Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Black Swan!!!!!!!!!

So those exclamation points are meant to be sarcastic.

I recently saw the film Black Swan. From all of the hype and the articles I've read, I (albeit mistakenly) was expecting an Oscar-worthy film.

I kind of got one. But I don't think that is saying that much, considering the current state of Oscars.
I realize that for EVERYTHING to be awesome in a movie, it's a tall order. One that rarely happens.
But when I shell out almost $10 for a movie, it's kind of what I expect.
And for an Oscar film, it's definitely what I expect.
So while the acting was superb, music was superb, costuming superb, set design superb, the characters and story could use a little work.

The characters were a little lacking:
I wanted more Barbara Hershey and more Winona Ryder, specifically. Their characters were important but weren't necessarily treated as such. The film wasn't very long and I think this could have easily been a two and a half hour film, and it would have commanded the audience's attention for that long. I would have liked a more flushed out Mila Kunis as well.

The story was a lot lacking:
I thought the film was completely predictable. Was it fun to watch? I guess, but I was secretly hoping that my thoughts were wrong and I would have liked more dancing.

So yes, it was a good movie. But only when compared to the crap they're releasing these days. We're so used to utter drivel that when something decent comes out we're quick to herald it as amazing and astonishing, when in fact, it's what a movie is supposed to be.

The good news is Sofia Coppola has a new film coming out that looks good (with music by Phoenix, I know, shocker) and there is a film called "Tree of Life" that I have no idea about, but Sean Penn is in it so it can't be that bad can it? I'll have to do some research on it, E thinks it might be an end-of-days film, which I'm a little wary about.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Restoring my Faith in Humanity, One Bus Ride At A Time

Let's just get it out there.
It's been a while.
A long, long while.
And I have stuff to write about.
Scheise, for you proud Germans out there.
You know what I mean.

But instead of discussing what it means to blog, or what has been going on with me.
I've decided to keep it light.
To keep it cool, calm and collected.
To keep it real.

But let's get you caught up, right quick:
1. Remember when I started this blog? It was because I got laid off by the BT Supercenter? Well guess who's working for the BT Supercenter again. That's right. This one.
2. Remember when we elected a democratic house, senate and president? That was awesome, and terribly short-lived.
3. Remember when my grandma died? That blog caused some major drama from some of my cousins' mommas. We'll blog about that at a different time (insert evil laughter here).
4. Remember all my talk of higher learnin' and grad school? Well guess who's actually taking the plunge and applying. That's right. This one.

And that's pretty much it.
For now.
I mean, sure lots of other things revealed themselves to be true during the months that have passed, but I'm trying to restore your faith in humanity. Not bore you to death.

So I'm on the bus this morning. And it's not my usual bus.
I could not, for the life of me, figure out what to where this morning and thus, my comfortable and familiar 31 Bus was missed.

The 31 is a short, yet comfortable ride. I always get a seat. It's not too full, but it isn't a ghost bus, there are other corporate zombies on it. I feel kind of at home.

But alas, this morning I hopped on the 30 as it was the bus that came first and baby, it's cold outside.

And I'm reading.
And I have my ipod in.
And I'm not paying too much attention until 27th street.
Where a conversation starts to take place.
A conversation amongst the senior citizens occupying the seats specifically for them.
Two women, one's clearly a professional of some sort; carrying multiple bags and looking somewhat put together.
The other woman is possibly homeless, but oh man, is she as sharp as a whip.
The two men are African-American with pretty thick southern accents. If I were to judge their social class by the way they dressed, I would say working class, maybe one of the met teetering on lower-than-working class.

And these olds are just having the grandest of time. Talking about everything from exercise to politics to bike trails. All of them were democrats (YES!) and the possibly-homeless-lady was all anti-Scott Walker and how all the ladies voted for him cos he's good looking, to which the classy olds pipes up and says, "I didn't!"
It made me giggle.
Working class guy #1 says how he thought for sure Tom Barrett would win.

I don't know.
It made me feel good to know that across class and race, these folks could have a decent conversation.
And on public transportation in the "most racist city in the USA."

Possible-homeless lady got off at St. James and Working-class guy got off at the Dunkin' Donuts where he received a butterscotch candy from a passer-by.

Seriously, you can't make this up.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Very First Grad Paper (please be kind)

And here is the finished product...I will keep you advised as to what grad I got on the paper and in the class:

How Something So Right Can Be So Wrong: How RightNetwork.com Uses Language to Construct its Identity

Identity is not easy to define. When people define their own identity it’s often with adjectives, their role in society, and through social constructs. Adjectives may or may not be reflective of whom they are. Roles can be chosen, but are often thrust upon the user, not everyone chooses to be part of a familial situation. Social constructs are often of the user’s choosing. While one might be born into a family that identifies as conservative, one can choose a different political ideology. But what defines these social constructs? Like every other aspect of identity it is not only reliant on how it identifies itself, but how others’ perceive it. This paper will provide a discourse for the website RightNetwork.com and how it uses language to define itself.

Mary Bucholtz and Kira Hall define identity as, “the social positioning of the self and other” (586). This is made abundantly clear within a few clicks on the Right Network. The website welcomes all viewers with the R flag waving and the Right Anthem playing, without having to click anything. Americana, in all its ethnic diversities and geographical splendor is shown on the screen as images are interspersed with the following language:

there’s a new place for a new conversation and new opportunity for all that’s right a place for open minds big hearts and living out loud a place for new ideas and new voices inspired by the wisdom of past generations a place that tunes out cliché turns up the truth and breaks new ground because after all it’s a great big party and now we have a new place to play join (Right Anthem 00:00-01:42).

At this point the R logo is featured as the capital R in the word Right, which is static on the screen. The following words flash before our eyes starting slowly and getting faster and faster, repeating in some places:

Right place Right voice Right day Right crown Right ideas Right time Right fit Right people Right instance Right stories Right past Right drama Right humor Right conversation Right goosebumps Right brain Right history Right moment Right thought Right news Right interviews Right future Right journey Right now. (Right Anthem 01:43-01:58)

The term anthem is a positive one and speaks to patriotism. The fact that’s it’s an anthem, and not a mission statement or manifesto speaks to the kind of image that Right Network wants to portray. An anthem is a composition of celebration; it gives the Right Network an authentic voice, one of inclusion. To use the term “mission statement” would be one of cold, trite, public relation-speak and denote an authoritative tone. And while it would have been interesting (and new!) for the Right Network to reclaim the word manifesto, the term itself would have been enough to strike fear in the hearts of many who remember McCarthyism.

But the anthem claimed that it was about “new conversation and open minds” (Right Anthem 00:21, 00:39). The anthem didn’t use any of the “right” codes that are so often thrown around in the media. There was no talk of socialism, elitism, tea parties, big government, or family values. It used terms that anyone, conservative or liberal, would want to claim as their own. Who doesn’t hate cliché? Who doesn’t love the truth? Who doesn’t want to get inspired by the wisdom of the past?

Based on the anthem alone the Right Network wants to identify itself as the new place to party. However, when the anthem’s words are taken in combination with the images portrayed and the music playing, it’s a huge cliché. There is nothing “new” about viewing our country through idyllic landscapes or cityscapes. No urban ghettos were shown. No communities of color were portrayed. No homosexual couples were shown. The wisdom of past generations was limited to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ronal Regan.

True to the Bucholtz and Hall definition of identity, the next video the Right Network features is Kelsey Grammer, the celebrity spokesperson for the Right Network, discussing not what the Right Network represents, but what it isn’t:

Things that just aren’t right; big government, more taxes, group hugs, cats on leashes (mmm...), running in place, flightless birds, grown man tickle fights (that’s definitely not right), grape flavored vodka, trillion dollar deficits, baby carrots, bureaucrats, left handed scissors, thousand dollar toilet seats [laughter] over spending, undercoating, bailouts for billionaires, pregnant...pauses, celebrity magicians, sham-wow, partisan politics, dogs named Steven [Grammer shrugs his shoulders and mumbles “I don’t know,”], government programs governing other government programs, silent lingers, debt, freezing government spending at the largest debts in history, Michael Moore in Speedos, oh dear god, Rush Limbaugh in Speedos, anybody in Speedos [laughter]. There’s wrong and there’s right. Right Network. All that’s Right with the World (Kelsey Grammer on Right 00:00-01:30).

We’re left with an image of Grammer waving the orange Right Network flag laughing. And while there is an element of humor, or supposed humor in this (the use of alliteration leads one to believe this is meant as a playful speech). The content itself isn’t so playful. While it rails against debt and deficits it also states that the Right Network doesn’t approve of freezing spending, which, theoretically, would only add to the deficit. His statements also speak nothing of the “new conversation, big hearts and open minds” that were promised in the anthem.

What is wrong with group hugs, tickle fights among consenting adults and/or Speedos? More specifically, why does the Right Network want to ensure that it’s disassociated with people who do embrace these things? They don’t fit in with the current hegemony as men (especially “right” men) don’t show sentimentality, can’t be engaged with the same sex in sexualized way, and they can’t be scantily clad. The Right Network is promoting the dominant gender ideology where (white) men are in charge and women are sexualized or diminished.

All hosts of Right Network programs are white, middle aged and male. Right Network is using the most valuable, if not clichéd, symbolic capital available to them and plastering it all over its website. Kelsey Grammer, although known for playing nebbish intellectuals, is the authoritative voice of the network. He’s wealthy, famous and well spoken.

Chris Burgard, according to an NPR article is “a self-described ‘ex-ballet dancer, rodeo bull rider, Hollywood stuntman and film director’”. (Blair, Right Launches Network to Fill Political Laugh Gap) He is the host of Running, a show which features six “right” candidates challenging democratic incumbents for their seats in the House or the Senate. His role is clearly that of an American archetype, the cowboy. He’s always dressed in a cowboy hat, denim jeans, belt buckle, Carhartt coat and cowboy boots. His commentary isn’t to provide a new discourse on “right” politics, but to showcase the humanity of the candidates. The only political discourse that is offered is that the candidates love America and are willing to sacrifice their comfortable lifestyles for a chance to serve their country in office. A typical exchange between Burgard and the male candidates is one of camaraderie. The promos featured on the Right Network and on their YouTube channel show Burgard throwing the football around with numerous (male) candidates, playing fetch with one of the (male) candidate’s dogs and congratulating one (male) candidate’s virility during this exchange:

“You just had a newborn baby.
“Yes I did.
“How old are you?”
“Man, your boys can swim.” (Running Trailer 01:23-01:29)

Even though the female candidate has four daughters, her lack of virility is pointed out as all four of her daughters are adopted. And while the exchanges with the men are playful, we only see Burgard interacting with Dr. Donna as a patient, not as a peer. He introduces her as a “little lady” and she is referred to as a “spitfire” numerous times throughout the sneak peek featured on RightNetwork.com’s YouTube channel. (Running Sneak Peek—Dr. Donna Campbell for Congress 00:26-00:28) Although she is a smart, accomplished, successful woman, her size and gender are the first thing that is said about her. We only find out her profession after her size and gender are spoken to. We don’t see Burgard palling around with Dr. Chambers, as he does with the male candidates. We only see him allowing her to doctor him, i.e. be a caregiver (Running Sneak Peek--Dr. Donna Campbell for Congress 00:38-01:40). Any additional information about Dr. Chambers is taken from her speeches or from her constituents rather than from Burgard engaging her in a dialogue.

Tom Wilson hosts Politics & Poker. Best known for his quintessential alpha-male Biff Tannen in the Back to the Future franchise, Wilson is typecast here, playing a “big white guy” with a “wife that’s really hot and people are goin’ ‘What?!?’” (Politics & Poker Trailer 00:43-49) He plays exactly that on this show which “mixes entertainers, pundits, cards and politics.” (Politics & Poker Trailer 00:07-00:12) During the promo clip Wilson asks questions that don’t seem extraordinarily biased and refers to President Obama as such, not dropping his title and replacing it with his first name as an unidentified pundit does. Wilson asks questions that are predictable, but asks them in a way that isn’t presuming everyone at the table feels the same way. Rather than asking “What do you think of the tea party?” Wilson asks a more complex version, “This tea party movement, will it last? Does it have legs? Will it get a candidate?” (Politics & Poker Trailer 01:30-01:37) The Right Network posits Wilson as someone of no consequence. He’s not an authority figure, his celebrity isn’t as widely known as Grammer’s and he speaks in an authentic voice. He’s the guy that we watch on sitcoms every night. He’s the guy husbands and fathers are supposed to emulate. His lines don’t come across as planned or rehearsed, even if they are. Perhaps this speaks to his acting talent. However, Wilson has said some of the most provocative comments on the Right Network. Wilson is giving voice to the working class male; a figure the right lauds and claims to be for. Lest we forget, Wilson isn’t a working class male; he’s just playing one on TV, or the internet. The Right Network only appreciates the working class only in an imaginative setting.

While Politics and Poker may have some of the best potential for a new discourse thus far on the Right Network, its gender politics are the same as the rest of the website. Just like Dr. Donna Chambers is described by her appearance and gender, Wilson’s “fake TV wife, Julie,” is described in a similar fashion (Politics & Poker Trailer 00:34-00:37). Like Dr. Chambers, we don’t learn Julie’s name until we know that she is Wilson’s fake TV wife. Predictably she is there to look pretty or “hot” as Wilson describes her, and serve the players food. While one could say her role is that of kitsch, she is not elevating her role as subservient wife to any level other than below her fake husband. Her comments are limited to bad jokes when serving food, “The ones on the right are pigs in a blanket; the ones on the left are tofu in a sleeping bag” (Politics & Poker Trailer 00:37-00:44), or clearing the table, “Speaking of gay marriage, are we done with our wieners” (Politics & Poker Trailer 01:23-01:27).

The show is clearly playing into the widely accepted sitcom relationship dynamic, and at least it is aware that it is doing this. However, if it truly wanted to create new ideas, new conversation regarding “all that’s right with the world,” they could reverse these roles and/or let the fake TV wife play poker with her husband and engage in the discourse that he moderates.

Kristy Swanson, although not named in the promo, is best known for her role in the film Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which, interestingly, spun off into a wildly popular series, heralded by many third wave feminists (Swanson did not star in the series). Her role within this show seems to bring in a sexual angle. She’s an attractive celebrity, who presumably identifies with the right, and the viewer sees her chastise Wilson for cheating and then states “Look at me when I’m...effing you.” The men at the table laugh and she states (or rather the editing makes it appear her next comment is), “It just makes it more fun for me.” (Politics & Poker Trailer 1:10-1:15). This show not only features the wife as a sexualized object, literally serving phallic symbols to her husband and friends, and posing for the camera, but it also features the one lone female poker player as being hyper-sexual as well, further showcased by the fact that none of the men are speaking of sex, only the women. The promo indicates that she says nothing political, and her voice isn’t heard, as it would be easily decipherable among the men’s voices, except in laughter, during the discussion of any politicized topic. She only gets to comment on the possible rule breaking that’s going on (a “mother” role), a sexualized comment (the “whore” role) and that the fake TV wife is “hilarious,” commenting on Julie’s wiener/gay marriage comment (a “sister” role). Her language indicates a desire to be “one of the boys,” which the boys seem to accept as she’s not making any real contribution to the discussion.

Evan Sayet’s Right 2 Laugh is comedy show on the Right Network, which is to feature “comedy from both sides of the aisle,” (Right 2 Laugh Trailer 00:06-00:13) as Sayet states that “comedy today is dominated by left-wingers.” (Blair, Right Launches Network to Fill Political Laugh Gap) However, every comic featured is featured saying something anti-Obama or his policies or, interestingly enough polarizing white and black people. This is clearly a showcase of right-wing comics. And while the promo visually shows female comics performing, including one woman of color, the women aren’t allowed to speak, or showcase their comedic talent. Again, mostly white males are cast in this role. However, Right 2 Laugh’s promo does feature an African-American (identified in a different promo as Kivi Rogers) comic who isn’t making a political joke, but rather a racial one:

I like white people cuz you like stuff simple. My people love making things more complicated than needs to be, like answering machines. Call a white guy and get his answering machine and “BRRIING! Hi, this is Phil, not in, leave a message. BOOOP! [Looks at watch] Done. Call any black person up: BRRIING! [Beatboxing] By the time it finished you forgot why the hell you called. (Right 2 Laugh Trailer 01:10-01:30)

Being the first African American the Right Network has allowed to speak, he qualifies himself by saying he likes white people. He’s not one of those angry African Americans; he’s a friend of the dominant culture. He then says “my people,” making it okay for him to make fun of his people and for the white audience to laugh along with him. However within the joke it’s clear that he doesn’t identify with African American’s as he doesn’t say call “one of my people up.” He says, “Call any black person up,” not just a black person but any black person. While this joke isn’t purely political, it does follow the dominant culture ideologies that have thus been witnessed on the Right Network. This African American is now “safe” for the Right Network’s audience to engage in.

He’s also featured in a promo on the Right Network’s YouTube channel meant to speak to the Right Network’s supposed diversity. The promo is called Things Arent [sic] Always What They Seem, and features Chris Burgard, the cowboy, trying to learn how to beatbox from Kivi Rogers. The words “Three Hours Later” appear on the screen and we say Burgard beatboxing and dancing, albeit poorly, and Rogers singing a country song. They both stop and Burgard says, “Right Network” to which Rogers replies “Because things aren’t always what they seem.” (Things Arent [sic] Always What They Seem 00:00-01:17)

Except this clip is showing us that things are exactly what they seem; which is what the Right Network has been doing all along. Saying one thing via their anthem and showcasing the exact opposite with their programming and promo editing. White men are sustained at their elevated status, women are kept below men and African American men get to talk only if it’s for entertainment purposes. Sorry women of color, you only get to be seen and not heard, so much for new voices.

While the Right Network tries to identify itself as a new place for conservative politics, a closer read indicates that all it’s doing is presenting the same rhetoric that not only the right has been promoting, but mainstream America in general; one of gendered hegemony, culturally normative values and racial stereotyping, American values if ever there were. But this time it’s wrapped in an orange flag rather than the red, white and blue.

Works Cited
Blair, Elizabeth, “Right Launches Network to Fill Political Laugh Gap.” NPR.org. 06 July 2010. NPR. 6 July 2010.
Bucholtz, Mary and Kira Hall. “Identity and Interaction: A Sociocultural Linguistic Approach.” Discourse Studies 7 (4-5). October 2005. 585-614. Stanford University. Web. 06 July 2010.
Rightnetwork.com. Rightnetwork. n.d. Web. 06 July 2010. http://www.rightnetwork.com/
RightNetwork Channel. YouTube.com. YouTube. 18 March 2010. Web. 6 July 2010. http://www.youtube.com/user/RightNetwork

Friday, July 16, 2010

In Cars

By now I think everyone is pretty aware that Milwaukee is one of the country's most segregated cities. Some say Milwaukee, due to this segregation, is one of the most racist cities. While I think all of the above are true, I've also come to learn of another -ism that is a pox on our houses:


Wednesday night Team Bananafest gathered at everyone's least favorite suburban bar and grill (seirously, can we start looking for trivs elsewhere?) and things were amiss. Everyone was running late, we weren't able to sit at our usual table, the quizmaster was some Peanuts-AuthorityFigureCharacter-Talker/Lenny Kravitz fan, and our usual shitty waitress was replaced by one that was nicer, but inexperienced.

Jbones comes in and tells us that he just got yelled at by some old broads because they thought he parked to close to their car. Jbones, ensuring that he was indeed 10 feet away from the fire hydrant, had to back up pretty close to another car. Was he close? Upon inspection of the vehicle, yes he was close. Was this old bitty unable to get out of her spot? Not in the least. So he's telling us that as he's walking in these ladies sitting on the patio were like:
"Excuse me! Do you think you left enough room for that car?"
Jbones: "What? Yeah it's fine."
OL (old ladies): Are you SURE because it's her car. (OL one motions to her OBFF).
Jbones kind of shrugs his shoulder and walks in.
So as he's telling the story, OL (owner of the car) COMES IN and rests her matronly hand on Jbones shoulder to which Jbones responds: Don't fucking touch me.
The woman is going on and on about who rude and disrespectful Jbones was. To which Jbones just kept saying, "Don't touch me. You touch me again, I'll call the cops."
The woman, visibly flustered that her mom-moves weren't working on our table yells at Jbones as she's walking out: "You're just a fucknut!" (In all fairness, some at the table thought she might have said Fuckhead. Either way, we're pretty sure we saved this woman's dog from being kicked as that was a lot of rage to let go over an imagined parking issue).
Jbones: "You're a fucking snob!"

The night ensued with us winning at trivia, and, big surprise, the woman being able to get out of her parking spot with no issue. She didn't even have the gumption to key Jbones' car or anything.

I could be wrong, as I have no scientific data to back this up, but I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have had this altercation with a woman of her age/class or a man of her age/class. But because we're a young and scrappy lot, she felt the need to aver her authority.
And you know, maybe she was a parking checker, and maybe, legally speaking, Jbones was on the close side to her car (is there even a law against this?), would you get that angry? Would you follow the perpetrator inside a restaurant to give him a piece of your mind?
I've been parked in before (has she ever been to the east side?), worse than she was, and have been able to get out. I've never been that angry about it. Crap happens. I'm sure I've done it as well.
When it happens to me, I say something like "Oh for heaven's sake," and do the turnthewheelalltheway-reverse-turnthewheeltheoppositeway-forward, rinse and repeat.

I think another issue here is that a lot of people view their cars as extensions of themselves. They rely on their car to promote some kind of image/class/status that they do have or they would like to have. They are the kind of people that lame car commercials are made for.
Jbones' car is to get him from A to B.

As is my cavalier, which I often sit my ass down in:
After the Yes concert at Summerfest, PO, EC and I got trapped in the biggest bumblefuck of a traffic jam ever. We were literally on one block for almost an hour.
It's hot out. Tensions are rising, and as luck would have it we're on the same block as a parking lot.
So not only are we just trying to move, there are people in the parking lot trying to get out. You also have the resident idiots who "create" a far left lane  to scooch ahead, which only exacerbates the problem one you actually get to the intersection.
Needless to say, we were all very crabby and this green Buick LeSabre-esque car totally exits the parking lot basically into our car--not hitting it, but in such a fashion that we have to let him go.
Windows are open and I say, "Are you fucking serious? Come ON."
And of course he gets all super-macho-thug on me. I can't remember all the words that were said but I know he told me to "Sit yo'ass down."
Jj: I am sitting down. I'm in a car. One has to be seated in a car.
SMT: Sit yo'ass down in yo' Cavalier.
Jj: Way to contribute to the situation.
And we just started laughing.
1. Because who uses logic when arguing with strangers? Me, that's who.
2.As if the type of car I'm in matters? ESPECIALLY when he's driving a sedan as well? Not even a sports car, or big monstrous SUV, but pretty much the same exact car as me, and he's driving an earlier model even.
I'm pretty sure he said it as an insult, but I can't for the life of me figure out why, unless he assumed that this car was an extension of myself. But even then--what is wrong with a Cavalier? ESPECIALLY in comparison to his Buick?

And then the more I thought about it, the worse I kind of felt.
Not about anything I said, or my reaction. I was quite proud of that.
But I felt bad that this guy only had his car to be proud of.
If he's judging MY car as if it's inferior to his, (and maybe it is, clearly I'm not a car person, however I am a Cars person--here she comes again...), is he expecting to be judged on his car too? And if so, then I missed the boat on Buick=Awesometown, USA.

And now for you listening/viewing pleasure:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Nights Out: Adventures at Lee's

Most of you know that I'm a pretty functional alcholic.
I like to drink socially.
And for the longest time my watering hole was a little place in Bay View called Lee's.


People knew that is where I would be any given Friday or Saturday.
With my BFF, P.
And the usual suspects; J-Bones, JJ, and sometimes AA.
And lawdy were those good times.
Themed picture nights.
Knowing you had to play Sexy Sadie if you wanted to hear Helter Skelter.
Breaking glass.
Cempazuchi guy.

And then.
Then shit got weird.
It seemed the group kind of got out of focus.
And no one can remember what the breaking point was.
But we feel there was one.
And so a self-imposed Lee's sabbatical was taken.

And like our drinking, we don't take sabbaticals lightly.
So we missed out on some quality Lee's time.
So after one too many nights at one of the most boring bars in the world, we decided to try Lee's again.
And it felt oh-so-good.
Like your favorite pair of jeans.
Or Chuck Taylors.

Still knew our drinks.
Still the same regs (for the most part).
But you know the saying.
The more things stay the same--
The more they change.
Okay so that is not the saying, but I like it.
Doorman is in jail!
Trifecta found God!
BT is the owner of the bar!
Credit Cards!
Internet jukebox!
Hearts hearts hearts a flutter.

Needless to say, we've decided to end said sabbatical and call Lee's our home once again.
And we love it.
Sure shit can still get wierd, but it's all in good fun.
And how can you stop going to a place where the whole bar sings along to "Your Love" by the Outfield AND Motown Philly by Boyz II Men.
You can't.
Plain and simple.
You must go there always and forever (which I can't wait to play on the juke box).

But I think the best part of Lee's is that P and I are feel as if we are in a movie/tv show every time we go.
We can't believe who we see and what they do.
And perhaps with a little too much self awareness, we wonder where we fit in the mix.

Last Lee's Experience:
(which I'm pretty sure could become a regular feature in this blog)
Jbones meets P and I there. Things are going fine, putting ridick songs on the juke box, catching up and then a scarf comment.
A Tom Selleck ala Magnum PI asks if he can compliment me on my scarf.

Jj: Here we go. Sure.
TS: Um, I like your scarf.
Clearly he didn't think his initial statement through.

Then TS's sidekick, who looks almost exactly like Jay from Jay and Silent Bob but with some weird south-side slash west coast accent starts BFFing with Jbones. The guy's harmless enough if not completely wasted. P and I were mostly happy that he was chatting up Jbones and not us.

And in walk two guys to which Jbones turns to me and says "Tears for Fears."

And we all starts singing "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."
Because these guys looked, with our boozy glasses, like Tears for Fears.

In all fairness, it should be noted that we've seen our fair of tribute artists/look-a-likes at Lee's so this has become somewhat of an obsession:
John Denver ala Muppets Christmas Album

 Cat Stevens

Kenny Loggins

 Lynyrd Skynrd band

And later in the night, because apparently the 80s moon was out:

Duran Duran tribute band.
Complete with groupies who didn't have state issued id's but passports.
Ooh la la.
It was all P and I could do from playing every Duran Duran song on the juke box.
Fortunately we had already spent all of our money on "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" which was P's response to DMB that was playing, which I have to whole-heartedly agree with. Schmaltzy Bryan Adams is better than DMB or reggae any day. We also played "Angry Eyes," the instrumental version of "Invisible Touch," "Easy Lover," "Wonderwall," (complete with British accents!), "King of the Road," "Crying," and way too many other songs to recount this amount of time later.

Songs playing, laughter ensuing and Blondy McDrunktown sits next to P.
And she then proceeds to complement all of us:
To P: Purse or bangles or earrings.
Jj: Scarf, "It reminds me of Colorado." (??? Like I said, Blondy McDrunktown)
Jbones: Glasses.
She then proceeds to tell us she usually doesn't go out so she's a little tipsy.
This girl is pretty much at the bar to get h-core effed.
So we decide to keep an eye on BMcD while still eavesdropping on the TS and the southside/west coast Jay.
Good times are had and then the eggs are broken out.

No one can eat 50 eggs.
And as luck would have it, BMcD couldn't eat any eggs.
BT tells us that he bought the eggs for jocularity.
It's a gag (literally and figuratively!) that people will dare each other to eat/drink when they're good and drunk. The whole tub of pickled eggs was bought at some reasonable price and it's funny to watch people gag them down.
Down being the operative word.

As BT is passing out eggs like it's Easter Sunday, BMcD asks for one.
P and I can see no good coming from this but it's like a god-damn trainwreck.
A conversation ensues and all of a sudden I see BMcD turn and spit the egg out.
Jj: Is she spitting or is she puking?
P turns to look.
P: Uh.
Conversation stops and we decide to watch BMcD coyly spit out the egg while trying to seal the deal with some random she's sitting next to.
And then there is no question as to whehter she's spitting up like an infant or vomitting.
Emesis has ensued.
Quite frankly, P and I can't believe this just happened.
I not-so-coyly flag BT down and he watches round two.
She then grabs the bar towel and proceeds to wipe her mouth, chest and pants off.
She then thrown said bar towel on her pile of vom.
We continue to watch as the guy she's sitting with has either ignored the emesis or finds this a turn on bukake style. One can never tell these days.
We then watch her tell BT that she's vommed on the floor. She very blondly apologizes and leave.
By herself, thank god.

Full disclosure.
I'm a puker.
I've puked at various bars in Milwaukee.
Strike that, I've puked in various toilets in various bathrooms in various bars in Milwaukee.
I've never puked AT a bar.
Hells, I've never puked when anyone can even HEAR me.
I'm stealthy.
And if you're an adult.
You should know when you have to make a break for it.
There are signs.
Pupils dilate.
Mouth salivates.
And unless vomitting is a new phenomenon to you.
You know when it's about to hit.

Needless to say, closing time was an adventure, as it usually is.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just Enough for the City

I love me some Milwaukee.
I really, really do.
Some people hate it here.
Some people think it's dirty.
Some people think it's racist.
Some people think it's lame.
Some people think it's stupid.

But to those people I say MOVE!
I love Milwaukee.
What I DON'T like about Milwaukee is everyone raking on it all the time.

This all began when I was watching a Bucks game.
Yep, it's true. Milwaukee has a professional basketball team.
And they're going to the playoffs!
A commercial aired for a summer basketball camp that the Bucks were putting on.
I thought to myself, "Well how great that the Bucks will be having something for Milwaukee's youth."
And then the location of the camp was stated: Mequon.
Mequon is a "suburb" of Milwaukee
Mequon is a good 30 minutes from Milwaukee.
Children that could really benefit from a skills building basketball camp most likely can't get to Mequon.
I'm not saying children who live in Mequon won't benefit from a basketball camp.
They will.
But wouldn't it make sense to at least hold the camp in the city. Where the parents of the Mequon kids commute to for their jobs.
I realize I'm speaking in sweeping generalizations here but here are some fun facts:
The median income in Mequon is $90733.
The median income in Milwaukee is $32216
The graduation rate for Mequon is consistently in the high 80s or low 90s percentage wise
The graduation rate for Milwaukee is in the mid to high 60s percentage wise (This is up from the low to mid 50 it was pulling in about 10 years ago!).
I guess I don't understand how anyone expects Milwaukee to get "better" if people keep leaving.
I'm not saying city living is for everyone, I get that it's not.
But I feel the people who do live in Milwaukee have to explain it to our suburban friends or relatives.

I have a bone to pick with the radio station 88.9 as well.
Radio Milwaukee it's called.
And I like it.
I really do.
Sometimes they play a little too much "A Tribe Called Quest," but whatevs.
And they do play local music, which I love.
And they do this neighborhood series.
About the different neighborhoods in Milwaukee.
I love this! The station reaches all over the place thanks to the internet it shows the world that Milwaukee is truly full of diversity and neat little nooks and crannies.
So as I'm tooling around on their website I peruse the upcoming neighborhoods that will be profiled:
The neighborhoods, in no particular order, are Lindsay Heights, Clark Square, Martin Drive, Havenswoods, Walker’s Point, Harambee, and East Tosa.

What the what? While I know where some of these neighborhoods are...East Tosa?
Wauwautosa is a SUBURB of Milwaukee.
It is NOT Milwaukee.
Not to mention if you look at this map of Milwaukee neighborhoods, there are clearly more neighborhoods to profile, before we get into the suburbs.
I suppose I could be, and hope I am, wrong about the name East Tosa, and I hope it signifies a hidden gem somewhere I have never been.
But the likelihood of that is slim, I'm afraid.
I think it's even a bit more disheartening because I felt this station championed Milwaukee, and here it is pandering to it's moochy suburban cousins again.

These issues compounded the other night at a board meeting for our little old neighborhood association:
After the meeting was pretty much adjourned, one of the board members decided to talk about their trip to Arizona. They commented that they've noticed in "the south" that gated communities are a way of life.
I commented I didn't think that was a southern thing as much of a classist thing.
They went on to say how concerned they were in our neighborhood that they couldn't let their 5 year old daughter play outside because their fence wasn't six feet high.
And that they couldn't work in their bathing suit because their fence/our neighborhood wasn't walled off.
I would like to note that we live IN the city. Some would even say central city.
We, well at least me, are not about gating ourselves off from the rest of the city or other neighborhoods around us.
We are about welcoming and improving.
Greening and cleaning.
Not Gating and Hating.
What my favorite part of this exchange was that they actually thought nothing was wrong with thinking we could/should gate Cold Spring Park off from the rest of the city.
OMFG is all I have to say to that.

Baseball Stuff: Opening Day

As some of you may or may not know.
I'm a bit of a baseball fan.
I like to pride myself on a little bit of knowledge and a lot of quotes when it comes to watching games.
Sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me and I'll shout something off-color to the umpire.
But usually, I'm able to keep it kid-friendly and classy.
Because that is the kind of fan I am.

I'm also the kind of fan that goes to games to...
You guessed it.
WATCH the game.
I realize baseball games are full of fair-weather fans and opening day is like amatuer hour.
Fortunately for us, our seats have been in sections that seem to respect the game.
I even heard the guy next to me say "Too High."
Which was perfect.
And is from one of the greatest baseball comedies of all time, "Major League."

Unfortunately, all I heard for the second half of opening day was the guys behind me talking about waterproofing your basement.

Now E. and I talk in games, but we keep it between ourselves. We don't announce the conversation to the people next, in front of and behind us.

But not these rural Wisconsinites.
Oh they went on and on about waterproofing your basement, Christmas tree farms and each other's last name.
I wanted to stick my score-keeping pen in my ears.
When they did talk about the game it was to offer ill-begotten facts and opinions. Which is the yuge at games, I hate it, but it's a fact.
Unfortunately, the game didn't offer me much relief.
 The Crew lost by two which is an Opening Day first for me.
My fear was that this doesn't bode well for the rest of the season.
I still fear I may be right.

I apologize to the rest of my readers (the handful of you out there) that during baseball season this blog gets a little heavy with the game.

I'll try to keep it real though.
I swear.

This season I will try to warn you to my baseball heavy blogs with the above title "Baseball Stuff!"

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Things I've Learned

I know.
I know.
It's been a while.
A real long while.

So much has happened.
I've made life decisions.
People have died.
I've some things:
  • I've learned my insurance sucks.
  • I've learned I truly want to go back to school.
  • I've learned my love for pretty boys has only intensified.
  • I've learned that maybe atheism (or agnosticism) isn't, maybe, that bad of an option for me.
  • I've learned that death & dying is not how it is in the movies.
  • I've learned that nothing is appropriate when it come to death/dying/funerals.
  • I've learned that funerals are not planned with the dead person in mind, but with whoever is planning the funeral in mind.
  • I've learned that I'm pretty awesome according to my nephew.
  • I've learned that budgets get some getting used to, but aren't the worst thing in the world.
  • I've learned that my parents, although almost divorced, are totes awesome.
  • I've learned that no matter how old I am, I hate that I have friends who move away.
  • I've learned that reading can still surprise me.
  • I've learned that I still love having dates with myself.
  • I've learned that I'm no longer 25, nor can I party like a 25 year old.
  • I've learned that Pearl Jam is still amazing for all intensive purposes.

I think that pretty much brings us up to speed.
And now for the elaborations.
(You didn't think I was just going to leave you with that did you? Silly rabbit.)

I've learned my insurance sucks.
As some of you may know, I get my insurance through E. And as I'm sure most of you know, E works for Starbucks. Well thanks to this awesome recession, Starbucks felt the need to save more money, and in the process dick over their employees, with quite possibly the worlds worst insurance.

I have narrow, crooked ear canals. This means wax cannot come out of my ears like it does with other people. So it gets stuck in there and it makes me deaf. Not totes deaf, but it basically becomes impossible for me to eavesdrop on anyone's conversation, which is a great, great joy of mine. So when I was finally able to get onto E's insurance the first thing I did was schedule an appointment to get my ears cleaned out. I've done this numerous time before with the old insurance and this wasn't a problem, I would pay the $30 co-pay and call it a day. So imagine my surprise when I learned that there was no co-pay for this visit. The co-pay is figured out after the visit. Having no idea how insurance works I shrugged my shoulders and waited.

The JD/MD looked at my ears, confirmed that they were, indeed clogged, and brought in the MA to do the dirty work. I apologized profusely as it's a disgusting job, it has to be worse than looking at cooters.

Things are going great. I can hear! I can eavesdrop! I can turn down the volume on everything in the house! It's a miracle I say, A MIRACLE!

And then.
The bill comes.
And it's $140.
That's right, WITH INSURANCE.
I can hardly believe it and decide to wait to see if this is truly a bill or just a statement of benefits.
Well then the bill comes and it's still $140.
An irate Jj calls up the old insurance company to ask them WTF is going on.
A half an hour later I learn our insurance is great if I want to have a baby because the $4000 I have to spend for a co-pay to take place would be gone in an instant. But since I'm relatively healthy, and plan on going to the JD/MD once or twice a year (or never again as the case may be), having this insurance is an incredibly bad deal. E's paying about $260 a month for me to be on the insurance, which is only "good" if I get cancer, become pregnant or get raped/murdered.

I've learned I truly want to go back to school.
This is a true story.
It all began with my friends going back to school. There is nothing I love more than notebooks and pens and buying books for ridiculously academic classes.
So I did a little digging in regards to the UWM Modern Studies program. Which, yes, is a ridiculously academic route and basically if I get accepted it would mean I would become a college professor. But it would be studying everything I love and can only talk to select people about: theory! movies! culture!
Oh swoon swoon swoon.
But here is the tricky part:
Since I kind of haphazardly made my way through school the first time, doing fairly well in classes I enjoyed, writing the bare minimum for essays (but still getting good grades, mind you). I have almost nothing to get me into grad school.
Missing most notably:
  • The academic paper that is at least 10 pages long: The graduate assistant told me I could submit the six page paper that I have, but I don't even like that paper, so I would just be submitting it because of it's length. E told me I should just write a brand new 10 page paper, which seemed incredibly daunting at first, but considering my hatred for the Twilight series and love of feminism I thought I could easily get it done.
  • Three academic recommendation letters: Apparently everyone knows you don't need three "academic" academic rec. letters. Most people use an employer that can talk about your work ethic, your ability to learn, etc. But you do need at least two professors. And for someone who's been out of the college scene for five years, I thought, and so did my email contact, this could prove difficult.
But then, hark! She recommended something that seemed like a perfect fit:
Non-degree Specialty Student.
The application is $15, they are always accepting applications, I can basically take any class I want, and although she didn't say it in so many words, I do well in the classes get the profs to write me letters and maybe get a 10 page paper out of the process?
eh? Eh? EH?
The caveat is that most often there is 0% financial aid, so I would be paying out of pocket, so that is a little daunting, but also so exciting. Because if there is one thing I think I would be good at, it's being a professional student.

I've learned my love for pretty boys has only intensified.
I know this will seem like I'm forsaking all of my previous hatred-filled sentiments for the Twilight series, but here it is:
I think Robert Pattinson is Totes McGotes dreamsicle pie.
Sears Tower.
I've now taken to watching Twilight on HBO and fast forwarding to the parts that he is in.
Is he a total pretty boy?
Of course.
Plus, I thought the movie did a fairly good job of adapting the book to the screen. And let us not forget that I didn't start hating-hating the books until 2-ish, but mostly 3 and 4. This is also apparent in the second film, which I just saw. Not nearly as good as the first, and a little too cheeseball for me. Directed like a horror film, and Carter Burwell didn't do the music.
And here's some trivia for you, Carter Burwell also did the music for perhaps the prettiest pretty boy movie ever made: Velvet Goldmine.
It still doesn't make me like the books any better, although I do kind of like Alice's hair.

I've learned that maybe atheism (or agnosticism) isn't, maybe, that bad of an option for me.
Shit's gonna get deep here.
As you may have guessed from the list of things I've learned posted above, my grandma died.
My grandma, and her four daughters are all extremely religious. My dad used to be extremely religious, but has fallen away from that. I'm not here to judge other people's beliefs, but watching her hang on, hang on, hang on, even though the doctors expected her to go within hours of all of us being there, two days later she was still "alive" and I'm using that term to indicate that she was breathing. And I'm looking at her, and listening to my aunts' pray and I'm thinking, this isn't about god. This is about science. This is her body doing everything it can to keep her alive, because that is what your body does. If god wanted her to come "home" (and let me just say I'm completely sick of that terminology) he would have taken her. Presumably faster than he did. What happened/didn't happen that he needed her to stay here?I'm not here to sit and argue the ins and outs of belief systems, and I do like the thought of an afterlife, but at the end there was no beauty or grace. It just happened in a hospital bed while her kids were sleeping  most of her kids were sleeping, her eldest was awake.

I've learned that death & dying is not how it is in the movies.
Oh but how I wish it were.
So as it is, the matriarch is dying and that brings EVERYONE here to Milwaukee. Which is ridick, because you would think something happier could do that like a holiday but instead it's to say goodbye, and we hope/are told that she can hear us because hearing is the last sense to go. Which I also got so sick of hearing.
I was glad that my brother came down, however, as we always have a good time and feel like we are the outcasts because we come the boy-child, and we lived "up north." And he and I are never afraid to be inappropriate.
Plus he brought my nephew, who is hilarious, so I was glad to have some light-heartedness there. We both decided that if this WERE a movie. E would proprose and that would wake Grandma up OR Grandma would die but our parents would get back together.
We laugh through the pain in this family.
All I wanted to do for this whole affair was have a video camera and record everything. Record the inappropriate jokes my brother and I were making, record the hysterics of my cousin, EW, record everyone going to town on their subs in the waiting room, because while we were waiting for grandma to die for 8 hours most of us forgot to eat. I wish someone would have recorded the stories that were told or not told as they weren't deemed "appropriate" to the situation. I felt it would have made a really good documentary, if not for dysfunctional families everywhere, at least for ours. Maybe the next time someone dies. Meh?
(Too soon?)

I've learned that nothing is appropriate when it come to death/dying/funerals.
My grandma was a completely ridiculous person. When she was with it, she loved hosting Christmas, loved having visitors, was fieircely independent and told inappropriate stories to anyone who would listen:
  • The one where she didn't know gay people were real.
  • The one where she had lesbians and a collie living across the street.
  • The one where about her wedding night.
  • The one about anal.
  • The one about oral.
  • The one about when she thought she was pregnant even though she never took off her underpants (I presume someone was dry-effing here).
  • The one where she smoked pot.
  • The one where she would drink a case of beer, and then cook all night.
  • The one where she shot holes in the ceiling.

None of these were deemed appropriate to even discuss while reminiscing about her in private company. Sorry, I didn't want to continuously think about her just watching game shows while she lived by herself. I preferred thinking about when she was able to drive and be ridiculous. So I did that, I just did it in my head, or with my dad, rather than with anyone else.

I've learned that funerals are not planned with the dead person in mind, but with whoever is planning the funeral in mind.
My grandma, being the frank lady that she was, talked about how she wanted her funeral to go. She wanted specific music played, she wanted people to laugh and to sing.
Needless to say, this was not how her funeral went. Before the actual service, some music was on, but I can't remember what. I do remember I heard "Bridge Over Troubled Water" which she liked, but that was it. There was no Jim Loving, no Statler Brothers (they were on her list she had specifically written, "Even Jim Loving!!!" because she knew how we all felt about him). I did hear some Statler Brothers after the service by my mom and I thought that was kind not enough. Which is why I'm determined to put the F-U-N back in funeral. Mark my words. You will have a good time. Of course I guess it all depends who plans it because if my wishes are not followed, I will haunt you. And it will not be a cute haunting, it will be a horror movie haunting. My favorite directive that came was that if you wanted to say something at the funeral you had to have it pre-approved and it had to be christ-centered. I wasn't planning on saying anything anyway, becasue I don't go for grand shows of emotion, and I don't need to wax poetic and what an awesome lady she was. Not that there is anything wrong in wanting to do that, my cousin KJC did write and read something that was quite lovely, however. But I definitely didn't want to say anything that had to be "approved." Homey don't play that.

And in case you're keeping score at home, I wasn't a huge fan of the "Try Jesus" booklets that were laying out next to the cheese and crackers. Nor was I a fan of them being brought to Famous Dave's after the internment (it was her favorite restaurant) and being placed on the table. Seriously? Come on.

I've learned that I'm pretty awesome according to my nephew.

Somehow I've become besties with my newphew S. I don't know what I did to earn this award, but at the big dinner we had the night she didn't die but thought she would, S stole my dad's chair and announced to his mom and dad that he was going to sit next to uncle jj, after taking forever to pick out what he wanted for dinner, he signed Z's cast, announced to us that he wanted an x-ray machine so he can look at his bones (one with wheels), and that he wanted a popsicle, becuase he loves popsicles.
"Who doesn't love popsicles?" I asked him. He then proceeded to ask the table if they loved popsicles. Which was hysterical. He was my buddy at the hospital too, playing go fish with me and wondering where my whereabouts were whenever I was not in sight. Heartzoes.

I've learned that budgets get some getting used to, but aren't the worst thing in the world.
It's true. We actually have, nay, use our savings account now. We actually can see some stuff getting done in our house in the next couple of months (might the foyer be complete one day?). We might actually be able to afford me going to school with no financial aid, provided we stick to the budget. Both E and I are horrible at having cash on us. We've grown accustomed to not being able to use the debit card unless we are 1000% sure that we do not have the money reserved for anything else (which it usually is). So when E has money he wants to spend it immediately. I only want to spend it after I've had it about a week, like if it's been in my wallet a week, it's time to go spend it, usually on booze with PO while watching a business deal go down with the hipster Jonas brothers.

I've learned that my parents, although almost divorced, are totes awesome.
Okay so this is because there was a death, and I'm full of sentimental tacky crap--"I Just Called To Say I Love You." But it's true, even though my parents are currently going through the longest divorce known to mankind, I think they are awesome. M. laughed at my fake mourning outfit, and D forgave me for not answering the phone at 6:30 in the morning (it was turned off in my defense). They are both hilarious and I feel like although I'm a disappointment to myself on a consistent basis, I'm not a disppointment to them.
If I am a disppointment to them, they hide it extremely well.

I've learned that no matter how old I am, I hate that I have friends who move away.
It's true. I've lived through this most of my adult life, and I still can't seem to get over it.
First J&P, leaving a gaping whole in our hearts and livers, then E&M whose parties provided years of storytelling and ridick-ness, and now M&Z--better known as my CSPBFFs. I realize that this is all very selfish of me, and that this is for their greater good (or so they say. jk jk jk) and I'm acting like a five year old, but I don't like it. I prefer sedentary people and cannot begin to tell you the excitement I felt when I learned that PO wanted to go to grad school here in MKE. Because it means, if I get into grad school, I will have a college buddy.
I wish you the most of luck in selling your fabulous homes and I'm sure we will run into each other someday on the flip side.
(I tried to make that as cool as possible. I'm pretty sure I failed miserably.)

I've learned that reading can still surprise me.
As some of you know, I've taken on reading all the books in the Washington Park libes. Okay maybe not ALL the books. I'm not reading the instruction manuals to C+++ or the Idiot's guide to Java but I'm going in order alphabetically for ficitons and I'm currently in the zeroes for non-ficitons. While I expected to find some interesting reads, I have to say I've read books I never would have read (Arab-American Women's fiction! historical fiction! gay-esque fiction! okay so I probably would have read that one) and learned a thing or two in the process. I'm currently in what I have to call "the unexplained" section of the dewey decimal system as the last couple of non-fiction books I have read have been about the unknown. Currently I'm reading about the Japanese equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle, which I actually did a presentation on as a 4th grader. Full circle, kiddos. I can't sing the praises of the library enough, and that is the one thing I miss about being unemployed (okay maybe it's not THE one thing I miss, but it's A thing I miss), is going to the library and hanging.
I've really taken to reading rather than watching drivel on the telly, which I rather enjoy, because while I do enjoy drivel, especially that which features pretty men, it can feel like your brain is turning into gelatin.
And as a strict vegetarian, that doesn't sit well with me.

I've learned that I still love having dates with myself.
Back in college, when I was single, I would date myself all the time. I loved it. I would take myself out to dinner, or maybe rent a movie or make something really good to eat. Or maybe just read. Anyway, it was great and I loved it and I hadn't had one in a long time, or at least something that I designated as a date with myself. But then...
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in the precarious position of needing a ride after a night with the girls. Luckily someone was going by way of Mayfair and I had a luncheon date at one there, and while I thought I would get there at 11 in the morning, I ended up getting there at 9-ish. Never to fear. I had a bagel and some coffee and as a "reader" I had a book with me. Making my Sunday morning quite enjoyable. I read for about an hour and then I remembered they show movies for $5 before noon on the weekends. So I mosied up the stairs to see if there was anything I could fathom paying $5 for.
And there it was. Two choices: Sherlock Holmes or It's Complicated.
I couldn't for the life of me remember what It's Complicated was about so I went with Sherlock Holmes, which I might say, was pure delight. Robert Downey Jr. is awesome, it had a great occult twist which I loved, and I'm starting to like Rachel McAdams, who is Canadian, if you were wondering.
I recommend to anyone who likes British things, action and a decent story.
By the time the movie ended it was time to go to, what now was the last luncheon with my grandma, but it was a good time none the less. I probably will never have timing that perfect ever again, but it made me realize how movies and dates by yourself are great.

I've learned that I'm no longer 25, nor can I party like a 25 year old.
What a drag it is getting old.
Cue sitar music.
So the reason I found myself in the position of needing a ride, which ultimately led to a great Sunday was because I got so smashed on Saturday night that I couldn't walk.
I passed out while sitting up, had difficulties crawling and could not for the life of me muster the wherewithal to walk outside with a friend who was offering to drive me home. PO, bestie that she is let me stay over where I woke up feeling fine and ready to take on the world.
The saddest part was that I didn't even think I drank that much. But there I was the almost 30 year-old passed out like the olds that I am.
I've tempered myself quite well since and am preparing for the liver destruction that is WFVIII--The Ocho.

I've learned that Pearl Jam is still amazing for all intensive purposes.
I cannot get enough of their album "Backspacer." Do you like rock and roll? Then you will like this album. My hope is that they will tour and I will get to see them yet again, because they have yet to play a lackluster show. Does this make me a huge nerd? Most likely, but I'm not going to deny it. It's good rock music. And I like, nay, love good rock music.