Monday, January 28, 2008

Guinness World Records

This is inspired by a show I watched last night, entitled 100 Greatest Guinness World Records. To be honest, I just winged it on the title, but it was something to that effect. I admit, a few of the records are intriguing. You should have seen the Fattest Twins...they weighed like 1,400 pounds total or something. They were shown eating breakfast, and they each ate like 20 strips of bacon and 13 poached eggs. I'm not sure why we're encouraging this morbid, digsuting obesity by giving them what looks to me like an award, but who am I to judge? (I am judging...eating that much bacon should be a felony punishable by at least 3 years in jail and/or a fine of not less than $1,500)
Anyway, most of these records are absolutely ridiculous. Here's just a few highlighted on the show last night:

*Largest gathering of people dressed as gorillas: Now, here's some people that are really making a difference in the world! I don't get it...does stuff like this happen and then Guinness jumps on it, or did these people get together with the idea of breaking this record? Was there a previous record and, if so, what the hell is wrong with people? Upon further investigation, it seems the gathering was to raise funds for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. Dian Fossey (January 16, 1932 – December 26, 1985) was an American Zoologist who completed an extended study of eight gorilla groups. She observed them daily for years in the mountain forests of Rwanda, initially encouraged to work there by famous paleontologist Louis Leakey. (Wikipedia, "Dian Fossey." January 2008). Well, that makes me feel a little better about the mental state of those that set this record...but it doesn't make it any less creepy.
*Most eggs crushed by wrist in one minute: No, don't re-read, you read that correctly the first time. Yes, the man I saw last night was able to bend his wrist backward, thus enabling him to crack an egg between the back of his hand and the top of his forearm. But don't worry, there's a lot of skill involved in this activity-he explained how after he's crushed an egg in this manner, his hand/arm become slick with egg juice, thus making the subsequent crushes very trying. He's so brave to have persevered through the first egg crush he ever did after he got all that shit all over him...most people would have given up. Actually, most people would have never realized they had this "talent" at all because they would be too busy doing things that are productive and rational like cleaning, shopping, and obtaining boyfriends/girlfriends. The best part about this one is that the record is...FOUR! The World Record is FOUR. This shouldn't even be considered for television until the records is, at the very least, in the 500's.
*Most claps in a minute: This man's mom must be SO proud. He would be a really annoying guest at the State of the Union Address. There's nothing more I feel I need to say about this one.
*Longest ski fall survived: Really? So, now you can get Guinness World Records for things you have NO control over? This woman literally got a GWR (yeah, that's right I abbreviated it) for not dying! For the love of God! I bet she was really excited, after tumbling like a rag-doll for a good 10 minutes and being carried down a mountain on a stretcher, barely conscious, concussed, and covered in bruises, to find out that she won a Guinness World Record! Probably one of the shining achievments of her life. Which is how the narrator of the show I watched last night seemed to think it went. Here's a direct quote: "Lucky to be alive and lucky to have a new world record." This is such a mind-numbingly idiotic statement that I don't even know where to begin in critcizing it. So, I'll just say I hope I'm never as "lucky" as this woman, GWR or not.

That's just a small sampling of the absurd GWR's there are. Most of these seem pretty easy to set because they are amazingly detailed things that no other person or group of people would ever be tempted to try.
I think you know where I'm going with this...I am going to try to set a NEW WORLD RECORD. Tommorrow, at 9pm, I will attempt to break the record for the most bird chirp noises made while washing dishes. If you want to come over, let me know. I called some local news stations to report the story. Please note this perfectly-timed reference to my last post re: local news. THIS, readers, is good writing. World record writing, perhaps...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I can't let this go.

My boyfriend recently alerted me to this video...
Be warned, if you are easily made sick by others embarassing themselves you probably shouldn't watch this video.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Local News

I really don't understand why the local news is so bad. But it's terrible no matter what city you're in. What resources are local news stations lacking that national news outlets have? Obviously money, but this just doesn't explain how bad every aspect of local news.

First, let's discuss the newspeople. When I watch Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira on the Today show every morning, I see two natural-looking people. Sure, Matt is balding, but that just makes him more real. Meredith wears sensible boots and cute wool coats. They have breezy, light-hearted conversation, and I really feel like they're my friends! (stop laughing at me). Even Al, who might be the most obnoxious person on the face of the planet (after, of course, Ty Pennington, who spends that entire home makeover show screaming into a bullhorn) at least resembles a real human-the rotund, but lovable oaf-type character. Then, there's the local newspeople. The women of the news are nightmare-inducing. Their faces actually look like plastic faces! Like, instead of foundation they choose each morning to cover their faces with a nice coat of surfboard wax. Their hairstyles are either from a different era altogether or simply absurd. Until very recently, I thought one of the women on the Indy news had a short, boy-type hair cut. Then, one morning, she wore it differently, and I realized it had just been plastered to her head for the past few weeks, creating the illusion of short hair. Surely, I'm not the only one who finds this bizarre at best. The newsmen are ok, I guess, but I always thought you had to have at least a modicum of good looks to make it in the television world.

Then, there's the stories. I realize it's hard to find hours of newsworthy stuff a day in just one city, but really...try harder. Inevitably, I get hooked on some stupid headline while watching Oprah. Something like, "Could your milk be killing you as we speak?" How ordinary, everyday milk could be killing me? As we speak?! I'm not even drinking milk! So, despite my better judgment, I leave the news on, because who can take these kinds of risks in today's dangerous world? The news begins. First, some murders. Then local sports. Now, weather. Apparently, this pressing issue can wait until the end of the news hour. Then, finally, YES, the story on the milk. Unquestionably, the story will last approximately 32 seconds. It will be something like, "Recent research says that milk is essential for good bone health. If you don't drink enough milk, you could develop osteoporosis. Osteoporisis is most prevalent in old people, who frequently die. That's the news for tonight, thanks for watching." Duped yet again by the local news.

Lastly, there's the presentation. I recognize that I know nothing of the technical aspects of moving from live news to a pre-recorded news story tape or of connecting to an on-location anchor, but I feel that if we as a civilization have advanced to the point that we are on the cusp of the cure for cancer, we can figure these things out. I don't know that I've ever watched 1 hour of local news without seeing a presentation mistake. Usually, it's in the cut-away to on-location guy. The camera is on him, but he's unaware that his part of the news bit has begun, so he just stares blankly for about 1 full minute in silence. By the time he realizes he's been looking like a jackass, they're cutting back to the in-station anchor and moving on as though it never happened. Which is what I ultimately wish whenever I am stupid enough to watch the local news...that it never happened.

And, while we're on the subject, here's a great one from the You Tube files. Seriously, not much makes me laugh harder than this video. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Crummy commercials

Have the people that create today's commercials spent even one day in the real world? There's no way...just look at the crap they think happens to actual people:

-Birth control/feminine product commercials-
When I see these, my first thought is, "Wow, this is so off base that only a man could have thought this up." Then I realize that men have 3 main fears in life--(1) Crying females (2) Pregnant females (3) Periods--in that order. So, I can't imagine a man conquering any of these fears by agreeing to work on a Yaz or Tampax commercial. Clearly, then, it's women with no friends that actually make them. Because I can promise you that I have never texted my friend from the beach to extol the virtues of the lighter, shorter period I can achieve with a certain pill. And my friends and I have never had a carefree conversation about cramps and bloating or spoken the phrase, "She's definitely menstrual!" I thought this was a phrase only old women would use...loudly, while in a crowded waiting room at the doctor's office (clearly, I'm alluding to a conversation I was in the middle of at a waiting room in Danville, Kentucky where two old women sitting across the room from one another casually discussed their frequent diarreah). Anyway, periods are not fun events that we girls have frequent gab-fests about. Nor are birth control pills things that we try to convince all our other friends to take. And if my friend in medical school (you know who you are) ever tries to impress us by spouting off the complete list of symptoms that could accompany such pills, well, that friendship has reached its end.

-Chain resturant commercials-
Really, what I'd like to focus on here are Olive Garden and Crapplebees commercials. I can picture the types of people that create these commercials: Crazy, fake-blonde women that are 56 but trying to look 32. They wear their bright pink blush in large, perfect circles on their faces and never stop smiling, even when they're asleep. People never argue with them because they're afraid it will catapult them into a psychotic rage. In essence, people that truly operate outside of reality. Because that's the geographic location of these commercial Olive Gardens and Applebees-outside of reality.
For example, in the bizarro Applebees of one commercial, the late-teen waiters and kitchen staff decide to stay at work past closing to allow a poor high school football team that has just undergone a devastating loss to eat there. I've worked at a resturant, and here's what would happen in reality Applebees: The waiters would have just finished vacumning the floor and putting all the chairs on the tables, and the kitchen staff would have just put away ALL the food and turned off all cooking implements. When the football team got off the bus, the workers inside would probably all yell, "Sorry, fuckers, we're closed," and then purposely ignore the team as they waited at the locked door. Then they would laugh as the team dejectedly walked away. The service industry really just isn't the touching bastion of humanity the people in bizarro Applebees want you to think it is.
Then there's Olive Garden commercials. It's pretty unrealistic that a waitress would ever be as excited and happy about her job as bizarro Olive Garden waitresses are, even if she does rely on tips. What's even less realistic is the visceral joy that the patrons appear to feel upon arriving at bizarro Olive Garden. First of all, Olive Garden is, at best, a good resturant. They have pretty tasty breasticks, but, let's be honest, it's just another chain resturant with reasonable prices and fake-nice decor. Certainly not joy-inducing. Further, from my small experience in the resturant business, I came to realize that out-to-eat families, especially ones with children, are the most joyless people on the face of the earth, second only to the people that work at the DMV. Olive Garden commercials are so ironic that all they really do is make those who exist within reality (most people) more depressed about their very real lives.
Point: Just show us a plate of delicious food with some catchy music, and stop pretending Americans love their lives.

-Lexus commercials-
What I mean are the ones that they play around Christmas. This season, we saw a man calling his wife to tell her he couldn't pick up their beloved child from some yuppy extracurricular activity. In fact, the man is outside the house with said child (who indifferently plays his Nintendo DS because he's so spoiled he can't even appreciate the vast sum of money that was just spent on his mother), waiting by a brand-new Lexus with a giant bow on top! Wife steps out, still miffed at having to pick up spoiled brat, and, gasp, she sees the gift! All is well! Make-out time for mom and dad!
I don't know about you, but here's what would happen in my household: Dad makes the fake call. Mom emits at least 3 explicatives, telling Dad exactly how unhelpful and selfish he truly is. Mom finishes berating and hangs up, still cursing to herself. She steps outside and sees the car (which has no bow on top because who the hell can find a bow that large?). At first, she's confused. Then, it hits her. Dad has spent at least $60,000 on a piece of property that will only depreciate in value. We'll skip past the fight that soon ensues because it's too painful and graphic for most readers. The next day, Dad is served with divorce papers at the hotel he had to spend the previous night in. Let's face it, only celebrities buy each other Lexi (what I consider to be the plural of Lexus) for Christmas. Thus, from an economic standpoint, Lexus is wasting money on this line of advertising, while simultaneously refusing to recognize how actual people live.

Commercial-people (this is their official title, right?) need to accept the inevitable: We are not a generally joyful people. We have never had a "happy period," and we take birth control because babies are terrifying. We eat out at resturants because we have emotional problems that are frequently soothed by eating and because we're too lazy to cook our own dinners. We buy cars that we can't afford because we're too materialistic to just be happy with the relationships we have with our loved ones. So, quit annoying me and get real.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Walking in the snow

I realize this one is out of human control, but really is it ever possible to look cool while walking in the snow? I don't mean like on a hike with those tennis rackets on your feet or on the "slopes" (though I've never been skiing, I know all about the sweet ski lingo). I mean like walking to the bus or class, especially with a bookbag that throws off your entire center of gravity. It's impossible to look cool because you have to constantly worry about slipping and falling. Thus, you are forced to walk like a tightrope walker, on your tiptoes, with your arms at full sail. This already makes you look like a moron, but just wait until you hit a ice patch or a slush puddle and you slide a bit. Inevitably, your self-concious, panic-striken mind perceives this as imminent doom. Your arms flail wildly and you make some sort of unnatural noise that is usually remeniscent of the opposite of whatever sex you actually are. To top it all off, you have to look around frantically to make sure no one saw your little snow dance, which of course they did. For all of the above reasons, I think falling actually makes you look cooler than you do when walking in the snow. Falling is like accepting you're a loser. Conversely, walking through the snow while trying not to fall and still maintain a modicucm of coolness is like being that kid that talks too much and tells bad jokes and always brags about how much he/she drank last know, a loser in denial.

I think I've made it pretty clear what my main point is: we must ban snow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Douchy Law Students

You're probably thinking, but Sue Ellen, YOU'RE a law student. Well, if you actually think my name is Sue Ellen, you're definitely not thinking that. Regardless, I am in law school, therefore I have first-hand knowledge of the douchy law student things that go on everyday. I could list nearly 200 things that annoy me about some of my fellow students. But I choose to focus on just one today...perhaps, the worst one: Douchy law student conversations. Even if you're not a law student, you too can have a douchy law student conversation so long as you do the following:

1. Think you're funny. Yes, despite the fact that many are squares that will spare no measure to kiss a professor's ass (a professor who's second and possibly third concurrent career is being a law school professor and who, thus, literally could care less if we (like him!) are Detroit Tigers fans or have a falsely-concocted question designed in vain to get him to remember our face or have an interesting take on something we wish to babble on and on about or would gladly give him a b.j. just for an A...)...shit, where was I? Oh yeah, despite that the fact the they're dorks, they still somehow think they're funny. I actually fulfill this requirement. But I am funny, so f off.

2. Drop your grades/summer job. You can be talking about anything on earth (and please don't get me started on the fact that I've now heard TWO conversations about Nietzsche and Ayn Rand in the law school...please), but somehow you'll find a way to get in that you worked at (insert name of uppity law firm where similar douchy conversations are the norm) last summer and will hopefully be returning this summer if you can maintain the "unreal grades"** you've achieved thus far. The most noxious part about this requirement is that you're freely allowed to just make shit up. So, you're not top 10%? Who the hell cares, tell everyone you are anyway! As long as you maintain confidence, they might believe you.
**Actual quote from actual classmate.

3. Talk about law things like you're the smartest person on earth. This one really gets me. A conversation will go like this:
D-bag 1: Did you hear Britney Spears got arrested? (I made this up, is it true?)
D-bag 2: Yeah, but those charges seem pretty shaky. I mean, I doubt there was any mens rea, and without that the prosecution's gonna have a hell of time.
D-bag 1: True, plus, ya know res ipsa loquitor. It'll be hard to prove, but I think the best bet would be to file an interlocutory appeal and be done with it.
D-bag 2: Bro, you are so right.
People who aren't in law school probably wouldn't know what these people are talking about. Well, neither do they. They use these Latin phrases and legal terms for the same reason the law profession keeps them around-to feel superior to other people. But, newsflash, a-holes WE'RE all in law school! We all learned these terms and phrases in the same miserable classes you did, so you're not impressing anyone when you have these conversations in the student lounge while people are TRYING TO EAT. Number three is the easiest requirement because all you need is a law dictionary and a douchy law student to converse with.

4. Speak as loudly as possible. Pay careful attention, because this is the KEY to the douchy law student conversation. Wherever you are, the library, Wal-Mart, the bus, you MUST make sure that all around you can hear the conversation you're having. This is the best way to let as many people as possible know how funny, smart, desirable and humble you really are. The d-bag you're speaking to might already know that you got a (made up good grade) in (indifferent professor's name)'s class, but the busdriver might not! This is the perfect opportunity to let said busdriver know that you are far better than he will ever be. And remember, you're better than all the other law students too!

Well, there you have it. With just a bit of deception and a hefty dose of arrogance, you can be on your way to having a douchy law student conversation. Don't be surprised if you find the urge to stab yourself, though.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Southern Lady Acronyms/Taglines

G.R.I.T.S. (Girls Raised in the South)
“Carolina Girl, Best in the World”
S.L.U.T.S (Southern Ladies Under Tremendous Stress)

Perhaps you’re not aware of this annoyance. Even if you’re from the South, I’ve found that you encounter these pretty much only in Charleston. While Charleston is, in my humble opinion, the only city worth living in/visiting/driving through in South Carolina, I just don’t think this is the reason for these “creative” little slogans. I think it all comes down to two words: Redneck yuppies. Yes, it sounds like an oxymoron, but Charleston is teeming with them, and they LOVE to put these phrases on bumper stickers, canvas tote bags, and non-hooded sweatshirts. But, really, WHY are they such a Charleston thing? I honestly don’t know, but I would like to dissect my three examples individually to explain why they annoy me so much.

G.R.I.T.S: This is stupid. Do people in Georgia wear these shirts? Maybe they do, but I’ve never encountered a pink t-shirt with a colored pencil rendition of a beach scene and G.R.I.T.S emblazoned on the bottom anywhere but here. The South is large. Grits are a food. This is stupid.

“Carolina Girl, Best in the World”: First of all, “girl” and “world” don’t rhyme. But, slant rhyme is acceptable in most intellectual circles so I won’t argue too much on this point. However, has anyone noticed that this phrase can include ANY other type of girl on the planet? For instance, “South Dakota Girl, Best in the World,” or “Fat Ugly Girl, Best in the World.” See, what makes a place-oriented rhyming slogan workable is that it is somehow unique to the place. The phrase “Getting Lucky in Kentucky,” while lame, is unique because there aren’t many other places you could “get lucky” in that actually rhyme with lucky. What would be far lamer is a bumper sticker that said “Kentucky Girl, Best in the World.” But we Carolina girls (read: Charleston redneck yuppies) are apparently the only ones dumb enough to monopolize this phrase before all the other 5 trillion adjectives and place names could get there.

S.L.U.T.S: I don’t know if I’ve been away too long, or if I just missed it growing up, but I learned this one only recently, after seeing it on a package of cocktail napkins and (of course) a non-hooded sweatshirt at a store in Charleston. I can barely articulate an intelligent reply to this acronym because I find it so absurd. Where will these Southern ladies STOP?? What minute detail of their life with they immortalize in an acronym next? How much more inappropriate will the acronym get? I mean, surely only women over the age of 41 wear these items anymore…but I guess it’s ok for them to have the word SLUTS in giant letters on their ugly sweatshirt because it’s just a cute little acronym that only Southern gals like themselves could understand. When you think about, there are probably a lot of W.H.O.R.E.S (Women Happy Only Reading Eight Sonnets) and F.A.T. A.S.S.E.S (Fun And Talented Actors Sitting Still Eating Sandwiches) out there. And why shouldn’t THEY get an acronym too? Washed-denim, embroidered button-ups for EVERYONE!