Monday, April 30, 2012

Sloop John B: Part Two, Or, Jesus On A Cactus

If you had told me a week ago just how insane the last seven days have been, I'd have crawled under the covers, and waited for it all to blow over. As it is, I'm alive at the other end of it; battered, bruised, and beaten, but alive.
Would you like to hear about my week?
Oh, come on now. It's going to be full of videos!
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

It all started out innocently enough. We were going to see Dr. Robert Ballard give a lecture (read the link for a very small list of the things he has found in the ocean, if you like). I went to hear what he had to say about the Titanic, and didn't expect to enjoy the rest of the lecture as much as I did. The only thing that disappointed me was that I didn't hear a single one of these...

We were two of the last four people allowed in, at standing room only. Personally, I'm glad we got in, even if some bald guy's face was at eye level with my arse.
Sounds fun, and it was.
So, where's the battle-hardened soldier thing come in?
We aren't there yet.

The next night, we went to hear a lecture from Bill Clinton. Yes, Sarah-PAC-donating, Reagan-fangirling, George-Bush-autograph-owning me went to listen to Bill Clinton. "What did I do with my life before I blogged?" fun fact: when she was running for president back in '08, I went to see Hillary campaign.
It's a history thing for me.

That was also a fun night. Even if we did stand in line for ninety minutes behind a couple of Jeff Wingers...

They compared sushi restaurants for twenty minutes. I wish that was an exaggeration, but it isn't.

And then, Thursday night hit. Even though I knew it was coming, and had ten days to prepare for it, it still hit me like a ton of bricks. We had all agreed to drive down to Dallas to help my dad's mother finish up a house she's been flipping. Three days with her.
Now, maybe that doesn't seem like such a bad thing; and, I suppose, it isn't. The thing is, I still have wretched memories from the last time we went out of town together. Ten years ago, she thought it would be a fun idea to go to Disney World as a "family". At the time, I told myself that it would all be OK, and I just had to survive that fortnight as best I could.
Some of those trip highlights included:

*Not getting to ride any rides with my sidekick-since-ever, my mother.

*Breaking my knee, and walking the Disney complex for the four days immediately following.

*His mother getting completely drunk, and forgetting where she said she would meet us when it was time for her to pick us up from the park one night. We had to break into Disney World to use their telephone (before cell phones, children!) at two o'clock in the morning. We waited about three hours before we were "rescued".

*Some guy I didn't know died. Somebody's cousin's uncle's brother, or some such affair. Either way my dad's mother got wrapped up in the ensuing drama, thereby making us take part (to a much smaller extent) by proxy.

*And, in general, not being allowed to have fun, which completely defeated the purpose of going to frickin' Disney World in the first ruddy place.

Every time I hear Sloop John B, I am reminded of that trip; I kept humming it under my breath, knowing that she was too square to understand that reference.

Fun fact: I really have always been this way.

Except this weekend was a whole 'nuther notch on the Sliding Scale of Suck, because my dad's brother would also be going. And that is a bad thing. In anybody's book. Really.
Some of this weekend's highlights included:

*His brother blatantly going out of his way to be the biggest dick in the history of ever. (This encompasses the majority of the weekend in one blanket statement.)

*All I kept thinking this weekend was that this happened the last time we were in Dallas...
...and this happened that time before that...
...and just how low I have sunk in such a short amount of time. Oh, woe is me.

*Having to ride in the passenger's seat with his mother at the wheel. It was scary, and I thought I was going to die.

*His brother telling me he remembered watching The Beatles perform "Yellow Submarine" on The Ed Sullivan Show.

*When his brother started making obscene jokes regarding gay men to a waiter at a restaurant, my dad said -- in a joking manner -- that the waiter was allowed to hit his brother. I begged the waiter to do it, and he could tell that I wasn't joking; I think that's why my dinner was served before the other four people I was with even got their orders. Also, he reminded me of Brendon Urie, so I was grateful to have something else to think about besides the fact that I was purposefully separated from my sidekick (it was like Florida all over again).

If you fast forward to the 46 second time stamp, you'll get a pretty clear picture of the waiter I'm talking about.

*After we broke free from the shackles of hell, we went to see RAIN. Yes, the very same tribute band I unabashedly trashed on this very blog two years ago. All I can say is that we must have gotten the D, E, or F string touring band. This was the A string, fresh from their stint on Broadway, and they were pretty damn good. You know, except for fake George (I explain my fake George complex in the link). Fake John has spent quite a bit of time trying to sound like John; so much, in fact, he has his speech patterns down. The only trouble is, he sounds a bit more like Sean Lennon than John Lennon.

Still, he was very good.
The highlight of the show, though, was fake Paul. He didn't look or act anything like Paul, but he could hit that Paul sound very, very well. It was the first time I ever felt safe going into "Hey Jude" with a fake Paul (which caused me to make some rather lurid and uncalled for comments; my personality had been bottled up for three days, so I needed to let my inner fangirl out. I could see that episode of The Golden Girls where Dorothy dates the Beatles impersonator flashing in my head). That, and his version of "Rocky Raccoon" was impeccable. I loved it.

And, here we are; out of the tunnel, into the light, covered in mud, and a little worse for wear.
So, what have we learned?

*Not everybody thinks of purposefully butchering "My Heart Will Go On" when they hear the word 'Titanic'.

*I can be open-minded about any politician if he isn't in any form of office.

*Some people really are that stupid.

*I have the patience of a saint.

*I also have some unresolvable Paul McCartney issues.

If I'm ever in a vegetative state or something, play this clip. I'll come around.

*A good variation on the French comb forward will distract me so well, I won't even notice if you've gone from England to France; this is also in reference to the unresolved Paul issues, I'm sure.

*And, in general, we're all glad that this month is over.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

In The Wardrobe Of My Soul, In The Section Labeled 'Shirts'

Something we don't often discuss on the blog is just how ruddy much fun blogging is. I always just kind of figured that fact was obvious, considering I update rather more frequently than once a month. We've all been to those blogs that only post every third blue moon, and we all know how sucky that is (except Hyperbole and a Half, 'cause that is one helluva hilarious blog).
One of those rarely updated blogs belongs to Mr. Graham Linehan; the way I see it, though, if the man that helped give us Father Ted, Black Books, and The IT Crowd does not want to update his page for a while, he is more than free to do that.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I check his blog this evening and find this image staring back at me from my plasma screen...
Now, I'm not claiming victory or anything, but I SEE WHAT YOU DID, GRAHAM.

Look familiar?
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

After looking over the statistics, I have discovered that Reginald Kitty has made 116 appearances on the blog since his first appearance on January 26, 2010. Not to mention that he's been in the header since April 8, 2010.
Like I said, though, I'm not saying Mr. Linehan stole my idea to have an irate sphynx cat on his blog. That's a totally normal blog staple. Totally. Normal.

Still on the normal scale...

So normal, the Cleavers do it...

Nothing abnormal here, folks!

In other blogging news, I also love to track how folks come across my blog. It's a thing for me, I can't help it. You would be surprised at some of the bollocks people search for. I'm still confused which I find more disturbing: that people actually search for some of this stuff, or that my blog comes up in these weird searches.
I have a list of my favorites.
Do you wanna see 'em? Oh, come on, I've linked to the places I think these poor folks were directed to!
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

more like stupid
chicken in/with shoes
paddington bear g string
chris o'dowd leather
edward swiderski and jillian harris

bachelor helicopter pictures
sunglasses for chickens
chris harrison hair
john alderton images
little white flowers in my lawn
you're weird

And, my personal favorite...
campaign carl cameron
I was so proud of that one, I screen capped it.

So, what have we learned from this experience?

*No one blogs quite like I do.

And it's probably best that way.

*People Google really, really, really weird stuff.
Fun fact: I have never Googled myself. I don't really need to, I know all about me. Now, some people, though... um, lets just allow that thought to fizzle.

*Music videos have never made sense. They never will, either.

*And -- most importantly -- NO ONE can replace our Reginald Kitty.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I Guess I'll Just Pop On Over To Candleford!

I have been missing in action for the better part of two weeks, both from my virtual life, and my real one. That whole catching-strep-from-my-lovely-little-neice schtick, coupled with real life stuff, made me miss a few of my dreaded classes (which I was semi-OK with) while I tried to dig my brain out of the living dead fog that had enshrouded it.
Imagine my surprise, then, after missing one single four hour class, that someone had forgotten to let me know that the entire schedule was completely thrown out the window last week. Instead of a quiz, and simple vocabulary study -- an ordinary Tuesday -- it had been replaced with a relay, and something called the Flyswatter Game.
I mean.
If you haven't figured it out by reading over three hundred blog posts here, I'm an extreme introvert. I mean, my sister thinks I have a gray sheen, and zero life whatsoever (come on, sis, I know you do, since you let me know it every time I talk to you in depth); this is a major part of my personality. (Side note: If you have never read the "Caring For Your Introvert" article, you really, really need to. Go. Do it now. This can wait. I won't go anywhere, I promise. Wasn't it a good article? What, you didn't read it yet? GO!)
Four hours of fake laughter, and my impenetrable signature "People Facade" later -- on top of the fact that I am still sick as a dog -- I thought I was going to die.
I now have a reputation with these people. By the time Thursday came around, people wanted to know about me. I doubt most of them had even heard me speak before Tuesday. I'm that weird girl that sits by herself, reading the coursework; people only speak to me if they need something pertaining to the class itself.
Now they want to know my age? If I have siblings? If I'm close to those siblings? Where I live?

Part of being an introvert -- at least, in my personal experience -- is having no idea how the extrovert world works. For example, during the human interaction portion of the evening, (mainly fake hugs and half-hearted high fives from my fellow "team mates") someone decided to call us the "Spankees"; perhaps it was the guy that called his team the "Spankers". 'Cause that isn't at all weird.
Maybe it's because I was too busy having an internal meltdown, but I don't understand how in hell those names are acceptable. It sounds slightly perverted to me. In my world, the only people that are perverted are band members, or people that need to be put in prison; he was neither, so I'm clueless.
You see, Introvert World and Extrovert World don't mesh; we're too awkward for it to be anything but strange. For example, people don't know why you're grinning widely when you tell them "good game", because they don't know that your brain is thinking of this...

They just look at you like you've got lobsters coming out of your ears, and reciprocate the salutation with an uncertain display of teeth and overly vigorous head nod.
Another example is in how we might go about projects. Tuesday night, we were told to bring information to Thursday's class about a sports team we like. I like rugby, but have no idea how to read the statistics fixture thingies. So there my mother and I sat, trying to figure out our arses from our elbows, when the idea came to us: make it up.
My fake favorite baseball team needed several players.

On first base...

Second base...

Star pitcher...

Short stop...

Left and right fielders...


And players that needed something called an ERA, whatever that is.



Just in case any of you were wondering, it took me about seven hours to pick out the pictures you just whizzed by. Back up and appreciate what a pretty fictional team I came up with! (I think I had a dream a lot like this once, except it was rugby, and Jimmy Fallon returned as my fairy godmother.)

And you know what? No one was any the wiser.
So, what's the major point that draws all of this drivel together?
This is not Fresh Meat, or Community; everybody bugger off, and let me fangirl in peace.
Except you, dear reader.

Of course, the message on the card would also say "Hope this lavish gift and fancy card make up for the fact that I'm not showing up".

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Werzinger Building

April 13

Between being sick, and trying to catch up on real life stuff, somebody forgot to click the shiny orange "PUBLISH POST" button. Hint: that somebody was me. Enjoy a retelling of something that happened two weeks ago.

What a busy week this has been. My niece gave me strep, which has kept me down for the better part of three days. I was actually able to speak today, and was surprised to hear that I had suddenly become Sheperd Smith.

James McCartney is trying to get the other Beatles' sons to band together. Glory days! At last, the plan I've secretly dreamed about may come to fruition! I don't care what some folks are saying, or how James has tried to gloss over what he said, they need to do this. Now.

We're also taking care of an injured stray cat that we found in our front yard.
Just imagine little ole' me saying "good, Puss-Kitty" in Sheperd Smith's voice. For the record, I also like to call cats Puss-Kitty until I know their name.

All that, and we still went to Austin last week.
Some weekend highlights?
I thought you'd never ask!
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

* Why we can never go to Austin during South by Southwest, I'll never know. Yet, somehow, we ended up going right during the Urban Music Festival. You know, gold chains, shiny teeth, rapper sorts of drivel -- the Hippity Hoppity Brigade. That was a real laugh riot for me, considering I've only ever known one rap song in my entire life.

The video from the skit had Mark Saul dressed up in a cow suit, surrounded by raw meat. Such quality kids programming.

It made for some interesting hotel neighbors, though. Let's just say some people were thrown out of the hotel, and it wasn't us.

* The bluebonnets were at their glorious peak! The road from Fredericksburg to Mason was a blue carpet on each side of the road, with fields of purple, red, and yellow mingled in for extra measure. Just beautiful.

* The Werzinger Building. Apparently, it's the Frost Bank Building, but it will forever be called The Werzinger Building from now on.

* We made a stop at the beautiful LBJ Ranch, simply because it tickled us (we like to go there as often as possible, just because it's gorgeous). We made friends with some cows.

* The creepy tour guide at the LBJ visitor center. My only offense was to wear a v-neck t-shirt; that does not give Creepy Tour Guide the privilege of staring at my boobs. You are not Jack Barakat, so knock it off.
So what if this trip highlight was just so I could make a joke that only I would think funny? It's my blog, and I can.

* We visited the Texas History Museum. As a life-long Texan, I was appalled by two things: that we paid an astronomical amount of money to actually go there when all public school children are required to take Texas history classes (as a home-schooled kid, I focused on Constitution/Revolutionary history instead, taking quite a few years worth of those classes, whereas Texas history is a one-year endeavor); and, the museum sucked. The best part about it was the Texas Music exhibit; my favorite part -- since they did not give the immortal Buddy Holly enough wall space -- was the interactive mixing board. I mixed a country song with Rock 'N' Roll standards, and it was a vast improvement; it was so improved, that I lifted my arms in triumph, and announced "I am George Martin!" to the assembled school children. They just looked at me like I was weird. And I guess I am.

Would you like to see a slideshow?
Oh, come on; some of these could be stock photos!
Reginald Kitty is still not amused.

Also, while were all together, can we talk briefly (or, at least, attempt to) about the new One Night Only single? 'Cause it's ruddy fantastic. Perhaps I'm a touch biased (mainly because I love when pop songs mix in other string instruments), but this is the most mature song they've ever released; if they had better management, they could make it in our shallow American market, by jove! This makes me even more excited to hear what direction they're taking their next album.

My only complaint is the George Craig isn't twenty-three years old yet. (It may be totally unscientific, and I've never read anything about specifically narrowing down to that age, but my 'Theory of Twenty-Three' is more accurate than carbon dating. Ask me about it sometime.)
Side Note: My darling mother told me that the video would have been better "if he'd taken those stupid glasses off". I guess she missed the GIANT advertisement at the end. Isn't she adorable?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Three Things Titanic 3D Taught Me

Child of the '90s alert, folks: if you're already fed up with people talking about the re-release of Titanic, you should probably leave now.
Reginald Kitty would if he could.

Before we get started, we're just going to get this out of the way right now.

By the way, if you're ever in Canada, NEVER say anything about Celine Dion in public. I learned this from personal experience. Just trust me.

I was excited to see this film fifteen years ago, and I was excited to see it today. Of course, times have changed -- a realization I made in the car on the way to the theater -- but some things have remained the same.

Way back when the world was flat, and we paid for Internet access by the minute, my mother pulled me out of school during the lunch break so we could see the picture together; my sister was in school, and my dad was at work, so it was just the two of us on a special film adventure. We were hyped up to see the underwater footage of the actual ship, and to bask in the historical accuracies. Considering we paid $3.50 for a ticket, it was cheap at twice the price to see it in 2D. Price didn't matter, 'cause I ruddy loved this film. I mean, I went totally nuts for this film. I distinctly remember owning the soundtrack, a wall calendar, and one of those knock-off necklaces (which I did wear religiously, when I wasn't dramatically dropping it off the foot of my bed [all true stories]).
My love for Titanic was so great, I received the VHS for Christmas that year from two different people (because that wasn't a difficult situation for a six year old to navigate around); one was full-screen, one wide-screen (Fun Fact: Apparently, I have always been a format snob, since the full-screen version is still in its cellophane wrapper fifteen years later).

Today -- when we spend so much time on the Internet that we wish we could get paid by the minute -- was quite a different affair. For one thing, I wasn't forced to change into one of those terrible floral romper/jumper/one-piece-nightmares that my mother liked to dress me in. I distinctly remember the very one I wore that day, because I despised it the most of the several I had: blue and white plaid, with a fruit pattern, and fruit shaped buttons that were too big for the button holes, so you could never get them unbuttoned. I'm a big girl now, so I can wear whatever the hell I want.
This was what I wore to Titanic this time. And, before you even ask me: yes, I am walking a hairless cat. It's been a year, and this photograph still stuns me.

For weeks, I have been hopping up and down in anticipation for this film. Every time I saw an ad for it, I would internally fangirl scream. Of course, this time, the excitement wasn't all about the historical accuracies; they took a back seat to the nostalgia factor.
Another difference was the format.
Let me just say right now, I cannot see 3D movies (I was sixteen years old before I knew Viewmasters were supposed to be a single 3D image instead of two regular images). I would have much preferred 2D, because everything that was supposed to be 3D just ended up being fuzzy for no good bloody reason. I did enjoy the IMAX portion, though it wasn't worth the forty bucks our little family of three paid to get in the door. I didn't pay that much to see the Plain White T's, dammit.
Surely, you knew this picture would make its way back to the blog somehow. Today is that lucky day! (Don't even ask me: of course I'm listening to Big Bad World as I write this post. Of course I am.)

The main thing I had to keep in mind at the theater was that I had to be a good girl, and not laugh during the whole "I'll never let go, Jack" scene. By jove, I succeeded, too! Instead, I laughed while the ship was sinking, because my mother and I were throwing water at each other. We wanted to get the full experience, after all.

So, what three things have we learned from this jolly through time?

* Fifteen years later, my mother and I are still partners in crime.

* We should have guessed fifteen years ago that I would be really into period dramas. I mean, how the hell did we miss that one? That's just as bad as us missing the whole "help-I've-fallen-in-love-with-a-musician-and-I-can't-get-up" syndrome; the signs were there that early.

* I am still a format snob. Remember how I flipped my wig over the mono Ram? Again, the signs were always there, we were just to naive to notice them.

In the increasingly true words of Frank Turner, "time may change a lot, but some things, they stay the same".
Even Titanic.

Is It A Subscription Box, Or Something More Sinister? (It's A Subscription Box. Maybe.)