Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Two New Things that aren't very exciting (90 + 91)

New Thing #90: I fixed my ipod

I was all ready to write a rant about how my ipod wasn't working and how upset I was and blah blah blah, but then I went online and googled "ipod problems" and found this blog where this guy mentioned that he'd had the same problems with his ipod. Everyone he had spoken to had told him to just drop his ipod on the ground and then it would work again, and so he dropped his ipod on the ground and then it worked again. And, well, I figured, what do I have to lose?

So I dropped my ipod on the ground and then, like magic, it totally started working again and I cannot tell you how happy I am right now.

New Thing #91: I found a new route in and out of Los Angeles

I travel back and forth between LA and Orange County quite a bit, and there always hella traffic, but the other day I totally found a new route that is AMAZING and shaves MINUTES off of my driving time and I am so not going to say what the route is because I don't want anyone else to know about this awesome secret route because it's mine.

P.S. Blogger still won't let me post pictures (after that short window of time when it would let me post pictures). Technology hates me.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New Thing #89: Live-blogging MTV's Fresh Meat

The Real World/Road Rules Challenge is the best thing ever. (Notice how I didn’t say it was the best “TV show” ever—that’s because it’s simply the best thing ever, uncategorized.) (Like, I’ll go so far as to say that it’s even better than chocolate.)

Now, I Tivo’d the premiere episode last night and I didn’t watch it because I had to get up super early to go sub for a high school biology class (which wasn’t too bad) (I was bummed that we didn’t get to watch any videos on evolution, but it wasn’t too bad) (one of the kids told me I was the best substitute ever after I told her it was okay to work on homework she had from another class) (and being told I’m the “best substitute ever” was pretty much what I aspired for when I began subbing, so now I guess I don’t have any more mountains to climb) (it was really easy to become “the best substitute ever”) (much easier than I thought it would be) and so I waited until today to watch “The Challenge,” as MTV is now simply calling it, realizing that “The Real World/Road Rules” is a mouthful.

I’ve never live-blogged a television show before (and I realize it’s technically not “live-blogging” because the show was on last night and I’m watching it on Tivo, but it’s still “live” to me, and I’m gonna sit here and type while I’m watching, so that’s essentially “live-blogging,” right?) and I’m gonna give it a go right now.

--okay, I love the picture they use of Tanya in the opening credits. In all of the previous challenges, she’s pretty much hooked up with every non-gay male in every single competition, yet (I think) she’s always maintained that she’s “not a whore”—but look at her in the opening credits for the new season:



I can’t tell if this moment was staged (“Hey Tanya, we want you to pose for us in your red lingerie with a cigarette dangling out of your mouth!”) or if it’s just the brilliance of Tanya being Tanya caught by MTV’s brilliant camera crew (which seems more likely because all of the other shots in the opening credits are candid moments).

--okay, so TJ Lavin, the host, has just told us what this season’s hook is: “for the first time ever, twelve eager new faces are going to join the competition, young na├»ve hopefuls who think they have what it takes to battle it out with our gang of awesome, drunk, slutty, amazing old-timers. To the sharks in this game, these new faces are Fresh Meat.” (some of that was me paraphrasing)

--Now old-timer Theo’s all mad, asking “who are these people?” And then being all “it’s not like I come to their job and try to out-do them, it’s not like I go to Starbucks and try to out-latte them,” which is a brilliant quote because I love that Theo has admitted that competing on trashy MTV reality competitions shows IS HIS FULL-TIME JOB.

--oooo, twist! I assumed that it was going to be the twelve old-skoolers vs. the twelve new MTV wannabes, but TJ Lavin just told us that it’s going to be twelve teams of two! Each MTV old-skooler gets to pick a member of the opposite sex from the batch of “fresh meaters” to be their team partner! (How embarrassed should I be that this show gets me THIS excited?) (On a scale of 1 to 10?) (Should I be embarrassed at 8?) (9?) (10???) (Whatever, I am not embarrassed.) (There is a time and place for trash, and trash deserves some love too.) (NOTE—derrick, in case you ever read this—I am not calling any of the competitors “trash,” I’m simply calling the show “trash.”) (And, well, maybe Tanya.)

--Okay, does anyone else (as if all of you are watching this “live” right now, with me) find it weird that there’s a girl named “Ev” and a boy named “Evan” and that “Ev” and “Evan” are the first two Fresh Meaters picked? That just seems weird to me. It’s like when you meet a lesbian couple named Jan and Jan and you’re like, what are the odds of two women named Jan meeting each other and falling in love?

--Girl Ev is really cocky. I predict a major fall.

--whoa, the winning team (of two) gets $250,000! Usually the winning team gets, like $60,000 and they have to split it between, like, 6 people. Just like Tina just said, “that’s a lot of money, y’all!” (She actually said “y’all.”) (Which really sold the line, in my opinion.) (Because obviously it’s a lot of money, but by adding the “y’all,” it felt like it was even more money than it is because $250,000 would be a lot of money to any of us, but to someone who uses the word “y’all” it’s practically 250 trillion dollars, or something!)

--okay, Mohawks are super hot, but Wes’ Mohawk looks supremely dorky.

--I love that the old skoolers still get excited when they see where they’re going to be living, as if they didn’t know that this time the y were going to live in an amazing house.

--I cannot believe that Wes and Johanna from Austin are dating and that Melinda and Danny from Austin are still dating. Melinda just said that “the drama hasn’t hit the fan yet,” and maybe she hasn’t seen her season of The Real World: Austin, but, um, if she thinks that “the drama hasn’t hit the fan yet” after literally crying for three months because of all of the crap that she and Danny were going through, then I cannot wait for the drama to start hitting the fan. (Um, and I love that she says “the drama hasn’t hit the fan” instead of “the shit hasn’t hit the fan.”)

--wow, 18-year-old Ev just said that “these aren’t the smartest people in the world” and that she’s “pretty much calling the shots in this game.” She is SO in for a major fall, it’s not even funny!

--Wes just called his Fresh Meat partner “basically athletically worthless” (way to build up team moral, Wes! She hasn’t even competed in a single challenge yet and you’re calling her “basically athletically worthless”!) (I don’t know her name yet, but I feel really sad for her.) (The look on her face is like, “I didn’t know I was worthless…” (So sad.) (Ohhhhh…sad….and she just said that “there’s a part of me that feels like I’m in way over my head,” which means that she totally is and she’s in for a major fall.) (But who will fall first? Basically Athletically Worthless Girl or Ev?)

--Derrick is such a bad boy! (And I am such a twelve-year-old girl!) Look at him:


(Wait, stop using your imagination!) (Photos are working again!) Now look at Derrick:

This picture is, like, straight out of Star Wars or something.

--OKAY, the first challenge is to walk across a plank off this building that’s, like, 500 stories high, while being tied tied back-to-back to their partner, and whoever has the quickest time wins. If I was competing in this challenge, I would so fall off the plank and die, and Tanya would so laugh at my dead body. Back in reality, Tanya’s team is first. She is freaking out.

--I’m sad that the cute new Fresh Meater guy is teamed up with Melinda because people are going to team up against all of the Austin kids and he’s not long for this game, unless they can successfully keep their alliance. Which they so can’t.

--Derrick did the challenge without any problems. Rock on Derrick.

--I miss Mormon Julie. She’s always good TV.

--Ev’s team came in fifth place. It doesn’t look like she’s “calling the shots” yet.

--the Basically Athletically Worthless Girl is “trying so hard not to cry right now” because her team has been selected to go into “exile” tomorrow against another as-yet-undetermined team. The rules of this game are so complicated I’m not even going to attempt to explain them well, but basically at the end of every episode two teams have to compete against each other in a final challenge and the loser goes home. Basically Athletically Worthless Girl is so on the chopping block all of a sudden…

--Wes is trying to expand his Austen alliance to include Tanya. Smooth move Wes. She’s a crazy hoor, if you haven’t watched any of the previous Challenges. And she’s already feeling like you’re playing her. She is so not going to join yer alliance. “I don’t like to be manipulated and lied to,” as she just told Tina, who replied “this is a lying and cheeting game!” (Except she said “cheating,” not “cheeting,” I’m just leaving that typo because I like typos.)

--I called it. I knew that either Ev or Basically Worthless Girl was in for a major fall very soon! And one of them is going home! Because Ev and Basically Worthless Girl both just happen to be teamed with the two boys from Real World: Austen and the rest of the Challengers just voted Ev and her Austen boy (Danny) into the Exile Challenge against Wes and Basically Worthless Girl.

--ooooo, the Austen kids hate each other right now. I cannot believe I am “live-blogging” this. Yer IQ is so going down, like, exponentially as you read this.

--okay, they’re about to start the next challenge, where, if one of the Austen teams wins, then they won’t have to go to the Exile challenge, (I told you, the rules in this game are really complicated) so Ev and Basically Worthless Girl’s fates are totally hanging in the balance right now. If I was Melinda, I might say something about how “the drama is about to hit the fan.” But I’m not Melinda, so I’ll just say that shit is about to fucking go down, motherfuckers.

--Ev and her Austen boy Danny just got knocked out of this non-elimination challenge, which means they are definitely going into the Exile Challenge. Ev, I can smell your defeat from here. You so should not have said that thing about how you were calling the shots in this game!

--Wes and Basically Worthless Girl just got knocked out of the challenge, which means they’re going head to head with Ev. Poor girls. They’re totally victims of everyones hatred of the Austen crew.

--Whoa! Another twist! The rest of the challengers don’t get to watch the Exile Challenge! They have to say goodbye to Ev and Basically Worthless Girl right now because one of them is not coming back to the house!

--Well, MTV just showed a promo for next week’s episode and now I totally know who’s going to be losing the Exile challenge and let me just say right now…maybe Basically Worthless Girl ain’t so basically worthless afterall! Good-bye Ev!

--So the challenge is basically this: they have to run a race while carrying the luggage they brought with them to Australia (did I mention that this is taking place in Australia?). And now I can see why Basically Worthless Girl stays and why Ev is about to go home. Because even though Basically Worthless Girl’s luggage weighs ten pounds more than Ev’s luggage, Ev’s Boston boy Danny’s luggage weighs as much as Wes and Basically Worthless Girl’s luggage COMBINED! What the frig did Boston boy Danny pack??? Bricks?

--OMG, Ev just explained that Danny let his girlfriend Melinda pack a lot of her clothes in his bag, that’s why it’s so freaking heavy. Holly cow.

--The race is neck and neck…

--Back at the house, Melinda really wants Danny to come back…but here comes a car…it’s Wes and Basically Worthless Girl! Uh-oh, Melinda’s crying now, maybe the drama is about to hit the fan.

--They’re flashing back now and showing us the moment when Boston boy Danny and Ev finally reached the finish line, ions after Wes and Basically Worthless Girl got there. Ev’s really upset: “I just feel cheated about what happened. The fact is…we got screwed.” Um, yeah, that’s what happened.

--Man, now Ev’s crying and I feel bad for Ev. But she shouldn’t have said that she was running this game.

--Okay, Basically Worthless Girl just became my favorite person in the game. She and Wes decided that they wouldn’t tell the other Challengers what the Exile Challenge was like—they want to keep that advantage to themselves and trip everyone else up—so now they’re making up all of these stories about what the challenge was like to mess with people’s heads—and Basically Worthless Girl is like “…and there was, like, a box, and there was kangaroo sack and kangaroo tongue and kangaroo balls…and it tasted kinda like jerkey with, like, a nice, like, oozy ooz to it.” She ROCKS. She is so not basically worthless. She deserves a real name now. It’s Casey.

--Melinda feels like she’s “lost Danny forever.” Now I hate Melinda. You’re going to see him, in, like, two weeks.

--whoa. In the scenes they just showed from the next episode, they show Derrick’s Fresh Meater partner crying and saying that she wants to do “everything physical now because I might not ever be able to do anything physical ever again.” Scary. That sounds like real drama, not MTV drama.

--I cannot believe I just “live-blogged” the Real World/Road Rules Challenge. New Thing #89.

Monday, May 29, 2006

You mess with the bull... get the horns.

Paul Gleason (if you don't know his name, you should remember him fondly from The Breakfast Club) (if you don't remember him fondly from The Breakfast Club, then you haven't seen The Breakfast Club) (if you haven't seen The Breakfast Club, what have you been doing with your life?) (if you haven't seen The Breakfast Club, why are you even reading my blog right now and not on your way to Blockbuster?) (go!) (because Paul Gleason is awesome in the movie and Paul Gleason deserves to have people renting his movies today because Paul Gleason) died over the weekend.

If you believe that character actors die in threes, then we're in for some more sadness soon.

Here's Paul's obit, from the LA Times:

Paul Gleason, best known for playing the grumpy high school principal who presides over detention in the 1985 film "The Breakfast Club," has died. He was 67.

Gleason died Saturday at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank of mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer linked to asbestos, said his daughter, Shannon Gleason-Grossman.

Although the cancer was diagnosed only a month ago, Gleason's exposure to asbestos occurred while working on construction jobs with his father as a teenager in the 1950s, his daughter said.In more than 60 films, Gleason usually played detectives or minor authority figures.

He was the detestable Clarence Beeks in "Trading Places" (1983) and the deputy chief of police in "Die Hard" (1988). Among his other film roles were "The Passing" (2005) "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" (2002) and "The Giving Tree" (2000).

On television, Gleason played David Thornton on ABC's "All My Children" in the late 1970s. He also appeared on many prime-time shows, including "Malcolm in the Middle," "Friends" and "Seinfeld."After he and author Jack Kerouac, a friend, watched the 1961 film "Splendor in the Grass" together, Gleason decided to become an actor. Soon he was studying with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.

On Broadway, he debuted with Maureen Stapleton in Neil Simon's "The Gingerbread Lady" (1971). He also appeared in the revival of "The Front Page" (1972), with John Lithgow and Richard Thomas that was staged in Los Angeles and New York.

Gleason was born May 4, 1939, in Jersey City, N.J., and grew up in Miami. He was an avid athlete and played football at Florida State at the same time Burt Reynolds and Robert Urich were there. He also played Triple-A minor league baseball for a handful of clubs.

"My dad was an intelligent, hard-working Renaissance man," Gleason-Grossman said. "His motto was to always keep working."

Actor Jimmy Hawkins, a friend since the 1960s, said he remembered Gleason for his sharp sense of humor.

"He just always had great stories to tell," Hawkins said.

In addition to his daughter Shannon, Gleason is survived by his wife, Susan; another daughter, Kaitlin; and a granddaughter.

New Things #87 & #88: My burning knees and the Cherry Orchard

My knees hurt so fucking much right now. Just stinging like the dickens. I went to an Angels game with Jessica this afternoon (because she is a baseball fanatic) (we sat in the second row between first base and Vladi) (if you're an Angels fan, you'll know who Vladi is) (he's the guy who's in whichever outfield is behind first base) (they were really good seats) (these seats were the closest I've ever sat at a baseball game) (so that's New Thing #87) (besides being really good seats in, like, general, they were also, more specifically, really good seats for oogling Adam Kennedy's ass) (Adam Kennedy is the second baseman for the Angels) (are you shocked that I actually know the name of a baseball player?) (because it's pretty shocking) (but he has a nice ass) (when I wasn't looking at Adam Kennedy's ass, I was reading a book) (because baseball is boring) and I decided to wear shorts for the first time in years and I didn't even think that my white white white knees would need some sort of, um, protection, and they got fried fried fried. Supposedly (at least according to a lot of other people) they are really really really red right now, but I'm colorblind so they just look like knees. That hurt. Like the motherfucking dickens. I went out and bought this aloe lotion, but it didn't seem to work because my knee-skin still feels like it's going to peel off of my knee-bones. I was complaining about my knees to Angela Kang and she was saying that she recently got some aloe gel that didn't work either and we've decided that if you really want to feel the healing properties of aloe, then you need to go straight to the aloe leaf.

(Aloe leaves make me think of Mr. T, which is odd, I know, but I used to know this girl, Alison, through my friend Tina, and Alison lived next to a big aloe plant, and the three of us had gone to the beach and we'd all gotten burned and then went back to Alison's place and broke aloe leaves and poured the stuff all over our bodies and then we put Mr. T's amazing album in the tape deck [this was back when people still listened to tapes] and then we laid down on Alison's dirty college carpet and we let the aloe soothe our skin while Mr. T soothed our souls.)

My face hurts right now too, but it doesn't hurt like my knees hurt because my face is more used to getting sun than my knees are. Damn knees. Damn sun.

Anyway, I didn't even mean to say anything about my knees. Or my face. They were just annoying me. I had a really wonderful night at the theater tonight. It was so good that I didn't think about my knees for two and a half hours. I went to see The Cherry Orchard at the Evidence Room.

I've never seen The Cherry Orchard before. (I mean, technically I have seen it, but I haven't really seen it, like really really seen it.) (And tonight I really really saw it.) (For the first time.) (I'm counting it as a new thing, New Thing #88.)

When I have a really great theater experience, it invigorates me. It inspires me. It makes me want to rush home and write. (Tonight, at intermission, I ran into the lobby, desperately searching for a pen because I just had to write down some thoughts before they oozed out of my brain, before they were lost. Because The Cherry Orchard tonight was a really great theater experience.)

What I love about Chekhov is that his plays are so tragic and kinda melodramatic and fraught with emotion and filled with these big moments and chock full of comedy--yet they don't feel like melodrama, they don't feel like they're so tragic, they don't feel fraught--they just feel real. When they're done right. They feel as full and messy as life.

There's some personal stuff that's been going on in my life the last few weeks, some messy stuff, and tonight I was really struck by how true Chekhov's play is. As we get older, we don't really get better at handling all the messy things that life throws our way. The messy things that we create. We just get better at making more messes. And then it's just our job to show up for those messes and just fucking deal and then be there for the ones we love as they go through their messes.

Anyway, if you live in Los Angeles, go see The Cherry Orchard at the Evidence Room. It's the last show at the ER (as we know it) and it's really quite something. I was all blubbery by the time the lights went out. Kudos to Bart and his design team (the set is gorgeous and it made me want to go out and buy a huge house in Russia somewhere with a cherry orchard and to have a family there and grow old and then in my final days to have the cherry orchard bought out from under me and to have to have this tragic goodbye and then go off to Paris where I will rot away in a terrible apartment, having lost my cherry orchard) (I'm not mocking, I'm really into the romantic notion of living out this beautiful little tragic moment in, like, fifty years) and major kudos to Bart's amazing cast (who deserve a lot of the credit for making me want to have my own cherry orchard that will eventually be taken from me) (all thirteen actors in the play are wonderful--there's not a bad apple in the bunch) (and some of these actors are actors I know very well and I think this is some of their best work) (and I really could just gush and gush, but I'm going to stop and let you see the play for yourself) and, well, this sentence has run on long enough and I should put some more aloe lotion on these fucking burns because even though it didn't soothe the pain before, I'm still gonna hope that the next time will be the charm.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Boom Boom Becca gave me this quiz

There so wasn't even a doubt in my mind that the random computer quiz wouldn't get this one right:

Your 80s Heartthrob Is

Michael J. Fox

Talk about McDreamy.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Probing Deeper into the Ongoing Saga of Jennifer Aniston's Third Hand (& NT#86)

If you don't know what I'm talking about in the title of this post, well, then you should go read:

Part One: (clink me)
Part Two: (clink me)

And then come back here for Part Three, in which I go straight to the source, the movie that set this whole debate in motion, yep:

I saw Friends With Money tonight.

Okay, so I haven't been to the movies in a really long time. I'm usually someone who goes to the movies at least once a week, if not five times a week, but I haven't seen a movie since I saw Stick It, which was way back on Mother's Day, which was eons ago. (What was it really? Two weeks ago? That's a hella long time for no movie-going.) So, tonight at, like, 7:30 pm, I started to feel withdrawals, and I ran to my computer, typed in Fandango, and prayed that something would be starting in the next 15 minutes that I could rush out to see. (Have you ever noticed that movies all seem to start at 7pm and then 9pm or 10pm, but movies never start at 8pm?) (What the fuck is up with that?) (When I typed the words "have you ever noticed" just now, I kinda felt like I was Jerry Seinfeld.) (Because he begins his routines like that.) (Why did I feel it was necessary to explain why I felt like I was Jerry Seinfeld?) (I mean, it was obvious, but I still felt the need to explain.) (Back to the movie thing, though: I always want to go to the movies at 8pm and movies never start at 8pm and it really ticks me off.) (When I am king of the world, there will always be an 8pm start time for every single movie at every single freaking theater.) (Life will be bliss.) So was on Fandango, and I didn't want to see the new X-Men movie because, well, I just didn't. (I don't really care enough to stand in lines for an X-Men movie on opening weekend.) (Maybe I'll see it in, like, a month, just because I like to see everything, but as I noted earlier, I don't see nearly as many movies as I used to see, and so even though I would like to see the new X-Men movie one day in order to cross it off the list of "movies I haven't seen," there are still so many other movies in the theaters that are way higher on the list, so I probably won't be seeing it in the movie theaters.) And I couldn't go see Mission Impossible III, even though everyone who I know who has seen it has loved it, I just can't see it because I refuse to spend money on another Tom Cruise movie until he gets over himself. And I was scrolling through all of these other movies and none of them were really jumping out at me when I suddenly saw that Friends With Money was starting in ten minutes (at 7:40pm) and I got really excited and dashed away from the computer, to the car, and headed off to the theater to see Friends With Freaking Money.

Because after all of the blogging I've done about that dang picture (above), I had see the movie. If not because I actually really love Nicole Holcefner's other two films (Walking and Talking; Lovely and Amazing), but also because I needed to analyze Scott Caan's hands so that I could decide for myself whether or not his hand could feasibly be the mystery hand in the Friends with Money Sundance Portrait Photo.

Before the movie started, they showed a preview for the movie An Inconvenient Truth, which kinda gave me the chills, especially after spending the day as a substitute teacher for a biology class (I'll blog about that later) and totally becoming Ross Geller by the end of the day (I swear--at the beginning of the day, I was like, "I have to sub for blah-oligy?" and we were supposed to watch a video about evolution, which sounded even more blah, but the video was amazing, and so interesting, and now I kinda want to become a biologist, and then by the time second period rolled around and kids were coming into class, they were like, "we have to watch a video--how boring!" and I was like, "it's the most amazing video ever! Seriously!" And with absolutely no irony: "I'm the lucky one who gets to watch this video four times today--you guys should only wish you were so lucky.") and I've already gone to the movie's website and pledged to see it on opening weekend.

So then the movie started and I suddenly realized: I need to be taking pictures of this. I mean, I was so excited to finally be seeing the movie, and it was such a last minute plan, that this was the first moment when I was like, hello, I need some pictures of Scott Caan's hands from the actual film. So I got out my camera phone and I started snapping pictures.

Now before I begin to analyze the photos, I would like to explain why there are so few of them. I totally planned on taking pictures during the entire film and having photographic evidence from more than just the first ten minutes, but right after Scott Caan's first big scene ended, I felt a tap on my shoulders. It was the manager of the movie theater.

"Excuse me, sir."

"Um, yeah? Are you talking to me?" (I didn't actually say that. I didn't actually say anything. I just looked at him, as if to say: I know what you're about to say and please don't ruin this moment for me and my blog readers. This is an important thing I'm doing. I'm documenting Scott Caan's hand. You may not realize the civic duty I'm performing right now, but it really is a civic duty, and I just wish you'd understand. But you're "the man" and I can see by the look on your face that you're about to shoot me down. So just do it. Just get it over with and do it. Shoot me down. Fine. I dare you.) (The look I gave him was really fraught with emotion.)

He didn't read much into the look. I suppose the movie theater was dark, so maybe he didn't really see the look that well. Anyway, after he said "excuse me," he continued:

"Are you recording the film?"

"Oh my god, no. Totally no."

I didn't even think that I would look like a movie pirate, sitting there with my camera phone in front of my face, pointed at the screen, and I suppose taking pictures of the movie is technically pirating, but I wasn't taking moving pictures of the movie, and I have no intention of selling these pictures, they're for my blog for crying out loud, they're for the investigation! So I was really relieved when he asked if I was recording the film, because I could legitimately say no. For some reason, he didn't believe me. He continued:

"Because we're against piracy and we're going to have to ask you to put your phone away."

I couldn't really argue with him and I didn't want to be kicked out of the movie, so I put my phone away. Anway, I wish I could say that's the first time I've gotten into a scuffle with a manager at a movie theater, because then it would have been a New Thing, but it was the first time I've been accused of pirating a movie, so I'm going to claim that as my New Thing for the day. New Thing #86: I was accused of trying to pirate Friends With Money.

Now, on with the pictures. The proof. The photographic evidence.

(But first, an apology for the photos. They're really bad and oversaturated, but I suppose that's to be expected when you're taking photos of a movie screen with your phone.)

(Oh, and also, before I analyze the photos, I'd like to mention that I really loved the movie and I thought that Jennifer Aniston was particularly good in it. I've always loved her, and I thought she was great on Friends, but after seeing her in several movies I was beginning to buy into the whole "maybe she's just a TV actress and not really a movie star" thing--especially after seeing that god-awful Rumor Has It--but after seeing Friends With Money, I'm back on the Jennifer Aniston bandwagon.)

Photo #1:

Scott Caan is not in the above photo. Nor is his hand. Nor is Vince Vaughn's hand or any other mysterious hand that might be following Jennifer Aniston around. (In fact, I didn't notice any stray hands throughout the course of the entire film, so I don't have any more flames to add to the "Jennifer literally has a third hand" theory fire.) But I wanted to post this picture because it has most of the players from the infamous photo. Of course Nicole, the director, is missing, and Francis McDormand is standing in for Greg Germann (Greg, if I have just misspelled your last name, please accept my apology, I am trying to write this post in a timely manner so I can get to bed and I'm not in the mood to google your correct spelling) (so I'm just going to hope it's right) ("not in the mood to google?" you gasp!) (i know, Greg, it's completely unlike me). And Scott Caan is missing, like I said, and so is the hand. But most of our cast of characters is represented in this photo. (Including Simon McBurney, who apparently has lots of people googling him and coming to my blog as a result.) (I've gotten two hits from "Jennifer Aniston" searches and I've gotten, like, ten hits from "Simon McBurney" searches.) (Which means one of two things: either Simon McBurney gets more google searches than Jennifer Aniston, or my blog is so low on the list of hits you get when you search "Jennifer Aniston" that no one ever gets to my blog when they search her, and there are comparitively very few hits that come up when people search Simon McBurney and so my blog is much higher in those searches and therefore more clicked.)

Photo #2:

Okay, right before I took this photo, Scott Caan totally had his hand in clear view of the camera, and then just as I was snapping (with my very slow camera phone) he moved his hand over to his chin. Damn him.

Photo #3:

Okay, he did the same thing here. He was gesticulating with his right hand (the hand in question) and as soon as I took a picture, the hand was out of frame again. Double damn him.

Photo #4:

Okay, we don't see any hand in this photo, but we do see arm, and lots of it. Scott appears to have a really long arm. Which you might use to argue that his arm is long enough to get all bendy and twisty and foldy and to get itself into such a position where his hand might look like it was coming out of Jennifer Aniston's crotch area and completely separate from his own body, but I've got long arms too, and when I tried to recreate the pose, my arm couldn't get nearly as bendy and twisty and foldy as you people who think it's his hand say his arm got, leading to this whole controversy, which makes me thing that it, therefore, is not his hand in the Sundance photo, because such a long arm can't really get that twisty. (Did that sentence make ANY sense AT ALL?)

Photo #5:

Now here's where I start to think that Scott Caan's hands have minds of their own. But not just any minds: evil minds. And not just any old evil minds, but evil minds with wicked powers. Because as hard as I try to take pictures of these hands, they inevitably jump out of frame just as I'm taking the photo. Which I can accept as pure coincidence the first few times it happens, but then when it keeps happening, I start to suspect foul play. Moreover, I understand that my camera phone is not the ideal piece of equipment for photographing a movie screen, but this saturation thing is getting out of control. I mean, Scott Caan's hands were clearly in frame for this photo, but then they got whited out through all of that saturation. And I don't think it's the camera's fault. I think the hands did it. I think the hands are mad at me.

Photo #6:

The money shot! Finally, I got a clear picture (okay, mostly clear--some of it is obscured by that bottle of Rolling Rock) of Scott Caan's right hand.

And this is where things get weird. Because I have been looking at the above photo for a while now. And I've been comparing it to the original Sundance photo. And I just don't think they're the same hand. Scott's hand in the movie looks longer than the hand in the Sundance photo. It looks like...

My hand!

Check it out!

So, at this juncture in the investigation, I think we can safely conclude two things:

1. The mysterious hand in the Sundance photo does not belong to Scott Caan,


2. Scott Caan and I have the same hand!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

We're #1

I was just watching President Bush on CNN and I was so taken by how charming he is, and so then I went online and I found these pictures of him and I started thinking about how lucky we are to have Mr. George W. Bush as our President.

Because, whether you like his politics or not, you've gotta agree that, at the very least, he's, like, really classy.

I mean, he's the type of guy you wanna take home to meet your mother, you know?

He just makes me so proud to be an American. Because he's so nice and he really seems to care.

And I just, you know, love that he's the face of our country.

Because he's so classy.

El Snapo

When you were in high school, did you used to snap your fingers to drive your substitute teachers (or even your regular teachers) crazy? Because apparently that's what the kids are doing nowadays. One kid will snap his fingers and then you'll look in the direction of the snap and then another kid in another part of the room will snap their fingers and then you'll look over there and then another snap and another snap and another snap and by now your students are all giggling and then your head explodes.

Just another day in the salt mines, or whatever it is they say.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

HELP ME if you know ANYTHING about GMAIL

I've always loved my gmail account. I mean, we've only been together for a few months, but in those few months I've fallen hard. And I always thought that if it was legal to marry an internet email server, gmail and I would be on the first plane to Vermont, or wherever.

But gmail is fucking breaking my heart today.

I have not been able to access my gmail account since 11:30 this morning. I try to get into my account and I get a message that says:

Server Error
We're sorry, but Gmail is temporarily unavailable. We're currently working to fix the problem -- please try logging in to your account in a few minutes.

Gmail! You said "a few minutes!!!" It's been hours!!!

I am going batty. I need help.

Are there any other gmail users out there who are having the same problem??? Is this a universal problem or is it just me??? And if it's just me, what the fuck??? And if what the fuck, then how do I get out of this??? How do I access my email??? I need help! (For many reasons, but the problem that's tantamount right now [is that how you spell "tantamount"?] is that I am addicted to email and I am jonesing and I need my fucking fix and what the frig is wrong with gmail and how do I freaking get it to work again?????)

New Thing #85, traffic court, and a list of things that make me happy

I had to go to traffic court this morning (for a speeding ticket I got a while back) and because I am neurotic I got it in my head that there was a possibility that I might be going to jail, which is completely ridiculous and there really wasn't a possibility of me going to jail, but still I worried, and so I'm just writing this blog entry to let you, my blog readers, know that I'm not in jail. (Not that you were worried.) (But I was.) (Part of me actually kind of wanted to go to jail because it would have been a good story and I was only speeding so they couldn't have put me in jail for too long.) (But if I had gone to jail, then I'd be able to be like, "that reminds me of the time I was in jail" in casual conversation, and that would have been kinda fun.)

However, the actual "being in jail" part probably wouldn't be "kinda fun," so not being in jail makes still me happy. So does listmaking. So I thought I would make a list of other things that make me happy.

(in no particular order)

1. DERRICK is back! On MTV! On a new Real World/Road Rules challenge called Fresh Meat! (I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.) (Bonnie alerted me to the fact that they were airing a casting special the other night and while I was watching it I had the biggest Cheshire cat smile, it was ridiculous.) (My cheeks hurt, my smile was that big.) (The Real World/Road Rules challenges are the best thing to happen to television since Family Ties.) (I'm only partially exaggerating.) (Oh, and by the way, if you google the phrase "Derrick us hot" [using the parentheses], my blog is the fifth website that pops up.)

2. The Cherry Orchard opens this weekend at the Evidence Room. It has an awesome cast (including Urpma) and it's the last Evidence Room show (at least of the Evidence Room as we currently know it) (if you don't know, the Evidence Room is an awesome theater and in the last six years since I first started seeing Evidence Room plays, not only have I had some of the most memorable theater-going experiences evah, but I've had some of the most amazing life-experiences there as well) (so I'm going to miss the Evidence Room) (as we currently know it) (and I encourage you to check out The Cherry Orchard), so check it out. (The above photo is of director Bart DeLorenzo in the Evidence Room lobby and it was taken by Stephen Osman for the LA Times.)

3. I was reading the Advocate and turned a page and suddenly saw an advert (don't you love how they call advertisements "adverts" in England?) (I think we should appropriate that word here in jolly ol' America) for a movie called The Conrad Boys which was written by, directed by, and stars Justin Lo, who I acted with in several plays when we were both kids and who I haven't seen in years (actually, the last time I saw him was when my play Red Light, Green Light was playing at the above mentioned Evidence Room--Justin came to the show--he was studying film at UCLA at the time) (so obviously something came of his studies) and his movie is opening at the Sunset 5 in Hollywood, which is my favorite artsy movie theater, and I don't know anything about the movie, but I'm very excited to see it and I'm so proud of Justin for writing, directing and starring in his own movie and for getting it out there. He's 23-years-old, or something ridiculous like that. Holly cow.

4. Snakes on a Plane makes me happy. I have nothing new to say about Snakes on a Plane, really, except that I want to do whatever I can to help spread the word that this piece of cinematic awesomeness is freaking coming your way in August.

5. Listography makes me happy. (Thank you, Lindsay, for the link!)

(New Thing #85: I went to traffic court.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Balls. (oh, and New Things #82-84)

I didn’t have any friends in junior high school. I remember, at lunchtime, I used to eat my lunch with these kids who tolerated me (i.e. didn’t kick me away from the table) (probably because they were dorks like me) (but we weren’t friends, really) (because I didn’t have any friends in junior high school) and then after I finished eating my lunch I would walk in the quad from Point A to Point B as if I had someplace that I had to be, and then when I got to Point B I would walk back to Point A with this look on my face, like, “I guess that’s not where I was supposed to be, I need to go back to Point A.”

I’m sure no one bought my act. I’m sure kids knew me as that weird kid who spent the lunch period walking with a purpose. I’m just telling you this story to illustrate how sucky my junior high school experience was. It was really sucky.

And the no friends thing was just the tip of the iceberg. I think PE was probably the worst. There wasn’t anything really unique about my junior high school PE experience, just your run of the mill always-picked-last, always-taunted-because-I-sucked-at-every-sport, terrible, awful junior high school dork experience.

So when I was offered the assignment to sub for a PE class at a junior high school, I have to admit that my stomach balled up into a bunch of knots. I mean, fucking junior high school PE???? Are you kidding me? Who wants to go through that again, even as a teacher? I was working on a script with Jessica yesterday and I noticed a typo—there was this line of dialogue that was supposed to read something like “you’re going to hell for this” and instead it said “you’re going to the hell for this” and that made me laugh and made me think of there being, like, lots of hells, but only one hell that was truly “the” hell to watch out for, and if that were true I would say it’s gotta resemble junior high school PE.


When I get to my office, I find out that we’re going to be playing basketball today. (I was on a basketball team in fifth grade. My step-dad was the coach. I made two baskets the entire season. Both baskets I made were for the other team. I just kept forgetting that we switched sides after each quarter or at halftime or whenever they switch sides in basketball. I actually have one of these baskets on videotape. You see them throwing the ball to me and then I start dribbling it down the court. I am so excited because the hoop is totally open and no one is stopping me. Then you start to hear the people in the stands yell, “No! Erik! Wrong way!” But I’m in “the zone.” I’m feeling it, I’m gonna make this basket. I shoot, I score! And then I look to the rest of my team for some validation. And that’s when I hear someone say “that was the wrong basket.” And then I look out into the stands, towards the camera, and I shrug. Oh, well. It’s really a sad and pathetic and humiliated and wonderfully funny video. You should see it.) This kid named Daniel tells me that he’s my assistant. Daniel can’t be much more than three feet tall. Okay, maybe four feet tall (maybe) but he’s really super short, regardless. I don’t think Daniel is really the teacher’s assistant. I think he’s just trying to pull one over on me. While we’re doing warm-up stretches, Daniel doesn’t do any because, he tells me, the assistant doesn’t do the warm-up stretches. The other kids get mad and tell me that Daniel’s supposed to do the warm-up stretches. I understand why Daniel would want to get out of doing anything and everything in junior high school PE, so I let it slide. The rest of first period goes pretty smoothly. No one gives me trouble. Everyone plays basketball.


We do our warm-up exercises, the kids start playing basketball, and that’s when I meet Leonard. He’s late. He doesn’t suit out. He tells me he doesn’t want to play basketball. I tell him to sit on his number. He does. At some point—and I’m not exactly sure when this happened—there are SEVENTY kids in each PE class, mind you—Leonard gets off his number and starts playing in one of the basketball games. I see the ball hit him. It’s an accident. It hits him in the shoulder. Not hard, but it surprises him. He doesn’t see it coming. And he thinks that someone threw it AT him (which isn’t the case) rather than throwing it to him (which is the case). And that’s when Leonard starts to freak out. He attacks one of the other kids. (I’m not even sure if it’s the kid who threw the ball to him—it might have just been the first kid he saw.) They both go down to the ground. I run over to them. I try to split them up, but they’re rolling over each other, wrestling, pummeling. Kids start running over to us, chanting “fight! fight! fight!” I finally break Leonard and the other kid apart, Leonard is fuming, breathing through his nose, clenching his fists. His face is read, he can’t talk, he won’t calm down. HE IS FREAKING OUT.

I just keep telling him “it’s okay, it’s okay…calm down.”

The other kids are still standing around us, trying to taunt Leonard. I tell them to go back to their games. No one is listening. Leonard will not calm down. He will not talk to me. HE IS FREAKING OUT.

Finally, I get him to unclench his fists. He’s still breathing through his nose like a bull, but he’s relaxed slightly. The other kids realize there isn’t going to be another fight. They finally go back to their basketball games. One of the kids comes up to me and tells me that when Leonard gets like this, he usually goes to the office. The kid offers to take Leonard to the office. I let him, and they go.

One of the other PE teachers comes up to me.

TEACHER: “I can’t believe you broke up that fight.”

ME: “Yeah, it was intense.” TEACHER: “That was Leonard, wasn’t it?”

ME: “I guess so, yeah.” TEACHER: “I can’t believe he didn’t hit you.”

ME: “Um, yeah.”

TEACHER: “Didn’t they warn you in the sub plan?”
ME: “About what?”

TEACHER: “He has Asberger’s Syndrome.”

Which explains everything.

TEACHER: “Where did he go?”

ME: “Oh, one of the other students took him to the office.”

TEACHER: “You let one of the students take him to the office?”

ME: “Um, yeah.”

TEACHER: “Oh they are so at 7-11 by now.”

The teacher laughs and looks at me, like, novice.


In my sub plan, the teacher has warned me that “third period is not capable of playing basketball with a substitute teacher. Third period is barely capable of playing basketball with the regular teacher. Just have them run around the track for the entire period.”

After I take attendance, I tell the kids that we’re not playing basketball today.

“Then what are we doing, Mr. Substitute?”

“We’re running the track.”

“What the fuck?”

Seriously, that’s what one of the kids says.

“Um, yeah. So—let’s get to it.”

I tell them to go to the track. All seventy of the students get up from their numbers…

And then they scatter.

They just scatter. About ten kids walk towards the track, while the other kids walk everywhere. Like, everywhere. Some of them walk over to the bleachers, some of them walk over to the soccer field, some of them walk towards the parking lot, some of them walk towards the bathrooms, some of them walk over to the basketball courts. And I’m standing there, like, what the hell am I supposed to do now?

I go over to the kids on the bleachers.

“Come on, let’s go walk the track.”

“We’re not in your class.”

“Um, yeah you are.”

“No we’re not.”

“Then why were you in my class during roll?”

“We weren’t.”

(And here’s the thing: there are so many kids in this class and I only had them sitting on their numbers during roll for about a minute and I didn’t really get that good a look at their faces and I don’t recognize any of these kids, so I guess some of them could be telling the truth, but some of them are definitely in my class.) (I just don’t know which ones might be in my class and which ones might not be.) (Help.)

I tell the kids they don’t have to run, they don’t even have to jog. “Just walk. Please. Walk around the track and talk,” I plead. “Just walk.”

This girl, Brenda, is like, “why should we walk if, like, you don’t have to, you know?”

“You want me to walk?” I ask her.

“Yeah, Mr. Substitute.”

“Okay, I’ll make you a deal—I’ll walk the track with you if you agree to walk.”

As unlikely as it seems, they pretty much al take the deal. (All of them except for a couple of them.) I walk with Brenda. She spends the rest of the period telling me how uncool I am for making them walk.


This is my conference period. No PE for an hour. Heaven.


I decide to eat lunch in the teachers’ lounge. It’s freaking weird to eat lunch in the teacher’s lounge because it’s filled with teachers. I still don’t consider myself an adult, I still feel like an interloper. But the teachers apparently think I look like one of them and no one kicks me out.

As soon as I sit down, I notice a woman entering the teachers’ lounge. I know her.


She looks at me, like, how do you know my name? She doesn’t recognize me, which is to be expected. After all, we haven’t seen each other in fifteen years (since I was 13) and I look quite different after all of these years while she looks remarkably exactly the same.

“Do I know you?” she asks.

“I’m Erik Patterson. You played my mom in On Golden Pond.”

True story. This woman played my mom in this production of On Golden Pond at this tiny little theater fifteen years ago. (For people who know my poop in a cup story—Angela Kang, I know you know the poop in a cup story—the poop in a cup story happened during On Golden Pond.)

As soon as I tell her who I am, she instantly beams and remarks how old I am now and then she corrects, for anyone within earshot, “I played your step-mom. Not your biological mother.” (Because she obviously didn't want people to think she would ever have been old enough to have played my birth mother.) (Because I look much older for my age and she doesn't look like she's aged much at all in the last fifteen years and we really do look like we might be brother and sister rather than mother and son.)

Jill invites me to sit with her and we spend the lunch period gossiping about our students with three other teachers.

(Every single teacher at the table had a trouble student named Cody. Apparently Codys are bad seeds.)


Ten of my seventy students show up. At first I think that the students have learned that there’s a sub and there’s been a mass ditching effort, but then I find out that this is my one period of 6th graders (all of my other classes have been 7th and 8th graders) and most of the 6th graders are on a field trip today. Save for these ten students, apparently.

They are the nicest kids in the world.

We pay hand-ball.


I am exhausted by now. I’m not used to wearing shoes AND being on my feet (in said shoes) for such a long time. If I ever get on The Amazing Race, I’m going to have to do a lot of physical training. The kids will not stop kicking their basketballs. They keep kicking them over the fence, into this construction area.

One of the kids asks if he can climb over the fence and get the balls. I tell him it’s okay. I mean, he’s a kid and kids climb fences. That’s what kids do. Unfortunately, the Vice Principal chooses this moment to walk by my class.

“Don’t climb that fence young man!!!”


“You’re getting detention!!!” she yells.

I tell her that I gave the kid permission to climb the fence and get the balls.

“You did what?”

“Um, I gave the kid permission to climb the fence and get the balls.”

“He could get seriously hurt, or die. Are you crazy?”

Apparently, I am.

Class ends, I’m done with my day of PE. I kinda feel like I can do anything now. I mean, I survived hundreds of junior high school kids in PE. What could be fucking harder than that?

New Thing #82: I subbed for a junior high school PE class.
New Thing #83: I broke up a fight.
New Thing #84: I ate lunch in a teachers’ lounge!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Elimination Round

Hypothetical question...

Let's say you were housesitting for a week, and you forgot to watch the Amazing Race finale, but you weren't worried because you had set your Tivo to tape the Amazing Race finale, and for the rest of the week you were really good about not reading spoilers, and really good about avoiding entertainment related websites, and you honestly still have no idea who won (thank the lord), and then you came home from housesitting only to discover that your Tivo didn't tape the the Amazing Race finale that you have now spent several days getting hyped to watch. What would you do?

Okay, I don't know why I said this was a hypothetical question. It's a real question. It happened. My Tivo didn't tape Amazing Race. The Amazing Race isn't Sarah Jessica Parker's favorite television show for no good reason; it's a really good show. And I'm going to be really bummed if I don't get to see the final two hours of this season.

Does anyone know how I might get a copy of the finale? Does anyone out there know anyone who might have it on tape? Or who might still have it saved on their Tivo? (I would totally drive to your house and have your first born baby if you'll let me watch it with you.) Or does anyone know if it's downloadable? (I am afraid to go to the cbs website because I don't want to see who the winners are.) Or does anyone have an aunt or an uncle or a father or a mother or a second-cousin-twice-removed who works at cbs and who might be able to snag a copy of the episode for me?

I am desperate. This is a desperate plea. Desperate.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

New Things #78-81! (FOUR new things, people! Count 'em! Four!)

So last week a did a whole hell of a lot of new things. They're all pretty much related, though, (i.e. they all have to do with different substitute teaching assignments I had this week) (which you could argue is cheating) (if you're a curmudgen) (because you could argue that the first time I substitute taught a class was the only time it was "new") (but I say "to hell with that") (because every single one of these experiences has been way hella different) (therefore I think they're legitimately "new") (and besides, I'm sort of accepting assignments based on how different they sound from previous assignments) so I'm going to do my best to cover them all here.

Tuesday, May 16
New Thing #78: I subbed at my old high school.

Now this was a trippy experience. I haven't been at my old high school in a really long time. About four years ago, they declared one of the main buildings "not earthquake safe" and they condemned the building. This happened to be the building where the theater was, and when I heard that they were demolishing the theater (where I once played a really mean Beast in Beauty and the Beast) (and when I say "mean," I mean "awesome") (this was my freshman year) (I remember during one performance my "hand" flew off during a really pivital scene--I think I was in a rage or something--and the furry glove thing I was wearing as my "hand" just flew the fuck off, but I didn't break character--even though pretty much all of the teenagers in the audience were laughing at me during this pivital "rage" moment--still, I did not break character because I'm a pro, people) (anyway, when I heard they were demolishing the theater) I went back to pay my respects. But I didn't walk around the rest of the campus--I only went to the theater. So it had been a really long time since I had been on the rest of the campus. And it was freaking surreal.

First of all, when I first walked onto campus, I was struck by the smell of the trees. They had this really pungent smell--a smell I haven't smelled in a really long time--(I should have probably just said "an odor I haven't smelled in a really long time," but I like how "a smell I haven't smelled in a really long time" looks)--and the instant I smelled that smell (odor) I felt like I was in high school again. Like, I immediately felt fifteen and it felt really incredibly wrong to be walking into a classroom and telling the kids that I would be their "substitute." I mean, hello: I'm still a kid. At least I feel like one. I am not supposed to be this weird guy who the "real kids" make fun of and try to see how much shit they can get away with without me yelling at them. I mean, I'm just not supposed to be that guy. Not here at least. This is my fucking school. This is my fucking turf. I wanna be the one who's trying to make the other kids laugh by saying stupid things about the sub and trying to sneak out to "go to the bathroom" but really walking down the street to go to Carl's Jr. That's supposed to be me (at this school) goddamnit.

When did I get so old? (Okay, yeah, I know, I am not old. But compared to these kids, I felt like I was 500.) (I mean, they looked at me like I was 500.) (But come on!) (I listen to Eminem!) (I'm down with 50 Cent!) (I think Kanye West is fly!) (I can be dope with your shit.) (I won't rat you out, dog!) (Okay, fine, don't believe me, but I am fucking cool, kids, so listen up and represent, you dig?)

(No. They don't fucking dig, though--that's why I feel so old.)

Anyway, after I walked around campus for awhile and got used to the old smell again and reminded myself (again and again) that I was not actually a student here anymore, that I had, in fact, graduated from this institution 10 years ago (oh, and by the way, I'm really mad because it looks like there isn't going to be a 10 year reunion) (what the fuck is that about?) (I mean, I know that people always say that the 10 year reunion sucks because no one has really done that much with their lives yet and no one has their sex change until the 20 year reunion, but I still fucking wanted to go to my 10 year) (I mean, it woulda been "new thing" at the very least) (because we didn't have a 5 year reunion either) (because my class apparently doesn't care) (and I know that I could do something and try to make it happen and stop complaining about it) (but it's kinda too late to plan an entire reunion for this summer) (if we really don't have one, I will call the alumni association and look into helping them plan an 11 year reunion) (which just might be kinda bitchin') (because, like, if we had an 11 year reunion, then whenever people are like "yeah, my 10 year reunion was a waste of time," then we could be like, "well, my 11 year reunions fucking rock--it's that extra year, man" and no one would be able to say otherwise because no one else has ever had an 11 year reunion to compare it to) (what was I even saying?) (um) (oh, right, so I was walking around campus and accepting the fact that I am an Adult) and then I started getting weirded out by how different the place actually is. Because half of the buildings have been condemned--and also because of bigger classes--they've gotten rid of both of the baseball fields that they used to have (where I spent countless hours in left and right field at PE praying that no one would hit a ball near me, forcing me to prove yet again to my PE teammates that they got the shaft when they picked me last) and added a buttload of "temporary" buildings. Like this one:

I hate these buildings. They're ugly and if I was a high school student and I had half of my classes in these ugly temporary buildings, I would be so stupid right now because I'd feel super "temporary" and I wouldn't want to learn. That's just the vibe I got from these buildings.

New Thing #79: I subbed for a Visual Imagery Using Computers class (that's the freaking class people) (I would not make that up) (it's a very specific elective, apparently) (we did not have any electives as specific as this one back in my day) (we had electives like "drama" and "art") (nothing like "Visual Imagery Using Computers)

So I arrive and find the students' assignment on the board (pictured above). So today they're supposed to "finish their independant projects" and then work on their "new handouts." Cool. But all of the kids tell me they've all already completed their independant projects and that they don't feel like working on their new handout because it isn't due until next Tuesday (which, I would like to add, is 5/23, not "5/19" as it says on the board [pictured above]. Um, "5/19" might be next Tuesday on Mars or in some alternate universe where weeks only last for four days, but here on Earth 5/19 is Friday) (anyway) and since the handout is so easy and it's not due for a week, they all want to play Super Mario Bros. on their computers. And I let them. Because I am the coolest substitute teacher in the world. (Or at least I'm trying to be, dear lord, oh yes I am trying.)

New Thing #80: I subbed for an Art class. (This was the same day that I subbed for the Visual Imagery Using Computers class--I was actually a roaming sub that day, and I filled in for three different teachers)

This was kind of a boring class to sub for. The students were all working on paintings and they were all good students so they pretty much just sat and painted and I, like, sat there, um, watching paint dry.

New Thing #81: I subbed for Band.

It was actually the "jazz band" that I was subbing for. I was filling in for the regular band teacher, who had to leave early for some reason, and so we crossed paths when I arrived.

He didn't remember me.

But I had this dude for band when I was a freshman.

I played the clarinet for six and a half years. From third grade through the middle of my freshman year. I quit playing the clarinet for a multitude of reasons:

1. I wanted to be cool.
2. Drama seemed cooler than band.
3. Which, in high school society, it is.
4. But only slightly.
5. And I was really tired of playing the clarinet.
6. The only reason I even played the clarinet to begin with was because you had to play the clarinet if you wanted to play the saxophone.
7. And I REALLY wanted to play the saxophone.
8. I cannot remember why I wanted to play the saxophone, but I have a sneaking suspicion it had something to do with Michael J. Fox.
9. Maybe I was reading Tiger Beat and Michael J. Fox filled out one of those "questionaires" they're always making people fill out and MJF said that his favorite instrument was the saxophone.
10. That's just a guess, but I'm thinking it might be a really good guess.
11. But then when I switched over to saxophone in sixth grade, I really hated playing the sax.
12. It was just a really unwieldy instrument.
13. So I went back to clarinet.
14. Now, at that point, I might have just quit, because I knew I'd never be playing at Carnegie Hall or nothin'.
15. But I didn't quit.
16. I kept playing the clarinet.
17. Why, you ask?
18. (You might also be asking why I've formatted this as a list when it's kind of a list and it's kind of not a list.)
19. It's definitely a list. But it's not a list too.
20. You know?
21. I mean, there--#20--that's really just a parenthetical statement that got its own number.
22. Because I felt like giving it its own number.
23. Because it flowed that way.
24. Because I haven't made a list in a really long time.
25. Because I like making lists.
26. Just because.
27. You still want to know why I kept playing the clarinet in junior high school when I didn't really want to play the clarinet anymore.
28. Here's the thing.
29. (See, there, #28--that totally did not deserve its own number.)30. (But it got its own number.)
31. But the thing--the thing--here it is:
32. I knew that if I persevered, that if I kept playing the clarinet through junior high school, if I just fucking stuck it out, then I could be in the Marching Band in high school.
33. And in high school, the Marching Band could be used to substitute for PE.
34. And I already knew that I didn't want to suffer through high school PE.
35. So I was holding out, I was doing my best, I was keeping the faith, I was playing my clarinet, I was suffering through it because I knew that it would not be nearly as bad as high school PE was destined to be.
36. But then I got to high school.
37. And the Marching Band teacher was a jackass.
38. And I said, "screw this shit" and I finally quit and stopped playing clarinet and just went ahead and suffered through PE.
39. Because I knew it wouldn't be as bad as taking two years of Marching Band with this dude.
40. Who, on Tuesday, May 16, I subbed for.

On a totally unrelated note, my proudest achievement as a clarinet player was learning how to play Milli Vanilli's "Blame It On The Rain."

And on that note (hey, all of this "note" talk during the "band" portion of today's blog is totally accidental--I'm serious, the puns are uninentional, people) I would like to ask you to take a moment of silence for Milli Vanilli (who should not have been put through the ringer they were put through) (because, yes, they did a bad thing) (but don't we all?) (and if you really want to blame it on something, well, you should, you know) (seriously, I could play that shit on the clarinet) (how dope is that?) ('coz the rain don't mind) (and the rain don't care) (okay, I've been rambling long enough, how's about we have that moment of silence)

I miss Milli Vanilli.

Okay, anyway, back to New Thing #81. So I subbed for my old band teacher. The teacher who finally got me to quit band. Because he was an asshole. (When I quit, he asked me if I would donate my clarinet to the band, and I didn't want him to have it so I said no, and it sat in my closet for 13 years, until finally about a year ago I gave it to my friend John, who is an awesome musician, and I'm really glad it's gettin' some play again after all these years.)

The band teacher totally didn't remember me.

As he was leaving, he told me (in front of the entire class) that all I had to do was tell them what songs to practice (from a list he had given me) and that any of the drummers could count off the beat "except for Joy because she's Asian and we all know Asians can't count."

The class went silent. Joy was like, "what?"

And then the teacher was like, "Oh, you know I'm just kidding, Joy."

And then Joy (who rocked) (and who I was proud of because she stood up for herself) was like, "yeah, but you always say that and I never think it's funny so stop saying that."

And then the teacher sat down next to her and was like, "I've never said that before, I'm just joking."

And then Joy told him, "look, you've been saying that for the last three years and I really don't find it funny, so stop."

And the teacher asked the other students if he'd ever said it before. And all of the students said, "yeah, you make that joke all the time."

And then he apologized and Joy accepted his apology and he said he wouldn't say it again and then he left and Joy rolled her eyes and I led the class through their songs.

But it made me think of this Biology teacher I had in high school who used to call us "little fags" and who thought he was the coolest person ever because he could make jokes that were "un-PC" and he didn't give a shit. And I hated that teacher. Because I didn't want to be called a little fag by nobody. I mean, I'm all for un-PC jokes, but there's a time and a place for being un-PC and a high school classroom is definitely NOT one of those places. There's too much other shit you have to deal with, you should not have to deal with racism and homophobia from your freaking teachers. The people who are molding and shaping our youth. The people we're supposed to look up to. Those are the last people who should be saying things like "you little fag" and "we all know Asians can't count."

I wish I had said something to my biology teacher way back in the day, but I was really happy to witness Joy standing up for herself.

It makes me really mad when teachers are douchebags. Because there are plenty of douchebags in the world and our teachers should not be among them.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A couple random thoughts at noon on a Friday

If you're bored, go play THIS GAME. It's completely addictive and I am obsessed with trying to reach 2 minutes. My best score so far is somewhere near the 40 second mark. WHICH IS REALLY GOOD. I'm sure you're thinking to yourself, "40 seconds doesn't sound like a very long time, how can that be a good score?" BUT IT IS. Trust me. Play it and you will see. Really fucking difficult and addictive. (I feel like maybe I've already posted the link to this game on my blog.) (Have I?) (I've been addicted to it for a really long time.) (I just got really hungry.) (Like, typing that last sentence was the thing that kicked me over the edge from "okay" to "really fucking hungry.") (Speaking of things I'm addicted to--I have been addicted to tuna since I was a kid--I love the stuff--mercury poisoning be damned--and I'm really craving a tuna sandwich right now--but--and get this--this is so sad--I am housesitting right now, and there are, like, 10 cans of tuna in the cupboard, BUT I CANNOT FIND A CAN OPENER.) (I have spent over an hour searching for a can opener.) (But there MUST be one, that's the thing.) (I mean, who has 10 cans of tuna in their cupboard and no can openers.) (I could just go buy a tuna sandwich, but it's sort of become my mission in life to find a can opener in this kitchen.)

Oh, but before you go play that game, you must go to CHRISTY'S BLOG and vote on her poll. It's a time sensitive poll and it's essential that you go vote now, even if you don't know Christy.

Oh, and also, this is totally random, but I watched the two big "must see" finales on NBC last night. Does anyone still watch Will and Grace anymore? Because their finale was brilliant. Seriously, totally brilliant. Amazing. Wonderful. Imminently watchable. Oh, and it was also, hands down, THE WORST HOUR OF TELEVISION EVER CREATED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TELEVISION.

As I was watching, I kept exclaiming (with a yiddish accent): "This is supposed to be a sitcom?" It was so dramatic it was like all of the actors thought they were acting in a play by Chekhov. Now, I love Chekhov. But this was no freaking Chekhov.

If you told me that some random rich dude who had never written a word in his life won the right to write the finale as part of some sort of charity auction, I would not be surprised.

I was expecting it to be bad, though. It's been bad for a really long time. So I wasn't surprised when it lived up to my expections. What did surprise me, though, was ER. I haven't watched ER since Dr. Greene left, and apparently they still know how to make good television because I cried like a baby. And I haven't seen this show in YEARS. (As opposed to Will and Grace, which I watch pretty much every week because it's fun to marvel at how bad it is.) (It's like, imagine if Showgirls was a sitcom--you would watch, right? To marvel at the bad.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Don't even bother reading this post. It's super boring and I cannot believe I'm about to hit the "publish" button. Seriously. Don't even read it.

Okay, so, I've been really super busy all week and I haven't been able to blog because

1. I've been really super busy


2. my really super busyness (I want to spell that as "business," but then it becomes the word, um business) (how in the heck are you supposed to spell the word busy-ness?) (i guess it's not really a word) (this is kind of like the dilemma of writing the word pus as an adjective, as in, "my infected wound got all pussy," which is obviously a sentence you never want to actually say or type, for many many reasons)

And then Joe Chandler started to get all whiny and complainy about how I haven't been blogging, and so I just decided to sit down and write a really quick blog so that, at the very least, I could shut Joe Chandler up.

(To all people who are not Joe Chandler: I want to apologize if it seems like Joe Chandler monopolizes my blog. If it ever seems that way, it's just because he's really, really tall.)

Anyway, I have totally done at least 10 new things this week and I plan on doing a big old blog entry about all 10 of 'em this weekend. I don't have the time or energy to write the blog entry that I want to write about the 10 new things right now.

So then I was like, I should do a meme, or something. Something super easy and quick, but moderately fullfilling, so that people might come to my blog and be like, "Yay, I came to Erik's blog and there was finally a new post," and then even though that thought might immediately be followed by them being like, "oh, but it's a really bad, dumb, boring post that was obviously super easy and quick for him to write," that thought might then be followed by them being like, "but hey, whatever, it's something, and at least it shows that he cares."

But I can't find any memes that I want to do right now. Honestly, I don't even really know what a meme is. This is the most unfocused, bad, dumb, boring blog entry I have ever written.

P.S. the pictures in this blog post have absolutely nothing to do with the post--OBVIOUSLY--but I realized that the post was, like, super boring and lame, so I decided to spice up the post with some pictures.

Oh, AND, I totally can't make these pictures appear where I want them to appear in relation to the text.

Oh, and also, I think real mohawks are really hot, and so is Jeff Probst and Anderson Cooper. That's what those pictures have in common. I don't think Paris Hilton is hot, but she likes to say the word "hot," so she seemed an appropriate picture to post while I was posting "hot" pictures.

Now that I'm talking about people who are hot, I feel like that should have been what I wrote about in this blog entry instead of me going on and on about how boring this blog entry was. I mean, hotness is always fun. And not boring. Well, sometimes hotness is boring. Like, Paris Hilton is kinda boring. But whatever.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

New Thing #77

I really love this picture of URP and PAM.

This picture relates to New Thing #77, which is actually something I can't blog about because, well, I just can't. It's too personal. Urp knows why I can't blog about it, but when we got together for Mother's Day, she was like, "I know you can't blog about it, but I'm still annoyed that you haven't at least said something." And she's right. Something should be said because something new was done--actually, something new was achieved.

Urp called me with the news on Friday, while I was on my lunch break at the kindergarten class. While I was swirling around, trying to figure out what to do with Daisy and Michael and the other 18 kids for the rest of the afternoon. While I was losing my freaking mind because we had already done everything on the lesson plan twice.

Urp called me and gave me the news and it's really freaking exciting and we really should go out and celebrate.

It's the kind of news that makes you want to go out and celebrate by drinking 10 apple martinis and then eating several chicken tamales from the chicken tamale man and then drinking 10 more apple martinis and then drunk dialing all of your friends to tell them how happy you are and then throwing up in your friend's sink (because someone else is already throwing up in the toilet) and then getting hash browns at Denny's and laughing about how hung over you are. That kind of happy.

It's just really good news, you know?

So I would like to commemorate this New unbloggable Thing that was achieved by marking it with this incredibly ambiguous post. And I would like to mark it with the picture above, this picture that I really love, of two people who I love even more.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Word to your Mother

This is a day late, and I don't really have time to write much of a post right now (certainly not the kind of Kiki Longpost LAPs (Long-Ass Posts) I usually write on this blog, but I just wanted to send a shout out to all the awesome muhthuhs in the world (that's "mothers," obviously) (but I wanted to say it like "muh-thuhs" because I thought that went nicely with the phrase "shout out") (but then I explained myself because I was worried that you might think I have a sudden case of brain cancer or something and I was not typing gibberish) and I especially wanna send a big shout out to my mothers, 'cuz they fucking rawk.

So here are some pictures...which I will just let speak for themselves...(mostly) (I mean, okay, fine, I'm gonna comment) (geez)

Pictured above: That's Grandpa Angel, Grandma Angel, PAM, and me as a wee infant (with a fractured skull that made my head all wonky and disproportionately sized and which might look normal sticking out of that little blankie, but believe me it's, like, straight out of Alien or something)

(I was born about eight weeks early and I was in the hospital for thirty days while my lungs developed and I learned how to breathe) (I have no idea what day the above picture was taken, but it must have been a few weeks after I was born because they've gotten me off of the ventilator)

Pictured above: That's Grandma Angel, me (with fully developed lungs that allow me to breathe, but apparently my legs haven't yet fully developed at this stage in my adolescence and people were forced to carry me around by the arms) (or, more truthfully, I'm sure my legs did work, I was just a smart little tyke and knew how to convince people to carry me around as much as possible) (one of the saddest days of my childhood was the day that my mom told me I had gotten too big to be carried) (seriously) (I remember being like, "no fucking way") , and my Aunt Jill (who's also an awesome mom)

(oh, and by the way, don't you love photographs from the '70s?)

Pictured above: my step-mom Patty (who's been a second mom to me since I was born, years before she was an "officialy" second mom to me) with my brothers Josh, Mike, and Matt. This picture is probably about ten years old.

Pictured above: That's me (notice that I'm not wearing shoes) (I'm not lying when I say that I never wear shoes), my brother Mike, my late G-ma Gibbs, and G-pa Gibbs. Mike used to call G-ma Gibbs "Gramcracker Tasty," and it was a pretty apt name for her because she was an awesome woman, and we miss her.

Okay, so there are no mothers in the above picture, but I'm fairly certain PAM took this photo, so that's gotta count for something. I just found this photo and had to scan it into the computer because I think it's a really funny photo and because

1. I've always loved being bundled up by blankets and this picture is proof.
2. Look at my Gremlins sheets!!!
3. Check out the Michael J. Fox wall behind me. I assure you that if PAM had been standing farther back when she took this photo, you would have seen the the Michael J. Fox clippings took up most of the rest of the wall. I was such a 12-year-old girl for Michael J. Fox.

I just really like this photo of me and PAM.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the awesome muthuhs out there.