Friday, July 25, 2008

A Letter To Corporate America

Dear Corporate America,

I hate you.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Driving Vs. Your Driving

Since gas prices have risen to the obscene amount of $4 per gallon, some drivers out there feel the need to conserve what they put in their tank by taking a few precautions. They might go slower than normal (20 miles under the speed limit), they might turn off the air conditioner (which in TX in July is like signing your death certificate), or they might choose to not accelerate as fast after stopping. That is fine with me. That is wonderful. Good for you! I am impressed and awed that you have the patience and the discipline to do such things. I, however, do not for these reasons listed below:

1. I have spent too many years of my life sitting in traffic to actually go slower than I am allowed by the law on an open highway.
2. My car is black. With black interior. With these little round vents for air conditioning. And it is frickin' hot!
3. I would prefer to not sit through a green light.
4. I would prefer to not sit through two green lights.
5. It is worth the extra $5 a week I might pay in gas for not using these gas saving tips to get to sleep in an extra 5-10 minutes in the morning.

So, here is my advice to the conservative driver: Choose the Right! For instance, the gas pedal is...on the right. Your air conditioning knobs are...on the right (if its your car and you don't want to use the air conditioner, fine...but don't look at me like I'm a sinner if I turn mine on). And the right for people who want to drive slow. So for all of you righteous (ha, ha, get it?) people out there who want to conserve and save, please stay to your side of the road and let us careless, gas guzzling, money wasting sinners have the left side. Thankyouverymuch.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who Writes This Stuff?

I just watched High School Musical and High School Musical 2 for the first time last night, and all I have to say is, "Who writes this stuff?" Now, I'm not trying to sound bitter or cynical, but we all know that high school was not even CLOSE to that...nor will it ever be. And I'm not putting it down because it sends out a good message that being yourself is okay. In case you haven't seen it, or in case you couldn't stomach watching the whole thing, let me just paint a picture for you of what the characters are like:
Gabriella: I am the smartest kid in the United States and win decathalons like little kids win soccer trophies. My boyfriend is the star basketball player and...well, we'll get to how awesome he is in a minute. I have the voice of an angel and I am dying to try new things. I am perfect.
Troy: I am the star basketball player, the star golf player, the star everything player. I am nice and always want to help everyone. My parents took me snowboarding for New Year's yet I still feel the need to get a summer job so I can pay for college. Oh, and did I mention that I recently realized I could sing and read music and that I am good at that too? I am perfect.
Sharpay: I am beautiful. I am talented. I am conniving. I am rich. I am shallow. My thoughts consist of me, me, me, me. I am The Mean Girls stereotype.
Ryan: I am Sharpay's brother. I follow her around like a lost puppy. I have no depth until High School Musical 2. That is all.
Chad: I am Troy's best friend since preschool. I play basketball, and baseball, and every other sport known to man. I am the stereotypical wingman. I am perfectly content to be second best. My life is perfect.
Taylor: I am the second smartest kid in the United States, but I am also beautiful and can fit in with any crowd I want to. My only role in this movie is for Gabriella to have a friend and for Chad to have someone to ask out on a date at the end so that his life stays perfect.

And miraculously, they are all singing and dancing to, "We're All In This Together" at the end of the movie. Classic Disney.

How do they do it though? How do they find writers (who all have a bit of cynicism inside them somewhere) that will write this stuff? What? Do they put them in a room with smiley face bouncy balls and make everyone hold hands and discuss what their high school dreams were while a secretary sits in the corner with a steno pad and writes everything down? I just don't understand where it comes from. Maybe adults don't write it. Maybe they scour elementary schools for 4th grade writing samples of what they think high school is going to be like.

Anyways, thank you Disney for making a production where singing and dancing and being yourself is not just okay, but it's the cool thing to do. Thank you for letting kids know that it's okay to break out of the norm and to enjoy doing a variety of things. Thank you for sending a good message and promoting it so well that kids from all backgrounds eat it up like a mountain of cupcakes.

And just for a little fun, I came across this a while back when looking for Kevin Bacon Footloose pictures and had to hold back the laugh while I was watching High School Musical 2 with my neice. Enjoy...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Grandma and the Hamster

This summer I am taking my last course to complete my master's degree. Ironically, it is the first course that I have actually had to physically go to class for. My entire degree has been online until the very bitter end when I decided to take a storytelling class. As an assignment for this class, we had to collect a family story to share when we meet tomorrow, so naturally, I called my dad (in case you have never heard my dad tell a story, he's really quite good and I wish he could just go in my place tomorrow). And thus we come to the story of Grandma Johnson and the Hamster...*ahem*

When my dad was a kid, he wanted to buy his 3 siblings something for Christmas but he didn't have a whole lot of money. The Five and Dime store was selling hamsters for 50 cents so he decided he would get each of them a hamster. Well, of course hamsters are very prolific and have 8-10 babies every 6 weeks or so. By the time July rolled around they had like 40 hamsters and my grandmother was trying so hard to build cages for them to keep them separated to control the population but it was no use, they just kept reproducing. One of the hamsters was just plain mean. It would bite, escape from it's cage, eat it's own was just plain evil. My grandmother was really afraid that one day, this hamster was going to bite one of the neighborhood kids or do something dreadfully horrible so she decided she needed to get rid of it. She thought about flushing it down the toilet but then couldn't bear the thought of watching it's little face as it swirled down the drain. She thought about just letting it go outside, but what if it came back or one of the kids found it and brought it back? So she decided to suffocate it. She put in a Tide detergent box (it bit her through her rubber cleaning gloves when she reached in the cage to take it out, it was that mean) and took it out to the garage and started up the car. Then she put the opening of the box over the exhaust pipe of the car and nervously awaited the scratching and pawing inside the box to stop. When it did, she turned off the car and looked inside the hamster. She ripped open the box and stuck her hand hamster. Well, she thought, it must have gotten out and escaped into the bushes or something...that's the end of it. Later that day, my Aunt Nancy comes home early from school because she had a dentist appointment. They go get in the car and as soon as Grandma starts the engine...POW!!! Nancy says she'll go check it out, but my grandmother insists that she stay in the car and she'll take care of whatever it was. Of course, it was the hamster. That thing had crawled all the way up the exhaust pipe and then was blown twenty feet out when the car was started. Since it was dead, grandma just kicked it into the bushes and never said a word about it. She told the kids it must have gotten out and run away or something and pretty soon after that, they ended up giving all of the hamsters and the cages to the pet store and that was the end of it. She never told a soul about what really happened to that hamster until 20 years later at Thanksgiving, when she had had a little too much wine and felt the need to confess.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Juicebox Hero

Yesterday, I went to pick up my 7 yr. old nephew Sabian to spend the night with me. We were in the car on our way to my place and I gave him my CD case and told him, "Look through there and choose a CD you think looks good and we'll listen to it." Well, of course being a 7 year old boy, he chooses the soundtrack to Spiderman 2. Of course he knows no songs on the CD, so I tell him to look for the other Spiderman CD. As he's flipping through them, he sees my Foreigner CD and says, "Hey! I have this one! It's Cold As Ice. Can we listen to this one?" Sure. We listen and sing along to Cold As Ice and Sabian even plays the air guitar for me. Quite entertaining. So then I ask him, "Wanna listen to my favorite song on this CD?" He says yes so I turn it to #8, Jukebox Hero. As we're singing along and he's learning the chorus, he does a fist pump in the air everytime it says "hero" Two fist pumps, "he-ro"...completely out of tune but oh so much fun.

When I drop him off today, I told him, "Tell your dad what song we both like." And Sabian says, "Juicebox Hero".

I love that kid.