December 3, 2011

Christmas Bonus: Your Goose is Cooked

Here’s a Christmas bonus for you all. Stacey and Larry insisted on watching Adventures of Robin Hood: The Christmas Goose as part of my 25 Days of Christmas. I argued that there was no way I would be including it in my official 25 Days programming, but knowing that it would turn out to be awful, and that reading about awful shows is always more fun than reading about good ones, I invited Stacey to write a guest post about it. Here is that post. —DocSmartypants

Last night, Larry, Sonja, and I watched “Robin Hood: Christmas Goose.” I would tell you details about the year this was made and who starred in it, but truthfully it’s not important. Year it was made: Before the invention of things like “plot” and “witty banter.” Who stars in it: People from before the invention of “actors.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted under Media, Rants | 7 Comments »
November 30, 2011

25 Days of Christmas

Every year ABC Family hypes its popular “25 Days of Christmas” schedule, during which it airs an odd grab bag of Christmas programs and generic “family friendly” films from December 1st through 25th. This year’s offerings include a bevy of non-Christmas options, such as Harry Potter, Finding Nemo, and Aladdin, as well as seasonal “favorites” like Holiday in Handcuffs, A Very Pink Christmas, and Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.

What they don’t seem to have is anything I actually want to watch. The classic films, the special episodes, the weird-yet-wonderful programs of my youth… Where is White Christmas? Where is Scrooged? Where is Miracle on 34th Street? Where is the outrage, people? Well, it’s here. This is me, as outraged as I am willing to get over this issue. Read the rest of this entry »

posted under Events, Media, Rants | 9 Comments »
March 4, 2009

Not handsome enough to tempt me

I read today that Marvel is releasing a “faithful” five-part comic book “adaptation” of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. To be honest, I’m not really sure what I think about this. At first I thought it was a joke, but apparently it is the real deal. A preview of the first issue is available online. It is the same story and time-period as the original novel, and I don’t object to the idea in principle, but check out how the Bennett sisters are drawn! (scroll down and click to enlarge that second page) Makes it a little less believable that Mr. Darcy couldn’t find an attractive girl to dance with at the ball, doesn’t it?

Take, for example, Mary Bennett. Mary is supposed to be the plain one. Mary is the boring one. Mary is a wallflower. She’s the one who thought Mr. Collins was the bee’s knees. She is not supposed to be…this:


I have a few obvious problems here. I think they probably don’t need to be spelled out for you in detail. Oddly high on my list is the hair, which they clearly stole off of a soap opera actress back in 1989 and which they have been keeping in a high security vault, frozen, waiting for this day to come.

Actually, Mary reminds me of someone. Who is it? Let me think… Oh! I know who it is!


She looks like one of The Misfits from that ’80s cartoon classic Jem and the Holograms. Obviously with more tasteful makeup choices, but then, who knows what sort of fashion don’ts Mary was sporting back in the ’80s, right?

Now, I don’t really want to pass judgment on something without reading it (OK, yeah, I sort of do), so I’ll make a deal with you: If any of you read this comic and tell me it is the bestest most awesomest thing since sliced bread, I will stop mocking it. Until then, I declare open season on the whole project.

posted under Rants | 3 Comments »
January 25, 2009

I Just Called to Say…

I came across the most extraordinary article this morning. It details a growing new trend that I hadn’t yet heard about:

Cellphones, along with technologies like BlackBerrys, have become so important that many cannot imagine being buried without their “third arm.” While it may raise eyebrows, mourners have been known to call the deceased’s phone as the casket is lowered into the grave. Since a ringtone reflects an individual’s personality, the jingle acts as a modern-day Taps.

Manhattan Defense Attorney, Marian Seltzer, buried her husband’s fully-charged Motorola along with his body when he died of pancreatic cancer three years ago. Although the battery expired long ago, she continues to pay the Verizon bill so that she and her children can regularly hear his voice and leave messages on his voice mail.

She had his cell number engraved on his headstone. Seltzer’s husband, John Jacobs, may be dead, but he’s still taking messages. In fact, I called him last week. Hearing him tell me he’d call me back sent a shiver up my spine. (The Community Newspapers – 1.25.09)

Ignoring for the moment the absurdity of paying that much money every month to keep a cell phone on for a dead person, does this strike anyone else as creepy? Maybe it is sweet, but it feels a little creepy to me. I guess maybe it gives mourners a sense of connection to the departed, but I feel like every time I called I would be thinking: This phone is ringing in a dark casket next to the rotting remains of my loved one. The whole thing just seems really sad. And unfortunately it is giving Larry ideas. He’s already planning out some elaborate after-death text-messaging thing.

As for me, I barely use my phone in life, forget about sending it to the grave with me. If you want to put something in there that I care about, may I suggest my Life on Mars box set, a case of Dr Pepper, a few books, some Curly Wurlys, my old phases of the moon watch, and the Pulitzer I will doubtless have won by then.

But seriously, while we’re on the topic of burial wishes, I may as well share mine with you all. I don’t want to be buried. I think I’d like to be cremated (if you promise to make absolutely sure I am dead before you let them do it). Even though I don’t want to be buried, I would like some sort of marker to let people know I was here. I’ve been saying for some time that when I die I’d like something tasteful and simple, like the Albert Memorial, but a little fancier. Obviously some modifications will be needed. I’ve started sketching out some revisions. It’s a work in progress, so I welcome any suggestions.


posted under Rants | 13 Comments »
August 15, 2008

Further Adventures in Fitness Trauma: In which Wii Fit makes me cry

Our shiny new copy of Wii Fit, Nintendo’s so-popular-you-can’t-find-it-to-buy-it exercise video game, arrived in the mail today. Within the first five minutes of using it I had burst into tears like a 5-year-old who’s just seen Santa Claus eat her puppy.

Before you can begin the actual getting fit part of Wii Fit, it has to tell you where you currently fall on the fitness scale. It does this by calculating your height and age and having you do some balance tests and by weighing you on its handy dandy Wii Fit balance board of DOOM. This way I guess it figures you can’t lie about your weight.

The representation of you on the screen during the game is called a Mii. It’s the same little cartoon avatar you worked up for yourself when you first got a Wii game system. Mine sort of looks like me if I had darker hair, a smaller nose, and was really angry all the time. So Wii Fit let me choose this existing Mii, which despite being imperfect I felt was at least a decent facsimile of me (in as much as the options let me design something that looks like me). It isn’t tall or thin or blessed with a large buoyant bosom–it’s average in height and on the roundish side.

So when Wii Fit tallied up my BMI to weight to height to age to favorite color to first movie star crush ratio and declared me to be not just overweight but obese, I was devastated. But not as devastated as I would be a second later when it helpfully inflated my Mii to more accurately represent my actual appearance, which apparently is roughly the same as a Mr. Potato Head doll. An angry Mr. Potato Head doll.

This was the bit where I burst into tears. I mean, it’s no great shock that I’m chubby or out of shape, that’s half of why we got Wii Fit, but according to every other system I’d ever consulted I always fell firmly in the overweight but not obese section. And the ballooning of my Mii was just cruel. Especially given that they put my Mii in white exercise pants. What chubby girl in her right mind wears white exercise pants? I may as well wear the Goodyear Blimp.

The program itself is good. It has aerobics, yoga, strength training, and balance exercises. And oddly, the male Wii Fit yoga instructor sort of looks like a buffer version of Larry. But I tell you what, I’d still like to give the people at Nintendo a good smack upside the head because the way I see it, the last thing you want to do to get someone started on the path to fitness success is make them feel like a big, fat loser.

posted under Rants | 3 Comments »
May 18, 2007

Regarding the Events of Tuesday, May 15: What’s left to say?

As I rapidly approach my 30th birthday there are a lot of experiences I have been wishing I’d had in my 20s. I wish I’d dyed my hair a crazy color. I wish I had done more traveling. I wish I’d been brave enough to go out dancing at a club. One of the things that was most certainly not high on my list of things to do was to have my apartment robbed. And yet, that’s the one I get to add to my list of experiences I squeezed in during the final months of my 29th year.

Tuesday we came home at lunch to find our apartment had been robbed. Chunk of our DVD collection? Gone. Brand new digital SLR camera? Gone. Six-month old laptop that was practically like a child to me? Gone. Faith in my security and the sanctity of my home? Yup, they got that, too. Bastards even stole my backpack to take my possessions home in.

I’m not going to drone on about this. I was sick of telling the story the first time I told it, and I’ve had to tell it a lot of times now. Am I sad, angry, bewildered? Yes. Do I feel violated? Yes. Have we now got three deadbolts, including one on our bedroom door? Yup. (So in case you, the ass with my laptop, are reading this, don’t even bother coming back for seconds. Also, I hope you’re happy with your newfound wealth of half-written articles about Boston and images of obscure British actors carefully culled from the internet. I certainly was before you took them from me.)

What I do want to say is that everyone has been really supportive. Coworkers, friends, relatives, the property manager, the police—and I really appreciate it. It’s refreshing after having seen the worst of people to also get to see the best of people. So for that, I wanted to thank you all (except the prat with my laptop—you can die a slow, horrible death).

posted under Rants | 6 Comments »
August 24, 2006

The Fickle Life of a Planet: Seriously, I’m really pissed off about this

For those who missed it, the International Astronomical Union decided today to demote Pluto, leaving the solar system with only eight official planets. In related news, I decided today that the International Astronomical Union is a bunch of tools.

The new definition of a planet, according to an AP article, is “a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a…nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.” This disqualifies poor old Pluto, whose oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune’s.

So what is Pluto if not a planet? A “dwarf planet” apparently, which if you ask me is just stupid. The idea that Pluto isn’t a “real” planet because it’s a “dwarf planet” makes no more sense than my saying that the dwarf rabbit we had when I was a kid wasn’t a “real” rabbit. A dwarf rabbit is still a rabbit and a dwarf planet should still be a planet.

Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology was super thrilled with Pluto’s demotion, having argued that Pluto and similar bodies didn’t deserve planet status because that would “take the magic out of the solar system.”

Yes, Michael, you are absolutely right. Pluto being a planet would have totally removed the magic and mystique from the cosmos. That’s why no one has been intrigued by space since Pluto was discovered (by a Unitarian) in 1930.

Michael Brown is a colossal wanker.

Maybe you think I’m getting worked up over nothing. I don’t think so. Pluto is my favorite planet and has been since first grade. I like that it’s little. I like that it’s different. And it isn’t just that. I can’t for the life of me fathom why, with all of the craziness going on in the world, this group of esteemed scientists chose to sit around arguing to demote a planet. What has this done to forward the cause of science? It’s just clique mentality: Ooh, if Pluto is a planet we might have to let other things be planets. So what?! So we have more planets. That’s the kind of thing these guys are supposed to be excited about, but instead they seem horrified by the very thought. More planets? Good heavens no, that would be too decadent to be borne! Harumph, bah humbug!

So here’s how this is going to play out: I’m going to keep calling Pluto a planet (because it is one) until the day I die even if everyone looks at me like I’ve said the Earth is flat.

Because Pluto deserves better than this.

Because I’m tired of being jerked around by the scientific community.

Because I’m sick of everyone picking on the little guy.

Because I just can’t believe I live in a world where people would vote to make George W. Bush a president but wouldn’t vote to keep Pluto as a planet.

And because I don’t have to define my universe based on the recommendation of a bunch of Pluto-hatin’ tools.

posted under Rants | 5 Comments »
August 9, 2006

No pain, no gain: Or some cliche crap like that

Now that the heat wave has ended, I have no excuse not to continue my efforts to look a little more like an hourglass than a manatee. That’s why Tuesday I made my triumphant return to the gym.

Right off the bat I knew it was going to be rough sailing. I’d done my lightning-quick wardrobe change since they insisted on giving me a locker right next to the only two other women in the locker room. I was playing it cool, or as cool as you can when you have just been semi-naked in front of strangers, but the coolness facade began to crack a bit when I could not for the life of me get the locker door to lock. I must have struggled with it for, oooooh, a good five minutes before one of the other women suggested that I might have read the key number wrong. “No,” I assured her. “The woman at the desk clearly read it to me: 33.” Which it turns out was the wrong number. “Which it turns out is the wrong number,” I said. They smiled indulgently and I skulked off to find the right locker. Over at locker 53, I got my clothes stashed away, said a few blessings to various gods I don’t believe in, and headed out to the main floor.

At this point I should add that I had forgotten my gym shoes, so I was forced to wear my “street shoes”–in this case a pair of black pinstripe Converse high tops. A bit dressy for the gym, which must be why the other gym-goers looked at me with such loathing–it’s all about the shoe envy.

Luckily there were only four other women exercising. One was working with the world’s most sculpted personal trainer, another was doing these bizarre walking squat things with hand weights, and the last was doing a sort of runway model walk on a treadmill a few feet down from me. I decided to take advantage of the relatively deserted equipment and hopped on my old foe The Elliptical Machine.

I was doing pretty well considering I’m me. Huffing and puffing away and trying not to look in any of the three thousand wall mirrors because there is nothing more depressing than seeing what you look like while working out. Trust me. Plus, as a not-quite redhead I have that sort of mega pale complexion that turns a totally ghastly reddish purple color when I get warm. Or move around too much. Or try to kill myself on an elliptical machine. Still, all was about as good as could be expected.

Everything changed when weird walking squat girl abandoned her weights and hopped on the machine next to mine. The. Place. Was. EMPTY. What, she couldn’t have used any of the other 30 or so machines? Obviously not. I gave her a subtle appraising look and she gave me a squintier-eyed one right back–told you, shoe envy. So of course she had to do exactly what I was doing but twice as fast, without sweating, and without any of my trademark reddish purple splotches. I’d like to say that she is my new gym arch nemesis, but I think that honor still rests with the blind weight lifter. Coming in a close second however was the girl on the treadmill–the girl I shall call Tiffany.

Tiffany had legs up to her boobs and a really obnoxious curly ponytail on the very top of her head that swung to and fro as she worked her stuff on the treadmill. She really should have been chewing bubblegum. She had these tiny little shorts and a SPAM T-shirt, which I’m guessing was the closest she’d come to food in the last five years. She left about ten minutes before I did and the entire time she was there she was strutting her stuff for all she was worth on that damn treadmill. I consider it an act of the utmost restraint that I didn’t walk over and push her off the machine.

At one point, as I was trying desperately not to glare at Tiffany, a potato-shaped older woman arrived to use one of the machines that I’ve never really figured out the purpose of. Even she was more hard core than me, moving from the bizarro machine to the stretching area to use one of those big pilates balls, something I will never ever do where someone might witness it. I respected this woman’s chutzpah and so I will not give her a derisive nickname or critique her outfit. Plus, being of a similar, if slightly less pronounced, potato shape I felt a sort of kinship with her. Perhaps we will meet again.

After about 35 minutes of fat-burning torture I finally decided to call it quits. No point in showing off when the weight-lifting lady with the seeing-eye dog didn’t even bother to show up. Back in the locker room, again with the quick change act, the perfectly sculpted personal trainer breezed by me. And here, ladies and gents, was the payoff for the day because you know what? Nothing knocks a perfectly sculpted personal trainer off her goddess pedestal quite as fast as overhearing her use the toilet. And that’s all I have to say about that.

posted under Rants | 2 Comments »
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