Friday, December 16, 2005

It's the crap-crappiest time of the year!

I realize that some of you may be expecting me to dispel the "rumors" about Mr. Nina, a.k.a. Colin Farrell, being in rehab. Well, I'm not going to dispel anything. The rumors are true. Collsy, unfortunately, has hit a rough patch. But before you go denouncing him and his lack of willpower, you should know right now that it's all my fault. See, Colin is a sensitive soul. When I'm in pain, he's in pain. And right now, we're both in a lot of pain, and Colin is self-medicating.

So Colin is off at rehab, and really, it's good we're having this time apart. We both have some shit to slog through. Colin has to tear apart his psyche, stripping his emotional makeup down to its very foundation in order to find out why he turns to drugs and alcohol to numb his pain. Whereas I have to get through Christmas.

See, one day, after I've sold the movie rights to the Great American Novel that I wrote and I have my kickass mountain home staffed with deaf-mutes who I don't actually have to talk to, I won't have to deal with this holiday bullshit. But right now, I am on the edge of sanity, baby. I say this not as a Jew but as a Social Phobic: If you people don't stop shoving, driving like idiots and wearing those fucking sweaters, I am going to lose it. I don't care if you want to wish me a Merry Christmas, just STOP SINGING ABOUT IT.

I live behind a shopping center. I am unable to travel between the outside world and my safe little home without going in and out of this shopping center and navigating my way through its Traffic Light of Death. Honestly, something must happen to one's brain chemistry upon the purchase of drastically-reduced Gap denim that causes one to think making a left turn from the right lane is perfectly acceptable. Because you know what? It's not.

And if you know me personally, I would like to apologize right now for not getting you a gift. I leave the house with good intentions. I will park far away from the store entrance. I say to myself. I will not jockey for a parking spot with that lady in the minivan who is quite possibly armed. I will enter the store with a good idea of what I'm going to buy my family member/friend/co-worker/bookie, so as not to wander around aimlessly. I will expect that the cashier will have the I.Q. of a small farm animal, and I will not become impatient with him/her/it. I will not become annoyed at the background music, instead remarking, "Gosh! That Kenny G really knows his way around an alto sax!" I will accomplish what I came to do with Zen-like calm and a loving Christmas spirit. I will not, under any circumstances, disintegrate into a ball of irrational anger and vow to remain indoors until February. But it doesn't quite work out that way, and I wind up getting so overwhelmed in the parking lot that I don't even make it into the store.

No, this year, I will celebrate the holidays the best way I know how: Alone and bitter. I'd invite you over, but, you know, I'm kind of at the height of my misanthropy right now.

As for Colin and I, don't worry, we'll be fine. We've weathered a few storms in our time together, like that whole sex tape fiasco, and the eBay debacle, and the reckless persecution of the media. We're going to come out on the other side of this stronger than ever. Right now, though, I have to figure out what to do with those 13 cases of "emergency" whiskey Colin stashed in the basement before he gets home.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Honesty is the Best (Way To Increase the Premium on Your Insurance) Policy

While not the official transcript, here's what happened in court today:

I'll begin by saying that I again find myself disappointed that life is not the TV show I desperately want it to be. Instead, as it consistently does, mundane reality has bitten me in the ass. I am not sure exactly which episode of Law and Order I thought I was walking into, but this experience was a bit less...well, let's just say it was a bit less.

First, I got lost on the way to the courthouse...excuse me, the industrial strip mall in which JP Court #15 is located, because my request to appear had the WRONG FREAKING ADDRESS on it. When I finally got there, dressed nattily in my best custom-tailored polyester suit, (okay, my only custom-tailored polyester suit), I found that instead of lawyers, the JP court is peopled mostly with ladies named Diane seeking no-contact orders from weird guys who keep showing up at her job. In the conference room/courtroom, there was just the police officer representing the state, the guy who I got in the accident with representing himself, and a judge who really thought he'd be somewhere else in his life by now.

What I didn't explain in my previous post about this matter was that there was a third car "involved" in the accident, driven by Evel Knievel's crackhead cousin Darryl Knievel, whose shitty driving set the stage for the accident, and who promptly sped away before the dust had settled. I won't rehash the tedious details of what happened, but a pretty good argument could be made that Darryl was the only one at fault -- not me, and not the guy who I wound up hitting, even though he got the ticket, which is again what he was contesting today in court. Yup, apparently, and running contrary to both my deepest-held beliefs and the title of this here blog, it wasn't about me at all. No one was even entertaining the idea that this was my fault. So I took it personally for nothing. Well, at least now I can feel bad about overreacting.

Not that I don't have an interest in this case -- if the other guy is found not guilty of improper driving, his insurance company has a pretty good shot of getting my insurance company to pay for half the damages. Because in the absence of the guy who really caused the accident, (the third car), we two innocent babes must shoulder the burden. And that's exactly what happened because my stupid ass told the truth.

I backed up the other's guy's claim that this third car cut him off and caused him to veer into my path. I know it was the right thing to do. After all, I did put my hand upon the Bible and swear to tell the truth in front of God and the Delaware State Police, and let no man put that asunder. But I must say that I felt like an ass afterward, like I could have been savvier. Like I could have used my superhuman intelligence and years of legal experience-by-proxy to outwit them all and wind up not only without any financial responsibility for the accident, but with a citation for bravery issued by the emotionally overwhelmed judge.

But no.

Instead, I just went home and changed out of that goddamn suit.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


* What Would Judge Judy Do?

On Thursday, I have to go to court and I’m terrified. Not because you narc’d on my stash, silly, but to actually testify for the cops in response to a guy I got into an accident with in July.

It’s actually pretty stupid of me to be worried about going to court, given the amount of secondhand legal knowledge I have under my belt. This stems both from years of careful Judge Judy viewing and the fact that about one out of every three people I know – from family to friends to co-workers – is a dirty stinking lawyer. (It’s actually even a profession I reserve the right to possibly attempt for myself one day, and I think I’d be really good at it given my love of both arguing and money).

Besides, I’m not sure there are even going to be lawyers at this proceeding – there’s not enough at stake. What happened was that I was in a relatively minor accident where, while it was in fact my car that hit the other guy’s car, the police gave him a ticket for improper driving and not me, (he had turned right in front of me through an intersection when I had the right-of-way, and I had nowhere to go but to hit him). Anyway, his insurance company, because it’s their job, (don’t hate the player, hate the game), is contesting the ruling because they don’t want to pay for all the damage, (my faithful car, it of over 100,000 miles and countless close shaves on my part, was totaled). At first, I took the actions of the insurance company really personally. It was the first accident I had ever been in that was substantial enough to warrant the police even showing up, and I was pissed off that it happened in the first place, only to feel vindicated when the police officer gave the other guy a ticket and not me. Plus, it was a really aggravating and tense situation, as the police officer was kind of a dick, (again, it’s his job), and, up until the point where he told me he’d be ticketing the other guy, treated me like I had just run over a basket of puppies.

Anyway, my role in the whole proceeding is to be a witness for this cop, and I’m all kinds of paranoid about the whole deal. At first, it was scheduled to take place on Yom Kippur, so I asked them to move it. Not that I spent the day in temple, remorseful and starving like I should have been, but it was a question of propriety. Anyway, I started thinking that when I finally made it in to the courtroom, the opposing party would be extra mean to be because I was a Jew. You know, because my people are so underrepresented in the legal world and everything.

But the truth is that I did hit the other guy and not the other way around, and on the surface, that makes it look like I was at least partially to blame. If you look at the facts, of course, it wasn’t my fault – and that’s the police officer’s position which I am there to support – but I’m internalizing the whole issue as an attack on my character. Yup – leave it to me to make this a reason to step into a downward emotional spiral.

So, I will let you all know how it goes on Thursday. If I feel really threatened, I’ll just pretend I am Judge Judy…“On my worst day I’m smarter than you’ll ever be, Mister Slick.”

(By the way, I’ve been writing this while watching VH1’s “Big in ’05 Awards.” I mean, I’m all for pop culture self-aggrandization in the form of awards shows, but I’m having a really hard time seeing the point of this one. Although I’ve got to say, it’s pretty awesome to watch Lindsay Lohan being rightfully made fun of while she’s sitting in the audience wearing a stupid bedazzled dress. I suppose VH1 is going to really pat itself on the back for getting B-, C- and D-list celebrities to show up and not take themselves seriously, but that self-importance is one of things I actually really like about the Oscars, Emmys, etc. [I’m not saying there haven’t been films that made an impact in the world, but Jerry Maguire wasn’t one of them.] Also, doesn’t MTV already host like 14 awards shows where celebrities don’t take themselves seriously? VH1 is really grasping at straws with this one, but that’s kind of their m.o., and they also just ran a commercial for their new show, “Flavor of Love,” in which actual human women compete to win the affections of Flava Flav. I really wish I had made that up, but I in fact did not.)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Of Turkey, Windex and Hottie Potter

Happy post-Thanksgiving, people! I must say that I am thankful for you fine people, as you generously stroke my ego and tell me to post more often, which I shall attempt to do. But I'm warning you -- they can't all be gold ;)

Here's the three-step holiday wrap up:

1. Cook Thanksgiving dinner with Mother. Agree with Mother that the addition of four more people at dinner this year necessitates the preparation of four times more food, (ah, math). Food breakdown = 2 types of meat the combination of which roughly equals the weight of the dog, 2 types of potato, 4 types of vegetable, assorted bread products including stuffing, 2 varieties of cranberry sauce, EIGHT FREAKING DESSERTS, unlimited quantities of Maalox. Re-confirm source of personal obesity.

2. Assist Mother with OCD holiday cleanup. Realize that the air doesn't smell quite right until it's tinged with Pine Sol. Stop cleaning occasionally to make a turkey-and-carrot-cake sandwich. Really.

3a. Go see the new Harry Potter with Emily and Chris, one or both of whom you have seen each HP movie with so far. Fully expect that seeing a kids movie on Black Friday will be a full-fledged nightmare. Become pleasantly surprised at both the relative silence of the theater, (not counting Emily), and the disturbing increased hotness of the underage star of the movie. Although, to be fair to your non-pedophile self, realize that the director filmed the manchild in a bathtub for a reason, and at this rate we'll be seeing his wand by the end of the series. Be totally enchanted (yeah, I said it) by the movie in general, declare it the best of the HPs so far, and resolve to kick the ass of anyone who disagrees.

3b. Also, for a radical change of pace, go see Good Night and Good Luck on Saturday night with Father. Observe that old people talk waaaaaaay more than kids do in the theater. Especially when the movie is about actual events that happened in their lifetimes. For instance (spoiler alert), Movie Character expresses sadness; Father Time, who is sitting two seats down from me, says to his wife in a stage whisper "I THINK HE KILLS HIMSELF"; then, when Movie Character does indeed commit suicide, Father Time triumphantly exclaims, "SEE, I TOLD YOU!" But in all seriousness, a very good movie which makes a very good point about the the potential for the media to call politicians on their nation-damaging bullshit. And the fact that in the 50's, even babies smoked.

So now I am back at work on this Monday, and still feeling the gastro-hangover. Honestly, if I never eat stuffing again...who the hell am I kidding? I love stuffing. And turkey. And mashed potatoes. And carrot cake. And Maalox. Definitely Maalox. Deliciously creamy Maalox.

Friday, November 11, 2005


I finally got my bloated butt back into Curves this week after a bit of an absence, which was due partly to having the flu and mostly to a fundamental distrust of movement, which itself stems directly from years under the "guidance" of the brides of Satan who taught me in elementary school gym class, (but that's a whole other story, and besides, the lawsuits are still pending so I'm not really at liberty to discuss it).

At any rate, I was richly rewarded upon my return to Curves with the opportunity to overhear what is quite possibly the best conversation yet carried out in my presence: Heather and Mary Pat discussing strippers.

See, Heather went to a bachelorette party last weekend which was co-ed, (yeah, I don't get it either), and they went to a strip club. A female strip club. You know, the kind with boobies? Why? Well, I suppose that, even though the bachelorette party is supposed to be for the ladies, the guys in the group just couldn't deal with seeing male strippers. Because, you know, seeing other men naked in anything other than a totally hetero locker-room situation might make them feel funny and then they'd be forced to confront certain feelings...but more on that in a moment.

By the way, and just so you know where I stand on the whole stripper topic, I have absolutely no problem with it. I think male strippers are hilarious, (the outfits! the shaved chests!), and as for the women....well, when I was 14 and all "I'm so serious about saving the world that you're gonna want to smack my self-righteous ass within 5 minutes of meeting it" I would have sung a different song, all about the shameful exploitation of women who are trapped in a cycle of self-abuse and blah blah blah. The older I get, though, the more I abide by a live-and-let-live policy. I truly believe that life is tough and most people are doing the best they can to get by in this cruel world, and if "getting by" involves running your ass crack up and down a pole for wadded-up dollar bills from greasy strangers, well, at least you're paying your own rent, sister.

Anyway, true to form, Mary Pat's fountain of opinions was not running dry on the topic of the strip club. But what was truly, fantastically, there-is-justice-in-this-world wonderful was when Heather started talking about this one stripper who attempted to give her a lap dance, (I say 'attempted' because Heather apparently hasn't tapped into that end of her Kinsey Scale yet and didn't accept the offer), and upon hearing this, Mary Pat's eyes widened and she wanted details, people! What was Heather wearing that night? Was she showing a lot of skin? What was the stripper wearing? What was her name? How, precisely, did she try to initiate the lap dance? What did Heather do? Did they have a conversation? What did they say? Why did the stripper single-out Heather? Oh, the stripper said Heather was sexy? Really?

And then Mary Pat ended the conversation by exclaiming "Dag! My life sure is boring!"

So, are you thinking what I'm thinking? Because I'm thinking that I've finally figured out why Mary Pat is such a negative, agitated bitch: The poor woman is nothing more than an unrealized, frustrated lesbian. No wonder she's so judgmental -- it's just a subconscious defense against others reading into her bland and outdated hairstyle and discovering the truth about her -- that she's not just some suburban mom who knows a thing or two about a thing or two, she's as queer as a two-headed goat, (which is also the name of a very popular lesbian sex toy).


I've got to tell you, this realization has kind of rocked my world. It turns everything I've been thinking about Mary Pat on its head, and I think there's a lesson in this for us all, and that is: Don't be so quick to dislike opinionated, hateful, racist, Republican busybodies -- they're probably just gay.

Now if we could all take that into our hearts, imagine what a beautiful place our world would be.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Miseducation of Nina

As a few of you know, I have recently made the decision to leave my job at the end of the year and return to school in order to finish my undergraduate degree. Again.

Here is the nutshell version of my higher education, in list form.

  • Drop of out of high school and get a G.E.D.
  • Apply to the University of Delaware for shits and giggles. Swallow foot when accepted.
  • Spend 5 years at UD cycling through a variety of majors from Political Science to Psychology, eventually settling on Marijuana.
  • Quit school disillusioned and really, really fat.
  • Work as a clerical peon. See your life unfold before your eyes.
  • Apply to the University of Pennsylvania. Through the gross incompetence of an employee in the admissions office, get accepted.
  • Attend classes at Penn. Move to Philly. Pretend you are just like everyone else, except that they're younger and far better dressed. Act like you enjoy living in the city and befriending spoiled assholes. Forget everything you've learned about yourself and life in general.
  • Have your 67th nervous breakdown.
  • Drop your classes, move back to the suburbs and eat large quantities of dairy products.
  • Return to work.
  • Get everything you can possibly get out of your job, which is a great one that actually pays you to write and gives you more credit and responsibility than any dropout deserves, but can only be taken so far.
  • Have 68th nervous breakdown and consider your options.
  • Realize that no one's going to hand anything to you.
  • Grow up. (Just a little.)

So, yeah, the end result is that I need to get this college thing done already. I am not happy about it. I hate school. I really, very much, sincerely, for very legitimate and hard to explain reasons, hate school. I know it's difficult for many people to understand that. Most people tend to say "Oh I wish I could go back to college! College was the best time of my life!" Well, those people can bite my ass. Hating school is just part of the fabric of me.

While I may hate school, I do like earning money. And, based on the tingle that goes up and down my spine when I get to ask an intern to do something at work, I really, really want some employees one day. And a cleaning service. Oh, and a Beemer. A sweet ass Beemer. But I need some degrees to accomplish this, and they won't let me into grad school on charm alone, so I have to get the B.A. first.

So that's where things stand now -- I am returning to school for entirely capitalist reasons. This has very little to do with bettering myself in the Oprah sense. I think the blogging will be pretty good when I return to school, though, since -- although I'll ironically have less free time than I do at work -- I'll have a hell of a lot more to be annoyed about which is, you know, funny.

I'll leave you for now with something I've recently learned. A little nugget of hard-earned wisdom passed from me to you...

Let's say you have to take a Spanish placement test to determine if your skill level meets your university's requirement for the degree and, if not, how much Spanish you need to take in order to accomplish that requirement. Let's say that you're a little cavalier about this placement test, based on the fact that you won an award in 8th grade for your proficiency, and that you already met the first university you attended's language requirement. Let's also say that, because of meeting that requirement and having been out of school for a couple of years, (and the fact that you haven't spoken to your friend Jimena in a really, really long time), you haven't uttered a word of Spanish in mucho tiempo. Let's say all of that is true...You might want to crack open a book before you take the placement test. At least watch a few hours of Telemundo. Order a burrito in the language of its origin. Do something. Do not, under any circumstances, just sit down on your couch, put the TV on in the background, and breeze through the fucker like there's no possibility that you'll score so low your ass will get bumped down to ELEMENTARY MOTHERFUCKING SPANISH and that you'll have to take three courses to reach the requirement. Seriously, write this down. Es muy importante.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

But do I care? Yes. Yes I do.

This is the third time I'm writing this post. The first two attempts were, of course, brilliantly hilarious, (hilariously brilliant?), but I've been having some router issues and keep losing my internet connection, resulting in those posts being lost forever to the cyber graveyard. It's a shame, really, because it was some of my best work. Ah, delusion.

At any rate, I just got off the phone with another one of my Verizon boyfriends, and hopefully, everything's hunky dory now.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should tell you that my brain isn't really functioning right now due to excessive consumption of refined sugar. This is due to two factors:

1. A gross miscalculation in the number of trick-or-treaters I'd get last night for Halloween and the resulting mountain of leftover candy it is now my duty as an American to eat by myself
2. I have a mild case of the flu, and my doctor told me it's dehydrating my intestines (yum!) and that I need to drink nothing but Gatorade for the next 48 hours in order to restore the delicate balance of electrolytes and bile to my system

Okay, so this post was originally about But Can They Sing?, a personal favor to me by VH1. See, some executive over at the network crawled inside my dreams and found out that I would very much welcome a show where a group of "celebrities" so obscure that even a pop-culture junkie such as myself hadn't heard of half of them would be given microphones and instructed to sing and compete with each other for the votes of the television audience, (kind of like American Idol with more cosmetic surgery, not counting Paula Abdul).

The first episode aired on Sunday, and I was very much looking forward to it. See, being sick, I have been watching far more than the recommended daily allowance of shitty television. (For instance, while I am normally a fierce Judge Judy loyalist, I have lately been faced with so few daytime viewing options that I have been forced to sit in the courtrooms of the obnoxious Judge Mathis, the affable Judge Larry Joe, the shrill Judge Mayblean and the sassy Judge Milian). Anyway, VH1 has also been playing its latest installment of their I Love the 80's series on a loop, and while I do love me some Hal Sparks, enough is enough. So I was excited when But Can They Sing? came along.

But I was faced with a dilemma. At 10pm on Sunday, at the same time that BCTS? was airing, a new episode of Intervention was up over on A & E. Now, I love that show for a very different reason than I love shows like BCTS? I love Intervention because it is actually good television. It's the best of reality TV, I think, because instead of trying to create artificial drama, (by, say, putting a bunch of stupid and attractive twentysomethings in a house and liquoring them up), it merely observes the inherent drama of substance abuse and its repercussions, which are quite moving and truly can't-look-away compelling. So, I flipped back and forth between Intervention and BCTS? and definitely spent more time watching the former.

I was really only interested in two of the "singers," though. The first was Bai Ling. Now, those of us who read the Fug know La Ling as an alleged "actress" who wears the most hideously comical, occasionally genital-revealing outfits to every red carpet event her agent manages to get her invited to. I must say that Bai didn't disappoint, in that she was both a phenomenally bad singer, (her voice is freakishly low which only furthers my theory that she's a Chinese trannie), and her outfit was glorious. She sang "Like a Virgin" in a huge poufy red dress, writhing around on the floor and revealing at the end of her performance that the skirt was detachable! And, truly, what could be more redundant than Bai Ling in a detachable skirt?

The other person on the show I was interested in was Carmine Gotti...excuse me, Carmine Gotti Agnello. I don't know why he now wants to be associated with his less-famously-named father, (who is barely mentioned on Growing Up Gotti), especially since Carmine's bio on the VH1 site sees fit to tell us that his father is "a made member of the Gambino crime family who is currently doing time for arson and racketeering." HOT!! Anyway, I love to hate the Gotti boys, with their plastic hair and unintelligible diction. They're like all those asshole kids who hang out at the mall except, you know, connected. Anyway, I'm sorry to say that I only caught the last few seconds of Carmine's rendition of "Ride With Me," but it was enough to reaffirm my faith in humanity in that he sucked. Believe me, if that kid wound up having some sort of discernible talent, I'd have to reevaluate my entire worldview.

At the VH1 site, you can vote for your favorite. I'm voting for Bai, because I need to see her clothes every week. I hope this Sunday she does "I Believe I Can Fly" in a pair of breakaway pants. I don't know why that makes sense, but it does.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

You must respect my authoritah! Please?

So, I kind of reached a personal milestone this week and I wanted to share it with you.

I received my very first speeding ticket! Thank you very much!

I know what you're thinking. If you've ever been in a car with me, you're thinking, "How the hell did that Menace to Pedestrians and Small Animals ever go ten years on the road without a moving violation?" And the answer to that question, my friends, is Dumb Luck. Speed-wise, I drive like a maniac and I'm proud of it. People who drive slower than me are idiots. People who drive faster than me are reckless. I am perfect.

I knew, though, that the crazy mixed-up rules of the road were in conflict with my driving philosophy, and that it was only a matter of time before Johnny Law caught up with me. I always imagined it -- like I imagine so much else in my life -- like a shitty, hacky movie, with a tall police officer in a giant hat and aviator sunglasses slowly ambling up to my car and asking me, in a thick Southern accent, if I had any idea why he'd pulled me over?

But it was not to be. I was caught in the most shameful way a Proud Speeder such as myself could get caught: In a speed trap.

There is no glory in a speed trap. Getting caught in a speed trap doesn't mean you're some sexy Rebel Without a Cause, throwing caution to the wind, driving fast with no place to go and no one to answer to. No, getting caught in a speed trap just means you're unlucky. It means you weren't even necessarily going any faster than anyone else, you just failed to notice that unmarked Crown Victoria parked on the median of I-95. It means you don't even get pulled over by yourself, so that those who pass you by on the side of the road can remark, "Fucking pigs!" at the injustice of such a hot chick in such a hotter car getting nabbed by the popo. No, instead you're pulled over in a group, so that those who pass you by can remark, "Ooh, I better slow down the next time I drive this stretch of road, as they set up speed traps here." Yawn.

And things did not get any better when Officer Mild-n-Polite walked up to my window and informed me that I'd been going 73 in a 55, but he'd only write me up for going 64, because the penalty was less, and please be careful when pulling back out onto the road, and have a nice day. That's so nice! Damnit! I don't want to like you, Mr. Policeman, I want to righteously hate you for cramping my wild and crazy style! I want to tell you that you may have clocked me at 73, but that must have been before I accelerated because I go 73 in my driveway, motherfucker! But no.

So yeah, that was my first speeding ticket. It was boring. It's not even really a story. But I told it to you anyway, because I'm still a little bit proud of getting the ticket, even though I didn't spend the night in the slammer, like I'd always dreamed. Oh well.

there are so very many things wrong with this picture

The Dover Post strikes again...

Friday, October 21, 2005

now I can blog from the terlet!

Let me begin this post by stating that I am habitually late to the technology party. It's not my fault; it's genetic. My parents have an uncanny sense of timing, investing in gadgets mere moments before they become obsolete, and then continuing to use them for years afterward.

To wit, we purchased our first family computer, an Apple IIGS ,when I was in first or second grade, and at the time it was fairly state-of-the-art. Nine years after that, though, the twenty minutes it took to boot up no longer seemed amazing. I don't think my folks really got the concept that we would periodically have to buy updated machines. In retrospect, my first clue should have been the fact that the IIGS was housed in the same room as their 8-track player.

We also got a VCR pretty early on in the VCR timeline. True to form, we got a Betamax, and soon found that there were about 4 movies available for us to rent at the video store, and three of them were in Yugoslavian.

These days I am considered the technology wizard of the family, a distinction based jointly on my age, my ownership of a DVD player, and the fact that I've successfully downloaded music. I do not, however, currently own an iPod, as it seems like they come out with a new one every two weeks and I'm afraid of not having the bestest one, so I'm consequently holding off on buying it until they come out with a model that not only plays audio and video, but projects an interactive, holographic image of Clive Owen into my bedroom.

I have to confess, though, that I have zero patience for attempting to explain technical things to my parents. I find it completely exasperating. I realize that a lot of it has to do with their age, in that they didn't grow up around computers and other digital doohickeys and are just fundamentally unfamiliar with them. I also realize that my own understanding of this stuff would seem pathetic and underdeveloped to the average 9-year-old, but my blood pressure inevitably rises every time my dad calls me and says "how do I make the box disappear?" or my mother inquires just how, exactly, does The Email work? Which is why what occurred last night is so very special in my mind.

So, here's what happened: Based on a sudden and inexplicable desire to have the capability to read The Superficial from my kitchen, I decided that I needed wireless internet access at home. I called Verizon, provider of my DSL, and inquired into what I needed to accomplish this. I was told it was nothing more than a wireless router and network card. Easy peasy.

I gallivanted into Staples last night, purchased said equipment and breezily made my way home, thinking that my ability to read instruction manuals would be all I needed to install the hardware and be on my way to multi-room Googling.

Oh how very wrong I was.

Apparently, one needs a degree in astrophysics (with a minor in transcendental meditation) to install this shit. There are codes. And plugs. And prayers. Sure, the hardware comes with an installation CD, and you pop it in thinking it's going to guide you step by step, but all it really does is quantify why, precisely, you are a moron.

I'm not saying I cried, but two hours into the process, I must say I did feel a little misty. I figured I'd have to call one of those consultant-type people to come to my house and do it for me, (and in my defense, the 'pay someone to do it for you' tendency is also genetic). I felt incredibly stupid and useless, as I am 26 years old and should have a pretty good grasp of this stuff. When I'm sixty and we all live on the moon and I can't figure out how to get the wizzburt to flangit the humptybip, then I'll resort to consultants. But it's not yet the time.

So I called Verizon, fully expecting to be told to either call Linksys, who made the router and network card, (which would have been a reasonable, if annoying, response), or that a technician would have to come to my house, which is a world of shit I do not need.

But incredibly, miraculously, astonishingly, a nice young man answered the phone who not only spoke intelligible English but did what no installation CD could do -- he held my hand through the telephone and made it all okay. It took 45 minutes and was ridiculously complicated, but he was a gentle and caring lover. And when, at the end of our affair, he asked if he had "met my expectations," I replied that he had, in fact, exceeded them. And then we shared a cigarette.

So props to Verizon customer service. I never thought I'd say that, (the word "props" or the praise of a large and seemingly heartless corporation), but it's true. As I wandered around my house with my laptop last night, I felt like Bill Motherfucking Gates, and that, my friends, is quite a feeling.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

You know what's awesome?

Little people. That's what's awesome.

You know what else is super great?

Old people. Old people are super great.

You know what I love more than deep-fried candy?

Costumes. I love costumes!

You know what happens when you put all those things together?


That's what happens. And it makes me irrationally happy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I don't think you're ready for this jelly

For the past month, I have been attending Curves, or I prefer to call it, the The Gym For Ladies Who've Almost Given Up, But Not Quite.

Let me preface this whole thing by stating the following: The fact that I have been going to Curves in no way signifies that I will continue going to Curves. So don't ask me if I've lost any weight, or how the exercise is going, or why are you wearing that muumuu, Nina, for I thought you were going to Curves. As evidenced by my "figure," I dislike physical activity in direct proportion to how much I enjoy eating fried cheese. I'm just saying that none of us should get our hopes up, okay? Okay.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let me tell you a little bit about the "gym," in case your comparatively skinny ass didn't know.

Curves pretty much works on a twofold philosophy:

  1. Regular gyms are intimidating for the fat and/or old
  2. Something is better than nothing

Since I subscribe fully to both facets of that philosophy, I signed myself up. I won't get into what the Curves workout actually entails, but suffice it to say, it is definitely designed with your Aunt Marge in mind.

Everything about the place is gimmicky in a low-key sort of way. There are cartoons on the wall that lament having a big butt! and declare that shopping sure is fun! There's also a weekly trivia question, and if you answer it correctly, you can win a t-shirt that says "exercise with attitude!" Basically, if Cathy went to a gym, she'd go to Curves.

The music is an absolute riot. It's a selection of once-popular songs which are either several years or several decades old, sped up to an aerobically-appropriate beat and, of course, not sung by the artists who made them famous, but rather by studio singers who someone decided approximated the voice of the original crooner. My favorite rendition is of the B-52's "Love Shack," as it never fails to crack my shit up when Not Kate Pierson screams "tiiiiin rooooof!"

But the beauty of Curves is truly the women who go there. The age range is astonishing, with everyone from teenagers to women pushing 70, the majority being in their 40s. The place really isn't intimidating at all, which is good, but if you were trying to get to a level of fitness above, say, basic mobility, you'd look elsewhere.

Therefore, a lot of the attendees aren't that serious about exercising, which pisses me off because I'm fat and I have work to do. There are a lot of women who go there, it seems, just to socialize with their friends while they lazily curl a bicep. I don't know why these bitches need to pay a monthly fee to do this, when they could just go mall-walking instead and finish up the "workout" with a nice cup of coffee from Cinnabon.

My favorite denizen of Curves, though, is a woman I've named Mary Pat. Mary Pat is a hateful, hateful hag, and her constant busybodyness and negative judgment about everything makes the workout go that much faster.

Let me remind you that I do not live in Tokyo. Rather, I live in a relatively small suburban community where it is not uncommon to find that you and the person behind you in line at the supermarket know 37% of the same people. Mary Pat, however, has no problem calling out the names of people she disapproves of, and, so far, she's mentioned 4 people I know pretty well, (and I'm not that social).

Other topics M.P. has been unafraid to broach:

  • The surprising number of Jews at her children's Catholic school
  • Sex (on several different occasions)
  • Incarcerated single mothers
  • Chinese dry cleaners
  • What an idiot her husband is

She is so damn entertaining, in fact, that when I show up and she's not there, I am sad.

I also really like Heather, the Curves employee who is phenomenally dumb and sweet. She never shuts up, either, and has said a few choice things herself, including:

  • "You have really nice handwriting, especially for writing so fast!"
  • "I worked out in flip-flops once!"
  • "How do you spell 'Celine Dion'?"
  • "I've been with my boyfriend for 3 years. He's great, except for that time he cheated on me."
  • While the Go-Go's "We've Got the Beat" was playing on the stereo -- "Do you guys mind if I put on something more upbeat?"

The bottom line on Curves, though, is that it truly is the anti-gym, which is why I chose it. There are no locker rooms or showers, so no one can have any of those awkward naked conversations with you, and there are women who come there in street clothes and shuffle around the room "exercising." If I ever get more serious about physical activity, I will have to move on to someplace that contains scary things like men and free weights, but for now, as my mother would say, it's got my molecules moving.

Monday, September 26, 2005

What would YOU do?

Dear Reader,
Please consider the following item from the Dover Post:

Now, pretend you were me. Pretend you were a hopeless smartass with her own blog, a known duty to read the stupid local papers, and six or seven loyal readers who are just itching for you to be a heartless bitch. Pretend you are at work on a very slow Monday, and you come across this particular little photo and caption. What would you do?

Would you comment on the entity of Child Beauty-Pageantry as a whole? Would you make the obvious Jon Benet references? Would you predict dim futures for little Abigail and Shelby, destined to become nail technicians/school bus drivers/women of ill repute?

Would you make note of Crystal's fascinating hair? Would the combination of waist-length locks and highly en-product'd bangs capture your attention? Would you not even bother, since her name is Crystal and her hairstyle, therefore, is inevitable?

Or would you pay attention to the teenage-mother/daughter aspect of the whole thing? Would it be in poor taste to suggest that you couldn't get more rednecky than a beauty pageant dually won by a 19-year-old with mall hair and her eight-month-old daughter wearing a tiara?

Or would you just skip the whole thing, because you're better than that?

What would you do?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

You make me beleeeeeeve in love again

So, VH1 has announced the new Surreal Life lineup, and it's a doozy. Doozy as in, phenomenally disappointing. I mean, I pride myself on knowing fairly obscure pop-culture references, the kind that make my friends praise me to my face for my bizarre knowledge and then say later to each other, with a tinge of sadness, "man, Nina really needs to get a life," but I have no idea who at least two of these people are.

La list:

  1. CC Deville, of Poison (I may have been into Poison in 7th grade, but unless you have access to my mom's attic, you can't prove it)
  2. Tawny Kitean, of rolling-around-on-a-Jaguar-in-a-Whitesnake-video-20-years-ago fame
  3. Sherman Hemsley, of The Jeffersons fame
  4. Steve Harwell, of Smashmouth. Yup.
  5. Andrea Lowell, of Playboy TV (you know, I do not get this channel, but based on my shameful fascination with E!'s The Girls Next Door, I'd totally watch it if I did)
  6. Alexis Arquette, drag performer and brother of Patricia, Rosanna and David
  7. and, serving as the cast's "full-time and on-call therapist/advisor" (I shit you not): Florence Henderson

So, as at least half the people reading this blog know, I have been a fan of the Surreal Life ever since that day, oh so many years ago, when my friends and I happened upon the first season and fell in love. We got together every week to watch it. We taped it when we couldn't assemble. We wasted hours discussing just what, exactly, was wrong with Corey Feldman.

Corey Feldman carried the Surreal Life from episode to episode with a signature mixture of Fucked-Up and Annoying-yet-Earnest Manchild Desperation. He railed against eating meat from atop his leather shoes. He took a half-hour dump in Vegas while the rest of the cast waited for him in the Surreal Life Van. He cried when Andrea from 90210 wouldn't listen to him. He asked his young, kinky girlfriend and her fake boobs to marry him on the air, and then, dressed like Louis XIV, he wed his child bride, weeping all the way to the chupa. He was perfection, and it was a magical time.

And then, we watched the second season, and although no one could hold a candle to Corey, the combination of Tammy Faye's mascara-clad sweetness, Vanilla Ice's crazy asshole antics and Trishelle's pitiful boozing was somewhat sustaining.

But it all kind of fell apart for us in the third season. Despite inspiring the bigwigs at VH1 to create a spinoff based on their beautiful relationship, Brigitte and Flava Flav were just icky, not interesting. It did result in a viewing of Red Sonja, which in turn resulted in the creation of The Red Sonja, (a drink consisting of grenadine, vodka, and the venereal disease of your choice), but that was pretty much it.

I watched scattered episodes of the fourth season alone, not too drawn in, but it had its moments, mostly involving that pill-popping tranny who used to wrestle. And the current season, the fifth, has recently grabbed my attention only because Balki is a fucking mess, and I love it.

But yeah, I guess the sixth season awaits. We shall see.

Friday, September 16, 2005

hope springs eternal

So, just when I was wallowing in disappointment over the fact that everyone's favorite Epitome of a Downward Spiral, Britney S. Federline, had gone and named her baby something normal, (Preston, in case you've been living under a rock, or, alternately, just don't give a shit about the "news"), there appears to be some confusion about what, exactly, the little rehabber-of-the-future's name actually is.

Although none of the suspected names being thrown around are too exciting, (Sean, Michael, Christian -- what would the Kabbalists say?!), it still opens up the possibility that she did, in fact, hear my cries and name the little sucker something so fabulously awful and celebritastic as to sustain me for at least another day.

Here is what I pray to the God of My Choice for:

  • Peanut Joseph (Spears Federline)
  • Durwood Monkeybar (Spears Federline)
  • Marlboro (Spears Federline)
  • Marlboro Ultra (Spears Federline)
  • The Spirit of Love (Spears Federline)
  • Larry (Spears Federline)

Or, maybe it's really a girl and they went with Britney Junior.

But what I really hope for is that she followed the example of her parents, (who are named Jamie and Lynn and named their younger daughter Jamie-Lynn [can you hear the banjo?]), and named the wee one Kritney.

Oh please Oh please Oh please.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Enough already!

I've had it with the Big Bad Media Monster painting an unfair picture of my man.

First, there were these photos from a Hurricane Katrina benefit concert...

...which are insanely unfair. I mean, it's like when they snap a picture of Tara Reid in mid-blink and claim that she's drunk; they so did not have to take Colin's photo only at the exact second when he happened to be shirtless and smoking or shirtless and drinking. That is not how he spent most of the night. Believe me.

And then today, this little item ran in Page Six:

It's not often you see a hitchhiker in tony Palm Beach -- especially a famous one. But hard-partying actor Colin Farrell was spotted stumbling backward on the side of the road with his thumb stuck out, reports The Post's Braden Keil. "We couldn't believe it was him," said our eagle-eyed female spy, who drove by, then picked up the "Alexander" star in the wee hours. "He looked really wasted." Our source and her male acquaintance drove Farrell to the Breakers -- the plush hotel where the lusty leprechaun was registered as Irish literary icon James Joyce. Farrell invited the two up to his room. They declined.

For the love of God, will this reckless persecution never end?! If only these "journalists" would take a moment to do some actual investigating, they'd find out what really happened, which is that Colin had actually spent the day reading to underprivileged children, building a nondenominational church that would minister to the homeless, and performing open-heart surgery. Therefore, he was tired, not "wasted." And he hitched a ride because he cares about the environment enough to carpool. And he invited them up to his room for Bible study. And they declined because they're godless heathen bitches.

And you're just jealous.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

um, could you lend me, like, 4 million dollars? you know I'm good for it

Jon Stewart's old apartment is for sale.

Despite the fact that this is the Den of Sin where he shacked up with his fake wife and not me, I'd still pay to smell the walls.

Stupid restraining order.

I give up

From Page Six:

Some survivors of Hurricane Katrina might end up eligible for the best-dressed list, thanks to the designer duds that couture-conscious New Yorkers are donating to the relief effort.

Jay-Z and Sean "Diddy" Combs are not only giving the Red Cross a $1 million joint donation, but both have pledged large donations of clothes from their respective Roc-A-Wear and Sean John lines.

"I can hear the cries of the people in the regions affected by Hurricane Katrina and will do whatever I can to help," Combs said in a statement to PAGE SIX yesterday.

First, let me just say that I have no problem with Jay-Z, except for being a bit disturbed by his uncanny resemblance to a turtle...well, a pimp turtle.

But will Diddy's Reign of Bullshit never end?

Don't you think there are just certain celebrities who, via a precise blend of pointlessness, obnoxiousness, and self-importance just kind of assault you with their very presence in the world? Like Paris, of course, and Trishelle, and the entire British Royal Family?

And Poofy up there?

Like, when these people show up on your television, you actually feel like your home's been invaded? And your eyes hurt? And you feel a pang of emptiness inside?

I'm seriously exhausted by it. I just can't fight anymore. I was going to declare war on The Didd, I really was. Through means so deviously subtle and covert, I was going to gradually destroy him, until he found himself holed-up in a run-down mansion with the shades drawn, reduced to a quivering man-child, utterly devastated by the realization that he was, in fact, the World's Biggest Fuckwad.

But I've given up on that dream. I have resigned myself to the fact that I just can't fight the Machine.

I am vanquished.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

God Said Gurgle

Sometimes, things seem hopelessly dark. The nation is in turmoil. Not even the sight of Mr. Sanctimonious himself, Sean Penn, bailing water out of his boat with a plastic cup while his personal photographer looks on, can cheer you up.

And then you have to go to work, and before 10:00 even rolls around, some barely coherent man yells at you on the phone because "I send dat fax long time ago! Why you not have?! This big problem!"

And then you have a veritable mountain of stupid local papers to slog through. And there you sit, dirtying your fingers on the wasted newsprint of stories such as "Proposed Mega-Store Angers Locals" and "Benson's Barber Shop Moves to New Location," and you are despairing, oh Lord, how you despair.

But lo, you shall come upon the Birth Announcements, and God Herself shall place Her celestial hand upon your frizzy head, and She shall bestow upon you a small token of undeniable glee, and a reminder of Her Divine Sense of Humor:

And so together we say, Amen.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

a moment of levity

I haven't had much to say that's funny recently, given what's going on down south, (and, incidentally, if you haven't donated money to the Red Cross or a similar organization yet, there's a special place in Hell reserved for you), but I did come across this on MSN Entertainment, and simply had to share:

Don’t ask Juliette Lewis any “stupid” questions about her former drug addiction. One fan did and faced her wrath. “Now you have kicked your drug addiction, what do you spend your cash on?” someone asked her in an online chat. “What a stupid question! I did have a drug addiction 10 years ago, but it was never a cocaine addiction so it doesn’t follow that I necessarily spent loads of money on it,” Lewis shot back. “I did do drugs, but cocaine was just not the drug of choice. And anyway, I’m only really little so I actually didn’t consume that many drugs. I never needed much so it was quite a cheap habit! Drug addiction costs much more in how it corrupts the soul than in how it corrupted my bank account."

So just remember Kids, as long as you're petite and stick to huffing paint, you'll be A-Okay.

You know, I think Juliette Lewis is shaping up to be my new Favorite Person to Make Fun Of. It was looking like Tara Reid for a while, but after watching half an episode of Taradise, I actually kind of feel sorry for her, and I really would like to try and help her. Maybe, just maybe, if I sat her down and had a good, stern talk with her, she'd start to turn it around. All that girl really needs is some AA, a decent wardrobe, and a court-ordered declaration to stay 50 feet away from Paris Hilton at all times. Oh, and to quit the entertainment industry and get a job answering phones at a collection agency, like she was born to do.

Juliette Lewis, on the other hand, is just completely batshit, and without a substance abuse problem to cloud the issue, that's just entertaining as hell. Besides, she's now in a band called Juliette and The Licks, who, according to what I've read, are deliciously horrible. And her stage wardrobe and antics produce beautiful photos such as this:

Plus, she's a Scientologist.

So thank you, Juliette Lewis. Thank you for being a bright ray of hilarious, delusional Hollywood sunshine in an otherwise very dark time. You are a great American.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Pittsburgh: A Travel Guide

So, you've decided to go to Pittsburgh for the weekend to visit your friends Emily and Chris. Good choice! They're nice people and they have a spare room.

First and foremost, wake up ridiculously early and find out that, yes, the rumors are true -- there really is a 4 a.m. Arrive at the airport with ample time to spare. Be cheap. Decide that, even though you're only going to be gone for 2 1/2 days, you need to save 8 dollars by using "economy parking" at the airport. Fail to realize that "economy parking" = middle of fucking nowhere with no available spaces. Spend 45 minutes driving around looking for a space. Find a space in New Jersey. Take nasty, germy, crowded shuttle bus to wrong terminal. Run outside in 94% humidity two terminals down to correct terminal. Upon entering terminal, hear loudspeaker announce the final boarding call for your flight.


Catch next flight to The Burgh. Have a small and completely expected panic attack on the plane. Arrive in Pittsburgh. Find and hug Emily. Get in Emily's car and regale each other with stories about your respective lives en route to her house. Arrive at the house and become overjoyed upon finding a toilet in the basement. Not a bathroom in the basement; a toilet. In a stall. Pretend you are camping and use the toilet. Feel earthy.

Meet up with Chris for lunch. Regale Chris with several of the same stories already told to Emily. Watch Emily do an excellent job of feigning continued fascination with your life.

Over the next few days, do the following things with your friends:

-- Watch copious amounts of television and trash celebrities.

-- Watch a TV movie about Mary Kay LeTourneau. Have a lengthy discussion about the psychological and societal issues raised by the entity of Mary Kay LeTourneau. Thank God profusely that you have friends who will seriously talk about this shit with you for hours.

-- Go see "The Aristrocrats." Thank God that you have friends who like dirty jokes as much as you do, and who also recognize anyone who's ever been on Comedy Central for even a second.

-- Drink margaritas and play board games. Laugh heartily.

Now, sadly, it's time to go home. Leave for the airport two hours before your flight. Run into quite possibly the worst traffic jam in the history of time. Rely on the combination of Emily's unmatched map-reading skills and Chris' love of back roads to get you to the airport via the scenic route. See a side of Pittsburgh you will never forget, not even with therapy. Arrive at the airport ten minutes before your flight leaves. Miss your flight. Get a new flight, and proceed through security. Get stopped and searched at security for having scissors in your bag. Explain to the security guard that they didn't even notice them at the Philly airport. Realize with a shudder that the Philly airport is shit both in terms of security and economy parking. Arrive home. Watch the MTV Video Music Awards and make the following observations:

  1. Apparently there was a law passed that says rappers must wear white.
  2. "Pimpin' all over the world" is perhaps not the call to multiculturalism we really need.
  3. Diddy continues to outdo himself in asshole-itude.
  4. Awards shows really shouldn't be about the audience, they should be about the celebrities. I don't want to make fun of regular people, I want to make fun of Jessica Simpson and her "shirt."
  5. Shaquille O'Neal scares the living shit out of me.
  6. Eric Roberts?
  7. R. Kelly is the most entertaining sex-offender ever.
  8. Rock is officially dead.


As requested, E and C at the movies, taken with my phone camera, the Ultra Crappy 3000:

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

things I am happy about today (yes, it's really me)

  1. In 38 hours I will be en route to The 'Burgh to visit the fabulous Mullacostas, where much revelry will be had by all
  2. This morning, while reporting on high prices at the pump, CNN saw fit to underscore the report with the headline "Got Gas?"
  3. My dishwasher is fixed
  4. Pat Robertson is doing a perfectly good job of digging his own grave, so I can take a break from that for a while

And now, just for the hell of it, a kitten :

Monday, August 22, 2005

Dads and apple bongs don't mix (at least not in my family)

I am on a whirlwhind moviegoing streak. Inspired by my deep and abiding love for Steve Carell, I braved the sticky floors and stupid people of a movie theater for the second time in a month and went to see The 40 Year Old Virgin. It was HI-larious, if a bit slow at times, (but, then again, I have the attention span of Paris Hilton faced with reading material). The MPAA rating for this movie is R because of "pervasive sexual content, language and some drug use," which are usually three of the main reasons I'd go to see a movie in the first place, except that I saw this movie with my dad.

Now, my dad is neither an old fart or a prude. He is, of course, MY DAD, and no one with any kind of normal, healthy parental relationship wants to see a movie with her father in which (spoiler alert!) a woman masturbates with a shower head. And given that my dad refers to joints as "marijuana cigarettes," the (ample) drug references were largely lost on him, and my hearty laughter during the aforementioned apple bong scene was met with a "and just how do you know what that thing is, young lady?" stare.

As a kid, my parents never shied away from letting my brother and I watch R-rated movies, which some may see as awesome, progressive parenting, but in actuality may not have been the best idea. In fact, I can recall my traumatized 8-year-old self screaming and bawling my way through Project X, a film in which cute little monkeys are nuked to death. I'm sure it was super fun for the other people in the theater, too. To my parents' credit, I must say that as a kid, if you encounter something sexual or scary in a movie that you don't understand, it's nice to have parents who are open to you asking questions about it.

When you're older, though, and the tables are turned and you know more about the illicit subject matter than your parent does, it's not so great. Not that my dad would turn to me and inquire just what, exactly, "back door action" was supposed to mean, but you know, it made for a somewhat creepy moviegoing experience. Still, Steve Carell rocks, and I can't wait for the new season of The Office.

Friday, August 19, 2005

But Nina, I fear change!

Yes, I have changed the appearance of the blog. Why? Because it was kind of hard to read, and I am still operating under the illusion that It's All About Me, Anyway will be widely-read any day now, and the more accessible to the soon-to-adore-me masses, the better. That's why. Also, the dark background distorted some of the fantastic, whizz-bang special effects (read: font colors) I had dreamed up, and that just wouldn't do.

So, I am fantastically bored today. Fantastically! I am trying to will myself into sickness so I can have a decent reason to go home early, but I think that's kind of wrong, so I'll see if I can stick it out until 5.

In scouring the news, here is what I have an opinion on today:

HEADLINE: Kanye West Says Rap is Too Homophobic
OPINION: First thought = Duh. Second thought = I have to go buy a Kanye West CD. Good for him, though, really. Of course, it just means everyone's now going to say that he's gay, but that's because everyone is an idiot. But I'm sure he realizes that, so it is a bit brave of him. It's sad that simply saying that rap is homophobic should be brave, but it is.

HEADLINE: British TV Movie Features the Queen's Sister Doing Drugs and Having Sex
OPINION: British TV really is better.

HEADLINE: American Idol Dropout Signs Record Deal
OPINION: Does anyone else think Mario Vasquez looks like Justin Timberlake dipped in a bucket of Hispanic? I'm not saying that's a good thing.

HEADLINE: Kansas Girl Killed While Taking Photo With Tiger
OPINION: I hate to be Captain Obvious, but, um, it's a damn tiger. It kills stuff and eats it. That's what thousands of years of evolution have led it to do, not pose for photos. Have we learned nothing from Roy, people?

Okay, an hour and fifteen left...

Can I call 'em or what?

In a completely unsurprising development, Eminem's reason for canceling his You're-a-peein tour has been revised from "exhaustion" to "dependency on sleep-medication."

Three guesses on what "sleep-medication" actually is:
1. Heroin
2. Tylenol PM
3. Heroin and Tylenol PM (known on the street as a "slowball")

In related news, people are shocked, SHOCKED, that a "bad batch of heroin" is responsible for several deaths in NYC lately. Hellooo? It's HEROIN, for the Love of Courtney, what did you think it was going to do, make your hair shiny? The term "bad heroin" is not only redundant, it's dangerous. Like, if you get your hands on the good heroin, you'll be just fine. Between Eminem and the news media, our children are doomed. Not that I have any personally, but, you know, our collective children; the future. It's a metaphor, people. Go with it.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Dictionary a la Nina

1. Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.
2. This.

1. Not necessary; needless.
2. The fact that, as reported by The Superficial , Jessica Simpson is both endorsing a line of treadmills and manufacturing plus-size jeans. Leave my fat ass alone, Jess, it never did anything to you. Whereas you have annoyed me to no end. Trollop.

1. The act or an instance of exhausting. The state of being exhausted; extreme fatigue.
2. What celebrities say they are suffering from when, in fact, they are entering detox. It's actually one of those things that I love about Hollywood. It's so cryptic and obvious at the same time. What a beautiful euphemism! So much better than saying "Mr. Inem has been up for 3 weeks straight on a meth-and-hooker binge and desperately needs some sleep and IV fluids."

1. The point at which physical, mental, or emotional strength gives way under stress.
2. Where I find myself after learning that Sean Combs is now referring to himself as simply "Diddy," rather than "P. Diddy," because, and I quote, "I felt like the 'P' was getting between me and my fans and now we're closer." Well, I certainly feel closer to him now, don't you? Could someone please explain the appeal of this man to me? If you have definitive proof that he isn't just some overrated, self-aggrandizing moron, I'd be interested in it. I get that he's a savvy businessman and throws kick-ass parties in the Hamptons where you can only wear white, (because the rich need boundaries when they go out), but honestly, has he ever created anything that wasn't blatantly derivative? No? I didn't think so.

Some things you didn't know about me

I know I haven't posted in a while, but I've been thinking over some things. And now, you may enter the tiny door to my head...

First, and I am ashamed to admit the following fact, but I feel the need to unburden myself: I am fascinated by dramatic portrayals of the mentally challenged. Completely and utterly fascinated. I'm always interested in seeing if the actor can pull off a nuanced portrayal of an adult with a diminished mental capacity, rather than just a lazy interpretation of a carefree child in a big person's body. Therefore, these roles must be played by (arguably) non-retarded actors. (And before the PC Police come breaking down my door, I was once told by a grad student studying the mentally challenged that "retarded" is a perfectly acceptable term, so go to hell). So, in accordance with this requirement, Corky on Life Goes On doesn't count. Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, John Malkovich in Of Mice and Men, and my personal favorite, Leonardo DiCaprio in What's Eating Gilbert Grape are prime examples. The worst: Sean Penn in My Name is Sam, (ode to my friend Emily: anything starring that demon-child Dakota Fanning is just evil, pure, unadulterated eeeveeeel), the absolutely shameful The Other Sister, (sorry Juliette Lewis, but that role was hardly a stretch -- oh, and I just realized this, but Juliette Lewis was also in Gilbert Grape. I'm starting to see a pattern), Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Radio. I'm on the fence about Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. While I think he did a good job, the whole thing is just a little too precious for my taste.

What I do not like about retarded-person-centered movies, though, is the reaction they inspire in the average movie-goer -- "Oh, those slow people, they have so much to teach us about life and love and what's really important, like butterflies." Shut up. Just because you need feelings distilled down to the lowest common denominator in order to understand them is no reason to celebrate. In fact, I think it's a pretty sad statement on the average level of emotional intelligence of the general public. Of course, Hollywood Movie People realize just how manipulative, and therefore lucrative, these movies are, so they make a lot of them. And I will watch every single one and formulate a strong, unsolicited opinion about it.

Second: I want to move. The backstory on why this statement is insane is that in the past 3 years, I have lived at 5 different addresses. Yes, five. There are many reasons for these moves, some of them even legitimate, (I was literally allergic to one apartment), but I mostly like to move because, when I am uneasy about anything in my life, I feel that I should change my environment. As if all the badness is contained in the carpet fibers. I know this is stupid and that I should get over it. And I do have a nice place now, but here's why I want to leave:
1. It's falling apart. (If you can count my dishwasher being broken and one of my cable boxes needing repair as "falling apart," and I can.)
2. It's kind of big for one person, especially one person who has to clean up all the cat hair by herself.
3. I have actually met some of my neighbors, and they insist on talking to me.

Why I shouldn't move:
1. I need to grow the fuck up one of these days.
2. That's pretty much it.

Third, I find this incredibly amusing, and possibly identifying of my new goal in life. It's a wedding announcement from the local paper:
Renee and Joseph were married June 15, 2005 by the New Castle County Clerk of the Peace in Wilmington, DE...Renee is employed as a makeup artist by M.A.C. Cosmetics. Joseph is a graduate of Berkley and is a rock star singer and songwriter. They live in Wilmington, DE.

So, if anyone knows how to go about becoming a rock star singer, (do you have to go to Berkley?), please let me know.

Okay, I guess that's it for now.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

an Ebay saga, in chapters

Here's the thing: While I may come across like a cynical, jaded mofo, in actuality I am a trusting sucker with an abiding belief in the goodness of humankind (read: Idiot). In case you doubt this claim, here is a story to illustrate.

So, a few weeks ago, I decided to buy a copy of the superlong, craptastic Alexander, (see Inexplicable Colin Farrell Obsession). I reasoned that I would make this purchase on Ebay, since, despite said obsession, I find actually purchasing Colin Farrell movies face-to-face degrading. I found a copy, promised to be in good condition, (albeit with optional Thai subtitles, but that's beside the point), at a good "Buy It Now" price from someone with a 100% positive feedback rating. His name is Woody and he's from Texas, and I didn't even make that up. I purchase the clandestine DVD and set up a lawn chair next to my mailbox to wait for its arrival.

Although Woody had listed "media mail" as the shipping option, Colin in a Toga arrives within two days of my purchase. I am elated. Jumping the Ebay gun, I leave Woody positive feedback. I pop the movie into the DVD player, and the first 90 minutes of the film go by swimmingly. Then: disaster. The movie freezes colder than Joan Rivers' face. I try fast-forwarding, even though I am terrified of missing even a moment of Jared Leto in eyeliner. But it doesn't work. I have on my hands a defective DVD, which terrifies me because I will now have to return it, putting another nail in the coffin of me pretending I didn't actually purchase this garbage.

I send a friendly yet firm email to Woody explaining the problem and asking for a refund or an exchange. Here is his response:

Hi Nina, There wasn't anything wrong with that disc! Did you try wiping the disc (from center to outside...not round and round) It was scratch free! It sounds like it might have gotten fingerprints on it. Let me know if that helps. My father is in the hospital for cancer, he has had part of his colon removed and still has more, which they are suggesting chemo. I live in a rural area and have been shuttling back and forth about 4 cities away, so I just can't deal with this right now! Don't worry . I'll try to help you when things are a little more settled. His name is Mark M------. Please remember him in your prayers! Thanks Woody

For a split second, I think I am being scammed. And yet, he wouldn't have included his father's name if it was bullshit, right? Right. And so I feel bad for the guy, really, legitimately bad. I do not, say, question why his relatively large-volume Ebay business is up and running if he has to be four towns away from his sick father and can't deal with problems. So I reply:

Hi Woody, I am very sorry to hear about your father. I certainly hope his treatment progresses well, and I understand the extraordinary stress you must be under. I will try wiping the disc as you suggest, and I will let you know the outcome. If there is still a problem, hopefully we can work it out. Thanks and take care, Nina

I am so nice and wholesome, sometimes I disgust myself. Woody's response:

Hi Nina , Checking my email before I take off (back to the hospital) I will be back this weekend and try to sort things out to your satisfaction. Thank you for being so understanding. Talk to you soon. Woody

Again, I question nothing. I decide Woody is a nice guy with a shitty family situation. I think, perhaps if he were not from Texas and did not end letters by invoking an amorphous higher power, and did not find it necessary to remind me that his dad's sick every time he writes to me, we might be friends. You never know.

I actually wipe the damn disc. Of course, this solves nothing. Fingerprint my ass. I write Woody:

Hi Woody,
I know you are with your father, but when you get this email, please let me know about a return for the Alexander DVD. I wiped it as you suggested, however, it's still freezing and skipping. It's definitely not my DVD player, either, since I'm able to view other discs just fine.
Take care,

Did you notice the "take care"? Did you notice how I am successfully restraining my urge to be a complete and total bitch? Did you notice how, despite the fact that he said he wouldn't be able to deal with it until days later, Woody writes back within hours:

Hi, Thanks for your concern. My father will be getting out tomorrow (he'll be on daily chemo treatments) small consequence considering what he has already been through. My mothers with him now which gave me a chance to come home. About "Alexander" I have another one I can send you, ran thru scene selections and everything is fine (I watched the one you have and didn't have any problems) however I can send you this other one or refund your money once I receive the one you have in the condition I sent it (minus shipping as is Ebay standard) Either way, you decide. I'll have to get that one back before we can do anything. Just let me know when you are shipping and I'll tell you as soon as it arrives. Thanks, Woody

Minus shipping? Woody, my maybe-friend, this means war.

I think I'll just return this one to you and ask for refund. I'm not too thrilled about having to pay for postage twice, though (once to ship, once to return), or actually even losing any money on this, since the item is defective. I cannot find it listed where this is EBay's standard, but I am willing to take your word for it. Woody -- I am really sorry about your situation with your father and I truly empathize. I also have no desire to start a dispute over a few dollars, so I'll just mail it back to you. Please at least consider refunding the full price I paid, though. I will try and put it in the mail tomorrow via standard first-class postage so that you'll get it soon. The address I have from the envelope is P.O. Box 666, Newton TX. Please let me know if this is not the best address to send it to.

I think I am being fair. I think I am being nice. I really think I hate humanity and need to start saving up for that hut on top of a mountain I've always talked about living in. Woody's speedy response (you know, because he really can't deal with this right now):

Hi Nina, I know how you must feel but you must see this from my point of view also! You seem like a real nice person but I have had people order from me, copy or burn the movie, than intentionally vandalize the item to get refunds ( which incidentally, is the reason I now hold feedback till transaction is over so I am not extorted or threatened with bad feedback) The DVD in question was new! It came in a plastic sleeve with artwork which I opened, watched, then put in a DVD case. I know we don't know each other but you know me better than I know you by my feedback. I have never had any trouble with ANY transactions. You say that you don't see the non-refundable shipping policy anywhere? Try looking at ANY listing on Ebay under their refund policy! It states always "shipping not refundable" see for yourself! I am a good guy and have always (within reason) tried to satisfy my customers. You keep dealing on Ebay and wait till you run into some real SOBs then you will realize what a Prince Of A Fellow I really was. My Best Regards! Woody

Well, my faithful reader(s), I was upset. I am a fragile little flower, emotionally-speaking, and despite my cantankerous spirit, my socially-phobic reality dictates that I do not like confrontation, electronic or otherwise. I wrote a response to Woody. It made use of the word "fuckwad." I reconsidered and sent the following:

You don't have to be so defensive. I am not accusing you of anything, although the reverse does not seem to be true. I am not pulling a scam -- I don't know why the movie didn't present problems when you watched it, but it has repeatedly done so for me. I have already left you positive feedback -- I have no ulterior motive here. You can see that my feedback, while not as extensive as yours since I only buy or sell the occasional item on Ebay or, reflects my honesty. I am truly sorry for your family health crisis, and I would hate to think I was being taken advantage of for my kindness. The movie will be returned to you quickly. Like I said, a few dollars is not worth a dispute. Please do not leave me negative feedback for standing up for myself. If I am ignorant of the return policy standard, I apologize, but I really could not find anything under your listing which stated that postage would not be returned. I have never had to return anything before on Ebay. I said I would take your word for it, and I am.

I sincerely hope your father regains his health soon. I know that he has a long road ahead of him, and I will keep him along with the rest of your family in my thoughts.


Yes, I know. It's lovely. It states the facts with strength and conviction, yet wraps up with a sincere-sounding nicety. This is all despite the fact that I no longer believe this man's father has cancer. In fact, I no longer believe he has a father. At least not a human one. The response:

Hi Nina, I have already given you positive feedback (days ago) Thank you for your kind words for my father. I didn't mean to sound defensive (maybe I did come across like that, didn't mean to) things haven't been great around here. If you will look at feedback I have left others you will see where, on the feedback I left, have followed up with confirmation # and a delivery date. These are people who have tried to extort money from me saying they haven't received their items when USPS says otherwise, so I probably do come off as defensive. When this DVD arrives I will refund your purchase price and hopefully should you buy something from me again I will only charge half shipping. I'm trying to meet you in the middle on this, I hope you can be happy with this. Bless You And Yours, Woody

So, the self-appointed Prince of a Fellow is going to offer me half-shipping on the next item I buy from him? Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! I laugh at you, Prince Fuckwad! I do not even reply to this email. And then...


...lo and behold...

Hi Nina, As I had mentioned, my father made it home from the hospital and he had never seen "Alexander" so I brought it over (same status as the one I sold you...just opened, etc....) and much to my dismay it had a part where it froze for an instant, returned to menu, then continued to play. So I will reimburse your full amount ($17.48?) as soon as I have received it. My Apolo-JEEZ, I will now have to fight to get MY money back! I'm sorry I doubted you. Woody

Do you think the "JEEZ" was a reference to Jesus? Because I don't really trust anyone from Texas anymore.

It gets better. Next email:

Hi Nina, Haven't received "Alexander" yet but I have another New Release that I would like to interest you in exchange for the Alexander I sold you. It is called "After The Sunset" with Pierce Brosnon, Salma Hayek, and Woody Harrelson. It does not freeze, skip, stutter or stammer GUARANTEED!! Pierce and Salma are retired successful jewel thieves living the good life when Pierce gets interested in one more job! It is action, romance with Woody Harrelson offering comedy relief as the F.B.I agent doggedly on their trail. I really think you would love this movie! I am still willing to refund your money if that is your preference. Just let me know. Your Partner In Ebay. Woody

Woody clearly does not understand that people do not buy shitty movies because of their plot. They buy them because they are unnaturally obsessed with one of the actors/have a friend who was an extra in the movie/saw the movie once while high and consequently think it's a piece of cinematic gold. But it would be pointless to try and explain this to him, and thus, my final email to the Woodster:

Hi Woody,
I am glad to hear that your father has made it home. Hopefully, things will start to look up.
I sent the DVD to you on Thursday via first-class mail, so it should be there soon. I think I will still take the refund, but thanks for the other offer.
Take care,


I get a notice from PayPal explaining that my money has been refunded. However...I paid $17.48, and Woody refunds me an even $17. That dick. He includes the message: "OK Nina, we're through."

That's it?! After everything we've been through together?! After the ups and downs of our cyber relationship based on assumed mutual fraud! "We're through"?! And you bilk me out of 48 cents on top of it?! I shall never love again, Woody. You've ruined me.


I went to Borders and bought a brand new copy of Alexander for $15. Shut up.

Friday, August 05, 2005

even blonde

As part of my (currently thrilling) job, I have a sworn duty to peruse the local newspapers. When I say "local newspapers," I am not referring to the one with actual news, (although that distinction is debatable), television listings, movie times and enough other useful information to actually merit charging you to read it. No, I'm talking about the free local newspapers. The ones with front-page reports about minor road construction. The ones with reader-submitted photos of dogs wearing hats. The ones like The Middletown Transcript, (I would have provided a hyperlink here to the Transcript's website if, in fact, the Transcript had a website). So now, in the interest of spreading the misery around, I shall reproduce in full a letter to the editor from the most recent edition of the "paper." (Please note: this letter is verbatim, including questionable grammar and typos, which are par for the course):

America is looking older
To the editor:

Have you noticed the graying of America? Especially among the women; and men too? Even your mother and father.

But why is it? And can it be changed? I think it can.

Women primarily set the goals and standards. Because when enough females wear hats to church, others do and if they tell their husbands and daughters then their boyfriends will too. Let's change the graying of America.

They may even darken their hair. Loreal, Revlon and others.

Go to a nursing home and see for yourself. We have allowed ourselves to age overnight and before our time.

White hair! It wasn't here at 50 or 60 but it's here now. But it doesn't have to be. Let to women change it back where it belongs. Brown, black, even blonde. Why not?

Some Idiot

This little diatribe against nature is particularly interesting when you pause to consider the fact the writer is himself 82 years young, (and before you ask, if I told you how I knew that I'd have to kill you). So, given that this man couldn't possibly be a hypocrite on top of being useless and stupid, I am imagining he looks something like this (minus the multiple facelifts and fake bake, of course):

And don't even get me started on what letters the Middletown Transcript left out in order to leave room for this one. Probably something completely inane, like one about the Supreme Court or the war or something.

All I know is, those ladies at the nursing home better shape up.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I saw these two bumper stickers on a car this morning. Not that Sum 41 is necessarily incompatible with Catholicism or anything, (well, actually, I wouldn't really know), and it isn't as good a combo as a Marilyn Manson sticker next to a Jesus fish, but I still appreciated the incongruity of it.

Since people's bumper sticker collections tend to boringly reflect a theme, (Oh, so you love George W. Bush, you'd prefer that I Buy American and you have a decal of Calvin peeing on Osama Bin Laden? Hmm, that really makes me think), when I am Queen people will be required to have completely contradictory sets of statements on their cars, purely for my amusement. A few Royal Suggestions:
  • Bowlers Do It In The Alley & Yale University Alumni Association
  • I Can't Even Think Straight & I'm A Civil War Reenactor
  • My Child Is an Honor Student & We're A Home School Family
  • One Day at a Time & Pi Kappa Alpha