and again I get a snippet of life outside the city limits. This one came courtesy of an Associated Press story printed in our newspaper. The fact that it was printed once is questionable and the fact that it was reprinted in a larger newspaper is completely head-scratching.

The headline reads "Growing Dispute leads longtime customer to protest Waffle House" with a subheading of "It all started when he asked for milk for his coffee, man says." We get a story about a pissed off Waffle House customer. Has anyone NOT left a Waffle House and been pissed off for some reason?

Anyway, the long of the short of it is that the guy was told to buy a glass of milk for milk in his coffee. He was pissed and even more pissed when a regional manager accused him of smoking pot in front of the restaurant. That last allegation garnered him a ban on Waffle House from "here to Knoxville."

He sits outside a Waffle House with a sign that reads that the regional manager of "Waffel House" is "wagging war" against him, a disabled American "Vetran" (who doesn't play any sports-including basketball) and this regional manager of "Waffel House" wants to rule America like a tyrant--from the comfort of his little yellow box. The picture is really worth it all because it shows the man holding up his "Waffel House" sign in front of the restaurant's four foot tall sign with the correct spelling.

No one from Waffle House is commenting on this man's protest, which also includes 12 signatures in support. Again, I don't know how this made the paper. Let alone the front section of the paper. As a full-sized story. About a pissed off customer.

Anyway, happy new year and holidays and all that crap. I'm back in the office after nearly 11 glorious days off. 11 in a row. This morning really sucked ass. I hate it when people say "Well, you just have to get back into your life." Uh, hello. I was INTO my life. I was really into my life when you interrupted and made me go back to work. Work is income, hopefully something interesting to pass the time. Work is not life. If it is your life, you need some help.

However, we get off on MLK Day and I'm going out of town in February, so the sting of working is only going on long enough to daydream of more vacations and time off. Throw a birthday in there and the pain of post-holiday seems that much easer to deal with.

By the way, if this is global warming at work, I'm going to find every can of banned Aqua Net filled with CFCs and spray away. It's the second day of January and it's 65 degrees and sunny here. I'm only hoping this lasts long enough to enjoy. I'm also hoping the mildness of winter stays with us because we haven't gotten Chef a proper winter coat, so I always feel guilty when it gets below 30 outside. So raise your styrofoam cups and freon in unison.


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