Archive for July, 2010


  1. Meteorologists with opinions – Your job is to predict the weather, okay?  Not to force your opinions about what a beautiful day it’s going to be down our throats.  Perhaps not everyone agrees with you about how “perfect” 86 degrees and sunshine is.  Ever think about that?
  2. “Beach reads” – This is how big, meaty novels released in the summer are described, but this expression makes no sense to us.  Beaches are noisy and crowded, demanding frivolous, throwaway entertainment.  Do people actually lie out in the sun all day reading Dickens?  If so, it’d be more accurate to call it a “skin cancer read.”
  3. Kerchief and knapsack – Why do authors and television writers employ these words as though real people actually say them out loud?  No one uses these words.  It’s impossible to say either one without sounding like an ass.
  4. Preggers – Pregnancy is sappy and cutesy enough without using this stupid nickname.  (Note: we will allow an exception for ironic usage.  Obvi.)
  5. Back to school ads in the summer – Can’t you let those poor kids have at least one blissful month without reminding them of the imminent demise of their freedom and happiness?
  6. Gum snapping – Also, gum chewing in general.  There is nothing classy or attractive about incessant mastication.  If we can see or hear your gum, it’s time to spit it out.
  7. Women applying makeup while driving – Ladies, you make all of womankind look bad when you do this.  You’re also endangering the drivers around you, not to mention smudging your mascara.  Knock it off.
  8. Posthumous duets – Whose bright idea was it to take an old track of Sinatra’s glorious crooning and muck it all up by inserting an entirely unnecessary echo by a modern singer?  We expect this crap from the likes of Enrique Iglesias, but Bono, you should know better!
  9. Personal space invaders – You know these people: they brush shoulders with you at the bookstore, they sit directly beside you even though the whole restaurant is empty, and they lean over you to look at whatever you saw first.  They have no respect for personal space bubbles, and they must be stopped.
  10. Loud talkers – There is no reason to shout into your cell phone.  They can hear you just fine.  There is also no need to force your conversation on the entire restaurant.  Inside voices, please!
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  1. Piper Perabo – She’s cute, talented, funny and friends with K’s imaginary bff Lena Headey.  It’s about time someone gave her a show of her own!
  2. Satirical social commentary – Who needs dry, straight-laced statistics when you can get the point across so much more effectively in a funny, well written satire like Natural Born Killers?
  3. Garfunkel & Oates – Such wisdom and spot-on observations sung (sometimes rapped) by two genius young women who have a sly way with words.  Pregnant women are smug!  Thank you, ladies, for finally saying what needed to be said.
  4. Cloth bags – Paper or plastic?  Neither!
  5. Minnesota Public Radio – Where else can you get Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk, up-to-the-minute news updates, balanced political commentary, and (huzzah!) literary discussions all in one place?  Yeah, we’re nerds.
  6. Paul Rudd – Dearest Paul Rudd, we’ve loved you since we first met you in Clueless all those years ago and, if such a thing is possible, you’ve only gotten cuter and funnier since then.  We bet you smell good, too.  Please come give us a hug.  Love, T&K.
  7. Apples to Apples – You say “sexy,” I put down…”Nazi”?  This game is possibly the best way to dig into someone’s disturbed psyche since Freud got all up in psychoanalysis.
  8. Bowling – The Pandas’ sport of choice!  Our games usually degenerate into childish name calling and spontaneous 60s-inspired dance parties, but we still manage to fit a few poorly shot frames in.
  9. Victorian-era gothic romance – Is your lover digging up your grave because you keep haunting him?  Are you being tormented by the impetuous gentleman who employs you as a governess?  Or trying to hide your secret, illegitimate child?  Chances are you’re in a gothic romance!
  10. Juliette Lewis – Someone had to carry on the spandex-wearing, riot grrrl spirit of rock n’ roll, and that person is…actress Juliette Lewis?  Yes!

Shortcuts

Generally, there are none.  Shortcuts, that is.  At least not when it comes to being healthy, which is something I have very grudgingly come to accept over the last few years.  Perhaps it’s due to this hard-won acceptance that I’m so irked by unhealthy products masquerading as good for you essentials.  Vitamin Water, for instance.  Call me old fashioned, but I just don’t think a liquid calling itself water ought to contain 125 calories per bottle and an entire paragraph of ingredients; in fact, anything longer than the word “water” is too many ingredients! 

I can’t tell you how many women I see wearing those new toning sneakers while sucking down whipped cream and chocolate shavings topped drinks.  I guess toning shoes are better than nothing, but do they really think those FitFlops are going to cancel out the tablespoons of sugar they’re ingesting?  The only thing that’s going to do that is exercise, but exercising is a pain in the ass, so it’s no wonder all of these seemingly effortless weight loss inventions have glutted the market.  Why get all gross and sweaty doing cardio when you can just strap a vibrating device to your stomach while you watch TV?  There’s a part of me that really wants to believe those shortcuts actually work, but then I come back to reality: if it’s too easy, it’s not going to work. 

Recently, someone recommended I check out the book Women, Food and God.  Having read this book, the lady said she now understood that she was gaining weight because she was binge eating to fill a spiritual and emotional space in her life.  Now, I haven’t read this book, so I’m hoping the author’s explanation isn’t that ridiculous and simplified, because I hate it when people break complex psychological principals behind serious, legitimate disorders down into motivations for everyday behavior.  Someone who occasionally indulges in a little too much dessert and feels guilty about it later is simply not in the same boat as a person with an actual eating disorder.  To suggest otherwise is to lessen the awful, life consuming impact disorders have on people’s lives.  It’s like someone claiming they’re OCD because they like to organize their closet by color.

Anyway, books like Women, Food and God (or, more accurately, the interpretations of the people who read them) serve to remove personal responsibility from the equation.  Perhaps you’ve been gaining weight not because you’re hungry for God but because you’re drinking 800 extra calories a day in your supposedly healthy beverages and the only workout your track pants get is walking to your deck chair.  No, that can’t be it!  This attitude annoys me because I know so many people who religiously watch their caloric intake and work hard to burn off extra pounds but still can’t achieve their goals.  Or people for whom medical conditions prevent them from the kind of vigorous exercise necessary for weight loss.  They’ve earned the right to complain about it, unlike people who jump on each successive fitness craze looking for easy answers.

Or maybe I’m wrong, and I’m wasting my time at the gym.  Perhaps the answer lies in a pew rather than on the treadmill.  But I doubt it.  

T

  1. Maxi dresses – Maybe we’re just not stylish enough to pick up on the appeal of this trend, but to our uneducated eyes, it looks like you’re wearing a sheet.  Isn’t the point of wearing a summer dress to keep you cool?  How are you doing that by tangling your legs up in fabric?
  2. South Pacific – Ugh.  It’s the kiss of death for a musical: awful songs!  Someone once told T she only dislikes this musical because she’s never had an enchanted evening or had to wash a man out of her hair.  T counts herself lucky.
  3. Actors talking about their craft – We love movies, and we love reading interviews with our favorite actors, but the second they start talking about their craft, we groan in disgust and turn the page.  You get paid obscene amounts of money to play make believe for a living.  Don’t get pompous on us.
  4. High fructose corn syrup – Why does my bread have corn syrup in it?  Why do flavored “waters” have it?  Why does EVERYTHING have corn syrup in it?  No wonder we’re becoming such a hefty nation!
  5. Characters’ sleeping attire – Who goes to bed with their hair styled, in full makeup, wearing a push-up bra?  Fictional characters, that’s who!
  6. Whimsy for sale! – We pick on cutesy gift shoppes (insert K’s cringe here) all the time, so you might think there’d be nothing left for us to mock.  Ha!  Think again!  Our current fascination is with a little store in town that lists “whimsy” as part of its sundries.  How does one purchase whimsy?  By the gallon?  Is it bottled?  Canned?
  7. Sophomore effort – Come on, rock journalists.  Must you always refer to a band’s second album as their “sophomore effort”?  Can’t you just say “second album”?  Apparently not, though we realize we might be the only people bothered by this.  That’s why we have each other.
  8. Ticketmaster fees – How can you possibly justify a “convenience” charge when there’s no other way to buy tickets?  That’s not convenient, that’s a monopoly!
  9. Natch – Enough already!  Stop trying to make “natch” happen, journalists!  It’s not going to happen.  Also, you don’t sound hip when you use this.  You sound stupid.  We thought it was about time someone told you.
  10. Jesus bumper stickers – What is it about Christians that they feel the need to plaster evidence of their faith on everything?  You don’t see “Got Muhammad?” bumper stickers.  As far as we know, you don’t get into Heaven on the basis of how many Jesus figurines, stickers, bracelets, and tee shirts you own, but maybe the rules have changed since our last theology class.

In honor of our American Independence Day, we proudly present our favorite British slang!  This logic might only make sense to us.

  1. Dollybird – For ladies as attractive as dolls who, also like dolls, have stuffing for brains.
  2. Mad as pants – Not sure what makes pants particularly mad, but we reckon it’s a catchy phrase.
  3. Slag – So much classier than calling someone a slut.
  4. Off my head – An apt description of insanity.
  5. Gone wrong – As in, you’ve passed your sell-by date.
  6. Pikey – The British equivalent of American white trash.
  7. Grotty – A wonderfully descriptive adjective combining gross, dirty, and gritty, first heard (by us) in A Hard Day’s Night.
  8. How’s yer father – Somehow this refers to having intercourse.  Typing of which…
  9. Shag – Way better than our euphemisms, like bone or pork.
  10. Chuffed – We’re delighted!

I find incessant, forcibly upbeat positivity positively soul crushing.  Everywhere I look, uplifting words are emblazoned: believe, dream, wish, faith!  I am particularly disheartened by “blessed,” generally because it’s used to punish me for having negative feelings.  For instance, this week I’m experiencing the joy of having to cancel my check card because a scatter brained waitress gave it to someone else and the restaurant has no idea where it went.  I found the idea of my account information floating around in unknown hands alarming and worrisome.  “There’s nothing to worry about!” an associate comforted me.  “In the grand scheme of things, it’s insignificant.  You still have your health!  Really, we’re so blessed, we have nothing to complain about.” 

But…it’s my god given right as an American to complain, loud and often, about whatever I want!  Isn’t that what makes this country great?  It’s not that I’m ungrateful for my good health or good fortune in life.  Truly, I thank my lucky stars.  But I don’t see why the misfortune of others should prevent me from finding things in my own life annoying.  Does the fact that someone has cancer suddenly make being stuck in traffic for three hours not frustrating?  Does it make hearing a customer say the shop I preside over is “junky” less insulting? 

I’ve tried in earnest to go the positive route.  I even read an entire book on positive thinking and toiled daily to implement its suggestions.  The end result?  My complaints took on a new and refreshing zeal (example: “These shoes are hurting my feet, but at least my legs aren’t broken!”  Not sure the sarcasm registers in type, but I assure you it was there.).  My life has been a series of battles between my inner Daria and my outer Deepak Chopra.  Daria always wins because moroseness is apparently in my nature, but Chopra does try, mainly because I want people to like me.  Some people do.  And really, if I believe in the power of my dreams and have faith in my blessed friends, it’ll all work out!          

T