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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

When It's Time To Change You've Got To Rearrange

Every school year has four marking periods. Believe it or not, one marking period is already behind us. But with one marking period down this can mean only one thing: It's time for conferences.

I'm lucky in one respect. In my school, we only do formal conferences twice a year. Of course this doesn't stop parents from swinging by whenever they damn well please. The school, by the way, does absolutely nothing to deter this. Even the formal conferences themselves are laughable. In most districts parents get appointments. Not where I teach. There is a two hour time slot. After that, it's a free for all. At any given time you can have ten parents waiting or you can have none.

Around Thanksgiving is the first time we have formal conferences, near the end of the year is the next. It's actually very interesting to watch the pattern of parental involvement during the year. The parents that care come in for the November conference, eager for their child to succeed, full of promises about better behavior and open to suggestions about how to improve their child's work.

Then they go home.

Most of those same people, who are probably well intentioned, don't really follow through. At this point you see very clearly where the children get this from. So by the end of the year, the parents may return, but they're singing a different tune. By the time the end of the year conference rolls around they have one thing on their mind, the bottom line: is my child going to the next grade or not? Once they get that information everything else you say might as well be the snow that comes on your television long after the program has ended. Oh sure they're still sitting there, but for all intents and purposes, they have left the building.

As if the conference itself wasn't an awkward enough experience, my district has a few monkey wrenches thrown in to make it even more of a challenge. For one thing, many of the parents do not speak English. So you will try, in vain, to explain to them how their child is doing. But if someone is not around to translate, then I begin to look a lot like a performer on a streetcorner, trying to pantomime my concern about their child's progress.

The other problem is the grades themselves. Last year the elementary schools in my district switched over from A,B,C,D to 4,3,2,1. Obviously, my district does not subscribe to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy of grading. No. We have to try and reinvent the wheel, as if we have discovered something about grading that years and years of time had not.

Last year the teachers were in an uproar about this. A was 4. B was 3. Up was down. Down was up. Some parents were upset, but not as much as much as you might think. And for all the changes, everything remained the same. The kids that were doing well were doing well no matter how you sliced it. And the kids that were failing were failing with an F or a 1, but failing nonetheless.

In fact, the only reason I think more parents weren't more upset was because they didn't understand what was going on. Even now, I still have kids asking me how they did on an assignment, even after I wrote 4, attached a sticker and wrote the words Good job! They have NO IDEA.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have the policy that parents sign and return tests when a child fails, this way I can keep it as a record if the child continually does poorly. Yet I STILL have parents ask me how their child is doing. Let's see, you've signed about 5 failed tests, no? I know I'm the professional, but how do YOU think your child is doing, honestly?

This is why too many changes is not always a good thing. For as many things my district does right, they do a few things glaringly wrong. One is their what I like to call, "Oh by the way" means of spreading information. Every month we have a grade level meeting. We also have to participate in one committee meeting each month and one faculty meeting each month. So that's at least three meetings each month, and yet, there are some things that inevitably come out nonchalantly that are anything but. This constantly kills me. We can spend hours and hours on whether to wear jeans on Friday, but a major change in the grading is sandwiched somewhere between bring in your canned goods and tell the janitor if you have a leak in your room.

This month is no exception. At our last grade level meeting, a few weeks after report cards were given out to be worked on mind you, my principal says, well you know, we are no longer doing averages, right? Huh? What now? Apparently "we" aren't. Yet everything we say and do otherwise points to the fact that we are. I send tests home with how many the child got right, the average and the number it translates to. And I'm not the only one. The school itself sent home the grading policy again at the beginning of the year. And yet, something changed between September and November and we all should have just known this.

Here's what I know. The 4,3,2,1 is still in place. However how you get a 4,3,2,1 is not. No longer are we to compute averages and covert them. Now a 4 is simply the child is going above and beyond. A 3 means they are on grade level. A 2 means they ar e working towards grade level. And a 1 means good God where was this kid when the lesson was taught.

The problem with this is without the system of averages, grades become highly subjective. I can just imagine trying to explain this to a parent who didn't get the old system:

Parent: So he has a 2.
Me: Yes.
Parent: So a 2 is like a D?
Me: Kind've.
Parent: How does he get a 2?
Me: Because he's working towards the grade, but he's not there yet.
Parent: How do you know that?
Me:...Umm, I spun a wheel?

I mean I know it's not that arbitrary and I know most parents won't protest, but if I were a parent, I would want something more than your child got a 3 because I felt like it.

So the problem now becomes how do you know what a "3" is. I mean as teachers, we know which children are working on grade level and which aren't. But just saying we know it without having a way to show it isn't going to cut it. So my principal, who agrees with this much, says that maybe we should create rubrics. At this point hysterical, manic laughter sets in. We'd have to create a rubric for every assignment we give?!!!
All of this is taking the long road to get to the same place with the same results.

If only we could grade the grading system. Now that's something I'd like to see.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tell It To Me Tuesday "He Said You'll Make A Roast Out Of Me If I Should Stay"

Guess who's coming to dinner?

What is the one Thanskgiving food you look forward to all year long? By the way, if you don't celebrate turkey day, you can simply chime in with your favorite food.
Monday, November 28, 2005

Much Ado About Nothing

I realize this is a little bit late, but I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Me? I spent mine packed like a sardine in my 89 year old grandmother's one bedroom apartment along with seven other people. What can I say? She's 89. Having Thanksgiving at her "house" makes her very happy.

Most people take the much needed day off for Thanksgiving or any other, insert holiday here, to kick back and enjoy a little much needed R&R. In some cases people also take this particular weekend to get a jump start on shopping for the next holiday. I am not like other people in more ways than one, but I'll just stick one one reason why for today. I've decided I don't know how to properly relax.

In my defense, I think this gene runs in the family, albeit it skipped a generation. My mom seems like she can, but my grandmother is ten times worse than myself. We all constantly joke it's like she has a spring in her butt. I'm not that bad, but I do always have this overwhelming feeling there is something I can be doing rather than doing nothing.

So on most 3, 4 or more holiday breaks from school I lug in my suitcase (yes, suitcase) full of papers that need to be graded and manuals for next week's lesson planning. Most teachers bring all of this stuff home and then they don't even think about it until the day before they have to go back.

Not me. I tend to dig in right away. Why? Because I can't relax, even if it's for 3 days, if I know at the end of the road that I am going to have to work anyhow. So in my mind, it's almost better to get a chunk of work out the way, right away, this way you do have time left over to actually ...relax.

Sometimes I'm lucky and have a day or two when I'm all caught up. It's a rare feeling of accomplishment, but it has happened. I should bask in this feeling I know, but instead my sick and twisted mind starts thinking about how to get ahead. What?! Who? Where did this person come from!??

Before you know it, I rarely get to the relaxing part. In my mind, the perfect relaxation has always involved vegging out in front of the tv, watching a guilty pleasure movie reading a good book you never have time to read. And eventually I do get there. Only problem is I don't know how to relax when I do.

I know what you're thinking. How hard is it to relax? Well for me, very hard actually. I notice this has gotten worse as I am getting older. Perhaps I have adult onset of ADD. Or maybe it's just environmentally induced considering we are living in a multitaskers world and I am a multitasking girl.

Let me give you an example. It's a typical Friday night and perhaps I'm watching a rented movie. It's about 9 o'clock in the evening. All problems, papers, screaming kids that aren't mine have been put on the backburner. Nothing is keeping me from watching this movie. Except for maybe, myself. Because before I know it, I'm out. Oh sure I might only go out for 5 or 10 minutes, but when I wake up, I have missed 5 or 10 minutes that are crucial to the plot. Sometimes I try rewinding it, but if other people are in the room I figure it's no use putting them through the same movie as well. So I suck it up.

Over the past few years I have learned to successfully curtial this more or less, but since no solution is perfect, it doesn't come without a price. A lot of the times I try to do two things at once. So if I want to watch my favorite show on a weeknight, I'll do something else while I watch like grade papers or blog. Only problem with this solution is that I still often end up missing kernels of the plot. This has annoyed other people in my life because they know that I know that I can't really do two things at once, but I'll be damned if I don't continue to try.

The kicker being that if I watch tv without falling asleep and/or doing something else to keep me occupied I find that I get bored. What has happened to me? Sitting around and doing nothing used to be something I was very good at! Nowadays I'll find myself not enjoying the simple act of doing nothing the way that I used to. And doing nothing really well is really... something.

Maybe I should just face the facts. I'm getting older. As Ferris Bueller once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around every once and awhile, you might miss it." Lucky for me I didn't miss that line back in the days when I could make it all the way through a movie.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Our House Is A Very, Very, Very Fine House...Not That You Would Know

As another holiday season rapidly descends upon us, something occured to me. I realize that I really don't see most of the people I see at holidays unless it is a holiday.

I have a small theory about this. Most of my holidays are spent with very few relatives, most of them far older than me. I see them a few times a year and for both of us, that's enough. It's not because I don't care about how they are doing or them about me. I think it's more for the fact that if we see each other more infrequently we have much more to catch up on. If we saw each other more often than that there'd be nothing to talk about.

But something else occured to me along the way. Nobody seems to have get togethers anymore unless it is because of a holiday. Maybe I watch too much tv, but I always thought the coolest part of being a grown up would be being able to go over my friend's house, and them mine, whenever we wanted. When you're a kid you have to jump through so many hoops to have this happen. Who is going to drive you? Who has to work late? Is there school tomorrow? The list goes on and on. Now you can just get in the car and go. Only problem is, we hardly ever do.

I also always said that whenever I got a place of my own I'd want it to be the kind of place where people could feel like they could show up unannounced. Not just random people cause that would be creepy, but people I know. Mi casa is es su casa I always say. Only I don't have a casa and the people I know who do don't play well with others.

Another big thing about having your own place, besides all the fabulous fictious bashes I'd throw, would be to show the damn place off to begin with. How many of my friends have moved into homes quietly never to have a housewarming. Remember housewarmings? What a neat idea. Hey! I bought a new house and I'm SO excited about it that I want to invite everybody over to see it. Isn't that nice? Instead here in NJ, people scrape just enough money together to buy the house that I guess they're too bitter or too poor to feel like celebrating anymore.

The only exception to the rule as far as I can see are those lame, Tupperwareesque parties that people throw. Really you can insert any overpriced product in for the word Tupperware. They have 'em for kitchenware, for houseware, candlewear...wherever. I hate being invited to those kinds of things because it's such a catch 22. Part of me wants to go to be social and to, I'll be honest, see your house. But part of hates going because I know I won't want to buy anything and YOU know I won't want to buy anything but I'll probably end up buying something anyhow because you were nice enough to invite me in the first place, not to mention you gave me cheese and crackers.

Plus, people fawn over the most idiotic things at these parties. As if they've just discovered the dish to end all dishes. And if you go to these things as often as you are invited, how many new items can you really be considering anyhow? The real kicker being you walk out, overpriced purchase complete and now all you have to do is wait another 6 to 8 weeks to use the damn gravy boat in the first place. Ironically by the time the item finally shows up the holiday season will be over and the entertaining along with it. You would think random, impulse buys at these sorts of events would be the very thing that would get more people having more parties to use such items but it doesn't happen that way. This could be because they had to refinance the home they just bought to cover the expenses encurred in the first place. Who knew there was a price tag attached to being social?

Of course like I always do, I look at things from more than one angle. I'm not without fault. Maybe people are having more events and I'm just not getting invited. Or maybe I just hang out with the wrong crowd.

To review, if you have a house and you have friends, please introduce the two to one another. You'd be surprised how well they'll get along.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tell It To Me Tuesday "You Needed Me"

I hardly ever do memes, but Sara stole this one from Lengli who ripped it from someone else and so forth. So I figured it ain't exactly stealing if you pay it forward. This is how it works. Go to Google and type in "[Your First Name] needs" and see what kind of ridiculous results you get.

Here's what I got:

1. Janet needs your help. Hey what do you know? I've been known to ask for help a lot actually.

2. Janet needs to respect the feelings of colleagues. If by colleagues you mean "students" and by respect you mean "no blogging in the champagne room", I'll see what I can do, but I'm not promising anything.

3. Janet needs to be mock-attacked by a skinny white boy to try to inject some interest in her career. Something tells me adding any comments here would just cheapen the experience.

4. Janet needs someone to do publicity for the conference and suggested sending a general email with a brief movie or power point or something simple. Conferences are coming up next week. Whadda ya say? Are there any takers?

5. Janet needs to do your reading. Psychic reading that is. I might "need help" but apparently I'm rich in insight.

6. Janet needs to work harder at making George jealous. George? Who is this George? You think I would know considering I'm doing readings ad everything.

7. Janet needs to stick to her man Angel. Angel? I thought it was George? Hey now. I'm not looking for some hot stuff this evening.

8. Janet needs to share a bit of Arnie's carrot cake. I hope this isn't a euphimism for something else.

9. Janet needs help with her homework. Well I know I need help grading homework, I'm glad you noticed!

10. Janet needs help building a rocket ship to take her back to her planet. Interplanet Janet...she's the galaxy girl!

What are you waiting for? Now you!
Monday, November 21, 2005

These Are The People In Your Neighborhood

Some of you might have noticed I haven't written as much about school this year. This is for a few reasons. Reason number one is because I have to find the time to write, period. Reason number two though, is probably the bigger reason, because it's my second year, not my first.

Everyone knows all the cliches associated with the second year. For musicians, they try hard to avoid the "sophomore slump". For newlyweds the newness has started to wear off. I guess all of the above apply to me. There is plenty to say, but have I said it before? The names and faces may have changed but the stories, I'm sad to say, have not.

Last year I was annoyed at some things, but that annoyance was overshadowed by the fact that I was happy to have a job, much less a job in education, period. Anyone who has ever tried to teach in the state of NJ will back me up on this one: getting a teaching job, especially for the first time, is tough. So sure the district might not have been my first choice, but I had friends who were still out there, pounding the pavement, so beggars can't be choosers, right?

But now, rapidly heading to the halfway mark of my second year, I'm beginning to sober up a bit. Things that only semi-annoyed me last year really annoy me this. Big things like the fact that my district insists on having Gifted and Talented classes in a district like mine where the kids would be average any place else. If we need to have a program like that at all, the solution seems obvious. You make it a pullout program so that these "good and tame" kids can at least mingle with the rest of the lot the rest of the day.

The reason this is a bigger issue this year is because they are going full steam ahead with differentiation in the classroom, which I've written about before. But in order to differentiate learning, the kids, in a word have to be different.

I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that in a room full of 21 students, not one kid in my room always gets it. In fact, most of them don't get it, not the first or even the second or third time. Some days I feel like I must be the worst teacher on Earth. The only saving grace being is it's not just happening to me. Most days feel like Groundhog's Day, reviewing things taught the day before and the day before that to which there is no retention.

Now where some of this might just be normal behavior for kids, in my town it's not. This is where middle class suburbia and the kids in my school split. For the struggling kids in suburbia, the parents, or the tutors the parents hired step in and try their damndest to bring that child up to speed. But where I work, it isn't so and instead, they look to the teacher and the school to pick up the slack. Partly this is because they can't help their children because of the language barrier or they work 3 jobs, but partly this while education is highly valued, actively participating in that education is not.

I know this is a big deal, bigger than last year, based on little milestones along the way. First there was back to school night where less parents than last year came, few of them with questions for me about the program, their child's progress, nothing. Then there is the homework. While last year I had 2 or 3 kids that didn't do the homework consistently, this year that number has increased to 5 or 6, and I'm only talking consistent. So notes go home. Phone calls are made. Conferences are setup. But nothing changes. These kids are 8, 9, 10. If you don't care, why should they?

Then there's the difference in the student population itself. This year I have a harder group and unfortunately, a group I cannot trust. I've already had candy stolen from me, a goodie bag and one of my snow globes broken. No one has admitted to doing this, even anonymously. As a result I have no choice but to punish the whole group, which is a shame. This group, for the most part, is absent of a conscience. They call each other names, constantly. Group work is next to impossible. Physical fighting has happened more than once, including one student biting another.

Now you might just say this is the luck of the draw, the group I got this year, and I'd love to believe and agree with you on that. But I'm no dummy. I'm talking to the other teachers. I'm talking to people in K, 1 and 2. And they are seeing it too. The fact of the matter is it's not getting better, if anything it's getting worse. And to bring things full circle, if a program like Gifted & Talented stays in the school in the way it currently exists, the seperation between the "haves" and the "have-nots" will only increase further, not to mention making it impossible to have success in a classroom overrun by Deyfuss cases, discipline problems and low test scores.

But where there are differences, there are glaring similarities. One thing occured to me this year that might seem silly to you, but to me is too simple to ignore. If there's one thing these kids have in common, it's family. Most of the families are broken, the only real twisted comfort being they are surrounded by people just like them. No, these kids have family in common, and in many cases, it's the same family.

I'd venture a wild guess in saying there are about 20 commonly known last names floating around my school. More often than not the kids with the same names are brothers. Or sisters. Or my personal favorite, cousins. Everyone is everyone's cousin. In my room alone I have at least 6 cousins, that I know of, though not all related to each other. At least I don't think. One never knows.

Some of you might see where I'm going with this. Annoying Comedians like Jeff Foxworthy have made millions off similar "You might be a redneck if..." sentiments. Let's do the math. If there are about 20 or so common names in the town where I work, and within any given classroom there are at least two sets of cousins, can inbreeding be far behind?

Now don't be a hater. I'm just calling it likes I sees it. My town is fairly large, but not that large. And when everyone and their mother is related what would YOU think? And to be honest, it would explain a hell of a lot. I mean everyone knows dipping the pen in company ink, so to speak, has its drawbacks. And if there is indeed a degree of inbreeding, could that be one explanation as to why test scores are so low, and day to day retention is so hard to come by? It's just one theory. It hasn't been tested or anything, but I'm pretty confident in the hypothetical.

So I chug along, good little second year teacher that I am, but I'm keeping my eyes and ears open. Being a second year teacher ain't all bad. You're better prepared to expect the unexpected. You're still idealistic enough to keep on trying. And you still somehow see the writing on the wall, though what to do about, is another matter entirely.
Friday, November 18, 2005

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, But Screen Print T-Shirts Hurt Worse Than Anything

Last week a brewing controversy got my attention. What I'm referring to is what will surely go down in history, earning its rightful place among scandals such as Watergate and the Iran-Contra hearings. This is, of course, the Abercrombie & Fitch T-Shirt scandal of 2005.

Just in case you missed the boat on this one, here's an actual news article that will serve as a precursor to my recap. Done? Good. Now for my thoughts.

First I thought you might want to see more of the actual t-shirts in question. So for you I have Exhibit's A, B and C.Protesters are particularly outraged by the negative and stereotypical messages these t-shirts send. As a long time fan of screen print t's however, I have to disagree.

Sure I've been out somewhere, probably at a bar, where I've seen a shirt once or twice that caused me to pause and say "Oh no they didn't!" But really, that was out of amusement, not offense.

No, the real humor to me is coming from the naysayers themselves. They are offended by the message of a t-shirt that says something like "Blondes Are Adored, Brunettes Are Ignored". But there are girls that can and will buy these t-shirts, no doubt some of them blonde, but some of them brunette or even redheads. It all depends on the way you look at it. A confident blonde might see it as a way to celebrate their state of blondeness, while a brunette might see it as a way to acknowledge of her constant state of "Hey, look at me-dom!" As a blonde myself I have heard years of dumb blonde jokes, some of which, no doubt, have been printed on tee-shirts or key chains or something, somewhere.

Which brings me to my next point. It's not like this is anything new. Have you walked the boardwalk of the Jersey shore? (or other boardwalks of the nation perhaps). Some of the things you see there are offensive and I'm not just talking about the tee shirts. One time I saw a t-shirt that said "Silly Rabbit Dicks Are For Chicks". Now that I could understand getting a little upset over, but just a little. You could also just walk into any Spencer's anywhere in the last 20 years or so. Every race, creed, body shape has been subjectified and objectified. No one's safe at Spencer's. And if you're offended? You simply DO NOT shop at Spencer's. It's a simple as that! There are people who are frustrated at the exact opposite. Some cars sport bumper stickers like"My Child Is An Honor Roll Student At Rydell High". Did the same people Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt buying crowd object to this? No. They simply went out and made their own bumper sticker, "My Child Beat Up Your Honor Roll Student". Now that my friends, is funny.

And let's look for a minute at the people who are buying these t-shirts. I mean really? What is the target demographic? My guess is it's somewhere between 12-21 although at 28 I still enjoy purchasing a good screen print tee or two. Often times they boast pop culture references to everything from Animal House to Animal from Sesame Street. In fact, if I had oodles of extra cash I'd probably buy a lot more of them. I own quite a few already. God knows I'm always in hot pursuit of a Swedish Chef tee-shirt.

So with the target demographic in mind, let's explore imagine for a bit that screen print tee buying is the worst vice they have. I mean you're 15 and you own 20 screen print tees, half of which are "offense". But let's look at the alternative. You're not a cutter. You're not using hard drugs. You aren't stealing. You might pierce something or die your hair black, but for the most part it's a phase. And you might even shop at stores like Hot Topic which in my mind, are far more scary, in theory than any overpriced, stone wash denim boycut jeans Abercrombie & Fitch could throw at me. In fact, Hot Topic has a line much more extensive in its range of insults in various shapes, colors and sizes. But no, these protesters would rather take on GAP's bastard child, Abercrombie & Bitch I mean, Fitch. Woops! There I go, offending someone! Next thing I know you'll be telling you can't play rock music or dance in your town. No wait, I'm confusing real life with the plot of Footloose again.

In short, these tee shirts or tee shirt wearers are not out to offend anyone and even if they are, so be it. It's called having a sense of humor. The protesters should try one of those on for size. Perhaps something in a one size fits all, baby blue.
Thursday, November 17, 2005

But Can They Sing?

The short answer is a resounding NO, butj just like the saying goes, this post ain't over till the crappy actors sing.

Has anyone been watching VH1's show But Can They Sing? Basically they take celebrities that make Kathy "C List" Griffin look like an A lister and have them perform songs. Each week another celeb is bumped off, a la American Idol until one "celebrity" is left standing as the best "singer".

Before this show came on I thought for sure it would have some redeeming qualities. After all, there are plenty of "triple threat" artists out there in entertainment that are the industry's best kept secrets. Don't take my word for it. Just ask J-Lo or Frank Stallone.

But I should have realized this wasn't going to be the case when I saw the list of said celebrities: Kim Alexis, Myrka Dellanos, Bai Ling, Antonio Sabato Jr., Larry Holmes, Carmine Gotti, Morgan Fairchild, Michael Copon and Joe Pantoliano aka Joey Pants. By the way, if you have no idea who Myrka, Carmine or Michael are, that makes you and the rest of America.

Actually, I was excited to see what Joey Pants had to offer. I've been a long time fan of the man's work. He's good with comedy. He's good with drama. So like Meatloaf said, two out of three ain't bad. Unfortunately, my dreams of Joey Pants being the next Billy Vera were short lived as Joey's run lasted only one short week. While Joey was far from star material, he definitely didn't deserve to go first. Once again, America decided to make a mockery of the voting process. If you follow politics in any capacity you know reality television is not the only place this has been known to happen.

Watching one week was just to satisfy my curiosity. Can they sing? No. Now at this point most people would move on. But I forgot that I Tivo Season Passed it. What can I say? I have a tendency to be awfully optimistic when it comes to crappy television. Instead I found myself fast forwarding my way through another episode or two, just to see if it got any better.

It didn't.

And now, now I'm afraid I can't leave things on a bad note. I have to stick it out and see who comes out singing. Five remain standing and out of them only one is semi redeemable in my eyes: Michael "One Tree Hill" Copon. He's the closest one to the motto of this blog anyway; he's gotten by.

Antonio Sabato Jr. hoped he'd get by on something else if you know what I mean, but the world no longer needs Ricky Martin and he sorta could sing. I think Sabato secretly thought he'd make it just because he once appeared in a Janet Jackson video. He was wrong.

In the future, it would be nice if they posed the question But Can They Sing? and the answer was really one up for debate. You know, taking successful artists and making do things like sing acapella, sing an original song or sing, period.

Come to think of it, bringing people like J-Lo into the mix might not be such a bad idea after all.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005

AEIOU and sometimes Y

I have a bone to pick with all of you people who insist on using that word verification thingy on your blog. Since that seems to be almost everybody these days I figured I might as well make it a post. Basically I've got one question for you:


I don't get it. So I type in a bunch of letters, which only goes to prove I had my full of Sesame Street as a child and that I can follow directions. Remind me again what this is deterring exactly? Cause the way I see it, if someone wanted to spam you badly enough they still could, if they overcame the "hurdle" of the alphabet that is.

And while we're on the subject, what is up with the format itself? I feel like I'm taking some sort of acid induced eye exam. I hear this is somehow connected to encryption but what I really think is the joke is on you, and you and yes, even you.

Many times you have typed in a well thought out enough comment, only to have to correctly enter the right combination of squiggly letters. Suddenly I find myself wondering "Wait, is that a d or a p? Is that an l or an i? Redrum! Redrum!"

And who are these people attacking your little ol' blog anyhow? Maybe that's the real problem here. Maybe I'm just bitter because I don't get innundated with inane comments from anonymous bloggers and ads about Viagra. Maybe I just want my piece of the pie. Then maybe I'd be all up in the word verification too. I really don't know.

In the meantime, I'll type in the damn letters like a good little blogger, but I'm still irked. I fear this is the same sort of yuppy mentality that insists on writing out the entire email address as if a monkey hacked into your computer. (i.e. Email me at janet(at)theartofgettingby(dot)com). I know, I know. This is probably something innocent something you or someone you know does too.

But if you still really wanna impress me, paint me a nice Bob "Happy Trees" Ross painting before you leave me a comment or email me. Now that, that will get my attention, not to mention seperating the casual bloggers from the diehards in no time.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tell It To Me Tuesday "The Eye of the Beholder"

If given the choice between being a never fading beauty or a mind blowing brainiac, which would you choose to be and why?
Monday, November 14, 2005

No New Developments Here

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to acknowledge the impending passing of a greatly underestimated comedic gem. The classic that was in the making I am referring to is Fox's little engine that could, Arrested Development.

I'll never forget the first time I watched Arrested Development. It was not the first episode or even the second. But that was always what was so great about this show. It hooked you no matter when you tuned in. The only problem is, not enough people were tuning in to get hooked.

There are so many things about Arrested Development that I will miss. I will miss how the seemingly seperate storylines somehow came together brilliantly. I will miss its smart, consistently fresh and consistently witty dialogue. I will miss the inane situations and subsequent one liners that have come from classic episodes. I will also miss the excellent cast, each one adding their own blend of freshly brewed weirdness to an unpredictable comedy, especially the greatly underestimated master of sarcasm circa 1984's It's Your Move, Jason Bateman. If nothing else, may doors open for that man with or without Sandy Duncan.

In the end, I begrudingly give some credit to the Fox network which time and time again stood behind the weakened Arrested Development well into its final hours, unless of course the rumors are true and HBO really might pick the show up (don't toy with my emotions, HBO). This only goes to show you that even good guys like Ron Howard finish last sometimes. Like Francis "Baby" Houseman once said in Dirty Dancing, "You're right Johnny. You can't win no matter what you do."

Arrested Development is survived by a family of butchers, also known as the Neilsens. It is also survived by shows like Freddie, Supernanny, Hot Properties, Wife Swap, Fear Factor, The Apprentice, Joey, Killer Instinct, Nanny 911, and Trading Spouses... all of which incidentally, are CRAP.
Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wisdom Teeth. What Are They Good For? Absolutely Nothing!

Now, without further adieu, a highly anticipated update on my teeth. I will warn you in advance it's somewhat long and detailed, but not disgusting, which is good. As it turns out MCF was right. More than five of you do care, give or take a few that just didn't get the chance to swing by that day.

Tuesday morning I awoke as prepared as I could be for battle the extractions. I had a big meal, what I quietly liked to refer to as "The Last Supper" the night before which consisted of two helpings of meatloaf, potatoes, peas and carrots. Later on I even had bowl of cereal before I turned into a pumpkin at midnight. I felt like those people on The Amazing Race, that, when faced with possible elimination, put all their clothes on just in case they are not eliminated after all and get to keep nothing but the clothes on their backs. I realize if you don't watch The Amazing Race this analogy is completely lost on you. I'm sorry but it's timely and fitting so I'm going with it.

So I showed up at the office. They say that the early bird gets the worm. At say a diner, the early bird might get the discounted breakfast, but in a doctor's office all the early bird gets is a rack of uninteresting magazines and the knowledge of impending doom. So I waited and I waited some more. You know I was early because I actually managed to make it there 2 minutes before the girl who was scheduled before me. So then it was both of us waiting because there was a girl who was already in there, who was scheduled before us. Other than the extraction itself, I knew I was not like these girls. In both cases the adult who came with them went in the back with them briefly. This is because wisdom teeth extraction is the sort of procedure you tend to get as a minor so I'm about ten years and a dollar short. Incidentally, listening to minor #2 retell her overwhelming calm mother about her alleged boyfriend's missed court date and bench warrant for his arrest provided some entertainment and also reminded me that things could always be worse.

One Cosmo! Girl, Entertainment Weekly and some other magazine later I was called into what I kindly refer to as phase two. You've all been in phase two. If the waiting room is heaven, phase two is like purgatory, which I suppose would make the procedure itself hell. In theory anyway. So the assistant began to prep me as I waited another 10 minutes for the man, the myth, the legend... the surgeon to arrive. Of course these girls always try to make small talk, asking how you are today blah, blah blah. Only thing is I see these girl's small talk attempts and I RAISE them an actual response, whether they want it or not. Our exchange went something like this:

Assistant: (in the perky prepackaged voice all assistants seem to come with) "Hi Janet. How are you today?"

Me: "I'm extremely scared actually."

Assistant: (subcumming to nervous laughter) "Oh don't worry. There's nothing to be scared about!"

Me: "Well, I guess I'm just scared because I'm scheduled to have teeth taken out today, but my mouth really doesn't open that wide."

Assistant: (in I've heard it all before mode) "Oh you'd be surprised how easily they can open your mouth during the procedure."

Me: (realizing this chick ain't getting it) "I'm sure. But my mouth only opens THIS wide. (At this point I obviously can't show what I'm talking about. All you need to know is it's not wide enough to see my wisdom teeth.)

Assistant: (Look of horror comes over her face that she quickly tries to cover up as soon as she realizes she has an Oh! Shit look on her face and clearly not knowing where to go from here, moving closer to the door...) "Well, we'll see what the surgeon says when he comes in ok?"

As I sat and waited for the surgeon I realized the assistant didn't have to say anything, her look said it all. I was worried going in but then a small part of me thought that once the professionals saw my situation, they wouldn't be nearly as scared as I was because they were well, professionals.

Finally the surgeon arrives. He tells me he heard I was concerned and I proceed to replay the entire conversation above with him, including the action shot, the only difference here being his look of horror is only a flicker and is quickly smoothed over by optimism and canned confidence. It was then that I started crying. Here's another way I was different than those 17 tear old girls who came and went before me. I'll bet neither one of them cried about the procedure. I'm all mixed up.

Suddenly, it's as if the surgeon went from doctor to clown college instantaneously. He started holding my hand, telling me I was a sweet girl and looked like "a good citizen" which was an unusual comment if I ever heard one, but whatever. He then left and came back with a plastic rose and a lottery ticket. I swear if this man could have juggled 3 balls while riding a unicycle and swallowing fire I think he would have done it. He's just a "can do" kinda guy.

So he said ok. I'm going to see just how far your mouth will open. Together we tried opening my mouth. We didn't get very far, literally. He asked me if this was because of my TMJ or if it was because I had wisdom teeth problems. I told him I honestly didn't know. I mean I haven't been able to open my mouth very wide to begin with for awhile, which is definitely TMJ, but in the past week it's gotten worse (although there's no pain). So whether that's TMJ, wisdom teeth problems, stress or just plain ol' bad luck, the same answer remains.

Then he says the magic words "Well, we're gonna try." I did not feel comforted by those words. If anything, it made me cry more. Here this man who has been doing this for years didn't have anything wise to say about my wisdom teeth. He was as baffled as I was about how to approach this. So he took an all for one, one for all approach. He's like ok, you never know. We are going to go ahead and sedate you and we'll give you the novacaine and it might open you up a little more. Only thing is we won't put you under as far as we had anticipated because I'll need your help. I went into panic mode at the idea that I'd be awake for this procedure. He said I wouldn't be awake per se, just a little more aware to make sure I was ok with what was going on.

It was then that I asked him what happens if he can't do it. He said, well, you can have this done at the hospital but I'm trying to avoid that because 1. you're wisdom teeth are not impacted and insurance will not cover it if they're not and 2. They will stretch you out the whole way and it will hurt your TMJ.

With news like that you'd be calm, right?

He showed me all the things he does to open somebody up. There's this plastic metal device that helps keep the mouth open. He showed it to me and just like a magician, he made it disappear. He assured me they wouldn't be using that today. He just wanted it to be like Vietnam was originally intended; get in and get out.

After this is when things get a little hazy. If you've ever been in twilight sleep you know what I'm talking about. You know what's going on but you go in and out of knowing. So what I recall from here on out is just fragments of what actually happened.

I remember I was shaking a bit and they told me to relax and breathe in and out. I remember feeling pressure. I remember them (joyously) announcing each time they got a tooth out. And I remember the last tooth hurting a bit because something was leaning on my lower bottom lip (I have the black and blue to prove it). The next thing I remember is them telling me it was done and that I had done a great job. It seemed like it took no time at all. I don't remember seeing the surgeon before I left, but I do remember hearing him out in the hall say "That was a tough one."

I went into the recovery room for a bit, headed home and prepared for what I always feared would be the worst part of this whole ordeal: the healing process. I still had a lot of numbness in my mouth and my whole bottom lip looked like Mike Tyson after a fight. I also felt a little nauseous from the sedation. I had my dad fill every prescription they gave me (higher dose Ibruprofen, an antibiotic and Percocet). Even if I didn't need them all, it made me feel better knowing they were there if I did. I applied ice kinda did in The Karate Kid, 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off. Immediately I took the higher dose Ibruprofen, not because I was in pain, because I was anticipating pain considering all that I had been through and all that I had read.

Other than that I was amazed at how OK I felt. My cheeks didn't look like chipmunks at all, probably because my teeth weren't impacted. I didn't need any stitches which might attribute to a painful recovery, again probably because I wasn't impacted. The corners of mouth didn't hurt, probably because I wasn't stretched that far. I couldn't open my mouth that wide either but not because of pain, becuause I never can. This might be frustrating for some people, but it's just something I'm used to. Hell, in my mind I started thinking everyone should say they have TMJ! But I was still weary because it was early in the day and nothing had worn off yet so I didn't want to blog and be all smug about it and then grow to eat my words later. Of course my words would have to be soft and mushy words, but still.

I ate a pudding. I missed my mouth. I ate a jello. I had some on my lip for a half hour and didn't know it. Then the pain medication wore off. The novacaine wore off. Later on I had soup and ice cream. And I felt....fine. Huh! What? Aren't I supposed to be in more pain? What's going on here? All I felt was slightly uncomfortable, especially when I talk. This I discovered is probably because I can actually feel my jaw bone now where my teeth used to be. Gross, I know, but true nonetheless.

Again, I was cautiously optimistic. After all, I had heard day 2 was worse than day 1. Kinda like when you go jogging more than you usually do and your muscles feel fine only to ache the next day type of deal. So as a precaution, I took regular old Advil before I went to bed in lieu of the industrial strength Ibruprofen he had prescribed. And I was a bit concerned about the sleeping part itself because I sleep on my stomach and thus, on my face. But my dad said, if it doesn't hurt I don't see why you can't. So I tried it and I think it went...fine.

So all of this is the really long winded way of something everything is surprisingly working out so far. I woke up this morning with a mild sore throat and some soreness on my left side where my TMJ normally is worst, but NOTHING unmanageable and nothing that over the counter Advil once again, didn't fix.

Of course the constant worrier in me stands firm. I've won the battle, but not the war. And really what is any battle without a few scars? Late Wednesday I discovered that one of my innocent bystander teeth got caught in the crossfire and is now slightly chipped, which I suppose is easy enough to fix (sigh). Assuming they can get back in my mouth to fix it that is. I'm also still deathly afraid of developing dry socket, especially since I can't see any of my sockets in the first place. And I haven't attempted to chew anything yet. I can't imagine knowing the right time to start doing something like this. I also have a follow up appointment next week which, if I'm still at the same spot with opening my mouth, will turn into treatment for TMJ, no doubt.

All I can say is that I'm grateful and I really can't blame the man, even if he did chip my tooth. I'm grateful I have had no real pain up to this point and that so far it seems like I made the right decision. I'm also grateful (and amazed) by this tiny, Martin Short-like man who handed me a flower, a lottery ticket, a t-shirt and ice cream, making me look like I had just spent the day at some bizarre boardwalk carnival instead of the pearly white truth.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Top 10 Signs You Watch Too Much TV

What better way to cap off my best of the eighties retrospective than with another top 10 list!

10. You're relieved, even excited, when a show you watch isn't on because then you get back some of that much needed, extra time.

9. Any water cooler anywhere. You always know what people are talking about, no matter the show.

8. You plan your outings around the outings of your favorite fictious friends.

7. You thought about the show Friends when you read the word friends in the comment above.

6. You create a Venn Diagram in your mind comparing favorite shows and your life or past shows and current programs.

5. You (lamely) attempt to multitask just to fit all of your shows in.

4. All of your favorite programs are like the opposite of Cheers; no one but you knows their names.

3. You seriously think synchronizied tivoing should be strongly considered as a possible event in the 2006 Olympic Games because you've got more season passes to programs aka shows to record, than numbers on your speed dial.

2. You think in vignettes and often wish there were real life commercial breaks or a features like pause, rewind and fast forward for some conversations.

1. You blog about watching too much tv.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Rocks, Papers, Scissors...Shoot!"

There are so many fun games from when we were children. Some involved being outdoors. Others did not involve direct sunlight in any capacity.

What was your favorite childhood game growing up?
Monday, November 07, 2005

And Now, The End Is Near

It was a Fourth of July weekend. After consuming two Amaretto Sours I giggled about the tooth pain I was suddenly experiencing. Only that tooth pain didn't go away that night. It didn't even go away that month. In fact, if you could have told me that the "little" pain that I would have been experiencing that weekend would have gone off and on, well into November I don't think I would have been laughing so much. This is one prime reason it's good we can't see into the future.

At the risk of sounding redundant I already spoke about this problem here,
here and then again, here. Therefore I'll spare you the gory details, kinda sorta.

Now I'll bring us up to present day in the ongoing saga called "These Are The Pains of Our Lives". I scheduled the surgery and a second consultation and yes, in that order. When I went in for my second consol I had a completely different feeling than I did the first time. This surgeon was the owner of the practice and gave off a much more matter of fact, confident manner. He also reminded me of a character Martin Short could so play, but that's not important now, as long as it wasn't in fact, Martin Short that is.

Anyway "Martin" read the notes the other surgeon took and was not happy. I don't know if he was happy with what he read or what he didn't read. All I knew was that it was written all over his face. He looked at my teeth and he was the first person to acknowledge said tooth was inflammed. So he volunteered himself for the surgery, unless of course I wanted the other surgeon which, at that point was a resounding "Hell no!" though I held that part in. He seemed to also be very responsive to the news and the concern I had that I have TMJ and he said that they don't open your mouth as wide and that is good to know.

He also handed me a phamplet about the procedure and the practice that I didn't get the first time around. After looking at the pamphlet though I think I know why. Surgeon behnd door number 1 is not anywhere on the phamplet so either he's an intern or he's new. Regardless, this confirmed he isn't who I want taking my teeth out. Yes, I'm well aware everybody has to start somewhere. All I'm saying is he ain't starting here, gabesh?

So because I was changing surgeons I was lucky enough to also be able to change dates. At least I got the surgery moved up one day which gave me one extra day to recover as well. When Martin walked me out of the office he asked the secretaries to copy surgeon #1's notes on my case which to me translated into "Ooh, someone's in TRO-U-BLE!" He also did not charge me for the second visit and he told the secretaries to be sure to fit me in on the day I wanted even if he had to work through lunch. It's divilary like that, a term I just coined meaning "doctor chivalry" that proves a bedside manner ain't dead yet.

I left the office feeling much more confident than before. I knew this because I wasn't hysterically crying like the first time. Now all I had to do was wait another few weeks and it would all be over.

But then an Emeril like event happened in my tooth related woes and suddenly, everything was kicked up a notch.

Two weekends before the surgery I was in my normal routine. I had sensitivity to hot and cold. I would take on average, an Advil or two a day for the pain, mostly after I ate or times when I just woke up or was about to go to bed. But then one Friday night that pain went from bad to really bad and I couldn't figure out exactly why. I had a glass of wine and a salad and whatever it was obviously was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

My one or two a day Advil self-prescrition had been upped to 2 every four hours...or else. The pain was excruciating and complicating matters, I could. no. longer. chew. most. foods. This was in part because I was in too much pain and in part because apparently my mouth decided to go on strike midway through this ordeal and refuse to open wide enough for the perfect bite, or any bite for that matter.

Before I knew it I was on a diet of soft foods and I hadn't even had the surgery yet. So I did what anybody in extreme pain would do. I called the office and asked the surgery be moved up. Only problem was the doctor was on vacation this week. So then I opted for the next best thing; I said that I think I might have been in the need of an antibiotic because I'm afraid I had an infection there. I was also afraid if the infection wasn't taken care of he wouldn't be taking them out at all. So they prescribed amoxicyllin.

And let me just tell you it's the best five dollars I ever spent.

Literally I feel like Carly Simon. Overnight it seems, I haven't got time for the pain anymore. In its place is instead a weird, almost suction sensation which quietly reminds me that I've won the battle, not the war.

All that's left of concern to me is once again, the process itself. The pain is being kept at bay, but I am still having a hard time opening my jaw as big as I could before which might I remind you, wasn't even all that big to begin with. So the thought of someone prying my jaw open, even while I'm sleeping, and then snapping it back in place doesn't exactly make for sweet dreams. Consider this whole process the levels of alert for Janet's teeth. At the beginning of all of this I was on Elevated or Yellow. Then I jumped to High or Orange. Then I spent some time in Severe or Red. Now I'm back at Guarded or Blue.

And with that being said, I'm off to the surgeon tomorrow. I plan to post recaps for the 5 of you who got through this post and amazingly still care. Oh and if for some reason you don't hear from me in awhile, you'll know why!
Sunday, November 06, 2005

Carnival Of New Jersey Bloggers, Edition # 25


There's bad and good news about the Carnival this week. The bad news is I signed up so far in advance to host this that I could never have predicted how crazy things would get. Luckily I was still able to get it all done, though the overachiever in me wishes it could have been a little more creative.

The good news is that well, I'm hosting the Carnival which means I will get to "meet" more of you fellow NJ bloggers and you will also get to meet me if you haven't already. I also have some non Jersey readers so maybe we can all talk amongst ourselves and make some new friends. We can prove to them that not all New Jerseyans are rude, high hair, acid wash wearing freaks, and they can show us what's so great about their state, even without a carnival.

So without further adieu, pick up a drink and start mingling!

Happy Hour

Sluggo spins a few tunes to get the party started. Early on, Steven Hart caught my eye with his semi-ode to teaching and Wallace and Gromit, not necessarily in that order. Jersey Days, drink in hand, talks about the Asbury Music Awards. It looks like Jersey Beat is putting in their two cents as well. Center of NJ Life is on wardrobe patrol. Giggle Chick was nice enough to bring food for those late night munchies that are bound to happen later. She also wants you to wish her friend Pee Wee good luck and she's taking this opportunity to start talking about the next time we all get together. You know the type.:) The Joy of Soup also brought along her recipe for Pumpkin Gorgonzola soup...yum! It looks like Ruby Falls has gone and invited M. Ward to the party after all, while Dothill Press is soliciting new customers.

Light and Fruity

Halloween fun was had over at Wild Snowflake. A hopefully harmless video post, (don't shoot the messenger, I couldn't open it!)was poured by Brenda @ Shamrocketship gathers us around to tell us the story of one Clapper and a cat that walked into a bar. The Eternal Golden Braid reminds us that blogging about, even after an evening of drinking, can become a time consuming ritual. Ipso Facto Cartoon Blog proves you can be both serious AND silly by this time of the night. Hop on over to Poor Impulse Control for some Halloween hijinks.

Chug It!

Philly to Hoboken serves up a haunted tale that might be hard to swallow, or see if you're already experiencing blurred vision. No-W-here vents about zits and zats...HA! Big Windbag, not quite yet slurring his words, let's the people know his take on Doug Forrester. Proving the if you can't beat 'em, join 'em theory, Karl's Corner weighs in on politics over Pina Coladas.

Hard Alcohol

Get the bartender for these folks. Professor Kim has a sad story of the death of a seven year old child to tell. SmadaNek is spreading the word about an important project involving laptop computers and soldiers. Armies of Libertation puts in their two cents about Centcom. NJ Conservative wants us to learn an important lesson, on the rocks. Over at the Bad Hair Blog me smells a controversy from beyond the grave (cue spooky music). The Opinion Mill calls it like it sees it on Frank Hague, but then again, the title of the blog says it all.:) Down the Shore reminds us there are important people named Rita, too. The Nightfly also waxes notalgic. Xpatriated Texan is on the verge of kicking ass and taking names in his open letter to Republican bloggers. Meanwhile, Tammany on the Hudson is taking the 100 bottles of beer that are on the wall in the Golden Ciata in Jersey City down and passing them around. And a story about earning about hard alcohol the hard way is posted over at Maureen's Jersey Writers.

Last Call

If I inadvertently left your post out, drop me a line at and let me know.

That's closing time. You know the drill. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.

Next week, be sure to travel with the carnival over to the ironically titled, No-W-here!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Eight Great Things About I Love The 80's 3D: 1988 & 1989

I briefly interrupt this guilty pleasure trip to give you a preview of upcoming programming here at AOGB. This weekend I will be hosting the 25th edition of the Carnival of New Jersey Bloggers. I know what you are thinking. Me post on a Sunday morning? Yeah yeah. Just don't get too used to it, k?

Even if you're not from Jersey, y'all come back now, ya hear?



1. "Cher loved to get him naked and spread him with cream cheese, throw some Nova on top and maybe a bit of red onion." (Mo Rocca on Cher and Rob Camaletti's romance)

2. ON BUSTER POINDEXTER'S SONG, "HOT, HOT, HOT" "You'd hear "Hot, Hot, Hot" at any place that involved wet clothing... and possibly at the dog track." (Willie Garson)

"It starts with the ole ole!, ole ole! and everybody stops. It's like the call from the mountain....People at the party? HOT. HOT. HOT. Really? Cause anybody on this line dance? Not hot." (Jason George)

3. ON COCKTAIL "The story is wrapped up in the title. I mean it's a cock-tale." (Hal Sparks)

"In the video (for Kokomo) John Stamos is like playing a steel drum. What the hell is John Stamos doing there?!" (The Donnas)

4. ON LITA FORD "What kind of life are you leading when you're like you didn't get laid, you got in a fight. No big thing. Your goals are just amazing."

"Lita Ford looked hot but she also looked like hse might smell like a dumpster."
(Modern Humorist)

5. "The reenactments weren't exactly gritty or realistic. They were more on the par of of a Lifetime movie." (Mo Rocca on Unsolved Mysteries)

6. "I could just very easily see him coming down out of the mountains and eating your brains." (Wil Wheaton on the guy from "Beds Are Burning" group, Midnight Oil)

7. "It may or may not be his child and they're crossing the state line. And we're not sure why. And the kid's crying. He tried to calm the kid down. He tried Thorazine and now he's gonna sing the song. It's ok kid. Everything's fine." (Michael Ian Black on the Rod Stewart video for "Forever Young")

8. "Eddie Murphy used to sing a song about putting things up your butt. I always imagined this is what he'd be singing about. If you ever tried it they fit perfectly up your rectum." (Michael Ian Black on Micro Machines)


1. "She's a strong vocalist. I say strong enough to judge other vocalists." (Michael Buble on Paula Abdul)

2. "I would like to see William Shatner: Rescue 411. This is William Shatner. City and state?" (Hal Sparks, Rescue 911 spoof)

3. "Do they eat other eighties pop bands? We never did find out what happened to A-HA..." (Mo Rocca on The Fine Young Cannibals)

4. "Yeah, I noticed he had his shirt off. My VCR had a frame by frame function." (Michael Ian Black on Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse)

5. "The Noid to me was a horrific blend of Tucan Sam and Abe Vigoda." (Mo Rocca on Domino's mascot, The Noid)

6. "When you buy a town do you get the people with the town? (Jane Weidlen on Kim Basinger's buying Braselton, Georgia)

7. "You wouldn't necessarily be dead if you closed your eyes forever. You might just be blind." (Michael Ian Black on the Ozzy Osbourne/Lita Ford duet, "If I Close My Eyes Forever")

8. "No, I think it's good if I got pregnant. I'll probably die, but at least I'll get pregnant and have a child that I won't get to see or raise and leave a lot of sadness for the people behind me- but that's ok, right?" (Rachel Quaintance on Steel Magnolias)
Thursday, November 03, 2005

Eight Great Things About I Love The 80's 3D: 1986 & 1987


1. ON EIGHTIES BULLY WILLIAM ZABKA IN MOVIES LIKE BACK TO SCHOOL "How terrible would it be to show up on your first day of college and say, 'Oh Zabka! The next four years are gonna suck!" (Modern Humorist )

"You just wonder if he still sees movies with jerks and he's like, I could have been that jerk, and now you're using some other actor? It doesn't seem fair."(Brian Posehn)

2. "Obviously the show was much better when they didn't get along." (Greg Fitzsimmons on Love Connection)

3. ON JERMAINE "WE DON'T HAVE TO TAKE OUR CLOTHES OFF" STEWART "Jermaine Stewart was like a girl with a mustache. I was like you don't have to take a damn thing off cause I don't know what you are." (Godfrey)

"I think he was right. You don't have to take your clothes off to have a good time. You can go to a birthday party. You don't have to take your clothes off to whack a pinata." (Mo Rocca)

4. "People who loved old people and murder watched Murder She Wrote....he (the sheriff) couldn't solve anything but she (Jessica) could because she was an author. JD Salinger has, you know, hundreds of murder crimes in his career...Cabot Cove Maine was a delightful little town, but the murder rate per capita had to have been high. I think there was only 40 people in that town and then when the show was over there was like Jessica Fletcher and the sheriff." (Bil Dwyer)

5. ON HEART'S WILSON SISTERS "Every single shot of Nancy was the full length, head to toe, rocking out shot and every shot of Ann was like this. It was like Nancy Wilson and her sister, the disembodied head."

"She's behind the candlebra all of a sudden. Behind moving boxes. In this video we're gonna be moving and uh, you're just behind the moving boxes honey."
(Michael Ian Black)

6. "The Color of Money is a classic mentoring tale. Paul Newman teaches Tom Cruise how to be a scam artist. It makes you wonder about Paul Newman. I mean is the whole salad dressing for charity thing just a scam, too?" (Mo Rocca)

7. "Wasn't Steve Guttenberg in like, every other movie released in the eighties? He was like the eighties Jude Law." (Weird Al Yankovic)

8. "Head of the Class featured a gorgeous mosaic of losers. I mean losers of all different races and backgrounds." (Mo Rocca)


1. "I know I'm all powerful, and I could probably get it from any other place in the world, but you gotta get the eight million or I pop a cap in your ass." (Rachael Harris on the Oral Roberts controversy)

2. "Max Headroom was like a digital Jim Carrey. He was always going Ahh!" (Modern Humorist)

3. ON BABY JESSICA "Baby Jessica was only 18 months old. Apparently her family was very thirsty because they sent this child to go get some water." (Mo Rocca)

"Baby Jessica fell down the well and people didn't realize, so they're making wishes and they're just peppering her with pennies and people are like, 'How come my wish isn't coming true? All I hear is some kid screaming.'"
(Bil Dwyer)

"Wondering if she would make it. Wondering if she would survive and wondering why somebody had a well on their property in 1987!" (Chris Jericho)

4. "Oh I love microwave ovens! They cook things awful fast. Say you've got to bake a potato. In the old days nine weeks, minimum. Microwave? Done." (Michael Ian Black)

5. "I don't think Spencer was the first detective you would have picked. You would have worked your way through Kojak and Beretta and then said, 'Well, Spencer's for hire." (Hal Sparks)

6. "This is horrible! Now all I have is 87 million dollars!" (Gilbert Gottfried on the stock markets Black Monday)

7. "I think it's like we're slow dancing at my cousin's Bar Mitzvah and she says, 'Honey, I'm sorry, we're through.'/'You're dumping me for Moysha? That's how I interpreted that song. That the girl's dumping him form Moysha, the Hasidic guy. Is that right?" (Michael Ian Black's interpretation of Cutting Crew's song, "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight")

8. "I always say wait for the compliment. Let the compliment come to you. Why are you wearing a sandwich board that says I'm beautiful? Relax sister!" (Nicole Sullivan on the "Don't Hate Me Cause I'm Beautiful" Pantene commercials)
Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Eight Great Things About I Love The 80's 3D: 1984 & 1985


1.ON RED DAWN "What classes are taught at that high school that suddenly they know how to operate artillery, they know how to drop bombs..." (John Heffron)

"Swayze and Grey were like, 'You know, this is awesome, but this movie just doesn't have enough gay dancing in it!" (Chris Hardwick)

2. "Why one night in Bangkok? Like you wouldn't even get over your jet lag. That can't be any fun. It's like one night in Bangkok and I slept all night!?" (Modern Humorist)

3. ON LIVE AID "It was a nice thing that we did. They did. The Brits did. We didn't do anything. We did We Are The World. We had Dan Ackroyd singing." (Michael Ian Black)

"Everyone remembers Bono's line: 'Well tonight thank God it's them, instead of you. Well, that's a sweet, Christmasy sentiment if I ever heard one." (Hal Sparks)

4. "They were going through that phase where you didn't know if they were gonna be handsome or cute, so they kept the camera far away." (Loni Love on New Edition)

5. "Designer shoelaces were amazing. Shoelaces were a blank canvas screaming out for art." (Mo Rocca)

6. "They weren't really very smart because eventhough they had snorkels they kept them fully submerged s they ran a high risk of drowning." (Mo Rocca on the cartoon, The Snorkels)

7. "Ashton Kutcher's going nowhere Ed McMahon hasn't been before- and I'm including Demi Moore in that statement." (Michael Ian Black's take on Bloopers and Practical Jokes)

8. "Steve Guttenberg was one of those cute but not too cute, funny but not certainly not too funny actors." (Michael Ian Black)


1. "Very few human beings in Bob Ross paintings. Why? Because people are scum.....You try taking a puddy knife and burnt umber and see what you get. He got an entire mountain vista. What I get is it looked like I had the runs on the canvas." (Michael Ian Black on Bob Ross paintings)

2. "It was like the lips versus no lips. It was amazing." (Hal Sparks on Jagger and Bowie's duet of Dancing In the Streets)

3. "It was an autobiographical song about him calling Billy Joel to get tips about being an unattractive solo artist." (Greg Fitzsimmons take on Phil Collins's hit, Billy Don't Lose My Number)

4. ON MY BUDDY, THE DOLL "My Buddy! Is it called your buddy? No! It's called My Buddy so keep your hands off!" (Modern Humorist)

"Every doll is a little freaky if you viewed it through the wrong prism. Every doll is a friend when viewed through the right prism. My buddy is a friend." (Michael Ian Black)

5. "I wrote Eat It because I wanted to buy a house. It worked." (Weird Al Yankovic)

6. "She fell in love with this guy Rick who was just her friend and looked 37 but was still in high school." (Hal Sparks on Just One of the Guys)

7. "If I won the Oscar I would probably have the same exact reaction. Mine would have been shock and maybe a little utter disgust. You like me? You really like me?!"

8. "Nothing has sounded so terrible at a football game until Ashlee Simpson at the Orange Bowl." (Alan Thicke on Monday Night Football's Thiesman/Taylor incident)

(Michael Ian Black on Sally Field's infamous acceptance speech)
Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Yeah, But They Were All Bad"

Let's face it. We've all done things we are less than proud of in our lifetimes. All I'm asking is for one. What is one thing you did, out of spite or otherwise to someone at any point in your life that you wish you could take back?



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