Thursday, November 23, 2006

Karaoke Superstar

This was quite an interesting day. Mom, Sis, and I went to see Borat (Mom's choice - she surprised us all at our early Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday by asking me to go see it with her), which was very funny, and not a little uncomfortable. Mom loved it - I think she laughed harder than anyone else in the theater. I was surprised at what people were actually willing to say, knowing they were being taped. And it was also interesting to see how they reacted to Borat. In one scene, he went to a rodeo and commended the crowd for America's "war of terror," which got a round of applause. He then hoped that we would kill everyone in Iraq (more applause), and that George Bush would be allowed to drink the blood of every man, woman, and child in Iraq (less applause). And then he sang "the Kazakhstan national anthem" to the tune of the Star-Spangled Banner, which was hilarious because it was basically, "Kazakhstan is a great country with great potassium and every other country is run by little girls." Awesome.

Tonight I went out to karaoke with my friend from work, Tiff, her (hot) brother Justin, her boyfriend Joel, and Joel's roommates. So much fun! Tiff and I sang 5 or 6 songs, getting progressively better. We peaked somewhere between "Love Shack" (I'm especially proud of my "tiiiiiiiin roof, rusted") and "I Love Rock & Roll;" our final song, "Fast Car," was just a big ol' mess. We did meet a really interesting woman, April, who flirted with Justin all night long. Justin's 18, but has a fake ID. April's 33. During the last song, "Let's Get It On," they started grinding and making out on the dance floor. Somewhat disturbing, yet Tiff and I were laughing hysterically the whole time.

In between songs and beers, we discussed the Southern colloquialism "Bless your heart." Everyone down here knows that you can get away with saying ANYTHING derogatory about a fellow Southerner, as long as you end with a "Bless your heart." April had just finished making this point when Justin got up to sing. Her reaction? "Well, bless his heart, at least he's cute."

Another April gem of wisdom: "What do you call a woman without an asshole? Single."

I meet such interesting people around here...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

TV Obsession 1

Here's the newest Smallville recaplet, courtesy of TWoP:

On his quest to track down and capture escaped Phantom "Zoners," Clark travels to Seattle (er, Seattle, British Colombia?) to investigate a case of sailors and dock workers who literally had the bones sucked out of them. Anyhoo, Clark poses as a medical student (ha!) then a coroner (ha ha!) to find clues. The culprit is a giant dude with sweet fronts who is pulling the bones out and drinking the delicious marrow. Mmm, bone marrow (drool).... Clark tries his crest on the thug, but it turns out it doesn't work because the guy's not a phantom. Before Clark can get his ass kicked further, someone else attacks the Zoner, killing him. It's a giant green dude in a cape who eats Oreos. I don't want to ruin it, but...Martian Manhunter! In the other storyline, Lex is transformed into an electronic frequency by a former resident of Floor 33.1, a KryptoVillain who is trying to expose the secret lab. As Lex is stuck in his frequency, he can see and hear Lana, but she can't see or hear him. Much lovey-dovey "I miss you! I love you!" sentiments are exchanged as Lana tries to get him back. She spills the beans about being pregnant. Lex is thrilled because he wuvs Lana. And she wuvs him, too. Jimmy busts out his dad's old radio equipment to pick up the frequency (Kenneth) and the KryptoVillain is killed by Lex and a knife in a decidedly old school way. Lana tells Lex she's cool with the evil things that may or may not have happened in Floor 33.1. Papa Luthor moves the lab while Lex is all static and afterward demands to be made a partner in the experiments as a condition of sharing the new location. Lex, moved beyond all reason by Lana's deep and sudden love for him, decides to get his woo on. He brings Lana into his office, which is full of candles and flowers, and proposes to her with a very expensive ring. Pregnancy. A wedding proposal. I think the last ingredient for jumping the shark is The Great Gazoo.

Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure this series jumped the shark way back in season four. Which I recently bought on dvd. I used to LOVE Smallville, and I had the first three seasons already. When I found the fourth season at GameStop for only $30, I didn't question why I hadn't bothered to purchase it before. That was the season that introduced Lois Lane, after all, and isn't she awesome? Having watched (most of) the season again, I'm now starting to remember why I stopped watching in the first place. Lois got really annoying, really fast. And Lana, who in my opinion had ALWAYS been annoying, because super-annoying with her stupid tattoo and MuLana kung-fu fighting.

But I've grudgingly started watching again, because it did pick up (slightly) last season. There were two episodes when Lana died, which, awesome! Even though one was a future-dream-sequence and the other was reversed by Jor-El, they still made my nights. But this whole pregnancy thing is just retarded. I'm sick of seeing Lana with Lex. I wish they really would kill her off already. I thought comic-Lana was annoying, but tv-Lana is even worse. I am excited, however, that Jimmy has been brought in as a recurring character, and also that Martian Manhunter was sorta-introduced. Bring on the Justice League, baby!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My Favorite Book This Year

I've finished two books so far this week, which was pretty productive.
I had been reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter for a few weeks. I can't really afford to buy new books right now, so when I get my weekly email from Borders about new books that I might enjoy I just add them to my Amazon wishlist and/or try to hunt them down at my local library, usually without results. (Side note: I was on a three-month-long waiting list for The Devil Wears Prada. After a few weeks, I got tired of waiting and dropped the 6 bucks for a paperback copy. I'm still trying to decide if it was worth it.) Anyway, I saw a blurb about TMKD a month or so ago and was intrigued by the premise, but because it wasn't readily available I eventually forgot about it and read something else. See previous side note. It was actually quite serendipitous when I went to my sister's house and discovered, nestled among the James Pattersons and Nicholas Sparkses (yarg), the very book I had been looking for! I was extremely impressed with my sister, and I have to admit that my respect for her literary habits increased a bit. She agreed to loan me TMKD with the brief but telling review: "It's good, but sad." Truer words have never been spoken. This book was beautiful. It has an interesting plot: a young doctor delivers his wife's twins, but when he realizes that the daughter has Downs Syndrome, he gives her to the nurse helping him with the delivery and tells her to take the baby to an institution. He tells his wife that their daughter was stillborn, which leads to a sense of grief permeating their marriage and affecting them (and their son) for the rest of their lives. In the meantime, the nurse has decided not to leave the baby girl at the institution, and instead runs away with her and raises her as her own daughter. The story was just incredible, but the characters are what really made the novel for me. Edwards really got into their heads and allowed me to sympathize with each of them, no matter how badly they dealt with the sadness and loss they felt.

My second book, As Simple As Snow, I finished in only two days. My best friend, Fran, read it and loved it, and she told her boyfriend to give me a copy for my birthday. This first sentence on the back cover had me sold: "Anna Cayne had moved here in August, just before our sophomore year in high school, but by February she had, one by one, killed everyone in town." Awesome, right? Anna, as it turns out, writes obituaries for fun. She's one of the quirkiest characters I've ever read, and I absolutely adored her. The book is part coming-of-age, part mystery, part romance, and part I'm-not-sure-what. It's definitely different, though. One of the reviews I read compared it to The Virgin Suicides, which is pretty spot-on. I wasn't even aware ASAS was classified as YA until I went online and started researching it. There's actually a website devoted to the book, which includes an excerpt (entitled "Anna's Room") in which the narrator describes the esoteric music, books, and art found guessed it, Anna's room. The great thing about the internet is, all the allusions have links, so you can see which David Wilson poster Anna has on the back of her door, or find out who the heck Isadora Duncan was. It makes the story that much better, because you gain a better sense of Anna's personality and interests. The mystery of the novel is never resolved, but there are clues and hints, and I'm thinking a second read-through will give me even more to think about. Unfortunately, I raved about this book so much, I now have three friends in line to borrow my copy, so it may be awhile before I get a chance to pick it up again.

Ready for the Good Times

Today was the 8th day of my 10-day stretch of work. I really hate when my manager schedules me like that, but every time I try to talk to her about it, she blows me off. So I go to the assistant deli manager instead, and she usually changes it for me. She couldn't change my days off, but she did arrange for me to not close 5 days in a row (!), so that's something.

I've also been sick for the past few days, and not having a day off to lay around in bed didn't help much. But I've been taking OTC meds and sleeping as late as I can, so I've been feeling better. So when my friend Laura called and asked to meet up for a drink tonight, I was torn. She recently moved to Atlanta, so when we get together we meet in Conyers, which is about halfway between the two of us and roughly an hour and a half from my house. In the end I decided to go, because she's one of my closest friends and she was feeling pretty down and needed someone to talk to.

Laura is awesome, because she's actually 20 years older than I am, but we still have a ton in common and can talk about anything. It's almost like having a cool older sister who gives me advice and introduces me to cool music. Right now, we're in pretty similar places in our lives. She recently lost her job and moved in with her daughter to save money while she decides what to do next, whether to go back into food service full time or try something different. Having recently quit my crappy retail job and moved in with my parents to save money while I decided what to do next, I can relate. We also talk about politics (she took me to a Democratic rally last year, where I got to meet the nominees for Secretary of State), religion (we're both open-minded and well-read on this topic), and books. She lent me The Time Traveler's Wife last year, which was amazing, and I just finished As Simple As Snow and will be lending it to her next. Basically, whenever we get together we talk, laugh, and have a ton of fun. I'm glad I went out to see her tonight, even though I'm dead tired now (and would be asleep already, if not for massive stack of CD's I'm uploading to iTunes as I type). It's nice having someone to talk to about all the stuff that's been going on lately, and about all my frustrations re: what to do with my life, my crappy job, my insecurities about the future, etc.

Plus, Laura regaled me with anecdotes about the most recent man in her life. This guy is a recovering peeping tom (there's seriously a 12 step program for it!) and a complete religious fanatic. She calls him "a study in contrasts." I call him a trainwreck, but entertaining second-hand.