“Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This”

Happy Thursday!

I have my Tostitos, my bean dip and my Stewarts Orange and Cream nearby, ready to watch this week’s installment of Survivor: Tocantins. Random Thoughts as the episode unfolds:

  • Did you know that Benjamin Wade was fired from his woman’s soccer coaching position? Seems he told the athletic director at his school that he was going to be gone for a week, but ended up missing school for almost two months, without a note from home. He’s not worried, though, because he’s off to persue a career in Hollywood, because his popularity on Survivor will open doors for him. And why not? It certainly opened doors for…um…you know, that other guy that became famous after Survivor
  • Two hot babes were voted out in the first two weeks of the season. Hope that trend reverses. They don’t have that many to lose.
  • “She just insulted all of our intelligences.” Can that be grammatically correct?
  • Erinn doesn’t know when to stop talking. Just like her parents didn’t know when to stop adding “n”s to her name.
  • What the hell kind of animal is that with the flexible snout they show during the opening? Creepy.
  • In each of his EW.com blogs so far this season, Probst has wisecracked about Sierra marrying a Survivor producer. Think she’s gonna?
  • Oh, yeah…Debbie! Has she done anything noteworthy yet?
  • Jerry’s having problems with the beans. Aren’t beans standard Army-issue grub?
  • “We’re a force to be reckoned with.” As long as there’s not a challenge that involves catching fish with a net.
  • I’d hate to be the caller in one of these challenges. The losing team always blames the callers and votes their ass out.
  • Maestro looks pissed.
  • Brendan and Taj off again to Exile Island. It’s tough enough not to look suspicious without Probst stirring the pot.
  • “Winners always find a way to win. Losers always find a way to lose.” Wonder what his record was when he still had a soccer team to coach? Because his Survivor team sucks.
  • Crap. The Tostitos are already gone. Do I bother making popcorn, or just grab the Fritos?
  • “You’re like my assistant coach.” Aw, that’s swell, Little Buddy! Maybe he’ll let you carry his jacket at the next TC. I wouldn’t let myself get too associated with him, though. No matter what he thinks his standing is, he’s annoying a lot of people. You don’t want to be caught in that backlash.
  • “He loves me.”? “Everyone can see it.”? “Maybe he’ll promote me”? Never mind what I said before. Good luck with all that.
  • I forgot I had some chips and French onion dip. The popcorn and Fritos can wait for Lost.
  • Brenden and Taj choose Stephen and Sierra as their Mini-Me’s.
  • Sandy: “I know I’m a sex kitten this morning. There’s no doubt in my mind.” And the men all remember they have an appointment on the other side of Brazil.
  • Sierra runs like a girl.
  • Erinnnnn – hush! Your mouth is a shovel that’s digging a deeper hole!
  • Jalapao wins! Erinnnnn will be going home, no matter what Jerry thinks.
  • Or not.
  • The owls are not what they seem.
  • Maestro is still pissed. I’m concerned about his blood pressure.
  • “I am so true that existing around people that smile evilly when somebody else is on their knees kills me.” Huh?
  • “To me, it looks like she’s just here to lie and deceive and, you know, get ahead any way she can.” Unlike everyone else in the game, right, Assistant Coach?
  • Brenden finds the HII by lifting up the backside of the skirt and seeing the hole.
  • “I like seeing people cry when you crush their dreams.” I don’t want him to be my assistant coach anymore.
  • Jerry: “I think the leader should be Brenden.” And Maestro’s smile turns upside down. Ha!
  • “I basically told everybody with my eyes what they needed to get.” I think I laughed harder than Erinn did at that.
  • Jerry’s thinking maybe he should have kept his mouth shut.
  • GAH!!!!! UGLY CENTIPEDE!!!!
  • First 2 votes Jerry; Erinn’s smiling smugly. She’s toast.
  • Or not.
  • Poor Maestro. Erinn’s still around, plus nobody wants him to be the leader. Been a tough day.
  • “Jerry, the tribe has spoken.”

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I Will Follow You, Will You Follow Me

Do you tweet?

President Obama does, as do the Governator and Britney. Or at least, people on their staffs do in their name.

But Stephen Fry, Tina Fey, John Cleese, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Yoko Ono, Lance Armstrong, and Seth MacFarlane do their own tweeting, for better or worse.

Tweeting is, of course, what you do with Twitter, which asks one simple question: “What are you doing?” The answer must contain 140 characters or less.

As you can see, I’m caught up in this foolishness as well, although I can’t for the life of me tell you why. I started by innocently answering the basic question . “Getting ready to leave for work,” I’d tweet, or “Calling it a night.”

That got boring pretty quickly, so I began throwing out some allegedly amusing one-liners, Zen observations, or obscure quotations (like “Admiration is for poets and dairy cows”; I was watching Twin Peaks one night whilst tweeting).

Now I’m a full-fledged Twitterholic, armed with TweetDeck, Hoot Suite, Tweetie and God knows what else, prepared to rt or DM or @ or just tell you what I’m having for lunch at a moment’s notice. As long as there’s an Internet connection.

One thing I don’t get caught up in (or understand) is the whole “following” frenzy. I think I may be following about 47 Twits (none of whom I actually know) and being followed by about the same. I keep getting tweets shouting, “get 50,000 followers in 30 days!” Why would I want that? They’d just want me to be one of their faux-followers in return. It’s tough enough to get through the tweets I get now.

And I’ve been followed by people I’ve never heard of. When I check their profiles, they describe themselves as “social media entrepreneurs”, which means they’re looking for a way to get my money.

Personally, I think the whole “following” thing is a cousin to the MySpace “see how many friends you can amass” deal (back when MySpace was relevent). It means nothing.

I’d love to ramble on about this (is there a literary equivilent of a jam band?), but one of my programs just beeped. I think my close personal friend Stephen Fry has sent me a message. Me and 203,000 other of his close personal friends.

$4 Billion For Teenage Goofiness? Puh-leez!

If you haven’t seen this picture before now, you’ve certainly heard about it. The young lady in the middle of the group finds herself in the middle of another photographic controversy. She is, of course, Miley Cyrus, offspring of Billy Ray, who’s built a mini-empire for herself since she began appearing as Hannah Montana in the Disney Channel’s tv show (and movie and guitar and CDs and sundry other merchandise) of the same name.

The OCA issued a statement that “The photograph of Miley Cyrus and other individuals slanting their eyes currently circulating the Internet is offensive to the Asian Pacific American community and sets a terrible example for her many young fans. This image falls within a long and unfortunate history of people mocking and denigrating individuals of Asian descent…Not only has Miley Cyrus and the other individuals in the photograph encouraged and legitimized the taunting and mocking of people of Asian descent, she has also insulted her many Asian Pacific American fans..” Except, I would guess the APA in the picture. He doesn’t appear to be too annoyed.

Someone who was very annoyed, though, was a Los Angeles woman named Lucie J. Kim who filed a class action suit against Cyrus for $4 billion. Yes, that’s right: $4,000,000,000.00.

Now, after double-checking this with some friends of mine to make sure, I counted a total of seven people in that picture. Why is Miley the only one being sued? Why not sue the lot of them for $28 billion and really make a point? Yes, even the Asian American. He apparently condoned the behavior of his friends, or he would have asked to be Photoshopped out of the offending portrait.

Maybe it’s because they’re not newsworthy? Without Miley in the picture it’s just a bunch of kids goofing around, and nobody, even Kimberly Castro, would give a shit.

I’m still waiting for the ASPCA and PETA to weigh in about the guy holding up the bunny ears behind the other guy’s head. Surely that has to be offensive to rabbits.

But since it’s not Miley holding her fingers up, it’s not worth the quarter to call a lawyer.

Why Probst Thinks We Should Watch Tocantins

Besides being a Lost and 24 dweeb, I’m a big fan of the granddaddy of so-called “reality shows”, Survivor.  I just caught the end of the first season, but I started watching religiously during the second season, and always look forward to the next.

Survivor: Tocatins begins this Thursday, Feb. 12. If you don’t know, host Jeff Probst writes a weekly blog at EW.com following each episode. In the current (Feb.13) edition of Entertainment Weekly, he tells us why we should tune in to the 18th season of the venerable series:

The first thing is CAST, CAST, CAST. (Here’s a tease: “Dragon Slayer” – just wait.) I’m putting my reputation on the line: If you don’t love this cast, I’ll offer to switch EW.com blogging jobs with The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison. And get ready for a BIG TWIST in the first five minutes that has lasting repercussions. Hint: Can you ever change a first impression? We’ll find out. As for THE BLINDSIDE, it is taken to a whole ‘nother level. We set a new record this season. Beastly. And the TERRAIN? High desert, 120 degrees, snakes, injuries, and a stunning river oasis. Exile Island will totally destroy them. Tocatins is so good, it may just crack out top five seasons ever.

If you’re a Survivor fan, you owe it to yourself to check out Jeff’s blog, and writer Dalton Ross’ recaps every Thursday at EW.com.

“Corporate”

An exhibit of Jerry Garcia’s paintings appeared at a local Hilton Inn this weekend, so I checked them out. I really liked most of them, particularly “Blue Iceberg“, “Humiliation at the Animal Party“, and “Wetlands II“.

But my favorite was “Corporate”.  I love the concept and the execution. Start at the left; notice the fishing line with the dollar sign on it, and the progressively larger fish preparing to devour the smaller ones.

Now look at the big picture: the drawing is an outline of the United States. The face formed by the east coast is not a fish at all, but a human fat cat, the “Corporate” of the drawing’s title.

So much in so little. Amazing.

But the sale price is $40,000. So it’s still down at the Hilton if you want to run down and pick it up.

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How “Lost” Will End (My Theory)

This is what we will discover during the last half-hour of the very last episode:

The Losties are the original Others. The Others we’ve been wondering about since Season 1 are their descendants.

I have nothing to back this up, except the time travel concept.  It’s just a hunch.

I See London, I See France…

I am by no means a fashion maven. I’m not really sure what a fashion maven even is, but I know I’m not one. As I write this, I’m wearing my everyday clothes: t-shirt (Walt Disney World ‘06), jeans (Wranglers, from K- or Wal- or some other Mart), white socks, slip-on Skechers. Until my son made the switch to jeans, his mom would always get a good laugh on the days I dressed him (why doesn’t a blue cotton tee go with a  pair of green basketball shorts, I’d like to know). I have only two fashion rules: no bluetooth earpieces (someday you’ll  be subjected to my rant about those technological monstrosities and the clowns who wear them in public), and remember to wear underwear on karate nights.

If I’ve never mentioned this before, my son Cameron stays with me on alternate weeks. I live literally within three minutes of my ex’s house, so it’s no big deal for me to get Cam to his bus stop on school days.

There is a kid that catches the bus at his stop that, no matter what kind of mood I wake up in, makes me literally laugh out loud when I see him.

The kid’s parent doesn’t make me LOL; in fact just the opposite. This moron brings his/her (their vehicle, an SUV roughly the size of Montana, has tinted windows, so I’ve never been able to see whether it’s Mom or Dad who drops him off) son to the bus stop every morning – God forbid he has to walk for 5 or 10 minutes like everyone else to get there – and in order to see when the bus is coming, parks their gas-guzzling behemoth on what most would consider the wrong side of the street. About this far from the corner. And there is a huge bush at the corner at the street. The first time I came around the corner when this mindless moron was parked there, I almost hit them head-on. Not that I was traveling at an excessive speed, but this jerk was parked right behind the bush where I couldn’t see until I came around the corner. Since then, every time I turn that corner, I have to stop and try to look around this Bozo to see if another car….or more importantly, one of the other schoolkids…is coming up the street. This happens on a daily basis during the weeks when I take Cam to the bus stop, but this loser is completely oblivious to the fact that they’re posing a potential threat to other drivers and pedestrians.

I think it may be that they want to keep their son out of sight for as long as possible, though.

The first time I saw this kid get out of the vehicle, I was stunned, because at the Parent Night Orientation I went to, the principal specifically mentioned that the Dress Code forbids students showing up to school in this manner. Even the Student Handbook proclaims that not permitted, under threat of disciplinary action, is the “wearing articles of clothing in which undergarments are deliberately exposed to view.”

Yes, friends, this kid, looking to be about 15, white and nerdy, pulls down the back of his pants so that his ass hangs out.

Now, I’ve never really understood the appeal of this particular fashion trend. When I was 15, if any square-inch of my Fruit-of-the-Looms was visible to the public, I would be devastatingly humiliated. Why the hell is it considered cool to have your ass hanging out of your pants?

When I first saw this kid, it was still nice weather out, and he was wearing oversized basketball shorts. I wondered at the time how he was going to keep his street cred when it turned cold out. When the weather started turning, he stuck with the shorts, but eventually he had to turn to sweatpants. Which, of course, were pulled down in the back to expose his boxers.

This morning, for example, it was 11 degrees out…minus 1 wind chill…when I took Cameron to the bus stop. The SUV was parked in the usual spot, I almost head-on-ed it, blah blah. The bus came, the kid got out of the SUV, his ass hanging out. As I mentioned, it was frostbite-cold out, and instead of pulling his pants up, this work-of-art pulled his jacket down to cover himself up. Amazing!

What’s more amazing is that he even gets this far dressed as he is. As a father, I can’t imagine letting my son go out in public like that. I’d be concerned that he’d never get a girlfriend, and on top of that, get the shit beat out of him on a regular basis. From experiences with my ex, I can’t imagine a mother letting her son go to school without looking like it’s Picture Day.

Seriously, what parent could watch their son walk to catch the bus with his ass hanging out and think, “I’m so proud of that kid!”?

I see that President Obama has said that “Brothers should pull up their pants.” I hope to the fashion god that brothers of all colors are listening.