Thursday, March 30, 2006

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Ladies, this one's for you.

Courtesy of my friend Roxanne in Sunny CA:

Random Thoughts

Yesterday, I was driving past Wal-Mart, and I saw a group of people handing out fliers in front of the store. I optimistically thought it might be people protesting the store (I blame a lack of sleep for this naive train of thought). So, being the kind of person I am (the kind of person who likes to randomly introduce herself to other like-minded liberal people on the spur of the moment), I pulled into Wal-Mart and parked my car. I said a quick prayer to Russ Feingold to protect my liberal soul as I took a deep breath and walked up to the gaping jaws of the Beast. (And by "gaping jaws," I obviously mean "automatic doors.") I walked up to the nearest dude and said "Hey, what are you guys doing?" I don't think there is a word in the English language to describe the utter lack of shock I felt when he said:

"Hi! We're handing out Bible verses!"

No shit. OF COURSE you are handing out Bible verses outside of the Wal-Mart. Duh.

In other news, this morning marks the second time in as many days that I have been forced to put my defensive driving skills when I've been cut off by the exact same vehicle....the TV-18 News SUV. Now, I'm sure they're in a hurry or what not, but this is the Chippewa Valley, y'all. News does not break that fast here. Take it easy, and quit cutting me off. Otherwise, I will be forced to call the tip line and report a recklessly driven News SUV wreaking havoc all over town.

I finally got paid again, so I picked up the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs disc this morning. It's all good, but when I was driving along and "Phenomena" started up, it was like a religious experience. Seriously. Someone should make a church based on that....but not like Scientology-creepy.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

This kid's damn lucky she doesn't live in South Dakota

Surgeons remove two fetuses from infant

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Surgeons operated on a 2-month-old Pakistani girl Tuesday to remove two fetuses that had grown inside her while she was still in her mother's womb, a doctor said...

...Abbasi, the chief doctor who led the operation, said the case was the first he was aware of in Pakistan of fetus-in-fetu, where a fetus has grown inside another in the womb.

"It is extremely rare to have two fetuses being discovered inside another," Abbasi told The Associated Press, adding that he did not know what caused the medical abnormality. "Basically, it's a case of triplets, but two of the siblings grew in the other."

So, I don't post for weeks at a time and now you get two posts in one night...but this was just too good to pass up a quick and cheap South Dakota joke.

It's feast or famine around here, kiddies. Binge while you can.

Please excuse me while I gouge my eyes out.

I've seen a lot of awful things in my life, and there's been a lot of it that's made me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry for my mommy. But nothing I've ever seen has made me wish I had never been born quite as much as THIS (so, naturally, I had to share it with you):

Yes. That is pop princess Britney Spears depicted naked on a bear skin rug, giving birth to her son. It's called "Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston." It's going on display at a Brooklyn museum alongside other anti-abortion themed pieces.

That's ironic, because I think that Britney Spears' ability to procreate could possibly make her a poster-child for the pro-choice movement.

I'm not going to sleep well tonight, I can tell.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Marketing strategy gone awry

Universal Studios Home Video sent me an email to remind me that Brokeback Mountain comes out on DVD on April 4th. In celebration of that, they've created some special Brokeback Mountain e-cards.
From Jack to Ennis and back again. The story of Brokeback is told through the simple exchange of postcards. Explore clips from the DVD with this series of Brokeback Mountain e-postcards. Then tell your own story by sending a personalized postcard to your friend or lover.
Now, it's a good movie and all....but I'm finding a hard time trying to think of any message I would like to convey to a friend or lover using a Brokeback Mountain e-postcard. I don't care if you're straight or gay, cowboy or not...there just are not many appropriate things to say on a Brokeback Mountain card.

For instance, one card is the clip of Heath Ledger saying "If this thing grabs ahold of us again, in the wrong time, or in the wrong place, we're dead."

Lovely. Who wouldn't want that in their inbox?

What could you possibly write on that that wouldn't freak the recipient out completely?

I guess a gay man or lesbian could write to their partner:
"You know, maybe someday the government will recognize us as human beings deserving of equal rights. But until then, I guess we can be happy we're not being beaten to death by rednecks. Yet."
There really are a variety of inappropriate things one could use Brokeback Mountain e-cards for, I guess.
  • Dear Mom, Guess what......
  • Honey, I'm going fishing with my friend Pete this weekend. Don't wait up.
  • Dear President Bush, If this thing grabs ahold of us again in the wrong time, or in the wrong place, we're dead. And then we'll burn in hell for an eternity. I wish I knew how to quit you. XOXO, James "Dobby" Dobson
  • Happy Birthday!
  • Dear Heath, Congrats on your Oscar win. Oh.....wait. Nevermind. Love, Jake.
  • Dear Jake, Congrats on your Oscar neither, huh? Love, Heath
  • Dear Academy, Fuck you. Sincerely, Annie Proulx.
  • Dear Jim, Congrats on the new baby. Jane and I are finally getting settled into our new house and I love it; the walk-in closets are to die for. Yours always, Frank.
So, yeah....I don't think they thought this marketing strategy through the whole way.

But that's ok.

It kept me entertained for nearly 10 minutes. Can't beat that.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, March 20, 2006

Is the internet broken or something?

So, all weekend, there's been kind of a dull hush over all things bloggy and internet-y. Or maybe it's just me. I don't know. I went two whole days without more than maybe 2 emails....not even any spam or newsletters or coupons or anything. Myspace has been completely dead. I didn't even get any aNnOyInG, mispelld, bulletin posts from people I don't actually know. It's weird.

It makes me feel like there's something I was supposed to be doing. Like there was some sort of internet party and my invite got lost in the mail. Or there was a boycott nobody told me about. There isn't a boycott nobody told me about, is there? I know about Walmart, and South Dakota....but if there's an internet boycott going on, will someone please break it? ....just to let me know so I can jump on the bandwagon too

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Eavesdropping can be fun

Yesterday I was at an art/craft supply store and overheard the following conversation between a mother and her crabby sour pre-teen daughter (aren't they calling them "tweens" now or something stupid like that?) They were kind of loud about it, and I was so intrigued it took a lot of will power to keep myself from walking over to them and getting all up in their business to get the backstory. In lieu of that, I jotted the whole thing down as soon as I could, because I find it mildly entertaining.

Mother: I'm looking for something that reminds me of Hawaii.

Crabby Sour Tween Daughter: *muffled grumbles*

Mother: (ignoring the obvious grumbly unhappiness of The Tween) Look for something that reminds you of Hawaii for Grandpa's scrapbook. Pineapples or something.

Crabby Sour Tween Daughter: There's nothing!

Mother: Oh come on. Stop being like that. Help me look.

Crabby Sour Tween Daughter: I'm not being like that. There's NOTHING here.....Oh wait. Here's one. (hands mother something I couldn't quite make out from a distance)

Mother: (sounding slightly horrified) What does THAT have to do with Hawaii!?

Crabby Sour Tween Daughter: You know. Don't you remember the despair?

Mother: Uh...I really don't think that's what we want Grandpa to remember in his scrapbook.

Crabby Sour Tween Daughter: Why not? It's the truth.

Mother: (suddenly aware of their very loud conversation in a public place and therefore trying to sound overly sweet and loving) Well, we want something to make Grandpa remember how much we love him, right? I really think that's what Grandpa would like to remember too.

Crabby Sour Tween Daughter: Whatever. (pronounced eyeroll)
When the girl broke out "Don't you remember the despair" I almost died trying to keep from laughing. I really wish I knew what the hell they were talking about. It'd make a great story.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This IS my favorite holiday of the year. Hands down. I just finished up my annual meal of Irish Boiled Dinner. It's my favorite meal of the year as well. Thanksgiving's got nothing on boiled cabbage, potatoes, rutabagas and carrots. I could eat this every day, I think. Except, my mom's in charge of making it and not being Irish at all, she doesn't really see the appeal. She freely admits she's happy St. Patrick's Day comes but once a year. Her loss. I think it's heaven in a bowl.

The day isn't about the drinking for me. I'm not a heavy drinker, so that's not my priority. It's all about celebrating my blood. Which doesn't happen often in my family. My father's father was and Irishman, but when he and my grandmother divorced, he and his genetic code became persona non grata. My dad was adopted by grandma's second husband, hence our Swedish surname and my acquired affection for lefse.

So, I don't have the Irish name I should. Which is a shame. But I do have the fair and freckled complexion. And an unholy love of potatoes and cabbage. And an inexplicable spiritual stirring of my soul when I hear "Danny Boy". And my hazel eyes shine green whenever I wear the color.

So, I think today is my day. And I love it.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Vacation mindset

So, you know how everyone has that little voice inside their head telling them wrong from right? Well, I've been finishing up going through all of the bags of vacation purchases I made, and I realize that I have TWO such voices. One called Everyday Common Sense Flamingo, and one called Vacation Logic Flamingo. The two voices gave strikingly different advice in various shopping situations....and while I was in California, Vacation Logic Flamingo won out, time and time again.

Some cases in point:

Me: "Should I spend $2.99 apiece on these crappy cheap keychains of miniature surfboards painted with pictures of dolphins?"

Everyday Common Sense Flamingo: "Are you kidding me!? Seriously...there is a limit to how many keychains one person needs/can use. Plus, they're a total rip-off. I could whittle something nicer than that."

Vacation Logic Flamingo: "Are you kidding me!? Dolphins AND surfboards in ONE handy souvenir? Those are your two favorite things. How can you possibly pass that up? Look at how cute and miniature they are!"

Result: I own TWO such keychains now. PLUS a tiny toy Volkswagen bug, painted lime green, with a tiny miniature suitcase in the backseat and a dolphin surfboard hot-glued to the roof.

Me: "Look at all of these cute little slogan buttons here at Hot Topic. But they are $1.75 each! Should I get some?"

Everyday Common Sense Flamingo: "For christ's sake. $1.75 for that little piece of plastic and metal? No way. Plus, you have a Hot Topic at home. You could buy these any time. Save your money for something better."

Vacation Logic Flamingo: "Awww. This one says "Actually Guns DO Kill People." And this one says "Note to self: I'm rad!" and THIS one says "Friend Request DENIED!" Those are all too good. How can you not get these? Plus the "I was programmed to be this awesome" one has a picture of a cute cartoon robot. And it's gray, so it will totally look cute pinned to the $48 FIDM hoodie you bought at the place where you saw Joaquin's pants and that you now refuse to stop wearing because you think it makes you 'feel closer to Joaquin.'"*

Everyday Common Sense Flamingo: "Do you even WEAR buttons??"

Vacation Logic Flamingo: "You can start. Buy them. Buy them ALL! Mwah ha ha ha!"

Result: I spent $15 on buttons at Hot Topic. I currently have the "awesome robot" one pinned to my FIDM hoodie. Which I am wearing. Because it DOES make me feel closer to Joaquin. I have not yet worn any of the other buttons.

Me: "Should I buy this $2 tequila flavored sucker with a real worm inside of it?"

Everyday Common Sense Flamingo: "Um....NO. The only way you even LIKE tequila is if you slam a shot really fast and pretend not to taste it. What does this even have to do with California? You are never going to use this. Plus, worms are gross. Especially in suckers."

Vacation Logic Flamingo: "Dude, the second ingredient on the label is "Natural Insect Larva!" You SO need this. How can you not own a food product that has "Insect Larva" on the ingredient list?"


This is mine now.

Other inexplicable things I now own, thanks in huge part to Vacation Logic Flamingo: a picture of Richard Gere looking goofy in latex gloves, a t-shirt that says "Fame and fortune are around the corner" and comes packaged in a cute little Chinese take-out box**, roughly 27 postcards, a very special rubber ducky, and a lanyard that says "I [heart] California" over and over, but at one point it says "Jesus" for no I interpret it as "JESUS, I love California!" and it makes me laugh.

So, I kind of love Vacation Logic Flamingo. I'm going to miss her. I'll just have to plan vacations more frequently I guess.

*This is not an example in and of itself simply because Every Day Common Sense Flamingo also thought this was a great idea.

**This one wasn't entirely Vacation Logic Flamingo's fault. I also used the purchase of the shirt to validate parking.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

You know you're in Wisconsin when....

...You go to the grocery store, and you find a TWO-HUNDRED DOLLAR BLOCK OF CHEESE.

43 lbs of sharp cheddar, baby.

It was gigantic and really hard to pick up.

Of course I picked it up.

Who can resist trying to pick up a $200 hunk of cheddar cheese if given the opportunity? I'm only human.

I know, I know. I'm a lazy blogger.

It's just that I got back from vacation, and, well...I still sort of want to be on vacation. I go to work, because I have to. But I haven't watched the news. I only visit news websites once a day and limit the number of story links I click on. It's very unlike me. Typically I have kind of an addiction to information, if that's a real thing. But not at the moment. It's weird.

I have been reading a good book. Devil in the Details by Jennifer Traig. It's a memoir. The first memoir I've read since the Frey fiasco, and it was a good way to get back in the saddle. I like it. She writes about the variety of forms her Obsessive-Compulsive disorder took as she was growing up, including bizarre religious behaviors. One of my favorite parts comes in her "Beauty Tips for Fastidious Girls" interstitial:
Skin Feeling a little chapped but worried your whole family will die if you use a commercial moisturizer? Not to worry--there's an alternative. Just reach for a nice, hygienic, hermetically sealed bottle of salad oil. It's the moisturizer the biblical matriarchs used! Anoint yourself, for you are the chosen, it's you it's you please don't let them die. Now, doesn't that feel better?
I think that's funny.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Flamingo Fun Time: Draws to a close

this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, March 06, 2006

Flamingo Fun Time: Yay for surfers. AND dolphins.

this is an audio post - click to play

A random surfer doing tricks for my amusement.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Flamingo Fun Time: "So...Fish Tacos are totally gross."

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The infamous Fish Taco

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Flamingo Fun Time: In California you can have a life AND top-shelf TV

this is an audio post - click to play

Here we are at Buffy's school.

I'm still alive.

So, I totally tried audioblogging yesterday, but I got a message that the system was down. Ugh.

Anyway, I wanted to audioblog because yesterday was, quite possibly, the greatest day of my life. I don't want to waste precious vacation time typing, but I have a brief interlude of internet access at the lovely Chapman university in Orange, CA.

Things that made yesterday so awesome I can barely stand it:
  • Touching the red carpet at the Kodak Theater. (and keeping a stray carpet fiber as a souvenir)
  • Watching Oscar preparations throughout the day.
  • Holding a real Oscar. (Yes, it's totally heavy.)
  • Meeting real Oscar nominees. (not famous ones, but I don't care. Sound editing is important too.)
  • Being within INCHES of THREE different pairs of Joaquin Phoenix's PANTS. Plus, Brad Pitt's pants, Christian Bales' Batsuit, Natalie Portman's Star Wars dresses, etc. Fabulous. Not reaching out and touching Joaquin's pants took the single most amount of will power I have ever had to muster up. Plus, they were they only costumes NOT behind glass, as if to taunt me.
  • Lebowski Fest '06 Pre-party. This was heaven for me. The Knitting Factory was chock full of people just like me who like the same random ridiculous things. There will be a more detailed post on this when I return home and get my pictures uploaded. The Ferris Bueller secretary was there. She was playing the washboard. It was like magic.

ciao for now. We're off to hunt down locations for the Buffy tv series.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Vacation...all I ever wanted.

So, I leave for California in the morning. Bright and early. And I'm still awake now, because I'm not finished with half the things that need finishing yet. And still I procrastinate doing THIS instead of all the other stuff. But I thought it was important to remind everyone that I'm not dead. But I'm close.

Yesterday I got horribly sick. This was not super surprising, as it was sort of my birthday yesterday, and I get sick every year on my birthday. But this is especially bad, because it's a head-cold. I've flown with a cold before, and it was some of the worst pain I've ever felt. Seriously. It was like someone was stabbing me in my sinuses slowly and repeatedly with a serrated steak knife. Or something like that. I remember actually briefly considered calling a flight attendant over, informing her that I was dying and asking her to tell my parents that I loved them. Bad stuff.

But the trip is bought and paid for, and between all of my jobs, I have a very limited window of opportunity in which to make like a Go-Go and "get away." So, I've spent the past two days desperately self-medicating. I'm trying everything. Flamingo Fun Time should not be thwarted. Wish me luck. And wish me non-perforated eardrums upon landing, hopefully.

Anyhow, I'll try to throw some audioblogging at you while I'm out there. Don't throw any wild parties while I'm gone.