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27 posts from January 2006

Freaky Fanning

Things that are reasonable in theory:

-It's inappropriate to mercilessly pick on a 12-year old. It's not nice, and it's not fair. 

-At that age, kids are still just doing what their parents tell them to do, so we can't really fault them for their behavior.

-If anything, eerily creepy, overly articulate 12-year olds who have had the unfortunate handicap of hanging out with Tom Cruise a lot during their formative years should be pitied, not ridiculed.

Unfortunately, that theory crumbles in the face of real-world evidence:
Aahhhhh!  She's so scary!  Enough with the poise, and the paleness, and the white satin, or whatever the hell that is.  Why does a dress like that even come in child size?  Good LORD.  Dakota Fanning, you are single-handedly turning me into a weird, mean, unreasonable child-hater.  And it's gotta stop.

Things I Want to Blog About But Am Too Exhausted

1. Once and for all, who is creepier: skinny-necked fitness guru John Basedow, or the Burger King king-freak-mascot thing?
2. Celebrity baby gender and name predictions (I have some solid guesses)
3. Alanis Morissette having blond hair
4. Figure Skating With Celebrities
5. The New Season of Nick Cannon's "Wild'n Out"

OK, #5 is a total lie.  But the other four are things I have been thinking a lot about lately, and my feeling is that if I can't commit to making the time to write nice, detailed posts about those topics, I can at least let you know that I would like to.

But I know better than to promise anything to you people after the way you got on me when the About page wasn't updated on time.


For What It's Worth (Nothing)

Whenever I try to convince children that trends are arbitrary and ridiculous and they don't need to follow them, the example I use is how when people my age were all in middle school, the cool thing for a while was to wear those big plastic pacifier necklaces.  You remember them, right?  That wasn't just my school, was it? 

Anyway, so I try to exlpain that trend to the kids and they're like, "Wait--pacifiers? Seriously?"  And I'm like yeah, I swear.  We were only allowed to wear them on out-of-uniform days, but people still kept them in their desks and stuff so we could take them out and compare them when the teachers weren't looking and stuff."

And the kids are like, "why?"   And they look so astonished and puzzled, but at the same time they are wearing shoes that fold down into roller skates which, granted, is at least functional*, but the damn things are so heavy that they can't walk three feet without tripping.

*Don't argue to me that the plastic pacifiers were functional, because nobody in St. Jude School was doing E at the time.

From the Parenting Section of our Basement Library

This was one of those great books where every example pointedly featured a person of a different race, complete with extra-ethic names and hyper-exaggerated facial features:
I can just see the nurturing parent explaining this to his child.  "See, honey?  It's OK to be afraid.  Look at this overly caricatured Asian boy who's afraid of falling down the crack between two buildings!  He's scared too!  You're not alone!"

Thoughts on This Week's Issue of US Weekly

[Don't forget to click on the pictures to see the larger images.]

Tori_03211. This "Who Wore it Best?" caption comparing Sophia Bush and Gwen Stefani notes that Stefani wore the dress "pre-preggers."

I realize that US Weekly is not the Wall Street Journal; the bar for class is set a little lower for celebrity weeklies.  I also understand that writers for this type of publication try to avoid repeating the same words over and over again, so they try to look for synonyms to use (e.g., "fete" instead of "party"). 

But "pre-preggers?"  That just seems downright vulgar.  I realize that nine out of 10 celebrities are having babies, but do we have to go down the preggers road?  I don't know.  It just doesn't seem right.

Tori_0272. An article about someone getting fat is useless without a picture of them being fat.

Tori_0231 3. OK, I know that "Celebrities: They're Just Like Us!" is just a vehicle for showing pictures of celebrities.  And again, I understand that this is not the Wall Street Journal.  But God, if this isn't the worst, driviliest piece of crap being printed today, then I just don't know what is. 

They play golf!  They go shopping!  It's like something from an ESOL textbook or preschool bulletin board. 

Tori_0264. OK, I do have to give them credit for this one.  They got the headline right on the Brittany Murphy engagement, which People had trouble with.

Fade to Awkward: A Tableau

Sometimes when I get in the elevator with someone I don't know and we both just stare at the door, the silence seems really awkward.  I always wonder if I should say something. 

Today I learned what a horrible idea that is.  To be fair, I didn't start this conversation, but surely I could have done something to keep it from being so stupefyingly insipid:

Man: I just hate this cold weather.
Me: Yeah! It hasn't even been that bad this winter, but I still can't wait until the spring.
Man: Me either.
Me: The wet days are the worst of all.
Man: Yeah.
{Without irony]
Unless you're a duck.
Me: What? Oh. Yeah.
Well, I'm . . . not . . . a duck.
Man: Too bad.

[What? Too bad? Too bad I'm not a duck?  I'm not agreeing with that.  That would be ridiculous.  I'm not disagreeing with it either, though.  That would take more than the three seconds left of this elevator trip, and then there would be an even more awkward situation when my explanation of why I didn't want to be a duck got interrupted by the door opening, and then I had to finish up my thought really quickly as I got out, like ". . . . andsometimespeoplespitinyourpondinsteadofthrowingbreadandthat'sgross."]

[Three seconds of supremely awkward silence follow.]

[The elevator arrives at my floor and I limp out, crippled by the magnitude of the awkwardness I have just taken part in.]

About Page 2.0, and a Little Contest

Well, the new About page is up and I think we can all agree that it's less ghetto than the old one. 

So that's exciting. 

Even more exciting, though, is the method I have chosen to herald the arrival of the About page: the LMNOP P.S.A. box.  That's right--I have taken the wildly popular public speaking lady and made her a permanent (unless we start getting tired of her) fixture on the page.  As she is the official spokeswoman for this blog, I felt it was only reasonable to give her a more prominent platform.

I've decided she needs a name, though--something corporate-friendly and appropriately staid, but maybe also with a dash of fun.  Like "Peg," but younger.  And of course, she'll need a last name as well.  Maybe a hyphenated one.  And a classy middle initial would be nice. 

I'm leaving this task up to you all.  Please don't let me down.  Use the comments section to offer up suggestions. 

Let's do right by this public speaking lady and give her a name.  Everyone deserves a name.