Sunday, May 30, 2010

Police blotter.


Sunday, 2:25 P.M.: Report of bear in tree with kids taking pictures and "bothering" animal.

Monday, 1:31 A.M.: Report of subject stuck in a chute on the oredock.

Monday, 9:10 P.M.: Report of animal digging holes in yard, possibly a badger. Update: Animal was a badger.

Thursday, 6:21 P.M.: Caller reported 6 to 8 scantily-dressed young males who ran onto her property and out into her pond, at Houghton Falls Road.

Friday, 12:07 A.M.: Rooster crowing complaint. Update: Unable to locate rooster.

Saturday, 12:46 P.M.: Report of large group of motorcyclists heading for Bayfield, some of whom flipped off caller as they passed her.

Saturday, 7:48 P.M.: Report of mattress on fire.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Ricky Martin Appreciation Club?


Yes. Yes, I have.

Tabling for the Ricky Martin Appreciation Club.


It was the tail end of the 20th century, and America was deep in the throes of a Latin Explosion. We were livin' la vida loca and loving it. Or, well, if we weren't all loving it, most of us were tolerating it, anyway. You couldn't walk into a Walgreens without having an Iglesias or Lopez or Aguilera belting at you in Spanglish over the loudspeaker. MTV and VH1 were awash with it (in retrospect, it's funny that we were already complaining that they "didn't show enough music anymore"). After a few months of this, even my dad knew who Ricky Martin was, and if that isn't a sign of mainstream success, I'm not sure what is.


My roommate Laura fell firmly into the "loving it" category. I had more ambiguous feelings toward the Ricky Martin machine; it wasn't really my kind of music (bear in mind that I was in my "if it's popular it must be crap" phase, which must have been insufferable in its own right), but it was catchy and more upbeat than the sad bastard music I was listening to all the time so I could see its appeal. And Laura's enthusiasm was infectious - she's one of those people with the rare quality of being able to devote herself completely to something while still being capable, and highly willing, to make fun of it. She loved Ricky, but she loved making fun of him, too. That combination's pretty hard to resist.

And that's probably how I got talked into going to a Ricky Martin concert.


On our way to a Ricky Martin concert, December 1999.

Walking into the Ricky Martin concert, 1999.
(December 1999)

The next fall, when we were starting our senior year at college, the two of us were bantering back & forth one night about what it took to start an officially sanctioned club on our campus.


Me: "So wait--all you need is four people and an advisor?"

Laura: "Yeah, that's it. I thought there'd be more hoops to jump through than that. There's no screening process or anything."

Me: "Oh my god, we should start a club. A ridiculous club. Like, the Ricky Martin club or something."

I was kidding. (Mostly.)

By the next day, Laura had recruited two other students to serve as officers, and got her choir director to sign off as our advisor.


Game on.


We scheduled our first meeting, and Laura (President) designed posters to hang around campus. We couldn't keep them on the walls - as soon as we'd hang them up, people were stealing them left & right. We sat at a table in the student center with Laura's GIANT Ricky Martin poster taped up behind us...soon, our e-mail list swelled to over 200 people. I'll never forget the time my favorite English professor walked by and almost did a spit-take when he saw me (Vice President) sitting behind the Ricky Martin Appreciation Club (more affectionately referred to as RMAC) table.


Now, 200 people never showed up to one of our meetings; I think the most we ever got was around 15-20, and almost all of those people were our friends. We did have a few strangers show up - one guy was
really into Latin dancing, and I think there was a foreign exchange student who came by a few times, too. Laura was a top-notch P.R. person, and got a blurb written about us in the student newspaper, and got us written up in a national college affairs magazine, too. And I remember driving down the hills through pea-soup fog one morning to do a radio appearance on 92.1 in Duluth - only for something that goofy would I get up at 5:00 A.M.

And we scheduled Ricky Martin Appreciation Club events - when Walmart was premiering one of his videos one Friday or Saturday night, we went up and camped out in the electronics department for a while, much to the amusement of the electronics department staff. When Christmas of 2000 rolled around, we had a birthday party for Ricky (he was born on 12/25, so it seemed apt to refer to him as "our savior") and busted a pinata in his honor (even though it was the dead of winter in Minnesota and we were finding frozen bits of candy underneath the show for months after the fact).


It was absolutely ludicrous, and an absolute blast.

Putting up posters for the Ricky Martin Appreciation Club, 2000.

An official RMAC function wherein we went to Walmart to watch a Ricky Martin video premiere, November 2000.

A pinata for Ricky's birthday.

After our senior year, the club disbanded; I graduated in the spring of 2001, and Laura was leaving to do a semester at Disneyworld that fall so there was no one left to carry the torch for Ricky and his bon-bon. But oh, we'd had a good run, and truly, we'd lived la vida loca.



Monday, May 24, 2010

Looks like today's my lucky day!


This may be the most delightfully random piece of spam I've ever received. I think my favorite part's how they keep referring to the guy as "a gay."

From: The Executor of Late Alexander McQueens WILL‏

Dear Friend

My name is Barr Perkins George personal attorney to Alexander McQueen - Designer Fashion Label who died on the 11th day of Feb. 2010. I have the documents of a large amount of funds which he handed over to me before he died made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Seven Million Great British Pounds (GBP £7,000.000.00) to you in the codicil and last testament to his WILL

Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were recommended to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good and his friend was a gay as well due to the fact that McQueen was a gay and claimed he realised his sexual orientation when he was six. He told his family when he was 18.


You can read more about him from the sites below
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_McQueen

Please if I reach you this time as I am hopeful, endeavour to get back to me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job.


I hope to hear from you in no distant time.

Yours in Service,
P.George & Co. Solicitors



Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Sixty-eight back then was, like...a hundred and ten years old."


Funny or Die presents...Drunk History.

(Caution: salty language.)


Find more over here.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

True Life: I Can't Stop Watching "Fat Camp."


I think virtually everyone who's ever watched TV has known the treacherous sting of...TV kryptonite. Y'know, those shows (or for some people, entire genres) that, once they flash onscreen, the viewer is powerless to stop watching. Even if we know it's trash, and we know we should get up and find something more productive to do (or hell, even just find something better to watch)...we can't. Whether it's the numbing comfort of a
Law & Order marathon, an all-day America's Next Top Model binge, or a whole afternoon of sub-par National Lampoon movies on Comedy Central, everybody's got their something.

One of my most beloved guilty pleasures? The 2006 MTV documentary, Fat Camp. I'm putty in its hands.

The first time I saw it was shortly after it premiered in '06, at my friend Sarah's house. Instant classic. I shall be forever grateful to her for introducing me to this slice of magic (as well as the bingo channel, this infinitely-quotable Britney Spears interview, the octopus man, and this movie starring Roy Orbison as a cowboy whose guitar turns into a shotgun).

Fat Camp covers about eight weeks of goings-on at a weight loss camp in upstate New York. It focuses in most tightly on a handful of campers and junior counselors, but a lot of kids get face-time throughout the show and by the end, I'm always wishing they'd made it into a full-length series because two hours is never enough. It doesn't make fun of the kids or their weight, but it doesn't tiptoe around why they're there, either; if anything, it plays like a rustic version of The Biggest Loser, but with a lot more comedy and angst along the way.

There's so many things I love about
Fat Camp - the no-nonsense counselors, the idiotic romantic entanglements of serial drama-king Petey, the awesome absurdity of a helicopter flying over the camp to initiate the color wars - but my favorite part of Fat Camp by far is Dianne.



Dianne is hilarious, and what I love about her is that she gives as good as she gets. She gets picked on, but she can dish it out, too. She's the quintessential teenager; she feels like all this crap is beneath her, but she still runs to her mom when she needs someone to make her feel better. She's whiny, but hell, who among us wasn't whiny when we were teenagers?

Part of me wishes they'd release this on DVD. But part of me is glad they haven't, because crap, then I'd really be in trouble.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Reading/Watching/Etc.


READING:

Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone, and 100 More Obsessively-Specific Pop-Culture Lists by the Onion A.V. Club
This is perfect for lunch breaks; every list is like a little capsule of brain candy, and yet its an easygoing read that doesn't tax me during my lazy time. Not my favorite Onion book -- that's still The Tenacity of the Cockroach -- but very entertaining.

Twitter
My two favorite Twitter streams of the moment: Conan O'Brien and Stephen Colbert.

Helena Independent Record
This story about passengers subduing an "alien" on a flight out of Helena is so quintessentially Montana, it cracked me up. I'm sure it was frightening to be in the midst of that craziness, but wow, it makes for a great story. Here's hoping that poor "alien" gets some meds to help him out, or that the mother ship comes back and beams him up soon...

Then That's What They Called Music (A.V. Club)
This is like falling into a time warp that dumps me out in my dorm room at UMD. If someone had told 20 year-old me that someday, I'd be nostalgic for "Barbie Girl," I never would've believed it.


WATCHING:

Doctor Who, Season 5
I was a huge fan of David Tennant as the Doctor, but the new guy's been great so far. I like the dynamic that's developing between him and his new companion, Amy -- she's got some moxie and both actors seem to have some solid comedic chops, too. This is the first time I've been able to watch the show as it airs weekly on BBC America -- I've always had to wait for the DVDs before this, and it's fun being caught-up and able to stay relatively spoiler-free.

Torchwood, Season 1
This is like the evil twin version of Doctor Who. Same universe, a lot of the same elements (and a few of the same characters), but definitely much darker and seedier. If I might mix my sci-fi metaphors for a moment, Doctor Who is Good Spock, and Torchwood is Evil Spock. I'm not completely sold on this show yet; some of the characters are hard to get attached to, and I don't think this first season really hit its stride until the tail end (the last two episodes, in particular). I'll be adding season 2 to the ol' Netflix queue, and we'll see if it grows on me...

Bones, Season 4
Is it just me, or did the "Bones wants to have a baby" plot seem incredibly tacked-on? Almost as tacked-on as the ending to season 3's serial killer saga...

The September Issue

I'm hardly a fashionista -- most of my fashion knowledge comes from Go Fug Yourself -- but this peek behind the curtain to see high fashion wizards at work was pretty interesting. (Sidenote: if The September Issue makes you want to see more of Andre Leon Talley, which it probably will, and his judging stint on America's Next Top Model isn't enough for you, may I present this delightfully cuckoo segment from last Friday's Martha Stewart Show?)

The Back-Up Plan
I wish I'd had a back-up plan to get out of watching The Back-Up Plan.

Date Night
This was better than it had right to be; the whole thing seemed kind of half-baked and a little slapped together. Still, I laughed.

Life and Times of Tim
My younger brother and I saw this on a rack at Target and it looked intriguing...fortunately, we both resisted the urge to buy it on impulse and got it on Netflix instead. What a dud. That was $30 well-saved.

Ponyo
I really liked this; very dream-like, and pleasantly weird.

Clash of the Titans (2010)
Warning: there isn't nearly as much kraken in this movie as the advertisements would have you believe. In fact, I'd go so far as to say this movie suffers from a distinct kraken deficit.
I found it surprisingly boring, given the subject matter, and given how much campy fun the original was with its choppy special effects and scenery-chewing. Sam Worthington's such a blank slate as an actor, it's hard to feel much of anything about the characters he plays -- I found myself wishing I could see more of Liam Neeson & Ralph Fiennes hamming it up and less of the heroic types wandering around semi-aimlessly.

Conan O'Brien on 60 Minutes
Conan: In its day, this was quite a sexy car. Do you believe that?
Steve Kroft: No.
Conan: I didn't think you would.




LISTENING:

Clem Snide - The Meat of Life
Their best in a while. I've been following them since I was in college and I've kept following them even as some of the albums (and solo albums) got a little choppier over the years...I feel like this album's rewarded my patience.

Josh Ritter - So Runs the World Away
I got this in the mail yesterday, and have only had a chance to listen to the first three songs. Already, I'm in love.


ETC:

- I finally finished that @#$%&*! baby blanket I started crocheting two months ago...what a beast. Since I got that monkey off my back, I've regressed to some quick & easy old standbys: potholders, and cat toys. (It helps that I found a giant baggie full of catnip stowed away in my yarn stash...this gives me an excuse to use that up.)

- Next on my list of crafty endeavors: flocking powder. There it was, sitting on the shelf of Martha Stewart-branded craft goods at Michaels...after a little bit of research, I've concluded that I could handle this, so one of these days when I'm feeling ambitious, I'll be busting out my glue sticks and seeing what happens.