Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Plastic - It's Not For Wussies

In the last two weeks I have cut three fingers opening seemingly normal packages of food. The first was a cup of yogurt with the recloseable lid that is apparently never meant to come off and sliced into two of my fingers. And today I cut my thumb on a package of cookies from the store bakery. So either I have developed extremely weak skin recently, or plastic companies are making their products weapons grade because none of my other habits or approaches have changed. I'm certainly not exerting the type of pressure one would assume would be necessary to draw blood from yogurt. It is irritating (what's worse than band aids on your hands?), and frankly it is making me sort of cautious in the kitchen and reluctant to eat anything I might have to open. Which, on second thought, may not be so bad.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Anniversary... To Me!!

And my husband of course. It's been three blissful, busy years since we went to breakfast with our parents and decided to follow up with a trip down to the courthouse. Pretty crazy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I Just Want To Brush My Teeth - Not Simulate An Earthquake

There is a commercial for the Oral-B electric toothbrush that emphasizes the vibrations of the brush by showing plates rattling and stuff shaking off of shelves while people brush their teeth. Does this strike anyone else as overkill? I certainly do not want a toothbrush that vibrates so violently that my dishes all the way in the kitchen start shaking while I'm brushing my teeth - that seems painful. And if it is able to shake me so hard that the stuff on my bathroom counter starts falling off, well, that just doens't sound like something I want in my mouth. How clean do your teeth need to be, anyway? My regular toothbrush does a fine job, and my electric one gives a nice gentle massage to my teeth and gums - I don't need sandblasting. I mean, the goal is to remove plaque and food, not enamel, right? I'd be afraid that the oral-B would eventually scrape my teeth down to nubs - assuming they didn't fall out from gum erosion first. And a nubby, toothless smile is not the look that I'm going for.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Irregularly Scheduled Programming

So last night, as usual, my DVR was set to tape Bones so I could watch it after the kids go to bed. However, unlike usual, last night the President decided to blab to the nation, resulting in my tape only recording 3/4 of the show. This is frankly unacceptable. Yeah, I know, we are never going to get the politicians to shut their mouths, but can the networks please have some sort of contingency in place for loyal viewers? According to tvbythenumbers.com (which may be crackpot, I don't really know), Bones is one of the highest time shifted shows on tv (meaning watched on DVR rather than live), with the season premier having over 2 million viewers watching on DVR. And let me tell you - those 2 million viewers are now pissed that they missed teh ending of this week's episode. I accpet that there really isn't anything the networks can do in terms of affecting the taping process, but perhaps they could utilize the internet a little better. Fox.com has full episodes available for viewing, but they only have up through last week's show. SO here is my suggestion: please upload your shows onto the internet faster. If they have aired on tv, they should be available online. It keeps you up to date in today's whirlwind media environment, and it calms down the irritated viewers who miss vital episodes due to stupid talking heads. As for me, I will very impatiently wait until I can watch the final 10 minutes of the show online, and I'll give the candidates a tip: you are going to foster a lot of ill will if you preempt too many prime time shows. Don't mess up my DVR schedule and maybe you'll get my vote.


note: the Fox website now has the latest episode available for viewing so I'm all up to date on whodunit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Narrative Flaw

I just finished reading a book (Blindsight by Robin Cook), that featured two different narrative tricks: the first is where the reader solves the mystery way before the main characters because we have all the information, and the second being the trick of having the characters figure it out but the author doesn't explain the mystery until the very end. I have obviously come across both of these before, and they can be satisfying in their own way - but they absolutely do not work together. The first structure csan be fun because as a reader you have solved the problem and you are excited to see how the author will allow the main characters to discover what you already know. The second is only effective if the plot is so twisty you can't figure out the twist on your own, so when the main character does it is frustrating (in a good way) and you have to keep reading until the climax when everything is revealed. When both of these are used together all it does is make you think the characters are especially stupid - and when they finally figure it out but it still isn't explained you just think "yeah, we get it. Now finish the story already." Probably not the atmosphere of suspense the author was going for.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fringe Benefits

Well, Fringe has officially been elected my favorite new show this season (actually, it may be the only new show I've watched this season, but no matter). It isn't surprising since it is by J.J. Abrams and I've liked all his other shows - Alias is one of my all time favorites. So far Fringe has been enjoyable - and it passes the desireability test in that I want to watch it every night. So I'm glad that it is back on tonight. Wow - this entry is really boring - I'm going to blame my lack of focus on Jack and Izzy, who are screaming to play with the computer and repeatedly elbowing me in the abdomen respectively.

Monday, September 22, 2008

5, 6, 7, Ouch

Yesterday I had the annual audition for the dance show I perform in every year. Today I have the annual day of recovery, where I can barely move due to all the activity following my months of sitting. Good thing I didn't use my fingers much, or I wouldn't be able to type this.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Jack!

Tomorrow my baby boy turns 1. I can hardly believe it. It seems just yesterday I was holding him, a tiny baby, and now he's a little boy - almost walking on his own. Amazing. I hope all of his years are as great as this first one - although they don't have to go by as quickly!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Project Runway Outreach Program

I would like to start this entry off by saying it is not my intention to be mean. I am certainly not trying to sit up on a high horse and ridicule anyone for being less genetically gifted than anyone else. But having said that, I must comment on last night's Project Runway. The episode featured the designers working for recent college graduates - trying to give them a look for their new careers. And I do not know what the casting requirements were, but they managed to put together a remarkable group of girls who were, shall we say, less than Heidi Klum-esque. Way less. The best among them would be lucky to qualify as average on her best day, and the worst, well, we'll just call them unique. The show also featured the girls' mothers, and the issues were certainly explained in that arena. And yes, I do feel bad mentioning this - it seems like a cheap shot - but I was actually sort of uncomfortable watching because of the extent of awkwardness on screen so I just had to comment. I mean, where did they get these girls? I certainly don't feel like everyone on television has to be gorgeous, but the degree of homely depicted in this episode seems to me like it would have taken effort to compile. And if the producers went out of their way to find unattractive women for the show hoping the designers would find them less than desireable to work with then that is just mean. Fortunately the designers all worked with class and seemed to really enjoy their clients - there were no catty comments on less than perfect bodies or anything else which was refreshing and somewhat surprising. And it was a pleasure to see the girls' mothers just beam with pride when their daughters stumped their way down the runway. But seriously, where did they find those girls?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Somebody Is Watching Too Much USA - Or Not Enough

Does anyone else notice the similarities between the new show The Mentalist and Psych? Both feature a character with unusually heightened skills of observation pretending to be psychics for the police. Yes, one looks as though it has quite a bit more comedy to it, but seriously, CBS, you are ripping off an existing show. Which I suspect you know since you are airing previews for your show during airings of Psych. Of course, there is certainly room for more than one show with a similar premise on TV (L&O, CSI, etc), but you could at least try to be a little subtler about it. And throwing in his catch phrase of "it's a gift, pause, pause, sort of" is just a bad rip off of Monk's trademark "it's a gift, and a curse." I meam, the pause could have been put in there just to let viewers fill in the rest on their own without having your character directly quote another network's show. And your promos - come on, the stuff he is noticing is so blatant and obvious that I totally don't buy the concept his powers of observation are special - any dope can see a big lipstick mark on some guy's collar. So I guess what I'm saying, is The Mentalist better step it up. I'm willing to give it a shot, but the goods better be better than the tease.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Fun Of Flying

Well, we're home again at last, but of course not without hiccups. The kids were brilliant yesterday - hardly complaining or having any fits during the two hour flight and three hour drive home. The only issue we encountered was an extremely crabby ticket agent when we were trying to check our baggage that insisted that we would have to call our doctor's office to have proof of Jack's age faxed over because she refused to accept that he was under two. He's not even one yet! And yes, he is big, but he is actually kind of short for his age - and he doesn't walk or talk or have more than three teeth yet! Fortunately, despite her best efforts to inconvenience us (when we got there she was directing people into the correct lines, but after she spoke to us about needing proof of age she went right behind the counter and kept eyeing us in line - very obviously hoping to be the agent that "helped" us), we ended up with a different agent who said that they require proof so they have evidence that he is on the plane if something happens, but let us go anyway. Pretty much like all ticket agents for every airline at every airport. Seriously, I have been flying with children on laps since my daughter was 2 months old and I have never once been asked for proof that they were under two years old. And if you are going to insist on evidence of age, you sholud probably do it on ALL of your flights - sending someone 1100 miles away from their home and then refusing to send them back without proof of age is pretty bad customer service. So my advice if you are flying with lap children is to have some sort of proof of how old they are. And if you are ever flying out of the Sacramento airport on Southwest - just go ahead and use the skycap to avoid the bitch at the counter.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On The Road Again

We are once again on our way to visit grandparents- this time in CA. Don't know if I'll be struck with things to comment on while we are away or not. Usually I try to stockpile some entries for these instances, but I'm fresh out of ideas this week. I'll post if the mood strikes, otherwise I'll be back fresh next Tuesday. See ya!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Boob Tube Blahs

As a television addict, I have to say I am greeting this new season with a serious lack of interest. I'm not sure where it is coming from exactly- all the shows I like look good and there are definitely some new ones I'm interested in checking out. But I just don't actually feel like watching anything. I think maybe it is because I can't actually sit and watch a show as it comes on - I have to record it and wait until after the kids go to bed. And while I do really like watching shows and zipping through the commercials (although that affects my ability to comment here as I'm sure you've noticed by lack of content), there is sometihng special about checking the clock and making sure you have everything all ready to watch your favorite show as it comes on. Catching up with it on tape (yeah, yeah, DVR, whatever) just doesn't have that same "appointment television" feel about it. It almost feels like homework - like "I have to watch this" instead of "whee my favorite show is on!" Of course, even with this strange ennui I'm still making sure I see all of my shows - I haven't gone so crazy as to actually turn off the set.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Bookworm Is Hungry

I would just like to express my current frustration that our local library is closed. I go through phases where I devour books (I can do one a day if they are good enough), and my current one is being thwarted by a lack of exposure to material. We don't have any large bookstores here, and I don't really want to buy everything anyway. But the library isn't open!!! Thye recently tripled the size of the building and they have been spending the last month moving the books and getting everything ready - and I'm sick of waiting. It doesn't help that we will be out of town the day it reopens - I can't even go in to get books for my trip. Oh well. At least the new season of television has started to distract me. I just hope I get some more reading in before I move out of this phase.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Blowing Smoke

In the gas station today I saw a stand for NicoGel - the cigarette alternative. It promises "cigarette satisfaction in a hand gel." I've got to say I think this is a load of bunk. I understand that smokers need a nicotine delivery system when they can't smoke - but I can't believe that hand gel is going to be a very satisfactory solution. Part of smoking is the oral and physical motions involved - that is why the gum is effective - it gives your mouth something to do. Rubbing gel on your hands can't provide that same sort of distraction. And seeing as nicotine gum is already out there on the market, smokers don't really need another alternative to smoking that is less helpful. Pretty stupid in my opinion.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Attention!!

Attention to the pranksters who have replaced my darling angelic daughter with a screaming banshee. I'm on to you and I do not appreciate the joke. My first clue was when she refused to go to the store - my Izzy loves the store and asks to go ten times a day. I admit, the continuing tantrums over wearing pants, jacket, shoes, etc would probably have fooled me since she isn't inclined to wear more clothing even though the weather is cooling off, although I think the imposter did go a little overboard with the hysterics. I also don't appreciate how you got her to stomp through cat puke (leading me into it in my bare feet before I saw it) - that was really unneccesary. Anywya, haha, the joke is on me - now get yourself back into her room while she is still napping and give me back my sweet girl!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Half Gloves, Half Lame

Apparently half gloves are making some sort of resurgence. Sarah Jessica Parker wears them in the Sex And The City movie, and I have seen them a couple other times on various starlets aorund Hollywood. I would imagine these are one of the most annoying things to wear. I mean, they only come down over the knuckles, leaving the palm uncovered, and that has got feel wierd. I think I would constantly be trying to pull them down. So I guess I will remain the loser walking around in totally lame whole gloves - but at least my hands will be warm.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Raise Your Arms If You Hate This Ad

So I really can't stand the Secret Flawless commerical where the girl keeps finding lame reasons to raise her arms as she walks around the city. (it is actually annoying enough that I didn't even know what brand it was for until I looked it up. I guess I blocked it out, but apparently there are lot of other people who despise it too and paid attention.) First off, the premise is totally stupid. Secondly, the girl herself manages to take a bad idea and make it even worse with her irritating personality. Good job. I think I hate when she hails the taxi and then says she's going to walk most of all. That's just mean, but it does explain why taxis just drive by when you try to hail them - they think you are playing tricks so you can flash your armpits.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Art Is In The Eye Of The Money Holder

This sculpture has recently been installed on the front lawn of our local courthouse:It is life size - so the figures are the size of real children. Tasteful isn't it*? I really wish I could get one for myself, unfortunately it is apparently worth $80,000 (seriously - that's what I heard on the radio they paid for it), so I doubt any delightful bronze children will be decorating my lawn any time soon. It would be cheaper to paint my own kids bronze and make them stand outside.

*why yes, that is sarcasm you detect.