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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, May 31, 2006

Let It Bee

While I love summer as much as the next girl, there's one thing I hate about the warm weather with a capital b, Bees.

The other day I was watching part of the movie Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare. As if the acting in the movie wasn't scary enough, the concept was even scarier. What do you do if an angry swarm of bees starts following you around? Where do you go? Sure, spiders that bite are creepy, but if you see a spider crawling towards you, at least you can do the reasonable thing and walk away. I don't know about you but to me, flying trumps walking any day.

As my dad has been telling me for years, bees are our friends. He only says this because he likes to torture me. He knows how much I hate bees or really, buzzing bugs of any kind.

Did you know that a bug that buzzes, when trapped inside, only starts to buzz louder? This is because they are gasping for air. Picture a bee after it's gotten off the treadmill and that's what it's like for them to be flying around your rec room for an hour. They don't want to be there as much as you don't want them there, but sometimes you can lead a bee to the window, but you can't make him leave.

One time, a few years ago, a huge wasp, bee, or just plain evil and venomous cousin of these creatures got stuck inside my house. He was flying around the kitchen and I was home alone. Now my kitchen has no doors so there was no way to sequester the bee to the confines of the kitchen. The only exit was the way the bee came in. You open it and you risk letting in other bees and thus the dilemma.

So since I couldn't sequester the bee I did the next best thing. I sequstered myself. I closed all the doors on the second floor and holed myself up in my room with a towel by the foot of my door. What can I say? Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I know what you're thinking cause I've heard it all before. I'm bigger than the bee. The bee is more scared of me then I am of it. If you don't bother the bee, it won't bother you. Well I'm hear to tell you all of it is just a load of beeswax.

One year, a few years before the "sequestered beeish incident" I was sun tanning on my deck. Now anyone who knows me knows my fear of bees stems back to childhood. Just the sight of them creeps me out. I have never had a traumatic experience with a bee. Sat on a porcupine once, but that's another story for another time.

So I'm on my deck, sunning, alone which is a major step for me because that makes me very vulnerable to bee action. For some reason, I can rationalize sitting by water when there are bees nearby. This is because I can then run and hide for cover, under the water. But when there is no water, just sweat and suntanning lotion, it's a cocktail for bad bees-ness.

I was lying on my stomach when all of a sudden I felt a pinch. I looked around only to catch the bee sting in action. Of course, he literally scared the bejesus out of me. He was drilling away at my right shoulder blade. Naturally I did everything you're not supposed to do when I saw the bee stinging me. I panicked. I got up abruptly. I threw the book I was reading and I ran around like a banshee, swatting at my shoulder blade furiously.

I made it inside the house only the damage had already been done. For the first known time in my life, I had been stung by a bee.

Because it was my first time I did what any self respecting teenager would do. I called my mommy at work. Now my mom remained calm because she was in an air conditioned office while I was at home surrounded by bees (I'm exaggerating for effect, k?) I have to point this out though because if the tables were turned, she too would be screaming. Let's just say the flower doesn't fall far from the bee.

I was freaking out because I didn't know if I was allergic or not. So I'm sitting there. The pain isn't so awful, but I'm waiting because at any second I could blow up like a balloon or be gasping for air from a bad bee sting reaction. When moments passed and I realized none of these things had happened, I calmed down considerably. I braved the storm and went outside to retreive my book. Don't bother them and they won't bother you? Another bee myth, debunked, thank you very much.

This is why summer is fun, but it's best to bee careful, whatever you do.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Those Magic Changes"

Today's TITMT comes to us by request via MCF. He actually came up with quite a few good TITMT suggestions. This was back in January though, so since its been so long, chances are it might seem new to him, too.

The question is this...

If you could change one thing about yourself physically what would it be and why? And in part two, if you could change one character trait about yourself what would it be and why?

My changes answers will be posted this Sunday.
Monday, May 29, 2006

Let Them Eat Cake

My new renter is The Fifth Column . This is a blog after my own heart. It makes fun of random things, but it does so with purpose. It also references Mr. Furley. Go over and knock on their door, won't you?

There's one time every elementary school student cherishes. That time, is lunch time.

No doubt, no matter when or where you went to school, lunch was hands down, one of the best times of the day. For one thing, there's the obvious reason; you got to eat. But while you were eating, you also got to talk, something that mean teachers like me prevent you from doing most of the day.

Of course, some lunches were better than others. If you were smart, you got the school menu ahead of time and planned your course of action. Then and only then can you decide on any given day whether to brown bag or buy it.

Fridays are a given in almost every school. This is because Fridays are usually pizza days. I can still remember how the line would wrap around the outside of the cafeteria at my school on pizza days. Back then I would always get pepperoni pizza and orange juice. In my defense, the choices were usually milk or oj. There was no soda option. There wasn't even a water option. I also thoroughly enjoyed taco day. For some reason, overdosing on acidics seemed like the perfect meal to me.

When it came time to purchase a snack, I also knew what I wanted. I almost always got the little cup that contained a mix of peanuts and raisins. Such a simple snack really, but it made me so very happy. I also enjoyed those strawberry shortcake bars which, back then, you could only get at school or through an ice cream truck. Now they're everywhere so they aren't nearly as special.

The days I brought my own lunch also hold a special place in my heart. Sometimes my mom would make my salami on rye or liverwurst on rye. When I think back to my favorite foods then, I cringe. Other days I would get my sandwich in a plastic, tupperware like container. These were the days I dreaded because that meant I either had tuna, roast beef or peanut butter and jelly. Any guesses why the container? I'll give you a few seconds to sort it out.

The reason my mom put them in that container was because all three of those sandwiches had a tendency to smush easily, thus ruining the eating experience. It was a good idea, in theory, only on these days it also meant I had to carry the stupid container with me onto the playground which is never fun when you actually want to I don't know, PLAY.

Now I watch my students head off to lunch and I notice not a hell of a lot has changed. In fact, school lunches are just as unhealthy now as they were back then. 15-20 years ago we can say we "didn't know" but now, what's our excuse?

Getting healthier school lunches has been a complaint of a lot of parents. As a compromise, some schools have started providing salad or fruit along with the main course of say, cheese sticks. Let's pretend you're eight again for a minute. I don't know about you, but most eight year olds are going to see the cheese sticks and the salad and toss the salad, no pun intended.

The sharing or swapping of lunches is also prevalent in elementary school. Some kids hate what their moms make them at home, so they give their lunch to someone who got the school lunch. Other kids eat both, school AND home lunch, and nobody stops them. Others eat nothing because they don't like any of the choices.

In my school this is an even bigger problem because most of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch. When I take lunch count in the morning, sometimes I slip up and say "whose buying?" You should hear the gasps of horror that come from the kids! Buying!? Lunch?! What's that about???

Even funnier is that plenty of times these kids that "qualify" for free or reduced lunch will also bring in lunch from home. Not rinky dink lunches from home either. I'm talk top of the line, home school lunches. Lunchables. Hot ravoli. Cold pizza. You name it, they got it. Call me crazy, but I would think the same family that can't afford the $2.35 or so for a school lunch also couldn't afford the $4.00 a day Lunchable habit, nor the designer clothes and cell phones their kids carry to school, but I digress.

A few months ago I heard about this one district in New Jersey that has said that children can no longer bring cupcakes in anymore for birthdays. I don't know what the reason was, but my guess it's either the allergy factor or the time factor.

Nowadays, more and more kids are developing food allergies, which makes it even harder to figure out who can eat what. Peanuts are a big problem in schoools, not only peanuts, but peanut oil. It's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Then there is the time factor. With all of the pressure on teachers these days to "teach to the test" there simply isn't enough time to stop and celebrate Samantha's birthday for an hour. For me luckily this hasn't been a huge problem. When someone does bring in something for their birthay though I try to multitask. Eat while you work or at least get the work out of the way, then eat. As you can imagine, it's not always very effective.

One time this year a mother did not schedule anything with me and sent in an ICE CREAM birthday cake for her child. That's all fine and good, but ice cream, as you all know, has to be eaten right then and there or it will melt. So I had no choice but to have the party when the cake arrived. She also sent in no lifter, but remembered the candle. Right. Like I'm going to light a candle for the child in a classroom full of kids who mostly would burn the school down if given the chance.

Healthy school lunches might not be the most popular choice with kids, but if that's all they ever knew, then they probably wouldn't complain as much. So many parents spend so much time trying to limit their children's sugar intake, but little do they know what they are taking when they are at school. And you wonder why these kids are so hyper.

Talk about having your cake and eating it, too.
Friday, May 26, 2006

Freeze Frame

Earlier this week, while watching live tv on my Tivo, it froze.

Now because it was live tv, I assumed the problem was with the channel. In college, we used to lose signals on random stations all the time. I'll never forget this one time when one channel froze on this Clorox man like creature. He looked a lot like the kool aid guy bouncing along the street only he wasn't full of punch, he was full of detergent. (Incidentally kids, don't make the same mistake at home.) Screw Dawson's Creek. That was some REAL entertainment.

So in switching from live to prerecorded tv I discovered the awful truth- it was still happening. This is when I unplugged the tivo and plugged it back in. I wanted to assume the best. After all, people make mistakes all the time. Unfortunately machines can't plead the "we're only human" excuse, too.

After plugging it back in the deep freeze had stopped, now we had moved on to the "little engine that could phase". This is the time when you can watch prerecorded and live tv, but there were little hiccups in what you were watching. Somewhere deep inside there was a huge UH-OH trying to get out.

So I Googled tivo + freezing and everything I read supported the theory no news is good news. Then again, if you want to fulfill deep seeded doubts, the internet is a great place full of speculation to support any hunch. Considering it was at least working and the errors hadn't happened for very long at all, I made a mental note to have my boyfriend check it out just to make sure things were ok.

The next day when I got home after a long day of work and turned on my tivo I had a rebooting screen. Obviously it had tried to reboot all by itself and got stuck. So I had no choice but to unplug and reboot again. Still, nada. This is when I decided to accept defeat. I begrudingly unplugged the player indefinitely until my tivo could be checked out and hopefully my season passes and prerecorded programs could be salvaged.

Now it's Wednesday morning. Considering my tivo had some R & R over the night, I decided to plug it in one. last. time. This is when I got what is known to many tivo users as the dreaded, Green Screen of Death. In rare cases, resucitation is possible, but I would need the Grey's Anatomy crew to work hard on revival. But since those guys were stuck inside the tivo, the prognosis was not good.

Of course leaving the recorder on the recommended 3 hour period didn't do any good. While this doesn't mean the tivo is gone forever, it does mean I have to rebuild. Not only do I have to rebuild, this comes a mere year after I purchased the device in the first place!

So now I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, or a tivo and a vcr. You get the picture, unless your tivo is stuck, too, that is. I've had my tivo long enough to know that a life without tivo for a television addict is simply not a life worth living. I mean VCR's are great "wingmans", but they aren't nearly as crisp, quick or impressive as the leading man, tivo. Sure, at the bar the VCR would get some numbers, but it's the tivo that would use it's photographic memory to remember to call the girl the next day and take her out by the end of the week.

So now, tivo now has me in their clutches. Of course I have to purchase a new hard drive and pronto, because once you go tivo, you never go back. Just trying to "coordinate" what to record when the last few days has been so tedious and antiquated. Thankfully this happened in between seasons when nearly all of my spring shows just wrapped up, while summer shows are yet to premiere.

See that tivo is always thinking. It even schedules it's breakdowns around my schedule. Now I ask you, who could give that up?
Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Don't Take It Personal

The other day, on the way to visit the last of my three pregnant friends who recently gave birth, I stopped at the card store. I really wasn't going to buy another gift for her, but nevertheless, I made one of those "Oh This Is So Cute, Why Don't I Just Get It?" type purchases. Incidentally, I've decided its purchases like these that probably keep card stores in business.

You know the kinds of things I'm talking about. Key chains. Magnets. Notepads. Etc. The funny thing is these last minute knick knacks are not the kinds of things that you MUST have. They are impulse buys to the nth degree. In fact, most of the time the people you give them to probably agree, as they often end up cluttering desktops, closets and refrigerators. After all, they don't call them junk drawers for nothing.

Anyway, when and only when, you have a new baby it's cool to purchase everything personalized. However, somewhere between the ages of 13 and 18 this switches from being cool to being downright weird. The only reason to have your name on anything past a certain age is if you're going away to summer camp, and even then, at 15, your mom writing your name in your shorts with a permanent marker is just a tad on the shady side.

So cards in hand, I was ready to check out, when I saw this personalized magnet with the baby's name, Sophia on it. Not only was it a magnet, it was also a picture frame! And not only was it a picture frame, for a limited time offer, the magname (my new abbreviation for name based, magnet picture frames) also contained the meaning of the name Sophia! From here on in, the blonde gene kicks in. Wow, a personalized magnet with the meaning of the name? No one ever has one of those!

Which brings me to the main point of my post. Never in my life have I ever seen any item that contains the origin of names with anything negative. Bookmarks, t-shirts, mugs, you name pun intended. Not only do these items never contain anything negative, they almost never say the same thing.

Now considering I no longer have the magname in my possession, I can't tell you what it said for the name Sophia. Instead I can give you the next best thing, what the internet says. Luckily their choices are even more diverse and overtly full of vague praise. The following are a few samples...


Means "wisdom" in Greek. This was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred.

The name of Sophia has given you sensitivity and appreciation for the finer and deeper things in life.

You can enjoy reading, study, and contemplation about many different subjects.

Beautiful girl with long legs, a shame her arse is the size of a small country.

Or my personal favorite,

Variant of Sophia.

Really. You don't say.

The martyr in me, would like to someday look up the origin of a name and find adjectives that surprise me, not inspire me.

Let's take the name John for instance (my apologies in advance for the dramatization for any John's that might be reading out there)

John- meaning jack of all trades, master of none. Selfish to a fault. Will amount to nothing. Out in eight to ten. Flirtatious, don't leave him alone with your bed.

Sorry, my fortune cookie and magname lifelines got crossed there for a minute.

Listen. Don't take my word for it. Take your name and look it up for yourself and then get back to me you virtuous, sensitive creature, you.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Last Man Standing"

I realize I might be isolating a lot of my readers with this week's TITMT, but since the event falls on a Tuesday, I simply could not pass up the opportunity to write about it.

When I originally picked the title for this week's TITMT I truly believed there would be two men standing at the end. The end of what you ask? Well American Idol of course! Therefore, it's official. The jinx began and ended with me.

In case you have been living under a rock, the two men that should have been in the final were rocker Chris Daughtry vs. soul man, Taylor Hicks. Sure your favorites might not have coincided, but I knew it. You knew it. They knew it.

But then, a few weeks ago, the unthinkable happened. In a freak accident of apocalyptic proportions shoo in contestant Chris Daughtry was voted off! It was like another remake of War of The Worlds only without Tom Cruise running around, it was slightly more believable.

Immediately rumors started flying:

Was it a conspiracy?
Were there problems with the phone lines?
Did Chris secretly want to be voted off in order to be open to something better?

One diehard fan even cared enough to create a petition in Chris's honor, in efforts to get a DO OVER. Within a week's time the petition racked up close to 38,000 signatures (including that of yours truly) but the American Idol powers that be simply would not budge. This is what happens when you don't vote for your favorites they say. All I know is I voted for Chris. 20 TIMES. Sure you laugh, but if everyone had done that, maybe we'd all be singing a different tune right now...literally.

So now, it's down to the anticlimactic showdown between the final two, Taylor Hicks and ohmygodicantbelieveimadethefinals, Katharine McPhee.

This past week there were a few funny media blurbs about the finalists. David Spade referred to the final five as The Breakfast Club. Chris was the rebel, Katharine the princess, Paris the basket case, Elliott the nerd and Taylor, the principal.

Meanwhile on SNL, Kevin Spacey broke down the key elements to winning American Idol so final two, listen up, cause I think he's on to something.

1. You have to make sure when you start your song on American Idol that everyone in the audience is looking at YOU. Not too cocky, you gotta be humble and reach out to that lense.
2. You gotta strut to show that your confidence is building...and have some backup singers too!
3. Shake hands with people!
4. Whip the mic around!
5. Assemble wholesome looking friends and family right in front and sing directly to them.
6. Know where your cameras are.
7. Get down on your knees and look squarely into the eyes of the Puerto Rican judge who is always drunk and make her cry with your sincerity.
8. Bring it home. Dig down deep. And finish the a black person.

So long story short here are the TITMT questions...

1. Who will your vote be with this fine Tuesday evening?
2. Do you know in advance who you want to win or are you waiting to see the final night performances before deciding?
3. Are the person you want to win and the person you think will win, one in the same?
4. Who would you have crowned the next Idol out of the whole top 12 and why?

Remember voters...these are your finalists, Do you go with Taylor Hicks who is neither black, nor blind, nor Michael McDonald or Joe Cocker?, OR
Do you have McFever for Katharine "Double D" McPhee? You know, the one who is amazed when judges show her any type of criticism, even when she say, I don't know...FORGETS HER WORDS!?

God only knows who I'M rooting for.

Don't know if I'll have a Sunday edition this week. It all depends on what you guys have to say about it, or how many margaritas Paula ends up packing, one or the other.
Sunday, May 21, 2006

Write Back Weekend "Take A Walk On The Weird Side"

This week's renter is The Dog's Breakfast. A true picture of patience and persistance, she has bid on this blog more than once and took me seriously each time when I said it's not her, it's me. Finally, her patience has paid off. I hope you will all pay her a visit and make her time here worthwhile!

TITMT this week was to tell about the weirdness that is you. After some careful consideration, I decided I couldn't just stop at five things that were weird about me. Part of this was because some of you provided me with inspiration to digger deeper. The other part was because I had been tagged to do this meme at least three times, so I figured I owed everyone at least fifteen seperate accounts of all things weird. Not to mention the fact that weird + me isn't really all that far fetched. So here we go...

Five Twenty Weird Things About Me

1. My knees always crack when I bend down to the point where people cringe, but it causes me no pain.
2. I'm cold. All the time.
3. I never learned how to hold my pen the right way.
4. I shuffle my feet when I walk. On the other hand, I don't really know how to shuffle cards at all.
5. When I sleep, I push my whole body down further, so one foot hangs off the bed.
6. I often put any excess my food I have when I'm eating into a napkin before I dispose of it.
7. No matter where I am, no matter what I'm doing, objects often end up hitting me in the head.
8. I don't like driving with other people in the car and I don't like driving to most places I've never been to before without a trial run first.
9. Like Swan Shadow, I know all the words to a film, but mine is Some Kind of Wonderful and EVERY SINGLE WORD from the lyrics to "We Go Together" from Grease.
10. I have "no" shoulders.
11. I hate the consistency of fortune cookies on my fingers.
12. I used to collect movie ticket stubs the way some people collect stamps.
13. Like Dawn, I could also eat Chinese food every day.
14. Like Carmen, I am a Gemini, though to be fair, I never thought this was weird.
15. I used to be deathly afraid of riding on escalators, not elevators.
16. Like Nat, I dip my fries in mustard, but I also use ketchup and sometimes I enjoy Arby's Horsey sauce, too.
17. Also like Nat, I almost always have a bruise on my body. I'm also very itchy when, if I scratch, the itch also turns into a bruise.
18. Like MCF I remember and revere the names of really small actors like Randall Batinkoff, Lee Montgomery and Byron Thames.
19. I always drink water...except for when I'm really thirsty. Then, for some reason, water alone cannot quench my thirst.
20. I have two different types of hair.
Friday, May 19, 2006

You Spin Me Round

A few months ago, my parents decided they had to have a new washing machine and dryer.

Let me rephrase that.

My father decided he needed new machines. For the record, my mother and I were both fine with what we had. Unfortunately, the washing machine and dryer were not available for comment.

Now there are two spin cycles of thought on this one so stay with me. On one hand, the machines themselves were many years old, older than me in fact, so that makes them at least 30. Sure they've taken a lickin' before, but still they kept on ticking, or turning as the case may be, so if it ain't broke don't fix it. Or better yet, fix it, just don't replace it.

Then there's the other argument. When the machines were in use, they were washing everything just fine, but they were like a Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston duet; getting increasingly louder with no real way to prevent it from happening.

But the reason the machines were getting louder wasn't because they were getting older, it was because the floor they were on was not ideal. It's not a concrete slab and I guess the longer machines rock on anything but concrete, the louder they become.

Completely dismissing the fact that the problem is really the floor, not the machines, my dad decided new machinery was the solution. And of course even if it was just the washing machine you'd replace the dryer and vice versa. They're a matching set. Bread and butter. Toast and jam. Ebony and ivory, working in perfect harmony.

So my parents went out to purchase new machines and in the process, were literally hung out to dry. For starters, they asked the salesman and the salesman alone which machines he recommended. Enter, commission hungry salesman who comes in for the kill. My parents, despite everything I've taught them about internet research, believe the slimy sales guy when he says this one machine will give them everything they are looking for and more.

Oh wait, did I say everything they were looking for and more? I meant everything they were looking for...FOR MORE...and sold seperately.

Soon two brand new, high priced, high tech machines are delivered to our doorstep. These machines were truly top of the line and had the price tag to match. There were a zillion choices of cycles, rinses and water levels, it was utterly ridiculous. If I recall correctly, there was even an option to fold the clothesand a "start dinner for you" button that worked wonderfully. Ok maybe not all of that, but for the price they were going for, they most certainly should have been.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, more money does not always necessarily mean it's better. This goes for clothes, shoes, name it. Just because they cost a lot, doesn't mean they're worth it. Apparently household appliances are no exception. Sure, these machines took a big chunk of change, but they also took a big bite out of your time.

See, with our 30 year old machines we were able to wash clothes in a 20-25 minute cycle with healthy amounts of water. But now, it's all about the environment and energy efficiency. Somehow, someway they justify it is more efficient to have the machine use less water and run longer. If you can explain that one to me, by all means, I'd like to hear your spin on all things...spin.

Yes, suddenly a 20-25 minute load took upwards of 40 to 50 minutes to wash with a miniscule amount of water. I understand waste not want not, but I also WANT my clothes to be clean, thank you very much. And what is this extended cycle thing all about? There are millions of Americans who dread doing laundry as it is. Now that you're doing laundry on Little House on the Prairie time, things are really out of hand.

But the time and the water aren't even the main reasons the dearly departed machines have since left the building. No, the real reason we replaced the replacements was because the promise to not rock was an empty one, as these more expensive machines were actually louder than the ones we originally had. It was like David Lee Roth replacing Howard Stern or even anyone for that matter replacing David Lee Roth. In the end, we were better off with what we had to begin with.

So the machines were sent back to the store and my parents ended up with much cheaper machines that don't go bump in the night.

Then again, without their misfortune I wouldn't have been able to air all their dirty laundry, now would I?
Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Put Me In Coach

I had no internet access last night so I'm a little behind on comment commenting...please hold the line. Someone will be with you shortly.

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, this Friday at my school marks the great American, elementary school pasttime.

That my friends is none other than field day.

Chances are if you grew up as an average child living in an equally average neighborhood, you dug field day. After all, this is usually every kid's dream to finally release all the energy they've been told to bottle in the whole year. Just like movie trailer previews, if you were going to miss one day of school this year, this would not be the one to miss.

Then there were the kids like me. We dreaded field day. Mainly this is because we were of the "if you can't be an athlete, be an athletic support" school of thought. Only we like to give our support from underneath a shady tree, far, far away from the action, thank you very much.

My feelings on field day can be best expressed by something the great singer James Ingram once said, I gave my best, but I guess my best wasn't good enough. I tried, I tried, and I tried...but everybody wanted to put me down. They said I was going crazy.

For me, field day was just an extension of all the things I couldn't do all year long in gym, only here they had come to life via color wars and the beating down of the unbearable heat. If I had played kickball with five friends in the cul de sac I wouldn't have nearly as much anxiety. Even everyday gym class didn't cause that much stress. At least then the kids got to, no matter how painful a process, choose their teams. With field day, all bets were off. It was like Survivor only this time nobody could be voted off the island. You were stuck there for the whole tour. A three hour tour.

Field day differs greatly though depending on where and when you go to school. For instance, field day is fun for nearly everyone (except maybe pollen sufferers) in first grade and for most in third. But by the time you get to fifth grade, field day can de downright degrading. By this time, the sides have been chosen, on and off the field. You don't color outside the lines in fifth grade. The battle lines have been drawn. This is my dance space, that's your dance space.

Field day also is different depending on where you live. I grew up in an uptight suburban neighborhood where kids (and their parents) were competitive about everything from grades, to name brand Gatorade to everything in between.

Nowadays I notice not all that much has changed about field day, only more and more kids have joined my way of thinking. It's weird. Kids today just don't like being outside, period. It's too hot. It's too cold. There's nothing to do. Can I just have detention? What is wrong with these kids anyway?!

No if I suffered my way through field day, so must they. Field day is a rite of passage. It's the chariots of fire of the preteen set. I say, what doesn't kill them will make them stronger.

Besides, it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you avoid playing the game.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tell It To Me Tuesday "People Are Strange"

Many moons ago I was tagged not once, but twice to do this meme. First by The Peach Pit, then by Dackel Princess.

I had the best of intentions to answer it each time, but as happens with many of them, I never actually got around to it. What can I say? I was never good at tag, even back in elementary school.

Then, months later, Cat asked me the exact same question. I might be a little slow on the uptake, but apparently inquring minds want to know. First though, I must turn it around and make it a topic for Tell It To Me Tuesday.

So, in the comments, please leave what you think are 5 weird things about yourself.

Since it's been in such popular demand, my weirdness will be on display this weekend. Who knows? I may even think of more than five.
Sunday, May 14, 2006

Write Back Weekend "How Can We Be Friends If We Can't Be Lovers?"

Before I dive into the friends vs. lovers debate, I have to say happy Lovers Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Now on to the hot debate of the week...Can men and women truly be friends?

I can see from the comments I received, my readers are clearly split on the issue. As for me, I'm what I like to call an "optimstic pessimist". This means I believe it can happen, but it's also not likely.

Scott over at Drunkenness Prohibited wrote an interesting, detailed response as a result of this question. He looks at it from not only a male/female perspective, but the type of males and females we are talking about. For instance, are they both straight? If so, he says it's a no go. If one is gay, it's much more likely to work.

I think it was implied in my question though that both parties need to be straight in order to analyze this question properly. Then again, when you bring a gay man or woman into the picture, the straight person in the scenario may secretly long the gay one will change their mind. I know what I'm talking about. I used to watch Will & Grace.

When I was in high school, one of my best friends was a guy. He had a lot of friends that were girls, most of which were strictly platonic scenarios. He had sorta hooked up with one girl in our "inner circle" and he had crushes on two friends of mine. At the time my parents always wondered why I didn't date him because he seemed like such a nice boy.

Fast forward a few years and the nice boy was still nice, only now he was an openly gay man. And no, I DON'T mean he grew to be exceptionally happy.

Then there's the whole co-worker situation. Many times, men and women become friends through their jobs and it remains kosher. Common ground includes job related woes, but usually there's a profesional line you just can't cross even if you wanted to. That however does not mean that either party cannot be attracted to the other, even if they don't act upon it.

But then again, I met my boyfriend at work in a Pam/Jim thing a la The Office. Of course I wasn't engaged, but our blossoming friendship was under constant scrutiny in a small, gossip charged office. I don't know about you ladies, but I'd have trouble staying just friends with this man too. But back to real life. My boyfriend and I started out as friends, which incidentally I think is the *best* way to start a relationship with a potential boyfriend/girlfriend. This allowed me to believe that he truly wanted to get to know me for me, and not just get in my pants. After the fact, my boyfriend says that's only half true.

I was also friends with another guy who worked in the office who was about the same age, but he was married. We still keep in touch and meet up for drinks from time to time. My boyfriend insists that while I hold the cards, this guy would totally go for a hook up, even if he is married. I don't like to believe it's true, but considering he has cheated on his wife before I do have my doubts. But again, it takes two to tango, so nothing has ever remotely happened.

But like some of you have pointed out, sometimes there is an initial attraction that whether acted upon or not, can get out of someone's system. Maybe it's someone you once dated and you've both moved on or maybe it's someone you never dated because the timing wasn't right. Usually though the security in this scenario revolves around the involved parties themselves and needs to be taken on a case by case basis.

And what if they are single or attached? Does the answer change? Some people might think a friend of the opposite sex is attractive, but they would never act upon it out of respect for their current relationship. If that relationship ends though, all bets are off. And really, what's wrong with that?

As some of you mentioned though, when and if it works, it can be a great thing. I personally love getting the chance to vent to a guy friend more than a girl friend. This is because they offer a perspective some of the same sex cannot no matter how hard they try. It's just finding these relationships, especially once you reach a certain age, that's the hard part. If you have one of these relationships you're lucky.

Finally, there's the interesting point that good blogging friend Pratt brought up. I have many friends and readers via AOGB who are male. I don't have any interest in hooking up with any of them. No offense. I can't speak for how they feel about me. But the point is, does it really count if you can't see them? Would the situation be different for a lot of bloggers who break the mold? Even Pratt will tell you that I questioned his motives when we first started talking...just because you never know...and you want to make sure as a woman, you make your boundaries clear.

After that, all bets are off.

So to review, can men and women be just friends? I leave you with a comment made by Honestyrain:

"no. i mean, probably yes, but no. definitely not. except sometimes, but even then, no, not really."
Friday, May 12, 2006

Tramps Like Us

Oh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant. My new renter is none other than...Jesus or more specifically, Emails From Jesus. If you haven't checked this site already you don't know what you're missing. A relatively new addition to my blogroll, I feel blessed to be amongst the chosen disciples. Yes it's true. Jesus loves you, you and even YOU. All he wants is a comment or two.

This weekend marks the first year anniversary of the New Jersey Bloggers Carnival. You might have one of these for your state, too. Then again, between The Sopranos, acid wash and Bon Jovi, the New Jersey inspired topics sometimes seem to take on a life of their own.

Take this one for example. In New Jersey, there is an ongoing debate over finding a new state slogan. For years, our slogan was the lame New Jersey & You: Perfect Together. But the problem with picking such gee whiz, honky dory catch phrases is they are like the fat kid at summer camp; often open to public mockery.

As it is New Jersey takes a lot of "hits", some that are and some that are not mob related. Then again, it seems that certain states are the brunt of jokes more than others. I guess they are just easier targets.

For instance, you never hear anybody putting down Montana or Virginia. If you lived in Montana or Virginia your whole life perhaps you'd disagree, but I'd be willing to bet that even if you lived in Montana or Virginia your whole life you still know a Jersey stereotype or two. So there.

So New Jersey and their "squeaky clean image" apparently held an online contest to pick the new state slogan. The winner was an equally lame replacement, "New Jersey: Come See For Yourself"

New Jersey: Come See For Yourself?

I know I didn't enter the contest but, someone really dropped the proverbial Pat Benatar ball on hitting me with their best shot on that one.

As if the corny slogan choice wasn't bad enough, it's already being West Virginia. I don't know which is worse, that New Jersey considered it to begin with or that it's already taken.

A few years ago a similar debate occurred over the selection of our state song. See somehow over the last 25 years, people from New Jersey have mistakenly confused Bruce Springsteen with God. It's a simple mix-up really. They both have been known to sport facial hair and they both have well known "posses". Bruce has the E Street Band while Jesus had the Apostles.

Yes, New Jersey had to pick one song, above all others, to define them as a state. Finally, this was their chance to prove the naysayers wrong. We are bigger than The Sopranos. We are more than acid wash. We are better than just Bon Jovi.

So what does New Jersey do? New Jersey turns around and chooses Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run as the leader of the pack. For those of you who are not familiar with the song, let me include here a clip from the refrain:

It's a death trap. it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we're young
'cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

Now I don't know where you come from, but in my mind, the words "death trap","suicide rap" "get out" and "tramps" should not be anywhere near each other when describing a state you want to work, play or even say VISIT one day.

Ok, fellow New Jersey residents. We get it. You dig Bruce and Born to Run is a killer song. But it's also a surefire way to lose ground in terms of credibility. The more you go picking songs like that the more you are saying you can take the hairspray from the girl, but you can't take the girl from her hairspray.

Since I live in New Jersey I can freely call it like I see it. Thems just the rules. It's you visitors that really need to watch your backs.

Hey, maybe I just came up with our new slogan after all.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Play That Funky Music Till You Die

Throughout my childhood I had but one, big spending vice. I absolutely, positively loved buying music.

I could forego the pair of new designer jeans. I could easily put back the Bonnie Bell lip smackers. But the latest cd to hit the shelves was always a must-have purchase.

Not only was I was obsessed with buying music, I was obsessed with getting new, never before heard from artists as well. In fact, the newer, the more obscure the better. Once they hit mainstream success I felt a tinge of pride, as if little ol' me somehow helped get them there.

To estimate just how much money I spent on music the first twenty-two years or so of life would be impossible. Considering much of that wasn't even my money to spend, I really should be crediting my parents. I could have gone ivy league. I coulda been a contender. Instead I just listened to Richard Marx's Repeat Offender.

So when some pimply faced kid thought up Napster he most definitely had people like me in mind. We're good, otherwise law abiding people who occassionally go wild and rip the tags off of mattresses and have tried to record a vcr tape or two. I like to call these "last minute laws". They are a la carte, picked and chosen seemingly at random by people who have nothing better to do. After all, these people are often of the do as I say, not as I do variety.

The music executives say they are against music piracy because it takes money out of the hands of deserving artists. But I know something else that takes money out of the hands of deserving artists, so gather 'round. This, my friends, are the music executives themselves. Talk about the pot calling the downloader black....or something like that.

Not only are the greedy music executives the reason many people download, it's the mediocre mishmash modern musicians are trying to pass off as music. I don't know about you, but most of the time when I hear an album by a new or established artist, rarely is the whole thing good from start to finish. When you find one of those, hold on tight, because they are just as rare a find as old 45.

This is why once I found the world of downloading in 2000 I never looked back. Yes, collectively we downloaders rode the bull called Napster till ashes to ashes, we all fell down. In 2002 I even wrote an article on the subject for Perfect Sound Forever called Down With Downloading. I might've been down, but I certainly was not out of I perservered and prevailed.

Years later and thousands saved, my conscience was clear. I could be sly and try to pretend I don't still download but who am I kidding, it's too late. I've already gone and ruined the first rule of the downloading club.

You never talk about the downloading club.

Then last week I heard the news that another great downloading softwarehas bit the dust. Just like Napster, and WinMx and Kazaa before it, BearShare too had its "Bad Day", down there in the bottom three with Kellie Pickler and Mandisa. Eventually even BearShare has to "go home", too.

Oh sure, you can wait around for born again version of these now extinct softwares, but who in the hell would want to go and do that? The free part of downloading is what makes it half the fun! The other half is convenience, but cheap convenience trumps plain ol' convenience any day.

Not unlike musical trends themselves, I think us downloaders will continue to keep our feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. Which turntable we will turn to next might be off the charts, but it's out there, waiting for us.

Of course, when we find it, we'll try our damndest to keep it all on the down low, or download low.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tell It To Me Tuesday "When Harry Met Sally..."

With this week's Tell It To Me Tuesday I am almost certain I am going to open up a can of worms. It's ok though because I'm gonna do it anyway.

On this fine Tuesday I'd like you to answer this all important, loaded question,

Can men and women truly be only friends?

Of course, both men and women's opinions are encouraged. A little he said/she said never hurt anyone.

More from this female's perspective this Sunday.
Sunday, May 07, 2006

Write Back Weekend "In The Eye of the Beholder"

First of all, my apologies to anyone who might've tried to reach me via my email address, I noticed I wasn't getting Haloscan comments delievered, but that happens occassionally anyway, so I didn't think much of it and didn't have the time to investigate.

When I finally did, I realized that apparently my quota was up and I had to purge all of incoming mail directly from the server. I did not have any warning this was going to happen. I guess they could have sent an email about it, but considering the inbox was full, that system wouldn't work too well, now would it?

Needless to say if you tried to send me something and it bounced back, feel free now to resend. Now on to more important ugly people.

This Tuesday the questions were:

1. Which supposed good looking celebs do you disagree with?
2. Which celebs do you think have faces only a mother can love?

Some of you I noticed, chose very wisely and you might even recognize a name or two of your choices on my lists.

The Just Don't Get It Crew

1. Antonio Banderas- Ok, I realize that women have swooned in his presence for years, but honestly I don't see what the fuss is all about. Maybe I'm just not in to the Latin lover thing. I don't know.

2. Julia Roberts- This is not to say that I think Julia is ugly, cause I don't. I do, however, think makeup makes a BIG difference with Julia, as it does for many, many celebs. I just don't think she's all that and a bag of chips, ok? In my mind, Pretty Woman should be remained to Eh, She's Aiight Chick.

3. Fabio- Listen, the men who seemingly have an overabundance of testosterone just do not do it for me AT ALL. This is what I like to refer to as the Chippendales factor. Chances are if they would, could or did ever work at Chippendales, I would have no interest. Give me a dorky slim guy over the big buff bad ass any day. I can't believe it's not butter? Try I can't believe it's not BETTER.

4. Rod Stewart- So girls everywhere might not be throwing their panties up on stage in droves like they once were, but there are still a lot of women that think Rod Stewart was and is hot, with or without the buckets of money he has. There is one thing I'll give him. I know he's older, but at least the man hasn't really changed all that much. Although I was way too young, from pictures I've seen I wouldn't have found him sexy in the seventies either. Thank God, he finally stopped asking us to let him know.

5. Sean Connery- I am not hating on the geriatric crew at all. I never found Connery attractive, not even when I catch him in the heyday of his sex symbol status as Bond. Now it's just worse because the man looks like a wax figure. And what is up with that accent anyway? Allegedly he's Scottish but you and I both know that's not only Scottish going on. It's more like Scottish meets speech impediment. I'll take the rapists for 500, Alex.

6. Lara Flynn Boyle- Give the girl a sandwich, don't give the girl a sandwich. Either way, my answer would be the same. The girl was is and will always be NADA. A gold star to whomever gets that quote by the way.:)

7. Rose McGowan- She made an ugly move by going out with an ugly man (Marilyn Manson) and doing lots of relatively ugly things. Then she went "legit" with Charmed which is also an ugly show. She's voluptous. But beyond that, I don't get it.

8. Melissa Joan Hart- Melissa is *this* close to being pretty, but there's something that has gone horribly wrong. It's the lazy eye thing I think. Normally, that doesn't bother me. But she feels like somebody I know. Like she could be my cousin or something. And the thought that a lazy eyed cousin is raking in THAT much do just doesn't sit right with me.

9. Stacy Ferguson, late twenties, early thirties edition- As I've stated before on this blog, I wanted to BE Stacy Ferguson, long before her "Fergie" days. All of my friends who watched Kids Incorporated did. She used to be adorable and pretty, all at the same time. But then something happened. I don't know if she did it or mother nature did, but either way, put a fork in this one cause she's DONE.

10. Heather Graham- Just as with many people on this list, I don't think Heather is ugly, I just don't think she's anywhere near being the goddess men make her out to be. A great body, I'll give her, but I'm not even sure all of it is real. And if you take away the blonde hair and makeup? Not nearly as rollergirl-a-riffic.

Faces Only A Mother Could Love
Of course, this list is much longer so I will attempt to find some brevity.

1. Philip Seymour Hoffman- Here's the thing. Philip, along with many other candidates on this list, lose points in style, but make up for it in substance. He's an ugly man, but he's an excellent actor so in a way, the two sorta cancel each other out.

2. Steve Buscemi- Poor Steve. Whenever anyone, anywhere is making a list of ugly celebs, Steve almost always makes the cut. As for the man himself, see the rule that applies to Philip above.

3. Paul Giamatti- In the trifecta of hot actors right now that aren't hot, Paul Giamatti rounds out the trio nicely. They may be ugly, but every movie needs a character that could be that guy you know. Right now, Paul G has cornered that market and does not seem to be going anywhere for awhile.

4. Harvey Keitel- Long before the days of Buscemi, Hoffman and Giamatti there was Keitel. And as Carly Simon once said, nobody does it better. Not only is this man ugly, someone decided that in the name of equality of the sexes, we're going to make this man, above all other exempt male actors, naked in a movie. Thanks, thanks a lot.

5. Adam Carolla- Back when I was in high school was when I first saw Adam Carolla. He was then co-hosting MTV's Loveline. My hatred of him flared up to something bigger than it had to be because not only is this man ugly, he's also as far as I can tell, talentless. The men above are not easy on the eyes, but at least they bring something to the table.

6. Corey Feldman- Perhaps the most controversial inclusion on this list, I have never seen the appeal of Corey Feldman. Luckily, after the year 1989, most of you stopped seeing the appeal as well. In the old school batter of Haim vs. Feldman, Haim prevailed. What Haim looks like now is another story entirely.

7. All The Members of Kiss- Just as Julia Roberts above, the guys from Kiss hid behind the magic of makeup for years. But then some genius decided the boys should release an album without makeup. It looked a little something like this. Needless to say, this is why the members of Kiss take the cake with or without eye shadow and foundation.

8. Chloe Sevigny- Now Chloe is a tough one. She's what I like to refer to as the almost pretty chick. You know. They talked about them in Clueless. She's a full on Monet. Far away she's ok, but up close it's just a big ol' mess. Amazingly, she has done some modeling over the years but she's one of those "I model because I'm ugly and my unique look will certainly catch your attention" type models. Currently she stars on HBO's Big Love and she struts around with long hair and Mormon preacher garb. The look completes her.

9. Martha Plimpton- Before Chloe, there was Martha. Anything that has been said about Chole can also apply to Martha. In fact, I'd love to see a movie where these two women play sisters. A remake of Cinderella, perhaps? For years, Juliette Lewis could have fit in with these ladies nicely, but she has, as Gloria Estefan once said, seemed to have "come out of the dark".

10. Any Baldwin that's NOT Alec- I submit for your approval, the Baldwin family. They are truly a modern medical marvel. This is because while brothers William, Daniel, Stephen and Alec all totally look like they are related, Alec's gene pool works where his brothers do not. William had a bit of a reprieve, but that passport has long since expired. Think Patrick Swayze (in his early days) vs. Don Swayze and you'll know what I'm talking about.

So close, yet so far away.
Friday, May 05, 2006

Tell Me Something Good

I almost forgot to mention to go visit new renter, The Battle Rock Spot. I've been a previous tennant there and I was treated with nothing but kindness. Chocolates on the pillow, the whole bit.

When I was a teenager, my friends and I had a weird half obsession with all things psychic. I say "half obsession" because we always took our psychic readings like we took our fries, with a grain or two of salt.

It worked a little something like this. We went in wanting to believe what we would hear would be something profound and life changing, but rarely, if ever, did it work out that way. But what could a girl expect for $5 to $10 dollars a pop? Which is what, incidentally, we usually would end up spending. This is how we found out that learning about the future is just like shopping for a new car; you gotta pay for quality.

While I can't trace the exact origin of our psychic excursions, I can say that as a Jersey girl, most of your first time future readings were at the whim of a boardwalk psychic. This was because they were were really cheap and also, easily accessible.

As preteen and teenage girls throughout the state of New Jersey will tell you, the boardwalk, and everything on it, is riddled with rites of passage. Therefore, the boardwalk psychic is merely one stop along the tram car ridden highway.

The key to cracking the ghetto psychic is easy. Never show your hand. If you've got a "psychic" who asks more than she tells, chances are she's no clairvoyant. I used to get a kick out of playing with these psychics, subtlely letting them know that I knew they knew NOTHING. Of course, they still had my money, so what did they really care?

No, the mark of a true psychic is someone who asks you to reveal very little and in turn, offers you a lot. I'll never forget one of my first psychic boardwalk experiences. I went with my best friend at the time. My reading is a blur, but hers has stayed with me to this day. She went in, sat down and the psychic looked at her and said:

You're adopted.

As legend, or the words from my thirteen year old's friend's mouth, would have it, she said nothing to this woman before receiving this information in return. Of course this was all told to me second hand as I was there, I just wasn't in the room. It doesn't really matter if it happened to me. I've spent years chasing the "true psychic dream" ever since.

Many bum psychic experiences later, I thought I was doomed to either meet many deadbeat psychics, or lead a mundane, crappy existence that no one had the heart to break to me.

Then I went to this coffeehouse one night with two friends of mine.

The coffeehouse was packed and multiple psychics were being used. My friends ended up getting the same psychic while I got a different woman. I can't remember the specifics now, but we all, although some of us went to different people, were freakishly freaked out.

Now anyone who is in to telling the future will tell you at least one thing, most psychics are told not be the bearer of bad news. Therefore, if they see something in the cards that dicates something awful, mum, not grease, is the word.

So imagine our surprise when my one friend was given a few different warnings about being cautious, one in particular about her driving over the next few days. This sufficiently creeped her out and, by default us as well considering she was the designated driver. A few days later she showed up at my house, white as a ghost, because she nearly got into a collision with another car. This, along with a few other minor occurrences were enough to cause use to go back to the same place a few months later.

But here's the really spooky part, the whole coffeehouse, the psychics and yes even the coffee too, was gone. Kaput. Finished. There was no forwarding address and a few neighboring stores either did not know of the place or did not know where they had gone. It was all surreal. Here we had attempted to go back to the future and instead our outlook was not good, try again later. If only we had taken the DeLorean instead of my friend's Pontiac.

Years have gone by since that last brush with psychic greatness. I've never called up Dionne Warwick and friends for their services, but something tells me I don't need a psychic to tell me about my financial woes as the minutes for the call tick by.

Still, I know it's a matter of time before I find the perfect psychic one day and when I do, I'll be ready to do the time warp again.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I Can't Go For That. No. No Can Do.

So a few weeks ago, I finally watched the latest show that has taken the world by storm.

I'm sure you've heard of it. It's called Deal Or No Deal.

Just in case you haven't, Deal Or No Deal is a highly addictive game show a la Who Wants To Be A Millionaire or The Weakest Link. These shows actually have a few things in common. For one, they all involve money, greed and inane catch phrases. For another, they are all "highly addictive" because every other night, these shows are on. It's called guerilla style programming. If they did that with say, Arrested Development, I'm sure there would have been a very different outcome.

It works like this. A contestant comes on and has a briefcase placed in front of them. Standing on the stage, are 25, beautiful women who look like they are ready for the formal wear portion of a beauty pageant. They are holding additional briefcases. Monetary amounts are posted on the board ranging from #1.00 being the lowest and 1 million being the highest. The contestant keeps calling the beautiful, highly talented women, to open their cases. If inside the case there is a small number, this is a good thing because that means that's one more low amount she cannot win. If it's a big number though, statistically she has lowered her chances of having a big number at the end.

With me so far?

In between all of this we have two other people I have to mention. One is the host, Howie Mandel. You might remember Mr. Mandel from his numerous comedic performances over the years. He has also made a few movies, but mostly his claim to fame has been stand up comedy and practical joke like schtick. Oh, and he's famous for having a classic case of OCD. Now forget all of about the wonderful talents I told you about cause with the exception of a joke or two, you won't see any of it on Deal Or No Deal.

The last person you need to know about is the banker. The banker is a silhouette who sits high above the stage. Everytime the contestant opens a case, the banker calls Mandel who then passes along a message of how much money the banker is willing to settle for. If you just opened a big number case, his offer decreases, but if you open a small number, the offer increases, thus making it harder to decide if you should hold 'em or walk away.

This is when Mandel asks the question that will stick with you for days after:

Deal Or No Deal?

First of all, how many times do you think the man is contractually obligated to say those four little words? I mean, all he's saying is the title of the show, but for some reason, it's his delivery that sticks with you. I guess this is why he got the job. Before you know it, you find yourself using the phrase with your co-workers, your children, your get the idea. You forget how you asked someone if they wanted to do something before. All you know is that suddenly, saying deal or no deal sounds much cooler.

But here's the real kicker. Despite all of these directions, there is actually no skill whatsoever to this game.

On Millionaire you at least had to answer trivia questions to move up the monetary ladder. Here you just have to decide between a brunette, blonde and redhead. It's a glorified game of I'm Thinking of A Number...
and the results are rooted in luck. You can't play Deal Or No Deal well, you just have to manage the hand that was dealt to you.

The other difference is the use of lifelines. On Millionaire, you have three, prechosen people who you have selected. You chose those people for particular reasons and because you think they'd be good at helping you in a crunch. You call upon them only when and if you need them.

On Deal Or No Deal, there are lifelines too, only they are random family members and coworkers you decided to bring with you on the trip. They're good companions to see the sites with during the day, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'd want them at the Deal Or No Deal studios. They stand on the edge of the stage, rooting you on, but they have no more expertise than you do. Why? Because you can't beat a game like Deal Or No Deal! It's like playing with one of those fortune telling balls with another friend. Neither one of you has an edge. You're both in the same boat. No, all these people manage to do is confuse the contestant more.

The girlfriend will give you a guilted look if you make a bad decision because she wants the money to get married, finally. Your mom, meanwhile, wants you to be reasonable about your choices and not do anything too wild. Nearly every amount that comes on the board is a reasonable stopping point for the paranoid parent.

Then you have the loose cannon friend, the one who has the least connection to you. Usually they are a coworker or a "family friend". These people almost always want you to go for it. Why? Because they probably aren't going to see much, if any, of that money anyway, so they have no reason not to push for an all or nothing scenario. Family is at least, for the most part, looking out for your best interest. That random friend though just wants to see how much you'll do. It's like when you were a kid and your friend dared you to eat something disgusting. Well this is that friend only grown up.

As if hearing the incessant chants to GO FOR IT! from friends and family wasn't bad enough, you have a studio full of complete strangers who also will assault you with their opinions. If these people told you to do something in real life, you wouldn't do it, but in a pressure cooker situation, every Deal Or No Deal contestant turns into an Afterschool special kid who is being offered drugs for the first time. Suddenly, fueled by a cocktail of popularity, greed and peer pressure, it becomes impossible to say no.

Sure, you walk in level headed, but somewhere along the way, greed grabs a hold of you and will not let go. I've seen good men get ruined on Deal Or No Deal. People who are up to $300,000 but still want to hold out for the elusive $1 million. They forget the fact that being $300,000 richer by doing next to nothing at all ain't too shabby. No, they want more. It's the stuff casino cash cows are made of.

In fact, me thinks Deal Or No Deal is actually a great metaphor for life. All day long we make decisions that change the course of our future. Most of us have enough, but we still want more.

I guess it really is as a wise woman, Cyndi Lauper, once said, money changes everything.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Who Is The Fairest Unfairest Of Them All?"

At first this week's Tell It To Me Tuesday was inspired by a post on Tiny Voices In My Head.

A few weeks ago, she asked her readers which celebrity men (and women) were pretty ugly. Only the catch was this, most of the world thinks these people are decent looking. So really, what I'm looking for is a list of people that others think are good looking that you just don't get at all.

But then I heard about Boston Phoenix's list of the 100 Most Unsexy Men Alive and I figured, why not open it up to that, too?

So it's a two-parter:

1. Which supposed good looking celebs do you disagree with?
2. Which celebs do you think have faces only a mother can love?

You'll hear more about my choices this Sunday.



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