Sunday, February 10, 2008

The 50th Annual Grammies-ugh

To be fair, I joined the show in progress, so maybe what happened before I started watching was better, but from what I have heard - it wasn't.

I walked in on Tina Turner and Beyonce performing - that was great. Beyonce is an amazing performer. But then after that, it was the most horrible awards show ever. Someone at the Grammies who produces the show needs to learn how to keep a young diverse and short-attention-spanned audience engaged...because this was the show:

Kanye West being an ass (yeah, he's a great musician, he's talented, but he's so freaking full of himself and I have never quite figured out why everyone thinks he's God's gift to music and treats him like he just saved a child from and attacking king cobra) and getting in the obligatory tear for his mother who died from plastic surgery, moves into

Some weird gospel revival (with Aretha Franklin who looked like a scary, giant lemon reminiscent of a James and the Giant Peach moment, and a group of weird women dressed in bad shiny prom dresses and white waiter shirts tied at the waist) moves into

Some bluegrass tribute (which I didn't even pay attention to, and I actually like bluegrass...there are some amazingly talented bluegrass singes out there) moves into

Some random new artist named Feist singing a song that I only know from iPod commercials - only the iPod version is MUCH better than the live version (which amazes me because artists have managed to make their songs hits by using them in commercials...whatever happened to just getting DJs to play them??) moves into

Some random weird stuff with Kid Rock (like they were singing bad old show tunes) moves into

Stevie Wonder tooting a harmonica for 3 seconds and then stumbling through a tribute (I think he went on stage for a different reason, then did the tribute??) moves into

Alicia Keyes performing (OK, she's good) moves into

VINCE GILL ACCEPTING AN AWARD AND CALLING OUT KANYE WEST (Ok, that was one of the best moments in television history...the instant that is out on YouTube, it's going into this blog.) moves into

An orchestra playing some famous movement that I'm pretty sure I know better from Charlie Brown shows or some commercial like Prudential Life investments or some other insurance/investment company (Which was way too long, slow and boring to be playing at 9:30 on a Sunday night - keep us more engaged than you do by playing some long version of a song from a commercial. I also think this song is used by at least one skater and by the broadcasting television station in about 97% of Olympic games )

And through all of this, it has been an Amy Winehouse/Foo Fighters love fest.

First of all, Daughtry should have won rock album of the year, did anyone really know the Foo Fighters had an album out? (OK, yes, I did, but that's not the point.)

I don't get the obsession with Amy Winehouse. I am pretty sure that everyone thinks that Amy Winehouse is the world's greatest human being and we should all support her for standing up to "the man" by being an insane drug addict. She's a heroine. Or on heroin. Not sure which at the moment. And then they have her perform live from London, and she doesn't even sing a song I know, that turned into "rehab" which I never even realized was her. Ironic that her song that won her all of the awards is called "Rehab?" Ugh. Spare me. She might be performing at a television studio. This is so strange. At least Cuba Gooding basically called her out on "We didn't know if she could perform tonight." I also just conculuded while chatting on line with E that she is reviving the beehive because it's easy to maintain - doesn't need to be washed or brushed. Perfect the recovering drug addict.

Here's the other thing I haven't understood all night - the weird, awkward "lifetime achievement" honorees given out every 10 minutes without really talking about or showing clips of them. And about 99% of them were dead I think.

Ahh, and we got to see Amy Winehouse so "gracefully" and tearfully realize that she won song of the year. That was one of the strangest television moments of all time. She thanked her incarcerated boyfriend or husband, whatever he is. And said he was incarcerated. She was so obviously out of it. They never should have shown her speaking.

At least they could cut away and not show her anymore, whether than starting the weird music that made Kanye West turn into super ass and throw a fit like he's sooo great we can't cut him off. (By the way, when he made the comment about the right time to stop playing the music was when he started talking about his dead mom, I would have turned the music up, cut away, and left him there throwing a fit until he had to be dragged off the stage before the commercial break ended.)

Yeah, the Grammies sucked.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


* I've given up on a "Super Stuff" post that covers all of the super stuff I didn't cover before: Super Bowl Sunday, Hillary Clinton, Super Tuesday. There's just too much to say. So I'll just start with Hillary, and politics, and my "endorsement," and finish the rest later.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Hillary Clinton was speaking at nearby Augsburg College. (Obama had been in town the day before, but I was working so I couldn't go.) I love going to campain stops, no matter the party. In the last two presidential elections, I have gone to campaign stops by both parties. In 2000, I saw Lieberman's daughter do a Gore/Lieberman stop and Jeb Bush's son do a stop for Bush/Cheney at UF. In 2004, I saw Bush at the Xcel Energy Center, Kerry at the Metrodome parking lot, and Edwards at the university at which I now work. It's fascinating to see how each candidate runs a campaign, how each party differs in their approach, and how the supporters of each candidate differ.

I think it's pretty clear that I'm rather liberal, I'm a registered Democrat, and I'm pretty much going to vote Democrat (DFL in Minnesota). So I have no problem declaring that the presidential endorsement of goes to....drumroll, please...Hillary Clinton.

I had a great time going to her campaign stop in Minneapolis. First, the crowds at campaign stops are highly entertaining. There were two women behind me in line, chit chatting as we walked alongside the domed football/soccer field to get into the basketball arena. At one point in time, they were discussing how atrociuos it was that their friend's daughter had dressed her kids in spring outfits for the baptism they all attended on Saturday. The horror! I mean, those kids were probably wearing pastel blue, green, and pink - and ruffles. Possibly even white shoes after Labor Day?? They were warm enough, but they were in "spring outfits." Amazing that the families are still friends.

These same two women were then talking about whether Chelsea and Bill would be there. One of the women opined that Chelsea was going to be stomping elsewhere, so she wouldn't be in Minneapolis. "Stomping? Like the musical??" That was the thought in my head. Until I realized that she probably meant "stumping." Old people are funny.

So then we got inside, and although there were a ton of seats in the bleachers, I walked down by the stage, where I got really, really close to the stage for all of the action.

First, I listened to Senator Mark Dayton. Before he spoke, he walked along the rope and shook hands. I didn't really have any desire to shake his hand. He's kinda strange. But he made me. So I did. And he said it was nice to see me there. I supposed that's as opposed to being nice to see me at the Science Museum of Minnesota? Then I saw a college security guard conferring with a Secret Service agent. This struck me as funny, so I took a picture.
Then St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman spoke. I like him a lot. He informed us that the early score from the Super Bowl was "Bud Light leads by a touchdown."

And former VP Walter Mondale was listening closely.

And this guy had a really funny shirt on.

And then Senator Clinton arrived. This is how close I was to her! See how happy she is to see me!?! (yes, I know she's not looking right at me when I took the picture)
Then she got up on the stage while I, and every single person attending the event, took pictures. (It was actually really funny to watch everyone in the gym hold up their digital cameras and open cell phones with cameras for the 20+ minutes between the last speaker and when Hillary actually arrived. The instant the last speaker spoke and the Augsburg band stopped playing and the campaign CD with Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" and other woman-power songs started, everyone turned on their cameras and flipped open their cell phones, held them in the "ready position," and stood there until she arrived. I wonder how many cameras/cell phones either went into "auto-shut-off" mode or had their batteries die while they waited for her to appear. I was hysterical to see an entire gym fullied with people holding rectangular silver electronics at 90, then 85, then 80, then 75, etc., degree angles from their body as their arm tired, and finally they used their weak arm to hold up the other arm.)
Then she took in the applause. And I, along with the tall guy in front of me, took pictures.
Then she may have seen someone she knew, and a semi-tall person in front of me showed his/her approval.

Then Walter Mondale started to introduce her.

And kept introducing her.

Then she spoke. (Semi-paraphrasing) "I believe in universal health care for everyone! And if you have health care you already like, then don't change anything. Keep it. Go on. But if you don't have it or you can't afford it, then join in the universal health care plan."

Then after she finished, Mondale left, and so did I, because the Super Bowl had already started and I had to go pick up my guacamole and take it to the pot luck Super Bowl party at the bar I was heading to.

All in all, it was a great afternoon, and it was well worth missing the first 13 minutes of playing time in the first quarter of a great Super Bowl. Later on, I will pontificate about my political thoughts, where I agree with Hillary, what was great about the Super Bowl, and what is right and wrong with the Super Tuesday caucus in Minnesota. So stay tuned!

Super Mutant Mushrooms*

* This post was supposed to cover: Super Mutant Mushrooms, Super Bowl Sunday, Hillary Clinton, Super Tuesday. But due to a scientific discovery in the middle of writing this post, I decided it deserved a listing of its very own. I will cover the rest of the topics in a later post. Possibly later tonight!

And now that I have your attention, let's start with the most menial of these intended topics, although, I'll admit, it's the topic over which I have spent the most time obsessing this week...

Super Mutant Mushrooms.

I have a nice plant growing on my shelving system, it's basically a pencil-man plant (I don't know the real name of the plant...but I got it from The Mom and brought it up here to grow). Last week, I noticed that I also have Super Mutant Mushrooms growing alongside the pencil-man plant, and I didn't know where they came from!

They had the strangest, and shortest, lifespans.

In the morning, at 7:00 a.m., it would be a fuzz on the top of the soil. Then it would grow into a dome.

Then when I would come home at lunch, it would have a stem starting to grow.

By the time I got home from work, it would be a full-fledged mushroom!

And then by the time American Idol came on, it would be folding in half and dying. By the next morning, it would crumpled and shriveled on the dirt. Dead. I didn't take a picture of that, because that is just depressing!

Now here's the even more interesting part of the story. While I was waiting for those above pictures to load into my blog, I grabbed my bag of cactus and succulent potting soil because I was going to mix a little bit in with some Miracle Grow potting soil to plant some herb seeds, I was curious as to how that mix of soil would do versus Miracle Grow only. But that's besides the point.
So I open up the bag to stick my hand in to pull out some soil...and what do I see? THIS:

The source of my Super Mutant Mushrooms!

Now I don't know what to do. The weird thing is, I planted all of my cacti and succulents in this stuff. But only the pencil-man plant is growing mushrooms. And they only started growing a week ago, and this stuff has been planted in this soil for months now. WTF??

Monday, January 28, 2008


I couldn't not document this moment.

After the speech, Bush walked up the aisle signing programs with a Sharpie. I have a couple of questions...

1) Who provided the Sharpie? Did the president pull it off the podium as he stepped down? Did he have an aide stationed at the end of the row who provided him with the Sharpie?

2) Do congresspeeps or representatives think about that kind of thing going into the speech? Do they say to their wives/husbands/children/mistresses as they walk out the door, "I'm going to have George sign my program tonight! I have a Sharpie with me! Should I bring blue or black? Or maybe red??"

3) Is that Sharpie going to wind up on eBay, or in the George W. Bush Presidential Library? Everyone knows it's one or the other.

4) I wonder if anyone lost a cap to a Sharpie and now has permanent ink all over a gorgeous, expensive, tailored suit.

Yes, I am infantile when watching serious political events that impact our future. I'm really OK with that!

The State of the Union address

Subtitle: What you're really thinking when you're watching it.

I'm watching the State of the Union address. Mainly I kept watching it because the things the analysts were saying before the actually speech started were so freaking funny, I kept it on. So here's my view of the State of the Union. And before I even write it, I'm pretty sure that this will ensure that I'm never invited to the State of the Union address. Which is fine, as long as I'm invited to the after-party.

* First, I heard Katie Couric start up because I had been watching the great shows on CBS like "How I Met Your Mother" and "Two and a Half Men." She comes on and talks about George Washington's last State of the Union address and now George W. Bush's last State of the Union address. What? Did she just try to make a comparison of the father of our country who will not tell a lie and chopped down a cherry tree to the man who probably wonders why it's not the States of the Union address? I flipped the channel.

*But not before I heard Katie say that Bush said that "there wouldn't be a lick of nostalgia" in the address. Can take the boy out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the boy, I guess.

* Then I get to ABC. The guy on that channel just said, "This is the one speech of the year he really gets up for." I'm not gonna lie, that made me giggle like a 12 year old. Maybe they should have proofed that comment before the analyst read it aloud.

* An analyst on one of the above stations noted that "Clinton and Obama have not shook hands yet."

* Here's my thought, and I think it's brilliant. If I were a candidate, I would skip the State of the Union and campaign - you know where all of your opponnents would get the leg up, out there campaigning and knocking on doors.

* I also think that tonight would have been a great night for a caucus...would probably be the highest attended caucus ever...since there's nothing else on TV.

* So I flipped to NBC. And the speech started, so I didn't have an analyst to make fun of.

* Our president started the speech with the standard "Speaker of the house, vice president, members of congress, fellow citizens of the United States....blah blah blah." As he got that started, I was really hoping to hear (and this may be from seeing soo many parodies of him on late night television)..."Speaker of the house, vice president, members of congress, fellow citizens of the United States....Live from Washington D.C., it's Monday Night Live!!" And maybe stick his tongue out.

* My favorite part of the State of the Union address is when everyone stands up and sits down on cue. Makes me want yell a cheer from our high school football games that went something like "Stand up! Sit down! Fight! Fight! Fight!"

* I absolutely love watching the faces of the Veep and the Speaker of the House who get stuck sitting behind the president so you have to look at them the whole time. They are pretending not to fall asleep, to not react too sharply so their constituents get upset, and to not laugh at him.

* It's even more funny to think of all of the people there in the audience watching, knowing that at any second a camera could pan to them to get their reaction and that they could be caught picking their nose, sleeping, rolling their eyes, dropping a pen on the floor, making an origami crane. I know I would be. Or I might bring a laptop and write a blog while he's speaking. The noise of the click-clack on the keys would be similar to what the popcorn machine popping popcorn during the silence of the national anthem at a basketball game would sound like.

* One of my favorite all-time lines that a politician uses is - "And to make sure that the Constitution really means what it says." Yep, he just used it. I don't get that line. Of course it really means what it says? Would anyone take it seriously if it didn't mean what it said? It's not like the Constitution is your mom, who got pissed about you breaking a vase, and you won't admit it, so she says "Henry, if you don't tell me who broke that vase I'm gonna......." And don't you think that by now, all of these years later, someone would have figured out what the Constitution means? If not by now, I think it's too late.

* No wonder things are going bad in the Middle East...there are armies of compassion marching through there. I'm pretty sure that if we have to be other there, we should march armies of fighters through there...will probably be more effective.

Ok, enough thoughts!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


The motherboard went out on my computer at work today. Which I initially interpreted to mean that I can no longer summon the force to be with me. What it really means is that I can't plug my keyboard in anymore because the purple thingy that you plug the purple pluggy-thingy into is loose.

At least that's what I narrowed it down to mean. All I really knew was that my keyboard didn't work anymore. I couldn't get any other keyboards to work, and the IT people couldn't get it to work. And they couldn't believe I had used my computer earlier without a problem. So the explanation I kept hearing was "the motherboard is gone."

Where does a motherboard go? Why didn't I see it leave? Why can't we just get it back?

How did I get put onto 4 different technology-related committees at work when I can't
figure out that the purple thingy is loose on the back of my computer?

So I looked up "motherboard" on Google. (See, that was my ploy to get my blog to pull up on a Google alert!!) I got a Wikipedia hit. Apparently, a motherboard is also known as a "mobo" for short.

If our IT guys had called it a "mobo" I would have probably been insulted. But I may try calling the help desk tomorrow and asking how my "mobo" is doing!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Superiority Complex Alert

While watching the Giants take down the Packers in true NFL-greatest-games style (and by the way, I called that Favre he dropped back in the pocket, I called it and I have a table full of people who may or may not have had fewer than 10 drinks to vouch for me), halftime brought about a conversation about blogs.

A friend of mine recently started a blog, and we were gathered with a group (including a Packers fan showing her green and gold pride til the very end, while I wore my 1956 Frank Gifford jersey) at a local watering hole to watch the game. The topic of conversation became "Why do people have blogs? Why do people read them? Why do you write your blog?"

For me, the answer is simple, and it's something for which I get made fun of endlessly by The Family and pretty much anyone who knows me, I like to tell stories. And I think I tell good stories! Lots of details, interesting plots, fun characters. What's not to write about?

As for why do people read my blog? Well, the answer is easy, as far as I can tell. Quite frankly, my writing is funny, engaging, interesting, informative, educational, and cultural - all in one.

And people are surprised to find out that I'm from New York?? Must be because sometimes I say an "o" funny.

(Also, by the way, Shaggy is on Jay Leno right now, and you gotta have love for a rapper wearing 1700s-era military garb. That's brave.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pick a side!

* I am very excited that the Giants and the Packers are facing off in the playoffs tonight. Not because I'm particularly a diehard fan of the Giants (I grew up in NY, have always liked the Giants, but developed a Bucs loyalty in Tampa when they still had those horrible orange jerseys with that weird Johnny Depp-like pirate logo where the thing looks like it has a rose in it's mouth - very tough for a football player to wear), but I live in St. Paul, Minnesota, the crossroads of Packer and Vikings fans. Everything around here is colored yellow ("gold") and purple or green. If you wander into the wrong bar on a Sunday you will see a bunch of people with fake cheese on their heads stand up and mimic an official as they yell "And that's another Green Bay Packers' FIRST DOWN!" then sit down and cheer. So when you live in that environment, and you don't really care one way or the other for either take advantage of your chance to be obnoxious back. And I have a 1956 World Champions New York Football Giants #16 Frank Giffford (the MVP that year) throw-back jersey to wear. So my first and primary goal for today is to find a bunch of Packers fans to watch the game with. I aim high for entertainment on Sunday afternoons when the temperature drops below zero.

* The midwestern Packers/Vikings color scheme is very convenient and cheap for branding, you can buy everything in yellow, and print in one color, depending on the team. Must be how they save money for all of that beer and cheese.

* The New York Rangers are on NBC today for the NHL game of the week. It's a day of watching my favorite winter New York teams play! Go G-men! Go Rangers!

* Does anyone know where Obama stands on anything? I haven't heard him say anything of substance yet. Hmmm.

* Last night I went to BW3s at about 11:00 p.m. Normally, BW3s is pretty slow on Friday or Saturday night at that time...but when we walked in, it was hoppin' and there was only 1 table left in the corner. As we snagged it, we saw that the fuss was about the pay-per-view Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title bout between BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson. We happened to walk in just as they were taking to the octagon, so we saw the whole thing! Wahoo. And then there were some other fights. Two more, if I remember correctly. Here's a recap of what you, too, could have seen for about $487 on pay-per-view (slight exaggeration):

** Bouts are in five-minute rounds, FYI. (I learned that last night.)

** The first bout, the guy who ultimately won - Penn - knocked Stevenson onto the mat in about 4 seconds, and they basically laid on the floor hugging for five minutes. One time, Penn swung at Stevenson's forehead with his elbow and created a blood geyser in the dead center of his forehead. Cool. But basically they just hugged and spooned on the floor for five minutes. Exciting. I can't believe people can actually commentate that. Then the fight ended about 2 minutes or so into the second round when Penn turned Stevenson's head purple. Well, purple and red, cause blood was everywhere. Cool again.

** I can't figure out how you hire announcers for this support. "Look, he's holding him on the ground!" "Look, he's holding him tighter!" "Ohhh, they are slippery, all covered in blood!" "He's holding him again!" "OH, he got away!" "Oh, he caught him again!" Apparently, stuff was happening - enough to write an article about it, read the story about the title bout. It's kinda funny to read.

** Then, in an attempt to make everyone believe they were at a WWE event instead of UFC...the guy who lost the title belt when he was suspended for taking nandrolone came into the ring and trash-talked the new champion.

** Joe Rogan does post-bout interviews and color commentary. Yes, THAT Joe Rogan. I didn't know that. Apparently he has been doing it forever. Or ten years. Whichever is longer. He's pretty much a tool.

** The second bout lasted about 19 seconds. No joke. I think one guy tripped the other and he bruised his hammy. Done. Champion crowned.

** The third bout lasted 1:30. No joke. One guy held the other down. The other got away. Then he hit the crap out of the first guy's head and an official wearing rubber gloves stepped in to stop him. No fun there.

** The ring official wears rubber gloves. That's funny.

** Yes, I definitely see why people pay $487 to see that. Or go to BW3s and buy a $4.75 beer and watch it instead. Or accidentally walk into and watch it without knowing it's happening.

* I did find a new name to add to my favorite athlete names list, which currently consists mainly of Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkonen, and Temu Selanne. Check this one out, and say it out loud: Alessio "Legionarivs" Sakara .

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

Well, I finally took my first-ever Christmas tree down this week, but not without much sadness. I also put away my wreath, stockings, table decorations, rotating musical ceremic Christmas tree, mugs with angels on them, and wrapping paper. Booo.

Many of you may remember the great purchase that was my Christmas tree. The Parents did drive the tree up to me this summer! So it was well worth the $17.25.

And this is what my tree looked like without the lights on:

And this is my tree WITH the lights on and no flash:

And this is my tree WITH the lights on and with the flash:

Until I took these pictures, I didn't realize that my tree was crooked. Sad. Next year I'm putting it up, taking pictures, and straightening it based on those pictures.

But I was very happy to have my first Christmas tree up! I can't wait til next November to put it up again!

Premiere of Season XVIIXNIV of American Idol Tonight!

Ok, I got a little confused between the Super Bowl and American Idol...but similar excitement level! Plus, I never actually know what Super Bowl is being played because, seriously, who in the world can read Roman numerals? And I think it's actually only season 7 of Idol...not XVIIXNIV, which I think is officially infinity.

But if anyone wants to talk to me between 8/7 Central and 10/9 Central will have to come to my apartment and be quiet in between commercials. I will be taping tomorrow's show, since I have to work, but I'll give you warning as to when I'm watching it so you won't bother me.

Just think, another season of amazing singers, stunningly horrific individuals, sappy stories about lost dogs/baby daughters/forgotten dads/broken down trucks on the way to auditions/missed college finals/fired-from-jobs-for-auditioning/broke because of buying the bus ticket to get the point! I can't wait!