Monday, February 27, 2006

Reality TV is where I'll be this week
Folks, we've got a big week of Reality TV this week. If you need me, I'll be watching all of it.

On my schedule:

Tonight was the season finale of The Bachelor. Thank goodness he didn't pick Moanna (oops! spoiler alert!). Her freakout in the limo after (while classic and effectively desperate, whiny, and teary) was pretty disappointing. I was hoping for a MUCH bigger tantrum.

Tomorrow night we've got the season premiere of The Amazing Race 9. Always good times. I love travel and reality TV, and this show rolls it into one fun-filled adventure. We're back to two-person teams, so we should also be back to a good season of trans-atlantic drama.

We've also got three episodes of American Idol this week: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Too much? Of course! But I'll be watching.

And Wednesday also brings us the season premiere of America's Next Top Model. For the diehards, you'll find a preview and recap show on Tuesday night. I, for one, am super excited. Like, I kinda jumped up and down with excitement about it last night. In front of people...

Now, you might ask, "Tyrant, how can you manage to watch so much reality TV when so much if it is on the same nights and you do not have Tivo or DVR? Not to mention LOST, non-reality but still fabulous?" Well, I will tell you.

I have TWO VCRs and TWO TVs.

Take that, Tivo.

Yes, before I go to bed tonight I will have constructed a complex gameplan of scheduling and programming to make sure that both of my TVs and VCRs are choreographed and set to tape hours upon hours of Reality TV this week. It's quite an orchestration, but I've done it before. I may not sleep much this week. But I will know everything there is to know about the most important thing in the world... Reality TV.

I'd also like to take the Reality Madness one step further and introduce some new blog friends. I met Steve through MOL at church one night, then again at the MOL Christian Conference where he manned the booth next to mine. He and his buddy have a very special blog that I am growing to love:

I've been asked to contibute my valuable insights to this fabulous blog as my Reality TV schedule allows. But even without my expertise, Realityblogs is pretty genius. These guys are pretty hardcore. Check it out. You might see me there from time to time, if my Reality TV offerings can add anything positive or valuable to their geniusery as related to Reality TV.

And as always, check back here for periodic Reality TV updates

It's a lot to keep up with, I know. But someone's gotta do it.

Pick me.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Oh my darling Clementine
I have recently been introduced to the Clementine orange. It is a fascinating fruit.

Clementines are small and cute and can go just about anywhere and do just about anything.

In fact, our cameras were able to capture the activities of a Clementine in her natural habitat throughout the day. Let's take a look at a day in the life of a Clementine, through her eyes:

This Clementine was later eaten by me. But at least we know she had an eventful and productive last day.

She was a happy little fruit until the very end. And then she was quite sweet and tasty.

Thus is the life of the Clementine.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Idol Favorites
Keeping it short tonight...

I predict one of these Idols will be the winner:


I just like these Idols and I hope they stay a long time:

He's interesting and fun and he can sing. Although I hope the quirkiness doesn't get too annoying more so than it is (so far) loveable.

He's hot, yet kinda rough and rocker-ish (not in a Grandma rocker kind of way), and he can sing. And his favorite female singer is Kelly Clarkson, sooo me likey.

Fun to watch.

He's very pretty, and he can sing. Although I'm almost annoyed with the whole "Ace" name thing. Really? Is that your name? It's a little too perfect.


Good heavens, I didn't think one person could be so annoying. It's not easy annoying me so early in the season.

Let the games begin.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'm not deleting posts
Blogger is deleting them for me, without even asking.

If you saw a post here and now it's suddenly missing, that's what is going on.

The mystery of what is a sport and what is NOT a sport may now never be known, since that post seems gone forever.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mega MOL Christian Conference
I don't usually blog about work. And I don't usually go overboard incorporating the MOL usage into my blogs. But I just spent the better part of two days at a conference I will refer to as Mega MOL Christian Conference. Here I witnessed the most MOL of Christian activities and personalities, all gathered under one roof. It begs to be mentioned on the blog.

I was able to interact with some Christian MOLs:

Prestonwood MOL

Bible Answer Man MOL

I shared the floor with representatives of other Christian MOLs:

Word of Faith Movement MOL

And other Christian MOLs made special appearances for autograph signings:

Jim Bakker MOL

But even more intriguing than the MOL Personalities were the rows and rows of Christian products. There is literally a Christian version of anything you could ever need. I saw these and many more:

Christian luggage, complete with Bible verses that I'm sure were handcrafted into the pieces of luggage by actual Christians
Christian Gourmet recipes
Christian comedians
Christian jewelry and furniture, made entirely by Christians
Christian travel agents
Christian places to travel to
Christian video and audio equipment, to film and hear those special Christian moments
Christian television shows and networks
Christian radio networks
Christian publishers
And yes, Christian soy bars

There's even Christian niche television programming, any program you could possibly think of to "reach" lost souls in obscure markets. One guy came and talked to me about helping him get his Christian Bowhunting program going.

Yes, I said Christian bowhunting.

But even with all of the MOL Christian Mega Stars, and the MOL Christian products, and the Super MOL Big Christian Hair, Hairdos, and Toupees, I think the MOST MOL thing I saw this week was a life-size sculpture of Jesus hanging on a cross, and the whole thing was made entirely of nails.

Like, how do you even make that?

I'll stick with Christian Bowhunting, thank you very much.



Thursday, February 16, 2006

I have yet to kill a mockingbird
So, for the second time in the past two months, I got a call today from Blockbuster telling me that they are going to charge my account for the full price of a movie that I have rented that is too many days past the due date.

Problem is, BOTH times I have received this call I did NOT rent the movie they say I rented.

The first time it was Bourne Supremacy, or the other Bourne. I don't know. Some dumb movie I have never seen.

Today it was To Kill a Mockingbird. I watched this in highschool because I had to. They made us. Why would I watch it again now when I have to pay for it?

The first time I happened to be driving near my local Blockbuster when I got the automated call, so I stopped in to talk to someone about it. I called my parents to make sure they hadn't used my card on accident. They don't even have my card. I just wanted to cover all of my bases before I tried to explain to Young Blockbuster Employee (YBE) that I did not rent that movie, so I can't very well turn it back in.

He said he believed me and he took the charge off of my account. Problem solved.

Today after I got the automated call, I called the store and explained that I was about to be charged AGAIN for another movie I did not rent.

YBE put me on hold several times. He told me that yes, they show that To Kill a Mockingbird was rented on my account.

I asked him how that could be when I am the only person on my card, and I did not rent the movie. I told him all of the movies I have rented lately, and none of these movies include To Kill a Mockingbird.

I told him that I can't turn in a movie that I haven't rented, and I assured him that I HAD NOT RENTED IT, and I do not want to be charged for a movie that I did not rent.

He put me on hold.

When he came back he said that I would have to speak to a manager since YBE did not have the power to check in a movie that had not been turned in.

Really, I'm not asking him to do that. I am not asking him to check in an imaginary movie, or produce a movie out of thin air that would happen to be the movie in question. I'm just asking him to correct my account and not hold me responsible for turning in a movie I DO NOT HAVE.

Whoever has it can then turn in the movie, or pay the ridiculous amount of money for a really old movie if they want to keep it.

He then said the manager was out today and he would be at conferences tomorrow and that he doesn't work on weekends (talk about IMAGINARY, I think his MANAGER is imaginary!). So he said I would have to call back on Monday.

Meanwhile I'm paying like, $15 for To Kill a Mockingbird until all of this gets cleared up. And I don't even have the movie to show for it. To play by Blockbuster's rules, I should get to go to their store, find To Kill a Mockingbird on their shelf, and take it home with me without actually renting it.

I got the manager's name and I will call him on Monday. But really, Blockbuster. You need to come up with a better scheme to get rid of the movies you don't want anymore.

Try this: Bring in more copies of the good movies that people rent more often and that are never there when I go look for a good movie even though you "guarantee in stock" a lot of titles. Then when you get home, throw To Kill a Mockingbird away.

Don't make innocent people pay for it. Unless you want me to switch to Netflix.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Things that were good for me over the weekend
A little late on these, but whatever.

1. Grouting my shower.
First, a thorough cleaning of the shower. Then the filling in of places where the grout has worn thin. I already had the grout on hand, for some reason. I mean, doesn't everyone keep grout around the house? And again, I needed the therapy. When I'm stressed or upset, I tend to turn super OCD and I clean a lot. Thanks to stress, my house now has steam-cleaned carpets and new grout in my shower. I'm sure I'll find more to do this weekend!

I also need to start working out again. After all the cleaning and the grouting, my legs and back felt like I had been lifting weights all day. Who knew grouting could make you so sore?

2. Kelly Clarkson.

I finally bought it. I really needed it in an emergency sort of way this weekend. And I have to say I honestly, truly love it.

There. I said it. I'm a fan.

3. Napping.
I'm not sleeping so well at night lately. But napping is something I'm getting really good at.

Is it the weekend again, yet?


Monday, February 13, 2006

My Eyes! My Eyes!
This morning I woke up and went to the bathroom to get ready for work as I always do. I put in my contacts and was suddenly met with searing eyeball pain.

After I was finally able to get the contact back out of my eye, I noticed a large chunk of the contact missing that was not previously missing say... before it went into my eyeball.

At first I was just annoyed that I broke a contact, I would have to wear my glasses to work all day, and I would have to either go visit my eye doctor or at least order a new contact. Neither of which I want to do because neither of these things are free.

Then later (about halfway through my day) I realized that my contact had broken in my eye, and I never actually found that large missing shard of contact. I began to believe that it was still lodged in my eyeball, noticing that my eyeball did feel weird, but did not necessarily hurt.

Clearly my eyeball was in shock due to having a plastic contact shard lodged in it.

I try never to go to my doctors because once I start going, it never stops. Lately I've been trying to use up extra Flex Spending money (which I have since used up) by going to the doctor and whatnot. I've now seen every doctor I've ever known. And I now need to stop spending Flex Spending money.

So naturally it's the perfect time for my eyeball to get contact shards lodged in it. Just when I need to stop going to doctors and stop spending money on doctors.

I went to work and started making phone calls. My usual eye doctor is no longer on my insurance so I can't go to see him cheaply. To buy just the one new contact is $110. But I can get most of that reimbursed if I do something ... but maybe I want to try soft contacts... yada yada... insurance mumbo jumbo...


Finally I made an appointment to see a new doctor (recommended by a co-worker) and I went on about my day.

Can you believe that my coworkers actually called me four-eyes? I don't wear my glasses to work. They are fabulous, trendy glasses, mind you. But, I don't see as well out of them and they are super thick. I am far less productive with the glasses on, as opposed to my more businessy contacts.

Four-eyes? Really? Are we 12 years old?

I finally got to the new doctor, who was seriously more devoid of personality than my coworker warned me that he was. But he was quick. I like that.

Stare at the thingy in the distance... check. Puff of air thingy THAT I HATE... check. Read that chart... check. Can you see anything with your glasses off? No. Check.

The one thing that I didn't like was that he didn't ask me why I was there. He just started examining me as though I was there for fun, or for a regular appointment that I crammed in at the end of my day. I had to volunteer to him that in addition to this fun eye exam, I think I have a shard of contact lens still stuck in my eyeball. Could you check on that???


Fortunately, the shard was not there. Which means it either fell out of my eyeball this morning. Or it's lodged back in my brain somewhere. I guess we'll find out one day.

I asked about trying soft lenses. I felt like an idiot. As though these "new-fangled soft lenses" were a brand new futuristic contraption that people are trying these days.

Every time I tell people that I still wear gas permeable lenses (ie: NOT soft and NOT disposable) they react like it's some ancient form of torturous eyewear that no one uses anymore. Friend C once watched me actually cleaning my lenses and she had no idea what I was doing, since apparently you don't have to clean soft disposable lenses.

I've always had gas perm lenses. I was told soft lenses would never be good enough for my severely blind eyeballs. So I never figured they were an option for me. But, my hope is that soft lenses have come a long way since I was in the 5th grade.

See, with gas perm lenses, if you lose one or it breaks, you have to go through the whole ordeal of ordering a new lens, it's expensive, it takes awhile. It is a gas perm lens wearer's greatest fear to lose a lens. I had that fear put into me at a very young age: do not lose or break a lens! Apparently it's the end of the world when this happens, and it almost has been the few times I've broken or lost a lens.

But with the soft disposable lenses you are literally supposed to throw them away! It's genius! Lose a lens, you've already got another box of them in your medicine cabinet! No big deal!

I like the sound of this. And he thought soft disposable lenses would be a good idea for me. So, Mr. New Eye Doc ran to fetch a pair of soft lenses so that I could try them. Which meant he would have to show me how to put them in, since it is different than putting in gas perm lenses.

Almost entirely different. The only thing that is the same is that with either lens you do end up with a lense on your eyeball. Otherwise, it's a completely different finger-poking-in-your-eyeball experience.

See, I don't really so much like to touch my eyeball. Much like Rachel of Friends. Although not quite that bad.

The first time I was ever shown how to put in my contact lenses was a horrificly traumatic experience for me. I was in the 5th grade. No one else my age had contacts. The whole idea was very scary.

This nurse woman at the eye doctor's office sat me in a chair and pretty much lunged at me from across the room with a contact on the end of her finger, aiming for my eyeball. It took many, MANY tries to get the contact into my eyeball, and even more tries to get me to do it myself. And then I thought I would never recover from the pain and discomfort. My mom watched the whole thing in horror. It was terrible.

But, the good thing about the gas perm lenses is that if you get them ANYWHERE near your eyeball, your eyeball will pretty much suck the lense into place. This is good since I never learned how to put the lens on correctly (I was too frightened by the experience of learning), and I always have to scoot it around my eyeball to get it into place.

I hate that woman.

So today, Mr. New Eye Doc got to show me how to put in a soft lens, which involves a lot of touching my eyeball. But, I picked it up after a few tries. It was weird, and I felt like an idiot (again), but I got them in there. So far, so good. I can see and it's strangly more comfortable than I thought they would be, given my eyeballs are supposed to take three weeks to adjust to the different lens.

I do greatly fear trying to get the lenses OUT of my eyeballs tonight, since this will involve quite a bit more eyeball touching. That should be fun.

But, I walked out of the doctor's office able to see without my glasses, and this was a surprise. I expected to have to order new lenses that would take a week or so to be ready, being forced to wear my glasses until then. Stumbling about, not able to see well. Folly sure to follow me around for the week.

What will they think of next?? Contact lenses you can wear the same day of your eye exam?? Genius.

This post is way more contact lens detail than anyone wants to know. But, welcome to my life.

I'm just glad I could see well enough to type for so long. What with the shard lodged in my eyeball and all.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Olympic Fever!
Yes, I have it. Olympic Fever.

I love the Olympics. Some may say the Olympics are dead. Others may not have even known they've begun. But I don't care. Even if I'm the only person watching the men's Luge right now, I don't care.

Winter Games. Summer Games. Doesn't matter.

I. Love. Olympics.

I love the tradition of it. I love the emotion of it. I used to know who all the athletes are. I always wanted the Wheaties boxes of the gold medal winners. I used to want to win my own gold medal in something. Not sure what. But I used to really want to get to stand on the podium while they played my national anthem.

Mostly because I'd get to be on a Wheaties box. And who doesn't want to be on a Wheaties box?

I don't even really care about most of the sports. Some things I'm pretty sure are not even sports. Curling? Really?

Doesn't matter. I will watch it.

I especially love the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. After a brief freak out this morning when I thought I had once again non-taped something I intended to tape, I spent several hours watching the Opening Ceremonies.

It's better on tape because I can fast-forward through the crap. And I'll admit, most of it is crap. But, I love the pageantry of it. I love the spirit of it. I love the production of it.

Most of all, I like to make fun of it.

Here are some highlights (not as much fun as my annual Grammy recap, but this will have to do):

A giant flame-spitting anvil
People on roller blades and skateboards
Spandex, and lots of it
An Italian flag corp
Something Cirque de Soleil-ish
Some supermodel in an oyster shell
People and body parts coming up through the floor
A Ferarri race car doing donuts in the middle of the floor
Plastic cows, complete with cow sounds
The Ricola guys
Like, 100 people in the shape of one really big skier dude (this was cool in fast-forward - he actually looked like he was skiing)
A drill team, possibly from the local highschool
Giant hot air balloons with scary faces on them and people hanging from them
Lots of fireworks
And, Susan Sarandon carrying a corner of the Olympic flag with 7 other ladies. It must be a heavy flag.

Really, the best part is the commentators that give the play-by-play. I don't know how they can say what they are watching without busting out laughing. It goes something like this.

"Mary, I believe what we are seeing now is a roller-blading drill team with fire shooting out of their helmets. And yes... I believe they are skating around giant plastic cows. This scene represents Italy's love of bar-b-cue in the Alps."

"Yes, Bob. And the cows are being operated by local children from a large orphanage. They've been given special flame-retardant suits so that the flame-shooting roller bladers do not harm these precious children. Also, the children have never seen live cows before. This is a big day for them."

"Oh look. Mary, the giant oyster is opening to reveal world-famous supermodel Olga from the Czech Republic. This symbolizes Italy's love of seafood, and the local cuisine of oysters that are native to the Alps here in Torrino."

It goes on and on like that. Really, if you have to explain the bizarreness that we are seeing on screen so that the audience knows what it "represents", maybe you should have kept it simpler. Or just let us wonder what we're looking at. The people watching live in the stadium don't get to hear the commentary, and they have no idea what they are looking at.

Just get the Ricola guys back out there for the rest of the show. We all know they represent cough drops.

My absolute favorite part is the parade of nations (this year done to the tunes of disco music from the 70s and 80s). I don't have any idea who these people are. I've long since given up keeping up with these athletes, and now they all seem like young kids anyway (except for the Australian Curling team - that guy was 40 years old!). But I LOVE to watch all of the countries walk by in their spiffy and weird (ahem, Mongolia - hats!) outfits.

See, the parade of nations really sums up the whole spirit of the Olympics. Some of these athletes, this is their whole life. They come from countries that place so much importance on cranking out superior athletes. This moment in the spotlight is already their crowning achievement. For the little countries who never win, this moment of walking into the stadium is the highlight. They may never win a medal. But on this first official day of the Olympics, everyone is still a winner. No races have been lost, yet. Everyone still has hope.

I love the small countries who have only one or two athletes. It's almost more exciting for me to see them there than all of the big countries with the huge entourages of athletes. I love that the Virgin Islands sends one athlete every year. She is the world's oldest Olympian. She's been six times. She never wins. They call her Granny Luge.

I love that countries that never see snow have athletes in the Winter Games.

I love that you can work and live in America, but if you were born in another country or have any ties whatsoever to another country, you can be on their team. The lone athlete from Thailand is a professor here in the U.S. That's so cool.

Really, the parade of all the nations is what we should strive for everyday. The world comes together for one purpose, in peace (as Yoko Ono so eloquently blabbered on about at the ceremony). North and South Korea march in together. Outside of these circumstances, they are at war. But for these two weeks, we have one agenda. We coexist.

Why can't it be like the Olympics all the time? Everyone cheering for everyone else. Loud disco favorites. Underdogs getting the spotlight for awhile. Understanding. Common goals. Peace.

Of course, as much as I love to watch all of the countries walk in the parade, I always get teary when the U.S. team walks. This year I thought about getting people together to watch the ceremonies with me. But then I realized that 1) very few people would care to come over and fast-forward through the ceremony with me, and b) I cry like a baby during much of it and that is embarrassing for me.

Today as I watched (alone), I also got teary as the Italian team walked in. They get to go last because they are the host country. Maybe it was because most of them are um, really hot (such beautiful people!). It brought a tear to my eye. But mostly, it's the sound of the crowd going wild at the sight of their own athletes.

I've decided that maybe I need people to cheer more for me on a regular basis. I just love the sound of it for other people. Maybe I'm not cheered for enough...

Last in the ceremony is the lighting of the torch. This is always pretty cool. Sometimes lame, but this year there were lots of fireworks with it and that's always cool. It's fun to see who the last few people are that get to carry the flame to the big torch. This year it was a bunch of Italians I've never heard of, but yay for them anyway!

The fire is lit.

The games have begun, people.

Go America.


Friday, February 10, 2006

I had a really great post
It was witty and funny (both), short, and to the point. It was delightful.

I thought of it today when I walked to the bathroom, and by the time I was finished in the bathroom, I'd written the whole thing in my head.

It was great.

10 hours later, I've completely forgotten it.

This post is definitely not the post I wrote in my head earlier today.

I plan to spend a lot of time going back and forth to the bathroom tomorrow to find my blog post.

It has to be there somewhere.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

It's just not okay
Bad news. Really, really bad news. I made a bad decision. A really, really bad decision.

I set my VCR (yes, VCR - I do not afford Tivo or DVR) to tape the Grammys. For my annual recap. And because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE awards shows and I have been looking forward to the Grammys all week.

Even though the Grammys are once a year, I decided to keep my standing date to watch LOST with my local LOST group. I've grown to love that time, and I really needed the people interaction this week.

So, I decided to tape the Grammys (instead of staying home to watch them live). And I went to LOST group.

I loved LOST group (as always), but it was a bad decision.

I got home from LOST group. I put on my pjs. I snuggled onto my couch. I figured I would watch some Grammys until I fall asleep.

Pressed "Play".


I accidentally taped TV from THIS MORNING starting at 7 AM instead of 7PM. I now have three hours of the Early Show.

Who watches that??? I WANT GRAMMYS!!! I don't even care if they are good or not, so don't try to appease me with "the show really wasn't that great." It's never that great. That's not the point.


Unless I can find someone who either has it on tape or who will let me live at their house for at least 3.5 hours to watch the Grammys on Tivo, I will not be able to write my recap.


And I just really don't know what to do with myself facing the horrible reality that I may not get to watch the Grammys this year.

I was looking forward to it. A lot. I needed it this week. A lot.

I hate everyone and everything right now.

Unless you have Grammys for me. Then I love you a lot.


Monday, February 06, 2006

Even better than clean carpets
I got to spend time over the weekend with my dear friend Pink Revolver, and her fiance, um.... Mr. Pink Revolver.

I find them both to be very abrasive.

But there were hats.

It was all quite lovely.


My carpets are clean
Not because they were particularly dirty, but I needed the therapy this weekend.

I borrowed my parents' carpet cleaner thingy, and I enjoyed a weekend of thoroughly cleaning my carpets. The straight lines. The fluffy carpet. The sucking out of dirt and grime.

Seeing what came out and throwing it away, knowing that even though I couldn't see it in my carpet, it was making my house and my life dirtier than the after-effects of a deep cleaning.

Feeling cleansed afterwards.

Much needed therapy.

I also trimmed, hacked, and sawed tree limbs to make my fig tree neater. It was attacking my neighbor's fence by leaning on it.

I needed that therapy, too. Pruning the tree, saving the fence, helping my neighbor. Sweat and manual labor.

Funny, though, how cleaning everything around me doesn't necessarily ease what's going on inside me. But at least I wore myself out enough to sleep.

And my carpets are spring-time fresh. That's a bonus.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

You saw it here first
Thanks to Earl for alerting me to this atrocity.

On January 19, I wrote about the burn ban.

Today, Earl finds this in a Houston paper.

What is up??

Houston, we have a problem. You totally ripped me off.

Just goes to show you, if you want your news on time and with a FRESH, NON-RIPPED OFF perspective, read it here from The Tyrant first.