Saturday, November 24, 2007

MIZZOU-RAH!

"ESPN College Gameday" is being broadcast from Arrowhead Stadium today. An exciting reminder that today is the day. THE day of THE game.

I'm a Missouri Tiger, and tonight we play our biggest rival, KU, the outcome of which has huge implications for both teams.

I've been startled as this game has approached at the ignorance regarding this rivalry in other parts of the country. Everyone knows about TX/OU, USC/UCLA, Ohio St./Michigan. But very few people realize how bitter and intense our rivalry is. Our rivalry goes beyond sports. Its history goes back to the Civil War when William Quantrill led a Rebel guerrilla unit to Lawrence where they slaughtered 150 people and then burned the town. Admittedly, not something I enjoy having my school associated with, since Missouri was a pro-slavery state, Kansas an abolitionist state. But Kansas did their own fair share of atrocities, with John Brown murdering tons of Missourians, and a separate, earlier group of guerrillas (called "the Jayhawkers") who raped, pillaged, and killed countless Missourians in their attempt to spread their message of freedom.

And, despite the fact over 150 years have passed since any of this happened, people still remember. While an embarrassment to our common fan base, please note the following post from a Mizzou fan on a St. Louis Post thread, responding to a Jayhawk's comment of "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk":

Sober up and get back to terrorizing babies and old ladies, which is the only thing that a GayHawk ever excelled at . . . . .Raise the black flag and ride hard, boys. Our cause is just and our enemies many. Wm. Quantrill - 1863

And this deep-seeded bitterness has only blossomed throughout the years between both the states and the universities. Alums that live in Kansas City (a combined total of 90,000 between the two schools) oftentimes refuse to live in the state side of their rival. A division not even Los Angeles experiences. And last time I checked, no one at the Cotton Bowl anticipated the destruction of over 500 seats during TX/OU weekend, as the Arrowhead officials are anticipating today.

But neither KU nor MU have had historically strong football programs. The usual point of contention is basketball. But now they are each other's obstacles for a chance at the national title in football. For those that didn't attend these schools, it's hard to capture the magnitude of this situation. I grew up in an all-Longhorn family (which is why my hatred of KU is rivaled only by my hatred of both OU and A&M), and my family gets pumped. up. about the games. But they've always had plenty to be excited about, because they almost always have a great team. (Though what happened YESTERDAY, Horns?? A&M???)

But Missouri hasn't ever had that opportunity, because traditionally...well, we've sucked. Corby Jones was our quarterback when I was in college and even then, we never assumed we were going to win anything. It was great when we actually did win, but no one really got comfortable enough with the idea of us being "a winning team". This year, however, has been totally different. We go into games ASSUMING we're going to win.

And that's exactly how I plan to head into this game tonight.

"Rock chalk, chickenhawk, SCREW KU!!!"



Friday, November 23, 2007

Comment dit-on "Assholes"?

My sister is currently dating a French guy. Correction, a French giant. JP is 6'7" and somewhat resembles Buzz Lightyear - comical since he's getting his PhD in Aerospace Engineering. He's officially the only guy my sister has ever dated that I actually enjoy being around, which is good, as he spent Thanksgiving with us yesterday.

And unlike when my sister has brought guys she's dated around in the past, I spent the day being mildly embarrassed for my family (myself, included) and not my sister's boyfriend. The last guy we met, paraded into my parents' house like he owned it, wearing a Nautica baseball cap, a MasterCraft t-shirt, khaki cargo shorts and Crocs, and proceeded to tell my parents all about his "toys". And after he'd run through his own material possessions, he rattled off an itemized list of his parents' assets. I've never witnessed such an overt display of douchebaggery in my life. I sat there vacillating between feeling sorry for him and wanting to punch him.

This scenario has pretty much been par for the course when it comes to guys my sister dates. They come in, say dumb things, and I get embarrassed for them and just wish they'd go away. (For their sakes.) But yesterday it was my family, and not JP, that was the source of my embarrassment.

My stepmother took French growing up. My brother is currently taking French. I used to take lessons, and have decided to start them again, now that I might actually have someone to practice with. And my sister, despite having no concept of the French alphabet or rules of pronunciation, is currently wagging around a book called, "Just Enough French" which she reads when waiting for doctor's appointments or stuck in traffic in preparation for her upcoming trip to meet his family.

All of this lead to a meal with half the table telling stories about France and making poor attempts to speak French, with JP patiently putting up with us. "Ma papa, il n'est pas intelligent parce qu'il ne parlais pas la francais," said my brother much to JP's amusement. Upon hearing "papa", my father felt compelled to share a story about his memorization of a French phrase book on the plane to Paris, only to get to dinner and struggle so badly with his order that the waiter finally said, "What do you want." And at the end of the meal, I proudly announced, "Je voudrais un desirez!"

"Um," my brother said, "You would like a desire?"

"Oh, right. I meant, 'un dessert'."

All of this was punctuated every so often with my sister blurting out her version of the classic French come on ("Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?") made popular by the song "Lady Marmalade". Only when she said it, it came out sounding something like, "Voooleee-voo sooshwah ah vey mwah say saw." With each exclamation, JP would smile and joke about my sister bringing home half the Parisian metro should she continue her attempts to master this phrase on their trip.

Through all of this, JP was a remarkably good sport. But I couldn't help but think to myself, "This is why the French hate us."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pearls of Wisdom.

Last night, I met up with friends for dinner. One of them brought a girl to dinner that I'd never met before. She looked at me quizzically, and explained she thought she knew me from somewhere. We did the usual where-are-you-from, what-do-you-do, where-did-you-go-to-college-type bullshit, when she finally looked like she'd figured it out.

"Are you in Junior League???" she asked, hopefully.

"No," I said, flatly.

Another friend noticed me bristle, and later called me out on it.

"So why do you think she thought you were in the Junior League?"

"I don't know."

"Yes you do," he said, trying to get a rise out of me.

I ignored him.

But it did bug me. I had to actually stifle a sneer when she asked me, and I had just met her. As a disclaimer, some of my very best friends are in the Junior League, and they all claim it to be a wonderfully worthwhile organization, and I'm sure it is. I only remember that one of these friends had to skip out on a girls' night one evening, because she had to, and I wish I were making this up, "organize a mime show."

I was beyond annoyed. "You're ditching us to organize mimes? Is that a joke?"

"Well, it's children at an under-privileged school. They're putting on the show."

"Right. Okay, well, what if you end up with an unruly mime, that locks himself in an invisible box and won't come out? Then you're going to be pissed you didn't come out with us."

I'm a terrible friend. I really am. But I have a healthy ego, and I wasn't about to get ditched for a 10 year-old mime, even though my favorite children are quiet ones.

Anyway, there's definitely a stigma associated with organizations like sororities and the Junior League. And I've spent most of my life either being in organizations like that, or being close friends with people in them. (It's called The Debutante Hippie for a reason.) But there are few things I hate more than when people just assume my WASP-y background. When that happens, I feel like I'm automatically slapped with this label that says "I think I'm better than you".

I should be clear, that I do think I'm better than most people. (It sounds obnoxious until you think about the idiots that make up the vast majority of this country, after which you'll realize you, too, are better than most people.) But that's one of my favorite things about myself - my mild superiority complex - and I feel it's something that should slowly reveal itself. It's like the pearl in my oyster that very few get to pry open and truly experience, which is definitely for the best.

But the metaphorical irony is that wearing pearls, as I did last night, ultimately blows my cover altogether.

The lesson here: I'd make a shit Clark Kent.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tales from the Skies

I was on a plane for the majority of the day yesterday, and would like to vent. For starters, I hate traveling for work. I don't like mingling with the great unwashed, and I particularly don't like doing so in tight spaces when there's nothing but meetings waiting for me on the other end. But lately, I've gotten very bitter toward air travel in particular.

First, when did they quit serving those delicious, warm and buttery nuts (yup, I said it) in first class? Now you get some crap "cocktail mix" consisting of pretzels, cheese things and something they're passing off as a cracker but tastes like the side of a tree.

Also, it pisses me off to no end it when you're delayed or sitting on the tarmac and the pilot thanks you "again" for your patience when he never thanked you to begin with.

And "in the event of a water landing?" WTF??? In the history of aviation, has there ever been an actual "water landing" that wasn't made in one of those weird boat-planes that only seem to be used in Alaska? Most "water landings" I've heard of resulted in pieces of wreckage floating on the surface of the ocean while the passengers are getting devoured in murky waters below. And I'm supposed to use my seat cushion as a floatation device in this situation? I find no comfort whatsoever just sitting on those damn things, but you expect me to find comfort in the idea of using them as a survival tactic?

Additionally, for everyone's benefit, I've gone ahead and made a list of reasons why I might hate you, should I encounter you while traveling.

1. If you are so fat, you spill over the arm rest and into my seat, forcing me to hang out in the aisle where I get hit by every passenger boarding and going to/from the loo, I will hate you. This happened a couple of weeks ago and when this fat ass pulled out his cheesesteak sandwich from Chili's Too, I quietly recited the fat and calorie content (55g, 1010 calories) under my breath.

2. If you bring your screaming baby on a plane and you're not traveling to one of the world's foremost hospitals for treating some illness your child has, I will hate you.

3. If you take your job at the security screening area too seriously, I will hate you. And if you comment on my name ("Well, the boarding pass says 'Elizabeth Taylor', but you sure don't look like her!"), I will knee you so hard in the nuts that you start seeing stars while I hiss, "Do I look like her now, bitch?"

4. If you don't know what to do in line at the security screening area, and screech things like, "I'ma not takin' off muh shooooooes!" in some defiant hillbilly accent, I will hate you.

5. If you or your snotty kid are watching a DVD without headphones, I will hate you. If said DVD involves Dora the Explorer, I will also punch both you and your kid in your ears.

6. If you are under 5'10" and are sitting comfortably in the emergency exit row on Southwest, I will hate you.

7. If I'm sitting next to you in coach on American, I will hate you because I should never sit in coach on American.

8. If you're a man, and you're bigger than me and standing beside me watching me struggle to get my suitcase into the overhead compartment and don't bother to help, I will hate you.

9. If I have the misfortune of sitting next to the lavatory and you take a massive dump, the stench of which mixes with that nast 2000 Flushes bullshit they keep in toilet making it smell like a goddamn port-a-potty, I will hate you.

10. If I catch so much as a glint of judgment in your eye if I order two alcoholic beverages during a 30-minute flight, I will hate you.

Because if there was ever an activity that required alcohol, it's traveling.

Friday, November 9, 2007

There are tattoos...

and then there is this:


Meeeeooow.

Biscuits in the City.

My friend Erika recently purchased "My So Called Life" on DVD. She IM'ed me yesterday to ask me if I'd ever noticed Rayann is eating in every. single. scene. I told her I'd never thought about it, but thinking back, I can only picture Rayann smacking while talking, so I guess that's probably right.

Last night, I also revisited an old favorite as I watched an episode of "Sex in the City". I loved this show when it was on. Own most of the series on DVD. Sat camped around the TV for every episode of Season Six with my best girlfriends, and actually saw Sarah Jessica Parker (or "SJP" as we called her back then) the night before the final episode aired which was, like, HUGE.

But now I realize I hate this show. How did I miss this before? Is it that I was younger and I thought that's how women behaved in their thirties, and just never questioned it? As I sat watching last night, I made the following observations:

1. Carrie looks like a 4 year-old that triumphed over her mom in getting to wear what she wants for the day.

2. Samantha is actually a pigeon masquerading as a skinny nympho bitch. That's the only plausible explanation for the fact she's cooing in every scene, because I know plenty of skinny nympho bitches (and just plain skinny nymphos) and NONE of them talk like that.

3. How did Miranda not realize she's a lesbian? More importantly, what producer would try to make a lesbian actress a believable straight character by dressing her in ties?

4. Charlotte (who could have out-WASPed Brooke Astor) ended up with a Jew? They should have just replaced Kristin Davis with a unicorn, as that would have been equally ridiculous and they wouldn't have had to mess with salary negotiations.

5. The best alternative to Mr. Big they could come up with was the most famous ballet dancer of all time? Who's writing this show??? Mr. Big is masculinity on HGH, and Carrie has gone from being attracted to that, to Baryshnikov?

When it comes to suspending disbelief, I could win a gold medal. (It's typically the sole reason I'm able to date, or hell, even get out of bed in the morning.) But that this show was ever passed off as being remotely exemplary of the lives of single women is astonishing to me now.

Last Friday, I went out with my little group of girlfriends. By 11pm, we were all drunk and hungry. We headed to a restaurant famous for their biscuits, which also happened to be located down the street from the home of one of the girls old boyfriend. As we approached the restaurant, my friend stopped dead in her tracks and exclaimed, "Oh my God, there is GREAT sex up the street." The rest of us stopped as well not sure what to do with that info, until my roommate quickly said, "Yes, but there are great BISCUITS inside!" With that, everyone - including our friend with gluten allergies - immediately snapped out of it and went rushing inside the restaurant.

And THAT, kids, is the reality of single women. In the real world, biscuits, not love (or even a great lay), will triumph over all.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tracy Peterson, BEWARE!!!

That missing Illinois mother is named Stacy Peterson? Seriously??

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A busy body.

Today a little girl in India had a very big surgery. She was born with a parasitic twin, thus giving her four arms and four legs. And, as of today, the superfluous limbs are gone.

Keep in mind this story takes place in India, a traditionally Hindu nation. For those of you unfamiliar with Hinduism, most all of their gods and goddesses have multiple limbs. Thus, when Lakshmi was born, the people in the village thought she was a reincarnation of the goddess by the same name. Therefore a great schism has formed between the people in the village that feel a temple should be built in her honor and those that feel she should join the circus. (It occurred to me our nation could also be divided into similar circus/temple camps regarding our current president. Though unlike Lakshmi's case, I think far more people would vote for the circus route.)

Personally, I feel they should have left her as is. Think of how much more productive she would have been with four hands instead of two? I'd be ready in thirty seconds flat each morning if I could brush my teeth put on makeup, a fix my hair all at the same time. Cooking would be a breeze. And that bitch Paula Radcliffe would have nothing on my girl, Lakshmi in a marathon. Paula would be there huffing along while Lakshmi would fly past her, running on two legs until those tired out, then switching to the other two.

I suppose I should just be thankful Lakshmi made it through surgery okay. Though admittedly, I'm going to get tremendous joy out of the mental image of Lakshmi winning the 2027 NYC Marathon a full two hours before anyone else.

Hey, Paula!

As far as athletic activities, I've never been one for team sports. I'm a competitive person and hate relying on the abilities of others to win. Which is why running works for me. It's solitary and unless I'm in a race, the only person I'm competing with is myself.

That said, I have never had any desire to run a marathon. For one thing, I quite like my toenails. For another, I find the idea of bloody nipples beyond grody. (And yes, I said grody.) But I get there are people out there that have an overwhelming desire to destroy their bodies, pulverizing their joints running mile after mile.

What I don't get is Paula Racliffe. If you're unfamiliar with her, she's the current world record holder for the women's marathon with a time of 2:15:25. That, in and of itself, is INSANE. However, even more insane is that Paula won the NYC marathon this past weekend only ten months after giving birth.

Now, I don't pretend to know what happens down there after birth. Nor do I ever hope I find out. But I have visited one friend in the hospital the day after she had her twins, and she was wearing a diaper. So I have to believe that beginning training twelve days after giving birth was a bad idea for all involved - save maybe a dog running behind her.

Hey, Paula? Can we chat? You've just had a kid that you've hauled around for nine months, and then spent 27 hours expelling. You've been running your entire adult life. Take a break. Maybe just walk? Maybe jog lightly? Have you ever played Scrabble? I guarantee you a seven-letter word on a triple-word-score is every bit as much of a rush as winning a marathon.

More than that, you're making all of us look bad, Paula. You don't realize your own quest for athletic perfection just makes your fellow females look like fat, lazy assholes. And we resent you for that.

Okay, maybe other women don't resent her, but I do. And at the end of the day, my opinion is the only one that matters.

At least as far as this blog is concerned.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A proposition.

I will pay $100 if someone can show me a food concept nastier than chicken fries.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

E.V.Oh. My. God.

I was at the grocery store earlier today, and the headline on the National Enquirer at the checkout stand proclaimed Rachael Ray (whose first name has one too many "a"s in my opinion) had kicked her husband out for cheating. I am a horrible person as I stood there wishing that headline was on something more reputable, like Star or Life & Style.

It's been a long time since there's been a celebrity that annoyed the shit out of me. Fran Drescher was probably the last one. But she has officially been dethroned, as I cannot stand Rachael Ray.

The tough thing about Rachael Ray, is that I feel I'm supposed to like her because the rest of the country does. Unlike with my hatred of Ms. Drescher or that kid that played Stephanie Tanner, when I express my severe annoyance with RR, I feel as though I need to explain myself. People don't just automatically get it.

This past week I got stuck out of town for business, and the only decent television program on one morning was Rachael Ray's talk show. So I watched it, trying very hard to find the appeal through the over-the-top cheeriness and giggling. I've always known I hated her cooking show, with her ridiculous acronyms (EVOO!) and made up words (stoups, sammies, etc). But maybe if she wasn't cooking, I'd like her?

This was not the case at all. In fact, I sat there wishing she had something to distract her (like getting ingredients from the fridge) so she'd shut up for two seconds. Instead, I watched as she interrupted Christy Brinkley for about fifteen minutes saying the most idiotic things imaginable.

"Last week, I was at parent/teacher conferences..."

"OH. MY. GOD! I love that fabulous supermodels go to parent/ teacher conferences!! Audience, can you BELIEVE that?!!! I mean, look at her, she's GORGEOUS, and actually WENT to parent/teacher conferences!! I'm sorry, I just think that's SO cool!"

And then she proceeded to giggle with glee, and I half expected her to start slobbering and rocking back and forth while clapping her hands.

"Ah, well, I'm still a mother and so of course I go to parent/teacher conferences..."

"But you're GORGEOUS! And you're almost FIFTY!! Audience, can you BELIEVE that?!!! She's almost FIFTY! Will you give us some of your beauty tips later?"

"Sure..."

"Audience, wouldn't you just LOVE to know the beauty tips of a SUPERMODEL?! I know I would!"

I expected the audience to come together in a unified statement of opposition against the fact Rachel insisted on absolutely spazzing out over her guest like a sixteen year-old at a Justin Timberlake concert. Instead they erupted in wild applause.

One time, I actually watched the full episode of "THS: Rachael Ray" hoping to find some tiny morsel to enjoy about her. This same THS approach had worked miracles for my once-hatred for Katie Couric, and I had high hopes it would do the same here.

But about halfway through the episode, they introduced a woman who runs an online club for people that hate Rachael Ray, and despite learning of her humble beginnings in New York state, I couldn't wait to sign up. This sentiment didn't change as I watched the remainder of the episode cringing as they explained how her media empire was expanding quicker than a family of rabbits. It filled me with unimaginable anxiety that at some point in the near future, I won't even be able to turn on my television as Rachael Ray will have taken over the airwaves completely. But given my standard programming choices, I think I'm safe.

Though, admittedly, I would probably enjoy watching Rachael if she were on "Rock of Love".

Friday, November 2, 2007

The wheels on the bus...

There are certain times, despite all the responsibility, when I couldn’t be more thankful to be a grown up. Usually these moments occur on weekend mornings when I wake up wanting something like chili for breakfast, make myself a bowl, crawl back into bed where I eat said chili and watch rubbish television for at least five hours. (As an aside, I’m also very thankful I’m single during these moments.)

But today, I passed a school bus and I literally breathed a sigh of relief that I will never again be forced to ride one. I absolutely hated riding school buses growing up. As a student athlete, we had to take them to all our games. Inevitably, I ended up stuck next to the only other white girl on our team who spent rides to the game bitching about the jheri curl activator our teammates were leaving on the seats. The ride home was spent listening to the same girl sob about not scoring more points, while alternately complaining that she couldn’t lean her head back because of what she so sensitively termed, “that fucking jheri juice”.

As a member of the drill team, I traveled with a busload of girls on their way to football games, most of which insisted on changing into our uniforms while en route to the game. Marci, the team whore, would always smash her bare ass against the glass while changing, and when a car inevitably honked she would always claim that she *giggle* “totally forgot” everyone could see her. And more than a few of those girls never wore anything under their required pantyhose, providing more unwanted exposure to crotches than a weekend with Britney Spears.

Luckily, I only spent one year actually riding a yellow dog to school. But that year was more than enough for reasons far beyond the uncomfortable seats and ever-present sludge covering the floors. Our bus driver, Mr. Mallory, was an alcoholic and would typically show up at least 30 minutes late to pick us up, piss drunk, and then get us to school just as late. Our principal was outside nearly every morning, waiting for us with a ready yell for Mr. Mallory who would just laugh and apologize, and then repeat the exact same scenario the next day.

I now know that firing someone for being an alcoholic is a tricky thing, riddled with legalities since it’s a disease. Somehow, I would think if your job involved driving children to and from school, an exception could be made. Mr. Mallory was ultimately fired toward the end of the year, but not for being a drunk. He was fired after a particular afternoon when, on our way home, Mr. Mallory decided to let one of the students drive the bus. That we were thirteen would have been cause enough for concern. But the student Mr. Mallory chose to drive our death shuttle was a severely retarded boy named Walter. Certainly a drunk should not be driving. Nor should an eighth grader. But a retarded eighth grader is another matter entirely, and once we finally came to a stop, one of the girls on the bus went running home, crying hysterically, and told her mother that Mr. Mallory had let Walter drive the bus. The next day we had a new bus driver.

I think maybe it's time for some chili.