Thursday, May 31, 2007

Could You Spell That Please?

The Scripps National Spelling Bee might be the last genuine bit of programming on television. It's not puffed up with lights and celebrity (it's at the Hyatt), it's galaxies away from the influence of fashion (ah, the white polo t-shirt!), it lacks a plot created in an editing suite, and is basically a huge bore. Only, it's not a bore at all. And that's why it's so fascinating. The Spelling Bee has the potential to be worse than watching Charlie Rose on mute, but whenever it's on, I'm glued.

And It's not about the spelling. Well, not entirely. No one needs to know how to spell anymore--that's common knowledge. So i guess there's a strange fascination with these little kids who have spent the better parts of their youth memorizing words no one uses. Spell check Peggy! Now go out and play! But it's this strange art almost. This awkward, brilliant, performance art and ESPN is smart enough to let us all in on it. Spelling words is the excuse to see how the brain works. To actually view the process of the left brain churning and then to witness it link up with the right when the bell either dings, or doesn't. It's the most advanced form of people watching on TV. Some of these kids have already perfected their poker faces at 11-years old, and that's pretty sad. But the kids who react as if playing "emotion charades" are the best. Their relief, or surprise, or frustration, or sadness is loud in their expressions. It's so real you have to think hard about the last time you might have seen something so honest.

But let's not build it up too much. Some of the kids are really annoying, asking questions for the full 2-minutes they're allowed. "Could you use it in a sentence?" "Could you repeat that sentence?" "Language of origin please?" "What was the word again?" "Is there another pronunciation?" Ok, Jimmy, spell or leave. They repeat the word over and over, and the announcer repeats the word back to them.
"Reseau? Is that right?"
"Sounds right. Reseau."
And then you feel like you want to punch someone.

A few years ago I came up with the "Lord of the Rings" Drinking Game. Basically, anytime a character in the movie stared into the distance, you had to drink. 15-minutes into each movie, everyone was wasted. The National Spelling Bee Drinking Game might beat that. Every time the word is said out loud, take a drink. It's probably not a great idea at the actual event, but for people viewing at home, it could be a good time. If by next year the event is called the "Miller High Life National Spelling Bee," you owe me a dollar.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

God's Weird Birthday Party.

If you happen to watch Fox News you know that God's Birthday falls on May 23, or, whatever day of the year the American Idol Finale airs. And to celebrate, God enjoys throwing a little party. It's called, the American Idol Finale. It's actually pretty convenient how that all works out. But then, why wouldn't it be?

I don't watch Fox News, so I didn't know about this whole birthday thing. But after seeing the show last night, it became quite clear that only an omniscient being could have put that little get-together together. Party hats and streamers do not a God birthday make. One needs the most interesting people, one needs Ryan Seacrest, one needs lots of music, and one needs an ice cream cake. (It was in the back of the auditorium, the camera never showed it but it was there). Last night's finale at the Kodak Theatre was the most bizarre grouping of humans in one space--ever. It was obvious that God had made the guest list in hopes of outdoing last year's party, which He so carefully planned with a twist ending, "Um, and then i want the 'Soul Patrol' guy to win. He's funny."

Let's discuss that guest-list, shall we? In no particular order, these are some faces I saw in the crowd.
-Jerry Springer
-Jeff Foxworthy
-Rebecca from Full House and some young boys who were definitely not Nicky and Alex
-Constantine "I'll stare into every camera i see" Maroulis
-Denise Richards
-Jennifer Hudson
-Jack Bauer
-Helen Thomas
-The Shah of Iran. Or, I think it was the Shah's cousin.
Just to name a few.

For such an esteemed list of attendees, the performances had to be spot on. Hot artists of the now such as Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson.
A Pretenders cover by Carrie Underwood.
A set with Smokey Robinson and the fat kid with the horrible hair.
Gladys Night. (Because nothing sets off a party quite like a woman named Gladys.)
A piece in which Blake and Doug E. Fresh worked the stage together, ensuring that everyone in America would try for at least 15 seconds to beatbox.
Oh, and then Bette Midler showed up out of nowhere to sing "Wind Beneath My Wings." You know, because it was relevant.
I enjoyed watching Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul dry-hump each other while doing the Angels in the Outfield arm movements to that song. It was appropriate. PS. Randy, the man who is making your suits is pulling a tragically successful joke on you. Fire him dog, the suits really didn't work for me. Particularly that suit with sailing rope all over it. I wasn't feeling it dog.

The entire night was just about as weird as you could want. But just to make sure there were no doubts about that, this lady showed up.
Maybe next year, I don't know, perhaps just a small dinner party? A few close friends, the ice cream cake, maybe make a cool little party shuffle on your playlist? Just a thought.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Enough Already.

Enrique Iglesias sang "Hero" on Dancing With the Stars tonight and it occurred to me that the song could easily be 35 years old. Still with the Hero Enrique?? Really?!

My problem with the song is trifold:
1) It's horrible. (Did I even need to mention that?)
2) It's a song comprised almost entirely of questions and that's really annoying.
3) Still singing this song is like the inventor of the crimp iron still walking around and saying, "Hey, you know the crimp iron? That was me. Should we make out now, or later?"

With every question he asks in the song I grow more and more frustrated. Who the hell is he talking to? And hasn't he figured out after all these years that they're not going to answer?

It's a random rant. I'm just not a fan.
And at one point during the show I was pretty sure Enrique was tap dancing. That turned out not to be the case. Either way, it was lame.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Remember When Fridays!

The blog has taken a backseat to a few things as of late. (Thanks for still reading grandma.) In an effort to keep things interesting, and guarantee a post a week, I am proud to introduce "Remember When" Friday.

There's no way for you to know this, but an old Asian man wearing a baseball cap that reads, "Whatever." just blew on one of those blowout party favors into my face. He was hired to do so. I'm going all out for these "Remember When" Fridays, people.

Please feel free to contribute pieces of garbage stuck in your mind to Remember When postings on Fridays. It'll be a fun. Or, it won't. But I can promise you, it will be one of the two.

So, without further ado. Ah-hem.

Remember when DJ Tanner was invited to a Kimmy's pool party but felt bad about her body in a bathing suit and tried to lose weight by starving herself and eventually passing out on a StairMaster?

Yeah, I remember that one too.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'll Pencil That In.

When I arrived in New York, Sabrina told me it was imperative that I buy a planner. She said that people living here have too many things going on and that if I ever wanted to see anyone, I'd have to plan weeks in advance. That's fine. It's so not me, but you know, when in Rome.

But here's the problem with planners for people who don't have "jobs." They're really silly. No, I mean like seven-year old kid scheduling you into their Blackberry silly. When people ask me my plans for 2 weeks from now, I can say with great confidence that I'll be free. But part of me wants to flip through my imaginary planner anyway and look over the blank pages with great care. "I have nothing going on the 20th, that'll be perfect. Oh, you said the 21st? Shoot, let me check. Hmm, OK, that's also looking very good."

I suppose all of this will change when I decide to actively look for gainful employment. But that's not scheduled until June. The other day I interrupted Vanessa in the middle of a story to tell her about a commercial contest for Heinz 57. Describing my idea for the commercial I want to submit, and then wondering about all of the rules for the contest, I jumped up to grab my computer and started searching online for the fine print. While reading the official rules aloud, I looked up to Vanessa's judging look.
"Oh, nothing. I just like how instead of looking for a job, you're running to read the rules for a ketchup contest."

It was a good point.

Anyway, the no job/open schedule combo is not a total bust. On the contrary, it's awesome! Sabrina and her old roommate Justin have all these great tickets, and because normal people have things going on at 2 in the afternoon, I am able to take in fantastic shows, free of charge. It's nice. Justin called the other day saying he had an extra ticket to a Tarzan matinee. Brina covered the phone and goes, "You don't want to see Tarzan tomorrow, do you?" And I was like, "Um, yes I do. Thank You."

I had to take Vanessa in to her first day of work yesterday because she hasn't figured out the train yet and on the ride in we discussed my plans for the day.

-Well let's see. I'm riding on a train with you this morning and then walking you to work like the first day of school. Then I have to return a pair of pants, and then i have Tarzan at 2:00.

Brina was right. People living here just have too much going on.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I'd Clap But I Have A Beverage.

I was at a concert with Ashley and the music was fantastic. We were both holding beers and she looked over and said, "This is really great. I'd clap, but i have a beverage." I thought it was such a funny line. I want it to be a track on my fake band's album. That and "Baby, It's my Latin Temper." Those will be two hot tracks. Anyway, Ashley's line was sort of a theme for the graduation weekend. More pics.

Donna Martin Graduates!

Pics from Nessa's graduation weekend.

She got a great job in New York and now I'm in the same city with both of my sisters. It's sort of a huge deal.