Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lost in translation.

I´m in Buenos Aires with my sister this week enjoying a much needed vacation. However, I won´t pretend I haven´t been working to some degree. I speak Spanish. Rather, I used to and now I speak remnants. And as my traveling companion doesn´t speak any Spanish (because I don´t consider knowing how to ask where the bathrooms are actually speaking the language) my brain has received quite the workout.

Inevitably, when you don´t speak a language fluently, there are bound to be things lost in translation. A couple of such instances occured yesterday. First, my sister and I went out to the country with my friend Jose to go horseback riding. We were riding at the home of a professional polo player and his wife, who ended up joining us for lunch. They were wonderful people, and we enjoyed a great lunch of asado, risotto, and salad with them on their patio. After lunch, their maid brought us some dessert - panqueques con dulce de leche. These are basically crepes with a caramel-type sauce in them, and they are my favorite Argentinian dessert. My sister, recognizing the sauce inside the crepes as something from Mexican cooking, exclaims, ¨Ooooooh, crepes de cajeta!¨ She said this with tremendous pride and enthusiasm, as she had clearly wanted to be part of the Spanish-only conversations Jose and I had been having with the family. And her face lit up as she made an accurate, and relevant, contribution.

Unfortunately for my sister, in Argentina, ¨cajeta¨ means ¨pussy¨. (And I´m not talking about a cat.)

Needless to say, the entire table was horrified.

Most amusingly, the mealtime mortification continued last night. We went to dinner with my friend Virginia, and her boyfriend who is learning to speak English. Thus, the stage was set for a linguistical trainwreck. Me and my broken Spanish, Virginia and her conversational English, her boyfriend the new student, and my sister who thinks speaking English with a Spanish accent is basically the same as speaking Spanish. (¨I werk for thee goh-ber-ment,¨ is how she explains her occupation.)

At some point, the conversation turned to the guy I´m dating. Virginia remarked that I´m not a typical American, because I´m a white girl dating a Hispanic guy. I agreed that was probably true and, in Spanish, explained that my dating history has always resembled a Benneton ad. At that point, her boyfriend looks at me and says earnestly, ¨So then you date the niggers?¨ I´m not entirely sure how that was the obvious response to my statement, but as it was not said with any ill intent, my sister and I explained why the n word wasn´t the correct terminology. ¨But,¨ he countered with a look of confusion, ¨in the songs they say ´my nigger´?¨ and gave a lyric from a popular rap song.

I wanted to call Don Imus and have him give a more thorough explanation. But instead, I cleared up the confusion in my broken Spanish, and then laughed at the idea of sharing a pussy crepe with my nigger.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Summer of stupidity

Has anyone taken a look at the summer line-ups for the major networks recently? Here's a little sampling of the quality programming filling the airwaves these next few months:

"Fast Cars and Superstars"
If Paris, Lindsay, Nicole and Britney are any indication, cars and stars don't mix. But I suppose a show called "Superstars do the Los Angeles a favor by responsibly using limos for their transportation" would tank in the ratings. Still, I think at least one death is guaranteed on this program.

"Next Best Thing"
The next best thing to what? The REAL Liza Minnelli? Who the hell wants to see the authentic version of that, much less a crappy imitation?

"America's Got Talent"
Yes. We have talent. Talent for coming up with horrible television shows like this one.

"Last Comic Standing"
I'll avoid this show due to my inability to comfortably watch embarrassing people. There is absolutely nothing worse than going to see a good comic, and having to suffer through the warm-up act. And this, my friends, is a whole show dedicated to warm-up acts. Anyone remember who won this last year? I certainly don't, and I can name you every Bachelor in sequential order. And that says something.

"National Bingo Night"
I've never seen this show, but have heard it's awful. Which only makes sense, because just one review of the facts says someone didn't really think this through. Take a game that only blue hairs play, target it to twenty-somethings, make an interior decorator the host and give him a Apu for a sidekick. There's a recipe for success, but that ain't it. According to my spies, when ABC previewed this show at the upfronts, they made it interactive for a chance to win a high definition television. Over half the audience still walked out.

"Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"
Unlike Bingo, I have actually watched this. It's the most depressing show imaginable. For starters, you feel like the dumbest person alive for stopping to actually think through how many equal sides are in an equilateral triangle. Even more horrifying is the commentary it makes on the U.S. educational system as you stare at the blank faces on the adult contestants. And the cherry on top of this mess is that it's hosted by redneck superstar, Jeff Foxworthy.

Speaking of which, that "redneck" appears to be an actual movement in this country annoys the shit out of me. This morning I learned that one of the top songs in the country right now has "I'd like to check you for ticks" as its refrain. Which gives me my own an idea for a show: "Pick the Ticks". The person that picks the most ticks off his buddy wins $20,000. The loser gets lyme disease.

It's got Fox written all over it.


I think I might have made a grave mistake. I have a date tonight, and I suggested we cook together. He wanted to make dinner for me, but I'm currently taking cooking lessons so thought it would be fun to try and learn something. And I eat tuna like it's an endangered species and the sea might run out at any moment, so we've decided to make that.

Here's where the mistake comes in: I suggested we cook TOGETHER. I'm taking cooking lessons for a reason, people. I can't cook for shit. And by that, I mean, I learned to make macaroni and cheese from a box four months ago.

I'm 28 years old.

This would be one thing if I didn't kinda like this guy. But I do. And guys are weird about chicks and cooking. It's one of those things, that despite the sexual revolution still seems to be something guys still expect. It's like how girls feel about guys and manual labor. It's not a requirement that they be able to build a tree house from trees they found in the forest/chopped/sanded/nailed together themselves. But deep down, yeah, it's a requirement.

Which is why this is a problem. Typically, most of the meals I make myself are assembled from items found in cans. For example, a can of veggie soup with a can of green beans mixed in. Or a can of turkey chili with a can of black beans (as I don't like the beans that typically come in the "with beans" variety of chili.) Sometimes it's just a can of black beans with salsa and cheese. Basically, I eat like a damn hobo.

The cooking lessons are helping, though. For example, I've learned that scrambled eggs taste better when the pan is greased with Pam or butter, and not my usual olive oil. When you have a hobo's palette, you don't notice things that taste like shit. Because you can't be discriminating. For the same reason, I always laugh when people won't order things in restaurants because they "could make the same thing at home!" This is clearly a thought I've never had.

So tonight, I'm going to try and make my favorite fish, and pray this guy is still interested at the end of the night.

Someone get me a rosary, stat.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Eat your veggies.

This morning there was a segment on Good Morning America about the new OTC weight loss pill, "alli". They talked about all the wonderful benefits of this drug, and then had health expert, Dr. Tim Johnson, come in and explain the risks. Because I wanted to make sure I heard him correctly, I went to Here's a sample of what I found:
  • Follow a well-balanced, reduced-calorie, low-fat diet. Try starting this diet before taking alli capsules.
  • alli capsules work by preventing the absorption of some of the fat you eat. The fat passes out of your body so you may have bowel changes. You may get:
    - gas with oily spotting
    - loose stools
    - more frequent stools that may be hard to control
  • Eating a low-fat diet lowers the chance of having these bowel changes

Oh. My. God. Why would ANYONE take this drug?!? First of all, what the F is "gas with oily spotting"??? Actually, I don't want to know. I pray I never know.

Second, "more frequent stools that may be hard to control"? What do they mean by "hard to control"? Does it end up on the wall? A dump isn't an unruly child, people. There shouldn't be any controlling involved. But I guess, based on the "loose stools" mention, they mean you'll be prone to crapping your pants?

What kills me about this though, isn't that you're inevitably going to blow out your colon taking this medicine. What kills me are the first and last bullets. "Follow a well-balanced, reduced-calorie, low-fat diet." Um, last time I checked, a well-balanced, reduced-calorie, low-fat diet LEADS to WEIGHT LOSS. So what the hell is the point of the pill???

That seems to be answered in the last bullet. "Eating a low-fat diet lowers the chance of having these bowel changes." Right. So apparently, folks, the only way we can get people in this country to eat healthy is if we threaten them with the most heinous GI issues imaginable. At that point, what good is being skinny if you have to wear galoshes and a raincoat everyday in case things get, shall we say, out of control? And that's assuming you can even leave the house, and aren't bedridden on rubber sheets.

Thanks, but I'll keep my fat ass, if it means I get to keep my colon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Finally, a word.

I said I'd write more about Paris Hilton when words weren't escaping me. I still don't have much to say except that I was shocked when someone said the "medical condition" for which she was released was claustrophobia. I'd think she'd be used to tight spaces given she was recently hatched in the bottom of a swimming pool with Wilford Brimley and Don Ameche looking on.

"Think there's cocaine in that pool?"

"Might be."

That's an affirmative, boys. She wouldn't have been in there otherwise.

Viva Las Carnies

I'm going to Vegas for the first time this summer. I have somewhat mixed feelings about this. The reason for my trip is primarily to see Cirque de Soliel's "Love", though honestly, I could give two shits about watching a set of Korean twins painted like clowns balance on each other's big toes while spinning plates on umbrellas. (Or whatever the hell those kids do.) But watching all that set to remixes of Beatles songs, is another matter altogether. And therefore, I called Southwest today and used one of my free credits to secure my flight.

"Oh, Elizabeth Taylor! You're not THE Elizabeth Taylor, are you? We love having celebrities!"

"Um, if i were THE Elizabeth Taylor, do you honestly think I'd be flying in the cattle chutes you call airplanes on my Rapid Rewards points?"

*nervous twitter*

"Right. Didn't think so."

Nonetheless, my flight is booked, thus, making it official. But again, my feelings are somewhat mixed. Yes, I absolutely want to see this show. Yes, I absolutely want to check Vegas off my lifetime to do list. Yes, I want to have a great weekend with my friends.

But I've always kinda envisioned Vegas as an enormous state fair. A high-end state fair, but a state fair nonetheless. They have casinos instead of a Midway, but the house still wins. They have nice restaurants instead of funnel cake stands, but the food and over-indulgence is just as bad for you. And the carnies might be covered in sequins and glitter, but they're still carnies.

The problem is, I hate the state fair. I love the food, but I get extremely uncomfortable when I see embarrassing people. Why? Because I have to fight the urge to run up to total strangers and scream things like, "No, no, NO!!! My god, you don't need a funnel cake AND a turkey leg! You weigh 500lbs! And whose idea was it to dress your family in matching black and yellow outfits today? Did you think it would help for you all to look like bumble bees in the event you should get separated? I'm breaking out in hives just LOOKING at you people! I mean, if the kids get lost, surely they'll know to head to the nearest corny dog stand, because you'll no doubt be hitting that next." This same trait makes reality television exceedingly painful for me to watch ("Bevin, SHUT. UP!!!"), but even then I'm separated from the embarrassment by a glass screen. It's a whole different ball game when it's in person. This is why I can't go to karaoke joints, why Times Square makes me want to spoon out my eyes, and it's definitely why I don't go to the fair.

And until now, it's why I've stayed away from Vegas. There are other places with good shows, good food, and plenty of things to do. But everything seems so concentrated in Vegas. A bazillion people in jorts and glitter, running around like damn mental patients. Because there's something in the Vegas water that seems to make people go insane. Look at the commercials. Mild mannered teacher/librarian type turns into sex hungry cougar within the span of one limo ride.

I'm sure it won't be as bad as I've always imagined. That said, I should probably take some bail money in case I'm arrested for assaulting an Elvis impersonator.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I'm a total Nazi when it comes to protecting your skin. Which is ironic, because what makes me so passionate about good skin health, is exactly what would have made me a great Nazi. I have blonde hair, blue eyes, and exceedingly fair skin. So given I'm walking melanoma (as evidenced by the scar farm that is my back), I tend to get a little crazy with the sunscreen. Not only that, but I encourage others to do the same. Even when I see the slightest sun damage on a friend, I morph into Hannibal Lecturer and remind them of the importance of protecting ourselves from harmful UVA/UVB rays.

Which is why I can only cite temporary insanity as the reason I didn't wear ANY protection yesterday while kayaking. So today, I'm solid red - but only on the front. My face, my shoulders, my arms, my boobs, stomach and the front of my legs are charred. I feel positively radioactive - glowing, but not in a good way. I've got the whole bra-straps-cutting-into-my-shoulders-feeling-like-razor-blades thing going on. My legs singe every time i cross them. And thanks to my trusty Tazorac, I think I'm at the last layer of dermis on my face. I've also managed to burn it, despite actually putting on SPF 55, leaving a pile of ashes upon which new layers of skin will form. In a month, I'll look like that anti-smoking poster from school showing what you'd look like if the tar in your lungs actually covered your head.

Having a bad sunburn is almost like being hungover. It's that feeling where you wake up the next day in complete pain, completely pissed off at yourself because you knew better. Only being drunk on sunshine can't be cured with a bacon cheeseburger and Pedialyte.

Enhancing my current physical condition, is the cut and color I got this weekend. While a trip to the salon is normally a good thing, I chopped off most of my hair this time. I look far better with long hair, but was tired of the hassle. And as I live on the surface of the sun, I was also tired of the heat. So it was a very conscious decision, just not the most flattering one. It too, was only made worse by my trip on the lake, as my highlights got so light, my hair color now rivals Gwen Stefani. And as I stood in front of the mirror this morning - my charred half staring back at me - it occurred to me. I look like a Lego person. A Lego person with cotton for hair and fire for skin.

But I'm not a Nazi, so I've got that going for me.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Someone needs to be cut.

Paris Hilton is out of jail. Will comment on this when words aren't escaping me.


As someone in the advertising profession, I don't tivo through commercials. I actually watch them. And every now and then I see things I consider "badvertising". Such was the case when I saw a commercial from Cold Stone Creamery's new campaign.

Here's what happens in the commercial:

Bigfoot walks up to a Cold Stone Creamery. Inside the store are a hunter, sasquatch enthusiast, and a Brazilian bikini waxer. And then Bigfoot has to decide whether or not his love of Cold Stone's ice cream is enough for him to conquer his fear of the other things inside.

What. the. hell. I swear to God, I thought someone had slipped me acid when I first saw this thing. I should be clear that I'm all for wacky commercials. But I hate wacky for the sake of wacky, which is just what this is. In fact, I'm convinced this campaign was created just to win a bet.

"Okay, first person to create a spot that features a mascot, a midget, or a monkey gets $100."

"Dude, can a sasquatch count for a mascot?"

Here's what I don't want to think about when I'm considering ice cream:

1. A mythical beast covered in fur. You know that thing sheds, and I'm not about to risk taking a bite of cookies 'n' cream with a long, curly sasquatch hair sitting on top of the spoon. Lesson from the school cafeteria: It doesn't get any nastier than hair in your food.

2. A man with a gun. I don't regularly see men with guns, so I'd probably piss myself out of fright. And who can enjoy ice cream when you're sitting in a pool of urine.

3. A sasquatch enthusiast. Enthusiasts of anything bug the shit out of me.

4. A Brazilian bikini waxer. Just the thought of this makes my knees slam together. And anyone that would put a bikini waxer in a commercial hoping to actually SELL something clearly hasn't been waxed. And they most certainly haven't had a Brazilian. Because if they had, they'd realize that the MENTION of a Brazilian would replace any woman's thoughts with thoughts of fear, dread and excruciating pain. And these ass holes have gone so far as to actually dramatize this idea by having this character hold what looks to be a rusty paint can with "WAX" in bold letters across the side, while she slaps at it with a stick.

Here's my own little wager: The first chick that can sit through this commercial, not cover her crotch protectively, but instead suggest the gang go out for ice cream wins $100.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


I received an e-mail today from a guy I worked with in Dallas and haven't really spoken to in over two years.

Re: your crazy laugh liz, have you ever recorded it? i'm dating a girl who has a laugh that's real impressive, but maybe like 1/2 as powerful. i can't help thinking about you whenever her "hA!" sounds. if (somehow) you haven't recorded your superior vocal performance, can you leave me a good "hA!" on my voicemail and then hangup? 214.454.xxxx. of course, if you have recorded it, please email me a file STAT, ok? i just have to prove to everyone that this girl sarah isn't the queen of the laugh.

by the way, how the hell are you? do you ever make it back up to dallas?

To quote Seth & Amy from Weekend Update: "Really."

*cocking my brow*

You think I can just laugh like that on command? Think I'm that much of a phony?


Think I just sit around with a microphone at my desk, or maybe hangin' around my neck, ready to record my next guffaw?


So, so...if I DON'T have a recording of it, you think I'm gonna just call you up in the middle of my busy day and leave a fake laugh on your voice mail?


And you want me to do all this so you can tell your flavor of the month that my laugh is bigger than hers?


How about you marry her, and invite me to the wedding no one ever thought you'd have. Because then she'd hear a genuine laugh.


Here's the deal with my laugh. It's big. It's loud. It's the laugh Christopher Hitchens described in his editorial "Why Women Aren't Funny" as, "that real, out-loud, head-back, mouth-open-to-expose-the-full-horseshoe-of-lovely-teeth, involuntary, full, and deep-throated mirth; the kind that is accompanied by a shocked surprise and a slight (no, make that a loud) peal of delight."

That's it. For better or worse. (And I assure you with the above exception, most co-workers within close proximity of me consider it "for worse".) But the point is, it's real.

Well, with maybe one slight exception.

I used to be totally embarrassed about my laugh. Classmates made fun of me for it, and so I did what any insecure kid would do. I looked to see what the popular girl was doing. Kelly Kapowski* was by far the most popular girl in school. Cute clothes, all the boys, and this adorable laugh that endeared her to the world...

...and was punctuated with a snort.

It's nearly impossible to imitate a laugh. I know this because many have tried to mimic my own, and I don't sound like a damn goose. So imitating Kelly's full laugh wasn't going to work. But I knew how to snort, and so I did.

And this is why I wish there were time machines. So I could go back to 5th grade, find my pathetic self, chasing after Kelly and snorting up a storm, and slap my own bespectacled face. "A SNORT?", I'd scream. "Of all Kelly's traits - the cute clothes, great accessories, lessons on how to flirt - you chose to pick up her SNORT?!?"


The saddest part of this story is that I did it for so long it finally became a natural - if not entirely original - part of my own laugh.

So, you busted your ass to make your own dorky laugh even dorkier?

Yup. And I'd say, mission: accomplished.


*my pathetic attempt to protect the innocent.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I'm struggling a little today. A good friend of mine from college just had a baby. She sent out more pictures of her bundle of joy today, and this baby is hands down the ugliest baby I've ever laid eyes on. So of course, I'm totally gonna have to fake it when I see this kid, and act like I'm not convinced it's actually an alien. I'm terrible at faking things. What you see is what you get. So acting like something is precious when the sight of it will make me want run away with my hands over my ass to avoid an anal probe is going to be impossible.

Now you might think I'm terrible for saying that my friend's baby looks like a damn monster. But I can say that, because when I was a baby, I was a damn monster. Truly. Even my mother agrees. ("Baby doll, you gave new meaning to a 'face only a mother could love'.") I was hidgeous. And, yet, I've turned out alright. I mean, physically, anyway. Which is another reason I don't feel bad about saying hateful things about my friend's baby. Just because her baby's ugly, doesn't mean he won't grow up to be good looking.

When I was a baby, I looked like that fat Asian baby whose picture circled the internet a couple of years ago with "the REAL Michelin Man" as the caption. Except I had red hair. I was a ginger kid so fat you couldn't even see my eyes. And I stayed in this phase for awhile. The day I was baptized, my parents did their best to de-fug me by dressing me in a beautiful white gown, and a necklace my grandmother gave me with a solitary pearl on it. After church, my mother was putting me in the car and noticed that my tire of a neck had bust the chain on the necklace, and the pearl was gone.

When we got home, she called my grandmother crying and apologizing that her fat ass of a kid had destroyed her thoughtful - and expensive - gift. But what was surely even more mortifying for my mother happened later that night. As she was bathing me, she found the missing pearl lodged in my neck.

It takes a goblin to know a goblin, and that kid definitely lives under a set of stairs. So I guess when I meet him, I'll just think about how great I turned out. That should at least get a genuine smile out of me.

But just to be safe, I'll still have my hands over my ass.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Just. Three. Things.

There are three things on my mind tonight:

1. Today I paid the dry cleaners $45 to clean my roommate's comforter and papizan cushion. Why? Because my cat pissed on both of them. And if he does it again, I'm paying $45 to have someone take him away.

2. It was Paris Hilton's first day in jail. *back flip, toe touch*

3. I drove past a 400-lb man in a Volvo on my way home today. Found it ironic.

That's all she wrote.