Thursday, March 31, 2005

American Idol Top 5

1. Carrie, 2. Bo, 3. Nadia, 4. Vonzell, 5. Constantine

1. Carrie, 2. Nikko, 3. Bo, 4. Scott, 5. Anwar

1. Carrie, 2. Nikko, 3. Bo, 4. Vonzell, 5. Scott

We're so lame, I know. Sorry.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I diagnosed myself with Borderline Personality Disorder on my way to work this morning. The radio ad was like, "Are you sometimes anxious? Do you sometimes want to yell at people? Then you may be eligible for a study on Borderline Personality Disorder."

The ads for kids are good too: "Does your child's attention wander? Do they have trouble completing activities? They may be eligible for a study on what it's like to be seven."

When Peter was getting his masters in psychology he told me that he diagnosed himself with every weird condition they studied. After my aphasia class in grad school, Gili and I were convinced we were about to have strokes. At least we could have had a double stroke party, sort of like the Brady sisters double wedding.

Sorry, that's just my BPD talking.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Top TV Shows

My Top 5, or 18

1. American Chopper
2. House
3. Good Eats
4. A Cook's Tour
5. The Simpsons
6. American Idol
7. Justice League Unlimited
8. Iron Chef America
9. Mythbusters
10. The Contender
11. World Poker Tour
12. Seinfeld
13. 30 Minute Meals
14. $40 a Day
15. Teen Titans
16. Yu-Gi-Oh
17. Judgment Day
18. Home Movies

Red's Top 5

1. House
2. $40 a Day
3. Sex and the City
4. Real World/Road Rules Challenge
5. Do you have any clementines?

Monday, March 21, 2005

we're gonna need a bigger boat...and budget

As fully expected, Spring Break Shark Attack was the greatest event of my life. I was BY MYSELF giggling and shrieking on the couch. I'm not kidding. It was fantastic for all the following reasons:

- Main Character Girl wants to go to spring break with her friends, but her dad says no. She screams that he had an affair, which is apparently supposed to be her argument for going. It doesn't work.
- Brilliant foreshadowing: Dad says she can't go to Florida because the guys down there are all SHARKS. Oh snap.
- Coincidentally, MCG is supposed to leave the next morning for Habitat for Humanity and instead goes to see her friends. We know this happens because they show her waving goodbye to her loving, cheating parents, then they do a close-up of her smirking, and then the next shot is Florida. That's editing, baby!
- MCG's Brother is also down there but he's doing marine research. We know he's smart because he's a good-looking guy who they threw some big glasses, bad clothes, and greasy hair on.
- Brother warns MCG about the "ecosystemic consequences" of an artificial reef they've built and how it's riling up the tiger sharks. But because Brother tells MCG to stay out of the water, she screams that he can't tell her what to do, that no one can control her. Because that's what you're really trying to do when you tell a member of your family to avoid a flesh-eating monster.
- A Sleazy Guy Who You Know Is Going To Die First is dancing at a club with his girlfriend, who is MCG's friend. Then he turns around, sees another girl, and drunkenly picks her up with, "Hey, wanna hook up later?" Hot.
- Dad shows up to bring MCG home. She again screams that he had an affair. Irrelevance abounds.
- MCG meets the only non-drunk guy on spring break. We know he's supposed to be intelligent and sensitive because he storms out of the club to go to the bookstore next door. He's also a poor local, and when you're poor you're sensitive. If you're rich you wear hair gel and put roofies in soda.
- After a huge shark attack on a boat during which everyone almost dies, MCG's friend complains that her fake ID is ruined.
- In the brilliantly downplayed final scene, a bunch of spring breakers are dancing on some floaty thing when 900 sharks begin to swim over. MCG and Sensitive Boy immediately set sail to throw vats of chum out the back of their boat in order to draw the sharks away. They don't bother telling the lifeguard about the situation, although she maybe could have helped by blowing her GET OUT OF THE WATER whistle.
- Roofies Guy gets eaten. Shark gets indigestion from hair gel.
- MCG can not only drive a boat, but drive a boat after its engine has been bitten off.
- It turns out the whole thing was a ploy by the owner of another beach who tried to divert the sharks over to his competitor's beach so that all the spring breakers would come party at his beach. He didn't really want anyone to die, but he was also really concerned about his snack bar losing business. Now that's living the American dream.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


It's the first day of spring, and the weather is actually nice. Unfortunately the relatively mild temperature is contrasted by the piles of snow everywhere, but a few of my windows are open for the first time in months and that's enough to make me happy. I got to spend time this weekend with Jen, Mark, and Steve. Steve and I made public service announcements on his new digital camera, which I'll post here if I can figure out how to do it, if only because it will make Joe happy (to see Steve's creative genius) and Jason happy (to see me on the Internet, without me having to figure out iSight). Although I've lived in my apartment for almost three years (!), I just discovered a truly great hole-in-the-wall Mexican place less than a mile away that scores big in both the food and atmosphere categories. I got a long and involved activity done for my kids that I've wanted to put together for awhile (I won't bore you with the details, except to say that it involves fishing poles, magnets, and large quantities of velcro). I silently cursed Melissa for apparently buying ALL of the free iTunes Diet Pepsis in the tri-state area. I finally coaxed Jen into reading my blog by telling her that I talk about her in it and who knows what I could be saying, so she sat down and read it in its entirety and probably for the last time. Hi and bye, Jenny.

Also, I did my first lesson plan for my ESL class. I'm volunteering as an ESL teacher for a literacy group in the next town. I've wanted to do volunteer work for awhile and this language-y stuff is up my alley anyway. The training has been on Monday nights for the past three weeks. I have two more Mondays to go and then I'll be able to start teaching a class of my own. I haven't worked with adults since grad school so it should be fun.

But it all pales, PALES, in comparison to this, which is already the highlight of my weekend, and it's not even on until tonight. I am so damn excited.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

why are people like this allowed to live on the planet?

Reasons I Knew This Other Town Chairperson Was a Complete Fuck Bunny:

1. At one point he said, "Why don't we hear from Cameron now?" and then everyone sat there in silence looking at each other. Then Fuck Bunny turned to me and was like, "Cameron? It's Cameron, right?" When I corrected him, he looked at me like I just really put him out by not being named Cameron.
2. Once I re-introduced myself, and everyone else continuously referred to me by that name throughout the meeting, he insisted on calling me by my full name. Don't do that. Don't extend the name. I wouldn't call you Fuck Bunniford.
3. When clarifying a point he was trying to make, he would say, "Do you understand this?" like he was addressing a zygote.
4. Whenever anything remotely anecdotal or light-hearted about the kid was shared between staff and family which, hang onto your hats, is actually important to building rapport in a relationship that is full of delicate balances, Fuck Bunny would clear his throat and say, "Yes, so ANYWAY..."
5. After the meeting he told me he wanted to talk to me for a minute, and then informed me that because I have a notebook in which I take notes during all my kids' meetings that my notebook is now public record and that it could be sequestered, and I suddenly pictured it sitting on a table in a little room, all alone and not allowed to read newspapers. Did he mean subpoenaed? Are they the same thing, in this case? Will it be testifying for or against Michael Jackson? Cameron needs answers.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Red's March Movie Madness '05

Sideways - 4.5 piglets. The first movie I've seen in a long time during which you felt every inch of awkwardness and sadness that the main character was experiencing, and then a few minutes later you were laughing so hard you were crying (really, crying). No imposed morality...the rat character was still a rat at the end, without getting his proverbial tail cut off. And a great ending that was satisfying without having everything wrapped up in a bow. It was so nice to see a movie that managed to not be moronic mainstream but also not self-important independent. (I'm talking to you, Zach Braff.)

Constantine - 1 piglet. I hate movies that touch on these huge, scary things (angels and demons and exorcism, oh my) and then have the bad guys look like the most generic crap you'd expect. Like in Signs, when the alien looked like you would if you went to Target around Halloween and bought an alien costume for $14.99. But back to the movie at hand. Some potentially interesting stuff going on here, but Gavin Rossdale as a demon, and Keanu as the mediator between heaven and hell? Shoot the hostage.

But I'm a Cheerleader - Piglets Not Applicable. I was planning to watch this movie but then forgot it was on. Then I cancelled my movie channels. Darn.

Mark's March Movie Madness '05

Note: All films are scaled on a 1-5 Piglet Ratio, with 1 as the lowest, and 5 as the most esteemed.

Siddhartha - (4 piglets) This is the 1972 Conrad Rooks adaptation of Herman Hesse's revolutionary novel. The work that changed the life of every modern day Buddhist and Beat Poet. Why only 4 Piglets? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? Is Siddhartha the Buddha? According to Rooks, the BOATMAN was the Buddha, and then, at the end Siddhartha becomes the new boatman, BUT he is so old by the end of the film when he finds nirvana the he could not have gone on to teach all of his disciples and students. After the Buddha sat under the Bodhi Tree and gained enlightenment, he went on to teach the Way. I am so confused about this film. If anyone knows what the Hell just happened, please Email me or make a Posting to my blog. Thanks.

I Robot - (5 Piglets) I can't remember the last time I saw such a great film. First of all it's about fuckin' ROBOTS, I mean what could be greater than that! Robots that run rampant and are on the verge of annihilating all humankind, and what's better than THAT? Will Smith is totally jacked AND he is partially an ANDROID!! I mean COME ON!! And what could be better than THAT?!?! The main robot has grown a soul, destroys a killer computer, and then becomes the GOD OF ALL ROBOTS!! Owwwwwwwwwwwww!!

SAW - (3 1/2 Piglets) This movie should have been called: "I want to be Se7en." Lame. Not scary. BUT there were enough interesting plot twists to make it watchable, and, at the very end, perhaps even commendable. Great ending (except for the penultimate tag-line). Oddly enough, not enough violence for a would-be violent movie.

Sideways - (5 Piglets) A perfect film. Not a shot or a scene wasted. A young wine taster and borderline alcoholic goes on a week long romp through wine country with his soon-to-be-married and infidelic best friend. The film is really about the old philosophical adage "is the glass half full or half empty?" Which plays nicely with the fact that these two friends coming at life from polarized angles. It's also about finding the right person to spend time with, and how easily life can fuck that up.

Constantine - (4 Piglets) John Constantine is basically a demon-slayer, which you would think would put him on the side of righteousness, however, he isn't a believer... he doesn't have any faith, so his soul is caught in limbo, being fought over by the powers of Light and Darkness. This movie isn't the next Matrix, in fact, it really isn't very good. However, there's this one brilliant shot of an Angel with fully spread wings, praying over a dead man that makes the film worth seeing. Also, the theme of the cosmic battleground between Heaven and Hell actually taking place here on Earth (not in the afterlife) is a wonderful step towards the truth and modernizing the way we look at our lives and spiritual evolution.

Flight of the Phoenix - (2.5 Piglets) You're the captain of a plane that goes down in the middle of the Asian Desert. You have limited supplies and water, and your crew is dying left and right. To top it off, there's a tribe of potentially hostile mercenaries scavenging the land, and they are hot one your trail. What to do? Well, make ANOTHER plane out of your plane! Why not? You have all the parts and you have a plane architect right there among you. The only thing that you DON'T know is that he actually builds MODEL PLANES, not full-sized, fully functioning aircrafts. Are you fucked? Tune into this summer flick to find out.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Thursday, March 10, 2005

damn you Noah and Allie

I'm not a particularly sappy person (except when looking at old issues of my college paper). I don't usually like sappy movies. But then I saw The Notebook and had a shamefully sappy reaction to it. I mean, it's based on a NICHOLAS SPARKS novel. That's like one step up from Harlequin, right? We're talking the Lifetime movie of literature. So I tried to forget about this dark moment in my life, but then Mark got me the DVD when it came out, perhaps because my uncharacteristically girly reaction to it amused him. So I tried easing into it by just watching the trailer. And proceeded to cry like a baby. At a COMMERCIAL for a MOVIE that is so SAPPY I could DIE. What the hell is the matter with me?

In other news, I'm having a Dance Dance Revolution party. I already called O.P.P. and Easy Lover, although I had to fight a Certain Phil Collins Enthusiast for the latter. You know who you are.

Can you tell I figured out how to put in web links?

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Becca Wire 1

I was at my parents' house over the weekend (why yes, I did have some peanut butter while there) and was doing that familiar rummage-through-the-crap-you-left-behind-and-see-if-any-of-it-is-crap-you-want-to-take-with-you routine. I claimed a long forgotten pair of shoes which, sadly enough, were identical twins to the ones already on my feet, proving my resistance to wearing anything except black boots with a slight heel. I opened what I assumed to be an empty shoebox and discovered it was filled with random stuff that I hadn't wanted to throw out but didn't know what to do with (I now have an attic full of junk experiencing the same kind of identity crisis). Long letters from my summer camp best friend who I never saw again, a Cherry Poppin' Daddies CD to serve as a painful reminder that I once jumped on the swing music bandwagon, pictures, mix tapes, and a eight-year-old issue of my college paper, the illustrious Wheaton Wire. Of course I sat right down to look at it and I was immediately the happiest person on the planet to have found it again. It doesn't sound like much, I know, but it took me right back to May of my sophomore year.

There was an article on the Head of the Peacock, which was the annual make-boats-out-of-duct-tape-and-string-cheese-and-fall-in-the-pond event that kicked off spring weekend, which was just one of those perfect college experiences. Anyone who went to school with me and is reading this right now can feel free to berate me for my overly romanticized memory, but it just always seemed that spring weekend came on the actual weekend when it really started to feel like spring...which, as anyone who grew up or went to school in New England knows, is nothing short of miraculous after a long winter.

There was another article reviewing the Indigo Girls concert that had just happened on campus. At the time, they were one of my big favorites, and the concert was completely perfect...perhaps partly because I hadn't yet met Jason, who would forever taint my love for the Indigo Girls by commenting, "Great, another song about FEAR." Anyway, I was there with my friends, hearing some of our favorite songs, and it was just a great night.

There's a picture of the members of the male a capella group, who were like our own personal boy band, promoting an upcoming concert (or should I say jam) which means there's a picture of Mark, who I wasn't friends with at the time, and hardly ever talked to while we were both in school together, except for the time he was visiting someone in my dorm and stopped by to tell me he'd lived in my room two years earlier. Another time, I was sitting on a bench talking to someone and he walked up to ask me if I was the same Red that his friend had made out with recently. I wasn't, but don't you love the genesis of conversations between college students?

There's also my column, which is probably the reason I saved the paper to begin with. I started writing it freshman year and continued it pretty consistently, I think, through senior year. I have absolutely no idea what I wrote about, to be honest, but I must have come up with a hell of a lot of crap. This is the only issue I saved so I'm not even exaggerating when I say I can't remember at all. There's also a big picture of me next to the column, because the layout editor at the time had a crush on me. It sounds cute, but of course, because it's me, it ended up working against me. He came by and took a picture of me but then told me that he didn't have pictures of Keith or Luke, the other columnists, and didn't seem particularly motivated to acquire them. I didn't know Keith yet because it was his first column, but I called Luke and told him he had to give this kid a picture because I couldn't be the only one with one. So Luke turned in this picture of himself wearing a huge clown wig with his baseball cap on top. So there's clown guy, pictureless guy, and a disproportionately big but normal picture of me, which made me look like the girl who didn't get the joke.

Keith's debut column, and the only one I really remember, except for the one when he used my name in vain, was about halogen lamps and how they shouldn't be banned because...well, because fuck you, we like our halogen. We were all pissed when they banned them, even though they were PILLARS OF FIRE. I love the causes you jump on when you're nineteen. Maybe it's because the only things you own when you're nineteen are your clothes, some books you never read, and...a halogen lamp.

Fittingly enough, my column title in that issue was "Memories, Like the Corners of my Mind." I didn't actually always quote Barbra Streisand, but you'll have to take my word on that. So, yeah, it was just a nice little nostalgic snapshot. Call me sappy, but it made me happy.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

peanut, peanut butter...and jelly

You may be familiar with my relationship with peanut butter. It's probably the most tumultuous relationship of my life, actually. I love it way too much, in all its many forms...creamy, crunchy, extra crunchy, in sandwiches, on toast, on crackers, as an ice cream flavor, in any form Reeses deems acceptable, it don't matter. No good can come of my prolonged exposure to peanut butter. Whenever I would buy it I'd tell myself, it's protein, it's all natural, it's made from peanuts, for cryin out loud, and even the low-carbers can eat peanuts! But then I proceed to eat peanut butter for every meal of the day, simply because it's in my possession and I LOVE IT. It just doesn't matter if it's reduced fat if you go through a jar in under a week. So I've restricted myself to only having it when I'm staying at my parents' house, which is not often. Good, right? Until I get to my beloved Whole Foods today and I'm wandering the aisles in the innocent pursuit of that honey in the plastic teddy bear bottle. AND THEN, as I'm looking at the list of stuff that's in every aisle, you know, that sign that says: water, pasta, pretzels, etc...I see the words Peanut Butter Machine.

I actually gasped out loud. I heard myself. Then I went to find said machine. People, it was glorious. It was this big, crazy-looking thing with jars of different kinds of peanuts. That's right, it wasn't just a peanut butter machine; it was a MAKE YOUR OWN peanut butter machine. I gasped again. Audibly. Then I realized I required back-up. Suddenly I became a frantic cell phone user.

Mark: Hey.
Me: I have a huge problem.
Mark: What?
Me: I'm at Whole Foods and there's a peanut butter machine.
Mark: There's a what?
Me: A peanut butter machine. A machine that makes peanut butter!
Mark: You need to just keep walking.
Me: No. I want to use it!
Mark: Keep walking!
Me: I can't!
Mark: Oh, fuck. Can I call you right back?
Me: No! I need help!
Mark: I'll call you right back.
Me: Okay.

Jen: Hey.
Jen: What?
Me: I'm at Whole Foods and there's a peanut butter machine!
Jen: Of course there is.
Me: You've seen this?
Jen: Yeah, I've been using it since I was like eight.
Me: You knew about this and didn't tell me?
Jen: Yeah, it's no big deal! Just buy a little!
Me: You are not a good friend right now.

Other Jen: Hi, it's Jen, please leave a message and I'll call you back.
Me: I don't care that you have a job and that you're at it right now and so you're not answering your cell phone. I'm at Whole Foods and they have a PEANUT BUTTER MACHINE AND IT'S RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME AND NO ONE CAN HELP ME. Call me.

I shook off the bad karma by not giving in to the peanut butter machine and by allowing Whole Foods to inspire me in other ways, which led to my making lemon garlic chicken, rice pilaf, and glazed carrots* for Jen and I. So I'm still without the PB, but at least I'm making a stab at domesticity.

*Until today, I was not aware that one could glaze a carrot.