Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Folks, I'm here to rally the troops for an actual good purpose, instead of our usual jacking around. Oh, it'll still be jacking around, but it'll help people. I want everyone who has a Xanga account, which I think is everyone, to report this site and also post on it. It's here, and it's been put up by someone in Marshall's school, basically saying horrible things about everyone. I normally wouldn't care, because a lot of people at Piper are pretty much losers, but the blogger made fun of Marshall, and that just doesn't fly.

So. I'm going to post in comments. And then report. Join me, won't you?
Page count: 58

First of all, I want to say that the beginning of the new U2 song never fails to make me giggle. Oh, Bono. Fourteen does not come after three, you silly man. Hee.

Getting ready to watch TAR. Am very excited about the fact that this season follows so closely on the heels of the last. Iceland was gorgeous; that’s one of my favorite parts of the show, that they go all these places I just wish I could go, and likely never will. (Although they do go places I have absolutely no desire to see. At all.) I was hoping I’d like the professional wrestling team, just because that’s so odd, but they’re very fight-y and abrasive. The team I had pegged as my team to root for throughout, and inevitably go out fourth, went out first, so that was depressing. There are a few bland “dating models” teams, but other than that, it’s a good set of people. I was reading the recap on TWoP, and while I disagree with Miss Alli on a lot of things, I have to give her credit when she called the reason why TAR is the best reality show on TV: the people really do work hard. So many other shows are just about humiliation, or about the pretty people lazing around on the beach and voting each other out, and this show is really about hard work, and giving it your best (we’re continuing to ignore Flo). Such a positive show, really.


Sunday, November 21, 2004

Okay, I have the most awesome story to share, to anyone who didn't watch 20/20 on Friday. So, the University of Missouri is basically run by these two guys who married the daughters of the Walmart fortune. They essentially got rid of the old basketball coach, built all kinds of new stadiums, yadda yadda. One has a daughter named Paige Laurie, and they named the new basketball stadium after her.

Paige went to USC. Apparently she was in film, and graduated in May, so I probably saw her around or knew of her or whatever, although I didn't recognize her name off the top of my head. Anyways, it came out this Friday that for three and a half years she paid someone, who started off being her roommate but had to transfer to a juco, to write all of her papers. At first, it was just, can you write this one paper? And then ended up having her write everything. This girl even ended up getting Paige's email account so she could email professors and stuff of Paige's behalf. At first, it was supposed to be a favor, and then it became an obligation, and the girl was afraid to quit because Paige Laurie's connected, yo. She had been paying this girl upwards of 2 to 3 thousand dollars ($2000 - $3000) a paper, and the girl was afraid that if she said no, she'd get in trouble with the IRS or something like that, because of the paper trail. (Evidently not realizing that would expose Paige as a cheater, but whatever.) So this girl ended up paying this other girl over $20,000 over the course of three years to basically write every single paper for her. And the girl kept them all. Some have teacher's comments on them, like, "So much better than your in-class exam!"

So they were trying to figure out why Paige would do this, and the girl said that she told her that she was just too busy, and they found all this footage of her partying and being a quasi-socialite. Then they show footage of her at graduation, and an excerpt of a letter from her to the other girl, where she basically bragged about her 3.5 as though she somehow deserved it, and then not-so-gently asked the girl to start writing papers for another friend of hers. That's what drove the girl to go to 20/20, because she was afraid it would start all over again.

Hee. MU's basketball stadium on campus is named after a gigantic cheater. No word yet on whether USC is going to revoke her degree or anything, since there's plenty of proof. The family hasn't commented, although before the story came out, Paige announced that she was looking into either attending graduate school for film or just starting work in the industry. Nice try now, sweetheart.

I wish I had known her though, and remembered her as that snotty princess from discussion section who never knew what she was talking about, who wore Juicy couture and had a beer belly, because that? Would have been most triumphant.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Page Count: 49

Okay, I'm going to post a couple of excerpts from the latest Terry Pratchett book I am reading, to convince everyone to go out, right now, and read a Terry Pratchett book if you have never done so.

"The voice went into his head, bored down through his memories, riffled through his fears, found the right levers, battened onto them, and pulled. In Moist's case, it found Frau Shambers. In the second year at school, you were precipitated out of the warm, easygoing kindergarten of Frau Tissel, smelling of finger paint, playdough, and inadequate toilet training, and onto the cold benches governed by Frau Shambers, smelling of Education. It was as bad as being born, with the added disadvantage that your mother wasn't there."

"The hub, or nerve center, of the coach business was a big shed next to the stable. It smelled--no, it stank of--no, it fugged of--horses, leather, veterinary medicine, bad coal, brandy, and cheap cigars. That's what a fug was. You could have cut cubes out of the air and sold it for cheap building material."

"'Anghammarad Said She Reminded Him of Lela The Volcano Goddess, Who Smokes All The Time Because The God of Rain Has Rained On Her Lava,' the golem went on."

"Moist reeled under her weight. She was dragging at his collar so hard that he was likely to end up on the floor, and the thought of being found on the floor with Miss Maccalariat was--well, a thought that just couldn't be thoughted. The head would explode before thoughting it."


Friday, November 19, 2004

Changed the template. Hobbitses!

So, I just saw this commercial with Antonio Banderas for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. You know how it is. Some celebrity talks about how some little kid got cancer, and the prognosis was dire, but they went to St. Jude's and now they're cancer-free? And the point is to tug at your heart strings and make you write a check?

Except with Antonio Banderas, who has the little girl behind him, and she puts her tiny, baby hands over his eyes, and he laughs and pulls her into his lap, and goes, "And now...she is cancer free." In his accent, and with the baby.

And I cried. Seriously. At a thirty second commercial.

I still don't have any money to send to St. Jude's, but that was quite possibly the most effective commercial I have ever seen. Listen up, advertising people. Just put Antonio Banderas in every single ad ever made from now on, and we, the consumer public, will buy one of everything. Because he has that power.
Read the Scientology thread at Fametracker. God, the creepy. I've caught snippets of that Leah Remini show on VH1 about her being pregnant and stuff, but apparently they recently showed the episode where she gave birth, and she was completely silent throughout. I didn't know she was a clam, and I didn't know about the silent birth thing (because birth trauma is what screws us up, according to the clams), and whoa. Creepy. C-R-E-E-OMG-P-Y. I guess they also have this organization called Sea Org, which is some kind of faux Navy thing where they wear uniforms and stand in defense of the alien spaceships, as the kind of idealized version of what they do, but they're really an intelligence force, gathering dirt on everyone to blackmail them with if they try to leave the church. And the total militant opposition to psychiatry and prescription drugs for mental illness? I mean...Jesus. How can any sane, even slightly intelligent person get duped into this.

And they think we evolved from clams! Although of course the clams don't learn this till they've paid thousands and thousands of dollars for auditing and seminars and all.


In other news, this season of Survivor is now officially the most boring ever. Twila needs to grow a spine, already. Just make a decision and stick with it. For three weeks she could have aligned herself with a majority group and been high in their pecking order, and she's just pissed it all away. Stupid. I hate when the whole show depends on the asinine decisions of one dumb person. Bah.

Page count: same. Was busy last night. My mom had taken Sarah out for some school-related outing, and they came back, and Sarah came upstairs all crying and with the hitched breathing, and I have her come sit next to me. "What's wrong?" I ask, very loving and concerned. "I can't breathe!" says Sarah, very upset. "Just calm down and tell me what's wrong, okay?" I tell her, understanding and patient. My dad runs upstairs and starts putting the Albuterol in the breathing treatment machine. "She's having an asthma attack!"

Right. Cue filmy flashback. Sarah: "I can't breathe!" Hokay. So glad I'm A FLAMING IDIOT.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Page count: 41; number of ear infections: 1; number of times clutched ear and moaned "goddamnit:" 62; number of Laura's prescription pain pills taken: 1

I really enjoyed Lost tonight. So far, my two favorite episodes so far have been written by David Fury, this one tonight and the Locke episode, which is totally surprising as he was my least favorite writer on Buffy and Angel. But he really nails this show, and gets the main plot, the sub-plot, the sub-sub-plot, the humor and drama mix, and the flashbacks all right. And Kate only had, like, four lines! Which is awesome. The actress is pretty, and does a good pensieve 1000-mile stare, but she just has no on-screen charisma. It doesn't help that they're mostly writing her as a complete Mary Sue, so the fact that she didn't do much tonight contributed greatly to my enjoyment.

And Hurley is just too damn cute. Someone (read: Laura) (or whoever) send me Hurley pictures. Yis.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Page count: 33 (okay); pages written yesterday: 10 (v. good) cigarettes: 0 (perfect streak continues); alcohol units: 0 (all have in house is icky strawberry margarita); number of hours spent playing video game: 2 (bad); number of hours spent playing darts: 1 (good, as is man-type sport and knowledge might be useful in flirty pub situation).

Saw Bridget Jones’s 2 this weekend. While perhaps not as perfectly charming as the original, it was quite good, and I thought all the changes made were good, in that they were filmic and made sense within the context of the film. Colin Firth remains dreamy. I really, really liked the soundtrack; why does music cost money? Why? Why?

I was a little disappointed in Arrested Development this weekend. I think it’s the first episode ever that I didn’t laugh out loud at even just once. Everything felt a little…contrived, and not in the usually good AD way. I don’t know if it was a set-up episode that was trying to get things done for the future, or what, but it just didn’t work for me. (The Lucille/Oscar storyline, which in the past I have enjoyed, felt really over-the-top and unsubtle this week in particular.) Although based on TWoP postings, I'm the only one who feels this way, as everyone else thought it was awesome.

In related news, I did buy the AD season one DVDs, and they are awesome. I haven’t even got to any of the special features yet; I’ve just been going through and watching all the episodes in order (except “Marta Complex,” which I’ve seen way too many times for some reason). When you watch all the episodes that closely together, it’s amazing how little things were introduced very early on with no fanfare, only to be explored in detail later on, which makes you wonder if they’re just really fantastic planners, or if they’re careful studies of their own work.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Whoa. The first teaser poster for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is ASOME. This is officially the new movie I am most looking forward to, based on that single image alone. Depp as a slightly effeminate, slightly vampiric, very posh Wonka? Yeah, that'll work.

Went to see The Incredibles this weekend, and although it took me about half an hour to really get into it, I was very pleasantly happy with the film. The trailers and TV commercials did not make it look as good as previous Pixar films, but I can see why marketing had a hard time selling the film, as it is much more an action/family drama that happens to be animated than a typical animated film, all gags and one-liners. I wouldn't rank it with Monsters Inc. or Finding Nemo just yet, but I do think it's a very cute movie, and is way, way better than Shrek 2, which while enjoyable doesn't have the same depth and strength of writing.

Page Count: 16 I've been slacking, which is dumb, since I know when I have to finish this by. Dumb, dumb George Michael.

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Well, I’m happy. I wasn’t going to post, but then I decided that if everyone else can post their reaction to the election, by god, so can I, even if my opinion is the odd one out. Is Bush the perfect president? No. But I voted for him because I thought he was the better choice. The Democrats didn’t put out a viable candidate; they thought anyone other than Bush would win by default. If there had been a strong candidate presented by the Democratic party, someone fiscally conservative and socially liberal (like Arnold Schwarzeneggar, in terms of politics), then I would have seriously considered voting for that candidate. But not John Kerry, who is not someone I want running the country based on his record in Congress. Perhaps it’s the lesser of two evils, but this is my reasoning for my vote. Because I know there was some confusion about how anyone could justify a Bush vote.

I am upset about the gay marriage vote. I think it’s completely ridiculous, and I don’t understand how these amendments can be legal. We need a Gay Rights Movement akin to the Civil Rights Movement of forty years ago; that’s the only way I see something happening anytime soon. Pop culture can help the attrition of out-dated opinions and ideas, but only slowly.

I’ve seen all over the internet today people bemoaning what they believe will be the eventual overturning of Roe v. Wade. I doubt that this will happen, honestly; I think there a lot of people who consider themselves pro-life who realize that there are legitimate reasons why a woman would want an abortion and that the option should be open to them. The extreme pro-lifers who don’t condone abortion in any case, ever, are a minority. There might be some more refining of abortion laws--partial-birth, parental notification--things like that, but I just can’t see, even if Bush appointed one or even two new Supreme Court justices, that the entirety of RvW will be overturned.

One final thing: I hope this doesn’t piss anyone off. I want to preface this by saying that upsetting or angering anyone is not my intent. And I’m not saying this to anyone who reads this blog in particular; what I am addressing here is something I’ve heard not just today, but for the past four years. If you (generic you) are upset that Bush won, and say that you’re going to move to another country, then do it. Seriously. Just move to a country that you won’t ever disagree with the politics therein, and be blissful and content. However, if you’re just saying that to express your disgust, well, boo-hoo, let me wipe away my tears with my plastic hand. How you feel today? Is how we all felt in 1996, when Clinton won again. I hated Clinton. The last two years of his presidency, I couldn’t even watch him on TV. I still can’t. But I never heard any Republicans threatening to leave the country the way I have with people on message boards, and celebrities, etc. People talk about how concerned they are with how polarized and partisan the country is, but if the 50% of the people who feel they lost just give up and move, nothing will be done to heal the divide. Bipartisanship means you have to compromise sometimes, that you have to stick through issues and times you may not support to get to the ones you do. (Bipartisanship, though, is not just the last resort of the minority party. I’m sometimes under the impression that one party only calls for bipartisan efforts if they’re not in the majority, and if they were, they wouldn’t care.) If you’re worried that another Bush term is going to erode abortion rights, then get out and find ways to protect a woman’s right to choose. Whatever your issue is, go out and volunteer, donate, spread the word, do something proactive. If democracy is all about the people, and making our voices heard, that won’t be done if half the electorate just gives up for the next four years. If Kerry had won, I would be disappointed, but nothing about what I support in the political climate of this country would be lost unless I and everyone who voted along with me just gave up. This might sound jingoistic and corny, but I do love this country. We’ve made mistakes, recently and not, just like every other country on this planet. I’m still proud to live here, and while there are things that I’m not happy with, like everyone, I know that there’s a burden on me to get these things done the way I want. If you hate America that much, if you can’t stand to be here, then leave the country to those who actually want to work to make it a better place.

Honestly, though, I just want to conclude with suggesting how we can completely heal this country in four years, after Bush’s second term. Elect Tony Blair. Mmm, Tony Blair.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Page Count: 13

I have the worst headache right now. I'm loathe to call it a migraine, because technically it isn't, but it's the best word to make clear the brain-melting pain. I hate headaches. They're totally stupid.

Our first really wintry day today. Cold and bleak. I'm still so used to the Groundhog Day monotony of LA weather that actual winter is still amusing and enjoyable to me. I'm sure that will change come February or so.

I voted. Yay. Like everyone else, it's not like I'm in a battleground state, so it's more a matter of principle than thinking it will make an actual difference.

Monday, November 1, 2004

Yay! One of my professors apparently emailed me back and said he'd be glad to send a letter of recommendation, but I never got the email. So I emailed this morning, and he was all, "I totally sent it!" Although the exuberance might have come from me, not him.

Whew. I am so relieved. So I have all three letters, and all the rest got mailed today.

So, last time I went to Subway, I got one of the fancy subs, with different kinds of meat and a special sauce and stuff. And of course I put vegetables on it and such. I got home, and it was a great sub...except that I couldn't taste the meat. So lately I've just been getting the Veggie Delight, because it's the cheapest sub they have, and it tastes the same as a regular sub, like turkey or whatever, if you get stuff on your subs. So I recommend this miserly approach. Tasteh.