31 October 2008

Why politics makes me hate everyone #5

Elizabeth Dole:

Personally, I don't think a person's religion, or lack thereof, should be an issue in an election, but some people are fanatical about it and this panders to the worst in them.  This is just the epitome of a smear ad.  Here is on YouTube.

The sleeziest bit is that that last line is not her voice.

Also not a fan of Robin Hayes, also mentioned in the above article.
Hayes got some unwanted attention earlier this month when — warming up the crowd at a rally for John McCain — he said liberals "hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God."  He was speaking at a McCain rally and announed that "liberals 'hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God."
  Really nice, North Carolina.

29 October 2008

So, I went mountain biking after work yesterday out at Lake Overstreet trails. I haven't been in a while, so I only did the short multi-use loop and part of the mountain bike trail. I'm not what you would call an experienced mountain biker. Neither would you use words like skilled or good or proficient. Fairly unlikely to actually crash? That's more in the ballpark.

I tend to ride on trails like those at Lake Overstreet that are wide and not that challenging. I mean they are not challenging in terms of having like jumps and stuff, because that hill coming up from the bottom loop to the top is plenty challenging for me. That shit is steep, ya'll. Anyway, “technical trails” is I believe the cool mountain biker term for the ones with all the roots and jumps and tight turns and crazy steep drops.

Here's the thing about those trails. I'm not opposed to them on principal. It’s just that I might kill myself, were I to attempt to ride them. I lack the requisite skills. And the problem is that I don't know how you actually get those skills. First off , do you really improve at riding a bike? I mean, it's riding a bike. People say, "it's like riding a bike" for a reason. It’s supposed to be simple, right?

I know that the correct answer on how to get better is to practice, but I’m not sure how that would work in this case. It's like skateboarding. I never understood how people get good enough to do all those flips and ollies and fakie nosegrinds or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Again, I know, practice. You do the tricks over and over again and fall and screw up until you finally don't fall and screw up anymore. I don't think that approach is going to work for my problem, though. I mean, do you just ride down the hill and fly over the handlebars or a crash into a tree until that doesn't happen anymore? Sounds painful. And dangerous. And, I’m too old for that shit.

I’ve checked out some of the other trails around town. A lot of them are mixed use and have some easy parts and some technical parts. That’s fine, I just have to go slow or dismount when I get to something I can’t handle. Which is fine, if no one is around. But often there are other people there who actually know what they are doing and seem annoyed by my slow, unsteady ass. I’m sure that’s just me projecting and that they are perfectly nice, but I am in their way and I feel bad slowing them up.

I would like to get better. It's not like I'm an adrenaline junkie or anything, but I do enjoy going fast. I love roller coasters and the spinny throw-up rides at the amusement park. It's just that on a bike I feel completely out of control. Probably due me being in charge as opposed to the safety of being on a track like a roller coaster.

I think what I need is some sort of class involving safety gear and a professional. Like when little kids take gymnastics class. They start with low-to-the-ground equipment, lots of padding, and spotters to catch them when they fall. I need that, but a mountain bike version for unskilled 30- and 40- somethings.

27 October 2008

Go Barack

I know this has been out for a while, but I just ran across it again and I still found it surprisingly moving.  Even despite the presence of Scarlett Johansson, who pegs my irrational hatred meter right up to 11.

Oh, and there's another one:

This one, on the other hand…I’m not sure how I feel about it.  

The concept is amusing, there’s just something about the execution that seems off.  But hey, if it gets people on board for Barack, then more power to you, Opie.

26 October 2008

The first rule of musicals is...

So, it’s not like I’m completely against the whole movies turned into musicals thing, but there is a time and place for that sort of thing. Some movies naturally lend themselves to the new format. I mean, The Producers (1968, 2005) and Hairspray (1988, 2007) were practically musicals already. The stage productions may have had a few more singing and dancing numbers added, but the stories themselves were already pretty much centered around some sort of musical entity (Hitler musical, teen dance show), so the remake makes some kind of sense. But Fight Club: The Musical? That’s a stretch.

And then I found this list.

So, what’s the deal? Are there really no new ideas for musicals? This seems like a weird phenomenon. I mean, making a musical into a movie makes some sense, you’re basically just filming an existing work (plus you have more freedom as to locations, costume changes, special effects, etc.) But taking a movie and replacing the dialog with a bunch of songs and boxing it in on a stage seems like such an odd idea. Also, I keep trying to imagine the Fight Club Musical, and I just can't quite get there...

24 October 2008

Hey Hey Tampa Bay...Fall Classic style

So, I'm rooting for Tampa Bay to win the World Series.  I would like to stress that this does not make me a "bandwagon" fan.  People get so het up about that. They're all "I liked the Rays from the start.  Now all these Johnny-come-latelys are trying to act like they're Rays fans, but where were they when the team had 10 straight losing seasons?!  I mean…it's just!…and they think they can just come in and…ahhh!…"  And then it just deteriorates into incoherent ranting and frothing at the mouth.

Calm down people.  I'm not saying that I am suddenly a Rays fan.  I'm saying that in the current sporting contest, in which neither of "my teams" is participating (Braves or Orioles, FYI), and therefore a contest in which I would otherwise have no interest, I have chosen, of the 2 teams presented to me, to root for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays*.  Deal with it.

The choice was a no-brainer, really, for a number of reasons.  1. I am a Florida girl, so I gotta represent.  2. The Rays have a good story with the whole worst-to-first arc.  3. Phillies fans kind of seem like assholes.

I find the whole bandwagon situation interesting.  Even though I am rooting for the Rays, I don't consider myself a "Rays fan".  As stated above, in the World Series, there are only 2 teams to choose from, so I picked.  Rooting for a team in a given contest doesn't make you a fan.  Fans have hats, and t-shirts, and the occasional bumper sticker or large foam finger.  The teams of which I am a fan (minus the finger, those are wack) include, the aforementioned Braves, The Buccaneers (i.e. the other Tampa Bay team), FSU as my alma mater (although, don't get me started on the madness of college football fans), ditto for those Leon Lions (the alma mater part, not the madness), and Arsenal, if you want to branch  across the pond and into the Premiership

The rest of my sports affiliations break down along these lines. I have a second tier of teams that I like a lot (usually in the other league from the main team, just to give me a rooting interest.) These days those would be the Orioles, the Colts, Manchester United.  I also have teams that I have a certain affection for because someone I like likes them, like University of Kentucky (Hi Rakes) or the Bolton Wanderers (The Byrons), or because they are scrappy underdogs (I'm looking at you, Vanderbilt).

Everybody else falls into 3 categories: 1. teams I will generally root for to win  2. teams I wish failure and destruction upon  and 3. teams I have no strong feelings about.  So if say, anyone, is playing the Yankees…go anyone! Tottenham Hotspur?  I generally like 'em, so good luck boys. University of Miami?  Go whoever is playing them, but be careful because they might shoot you. Chiefs playing the Texans?  Umm, whatever, makes no difference to me.   You'll note none of my examples include the NBA or NHL.  Can't be bothered these days.  Again, I have some teams I intrinsically like more than others (for absolutely no apparent reason) and come play-off time, I'll pick someone to root for, but I really don't care one way or the other.  Oh, and when I say "pick someone to root for" I mean that in my head, I will say of one of the teams, "gee I hope they win",  but that doesn't mean I'm going to watch the game.  It's more like if I happen to run across the score the next day and the team I selected is victorious, I can say "well, isn't that nice".
And…that's way too much time and effort put into my feelings about sports. 

*One final thing, I wish the Rays were still the Devil Rays.  They are in my heart.  First off, I didn’t realized that when they chaged the name, they changed the meaning of the word ray from this:

To this:

Is that what that little twinkle in the “R” is supposed to be?  I also don’t approve of this:
In November 2007, majority owner Stuart Sternberg decided to make drastic changes and renamed his team from the "Tampa Bay Devil Rays" to the "Tampa Bay Rays", which he described as "A beacon that radiates throughout Tampa Bay and across the entire state of Florida."


Anyway, I dislike the name change.  Partly because Devil Rays is a better name, but mostly because the fundamentalists are now going to be able to cite the removal of the word "devil" from the name and the team's subsequent improvement as some sort of triumph of Jesus over evil.

23 October 2008

I love the Piemaker

Dear people who watch television,

It seems that none of you are watching Pushing Daisies.  What on earth is wrong with you?  Please take whatever steps are necessary to remedy this situation. Immediately, people!

Love, Zil

22 October 2008

STD greetings?

So, what do we think about this
Valuable public health service or disturbing misuse of e-cards?  I can't quite make up my mind...

(click on the image to enlarge)

21 October 2008

Don't Americans feel that way all the time?

When I first saw this, I thought it was an Onion headline, but it's from CNN.

Poll finds Americans angry, worried
A new national poll suggests that only a quarter of Americans think things are going well in the country today, while the rest of those questioned are angry, scared and stressed out.

And, for no apparent reason, (other than it makes me laugh out loud, repeatedly, every single damn time I read it) I include this link to an actual Onion story...one of my favorites:

London, meet Paris

Dear London,
You know my feelings about you. You are one of my top 3 favorite cities in the world. I wish only good things for you. But, there comes a time when you have to look out for number one. And I'm afraid, London, we have reached one of those times.
She's gotta live somewhere, and given the choice, I'd really prefer it not be here. In fact, maybe we can get her to take some of her friends with her. So, sorry London. If I were you, I'd get busy promoting the hell out of Australia. Sing the praises of Italy. Talk up Siberia. I'm sure you can get her to move along.

Love, Zil

P.S. Seriously, do a google image search for Paris Hilton, it's like soft-core central in there...

20 October 2008

Hooray for Colin Powell

Ok, not only is it awesome that Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama, it's extra awesome that he did it in such an eloquent, reasoned, and thoughtful manner.  I especially liked the parts about Palin's lack of qualification to be president, how being a Muslim doesn’t make you automatically evil, and his disappointment in the way the Republican party has moved so far to the right.  All excellent points, Mr. Powell.  See for yourself:


So, Wahlberg on SNL…Funny in theory, I guess, but he still came off as kind of a tool.  I also missed this whole thing on Kimmel, where he said he wanted to punch Samberg in the face (I’m paraphrasing, add a lot more “fucks” and you get the gist.)

So now the questions is, was the whole thing a set up for him to appear on SNL to promote Max Payne?  If so, that’s really round-about marketing.  Also, he still had to look like a dick all week leading up to the show. 

I think it started out real.  His original comment was legit, he was actually pissed at the sketch. Then, either he or his handlers decided he was looking like a bad sport and they needed to spin it, so he went on the show.  Also, I've spent way too much time thinking about Mark Wahlberg recently...

13 October 2008

"Say hi to your mother for me"

So apparently Mark "don't call me Marky-Mark" Wahlberg didn't care for the sketch about him on Saturday Night Live.

Personally, I found it hilarious. I actually laughed out loud. Like, I just watched the clip again before I wrote this, and I laughed out loud again. Several times. I thought Andy Samberg was dead on, which was impressive, because I don't really think of Wahlberg as having any obvious, easily-imitated mannerisms.

It just confirms my theroy that Wahlberg has no sense of humor.

10 October 2008

Back up off of me...

So, I take this Pilates class twice a week at lunchtime, and I try to get there early so that I can be sure to get my chosen spot (which is in the back corner, the better to spare my classmates from having to watch my spastic contortions). Anyway, there’s this woman who always comes in right before class starts, and who insists on wedging her mat into a too-small and too-close-to-others space, just so she won’t have to be in the front. In fact, it has gotten to the point that I place my mat slightly farther away from the wall than I normally would, so that when this woman inevitably puts her mat too close to mine, I have some space to move away from her. I do not approve of people with no respect for personal space. Also, if you show up late to class, you have to be in the front. It’s a rule as old as grade school people…

08 October 2008

Fiesty old movie broads

Apparently, yesterday was the day for the fiesty old movie broads to get all het up about stuff.  First we have this item, in which Brigitte Bardot goes off on Sarah Palin.  Among other things, she remarks on her tendency toward "making statements that are disconcertingly stupid".

Then there was Lauren Bacall (love her) taking on Tom Cruise.  Best quote "Tom Cruise is a maniac. I can't understand the way he conducts his life."  Word.  That Scientology bastard needs to shut right up.


07 October 2008

Why politics makes me hate everyone #4

Sarah Palin. You know, just in general. Oh and also this. Way to go Clearwater...our state truly is America's wang.

06 October 2008

Consumer crush

Izze sparkling juice.

The bottles are really pretty (I'm a sucker for packaging) and all the flavors are super-tasty. And if it's not actually healthy, it's at least pretending to be.