Monday, July 21, 2008

It's okay, guys. I have faith in you.

Netflix is one of my favorite inventions, especially after the Video Warehouse experience noted below. There are over 200 titles in my queue (I love that word. Queue.) and I reorganize them obsessively. Every now and then, though, one slips through the cracks and I wind up standing in front of my mailbox wondering what the heck that movie is and why I wanted to see it.

So there I stood this past Friday, looking quizzically at the envelope containing
The Last Kiss. For one thing, I am not a big fan of Zach Braff. I have never remotely liked Scrubs and I don’t find him so much zany as I do annoying. But I seem to remember reading some review that said this was a bright and shining moment for new filmmakers, so realistic, so true-to-life, so I suppose that was how it landed in my mailbox and wasted two hours of my life.

Let me just give you a synopsis of this little gem of a film so that you can keep those two hours for better use. The Last Kiss tells the story of four lifelong friends (including Casey Affleck, always a bonus) facing 30 in Wisconsin. Guy #1 has a meltdown after his girlfriend leaves him and makes the decision that a road trip to Mexico will solve his depression – which is not such a big deal. Guy #2 hooks up with this um…”totally uninhibited”…chick at a wedding and discovers she is his dream girl, only to freak out at the thought of meeting her parents and join the crazy Mexican field trip. Guy #3 decides that rather than work on his marriage he will leave his wife and child and join the Mexican field trip as well – although (being Casey Affleck) he does bail on the road trip at the last minute and come back to be a father, if not a husband.

Meanwhile, Zach Braff becomes the world’s biggest idiot. He and his girlfriend (Who is Jacinda Barrett, who I have loved ever since she was on The Real World.) are expecting a baby. So as the level of responsibility grows, his mental age lowers. Find out you’re going to be a Daddy? Flirt with a cute college kid. Think about buying a house? Sneak away to meet said college student and make a date for that weekend. The drama comes to a boiling point when he gets busted by sweet Jacinda – who I might add is the perfect woman, and I’m not saying that as my opinion, I am repeating the opinion of one of the Doofus Brothers in the film. So Jacinda busts him, he gives the whole, “It didn’t mean anything…now I know how much I love you” line, she tells him to leave AND HE GOES BACK TO SLEEP WITH THE COLLEGE CHICK!!! And of course, Jacinda at last takes him back, because he slept on her porch for three days.

So this is true-to-life drama? I mean, these things happen. Cheating, divorce, idiocy. I get that. We’ve all been through it. But what this whole movie says is that men my age are stupid. I’m not saying I think men my age are stupid. I am a huge fan of men my age – maybe not Zach Braff, but most of them. But still - is this how Hollywood is defining the men of my generation?

Damn. If I was you guys I’d be pissed off.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Extend THIS, Out-Sourced Telemarketers.

So I'm having a crap day. The definitive "one of those days" days. Every question is asinine. Every phone call annoying. I answered the phone 7 times today only to find out - from a recording - that this is my 2nd chance to extend the warranty on my car. Keep in mind that I drive a 1995 Mazda. If the Clicks26 is under ANY sort of warranty, I assure you I am not aware of it. Not to mention the fact that I was at the office, so how did they know it was my car they were offering the warranty for? Finally, on the 7th go-round, I smashed down the number 1 button in a rage and a very nice Eastern Asian woman with a heavy accent and the probably ficticious name of Jessica asked me for how long I would like to extend a warranty that obviously does not exist.

At this point my head turned into a dragon and I insisted loudly and rudely that my office be taken off every mailing list in Eastern Asia, at which point Jessica hung up on me. You aren't going to sell me a warranty acting that way, little Missy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Too Sexy for My Sunburn

Embarrassing moment #1 Not in my entire life, just since this blog started, and that’s only if you don’t count the fact that I admitted my new affection for Over the past weekend, my friends Paisley and Nicole accompanied me to the amazing and wonderful Callaway Gardens. It was Nicole’s inaugural visit, so I originally planned to ride the paddleboats and see the circus and visit the chapel, the Sibley Center, the Butterfly Center…you see where this is headed. But we decided to stay on Robin’s Lake Beach. Which, by the way, was missing both the ferry and the little train, a matter I fully intend to investigate. What’s a trip to the Gardens without riding around the woods on a train? I can’t count box turtles without it!

This whole tangent made no sense to anyone who didn’t grow up in this area, and I am sorry for the confusion. And for your loss, by the way. Because if a child can’t grow up counting box turtles from a kid-sized train hurtling through the Georgia pine forest, what good is being a kid?

Y’all just don’t know - the beach was wonderful. I am the whitest woman in at least the state of Georgia if you don’t count actual albinos, so I loaded up on the sunscreen. We had a fabulous day. Lay out for a while, go swim out past where the kids were to lower the odds that we were swimming in baby pee (Thank you, Paisley for bringing that subject up.), then go let the sun dry you off. It was perfect, and the snack bar was serving up some pretty delicious chicken fingers! Chicken fingers are always an important part of the equation. And the sweet tea was stellar.

Somehow in all of this lazy day, I neglected to reapply the ol’ SPF to my upper back. Later that night, I was putting out close to enough heat to toast a Pop-Tart. I tried the aloe thing, the lotion thing, and I was all set to try the vinegar thing but that’s just no fun for anyone that has to be around you.

This morning the peeling started in earnest. I’m not trying to be offensive or anything, but it’s pretty gross. You know those snake skins your science teacher would keep on a shelf in her classroom? I feel like that snake. So this morning I was itching terribly, but my office looks like a goldfish bowl. It’s just not the best place to contort the body so that you’re able to scratch that little spot just under your shoulderblade yet above your bra strap. That little spot that you can almost get your hand on, but just not quite. And it was driving me nuts. Nothing would work. Not a pen, not my fingertips, not the corner of a file folder. And then it struck me – my boss likes to use this fun little machine (This might not be a big deal to you but I had never seen one until I started working here.) that makes little books with those round binders. Sweet, bendy, binders. Let me tell you, if you have an itch, those things will scratch it. So my poor, peeling, sunburned self is pushed into a corner where nobody can see me with a bendy book binder down the back of my shirt, scratching like fire…..when I hear a “Hello?”

I love the Todd and all, but there was the cutest little real estate agent standing there, looking at me like I was the world’s biggest freak. I mean, he totally busted me, and he was so polite, which meant that of course he had seen the whole thing and was just too nice to mention it. So I was totally humiliated, and too freaked out to use my wonder-binder for the rest of the day.

Case in point: if Callaway Gardens still had a train, I would have been in the SHADE, not gotten a sunburn, and then not been caught with a book binder hooked under the back of my bra.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The nose knows.

Random fact about my family: we are nostalgia freaks. My Christmas present a few years ago was the entire collection of Betsy-Tacy books in hardback. Throughout my childhood (and most of my adulthood) ol’ Betsy Ray was checked out from either Coleman or Memorial Library and in residence on my nightstand. In fact, one summer when I was in college I went through Italy and Switzerland, and packed in my little carry-on was "Betsy and the Great World". The same library edition I read as a kid. It just would not be permissible to go on my own trip into the Great World and not take Betsy along.

So I was totally unsurprised when Baby Brother called yesterday with a delimma. There was some construction going on in his office and when he returned from his lunch hour the smell of the hallway knocked him flat. Yet there was something familiar about the slightly mildewy stench. Baby Brother was just being driven crazy trying to figure out where he knew that smell from, and all he could get to was it was something from when he was a kid.

I answer the phone to this question: “Did I have a He-Man figure that smelled like a skunk?” I’m embarrassed to say that this also sort of struck me as familiar. So we ponder this for a while and finally decide he was remembering the smell of the figures after you played with them in the bathtub and the heads got a bit slimy on the inside. Don’t act like it’s gross, I know your toys did the same thing.

Somehow, I could not stop picking at the idea in my head. We had missed something. So I googled He-Man and discovered the treasure trove of information at I am always amazed and oddly excited at the lengths people will go to for stuff like this. But I needed exactly this information, so way to go, He-Man fans.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet STINKOR – Lord of Odor, whose
Wikipedia entry describes as “humanoid skunk whose superpower is the ability to release a toxic odor from his body that renders foes immobile.” The toy's description mentions that the actual figurine is infused with skunk scent.


I don’t know what the heck is going on over at Baby Brother’s office, but I think we ought to look into harnessing his nasal powers for the forces of Good.

Photo from

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ah, love.

Why the Todd and I stay together: he thinks this comic is as funny as I do. People like to talk about trust and honesty as the center of relationships. What works for us? Lunacy.

Note: This comic came from You should check her out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Old MySpace Blog 1: Alan Rickman Rocks My World.

I love Alan Rickman. It’s his voice. He first came into my life as the bad guy in that crappy Robin Hood movie with Kevin Costner. (Cue Bryan Adams singing “Everything I Do, I Do It for You.” Come on, I know they played it at your middle school Boss Hoss Jam…I was there. I saw you slow dancing in your Hypercolor Shorts.) Anyhow, for a perhaps better reference, Mr. Rickman is also Professor Snape of Harry Potter fame and the Metatron in Dogma (“Hit me with that….fish?”) and his sneering baritone just makes my whole day wonderfully British.

In addition to his sarcastic villains and Jane Austen heroes (see “Sense and Sensibility”), Mr. Rickman starred in Devon and Benjy’s favorite holiday flick, “Love, Actually” with every Brit you’ve ever seen in any movie. Being in the holiday spirit, I ran down to my local Video Warehouse in search of this lovely little film. Little did I know the journey I had begun….

Chapter One
I enter Video Warehouse and search the left hand side of the store in vain. Now, this part is my fault – I should have noted that that ENTIRE side of racks holds “New Releases.” I don’t exactly understand why the “New, Unedited, Director’s Cut” of “Van Wilder” counts as a new release when it’s sitting right next to the “Unrated, Uncut, Special Edition,” but I’m not in charge.

I then search, again in vain, for the nonexistent “Romance Section” and decide to consult Fat Albert, my favorite clerk. (His name is not really Fat Albert, but he looks just like him, except he’s a bit on the effeminate side. Being both a big girl AND a fag hag, I am allowed to lovingly bestow this nickname, so don’t give me any crap about calling him fat. In fact, I am thinking of setting him up with the equally sweet and portly Jason from the Wal-Mart Customer Service Department, but I digress…) Bingo! We have a winner! I happily carry my prize up to the counter and hand it over to Fat Albert. Even though ol’ Al checks me out EVERY time I get a movie, he continues to ask me for my account number. I give him the name, and Albert says, “Oh, girl! I don’t know why I can’t remember that. Y’all always got that dog in the car with you.” Then he looks me straight in the face, OBVIOUSLY knowing I use this account all the time, and tells me I am not listed on Pete’s account, and therefore cannot relieve my Alan Rickman longing. I try to use my fag hag skills, but no dice. Albert tells me to come back with Pedro and get on the card.

Sidenote: I realize I could use MY account, but it still carries a rather large late charge from when Austin Powers 2 first came out. Long story.

Chapter Two
Pete returns from South Carolina for Turkey Day. Deciding we are too old for the annual pre-Thanksgiving pub crawl, we load up (with the dog, per usual) and ride back down to Video Warehouse. I grab the “Love, Actually” DVD as my choice and we head to the counter. Fat Albert is once again our clerk. He asks if “Y’all got that dog in the truck again?” and tallies up our bill. We ask that I be added to the account, and Albert explains that, as Pete and I are not married, this is not possible. I remind Albert that he TOLD me to get on the account, but he holds his (considerably large) ground. Still though, we go home with Alan Rickman.

At the house, I make some popcorn and pop in my movie…..which doesn’t play. How much trouble can I possibly go through? Why won’t it play? Because Fat Albert failed to notice that the super-video-store clear coating has been ripped off, leaving stick gunk all over the top of the disc. Rather than Alan Rickman, we watch Pete’s choice, called “Gus Van Sant’s Last Days.” The title alone sends me into a tizzy. “Is this about Lynyrd Skynyrd? Do we ALWAYS have to get a band movie?” And Pete’s all, “Way to go, Todd. A – That’s Ronnie Van ZANT. B – Gus Van Sant directed “Good Will Hunting” and this is his take on the last days of Kurt Cobain. C – Yes, it DOES always have to be a band movie.” (Sadly, we really talk like that. I think it’s all the Grey’s we watch.) So, “Gus Van Sant’s Last Day’s” turns out to be WHOLLY unwatchable, even for Pete. It’s mainly the fake Kurt Cobain dressing in outlandish outfits (a black slip with a deerstalker’s cap) and carrying around a rifle. The Mormans come to the house and talk to random members of his drug-loving entourage. Hilarity does NOT ensue. I go to bed pissed, hearing Professor Snape in my head.

Chapter Three
Yesterday, in the midst of a hellacious head-cold, I go to the Wally to get some meds. While I am there, I think, “Hey, they have a movie section – SCORE!” However, the Wally movie section is much like the Video Warehouse new releases. They had both the “Uncut, Unrated” and “Director’s Cut – 3 hours of Commentary!” editions – this time of “Knocked Up”. Aw, Seth Rogan. So cute in his tubby little way. Mid-aisle, in the bargain sections, still NO LOVE ACTUALLY! Really. The closest thing they had at the Wally was “Love, American Style,” which was some super 70’s TV thing, NOT starring Alan Rickman. Oh – and you can also find a two-for-one special on “I’m Gonna Get You, Sucka” and some other Wayans Brother crap…..also not starring Alan Rickman. So I leave the Wally dejected, sad, and sick as a dog. Although I did have a Potter-thon, but it wasn’t the same.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My tears fall down like rain.

As if the cost of a gallon of gas exceeding the cost of a pack of Camel Lights is not enough, we finally have genuine proof that the world is, in fact, coming to an end. I heard the news yesterday on the way to Mountville for our weekly dinner with the Todd's folks. We were in the the Clicks, with its wide range of radio stations offering country, country, country and 107.3. You really can't ask much of a 1995 Mazda 626, you know? 107.3 was playing the general rotation of Music I Don’t Give a Rip About, so I was listening to the Country Countdown and laughing because somewhere along the line Mr. Festival has learned the words to Taylor Swift’s “Our Song.”

So the host of the Country Countdown announces some new, hot record by a young man named Darius Rucker. The name sort of (watch out) struck a chord (I warned you.) with me but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. And the song, titled “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” sucked. I have this theory that you really shouldn’t try for one of those long drawn out song titles unless you have a name that sounds like you could be a County Sheriff in a really bad Lifetime movie – no offense to any Deputies who may be reading this. I totally support you and I plan on getting one of those window stickers to prove it. Anyhow, I just don’t think Darius is up there with Porter, Conway or Merle in the list of appropriate names for country songwriters.

Back to the story…I’m about to change the song, my hand is on the dial, and Pete starts cracking up. “Oh, man! Do you know who that is?” I’m sure y’all already know who it was, because you have better name recognition than I do and all that, but…


Okay, it wasn’t Hootie. Because though Hootie IS a person, he is not in the band Hootie and the Blowfish. He was a friend of the band from the college choir at the University of South Carolina, check Wikipedia. Darius Rucker does not enjoy being called Hootie and he will tell you right quick-like. But still, for all intents and purposes, it was freaking Hootie.

I don’t think y’all understand how big this is: Hootie has gone country (look at them boots). He’s gone country, but not back to his roots! (Aw, snap.) I could be totally wrong, but I just don’t see Hootie, I mean Mr. Rucker, being raised musically on Waylon, Willie and the boys. This is a travesty.

You know, I could be totally off on this. Darius Rucker could have grown up in some po-dunk town wishing he was one of the Oak Ridge Boys. But he’s ruining my youth. Hootie was a big part of my Senior Spring Break, of countless Bonfire Parties, Cabin Trips and excursions through rock quarries. I don’t think I ever drank anything without either Hootie or Dave (only up to the Crash album, after that I left him forever) playing in the background until I got to college. Let Her Cry? Let ME cry, Hootie. You and your hot, long-haired drummer, Jim “Soni” Sonefeld.

So you go on and have your hot country comeback, Mr. Darius Rucker. Try to forget the Hootie in your past. BUT…Don’t Think I Won’t Think About It.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Whodidit? Jamiedidit.

So here we are, the first entry in what just may be words of wisdom that change the world as we know it, but will more than likely be ramblings from my snarky little mind that will only be read by my nearest and dearest. It might be important to warn you now of my love for the run-on sentence, as it is something you need to get used to. What do you need to know about me, I wonder. I'm a book whore. I live in my lil' Georgia hometown with the boyfriend (whose name is Pete, not Todd, yet will often be referred to as such) and the mutts. I'm in school and working, and trying to gracefully slide into my thirties. This is my journey.