Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oh Dad, you ask such funny questions

So today my computer decided to not start, and I have a paper that I did not back up (I know I'm an idiot, I realize this, no need for lectures) on the computer, and I was halfway done with said paper. I'm now typing on one of the computers at home while Dad watches Sunday Night Football. Anyway, he asked, with utmost sincerity, five minutes ago:

"So, did you enjoy this whole law school thing?"

HA HA HA! Oh Dad, your naivete is so cute.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Guilty Pleasures No More!

During law school finals, I always get super stressed out and procrastinate by eating comfort food, rereading some sweet, gentle books, and fantasizing about jobs I should have gone into, instead of going to law school right after college. I've eaten at U-Burger (and I've had the cowboy burger with cheese, bacon, and sauteed mushrooms each time, with fries, and one time I even had a milkshake - though I did also have lettuce and tomato on the burger) 4 times in the past two weeks, and I am currently rereading E.B. White's collection of children's books (and unsuprisingly cried at the end of Charlotte's Web) all conveniently bound in one volume (thanks Barnes and Noble). Why stress about all those papers when I can eat loads of saturated fat and read tales of friendship and true love with anthropomorphic animals? Also, I've whined to myself about why I did not decide to be a librarian (I love books and reading), or an accountant (I was always good at arithmetic), or an actress (everyone tells me I'm loud and expressive, and I have lots of experience doing Roger's and Hammerstein in high school, I was an excellent Wife #4 in the King and I), or work for a public interest agency in Washington D.C. (I'm very passionate about issues, and unlike my sixth grade self, I don't mind busy work - bring on the xeroxing!), or stayed and worked the fall outdoor education season at Camp K the fall after I graduated from college and then possibly worked my way up to Camp Director and never use any skills I learned from my undergraduate degree (I had no shame singing silly songs about Mr. Moon or a Moose named Fred when I worked there, and I definitely could build a one match fire). My latest fantasy career is a recapper at Television Without Pity so now dear readers, you have to deal with me trying to be all whiny and witty about the TV shows that left me so bitter and disappointed that I finally let them go.

America's Next Top Model: I watched this show from the beginning. I still know that annoying Giselle was the first model who Tyra lectured for posing too much like a dancer. Bitchy Elyse and Stoner Adrienne were hilarious as they gallivanted around Paris. And the later seasons brought even more drama and antics from Janice Dickenson. Of course many people whined that the usual winner was not the best model, but for eight seasons I could understand why the winner was chosen (yes even Eva from season 3, Naima from season 4 and Jaslene from season 8). Then came season 9. At first I was optimistic, it looked like most of the girls had model potential. Then the panel started making some odd decisions. First they cut Lisa ("bikini dancer" hoping for a better life through modeling and she took great photos), and then they cut Heather (fierce though she had Aspergers). After that I stopped watching because I really did not care about the rest, but I figured I'd be back next season. But then they announced the winner - Saleisha, who was the biggest suck up ever and a wannabe YaYa, and she interned with Tyra Banks before, and the other two girls in the finale had much more potential. And now I am done with the show. For good. I mean it!

Degrassi: The Next Generation: I was addicted to this show for the past year, and then I had to let it go. I realize that Degrassi was never a great show, and all the problems that finally had me turn off the TV in disgust were there from the beginning. But I am just so bitter about season 7. At the end of season 6, I thought season 7 had great potential. Degrassi Community School was merging with Lakehurt (the big rival school). I thought this merger set up some interesting storylines for previously neglected characters. Throughout season 6, Degrassi had a rivalry with Lakehurst which began with a big fight at the junior varsity girls basketball game (seriously!), and culminated when one of the Lakehurst hoods stabbed J.T. Yorke, the class clown outside of Liberty Van-Zandt's, his ex-girlfriend's who he still loved, birthday party. You would think with the schools merging poor Liberty would have some problems coping since in season 5 she had J.T.'s baby and put it up for adoption, and in season 6 J.T. was about to tell her he loved her before he died in her arms and bled all over her super cute dress. Also, in a season 5 episode, Liberty gets drunk on Jack Daniels as a result of all the drama of the past year.

Now I have a soft spot for Liberty because except for the pregnancy and dead boyfriend stuff, she really was like a me in high school (i.e. a slightly sanctimonious, super overachiever), so I really want her to have a main storyline. But no-o, instead in the premiere they focus on loser couple Darcy and Peter and rehash a rape storyline, and all Liberty says is that now we must forgive Lakehurst (to be fair she does slap someone who said something mean about J.T. later in the season. But she should have at least thrown a punch). Seriously? That's it? She does not have any issues at all over this? No raging, no falling into alcoholism, no punching someone, no crying over what might have been? And then the only threatening thing that happened to Lakehurst over J.T. was Toby, J.T's best friend, posting an angry podcast which upset the bully Johnny DiMarco (who is about as threatening as Adrien Zmed as Johnny Nogerelli in Grease 2). The gauntlet was thrown! Then if that wasn't enough, the previews indicate that poor Liberty and Toby will not have plotlines for this season either.

But I could deal so far, since the plots seemed slightly better than earlier seasons, and Emma Nelson did not have 50 kajillion storylines. But then the writers decided to massacre Paige and Alex, who had the sweet reunion in the finale in season 6, where both characters made huge leaps forward to be together. Then they broke them up in the third episode of the season in the most out of character way possible. Paige told Alex she was better off as a stripper, and then threw her out of the apartment when she knew Alex did not have any other place to go. Awful, awful, awful! Also, in season 6 finale Sean was going into the army, which would be great episode material, and the executive producer for the show posted that there would be no episode about that this season. Ridiculous! And then I was done.

But really, I should not have been surprised about these things. Degrassi never gives the right focus and plotlines to the right characters and always drops plotlines (for example: the episode where Manny returned to live with her parents was all about Emma's issues, there was never any follow up to Alex's involvement in the big prank that caused Rick to go on a shooting spree, there was never an episode about Ashley going goth and becoming friends with Ellie after she was rejected by the cool clique). Further the show always breaks up their couples in horrible ways for drama (i.e. Paige and Spinner, Sean and Ellie, Craig and Ashley part two), pairs up people that don't make any sense (any relationship that Peter is in - he posted videos of drunk girls stripping on the internet and sent another girls photos to an internet pervert - he is not a romantic hero) and then never follows up (this was especially egregious in season 6 where both Craig and Sean returned but neither person dealt with their past relationships with Ashley and Ellie respectively). So really, Degrassi is pulling the same crap it always has, but now that they are doing this to characters I really like, and the writers continue to regress, and I am just bitter.

Gossip Girl: One thing, and one thing only. Blair losing her virginity to Chuck, who had attempted to rape two girls in the pilot, and she knew about it. And fans thought it was sweet and romantic. Ugh! Josh Schwartz, if you wanted to write a bad boy with potential for redemption character, attempted rape is no longer really a redeemable act (besides being abhorrent, you're also stealing 1970s soap opera plotlines - i.e. Luke and Laura - General Hospital).

Grey's Anatomy: Like Degrassi, I should have known there was no way that my viewing relationship with this show was going to end well. I never liked McDreamy. In the first season I thought he was manipulative and definitely favortised Meredith, and I though Meredith and McDreamy's relationship was utterly inappropriate and Meredith was right to be concerned. And then in season 2 it turns out he was married, and he wanted to try again with adulterous, yet awesome, Addison, but he was still telling Meredith he loved her and sniffing her hair in the elevator, while poor Addison was trying to make it work. But because everyone else for the most part was interesting and awesome, I kept watching. Then came season 3 with the ferry boat disaster, Meredith's multiple tragedies, George/Izzy, and Bailey not getting Chief Resident.

I gave season 4 a few episodes to shape up. It did not. Though Bailey finally got CR and Gizzie ended, the writers still fail to call McDreamy on his bullshit. Not all of the problems with McDreamy and Meredith are her fault. He was the one that strung along two women during season 2, tried to sabotage Meredith's other romantic relationships, and implied that Meredith was a whore. He is a passive-aggressive asshole of the highest order who really should be called on his crap already. (Ooh maybe Doctors Hahn, Bailey, and Yang can team up and do it - that would be awesome!) However, Shonda Rhimes seems to think that McDreamy is the bestest guy ever and anyone would be lucky to have him, and you know that eventually McDreamy and Meredith are going to be together forever. She is continuing to prop up McDreamy and keeping the Meredith and McDreamy apart with another stupid triangle, and it is just tedious. Also now the other characters are awful and miserable too! Done!

Now is time to get back to studying, or maybe I'll finish Trumpet of the Swan instead.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Gauche and Unsophisticated List Part 7: Cover Your Ears - Music Guilty Pleasures

If you haven't noticed, I don't feel that guilty about many of my guilty pleasures. Everyone in my law school classes knows that I watch lots of cheesy TV and movies. For example, everyone in one of my classes knew how proud I was that I finally was able to give up watching Degrassi: The Next Generation (a girl can only take so much melodrama, character assasination, and inconsistant plot development), and how excited I was that Project Runway was back on the air. But one of the areas where I feel most guilty about my lack of sophistication is music. My music taste is something that is quite embarassing. I still try to apologize for/distract from my lack of music taste in various ways such as: "I went to Summersault 2000 (an alternative Canadian music festival) and saw the Smashing Pumpkins' (where the new bass player made even my Darcy-hating sister, Sis RoyalTurkey, miss Darcy) last concert on the west coast and lots of other independant acts such as The Catherine Wheel (not that I remember what they played really, but I saw them live)," or "I can tell Nirvana and Pearl Jam apart," or "I only like Shakira's songs that are in Spanish, the lyrics are so much better" or "At least I buy my cheesy music at independant, used music stores most of the time."

Now how can this be, you wonder? How can Miss RoyalTurkey, who grew up in Washington state, home of grunge, have such crummy taste and think its a point of pride that she can tell certain grunge acts apart? Or maybe you're wondering, "Miss RoyalTurkey is so shameless about aspects of her unsophistication, bad-liberalness, and general bad taste, why is music any different?" Well, here are the sources of my lack of taste and for my guilt.

I can blame other people for this, really!
First of all, when I was younger, before the advent of portable CD players and Ipods, one of the main sources of radio came from my family's Dodge Caravan, Old Besty, that only got AM radio. Also my mother controlled the radio all the time, so we only listened to country. So I could probably still sing most of the lyrics to any Judds song, or some of Wynnona Judd's solo efforts, and I know the chorus to "God Bless Texas." So my early years were marred by twangs and songs about lost love and alcohol. So when I finally got a clock radio, I thought it was a joyous day to be able to listen to Soft Rock Cafe, the adult contemporary station. And since I was in a small hick town, the Seattle radio stations did not come in very well on my clock radio. So while Nirvana was taking the music scene by storm with "Smells Like Teen Spirit," I was stuck listening to such gems as "I Got Friends in Low Places" or maybe some fine music by Michael Bolton.

Also, if that wasn't enough, one of my friends KR gave me Amy Grant's "Heart in Motion" cassette tape for my eighth birthday, and I thought "Every Heartbeat" and "Baby Baby" were so catchy. (But at least my first CD was the Reality Bites soundtrack, and that is slightly decent, right, right?)

So I lived in happy ignorance for awhile, prancing around to the Spice Girls, so excited that I mastered the Macarena and the Electric Slide, and listening to Casey Kasem's adult contemporary countdown. Then Sis Royalturkey met one of her really good friends Amythest, and when they were in the seventh grade Amythest introduced Sis Royalturkey to this "alternative" music, and then Sis was addicted. She listened to Smashing Pumpkins day in and day out. We finally had a new car, Big Blue - the Chevy Astrovan, that got better radio reception so we listened to alternative stations from those big cities of Vancouver or Seattle. Well she listened, and I whined about how "negative" it was and how I did not like getting yelled at by Billy Corgan. Both Sis and Amythest claimed I just did not understand the depth of Billy's pain and longing. And though I scoffed, in my head I was thinking "Are they right? Do I not understand good music? What is the matter with me?" And the guilt began.

Then finally my two big crushes throughout high school also liked alternative music. 4-HMike was so edgy and witty, and painted his fingernails black and went to concerts in Canada, and had black curly hair that he styled in many interesting ways, and was in a band. Jon Santiago was so quiet and mysterious, his name in Spanish class was Valentin (que romantico, no?), and he reviewed the Black Eyed Peas CD for the Eagle Eye (our high school newspaper) before Fergie joined the band. So there were these interesting, quasi avant guarde guys who listened to groups that I had never heard of. I felt unworthy.

Of course I can now thank Sis Royalturkey's music snobbery for giving me the ability to tell The Smashing Pumpkins and Our Lady Peace apart. Because of Jon Santiago, I knew who The Black Eyed Peas were before Fergie joined to group. Finally, thanks to 4-HMike, I can name some ever-so-slightly-obscure Canadian bands from the 1990s. However, the part of me that bopped along to Amy Grant and the Spice Girls still dominates my psyche and hear are the key songs that I dance around to, possibly download, but feel guilty about later.

Oh the shame!
First of all, let me start off by saying that though I might have bad music taste, I so-o was not a fan of Britney, Christina, or boy bands. However, I justified my love for the group BB-Mack with the excuse, that they are British and they play their own instruments! Also though Christina Aguilera may have grown musically in the past ten years, the only two songs I really like of hers are "Come on Over" and "Dirrty." Finally though I loathe Britney Spears and wish she would just go away, I love "Toxic."

Then there's Rihanna. I was not a fan of "Umbrella" (even Sis Royalturkey claims that it's a good song when someone else sings it). But I love both "SOS" and "Shut Up and Drive."

Paris Hilton better thank whoever pro-tooled "Stars are Blind" because I loved it. Out of all of the actress/famewhores that want to become singers, she did the best job. Linday Lohan and Hilary Duff should feel great shame in knowing that Paris Hilton is a better singer than they are, or has a better sound mixer than they do.

Then there's "Life is a Highway" by Rascal Flatts. Sadly I loved this song more than the original. And my mother's country indoctrination still persists.

Though I was never a big fan of Fergie and always thought to myself, "what a poser I remember when she was on 'Kid's Incorporated,'" a few of her solo efforts make me quite happy whenever I hear them on the radio: "London Bridge" - which makes very little sense and "Big Girls Don't Cry" sponsored by Candies.

Though most of my musical guilty pleasures are just a few songs, I love Avril Lavigne, and I even bought her first CD. When my car was broken into at camp by the most inept, unskilled thief ever (he shattered my driver's side window, when all he needed to do to break into the car was use a coat hanger, he cut my turn signals when cutting the cords to steal my radio/CD player, I had to use hand signals for two weeks before I could get that fixed - argh, the ineptitude still makes me angry!), I was upset that he had stolen all my music including my Avril Lavigne CD, and I was also worried that the jackass would mock me for having the CD. Also, though I was able to guess all the lyrics to "When You're Gone" when I first heard it (because Avril's rhyme scheme is not that sophisticated), the music video still makes me cry.

Well, that's all I can think of for now. I'm sure there's more. But I feel such absolution now, that should last until Sis RoyalTurkey mocks me about one of the latest songs I like.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Good bye Smirnoff Ice - it's not you, it's me

After drinking Smirnoff Ice for the first time my freshman year of college (my first alcoholic beverage no less), it was love. I proudly brought bottles of the lovely elixir to PPE social gatherings my senior year. I was always excited for CMC super fun days (I don't remember what they were called - but they happened in the afternoon, and there was usually a bouncy castle, Flood/Blue Judy played, and there was BBQ) because along with the keg ASCMC also kindly provided Smirnoff Ice and other malt beverages (and those "girly"drinks always ran out first). I rolled my eyes when people claimed that it was too sweet and that they preferred the bitter bite of PBR. I thought the whole "Smirnoff Ice is too sweet for me" was just a myth.

That is...until yesterday. At the journal bowling social I ordered a Smirnoff Ice for old time sake, and when I took a long pull of the beverage, it WAS TOO SWEET. All those college students had not been lying to me after all. So good-bye Smirnoff Ice, we had a lovely six year run, but I think I finally out grew you.

However, I still enjoy Mike's Hard Lemonade, and I still hate beer (but I'll chug it if its free). Some things will never change.