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21 posts from May 2007

Wheel of Unfortunate

So yesterday when Kelly and I were getting our nails done we happened to glance up at the episode of Wheel of Fortune on TV.  One man was spinning the wheel as he attempted to solve the following puzzle:

Category- Before & After (When two word phrases that share one word in common are put together to make one silly phrase)


He spins the wheel and guesses, "C!"  What???  Kelly, me, and the woman in the chair next to me all laugh and scream, "Purified Water Buffalo, you idiot!" (Which is a great and fun thing to scream.)

An incredulous Pat Sajak passes the puzzle on to the next woman, who solves it correctly.

A bit later on we catch a glimpse of the next puzzle the contestants are working on:

Category- Food & Drink


Unbelievably, the woman with control of the board guesses an incorrect letter and loses her turn, because apparently 10 seconds isn't long enough to choose between all of the words that end in "utterscotch."  At this, we are in disbelief.

"What is this, 'Stupid People Week' on Wheel of Fortune?" I ask.

"Yeah, I think they're doing a special Low IQ theme," Kelly answers.

The show goes to commercial, but when it comes back on a few minutes later we are paying attention.  We watch as the camera sweeps by a smiling Vanna and focuses on Pat, then zooms out again to reveal that Sajak is standing in front of a gigantic, colorful sign.  The sign reads--and I am 100% NOT lying here--"TEACHERS WEEK."

Short Recap of a Long Weekend

Three-day weekends are for a lot of things--camping, travelling, swimming, sleeping--but not a lot of Internet-ing.  In case you're feeling out of the loop, here's what you missed over the holiday.

Miss USA tripped
My favorite clip from the weekend is this video of Miss USA Rachel Smith tripping and falling at the Miss Universe pageant last night:

I'm not laughing at her, though--she has mad cred with me now. First of all, as an American, I can honestly say that the person i want representing me at a huge global event is the one who falls down. Anything else would seem extremely unauthentic.  Second of all, did you see how fast she got back up after slipping?  Her ass hit the floor at :07, and she was completely erect again by :09.  That's unbelievable! 

Lindsay Lohan snowballed out of control
It is my journalistic obligation to tell you about this and this, but I'm not discussing it any further.  Don't want the karma.

Rosie O'Donnell quit The View
This whole thing is extremely confusing and made even worse by the ridiculous writing style Rosie uses on her blog.  Let's all just keep not watching The View.

War, Escalating Tensions in the Middle East, Etc., Etc.
That's all still going on.

In short, you didn't miss much.  You have plenty of time to watch the Miss USA video again.

This Week In Internet

Some of this week's links are about two weeks old, because my Vegas and birthday duties of the past couple weeks have kept me from finding and posting links as diligently as I usually do.  So please pardon the soft stale crunch of some of these:

Hope you have a totally sweet long weekend.

Oh, And Allergic People Can Just Deal With It, Thanks

The owner of the hair place I go to has two very teeny cream-colored poodles who are too young to be left home alone, so instead they are both just set up in a little pen in the waiting room of the salon.  May I just say that this is the best business idea ever?  As I sat waiting for Dan to call me back I got to snuggle and play with both of them, and my customer satisfaction level was therefore through the roof before I even got to sit in the chair.

Later, as Dan was finishing up, someone let the poodles out and I got to watch the puppies play fight and kronche each other for several glorious minutes.  It was then cemented in my mind that someday, if I ever happen to run a country, I will require that in order to receive a license for operating, all businesses must agree to have two tiny puppies on the premises at all times.  It just makes good business sense.

A Decade-Point-Five of Stopping Being Polite and Starting Getting Real

I learned today while reading Pop Candy--which is fast becoming my absolute favorite pop culture blog--that Monday marked the 15th anniversary of MTV's The Real World.  That's 15 years, not seasons--there have been 18 of those, the most recent of which just had its finale. (Apparently. I had to look that fact up on Wikipedia, because I don't watch anymore.  However, I'm going to spare you the whole "The Real World used to be so great and now it sucks so much" rigamaroll because it's OLD.*)  But I would like to observe this occasion by charting my own personal experience with the show.

Below I have graphed a line representing my ongoing level on interest in The Real World.  I gave each season a 1-10 ranking (10 being the best) reflecting my personal interest in it when it was originally aired.  The seasons that took place before I began watching MTV are ranked as zeroes (despite the fact that I now know a lot about them and their characters thanks to True Hollywood Stories and reruns). The two seasons I liked most were given 10s.  Everything else was ranked relative to those figures.


(Click to enlarge.)

As you can see, most of the groundbreaking early years passed by with little to no recognition from yours truly.  Hawaii was the first season for which age, schedule, interest, and cable privileges all finally conspired to rope me into watching, and by then most of the show's real iconic moments had already passed me by.  So though my graph peaks in the middle, it's likely that someone a few years older than me would have a graph showing more of a straight downward trend in interest over the years.

But this is my experience, and I was intrigued but not surprised to see that the years I was significantly interested in the show (1997-2005) cover the exact span of time from my first year of high school to my last year of college.  Imagine that!

Anyway, I'm curious to hear what your own personal Real World graph would look like.  What are the high points?  Lows?  What trend does it follow?  Between which two points can the greatest slope be found?  Does your imaginary mental version of a graph ALSO have a cute little Real World logo pasted into its imaginary middle?  Describe, please. 

*Seriously, old.  TV shows that used to be great and now suck are certainly a pet peeve of mine, but you know what else is? People who complain about how shows that used to be great really suck now.  I mean, I myself am guilty of having said, "God, The Real World used to be so deep, and now it's pathetic," so I am therefore including myself in the list of people I am  criticizing here, but I feel like we can officially abandon that phrase now along with a few others.  Most notably, I'd be just fine if I never again heard someone say, "God, SNL is just awful now," or "OMG, the recent episodes of The Simpsons are pathetico."  We get it.

Five Great Gunn-Shots

Image_4424057_2 The secret weapon that separates Project Runway from all other reality shows is, in fact, a Gunn.  Tim Gunn.  Mr. Gunn, for whom I believe I have professed my love on this blog at least once before, plays the role of mentor to the contestants on the show and is famous for his terribly proper but somehow warm and self-aware persona.  (Here he is on YouTube.)

Caitlar gave me Tim Gunn's book, A Guide to Quality, Taste, and Style for my birthday, and obvi I've already read it cover to cover.  The book is great, and probably the best part of it is the various historical, philosophical, and mythological allusions Tim makes when explaining the concepts of fashion.  Below are a few of my faves.

On the "language" of clothing:
"Although I'm not a fan of Roland Barthes, I do subscribe to his theory that language is a self-contained system of signs."

On dressing one's age:
"The only thing sadder [than women trying to look like teenagers] is an older man, lifted and tucked, dyed and coiffed, and all dandied out.  These Gustav von Aschenbachs make me want to weep."

On avoiding the pitfalls of emotional shopping:
"The Calvinists out there may shudder at such a shallow thought, but even another $25 lipstick is a better deal than a $250 sweater bought out of frustration, boredom, or unhappiness."

From the section, "The Theoretical: Kierkegaard in Your Closet:"
"Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Danish philosopher, opera lover, and the man Ludwig Wittgenstein called 'the most profound thinker of the nineteenth century,' can actually be a huge help when it comes to curing one's closet."

On smart shopping at discount trend stores like H&M or Forever 21:
"The key to shopping these bargain Ngorongoro Craters is to have a plan.  Let us stay with our crater metaphor for a moment.  The Ngorongoro, by the way, is in Tanzania, adjacent to the Serengeti.  All sorts of animals live in or pass through the crater: it is a busy place, much like H&M.  The question you must ask yourself as you prepare to shop is this: Am I an ungulate or a big cat?"

Yes, that is exactly the thing you should be thinking as you walk through the doors of H&M.  That and, "How do I get past the woman at the kiosk with the $20 nail buffers who is impossible to say no to," of course.  But the latter might just be my own problem.  Either way: I love you, Tim.

Club 518

For my birthday, I decided it would be fun to imagine what it would be like to attend a birthday party with all of the famous people, living or dead, who were born on May 18 .  The more I thought about it, the more I realized it would be one hell of an awkward party.  Here is my imagined account of it.

8 p.m., Party begins
Nametag We pick up our name tags.  Mine says "Lauren, 1983."

The party quickly separates into two factions: the living and the dead.  The dead guys look suspicioiusly over at the clump of the living, unaware of why any of them are famous and generally unimpressed with their appearance.  The living look suspiciously back at them, also unaware of what any of them did to be famous.

8:30 p.m., Icebreakers
Hermann An outgoing contingent led by Tina Fey and Perry Como decide to try and arrange some icebreakers.  We all wait patiently as Coke/Pepsi is explained to John Paul II, who has apparently never been to a Bar Mitzvah.  Tina and Perry insist that everyone play and, further, that everyone partner up with someone who was born in a different century.  Extreme awkwardness ensues between me and Hermann Muller--let's just say that if I never have to sit on the knee of a deceased German chancellor again, it will be too soon.

9:00 p.m., Dinner
I have a serious grudge against both Tina and Perry now, so I am relieved to see that neither of them are assigned to my table.  Actually, the seating arrangements were done pretty well--religious figures at Table 8, actors at Table 4, the surprisingly large number of May 18-born hockey players at Table 12, etc.  I am at Table 31 with a bunch of total randos because I am not famous and they are too miscellaneous. To my immediateSmelly left is a guy from Devo, and to my right is a Croatian atomic theorist who smells like sewage.  Rounding out this stellar crowd are a famous cricketeer and a renowned snooker player. The snooker guy, John Higgins, actually seems fairly normal, but I make the immediate mistake of confusing snooker with bumper pool and things get cold.  Apparently that is a faux pas in the snooker circuit.

Roger Joseph Boscovich chews like a f**king cow.  I hate him.

9:45 p.m., Mingling
After that horrible dinner, I corner Jack Johnson and swear to myself that I will ask him every single question I can possibly think of in order to ensure that I don't have to talk to anyone else not in jeans for the rest of the night.

9:47 p.m.
Three questions later ("What is Curious George like in person?" "How was it writing that song that I know?" and, "So you're, like, Hawaiian?"), I'm out.  Jack politely excuses himself.

10:00 p.m.
There's a rumor going around that Pol Pot and Ho Chi Minh just got kicked out of the May 19th party next door for fighting. I decide to book it now before their people get here and really start to stir some shit up.