Saturday, May 27, 2006

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hilarity Files

I forgot to include this news story yesterday, which has been making me laugh since I read it.

This is taken from Pat's website: (Link)

Pat Robertson's Age-Defying Shake

Did you know that Pat Robertson can leg-press 2000 pounds! How does he do it?

Where does Pat find the time and energy to host a daily, national TV show, head a world-wide ministry, develop visionary scholars, while traveling the globe as a statesman?

One of Pat's secrets to keeping his energy high and his vitality soaring is his age-defying protein shake. Pat developed a delicious, refreshing shake, filled with energy-producing nutrients.

Discover what kinds of natural ingredients make up Pat's protein shake by registering for your FREE booklet today!

And this is taken from a response, written by a sports columnist named Clay Travis, on CBS Sports Line: (Link)

Three things:

1. I am going to drink this protein shake of his and try to leg press a Mazda Miata with three clowns sitting inside.

2. There is no way on earth Robertson leg presses 2,000 pounds. That would mean a 76-year-old man broke the all-time Florida State University leg press record by 665 pounds over Dan Kendra. 665 pounds. Further, when he set the record, they had to modify the leg press machine to fit 1,335 pounds of weight. Plus, Kendra's capillaries in his eyes burst. Burst. Where in the world did Robertson even find a machine that could hold 2,000 pounds at one time? And how does he still have vision?

3. It's rare the ClayNation Guarantee makes an appearance, but here, it is justified. There is no way Robertson leg presses 2,000 pounds. Period. If he can, I will box a round against Andrew Golota without wearing a jockstrap. After about 20 minutes on Robertson's Web site, I managed to find a way to send an e-mail without having to give my credit card information. Here was the text:

"I would like to interview Pat Robertson about his leg-press workout and protein shake. If possible, I would like to accompany Pat on his workout where I could help him stack on the 44 different 45-pound plates he would need to attach to leg press 2,000 pounds. By my calculations, his leg press of 2,000 pounds requires 22 forty-fives and one ten-pounder on each side."

I particularly like the bit of the Mazda Miata with the three clowns inside. And the poor use of punctuation in the bit from Pat's website. (Hint to you, Pat: When writing a question, you should end the sentence with a question mark, no matter how ridiculous the question posed might be.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Gnu in the News

Here are the news stories I'm thinking about this week:

Mary Cheney on Dave Letterman
While I am fiercely Democrat, I respect people's opinions when they are well-informed. Well, most of the time. It's hard for me to justify anyone voting for this administration in the last election, but that's because I can't see anything good that's come out of it. It's also because I am firmly against having someone in the White House who wants to write discrimination into the Constitution, and who, despite what he says, does not believe in the whole separation of church and state. To me, the two most important fundamentals of this country are 1. Freedom of Speech. 2. Separation of Church and State. The rest is gravy, baby.

I chuckle slightly when people say that George Bush was the man for the job because our national security was/is the most important issue. Just so everyone knows, no matter who won the election, national security would've been an important issue. No one wants Americans to be harmed. Whatever. What's done is done, I guess.

But this... this interview with Mary Cheney on The Late Show w/ Letterman... this incensed me. David Letterman has a lot of great things to say here, and all Mary Cheney can say is, "I talk about this in my book." It's too late, Mary. Vote for your dad, that's fine. But you had a chance to make a difference, and you didn't. You're a coward.

See for yourself here.

Religious Folks for Gays!
Thank you, mainline Protestant and Jewish organizations! Thank you for standing up against discrimination. This is what I'm talking about when I tell people not all Christians are crazy and mean.

Clergy Group Aims to Block Gay Marriage Amendment

The Lesser of Two Evils
Please get rid of this guy, PA folks:
Rick Santorum is not cool.

He's actually kind of archaic and ridiculous.

I'm not alone in my thoughts on this guy.

I read an article in November in the New Yorker about the best chance to beat Santorum - Bob Casey, who has since won the primary in PA. I looked up the article to link here, and interestingly, I found it on a website called "Catholics For Free Choice." See? I told you not all Christians are crazy.

The thing about this Casey guy, he's pro-life. But man... it's really imperative Rick Santorum get defeated, mainly because he's so full of hatred and ignorance. Read the New Yorker article here about Bob Casey.

That's it for now. These are the stories I'm thinking about.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I used to not even WATCH this stuff.

I went through a phase lasting about 2 years where I watched maybe 3 hours of TV a month.

That has changed, and watching good shows has become one of mine and Gina's favorite things to do. With it being the season finale season, I thought I'd just give you a few thoughts I have about some of the shows we watch. Careful of spoilers.

1. Gilmore Girls - Amy Sherman Palladino and Daniel Palladino, the main creative forces behind the Gilmore Girls, are leaving the show this season. Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel still have one year left on their contract, so next year will probably be the last season of this charmingly funny, smart show. I'm happy the show is continuing, although I'm worried no one will be able to harness the brilliance of this show as well as Amy and Daniel. Good season finale, with Lorelai essentially flippin' the bird to curmudgeon Luke, who I used to be a fan of, but now he's just annoying me with his, "I'm not ready to get married." It's Lorelai, folks! She's hot! I'd actually much rather see her with Christopher - Rory's dad. He's cuter, and he's much funnier, with a sense of humor very similar to her own.

2. Will & Grace - I remember back in 1998 when this show premiered. I was consistently floored by how funny it was. Every joke made me laugh out loud. I watched every episode with my roommate at the time - it was our favorite show. However, right around 2002-ish, the show started getting... well... boring. And Debra Messing obviously became too close to the actors she was working with, because she cannot get through a scene without cracking a smile. She anticipates the laughter of the audience, and you can see it in her face, and it drives me NUTS. The series finale last night was a huge snooze fest. They did this great hour long special on it where they showed the funniest moments of the show - that was hilarious. But the actual hour long finale was painful and boring, with not even an emotional curtain call for our troubles. Good riddance, I say. Although it is sad that such a groundbreaking show is off the air. A leading gay character is a big deal.

3. LOST - Oh MAN, I love this show. My whole week is built around this show. Friday doesn't mean the start of the weekend... it means one day closer to Wednesday. This past week's episode was kind of disappointing, because we didn't really get any more information than what we already suspected about wacky Michael. It was obvious he was either brainwashed or being bribed, and so the "payoff" of seeing what really happened when Michael went off to the Others' camp was not much of a payoff at all.

Things that still annoy me about the show:

*These folks would have such an easier time on this island if they would COMMUNICATE with each other. They are so island crazy that they think they have to keep stupid secrets from one another. I suppose without this character flaw that every one of them has, there wouldn't really be a show.

*The button - why is it called a button? Why is it called, "pushing the button," when in reality, it's entering a series of numbers and then hitting the "execute" or "enter" key to input the numbers?

*Can't think of ANY BETTER NAME for the other people on the island than "the Others"? It's tacky. Still - can't WAIT for next week's season finale. Looks crazy good - and two hours of it! YESS!

*"The Lost Experience," the interactive website game related to the show, reminds me of that scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphie gets his decoder pin in the mail and the secret code is "Drink your ovaltene."

4. ER - I know what you're thinking. "ER's still on? Who the hell is still watching it??" Well the answer is ME AND GINA. I started watching ER in 2000, way later than everyone else. ER disappoints me a lot, because every single episode is touted as "THIS IS THE REASON YOU WATCH ER," and really, the reason I watch ER is Maura Tierney, so unless the episode is of her naked the whole time, it's not going to be "THE REASON I WATCH ER." But... last night's episode... beyond "Lost," last night's ER was the best hour of television I've seen in a long time. Cliffhangers with almost every character:

-Abby: Did she lose the baby?

-Kovach (who I hate): Will someone find him? He totally can't breathe well and he's strapped to the bed. Oh, and is he gonna lose his job?

-Jerry: Is he gonna die?!?!?!

-Sam and Alex: High speed chase!! OMG**! Scary!

-Kerry: Is she screwed? At least she can walk now.

-Neela: Will she and stupid Ray hook up now that they killed off Gallant (totally cried during that episode)? Will she FINALLY MAKE OUT WITH ABBY?!

And the shooting scene was SO well shot, so interesting, so tense, amazing, scary. It's hard for me to get that sucked into a show. I hate when shows give away all of their secrets in the preview for the episode. I knew there would be a shooting, but I had no idea it would be by way of infiltration through the dumb EMT wannabe who claims someone's blood pressure is "34 over 28." Even this TV producer knows that's not right.

So basically, the two shows that I will be agonizing over all summer are Lost and ER, and I haven't been this sucked into cliffhanger TV finales since the early seasons of Friends.

The good news: Gina and I are latecomers to Weeds, the amazing show on Showtime starring Golden Globe winner Mary Louise I'M TOTALLY HOT Parker. The season finale of that was amazing, and we just saw it a few weeks ago. I think the new season starts on July 17. NIICE.

And... we've decided that we're going to make two shows our summer shows: Grey's Anatomy, which I've never seen, and Sopranos, which neither of us have ever seen.

Seriously though... is it September yet?

**"OMG" is an acronym I use with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. I'm not a big fan of online acronyms, but I feel that they've around long enough that it's funny to make fun of them. Also, I've probably been reading too much of Pink is the New Blog.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Disneyland - Funniest place on earth.

As Gina and I were on our way to Disneyland on Saturday, we were discussing how we've never been at any sort of theme park with each other. And then we realized that wasn't true - in 1994, we both went on a marching band field trip to Walt Disney World for a week. However, seeing as our relationship was that of small dog following big dog around hopelessly, we didn't really see much of each other, except when we actually marched in the parade together. So we were comfortable in naming this Disneyland trip in 2006 as our first actual field trip to an amusement park together. For this, we were excited.

Whenever there is a moderate amount of stress in my life, my body responds by not allowing me to sleep well. I woke up at 6:30 Saturday morning, for no reason at all. I ran some errands, and by the time we were heading out of town to go to Disney, it was 12:00pm. We arrived at 1, anxious to start the day, excited, a clean slate of amusement park fun between the two of us.

We decided it was our job to take a bunch of pictures. We started right away.

Happy 50th Anniversary, Disneyland!
50th Anniversary of Disneyland
This is all flowers. Even the Mickey is flowers. Neato!

Inspiration! "It all started with a mouse." How sweet.
It all started with a Mouse.

Waiting in line for the Matterhorn. As we stood in line, Gina took note of my shoulders and insisted we find some sunscreen. Luckily, a guy in front of us had some Mary Kay sunscreen that he swore by. He shared. We were happy.
First of many

We were very sad to find out that there is absolutely NO DANCING at Disneyland.
No dancing!

And then, about 3pm, something happened. I'm not sure if it was the adrenaline rush and subsequent crash, the heat, or sheer exhaustion, but the two of us got.. well... slappy. As evidenced in the following photos.

Gina started making funny faces


Near!  Far!

We're exhausted.  Seriously.

I'm gonna kick your ass.  Gina's scared.

Someone in front of us smelled... really terrible.
Someone in front of us was stinky.

We stayed for the fireworks, which, if the truth were to be told here and now, was the main reason I wanted to go to Disneyland in the first place. I remembered that my camera has a fireworks option, so I started experimenting. Some shots came out pretty well (framing not withstanding), like this shot of a Mickey Mouse head.
Mouse head fireworks

Other times, it sort of looked like Operation Shock and Awe.
fireworks at Disney, or Shock and Awe?

And, to top it off, after much time spent deciding on which fun Disney hats/ears to buy, we went with the obvious choice:
Bride and groom mice.

Who says gays can't get married?!

Friday, May 12, 2006


I've been a little... off the past couple days.

On a little scrap of paper at my desk is evidence of this. I had to divide $5507.60 by 3. So I did it long hand. On paper. Even though I work on a computer that has a calculator, I decided I needed a little long division.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Adventures in Communications

Here now, for you, dear reader, is a chronicling of my adventures trying to get internet for my apartment.

Last week:

SBC says:
You need to order phone service. $10.69 a month for basic.
Wireless internet: $19.99 per month for one year
$79.99 charge for modem
$49.99 rebate
$50 Visa gift card

Woo hoo! This is going better than I thought. Better check with Gina to make sure we're cool with this.

Call back SBC this week.

SBC says:
No, you can't get the $50 Visa gift card unless you're switching over from another phone company. But everything else is the same. No, I'm sorry, we have no way of contacting Aleysha, who told you you could get that deal. No, I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do. You don't want to give us your money? Okay then, we don't care if we lose a customer.

Call Earthlink.

Earthlink says:
You need a phone line.

Call Comcast. Get phone line advertised in my cable bills for $10.00 per month. Comcast puts me through their 3rd party verification system. Fails. I call back. Fails. I call back. Fails. I call back. She puts me through to a live operator. The live operator says, okay, you have to call Comcast back and confirm. Call Comcast back, ask what will my service be, exactly? $17.64 a month. $17.64??? What happened to $10.00?! Oh, there are taxes and a LINE MAINTENANCE FEE. Sigh.

Call Earthlink.

Earthlink says:
Oh, we can't give you DSL, but how about dial-up? (Akin to saying, Oh, sorry, we're fresh out of CD players, but how about this cassette deck?)

Call SBC, again, just like Justine said I would do. I ask what the deals are, I say I'm a Comcast customer. Homeboy offers me the whole gift card package, but this time, I have to have the enhanced phone service, including long distance, CALLER ID, call waiting, etc. If I don't have that? Internet is $39.00 a month. I do not NEED long distance, caller ID or call waiting. I need a phone line to hook me up to an internet, and so that people can dial us from the entrance to our apartment and we can let them in. I say to the guy, "Your company is crazy, I've gotten three different offers from you this week alone..." He hangs up on me.

That's right. A salesperson. Hung up on me.

It's becoming crystal clear to me that there is no way around paying out the ass to have internet in our apartment, unless we want dial-up.

I call Comcast back, effectively laying my hands wrist up towards them, telling them to just give me the fucking cable internet. How much is it? $39.99 per month. That's the DISCOUNTED rate! They don't even OFFER DSL! How much is my cable, which Comcast also provides? $84.55 per month.

The kicker? I ordered a phone mainly for internet. And now? I don't need a phone for cable internet.

I hate it here.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Weekend Update

Every day here has been the same. Marine layer, marine layer, marine layer. For those of you who don't know what a marine layer is, it's a thick layer of clouds caused by the massive body of water known as the Pacific Ocean. Well, we've been having a heavy case of marine layer in all of Los Angeles, and a lot of us are not lucky enough to live by the water, thereby we are experiencing the shitty marine layer, missing out on the sunshine, all while NOT having the benefit of being withing walking distance of the ocean.

My skin finally got to see the sun this weekend, and I paid for it all day yesterday as heat radiated from my body. We were in the bay area... again... this time for a wedding. Here are some things I learned, in pictures.

Most of the time, smoking is disgusting.

When smoking is DISGUSTING.

Sometimes, it's hot.

When smoking is sexy.

(She rolls her own cigarettes, folks. That's tobacco in there, nothing more.)

Above all, I seriously have the cutest cowgirl in the west. I don't know how I got so lucky.

Cutest cowgirl

This baby gets cuter every day, and actually grew noticeably in the week we didn't see him.


The wedding was held at a winery. Not only do wineries have WINE (and lots of it!), they're actually really beautiful.


Fogerty Winery

Fogerty Winery

We love wineries. And sunshine.

K & G

And finally, if all goes according to plan, this is what my future looks like:


I can't wait.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Corporate America can kiss my ass.

I'm dumbfounded at the ability of big communication companies to incense me. I had a huge problem with Comcast about a year ago. And now, I'm trying to order internet for the apartment, and AT&T/SBC has effectively made me not want to ever give them any of my money. The problem? If I want wireless internet, they're the only company in my area that can give it to me. This is why they can treat people the way they do, because people like me have no other choice.

Seriously. Me = furious.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Giovanni takes LA.

Gina's brother and sister-in-law brought the little peanut down for a visit this past weekend.

This is actually his hair. It does not lay to flat to his head. It always looks like this. He is saying to me, "Oh, lady... I have to drink to make you bearable."

Ugh... I have to drink to make you bearable.

He really liked chilling out on our heaven bed. He must take after Gina.

Gina & Giovanni

Monday, May 01, 2006

What it feels like to be real.

For regular readers of this blog, you might remember that with Gina's help, I realized my headlight was out on my car. The light went out in the beginning of March. Replacing the light has been on my to-do list for nearly eight weeks now, but there was always something else going on, some dog to watch, some tequila to drink.

After a party where Gina and I got home at 4:30 in the morning Sunday, we woke up and went to the Farmer's Market. After the market, I asked Gina if she'd help me go to the auto parts store to get my car taken care of. I should note that by this point, not only was my right headlight out, but my left front turn signal was not working, nor were my daytime running lights.

As a lesbian and sort of a stubborn person in general, I like to think I don't need anyone's help for anything. Except killing bugs. But changing a simple lamp in an American made car, I was certain it would be easy. I've changed my rear turn signals on several occasions and without any incident. Little did I know, this was different.

Vastly different.

The gentleman in Pep Boys insisted it would be easy, that I would just have to pop the headlight out and replace the bulb. No big deal. I popped the hood, and Gina and I took a little look-see. The directions told us to use a flat head screwdriver to pop out the plastic shield running the width of the front of the car. We didn't have a flat head screwdriver, of course. So Gina forced it off, breaking all but two little plastic fasteners, despite the warning in the manual: Be careful not to break the plastic fasteners. This took us about 15 minutes to get the shield off.

We looked at the next step: using a 13 mm socket wrench, unscrew the bolts...

A socket wrench? To change a headlight? Sure enough, there were two very tightly screwed in bolts keeping us from getting to the meat of the headlight. Foolishly, we tested the strength of the bolts (and ourselves) by trying to unscrew them by hand. This less than 12 hours after Gina tried to open a NOT twist off beer bottle with her bare hands... it wasn't healthy for either one of us. But our hands were getting dirty, so we thought we were getting somewhere. We also collectively thought that if we just stared at the guts of my car, something would hit us, some divine moment of inspiration, a way to unscrew these bolts without any proper tools.

After about 15 minutes of unproductive staring, a young guy probably in his mid-20s came over to us. I knew what he was thinking. "Here are two girls, one of which is taller than me and maybe even stronger, obviously not knowing how to do what they need to do. If I assume they want my help, they might kick my ass. But it looks like the actually do need help, so how should I approach this?"

He came over to us and hesitantly said, "What are you trying to do?"

I said, "Replace a headlight..."

And Gina said, "...but we don't have the tools we need."

He asked us what we needed and when we told him, he nodded and went back to his truck. He was back within a few minutes with some tools, and then asked softly, "Um... do you want some help with this? I might be able to help out."

He then told us, "One time, a buddy of mine, a male friend, he came with me here to replace my windshield wipers. Well, we tried and tried but couldn't figure out how to do it. We tried everything we could think of. Finally, a woman came over and said, 'Uh, do you guys need some help?' And she came over and snapped on the wiper, and told us how it's done."

We let him loose under the hood of my car. This boy, who probably has tinkered with his car every weekend for the past 15 years, shoved his hands in every nook and cranny he could, trying to pop out the headlight. After about seven minutes with no luck, I couldn't help but notice he had cut his hand on my car, trying to force out the fucking light. After another five minutes or so, he finally got the thing out, replaced the bulb, and moved to the other side of the car to replace the turn signal. Another 15 minutes of molesting the headlight and it finally pops out, and the new bulb is plugged firmly into place. We thanked him and he left, and I drove away in a car with two working headlights, two working turn signals, and convenient and safe daytime running lights.

It's amazing how something as simple as replacing your headlight can make you feel like a real person, and also remind you of the importance of karma.