Monday, March 31, 2008

Basketball? Huh? What? Final Who? Bueller?

I know not what you speak of... this NCA... A is it?

Yeah. So.... About those brackets...

I had two. One from my head: fairly rational with a few bold and risky choices, written in black Sharpie and entered into a friend's office pool. And one bracket from my heart: scribbled in pencil with many eraser marks, buried somewhere in a stack of magazines in the living room. An extremely delusional little bracket, but warm and fuzzy and had it come true, would have brought about peace and harmony to all planetary systems.

The one from my head had Tennessee and UCLA playing in the final game and Tennessee losing by two points. Of course I was counting on the fact that my Vols would be out of their shooting slump and actually make it past the Sweet Sixteen...

Yeah. So... Let's move on...

The bracket from my heart had Tennessee winning (hello? were you really pondering that one at all?) and an appearance in the Final Four by a Davidson, Austin Peay, Belmont or Western Kentucky.

But no. All four number one seeds are now in the Final Four. Yawn.

And my two brackets? Headed to the great recycling bin in the sky. Sure, I guess UCLA could still win it all and "technically" I would have picked them, but where's the fun in that?

At least we still have the women's tournament. It's on cable though, so until we get a little further along I'm happy with listening to the Lady Vols on the radio.

Sunday night I listened to the end of the TNLV / Notre Dame game on the radio. While doing that I had the TV on PBS (waiting for the replay of Sense and Sensibility, of course). BBC news was on and for a brief moment I had it on mute with the closed captioning. And I tried to read British newscaster commentary while listening to Southern basketball commentary. And then a tiny aneurysm began to form in my head...

I should have just turned off the TV, but not wanting to completely back down from a challenge, I only turned off the CC. Then a story came on about cricket teams (or is it clubs?) in the India Premiere League and I quickly realized that there was not a need for any captioning, closed or otherwise.

There were clips of India Premiere League teams (IPL for those of you not in the know...) on the field doing things and then clips of fans watching cricket games in bars and restaurants, cheering on their teams. And then clips of people in business clothes with laptops, grouped around tables in a hotel ballroom. Someone at a podium would announce something and a table of people would cheer. One table represented the team from Mumbai. Another table was from the Mohali team - the "Punjab Kings," as they are known. I think. Maybe. The team is owned by a Bollywood actress. Preity something. And in the clips from her interview she seemed a little irked.

I'm not quite sure, but I would be willing to bet that Mumbai got a higher seed in their tournament than Mohali - even though their strength of schedule, conference record and league standing are waaay better. And now instead of getting matched up with some easy team like Delhi, they're going to have to face that bad-ass team from Bangalore and she is SO NOT happy about it.

I feel your pain Preity. I feel your pain.

The universal language is supposed to be math. But I think its sports. The only thing I know about cricket is that I think they wear white and take breaks to drink tea. I probably know even less about India. And I may not have interpreted that news story correctly, but I could relate to every scene. The passion. The enthusiasm. The desire to compulsively shout obscenities at a television screen.

And now I'm kind of wondering if there's a bracket and an office pool somewhere for the IPL...

If so, I'm picking Mohali to go all the way.

Go Punjab Kings! Go Lady Vols!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

PMS? Yes

All of my "internet goodness" and "it's the cutest thing ever" crap from the last couple of days is soooo over. For now anyway.

For now I beg you, universe - for the love of ALL that is holy - please relay the following information.

I would do it myself, but the compilation of all their trivial jackassedry has caused me to crawl completely out of my skin.

1. New deli in my neighborhood:

Was my sandwich AWESOME?


Was it so awesome that you needed to take 22 minutes to make it?


Do you need to have signs up to show people where they're supposed to order and where they're supposed to pay since there isn't any other way for us to know that in THIS store these functions are supposed to occur in two different places since, you know, most people naturally gravitate toward the person at a cash register when they want to BUY SOMETHING?


When we're all standing in line in front of the guy at the cash register should the rude woman behind the counter refrain from shouting at all of us to move over to her counter and instead let the guy at the cash register just keep on keepin' on since he's doing a good job and it, well, MAKES MORE SENSE?


2. Inglewood Kroger:

Would the best place to put salad dressings be on the aisle with other condiments, oils, marinades and such?


Would the best place to put salad dressings be on the aisle with the paper towels and toilet paper and on the backside of the laundry detergent aisle?


3. Myself

If you know you're going to work do think it would be a good idea to take your work keys with you?


If you know that later in the afternoon you are going to have to be out and about and, who knows, maybe even get stuck at the new deli for a ridiculously long time and need to let someone know you're going to be late, do you think it might be a good idea to also bring your cell phone with you?


When you're going by your house to drop of the salad and salad dressing you picked up at Kroger after getting lunch at the deli and you know that you're going to go back to work, should you walk off and leave your work keys AGAIN?


4. The complete cluster f*&k that is the series of schools crossing zones on a major thoroughfare / Main St:

Is it totally and completely 100% MY FAULT for choosing to drive down this street at 3:00 in the afternoon?


That said, would it make more sense to wait until the light is red to escort children across the very busy street so that they don't grow up thinking that speeding traffic will always stop for them AND it doesn't take the rest of us 18 MINUTES TO GO THREE BLOCKS?


5. Construction workers at 5th and Main St.:

Is it ANY of your business who I honk my horn at?


6. US Postal Service:

Is it polite to let someone know that postage is going up again AND completely mangle her copy of this month's Southern Living on the same day?


Thank you. That is all.

Monday, March 24, 2008

More Internet Goodness

After stumbling upon the Mr. Roger's Birthday Celebration, I also happened upon the YouTube Awards. Massive lunch hour time-suckage ensued. I recommend taking a look at the nominees for Most Adorable. You've probably been sent at least one, if not all, of them already and each one is extremely, well, adorable.

While the winner, a baby laughing hysterically, is pretty darn adorable, my vote would have gone to the otters holding hands.

Sure, it's just an otter survival instinct / technique for travelling in packs on the open water, but when you see it you forget all of that and think that it's just the most adorable damn thing any two mammals in the known universe have ever done.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sure Sign of Spring (An Easter Remembrance of Sorts)

My #%*!$%#!* "check engine" light is on again.

(I bet from the title you were expecting something more meaningful and perhaps even spiritual. My apologies.)

This is after last spring AND summer and the endless trips taken, and over $2,000 paid, to my friendly neighborhood Volkswagen specialists. I LOVE Volkswagens. I really do. In spite of their sorry-assed cup holders. But this one is starting to try my patience. Yes, 2007 was the year that "Farfegneugen" became a curse word in my house.

The Jetta I have now has not held up nearly as well as my old Volkswagen. May he rest in peace. His name was Jose Jetta. (That's pronounced Hose-A as in "Feliciano" not "And the Pussycats." I don't know how to get the accent thingy over the "e") I had him for half of college and a few years after.

Sure I love my current Jetta a lot more than I would have some other car. It is sleek and "sexy" and is shiny black and has a cool dashboard. Jose Jetta was boxy and dull grey with a tacky thin red racing stripe. But he had a certain charm to him that the current Jetta lacks. Jose Jetta was tough. He knew his job, he did it well, and he did it all with quirky European flair.

He got me back and forth between Nashville and central Ohio many times a year. He moved my mountains of crap to two dorm rooms, a rental house, and two apartments. He schlepped me and my friends into town and our groceries back up to campus again. He and I were an outstanding designated driving team when two of my best friends turned 21. He spent a summer off-roading when I was a camp counselor living in a tent in the woods AND was extremely patient that same summer when my boyfriend used him to learn how to drive a stick-shift. He handled much Ohio snow and winter slop with grace. He didn't get stuck in the mud at Lollapalooza '94 OR a Dead show in '95. He gladly took me and a friend on a road trip to Canada one Saturday just because we felt like it.

And what do I ask from my current Jetta? Take me back and forth to work (a whopping 11 miles round trip). Around town on your basic adult life-related errands and outings. Occasionally haul things back from Lowe's that would, I agree, be better suited for a pick-up truck. And every once in a while take me to another city a couple of hours away for the weekend. Ever to another country? Not hardly.

The real irony in all of this is that I take better care of this Jetta. (Mechanically, that is. There is a nice layer of dog hair in the back seat and several Diet Coke stains on the console. I could argue that a decent frickin cup holder could have avoided that last one, but whatever.) This Jetta gets the oil changed regularly, brand NEW tires from a REAL tire store, and often gets taken to a full service gas station to have the fluids and air pressure checked. Jose Jetta had his maintenance needs weighed against beer money.

Had I not been unbelievably stupid and rear-ended that minivan in 1996 and even more unbelievably stupid in trusting my insurance company when they said Jose Jetta was totalled, who knows where we'd be now.

There's a guy at church who loves German cars and owns several. Most of them fancy. But my favorite of his is a VW Rabbit older than Jose Jetta would be today. It's dull white with dorky brown tweed interior and a rattly-sounding engine. When I see it my heart melts a little. And I don't know for sure, but when you turn the key I bet it also plays the little tune that sounds like the first few notes of "La Cucaracha" and is how Jose Jetta got his name.

So here's the deal, current Jetta. We need to have a little Come to Jesus meeting. These days of trying to recapture my youth are over. I need to be realistic. I'll take you next week to see your friend Frank at Auto Haus. But you better think long and hard about what you need fixed and how badly you need it. Because if I have to this summer, I'll take the bus. At least IT has air conditioning. And while you sit in the driveway I'll take that time to save for your eventual replacement. I've already looked into what it would be.

A Honda Fit.

That's right. You heard correctly.


You are officially on notice.

And I'm not farfegneugen around this time.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Round One. Day Two. Divine Intervention?

Holy Week and the first two rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament are the exact same four days.

What were they thinking?

You'd think the church would know better.

But seriously... who got to see that Duke / Belmont game last night?

I did not get to see it as I was at... church. Good girl that I am. Good girl who after communion sneaked downstairs to the church secretary's computer and checked the scores online. Good girl who then sneaked back upstairs and quietly whispered to a few of her fellow basketball fans that our very own 15-seed Belmont was up by one point over 2-seed Duke with one minute left. Good girl who patiently waited until the service was over, altar was stripped and cleaned, recessional concluded, dismissal was made and everyone exited the sanctuary in respectful solemnity to hop back downstairs only to find out that the Bruins ended up losing by only a point. So close!!! (Shakes fists at sky).

On a side note, you may have known / figured out that Belmont is a school here in Nashville. It's a great, small private college that recently shook its religious affiliation to much wailing and gnashing of teeth (on the part of said religion, not the school). And I'm sure this morning there are some higher-ups within said religion wagging their finger and saying that had they stayed within the flock they would have had a better chance at beating the Devils.

And finally... the Lord's name has unfortunately been taken in vain several times as American University gave Tennessee quite a hard time in their game today. Tennessee did finally figure out how to win. Amen.

So now I guess I need to be sure to make it to Good Friday services.

I just need to find a good time to sneak out and check the scores of the Vanderbilt and Mississippi State games....

Happy Easter! Go Vols!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Won't You Wear a Sweater?

I think this may be the cutest, dorkiest, most awesomest, nerdiest, wonderful thing I've ever seen and I'm so sad I didn't know about it earlier:

It's all part of the celebration in Pittsburgh of the 40th anniversary of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and what would have been Mr. Rogers' 80th birthday.

I didn't wear my favorite sweater today, but it is a cardigan.

To make up for it I will be sure to change into sneakers first thing when I get home.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Round One. Day One. Who's in Your Bracket?

Like there aren't enough March Madness blog posts being sent out into the universe today...

But how many involve two heathen dogs?

My attempts at an office pool haven't gone over all that well (C? M? Are you paying attention? I'm talking about you.) So instead I've resorted to my housemates. It's a struggle finding ways to keep them entertained in the evenings anyway, so last night we played a little game of "Pick Which Teams You Think Will Win" aka "Pick Which Hand the Doggie Crack String Cheese is in."

And so I bring you:

Gert's NCAA Basketball Mostly Canine Tournament Pool!

Elsie's strategy was to be fast, decisive and straight to the point in selecting her teams / pieces of string cheese. In (what could be) her words: "I like UCLA's speed and UNC's quick-thinking but you have to like a team whose mascot is the devil so I'm going with Duke NOW SERIOUSLY I'VE GOT THINGS TO DO SO JUST GIMME ALL THE CHEESE AND NO ONE GETS HURT."

His plan of action was to ponder the options carefully and try to minimize distractions. His thoughts on this year's tournament: "I like birds so I think I'll pick Kansas. HEY IS THAT SOMETHING SPARKLY UNDER THE CHAIR!?! I would like to pick Memphis, but I'm afraid of cats. Maybe Stanford. They have a tree. Trees are nice. HEY ELSIE ATE MY STRING CHEESE!" (When all was said and done, Oliver actually picked Belmont. And then went to take a nap.)

Her method involved studying the predictions of professionals from and CBS and analysing team records. But, despite a sudden craving for a cheese sandwich, she ultimately just went with her gut instincts. "Georgia's really on a hot streak right now and I think Western Kentucky could surprise some people.... and oh yeah... TENNESSEE'S GOING TO WIN IT ALL! GO VOLS! GO VOLS! GO VOLS! "

It will be interesting to see what happens.

Loser buys more string cheese.

A Font Called "Sarcasm" Would Really Come in Handy Sometimes

This morning I was all psyched to see a comment from someone I don't know on my post about Daylight Savings Time. The one where I confessed that in my time change stupor I watched two solid hours of "October Road." And kind of enjoyed it.

Well, it appears that Google fate led some ABC Intern nice soul to that post because she let me know about a website where I could get involved and help mobilize America to keep the show on the air. In case you're interested.

So the lesson for today. Be careful what you say on the Interwebs. The October Road Fan Club is totally watching you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Somebody's Been Hanging Out at the SAE House

One of my fellow sorority sisters, Dawn Wells, was caught with pot in her car.

Tsk, tsk, Mary Ann.

Can we earn a pearl in our lyre pin for drug trafficing?

No. No, we can't.

But I kid. And if I were better at Photoshop and had, well, some actual free time I would alter the palm frond in that picture into something much more amusing.

Which reminds me... didn't Bob Denver get busted for the same thing many years ago? And at the time, didn't the police suspect that she was his source?

No wonder they could never figure out how to get off that island...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Let Me Just Tell You What You Can Do With Your Extra Hour of Daylight

I had planned to write something about my fabulous trip to the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament but this week it has been an all-out battle to keep my eyes open and form complete sentences.

Damn time change. Kicks. My. Ass. Every. Year.

And I do not understand it. It's not like I'm some delicate flower whose life falls apart at the slightest upset. Far from it. I'm like a Weeble. (Not just because I theoretically wobble without falling down. I am literally built like a Weeble. And sometimes it comes in handy. But I digress...)

Oh, I rant about all the world's injustices both small and large. And I have been known to suffer the occasional complete Scarlett O'Hara meltdown or gotten mad enough to hurl something at someone's head. But for the most part, life's daily drama leaves me fairly unflummoxed.

But screw with my clocks and I'd be better off in a medically-induced coma for three days.

Case in point: last night I watched, not a one, but a TWO hour season finale of "October Road." AND I enjoyed it. And not in the "Drink When You Hear Ridiculously Bad Dialogue" kind of way. No, I was just too tired to comprehend the subtle nuances of "New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Two and a Half Men."

Now I'm kind of hoping it doesn't get cancelled so I can see what happens next season.

Yeah, I know. A new personal low. Going. To. Take. Nap. Now...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Who'd a Thought...

.... I would ever agree with anything this man had to say.


But this morning my alarm clock was set to Wake-up and Quickly Become Disheartened about the State of the Universe (aka Morning Edition) and there he was being interviewed about a book he's written.

(Note: from 2001-2005 I had a different alarm clock that was also set to the same program, only during that period of time it became known as the Wake-up and Backhand Me Across the Room When You Hear the Voice of the New "President." And alas, it suffered an unfortunate demise.)

His book points out that all of this recent "Immigration Reform" is, well, racist. And he backs that up with examples of various policies of current and previous administrations and congresses and state and local governments and a history lesson in the rhetoric and buffoonery aimed at past influxes of immigrant populations to our country.

And he makes the very important point that while we're flailing our arms about and screaming for border security, what we're really only interested in is putting up a wall between us and our darker-skinned neighbors to the south. Because why should we care about our border to the north? Those whacky Canadians! They're white! They spend money at our malls! And unless they happen to be the ones that play hockey, we could totally take them! Yeah! Grrr!

And he discusses, as I've ranted about before, that even though there are illegal people here from all kinds of countries, we only seem to be concerned with the darker-skinned ones. Because they're ones who do outrageous and terrible things. Like pick our vegetables, roof our houses, mow our yards and clean our bathrooms. Hateful Bastards.

So there you go. Me agreeing with Geraldo.

Of course now we could discuss how, after his interview, Mr. Rivera went back to his job at Fox News so that he could continue to gorge himself on cash from one of the very entities spewing the hate and propaganda he just published a book to speak out against...

But that's another pissed-off blog post for another pissed-off day.

My alarm clock is probably a little afraid.

*jaunty jacket-over-the-shoulder-as-if-to-say-I'm-a-trustworthy-journalist photo, courtesy of NPR.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Poor Gomez

When did Morticia Addams go and get herself knocked-up by an extra from "Hawaii Five-O"?

But seriously... what kind of world do we live in where Brad Pitt has to try this hard? Brad, dude, you've gotten America's Girl Next Door AND America's Favorite Freaky Chick. Don't sweat it. As far as the hetero male population is concerned, you're golden. For life. (As for the rest of us, we've got our VHS copies of Thelma and Louise and Legends of the Fall so we're cool.)

Besides, you've got a lot of mouths to feed and world peace to achieve so you probably shouldn't have paid, what I am assuming was, a crap-load of money for those tab-front plaid pants. Next time, try shopping here. You get free socks with every order.