Friday, March 27, 2009

Has It Been An Hour?

Whenever celebrities talk about the environment they have to mention light bulbs. They can't help it. It's the one instance in which the figurative light bulb above their head is the literal answer.
"How do you reduce your carbon footprint?"
"Um, well... [ding!] Light bulbs."

In a symbolic act meant to bring attention to global warming and steps we can take to reduce energy use, Earth Hour will take place this Saturday night at 8:30. Conveniently, Earth Hour is basically about light bulbs so celebrities were able to get on board.

I'm all for symbolic acts. I do symbolic random acts of kindness as often as I can. Like when I see someone carrying heavy bags, I try to make whatever I'm carrying look heavy too so that person doesn't feel like they're alone.

For Earth Hour, people of the world are asked to shut off all unnecessary lighting at 8:30 PM. 8:30 local time. Your local time. So it's not really a single hour-- more of a shifting global hour. A stadium wave of darkness, if you will. That doesn't do much for the solidarity thing, knowing that people in France are already done with their dark hour and free to walk about their homes without bumping into furniture.

While discussing Earth Hour on his show, Larry King asked, "You don't want people to turn off their car lights if they're driving down the street?"

Well, no. Thanks Larry. But maybe you could turn off one of the 3,000 light bulbs you have on behind you. And maybe you could stop being on TV.

Not everyone is so keen on the idea of having to shut off a few lights for 60 minutes. In her article for the AP, Caryn Rousseau included a quote by ice cream shop owner Bob Gerense, who said, "I'm going to get everyone I know in my neighborhood to turn on every light they possibly can to waste as much electricity as possible to underline the absurdity of this action ... by being absurd."

You'd think a man in the ice cream business might be a little more concerned with climate change.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oh, I Enjoy It.

These things never get old:

-Asking people to say something five times fast. It's better if it's not a tongue twister at all. "Hey, say 'butter' five times fast!" It's just fun to see who will play along. Plus, I'd rather not waste my time with a person who refuses to say something five times fast. What's your problem? I know you're saying it to yourself in your head.

-The pinky-finger and thumb "call me" symbol accompanied by the requisite whispered "call me."
A few reasons why I love this one. First, who decided that a pinky and a thumb was the best representation of a phone? Phone technology has come so far that most phones look more like the palm of your hand than anything else. But I bet you a dollar that if you held your palm up to the side of your head and whispered "call me" people would just think you were trying to talk about the person sitting next to you. Palm to the side of your head means you're trying to block out a secret. So I don't know if the phone symbol will ever be able to make the switch. It's this lasting archaic institution.
Another reason is that personally, I find the universal "call me" hilarious. When your awkward stage lasts from 12 to 27, the pinky-thumb phone is a nice way to make yourself laugh after failed attempts to talk to strangers.
"Hey, can I buy you a drink"
"Oh, OK. Call me."
Close-range exaggerated whisper with a symbol. It's not for everyone.

-And Rachel Maddow on any show. What's not to love?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rain Dance.

I'm really horrible at basketball so anytime I'm near a hoop I'm usually shouting "Old School!" or "Let it rain!" as I hurl the ball nowhere near the rim. People get sick of that after a solid minute so I've become really amazing at watching basketball.

College basketball (namely 'Cuse hoops) ranks about #5 in my top ten favorite things list. The month of March always brings that ranking up to a buzzer-beating tie-breaker with my #1. If you don't like college basketball in general, that's no big deal. I don't understand how you couldn't, but it's not a personal flaw. But if you don't like college basketball in March, there is something seriously wrong with you.

Let's look at a list of things, shall we?
*Cinderella Stories

Taken independently, each item in that list is pretty great. But if you combine each item and then add a basketball and a crowd of cheering fans, that list becomes entirely freaking awesome.

The best thing about March basketball is that anything can happen. See: Syracuse's win in 6 overtimes vs. UConn in the Big East Tournament. SIX OVERTIMES! Basketball 'til 1:30 in the morning! Do you know how stressful/amazing that game was for SU fans? When you're literally exhausted just from watching a game, you know it was good.

And yesterday on SportsCenter President Obama filled out his bracket, which I have to say, was one of the more enjoyable things I've watched on television lately.

So break out your Jock Jams CD, throw on your favorite old college hoodie, and enjoy the madness!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Doctor Will See You Now.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who hates the waiting room at the doctor's office. A stack of magazines does very little to keep your mind off where you are, or why the people around you are there--which is usually what you're wondering when you look up from that July 2008 issue of US Weekly to stare at them. Waiting rooms are uncomfortable, and awkward, and scary. I get enough of the first two in my everyday life and I could really go without the scary. Once when I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled, "O Fortuna" was playing in the waiting room at the dentist. I swear to you, that's true. I almost ran out of there.

I had to take Stella to the vet last week for a check-up and I realized that dogs have it easy. Stella had no clue where we were but she was fine with it. Unless it's the park, or your place, dogs probably have no idea where they are most of the time. I'm floored with how chill they are about that. If that was me I'd be like, "Seriously, where are you taking me?" All she knew was that there was a cat in a cage sitting on the bench next to us and she was going to try with all her might to wiggle out of my arms to get to it.

You know how they say pets resemble their owners? Well, for some reason I couldn't stop imagining that each animal in that waiting room behaved exactly like their owners do when at the doctor's. This was pretty fun and helped pass the time.

Also, I learned a great tip from Stella when she had to get weighed in by one of the assistants. She stepped onto the scale and then just before the weight fully registered, she ran off. I had to put her back on the scale four times until eventually they just put down an estimate. I'm totally doing this the next time I have to be weighed for anything. So much better than taking off your shoes, right? Just hop on, and then quickly jump off and run around the nurses station a few times. "Um, Ms. Martin, could you come back here please?"

When we finally went in to see the vet Stella still had no clue what was going on but she just kept wagging her little tail and kissing everyone. I really think she had a great time. Which leads me to believe that the real problem with the heath care system is the lack of treats.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I'd Like To Solve The Puzzle.

A sign in front of an Elks Club Lodge said "PA HETTI DINNER."

Not exactly cryptic, but it made me think.

Were the S and the G really missing? Or were the two guys in charge of buying letters on a budget? And if so, was "pa hetti" really the most obvious choice? A three-year-old might say so, but I can't imagine anyone driving past the sign and thinking, "Mmm, pa hetti dinner. Reminds me of Rome."

In an unrelated note, is anyone else offended that Vanna White still has a job?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Name Your Vegetables.

A new study suggests that kids are more likely to eat vegetables if they are given a "cool" name. reports, "186 four-year-olds were given regular carrots and, on other lunch days, they were given the same vegetables renamed X-ray Vision Carrots. On the latter days, they ate nearly twice as many."


Who wouldn't want an X-ray Vision Carrot?! I want one right now.

I don't care how old you are, food tastes better when you make it fun. If a side dish has a funny name, I'm on board. If a meal has a theme, I'm there. Who can forget the baby shrimp, baby corn, baby back ribs episode of Full House? And I'm 27, but I still make my pancakes into shapes. Is this weird? Probably. But go make a dinosaur out of batter and then come talk to me.

Some vegetables are blessed with awesome names but if you have to help the others out I say do it. Swiss Chard could use an ounce of cool. Rhubarb sounds like a lost Golden Girl, while Sweetcorn is too innocent, and Broccolini probably gets the crap beat out of him. Obviously the vegetable with the coolest name and the most street cred is Radicchio. Radicchio could release an album if it wanted.

If vegetables were renamed after American Gladiators, we'd all be eating our daily 5 to be sure. Just a big salad packed with Blaze, Turbo, Gemini, Zap, and Laser with a little Ranch dressing on the side.

Clearly, I have the culinary sophistication of a four-year-old.