February 2009


Remember a few weeks ago when I shared with you that a game of pub trivia had led to the shocking revelation that four of the world’s top 10 visited sites were Disney theme parks?

Well, at least that was a good trivia question, even if I found the answers outrageous. The question (“what were the top ten most visited sites in the world in 2007?”) was the kind of thing you could reason through, make educated guesses. Even if you didn’t get all 10, you probably would get a couple. It was the kind of question that gets you a range of answers, too (some teams will get only a few right, others will absolutely nail it) that helps you separate teams in a close contest.

Last night, we went back to trivia, and the bonus question absolutely blew goats. It was: “name 10 of the 15 main characters in Animal House.”

DUDE. That is a TERRIBLE question for the bonus round. Either you have seen the movie or you have not. If you have not, you have NO CHANCE of getting any points. At least with the “ten most visited” question, you could do some reasoning, and talk with your teammates to try to make educated guesses. With the Animal House question, if you’re me at least, you look around your table blankly, hoping someone, anyone, has seen Animal House. (One guy had, years ago, but didn’t remember much. Something about smoking something illicit that clouded his memory?)

So here, in no particular order, were our answers:

1. John Belushi’s character
2. That guy
3. That other guy
4. The one who wore a toga
5. The one who did a kegstand
6. The nerd who inexplicably gets the girl
7. The irritable school official
8. The cheerleader
9. The pledge
10. The frat house mascot

Needless to say, we did not win.

Before I get any comments to the effect of “what?  You’ve never seen Animal House?!”, allow me to list for you some other movies I’ve never seen, all of which have come up in trivia contests at some point in my life (though, I will note, I have gotten some of the questions correct, even without seeing the movies):

  • Ghostbusters
  • Goonies
  • Gremlins
  • Adventures in Babysitting
  • The Wizzard of Oz
  • Star Wars
  • Back to the Future
  • Caddyshack
  • Jaws
  • ET

What can I say?  We didn’t have a VCR until I was 12, and even then my mom held tight control over what we watched, and she doesn’t like adventure/fantasy/sci fi/any movies that might have swear words.  I can’t be the only one with gaping holes in my movie watching history…can I?

A friend from work and I usually go to Muscle Max on Wednesday mornings and spinning on Thursdays.  It’s a nice routine.  This week, though, friend has a meeting early on Thursday, so we decided to go to Tuesday morning spinning instead.

We’d been to Tuesday spinning once before and I vaguely remember not liking the instructor nearly as much as I like the Thursday instructor, but I figured I must be exaggerating that in my head.

Wrong.  Not exaggerating.

Instructor Lady walks in and the first thing she says is “you guys, I totally got called back for Cabaret, so since I’m going to be dancing at my audition later I’m not going to be on the bike this morning.  I don’t want my legs to be like jelly.”

Now, I may be a demanding jerkface, but I strongly prefer it when the instructor is sweating along with you- it makes me hate them less when they yell at you to “push it!” or “keep going!” because hey, if they can do it, I can do it.  When they’re casually standing off to the side, exhorting you to “stop being such a wimp!” I get a little testy.

But the worst of it was, the instructor used that time when she was not on the bike to rehearse her dance routine for us. “It’s Cabaret, so it’s, like, Fosse, you know?” she said.  “You have to kind of round your shoulders and carve out your midsection and kind of turn your knees in?”

And for the rest of class, while we tried not to die on the bikes, she kept talking and talking and talking about Fosse, and singing along to the music, and dancing, and doing little steps, and at one point she asked us how one particular step looked and whether we thought she would get the part and OH MY GOD ANNOYING.

For at least 10 minutes after class, my friend and I debated writing a comment card about it.  We elected not to, because we didn’t really want to get her in trouble or anything, but seriously: Fosse?  In spin class?  No.  Just no.

And now, since I am already afflicted with this earworm and would like company in my misery, I leave you with Beyonce’s highly Fosse-esque video:

Pressing questions about last night’s Oscars:

Angie: dress was meh, hair was kinda large, but the earrings were gorgeous.

But can someone please explain to me the physics of such a pair of earrings?  How have her ears not stretched into floppy loops from the sheer weight?

Then we have Nicole Kidman, who honored Angie for her best actress nod. (P.S. I loved that format, of having 5 actors introduce the acting nominees.  Even if it took a long time, and even if it was, as I suspect, simply a device that made it possible to say some kind and reflective things about Heath Ledger when announcing his name, I loved it.  I hope they keep it.)

I love that Nic rocks the fair skin and doesn’t get all fake tanned, (though the Botox is a whole ‘nother story) but why, for the love of all that is sacred and holy, has no stylist convinced her that she should not wear clothes that make her look like Casper?

The dress is probably lovely, it’s just hard to tell because all I see up there is pale.

Nextly, what is up with the random young actresses, (it’s sort of unclear to me how they got invited in the first place), dressing themselves in wackadoodle, voluminous gowns?  You are young! And have cute figures!  Why do you insist on drowning in weird fabric-scuplture?

Exhibit A:

Amanda Seyfried, if your goal was to make us forget that you were in Mama Mia and Big Love by looking so much like the ditz you played in Mean Girls congratulations! You succeeded!

Exhibit B:

Miley, are those…fish scales?  Seashells?  WHAT IS GOING ON THERE?

Finally, and this is the most burning question of all:  Why the hell was I subjected to so much of Zac Efron last night?  And if ABC was going to take advantage of being the network home for the Oscars by trotting out their bankable teen hunk, would it  have been so hard for someone to teach the kid how to do his hair?

I mean, seriously.  Ew.

New mathematical formula, recently proven by young-ish Chicago resident, dazzles math world:

1 hour “wintry mix”
+
freezing temperatures which turn “wintry mix” to “base layer of ice”
+
overnight snow
+
just enough sunshine to make everything glisteningly damp
=
most treacherous walk to the train EVER.

Seriously, I almost ate it like 5 times.
********************
In an effort to be more cost-conscious, and in reaction to the recent decision by my favorite coffee shop to raise the price of a small cafe au lait to OVER THREE DOLLARS, I’ve decided to start drinking the coffee made by our office. Starting today. I had to use non-dairy creamer. I want to cry.

********************

Two things of note in today’s news:

Thing the first:

Pepsi is releasing a new (old) version which uses real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.

I’m all for moving away from the high fructose corn syrup, and I’m relieved that I will no longer have to seek out Mexican Coke to get my HFCS-free cola fix, but really?  “Throwback?”  Somehow the name just seems a little…silly.

Thing the second:
Disney has its first black princess, which is pretty cool and all.

But in this interview with People, when Anika Noni Rose says:

“Not only is she the first black princess, she’s the first American princess. We’ve never had an American princess. So, the scope and the significance is larger than people even realize.”

it makes me a little nutso. I mean, say what you will about her mediocre movie, but can’t we all agree at least that Pocahontas was American?

In our first corner, we have:  Power Breakfast!

Healthy Breakfast

Brown rice cakes, spread with a little peanut butter, plus an apple and a nice full bottle of water!  Nutritionists would be proud!

And in the other corner, we have….the Healthy Diet Underminer!

Yumyumyumyumyum

Also known as Tenderhearts, or “my favorite candy in the whole world which I discovered at a store across the street from our office for 75% off so obviously I had to buy all they had left which ended up being, um, kind of a lot.”

Let’s go down to the ring for the blow by blow:

Power breakfast opens strong with a one-two punch, reminding pseudo that she is on a health kick, and that by eating fiber and protein first thing in the morning she will feel full all the way until lunch!

Tenderhearts counters with a cheap, but effective sucker punch, appealing to pseudo’s sweet tooth: “but we’re deeeliciousssss.  And you don’t want us to go stale, do you?”

Power breakfast breaks back in with a quick jab: “with as many preservatives as you’ve got in there, you won’t be going stale for MONTHS.”

Tenderhearts takes that one on the chin, and asks, with puppy dog eyes: “why do you hate us?  we loooooove you!”

Power breakfast continues the attack with a stiff uppercut: “you’ll regret it if you let them win!  Fight the good fight! Being healthy means striving to make healthy choices every day!”

Just when it looks like it’s down for the count, Tenderhearts roars back with a stunning hook!  “Have we mentioned we taste like cherries?  Cherries are fruit.  Eating us is like eating fruit for breakfast!  Who can criticize you for wanting to eat FRUIT? Fruit is healthy!  You’re doing the healthy thing here!”

I think we all know where this is going:

mmmm...cherries.

Round 1: TENDERHEARTS!  (And the crowd goes wild!)

You know the worst thing about having to work on President’s Day? It’s that no one else has to work, and thus treats Sunday evening like it’s Saturday, even going so far as to throw a karaoke party. A KARAOKE PARTY. Awesome! Thanks, neighbors! I mean, after all, who doesn’t love tossing and turning, trying fall asleep to the dulcet sounds of “You know it’s truuuuuue, everything I dooooo, I do it for yoooooou” coming through the ceiling from the apartment above us for HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS?

Seriously, it’s in my head still. I have a Bryan Adams earworm. Someone please send help.

Lessons from last night’s pub trivia outing:

Four of the top ten most-visited sites in the world in 2007 were DISNEY THEME PARKS. (Including EuroDisney, which I’d always heard was kind of a flop.) I felt like I at least earned the intellectual high ground for overestimating my human brethren by guessing such off-the-beaten-path places as “the Eiffel tower” and “the Vatican” and “Mecca”.

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