Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Guilty Pleasures and Retarded Tingles

Am I the only person left who hates Paris Hilton? I've never liked her. I've seen four seconds of The Simple Life, and that's only because my clicker got stuck. She's the Bizarro Penelope Cruz, and they can both go stick their long-necked ostrich heads in the sand for all I care.

So when the guys in my office were soiling themselves over her new single, you'll understand when I say that I was less than interested. But being the good sport that I am, I obliged them to try and listen to their latest iTunes purchase.

I listened long enough to realize that Paris' voice was more digitized than Phil Collins, which was all the time I needed to give me one more reason to dislike her. I left their office thinking, "There's thirty seconds of my life that I'll never get back ", and resumed hanging up the latest Tiger Beat J.T.T. heartthrob poster in my cubicle.

Not long after, I walked into a movie theater and caught myself fake dancing and humming along to a catchy song. I knew it sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it.... Ashlee Simpson? No, too upbeat. Hillary Duff? Nope, too breathy and BINGO. That's when I knew, and that's when I hated myself, and that's when my nipper was raised with retarded tingles for myself.

I hate myself for loving Paris' new song, and I hated myself even more when my roommate burned me a CD and I jumped for joy because Stars Are Blind was included in the mix. Loving her song goes against everything I believe in and shakes me to the core.

I'm not normally caught off guard this way, so imagine my surprise when I kept hearing another song on the radio that I love love LOVED, but had no idea who it was - until I cranked it up at work, and "someone" snobbily informed me that it was *gasp* Nick Lachey.

I turned down the volume and publicly snubbed The Lachey, so as not to blow my cover, but between you and me, I was secretly stoked that it was him. Ever since I rocked out to 98 Degrees...and Rising, Mr. Ex-Jessica Simpson has always had a place in my heart.

However, I must not be doing a good job at hiding my secret guilty pleasures from my roommate - The Lachey was also included in the mix CD.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Show Me Your Calvins

After seeing Invincible (twice) this weekend, it has to be said.
The tshirt was created for one purpose: to magnify Mark Wahlberg's arms in all their glory and splendor.

He doesn't just wear the tshirt. Not this leader of the Funky Bunch. He beats that tshirt into submission until the seams stretch and scream with pain - the kind of pain that hurts so good. Then he tells that tshirt to make him a sandwich, and the tshirt asks, "Mayo or mustard, sir?"

Cases in point, see Here, here, here, and most definitely here.

It's not that I don't take him seriously as an actor, its just that I've never wanted to be a tshirt so badly in my entire life.

Seeing Mark Wahlberg like this makes me forgive him for Planet of the Apes. But as for The Funky Bunch, no apology needed, Marky Mark. I still have your cassette tape, and Donnie's got nothing on you.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Going down?

I'm not a fan of elevators. Not because I'm claustrophobic or anything, I just hate the painfully awkward moments that are unavoidable in the elevator. Especially when those painfully awkward moments involve your boss and other higher-ups.

Working on the top floor of a corporate building, I'm forced to take the elevator everyday. If I'm not wearing heels, I'll take the stairs, but I choose to take the elevator because the less opportunities I have to trip or stumble in my heels, the better.

Riding down at the end of the day is the worst, because I inevitably end up sharing the elevator with other people, usually middle-aged business men, and I spend the entire ride basking in the retarded tingles I get for them. The guys I work with are fine - its the stragglers that we pick up along the way that really get the tingles going. Yesterday, I could only close my eyes and shake my head in shame when I had to listen to two guys exchange the all-too-familiar Dumb and Dumber reportoire - "Big gulps, eh? Well, see ya later!" Grooooooaaaaaaaaaaaannnnn..... I wanted to tell Bachelor #1 that his trendy-spiked-platinum-dyed hair and ultra-pastel lavender shirt were too much for his own good, not to mention the use of The Big Gulps line. But I guess its not his fault, he's simply too cool for his own good as well.

The problem with elevator conversation is that you know its all fake, so why bother investing? The ride is too short to get comfortable, and small talk only stretches so far. The only satisfaction I get is the looks on their faces as they smell the remnants of my SBD from two floors ago. I can't imagine being an elevator operator (do they even still have those?) and constantly having to feign interest in the weather or continuously making lame jokes. It's painful. It's awkward. It's painfully awkward.

I wish I could come up with witty yet disturbing sentiments to share in the elevator, but I freeze in the wake of everyone else's fumblings. I wish I would get hit on or something so that I had an opportunity to throw out one of my zingers (much like the time in Memphis, when an old British man leaned against me and said, "That's not a gun in my pocket" - SERIOUSLY - to which I promptly replied, "That's not a gun in mine, either" just before I vomited in my mouth.)

Sadly, I think my elevator friends are destined to remain always that: the ships of brief, shallow relationships that keep the corporate world going...minus the SBD part.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Remember That One Time I Went Slummin...

Now that I've returned to the real world, I feel its my duty to report on all the strange sightings and encounters from Memphis, as if the pictures didn't say enough. I should preface this account by saying how much I loved the south and its natives, because without them, I'd have nothing to blog about.

We knew our trip would be interesting when we entered southern Virginia and saw the confederate flags waving freely and proudly. We stopped off at a roadside souveneir stand which was not unlike a broke down shack complete with hillbilly in overalls on the front porch. We politely poked around the junk outside (your usual garden-variety gnomes and bird feeders), and were about to sneak away unscathed when the hillbilly yelled to us, "AY! Ya'll ever seen a live bobcat??" After much persuasion - ok, not that much persuasion, after all, I hadn't seen a bobcat - we went into the store to see the hillbilly's bobcat.

We followed the hillbilly through stacks of rattlesnake skins and "Virginia is for Lovers" t-shirts until we found ourselves in a back room, with the hillbilly yelling out "BOBBY!!!!! BOBBY!!!!" This was a clever hillbilly - naming his pet Bobby the Bobcat.

Now, I know you're thinking that we must've been some kind of stupid to follow the hillbilly into the back room of his store (I've seen Deliverance), but I ask you, when was the last time you had the opportunity to see a real live bobcat up close and personal? Besides, the hillbilly (named George) assured me that he was no perv, and warned me not to soil myself on his linoleum.

At this point in the story, while George searched for his bobcat, I turned to Johanna and said, "If his 'bobcat' looks like a penis, I'm out of here..." because I had no idea what I'd see coming out of that room. My heart was thumping and I really did pee a little when a tiny, striped, baby kitty came bounding into the room. The only bobcat-like thing about it was that it had no tail. I knew then that I was dealing with a whole nother kind of crazy down in the south.

After escaping with our lives and carnal treasures intact, we listened to some banjo music on the porch with George, afterwhich he showed off his prized rattlesnake skins and shoved their fangs into our faces - afterwhich I had a brief panic attack and told him that I really didn't want those things in my face. We left with gifts of cheap paper fans, Virginia key chains, yellow tomatoes, and a new found resolve to walk away the next time someone asks if we want to see their bobcat.

And that was just the first few hours of our trip. The folks in the south proved to be every bit as entertaining as I'd hoped. Some of my favorite sound bites:

When I asked the redneck from St. Louis about why he had a tattoo of a hammerhead shark, he said, "Cause its kewl." Enough said.

The cashier at a gas station in Tennessee, after Johanna purchased ephedra: "Ya'll be careful with that, it landed me in the hospital. I have a heart murmer, and my daddy's had fiiiiive heart attacks, and TWO triple-bypass surgeries. We just found out he's got the syphallis - ya'll heard of that? That STD? He caught it from my mama - she's been sleepin around on him for some time."

At which point Johanna asked, "Is it treatable?"

To which the cashier replied, "Oh yeah! They can treat everything cept the herpes and AIDS nowadays. So ya'll be careful if ya ain't married, cause you can catch the syphallis."

The woman behind me in line at Graceland, picking up bits of trash, "What is with all this traysh? Show some respect! This is ELVIS HOUSE!"

And my personal favorite: A redneck at a Waffle House in Mississippi, on his cell phone having an argument with his girlfriend: "I didn't call you FAT, I just said I like fat chicks!"

Saturday, August 19, 2006

An Ode to Elvis Tribute Artists

All of these sightings were from the candlelight vigil on Tuesday night. All of them looked like Elvis from a distance, but as you'll see, the darkness was deceiving.

We realized that this kid's name is Austin, not Justin, when we saw him at the candlelight vigil.

"Hey Elvises!" *click*

This one was from Bethlehem PA. Johanna wasn't impressed: "Where did he get that belt...Kohls?? It doesn't even look like an Elvis belt!"

By far, my favorite picture.

His name was Clarke, and he wore New Balance sneakers with his jumpsuit. Johanna also told him that he smelled better than most of the other Elvises.

I liked this Elvis because he wasn't too sweaty, he smelled good, and he wore purple.

This Elvis was spotted pushing a baby stroller down Elvis Presley Blvd.

This Elvis was from Brazil and he kissed us.

This Elvis was from Israel, and none other than the same one we saw at the dance party.

And this Elvis was just plain sweaty.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Don't Ever Call Them Impersonators

Our first Elvis sighting! In the words of Johanna, "He was really sweaty and moist." I tried to keep a safe distance, aside from being smashed into his pit for this picture.

This was to be the first of many many pictures we took with Elvis Tribute Artists - I learned not to call them "impersonators", because they don't really like that. At all. And they've got a mouthful of peanut butter and banana to prove it.

The tribute artists we saw came in all shapes and sizes, and it was amazing how they all looked like Elvis from a distance, but once you got up close, it was a whole nother thang. Regardless, our goal was to get pictures with as many as we could, and I think we succeeded. Most of them turned up for the candlelight vigil on Tuesday night, and I was like a fat kid in a candy shop - running around, begging for pictures.

One of the many Elvis karaoke performers. This is one grandma who is not afraid to accessorize.

The dog's name is Tinkerbell, and what else really needs to be said?

I didn't get a chance to talk to her for very long, I was too busy getting Elvis' face airbrused onto my shoulder...

Outside Sun Studio, where Elvis first recorded.

The motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot.

The most awesome painting in Graceland. My flash accidentally went off while I was taking this one, and I got yelled at by one of the Flashers - people who's sole purpose is to yell at the dumb tourists who use their flashes. I especially love the wisps made of clouds and dreams around his feet... he looks like THE original pimp.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

In My Element

The Dolly Parton bridge in Tennessippi

My life is now complete.

Living it up in Maimphas

This is the fake name I'm using here...

Taking pictures of Asians taking pictures of Asians at the Jack Daniel's distillery.

My first official fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.

Oh shoot. Check out her bling, and yes that's a real tattoo.

Fancy and big haired at the official Elvis Tribute Week Dance Party, posing with a young impersonator.

Who's that pretty little thang down in the jungle room?

Bee boop! Bee boop! Modeling the latest in puffy paint fashion - the back says "A little more action..." Does it get any more classy than that?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Roadtripping to Memphis

A photo journal of our escapade to Memphis:

We went all out, right from the start. The ribbon tied to the antenna (lovingly named "Flapper") says "ELVIS LIVES". Also notice the high-class fabric pictures of Elvis' pelvis taped to the side windows.

Scotland, PA.

Although it looks like I'm getting all up ons, I'm actually doing a "cheerio / old chap / pip-pip / chimney sweep" scottish thing. Also I'm saying, "Allo, guv-nuh!"

Somewhere in old Vuh-GIN-yuh, a restaurant serves Mule Burgers... also known as a bologna sandwich. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Johanna set up her camera on the roof of the car and had to run really fast to get in the picture. It took a few tries to get this one right.

Me and Ol' Jack Daniel in Lynchburg, TN.

My only souvenier from the Jack Daniel's distillery... an empty box that says Jack Daniel's Distillery. That, and some kind of confectionary goodness called whiskey balls. But we all know that the real souveniers are the treasured memories I'm making... and the whiskey balls.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Mystery of the Tasties - SOLVED! Mostly...

Remember the IT guy from my work who was of no use to me because I wrongfully assummed that he was some kind of master code breaker? Well it turns out that IT guys are good for something other than encriptions - apparently they also read the newspaper.

My excited IT guy approached me this morning, waving a newspaper article in front of my face with the flourish of a fancy pants waiter. It was cut out from the Daily Universe, and the mystery of the Tasties was finally solved.

The following is an excerpt from the article, including the picture that was featured:

John Beeson is an English professor at BYU. Beeson's main message to students is to constantly be "on to something" in life, and fight against "everydayness," and he has followed those same edicts all his life.

One activity Beeson has found to help him live by those principles is painting.

Roughly two years ago, he called up the local Borders bookstore, asking to display some of his paintings throughout the store. The store obliged, and the paintings hung in the store for a week.

Out of the blue, however, Beeson got a phone call from a Borders representative, notifying him his paintings needed to be taken down because of a complaint.

Beeson was upset, but he obliged and took matters into his own hands.

"I was so mad that I nailed one to a pole outside Borders when I left," he said. "And it was so addicting, I mean that's really the best word. Then, the next day when I drove by and I saw them, I felt famous, like it was the weirdest ... I don't know ... it was like this self-inflicted fame. Delusional fame," Beeson said.

From that point on, he's gone out on random nights and nailed paintings to telephone poles lining the route on his way to work.

"It's about making stuff, that's why I do it," Beeson said. "Thoreau said live life deliberately, and that's what my paintings are all about."

Beeson has made over 500 paintings in the past two years, and his goal is to finish 730 by the 31st. That's one per day for the two years since the Borders episode.

"They're not good, but there's a lot of them," he said with a grin. "Quality fades, but quantity lasts forever."

Beeson says he's not out to hurt anyone or damage anything. He says he's too old to spray paint, and, with a wife and four kids, he's a bit reserved, but he's still passionate. His goal in painting is to get people to see the world around them in a new light.

"The theory behind it is to see the things you see every day differently," Beeson said. "It's to avoid everydayness."

You can read the entire article here.
So, that's it folks - that's the whole mystery behind the Tasty signs. A BYU professor who paints them just for fun. While I'm glad to have the answers, I can't help but feel a little disappointed that the signs weren't clues to underground raver parties. Now what am I going to do with all these glowsticks?

I emailed the Professor to try and get more information about all of the Tasty trademark symbols, which remain a mystery to this day. I'll keep you posted if I get any more information from him.

In other news, this will be my last post for awhile, but I should have plenty to blog about after my return from Elvis Week, or as Andi and Adam call it, the continuation of Graduation Tour '06...

Elvis Week is the week-long tribute to the King, leading up to the anniversary of his death on August 16. My BFF Johanna and I are driving to Memphis from Philadelphia for 5 days of greasy food, rock n'roll, humidity, and Elvis fanatics. Did I mention that we're going all out for this? All I can say is that I busted out the puffy paints for our homemade tshirts...

See you in 2 weeks - Viva la Elvis!

Flops are a part of life's menu and I've never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses.

Rosalind Russell

You scored 19% grit, 52% wit, 28% flair, and 14% class!

Once again, this sounds NOTHING like me, right?

You are one wise-cracking lady, always quick with a clever remark and easily able to keep up with the quips and puns that come along with the nutty situations you find yourself in. You're usually able to talk your way out of any jam, and even if you can't, you at least make it more interesting with your biting wit. You can match the smartest guy around line for line, and you've got an open mind that allows you to get what you want, even if you don't recognize it at first. Your leading men include Cary Grant and Clark Gable, men who can keep up with you.

Which classic dame are you?

Monday, August 07, 2006

How to Make an Awesomely Bad Threequel about Underground Racing in Japan

I realize that I'm opening myself to insult and shame for admitting that I saw this movie, but its a risk I'm willing to take if it means that I can educate you on the finer points of cinematic entertainment.

In my defense, I waited to see this at the dollar theater, so give me some slack here. Also, the whole point of going was to make fun of it, so that's also in my favor.

Who am I kidding. I loved The Fast and the Furious, I loved 2 Fast 2 Furious even harder, and I died with love when I saw The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Just kidding. Kind of. Not really.

Let's start off with the good news - I have to admit, the driving stunts were pretty off the hizook. Or is it hizzle? Either way, it was definitely fun to watch. The driving scenes, that is. Everything in between seemed to exist only for me to make fun of.

Based upon this experience, I've compiled a check list of attributes that must be included if you want your movieaboutundergroundracinginjapan to be as much of a success as this one was.

- 25-year-old lead actor with massive tufts of chest hair playing a 17-year-old juvenile delinquent - check.

- Token Black character with the hook up to get you anything you want - check.

- Lead female character with an on-again off-again somewhat Asian accent and cheekbones that could shatter a windshield - check.

- All Asian characters speak English but have thick Japanese accents, except for "the smart one" with the trendy haircut, who speaks perfect English with no accent at all - check check.

- At least one Asian character with a really bad blonde dye job - check.

- Typical mob boss dressed like Dick Tracy - check.

- At least a dozen Asian hoochies in plaid mini-skirts and knee-highs - check check check check.

- A handful of unnecessary, uncomfortably extreme close-ups - check check check.

- At least one montage that includes all of the following: welding, lots of sparks flying, close-ups of boxes being opened to reveal the goods inside, two characters high-fiveing / bumping chests / patting fannies or anything to that effect, the complete transformation of a bumper and four wheels into an unbelievably shiny racing machine, and one bumpin' bass line - check.

- All main characters utilize only one facial expression: extreme anger and aggression (preferably the all-too-effective chin down / staring out the tops of your eyes) while gripping the steering wheel with Hulk-like strength and bulging veins, and karate-chopping kicks to the clutch while shifting with enough emphasis to catapult you down a ski slope - check.

- One bad-ace soundtrack featuring hooks from the token Black character and lyrics that use the title of the movie - CHECK.

So now that you know how to make your very own Awesomely Bad Threequel about Underground Racing in Japan, go forth and prosper. I know what I'll be doing this week...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Return of Tasty: Part Deux

Thanks in part to the new colon cleanse I'm trying (aptly called "The Royal Flush" apparently because I now spend most of my time perched upon the porcelin throne) I haven't been in the most jovial of moods lately. I've spent most of my time complaining to Bone Senior that I have nothing funny to blog about. Ever the voice of reason, she said, "Not everything you write about has to be funny.... Try writing about the war in Lebanon or something."

So that's what I started out to do - write about something meaningful. But when it came to blogging about Lebanon, all I could come up with was that I like their bologna. So it was a no-go.

Then I started to blog about how I spent the night sandwiched between two boxers, but that sounded way too dirty for this lil' angel, so I nixed that as well. (The boxers, BTW, are Lucy and Rosie, my hairdresser's dogs, as seen stage left.)

Thank goodness for Eagle Eyes Erin, or I'd have nothing to talk about. I received another excited message from her this afternoon... "I found another TASTY!" And that did it. I peed a little as soon as I heard those familiar words, and our recon work began.

New Tasty had been spotted on the very same road as the former Tasty, which happens to go right by my work. On an accessibility scale from 1-10, Erin assured me that New Tasty was about a 9, and wouldn't be hard for us to retrieve. Upon arrival of the rondesvous (I have no idea how to spell that but I hope you get my drift) point, code named "the side of the road by the New Tasty", we saw that maybe the ole snatch-n-grab would be harder than originally thought - for a few reasons.

First, we were pulled over on the side of one of the busiest streets in the area, in daylight.

Second, New Tasty was nailed to a light post stationed on the side of the mountain. The climb up to New Tasty was overgrown with itchy, sticky plants, rocks and gravel. The mountain side was also at least an 70 degree angle.

Third, neither of us had brought our spelunking gear. The fact that we were climbing a mountain and not going into caves has absolutely no bearance on the dilemma that was presented by our lack of spelunking gear. We were, however, wearing flip flops.

Fourth, I am not now, nor have I ever been, tall enough to actually reach any of the Tasties. Hence the need for spelunking gear. (Just go with me on this one.) In the absence of spelunking gear, an Erin or a Janay will do just fine.

After assessing the situation, Erin and I gracefully scrambled, clawed, pulled, and crawled our way up the mountain. It took Erin all of two seconds to gently rip New Tasty from his pole, whereupon we discovered something new - New Tasty was nailed to a smaller piece of wood, which had "Tasty Loser" written on it..... a new clue?

Here you can see the up-close detail of New Tasty. This one is personally my favorite because of the use of purple. But New Tasty doesn't get us any closer to solving the overall mystery. There are the same markings though - the trademark symbol, the random number, the diseased eye (what is with this guy and eye gunk?), the five o'clock shadow (is Tasty homeless and can't afford a razor?), the oddly spelled word ("chaire" in this case), and the strangely dramatic phrase ("cruel fate").

Tasty sounds like he's taking a turn for the dark and dramatic side. I supposed I'd be depressed too if I always had gross oozy gunk seeping from my eye.