Friday, December 31, 2004

Links Carnival Roundup

- If it's not too late to catch you before your New Year's Eve shindigs, John at the Planet Bip has tips at avoiding uncomfortable conversation. Unfortunately, I already used half of these, which is why I'm alone tonight with pizza ... mmmm ... wings ... and Jeff Foxworthy on Comedy Central.

- Over at the Front Porch, Eric thinks Gretchen Wilson is too big for her britches. I don't know if she's worthy of singing at the Grand Ole Opry, but I'd like to see her in her britches, the ones on a Wal-Mart shelf half-price where she still looks as sexy as those models on TV.

- I scoff at Brent and his lip pimple. Until he's had a cold sore on the corner of his mouth, so perfectly placed that I can't open up enough to eat a cracker, put on the Noxzema and let it go.

- Apparently, Jenn's brother-in-law lost his white sheet and hood, 'cause he needed to get something off his chest over the holidays. Yeek. Jenn, I'm still trying to figure out what "c**ns" stands for. Is "chins" a slang insult? Only if you're related to Jay Leno, I suppose. I kid, of course, because I'm an insensitive prick.

- Wally and Julie celebrated their first Christmas as a married couple, which was so special that he's going to redesign the blog. Exactly what was in that candy?

- Last, and never least, Steven provides proof of a white Christmas in the Bluff City. Or at least Cordova. After driving to Louisville on Christmas night, let me say that wanting and having a white Christmas are different things. In fact, if any of the Louisville folks are still around after the Cardinals won the Liberty Bowl, ask them why they ALL feel the need to drive ten feet behind you when the streets are iced over?

Me tease you long time

The last fortune cookie of 2004: "Something wonderful is about to happen to you."

Okay, I'm waiting. Impatiently.

*twiddling thumbs*

Maybe it's something I already expected; the year-end tradition of watching Jeff in the Headline News credit roll. After seeing it, President Bush will fly Air Force One to Atlanta and allow me the choice of either dating Jenna or Barbara.

Hmm, that's a tough one. Jenna seems more fun to date, but Barbara looks to be better marriage potential. Not that both aren't impeccably cute. I'm thinking way too much about this imaginary scenario, aren't I?

Anyway, there are two different credit roll packages on Saturday January 1. The first package runs in the third block of the 6:30pm show, the second one in the third block of 7:30pm show. Eastern time, of course. The second one is supposed to contain mostly the technical crew, but both might have some of editorial and technical, and I'm promised that I'm in at least one.

Ode to pizza

I love pizza. Mmmmm ... pizza pizza pizza ... So gooey, so cheesy, I love your mushrooms and onions and sausages ... may He who created pizza be praised! ... and the wings that came with it ... oh my ... forget the chicken, I could just lick the barbecue sauce right off the foil ... wow, I dip the pizza in the barbecue sauce, and heaven and earth moves ... I have to go now.

The drive for 2005

Jeff's Traveling Holiday Roadshow is ended as of last night. My holiday loop from Atlanta to Chapel Hill to Jeffersonville to Chapel Hill to Memphis to Atlanta is over. Along the way we ate good food, opened gifts and fought ice and snow on the roads (over ten inches in the Louisville area alone). I'll have pictures sooner than later, I promise!

Speaking of weather, if it's December 31 in Atlanta, I must be wearing shorts all day and driving with the windows rolled down. It would appear that the folks in Memphis are also enjoying warmer climes.

Still on vacation, nonetheless I made my way to work this afternoon to work out at the gym and use their computers to print out my manifesto. Well, at least the Amazing Race recap from Television Without Pity. The Peach Bowl is tonight at the Georgia Dome, so plenty of Florida and Miami fans clogged the roads wandering aimlessly.

No plans for tonight's New Year's Eve festivities. Can't feel sorry for the Jeffster, either, since Sydney did ask me to attend a bash with her in Memphis, but I wanted to get back to Atlanta. Thus, it's my choice to bake cookies and watch the fun from my couch.

Sleeping with a 90-year-old dude must be worth something

I feel unclean saying this, but I have to side with Anna Nicole Smith in her effort to keep the $88.5 million initially given her when her late "husband," a 90-year-old oil tycoon, died almost a decade ago.

The old guy's son, E. Pierce Marshall, comes across as a sniveling brat who snarkily disapproved of his dad's decision, taking it out on the former Playboy model and current laughingstock of the pop-culture world.

If this were an episode of "CSI: Miami," he'd have offed Anna and framed it on his kid while blending puppies for dinner, while Horatio looks somber and the morgue chick bemoans the evils of humanity and the hot blonde gun chick makes up something about firearms to seem important on the show.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Celluloid on the brain

I can see why the Library of Congress would add films such as Ben Hur, Schindler's List and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers to the National Film Registry. Of the 25 selected this year, the one that puzzles me most is Eraserhead. Saving David Lynch's psychadelic post-apocalyptic weirdo flick for posterity is like photographing a wart on your toe and putting the picture on the cover of your album and placing it on top of the TV. You just don't do it. If you have to save something of Lynch's, at least stick with the "Twin Peaks" series that was nuts but tolerable.

What's next, are they going to add The Wizard of Oz, only with the original track taken out and have Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" inserted over the video? Which actually works pretty well. Not that I've done it, 'cause that would be silly. *cough*

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas is for dreaming

Went to bed at 8 p.m. last night, a long time since the family gathered at Ancroft Cove, when I would claim my spot by the fireplace just a few feet from the Christmas tree to ensure the least amount of distance between me and my presents.

I ended up waking up at 11 p.m., contrary to my original best-laid plans of sleeping until 2 a.m. Still, it gave me the chance to watch a Christmas classic at midnight on Spike TV, Never Say Never Again. Nothing says Happy Holidays like Sean Connery as 007, am I right?

Loaded up the car with luggage and gifts, and left for work at 3 a.m. The roads were almost completely barren, the emptiest I've seen since the ice storm of 2000. Not that it stopped me from getting annoyed when two cars came roaring off a downtown exit and whipped into my lane so that I had to hit my brakes, since I had to get off the next exit and couldn't get over. At 3:30 on freakin' Christmas morning, Atlanta traffic strikes again. Jeepers.

Since I only got a few hours of restful sleep, I can remember the last dream I had. Let's analyze it, eh?

The dream: I'm back at Union, my alma mater. It's the beginning of the semester and I'm faced with long lines at a new security checkpoint and to fill out paperwork. I never seem to get anywhere, I keep getting passed by other students and I never get through. I am having a good time, at least, chasing friends and talking to teachers, but it always leads me to end up at the back of the line again.

Analysis: Since leaving college I feel like I haven't advanced as far as I'd like, and keep watching others keep moving ahead in life while I stand still, waiting for my turn. I'm sure this is only pertinent in the relationship department, as I have none and I am employed at my dream job with no complaints.

Silver lining: While in line I'm flirting with this really cute blonde in front of me, and she's totally flirting back. I don't recognize the girl as anyone I know, so this wasn't a "crush" dream, but I sure hope I meet her!

Friday, December 24, 2004

A Very Jeff Christmas

Today is Christmas Eve, though I'm not particularly among the festive mood. I'm off work tonight, that's the good news. The bad news, I am working a half-shift from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. Christmas morning. I'm the only director, though it's not as bad as it sounds since we only have one hour to put together, plus production work. It's not like this is new or unexpected; this is the career I've chosen and holidays are always touch-and-go as to whether I can get out of town and celebrate with my loved ones. No worries.

Still, I have to adjust the sleep schedule. Last night I went to bed at 4 a.m., like usual, but set the alarm for 9 a.m. That way, I'll be tired by 7 or 8 p.m. and will resume sleep until 2 a.m., upon which I'll finish packing and load the presents in my shuttlecraft. When I leave the CNN Center at 8 a.m. I'll drive straight to Chapel Hill and my vacation.

Saturday night - with Mom, Scott and Jenn - I'm driving up to southern Indiana, where hopefully the snow will have melted on the streets. We'll be there a day or two, then back to Chapel Hill for a night.

From there to Memphis for a couple of days of hanging out with Nana (any movies you want to see?), the Russells and hopefully some more friends like Sydney if she's back from her trip. I figure I'll drive back to Atlanta the night of Dec. 30, next Thursday, or the morning of the 31st, because I don't want to be a third, fifth or seventh wheel during any New Year's festivities. Plus, I'm sure I'll be bitter.

I braved the sunny, 28 degree temperatures (yeah, I'm a real hero) to get to work this afternoon and work out at the gym. This is a pre-emptive strike, seeing as how I'll be out of town next week and eating lots of naughty food. I would have had to work out for ten hours to really make a dent, but at least I'll feel a teensy bit less guilty!

Merry Christmas, everyone, and I hope your get-togethers are safe and jolly tonight and tomorrow! Remember, reindeer meat is low fat. God bless us, every one!


UPDATE: 5:15 p.m. - Before I go, a review of Ocean's 12, which you'll read because you feel guilty about drinking eggnog and opening presents tonight while I'm drinking Crystal Light lemonade and scarfing down caramel popcorn by the handful while Googling "naughty Mrs. Claus."

DEAR SANTA ...

How are the reindeer? Mrs. Claus? How's the weather look for Christmas?

Enough of the bland pleasantries. I don't care. Here's my list to gimme stuff:

- Please bring peace on earth and goodwill to men. ... Ha! I kill me! No, really, how about a loose "elf" from Hooters who is tired of pretty boys and just wants a loser.

- A Red Sox World Series title. Oops, sorry. That one was left over from last year. And the year before. And the year before. And the ...

- A framed picture of A-Rod’s face when the Sox won the World Series, signed by Jason Varitek and Bronson Arroyo.

- Complete DVD collection of “My Two Dads.”

- A proton pack, a.k.a. an unlicensed nuclear accelerator.

- Ann Coulter Talking Action Figure. Perfect for pissing off your left-wing friends when you just don't have the words, like this: "Liberals can't just come out and say they want to take more of our money, kill babies, and discriminate on the basis of race."

- Old Soviet parachutes, army winter coats and a fur-hat.

- Distory: A Treasury of Historical Insults. If you're going to tell someone they have the brainpower of an orc, better that you use fancy words so that the subject is at least impressed by your intellectual prowess.

- Nothing says “I’m whipped” like the Smitten Mitten. I’ll take two. It comes with a girl attached, right?

- Duct tape for my Kate Winslet blowup doll.

- A horrible accident to befall Sauron in The Amazing Race.


When searching for other gifts not listed, note that the Hallmark Collectible 2004 Sneering Jeff Ornament is sold out.

Sorry, all I got for my readers were sarcasm and lame attempts at provoking sympathy. I hope it fits.

Jeff's Official Happiest Sports Moment Ever, on DVD!

Dad bought me the official 2004 World Series video, and for the past week I have actually been apprehensive about watching it. Could it end differently this time? After all, I saw the Red Sox here in Atlanta in July, and it didn't look good.

No worries. I just popped in the disc and Boston does indeed beat St. Louis again. The best part was watching the post-game four celebration in Busch Stadium, because I was there with Dad. Very special, indeed. No other team in any sport is as closely associated with its fans as are the Red Sox, so it was appropriate to see so much of the DVD showing those of us in the Nation.

By the way, the song "Tessie" is played during the credits, originally sung by vibrant Boston fans during the Pilgrims/Americans' 1903 World Series title run. The song was re-introduced and remixed this spring by the Boston band Dropkick Murphys and is now sure to be played more often at Fenway than the now-traditional eighth-inning singing of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."

Recharging the batteries

This holiday season, we should recognize those things that mean the most to us. Those things that bring us hope, make us happy, cry with us when sad ...

What were we talking about?

Ah, yes. The Red Sox.

Did I mention that as Pedro burns his bridges that Boston shrugged it off by signing Matt Clement, Wade Miller and now, catcher and captain, Jason Varitek?

Happy holidays from the World Series champions!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

That didn't count, right?

This is the kind of new-wave philosophy I can get behind.

Fine, keep bringing the chocolate. But I don't have to like it!

Not that I'm in such a mood, but isn't this the worst time of year if you want to be publicly in a bad mood? Don't you feel guilty by bah humbugging others' festive cheer?

God bless us, every one

A Tech Central Station Christmas Carol gives us a few modern versions to play with. My favorite:
M. Night Shyamalan: In a completely unexpected twist, it turns out that Scrooge is the dead one, and the "ghosts" are actually the people that he's haunting.

Yeah, I'm having this cookie, what of it?

Rachel has some handy-dandy holiday coupons to help dieters deal with friends and family this season.

*sniff* So cute

Wally's better half (sorry, bud, you know it's true), Julie, is guest blogging, and links to a story about the couple in The Commercial Appeal.

Since the CA will make this article subscription-only soon, I'll just reprint it all here and hope their lawyers don't send me a form letter:

'I do' sang from iPod

By Anita Houk
December 19, 2004

All she wanted for Christmas was an iPod.

Memphian Julie Etheridge envisioned going everywhere with it, thousands of songs in that tiny gadget, her fingertips just itching to tap Play or Import or Delete or -- whatever.

"I work for Select-O-Hits, which is an independent music distribution company in town," explains Julie, 30. "I live and die by my pocket PC - and I had to have an iPod for Christmas.''

Wally Green, 29, understands. "He's got every gadget for his computer known to man."

It wasn't always such for Wally. He hails from Trenton, Tenn., home to the world's largest collection of porcelain night-light teapots (525).

But by working in local radio, Wally got hot for a media career. "When I came to Memphis" -- 1998 -- "I said, 'I'll go to school, find me a wife and move back to Trenton.'"

That first semester, he studied film and video at the University of Memphis. He got a job at WMC-TV Channel 5 in overnight master control, and became a photographer. He met folks and felt an inner shift. "I've become a city person."

By spring 2003, "I was ready to find someone to settle down with and just be happy."

It wouldn't be easy. "I was always told, 'You're TOO nice.'''

He met Julie on a blind date.

"She liked nice guys."

"I'm a good egg!" she says, knowing how it feels to be long on guy friends but not romance.

That first outing, Julie and Wally went to see funny guy Carrot Top.

"Second date," says Julie, "we found out that both of our parents met on a blind date."

They had similar rearing, appreciation of courtesy and respect for elders. She has family ties in Trenton too.

They nestled in at the Memphis in May Sunset Symphony. Within months, he wanted to make it official.

"We'd be going to my family's Christmas," says Wally, "and I wanted everybody to meet Julie. 'We're engaged': That was to be the big announcement.' "

He planned to take her to dinner at Bosco's Squared, then to her house briefly, then to a surprise engagement party.

"I was so nervous," says Wally. "She'd been wanting an iPod for Christmas and I'd been kidding her that I'd gotten her an iPod." He got his hands on an empty iPod box, put a note inside and wrapped it.

"So I open the box and I'm like, 'What the heck?' "

The note said, "I'm sorry you didn't get an iPod, but I have a question to ask.' And I'm sitting in front of her."

"He's on the footstool: knee up, knee down, knee up, knee down. 'Man, he's fidgety!' "

"The ring's not in the box," Wally says. "I've had the ring in my pocket all night. I've got (the ring box) almost open.''

"I was reading the note: 'Where's the question?' "

"And it was, "Will you marry me?' "

That was Dec. 19 last year.

They wed Sept. 18 at Sycamore View Church of Christ. Due to Hurricane Ivan, their honeymoon was postponed. For the trip countdown, pictures and other news of the Greens, see Wally's Web site: wgreen.com.

"He's off the market, ladies."

P.S. Julie did get the iPod too.

Pictures from the wedding are here on my site, and Wally's site.

I Love the 80s

If I weren't so fat, I would buy half of these t-shirts.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Can we stop? I'm Hungary.

It’s Opposite Day at the The Amazing Race, starting off with a Road Block before the Detour, and in the end there’s no elimination, just a “to be continued …“ that pissed me off. Since when do reality shows get to have a cliffhanger? Is this just to stretch the Race to last longer? Sure, it’s my favorite show, but the point is that teams get the boot, am I right? Why not just start with four more teams at the start in order to ensure a long season?

Rant over.

Last week, we bid farewell to the Grandparents in Berlin, and my prediction that the Pop/Daughter team would get eliminated doesn’t look good, although I’m happy to be wrong in this case.

In a USA Today article Tuesday, Jonathan – now dubbed Sauron after his abusive evil ways - tries to blame some of his temper and spaziness on medication. No dice. In fact, I think it was Socrates who said, “If you’re an a**, you’re an a**,” no matter what. Or, as my lil’ sister, Stephanie, said last week, “I think people who act like idiots on the show probably act like idiots otherwise. I'm not saying stress doesn't bring out the worst in people, but if you're as much of a jacka** as Spaz is under stress I'm better he's pretty much a jacka** all of the time.”

If Phil is the man’s man he comes across, he’d slug Sauran and take Victoria as his own, like how Jeff Probst is now dating Julie from the last Survivor.

Since there’s no finish to the episode, I’ll sum up quickly (too late!).

The teams are gathered all together (DRINK!) for a reverse bungee jump that looks super cool in that instead of dropping and bouncing you’re shot up like a rocket. All the women take care of this Road Block, since it’s easy and all the heavy lifting needs to be saved for the menfolk now that the Chip&Kim rule has been instituted.

At first, Wrestler chick Lori wasn’t sure about the weights tied to their legs, commenting that she’s glad she didn’t get a “bigger boob job.” This group is all class, and I love them for it.

Off to Budapest, Hungary! Problem, though. We now get some separation among the teams due to a three-hour difference between the first and second flights, and Old Navy, Ennui and Pop/Daughter get the only three seats on the first plane. Even better, Pop/Daughter barely got in ahead of Sauron, who proceeds to berate the travel agents in the airport and piss of Gus the entire next day by saying they didn’t deserve those tickets. Gus’s reply: “Little bastard.”

The Wrestlers can’t get a ticket on the second flight, either, yet their flight lands just a few minutes after the second flight, and they still end up way, way behind.

Once in Budapest the teams are punished by chance, which doesn’t seem fair, having to drive really old jalopies that barely ran under Commie rule, so who can tell which one will break down on the highway or, if you’re lucky, just have it broken down in the parking lot like Ennui so that the tow truck is right there to replace it quickly. Others, like the Wrestlers and Long-Distance (Doomed!), have to wait on the side of the road for a replacement. That’s not entirely fair, and too much of a crapshoot for a Race where the better teams should have the advantage at all times.

What really gets me, though, is that the Doomed! couple was still giggly and in a good mood even when the car was kaput. What a fun pair, and it’s too bad their long-distance relationship can never work. Shame.

In Eger, Hungary, less than 100 miles from Budapest, teams were given their Detour, a time of medieval hijinks with a choice between catapulting a watermelon 150 feet to a small target, or pull a cannon up the hill and then carrying cannonballs to the top and arranging in a pyramid pattern. At first the catapult looked to be a lot more fun, but the Pop/Daughter proved that it’s very difficult and most everyone wisely chose the “cannonball run.”

Next up, the teams take a train to Budapest to find the Net Klub Internet Café. Problem is, the place doesn’t open until 10 p.m., so most everyone - Old Navy, Pop/Daughter, Ennui, Long-Distance (Doomed!) and Sauron/Queen Victoria - are all bunched together (DRINK!), with the Hellcouple not far back.


Along the way came the best moment of the season, watching Sauron get kicked out of a taxi when the cabbie got fed up with all the complaining and yelling. Here’s to you, Budapest cab driver! That was as soothing to the soul as being in a room alone with six feet of bubble wrap.

The Wrestlers appear destined to be eliminated, since after they finished their Detour they got to the train station, only to be told that the next train doesn’t run until 7:25 the next morning.

It’s 10 p.m., the Wrestlers asleep on a bench trying to hide from the rain, while the first five teams start walking into the Internet Café, and then “. . . to be continued.” Nooooo!!!! Finish!

This leads me to wonder: Since the Road Block was right off the bat in this leg, and the teams are still working, the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the Wrestlers don't end up back in the game and bunched up with the rest at the airport the next day. Or it's a non-elimination round. Or they die in a freak accident after getting hit by lightning asleep on the bench at the train station. Either way, it's dramatic, am I right?

Here’s another question: What’s the penalty if the Wrestlers take a cab back to Budapest instead of waiting for the train? Wouldn’t it be worth a half-hour or even an hour penalty to catch up and not be nine hours behind?

Next time (early January?): Sauron yells, Old Navy dude goes ballistic (I think someone used the Yield on them) and Hellcat tells Hellboy that she doesn’t think they’ll work romantically. I’m liking Hellcat more and more every show. She’s a fun little spitfire.

Email for my mailing address

Way back at the end of September, I moaned the fall of civilization due to the boyfriend pillow, a sensation among Japanese women. At the time I joked, “Notice there aren't any girlfriend pillows, although it would probably sell well since guys would need replacements every couple of months.”

I spoke too soon, and it’s even worse than I imagined. Now Japanese men can have their own lap pillow, shaped like a woman’s lap and upper legs wearing a red or black skirt. It costs the equivalent of 90 U.S. dollars, though I’m pretty sure they could just buy a soft blowup doll for cheaper, and get the entire body to, um, rest on. Right, ewwww.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Gooey Christmas vice

If it's a workday, someone brought fattening snacks. During the holidays, this phenomenon is bumped up several notches, and we have more cookies and cakes than we can eat. Today, though, this tradition turned evil. I don't know who did it, but they brought in caramel popcorn dipped in chocolate (fifth item listed).

I didn't think it was possible, but such a concoction is far too decadent. Why not just pour honey on it and dip it with a filet mignon, too?

Caramel popcorn is nicely evil on its own, thankyouverymuch. Especially in those tins with three different kinds of popcorn.

Once you've covered caramel in chocolate, and why even bother having a nutritional panel? It's like walking into a Ferrari dealership and not seeing a sticker. If you have to ask, you can't afford it. Same here; if you have to ask, you shouldn't eat it.

Taking credit for others' words

The latest quotable Vents posted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (registration required):

- Nothing ruins good parenting like teenagers.
- I was feeling OK about my birthday until the mall Santa said, “Have a nice day, sir.”
- My boyfriend gave me a mood ring. When I’m in a good mood, it makes a green color. When I’m in a bad mood, it makes a red mark on his forehead.
- Delta is hanging mistletoe over the baggage check-in desk so you can kiss your luggage goodbye.
- Hey, Barry Bonds: Babe Ruth did it with hot dogs and booze.
- Barry Bonds saying he took steroids unknowingly is like my saying "I went to the strip club and unknowingly saw nude women."
- It is an established fact that no woman ever shot her husband while he was doing the dishes.
- How do you throw away an old garbage can? The trash dudes will never take the one I left at the curb!
- A good buddy will bail you out of jail, but your best buddy is usually sitting in the cell beside you.
- My family was so poor that for Christmas we got batteries with a note attached saying "toy not included."
- My doctor told me I needed to get into shape. I told him that round is a shape.
- Nothing puts a damper on a budding relationship like a judge's restraining order.
- The next time there's a war in Europe, the loser has to keep France.
- I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
- Whoever said honesty is the best policy must have been a terrible liar.

Vents I Sent:
- There aren't many things more humiliating than having to ask someone to explain a comic strip.
- Dear Santa: Please bring peace on earth and goodwill to men. ... Ha! I kill me! No, really, I want tools. Big, noisy ones.
- Maybe Democrats would be more apt to support privatization if we called it Social Security Choice or Retirement Rights.
- We must remind the world: "Cowboy" is not quite the insult you believe it to be.
- If it had been Three Wise Women instead of Three Wise Men, they would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole and brought practical gifts. (Courtesy Grif.net)

Monday, December 20, 2004

Coke!

Forget all that Blue State/Red State bunk, this map proves where Americans' allegiances really lie.

Touring Jeff's blogosphere

Taking a spin around my favorites list:

Steve is GMAC Bowl-blogging in Mobile this week while shooting video of the U. of Memphis for WMC. Go Tigers!

Brent is up to day eight of his Twelve Days of Christmas, and he’s thinking smart. Seven pairs of boxers means laundry once every two weeks! (I’ll let that sink in.) Meanwhile, big brother Wally is linking back to Brent with a very special audio presentation.

Jenn is loving the 90s, which I really can’t share because I spent so much time at Union that decade in our little Christian bubble where pop culture doesn’t exist.

Eric is getting all serious on us, ranting about the fraud in the TennCare system. He’s so hot when he’s stern.

John over at the Planet Bip congratulates the Seattle Mariners on their strong showing in the Hot Stove League this winter, although I don’t see why anyone bothers since the Red Sox are going to win next year’s World Series anyway.

Christmas is for laughing

(Courtesy Grif.net)

Grandma goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards. She says to the clerk, "May I have 50 Christmas stamps?"

"What denomination?" the clerk asks.

"Oh my goodness! Has it come to this?" asks the lady. "Well okay, give me 6 Catholic, 12 Presbyterian, and 32 Baptist."

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Maybe he needs a belt to hold in the fat from his brain

Detroit Tigers outfielder Craig Monroe was arrested and charged with trying to steal a $29.99 belt by putting it around his waist and walking out of the store with it on.

Wow, that is theft. Thirty bucks for a belt? Preposterous!

No, this does not solve world hunger

Click here to take the M*A*S*H quiz!


Could be worse, I could have been pantywaste Hawkeye or Klinger. As for this next one, I was hoping for the Aston Martin, but then aren't we all?

I am a BMW 750i - Which James Bond Vehicle Are You?
Take the James Bond Car Quiz!


You may be built like a brick with wheels, but when someone tickles the controls, you can corner with the best of them. Too bad your gadgets are sub-par. I mean, really... a wire cutter? Are we supposed to be impressed?

Jeff's briefs

- If scientists were able to use stem cells from fat to treat bodily damage, then I should never, ever get sick based on my lifelong supply of self-healing matter!

- Invasion of privacy! Invasion of privacy! Quick, someone call the ACL... um, never mind.

- Sig oops!

- A game for dog lovers. (You hit the right-left arrows alternately as you run toward the cat-toss line.)

- Earlier spring from global warming, say scientific PC bedwetters. Normal folk say, "Yay!"

- It's always fun to see stories that try to scare us about how the year 2004 was among the warmest ever recorded on the same day most telecasts around the country are leading with the arctic cold front freezing the East, West and Plains.

- I don't know, I never think these online photos do justice to my features. Dang I'm sexy.

- My favorite examples from this reverse speech site are from Mary Poppins and Popeye. I hear that when you play "A Spoonful of Sugar" backwards that Julie Andrews sings, "Knit one, purl two," which doesn't sound dirty, but if you're high, it's awesome!

- Today's headline: "Cold comfort: Cure won't be soon". In other stunning health news, "Study shows that cancer still sucks," and "Researchers: Breathing good."

- One thing I've been able to take away from the horrible story of the baby cut from her mother's womb this week is that it's forced the PC-niks of the left-wing media to run in circles trying to describe the child. At first they all said that a fetus had been stolen, but considering the baby is alive and kicking proves that she is more than a glob of tissue to be discarded at a woman's whim. If the murdered mother had had an abortion this week instead, no one in the media would have cared.

Yes, I'm 29

Signs I've been watching a lot (but never too much) of the Return of the King extended DVD this week:

No. 548 - Last night at the Falcons game, instead of yelling for tackles, I would scream "Take it down! Take it down!" like King Theoden on Pelennor Fields of the Mummakil, or like Gandalf on Minas Tirith to the Gondorian archers, "Aim for the head!"

A good day in Atlanta

The weather: Sunny and cool. Cold enough to put on a sweatshirt in the morning, take it off the in the afternoon and drive with the windows down, but then button up at night.

It's 1 a.m. now, and I'm at work trying to pass the time and let traffic clear after attending the Falcons-Panthers game next door at the Georgia Dome. I was able to attend the sold-out contest via co-worker Mark and his season tickets, and attended with his friend, Scott, and co-worker Jason, so it was a guys' night out doing what guys do, dress up in pretend uniforms, drink, eat and pretty much be merry.

The game was a slugfest and not pretty most of the time, with Atlanta winning in overtime, 34-31, but there was plenty of offense, good plays, good defense, and the crowd was rowdy. I'm a little hoarse myself, although co-worker Pam just told me that my voice sounds uber-sexy like this, which of course means I'll end up purposefully screaming myself into this state once a week. The things I'll do to impress chicks. Yes, it means I'm male.

Speaking of the crowd, sometimes you wonder why some "fans" even bother. In my section alone, three people were kicked out during the game. The first two, behind us, got the boot with 9 minutes left in the first quarter. I still haven't figured out what they did, nor do I know why the Carolina fan was kicked out early in the fourth quarter. I think he was running his mouth most of the game, celebrated too much after a Panther touchdown, and fell over into the family in front of him, who didn't appreciate the guy's enthusiasm. Lots of talking back and forth ensued, with two sections of us staring and yelling at nothing in particular (hey, he's not rooting for Atlanta, so he must be a bad guy, am I right?).

Actually, I spent most of the game staring at the end of our aisle at the Hey Hey Girls. Those are hotties who when the pass by all the men turn around stare, and say to each other, "hey, hey, hey!" Anyway, these two blondes were certainly worth creeping out by constantly looking over even as the Falcons ran back a punt 80 yards.

Speaking of checking out chicks, this afternoon I spent shopping. I finished with my gift getting at Target, which was really the only place I went. I spent two hours there, admiring the merchandise and the shoppers. Next was Publix for nothing in particular. Some bread, some veggies, some soup. Nothing much. Besides, next Saturday I start a vacation between Christmas and New Year's. Good times. Good weekend. Tomorrow it's supposed to snow. Looks like golf is out.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Ho Ho Woof

I could either be productive while on break at work, or I can watch the White House Christmas Video, starring First Canine, Barney. Guess which I did.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Hola from Atlanta!

Hey, coolness, my network is expanding onto televisions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Unfortunately, I don't think this means we get to broadcast from Aruba three times a year.

I triple-dog dare you!

An Idaho man died of a gunshot wound to the heart Monday after donning a protective vest and asking his friend to shoot him. The friend has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, which is too bad. First off, he only did as told, and second, he did a service for humanity's gene pool.

Bet you were a beautiful baby



The first picture of my funderful new nephew, Nathaniel Collin! Nana and Stephanie say that the picture reminds them of my baby pictures, so it's no wonder I saw Nathan and said right away, "Daggum he's a handsome baby!"

For those (meaning: women) who care about the vitals, he was born Dec. 13 at 2:48 p.m., weighing 8 lbs. 3 oz. and was 20 inches.

UPDATE 6:20 p.m. - New picture of Gabriel with his little brother is now on my site.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Over YOUR dead body

Let's compromise about this FCC proposal to let us gab on planes. Yes, the government can allow cell phone use during flights, but only when the feds legalize murder within airport property.

Amazingly disturbing Race

The teams finished up in Senegal last week, with the Grandparents pulling up the rear and saved by the random non-elimination, the first of "several."

We're at the Ile de Goree, formerly a prison for the European slave trade, and where the producers decide that this is a good time for White Guilt. The teams are separated by almost four hours but since they all get the next clue between midnight and 4:30 a.m., they'll bunch up again (DRINK!).

Remember last week, when the editing suggested that the Father/Daughter and Grandparents were in a close race for the seventh (and possibly last) position? It wasn't as close as we were led to believe. Father/Daughter left this leg at 2:45 a.m., and the Grandparents didn't open their clue until 4:28, nearly two hours behind! Weren't they just one ferry back? At the top, Long-Distance (Doomed!) were first to leave at that 12:52 a.m. time, way ahead of a group of five teams that came in about 2:20. That's an awfully big gap considering how tight everyone was last week.

As the Hellcouple walk off into the darkness to find the next stop, Hellcat tells us, "I'd love to get out of Africa. I can see why so many people escaped." Um, darling, no, not here they didn't. It wasn't voluntary. Let's use our inner voice for these thoughts.

At 8:30 a.m. the teams line up to enter the Slave House and place a rose in tribute and just think about what Whitey done! before receiving their next clue. *Cue dramatic we-ought-to-feel-really-bad music*

Oh, puh-leeze. This is a race! Toss that rose, grab the clue and run! Since the Grandparents had to begin this leg without any money, I kept yelling for them to pick up the roses and sell them! They didn't need to, in the end, because instead of asking the locals for cash, they got the other teams to kick in some dough. Smooth. I would have helped, too, because being forced to beg people in Third World countries is full of suckitude. The teams could really stick together on this one, and set a precedent for future Races.

On the way out, Old Navy chick backhands Senegal by calling it "wretched and disgusting, and they just keep breeding in this poverty." Sweetie, remember, don't always use your out-loud voice.

Back on the ferry (which, for some reason, I spelled "fairy" in my notes - better stop watching Bravo so much), skedaddle out of Africa and head to Berlin and the Berlin Wall and once again they're all in the same bunch (DRINK!).

While arranging tickets to get out, Ennui and Old Navy stick together, which doesn't make the Wrestlers happy since they're being skipped. Ennui calls Bolo a Barbarian and accuse them of being on steroids, which gets Bolo all up in Ennui's grill before the actors back down and smile to try and make up. Acting! They're master thespians!

Once in Berlin, Spaz is yelling at Hellboy for having the gall to run in the same direction and take the same train. Ass. Teams that got to the Wall fast couldn't find the clue, which Hera tells us, "that's a perfect example of why running too fast can be bad." Heh.

From the Wall the teams have to go to an old church, which Phil tells us is a "reminder of the devastations of World War II." Left unsaid, "...which Germany started and led to tens of millions of deaths."

Detour! Teams have a choice between Beers and Brats. Unlike the previous weeks, this one isn't so cut-and-dry, and no one had a distinctive advantage by going either way. For Beers, teams carried glasses around a bar to find coasters with their pictures. In Brats, our dynamic duos make seven-inch sausages (snicker).

Proving that it doesn't take a lot of knowledge to make it in modeling or to get on this show so long as you're attractive, both members of Old Navy profess not to know what a "stein" is.

Next up, teams head to Teufelsberg, which is German for "take a taxi, stupid Wrestlers." Everyone else did, and blitzkrieged ahead as is becoming usual. Lucky for Wrestlers, Grandparents were way back and no threat. Here at the Road Block, a team member drove a soap box derby car down the mountain in less than 40 seconds, which they all did the first time out. Three teams hit 35 seconds even, making me wonder about the accuracy of this timed race.

Off to the Pit Stop in Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate!

It's a foot race! Old Navy and Spaz pull up at the same time and run for first place. In the meantime, Spaz turns weakling, saying "I can't do it," meaning he can't run and carry his pack, even though Victoria's is heavier and he's not complaining. Spaz then drops his pack and takes off, which isn't kosher for Victoria, who knows his bag might get stolen. Now she's running with both their packs, crying and wheezing while Spaz yells at her. Meanwhile, Old Navy jumps ahead and steps on the mat first.

When Spaz and Victoria are a few feet away, Spaz actually grabs his pack from her and pushes her. She's bawling and he's complaining to Phil, who looks like he would like to rip Spaz's blue hair clean out of his head. Phil has to tell Spaz that he should go talk to his wife, who is off to the side, still crying like the abused wife she clearly is. I can't believe the producers haven't kicked them off the show and paid for counseling, then apologized to us for letting them through the screening process.

In the end, Grandparents are too slow and too lost too much, even if they are too cute, they're gone. Their one-week reprieve is over.

Next week: Spaz yells at Victoria (surprise) and the Old Navy chick gets woozy, hopefully while a "wretched" African laughs at her.

Before finishing up, for a completely non-scientific attempt at guessing next week's losing team, let's check the order of the credits and see if they give us any clues (x denotes eliminated):

Kris and Jon, a.k.a. Long-Distance (Doomed!)
x - Lena and Kristy, a.k.a. Hot Blonde Mormon Sisters
Lori and Bolo, a.k.a. Wrestlers
x - Don and Mary Jean, a.k.a. Grandparents
x - Avi and Joe, a.k.a. Brooklyn Jews
Hayden and Aaron, a.k.a. Ennui
Gus and Hera, a.k.a. Father/Daughter
Jonathan, a.k.a. Spaz and Victoria
Freddy and Kendra, a.k.a. Old Navy
x - Meredith and Maria, a.k.a. Queens
Adam and Rebecca, a.k.a. Hellboy and Hellcat

Using this formula, I predict that the first and last teams listed are safe for a while. There's a big gap between the Brooklyn Jews and the Queens, so I focus there. I predict that Father/Daughter are goners, followed by Spaz when CBS gets tired of his antics and deports him from the Amazing Race and the U.S. government doesn't let him back into the country.

Christmas funnies

The fact that my Mom and aunt forwarded this email to me just makes me adore being part of this family even more:

A Traditional Christmas Tale

When four of Santa's elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones, Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her Mom was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out Heaven knows where.

More stress.

Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked, and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys. So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered that the elves had hidden the liquor, and there was nothing to drink. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider pot, and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found that mice had had eaten the straw end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritable Santa trudged to the
door.

He opened the door, and there was a little Angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The Angel said, very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't it a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?"

And so began the tradition of the little Angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Carnival of Jeff's links

Let’s take a tour of blogs from my buds’ blogs:

Steven and John are getting serious this holiday season. Over at Steve’s blog, he’s thanking his lucky stars for his lot in life, while John at The Planet Bip talks about friendship.

Wally’s enjoying the social aspects of Christmas, which just makes me jealous as hell. Seriously, is this automatic when you get married, that other couples magically appear and there’s always something to do? By the way, is P.F. Chang's the restaurant on Poplar and Park with the really big statue of a guy on a horse out front? If so, I've eaten there before with Sydney, and it's alright. Syd actually recommended a Chinese place next door in the shopping center that she likes better, but it was closed.

Jenn stopped ranting for twenty seconds to recommend some old movies, but she also manages to diss Errol Flynn’s classic Adventures of Robin Hood. Blasphemer! She shall be smited! Horror stricken, am I.

Meanwhile, in the festive mood, Brent looks to be having his own 12 days of Christmas. If I were him I'd be more careful asking for a nutcracker and nieces of nephews. One of these things will only cause pain to the other.

UPDATE: Eric logs in today, and uses the phrase "redecorating the bedroom in the nude." Discuss.

Whatever it takes

Finally, the day has come, and I am watching the Return of the King extended version on the new four-disc DVD. I had to suffer hardships to get it, but it's worth them all.

Yesterday when I called Wal-Mart, they couldn't guarantee me that the DVD would be on the shelves at midnight. What gall! Instead, I went to bed at 11 p.m. so that I could wake up early enough to buy the DVD and watch it before work. This morning I rued that the drive to Wal-Mart took 20 whole minutes!

One-hundred years ago, sure, our great-great grandparents had to slog three miles in the snow uphill to buy a new DVD, but I would have thought we've come a long way since then. *sigh*

I'm two hours in, so only halfway thus far, and have seen many of the new scenes. Most important, we get the faceoff between Saruman and Gandalf. Seems a lot of it involved extra footage of Gimli and Legolas, so if you're looking for more of a budding relationship and antics of those two, you'll be especially happy.

Otherwise, many of the cut scenes just go further into what we're told elsewhere and I can see why they didn't make the final three hour and twenty minute theatrical version. But I'm ecstatic to see as much footage as possible from this trilogy, so thanks, Peter Jackson! Also, thanks for not adding any time to Shelob, because I've had enough nightmares. You da man!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Dr. Evil Terrorist on the loose

Apparently terrorists are trying to get frick'n lasers to aim at frick'n airplanes to crash them. Next thing you know, terrorists will design a "death star" or steal a nuclear bomb for a ransom of one million dollars.

Like, stupid and stuff

The Washington state Supreme Court has ruled that parents can't eavesdrop on a child's phone conversations.

The court later adjourned to buy the new copy of Teen Beat and sit around the bedroom talking about how their parents are "way uncool" for making them be home by 11 and won't it be neat when they move out and can stay up all night eating pizza!

Unca Jeff two times over

As of 3 p.m. this afternoon, I have a new nephew! Welcome to the world, Nathaniel Collin, and congrats to Stacy and Joe, and surely proud big brother Gabriel.

Also, congrats to my Aunt Beverly for winning the first half of the "When will Stacy and Karla pop?" contest! Karla's due the week after New Year's, so let's see if Aunt Bev can hang on!

I, by the way, predicted Dec. 5th at 9 a.m., so I need to nail Karla's due date square on to have a chance.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Monday follies

Last month I put in to take this Monday off work, since I was going to drive to Memphis for a three-day weekend. Instead, to save money to buy myself more DVDs for Christmas I decided to stay here in Atlanta, meaning I've got a free day and no idea what to do with it.

Sure, it seems like a lot, but I need to pack in the day since by Tuesday I'll be returning to my irregular schedule as before. Let's think of something together:

- Play three rounds of golf. The first round is normal. The second round I have to use a five-iron the whole time. The third round I will play backwards, teeing off on the green and ending on the tee box.

- Take my picture with Santa and let him know that I don't hate him for never delivering a life-size Optimus Prime Transformer.

- Buy a life-size Optimus Prime Transformer.

- Stand in line for the release of the most important DVD of our generation. Yes, Newlyweds - The First Season comes out this week.

- Walk up to anyone wearing a Yankees cap and laugh, laugh, laugh.

- Fry Daddy (new verb?) some tater tots to put in my cargo pant pockets for snacking.

- Fly to Los Angeles, put on my Union U. sweatshirt and get in the crowd of "The Price is Right," then guess $1 dollar in the Showcase Showdown, trying to win the crappy one with clothes and skis.

- Sneak into detention at a high school and see if I can get them to smoke doobies and play Simple Minds, fixing up the skater punk with the cheerleader.

- Protest outside a local vegetarian restaurant with a big sign that says, "Who's protecting the innocent soy?"

- 1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a thumb war ... against homeless folks in the park. The crazier the better.

- Watch the Dr. Phil show and take a shot (of Listerine) every time he asks, "how's that workin' for you?"

- Go to the zoo and keep tapping on the glass of the aquarium until I'm kicked out. Explain that the fish are commies and their nefarious plans at world domination must be stopped.

- Three words: Unmarked twenty-dollar bills. ... (Is that four?)

Survivor finale

Every season I get more and more upset at the grilling the final two receives. The jury gets more and more oversensitive, weeping that all their trust was just, gone! I can't believe you played the game!

Puh-leeeze.

Just once, I want one of the final two to grin all the way through the Q & A and sneer that they played the game like everyone who has ever played and succeeded. This ain't real life, and it doesn't represent it in any way, shape or form. It's a game, and you. Play. To. Win. The. Game.

After the votes were put in the urn and Jeff started hacking through the jungle on his way to the U.S., I thought, "one of these days they're just going to have him fly like Superman." Then it happened, he skydived out of a plane and hopped on a motorcycle to the auditorium to read the votes.

I'm happy Chris won, being that he was the only guy left with six women on the island, including man-hating lesbian Ami, and he let them pick each other off one by one.

Sunday funnies

Since it's the Lord's day and I, um, couldn't didn't make it to church this morning, let's make up for it with some laughs!

Courtesy Grif.net, definitions on football applied to the church:

Halftime - The period between Sunday School and worship when many choose to leave

Benchwarmer - Those who do not sing, pray, work, or apparently do anything but sit.

Backfield-in-Motion - Making a trip to the back (restroom or water fountain) during the service.

Quarterback Sneak - Church members quietly leaving during the invitation.

Draw Play - What many children do with the bulletin during worship.

Staying in the Pocket - What happens to a lot of money that should be given to the Lord's work.

Two-minute Warning - The point at which you realize the sermon is almost over and begin to gather up your children and belongings and put on your coat.

Instant Replay - The preacher loses his notes and falls back on last week's illustrations.

Sudden Death - What happens to the attention span of the congregation if the preacher goes "overtime".

Trap - You're called on to pray and are asleep.

End Run - Getting out of church quick, without speaking to any guests or fellow member.

Flex Defense - The ability to allow absolutely nothing said during the sermon to affect your life.

Halfback Option - The decision of 50% of the congregation not to return for the evening service.

Blitz - The rush for the restaurants following the closing prayer.

JeffTV, starring all Jeff, all the time!

Still catching up on the culture scene from an elongated college adventure, Jenn rants about MTV not playing music videos. I, too, have fond memories of watching the "Making of" special on the "Thriller" video while playing the Star Wars game on Intellivision. You remember, the Empire Strikes Back game where you had to shoot the At-Ats above the head to kill 'em. Good times.

(Pausing to remember Jeff's lost childhood.)

Well, when I'm not watching "Bliss" and Ellen's talk show replay on Oxygen, I've noticed that MTV2 doesn't even play videos anymore. And it was created to shut up people who said MTV didn't anymore!

I'm okay if MTV switches back, just don't kill one of my guilty pleasures, the "Real World/Road Rules Challenge," Mondays at 10 p.m. EST. Basically it involves attractive young people in their unmentionables doing stupid stuff for money. You know, like when we were young.

I did notice, though, that when I flipped over from the "Girls Gone Wild" infomercial at 4 a.m. that both MTV and VH1 play videos late at night, so set that TiVo.

Lord of my DVD player, sponsored by Philips

Well tickle my nipple and call me Giddy, 'cause I'm all 'cited! Why? Tuesday is the release of the super-duper four-disc DVD of the Best Picture of 2003 and final piece of the best trilogy ever made, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King! Oh, HUSH, Star Wars fans. I looooovvvve Episodes IV-VI, too, but when the trilogies are side-by-side, I have to go with J.R.R. Tolkein and Peter Jackson. For now.

To get in shape for the hours upon hours of entertainment (seriously, just watching the four commentaries will take 17 hours), I've been listening to the dope score over and over again in the shuttlecraft, and I watched the near-bare content in the three and twenty minute theatrical version Friday night after work.

I also placed my Legolas and Gimli figures on top of the TV and dedicated myself to the preservation of peace throughout Middle Earth, using their example. Really, who knew a dwarf and an elf could become friends? Almost makes me think there's still a chance for friendship between the Cylons and the crew of the Galactica. We can only hope. Let's ask the Mormons.

And now for something completely different ...

... although this does include a metaphor including LOTR characters, so I'm putting it here. Military historian and master columnist Victor Hanson compares Europe in National Review Online to Ents, only with even less resolve.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Oh, those sophisticated Euros

Tell me again, why is it so important to the left-wing that the U.S. ask for a "global test" before doing anything in our best interests? Let's just focus on the Nobel Peace Prize in this instance. Back in 1994 the committee gave Yasser "let's kill us some Joooos" Arafat the prize. Last year, they handed it to Jimmy Carter for his Bush-bashing and dictator-cuddling.

So why should I be surprised that this year's winner, Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai (a woman!), said ''evil-minded scientists'' in the developed world intentionally created AIDS to decimate the African population. It's not like she said this twenty years ago and expressed regret; no, she said this August 30.

Hey, it's okay, she's all about planting more trees! It's not like Maathai, say, freed 50 million Muslims from the boot of tyranny and is fighting world terrorism. Because that's eeeeeevil. Fascist, even.

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y

Today was All About Jeff Day, which really exists 365 days a year (even on leap years - that's the one time I allow myself to think of others, February 29). I piloted my personal shuttlecraft, the USS Jeff's Aztek, all over the south Cobb County shopping universe to scan gifts for Christmas, and myself, plus scan the opposite sex. Notice I just said "scan," because no contact with that species was ever initiated.

First, awake after noon and off to the sports bar to play trivia and watch college basketball. Uh-oh. The bar discontinued the trivia; not enough interest to justify the cost for the national service. Crap. Time to find another sports bar.

From there, I took my time wandering with stops at Wal-Mart (The Bourne Supremacy DVD), Target (Gavin birthday gift), Kroger (Diet Cherry Coke, bread), Borders (Norman Rockwell 2005 calendar), Linens & Things (nada) and Sports Authority (jump rope).

Time for er, lunch (yes, at 7 p.m.) at Subway. Here, let's talk about bait-and-switch advertising. There were six pictures of the new Meatball Mozzarella in the store; seriously, count 'em: Front door, secondary front door, overhanging sign, cardboard sign on counter, on the wall behind the counter, on the wall over the tables. I can take a hint. I'd like the meatball sub, please. "Sorry, we're out of meatballs." Good grief. Okay, God's giving me a sign (no pun intended) to be healthy. How about a grilled chicken breast sub. Cheese? Why not indulge a little. Pepperjack, please. "Sorry, no pepperjack." Ooookay. No cheese, then. All healthy toppings, then. Tomorrow, however, I'm getting a pizza, daggumit!

Tonight I popped in that brand spankin' new DVD of The Bourne Supremacy (my review), the new Bond that's better than any Bond of the last ten years.

The extras are what make the DVD for me, so let's see how this one compares:

There are ten mini-documentaries, about five minutes apiece describing some of the technical details of the film such as stunts and explosions, plus locations, characters and music.

My favorite two showed us how the filmmakers managed the extensive car chase scene through the streets of Moscow. The best feature is on the Go-Mobile, a rig that allows the actor to be behind the wheel and look like he's driving, but in reality there's a guy either on top of the car or in front who is actually doing the driving. On the rig is a camera crane so that they can shoot behind the car and rotate or bring it in for a fluid close up of the actor all in one shot. Neat stuff, true "boy's toys" kind of coolness. Even Damon admitted he blew the first shot in the Go-Mobile because he was laughingly enjoying the adrenaline rush. In ten years we'll see them on the interstates of Atlanta, included with spinning rims and that purple glowing light underneath.

Dangit! Even the deleted scenes don't show any more Franka, you bastards! You killed her! You killed her!

The commentary is by director Paul Greengrass, once you manage to find it. First you have to access the third menu of the extras and click it "on." Then you go back to the main menu and play the movie. Well, maybe not. My DVD player froze at this point. So much so that I had to unplug and re-plugin the player. This time I played the movie and - using the remote control's "audio" button - accessed the commentary. Eureka!

Never mind. Greengrass doesn't offer anything of substance that enhances how I watch the movie. He needs a producer or technical guy there to help prod him to talk about what's on the screen, rather than going on a ten-minute speech about not trusting our governments due to the war on terrorism and in Iraq. It's not that he turned into Michael Moore then, it's that I want him to talk about how he did what's happening. And stop with describing the action. Dude, we know, we're watching it, too. Then Greengrass goes silent for a bit, perhaps taking a shot of whiskey or filling his gut with a scone?

The third time watching the movie, on DVD this time, I didn't have as much problem with the hand-held shaky camera and the edits don't seem as quick and nauseous. The music is also better than I remember. It's not that I didn't like it when I saw Supremacy twice in the theaters, I just didn't notice it among the action.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Not-so-free love

A few weeks ago liberals had their knickers in a twist over abstinence-only programs being taught at public schools. To them, kids are just animals who can't help but slam into each other naked in the hallways of schools, so we should only advise that the little nymphos wear protection.

Strange. Today we had a report that "Teenagers are waiting longer before having sex for the first time and are more likely to use contraception when they lose their virginity, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services."

I guess those little sexpots have more self-restraint than the left-wingers would like to believe.

Still, the numbers suggest that a heck of a lot more teens are having more fun than I did in high school and college.

If we can't dress as terrorists, the terrorists will have won

A soldier was charged and fined in England for dressing like a terrorist at a military costume party.

When we reported this at work, some people were aghast. I was not. For Halloween, my first idea for a costume was to dress up like Gary in Team America (when he's undercover as a terrorist), so apparently I have the same sick sense of humor. F*** yeah!

All in the motion of the Ocean

Caught Ocean's Twelve this afternoon, and will write the review as soon as possible. (Meaning: I'll get around to it eventually, after you've lost interest and are done cursing my existence.)

In short, it's a lot of fun. Just a tad under the original, but all sequels are, but at least it will entertain you the entire time.

Luck turning?

Check it out, after a dry month of rotten luck foisted upon me, things could be turning back to Jeff's direction! It's the rebirth of Jeff-mentum! In the past three days I've won two one-liters of Coke and a free Blockbuster rental in the "under the cap" game!

Still, no "free date with Jessica Biel" cap yet.

But have the aliens met our bacteria?

The trailer for Steven Spielberg's remake of War of the Worlds, starring Tom "$300 million guaranteed" Cruise, is up! It's really just a teaser for next summer's blockbuster, so don't expect any shots from the film other than a neighborhood getting obliterated. Still, looks grim for mankind, which means a great flick!

(Link courtesy Chud.com)

Snakes and rats

For my fellow Survivor aficionados, here's my hope for Sunday's finale:

Eliza goes first, since she's whiny and annoying, and really should have gotten kicked off a long time ago.

Scout gets the boot, since she hasn't served any purpose for several weeks. But since she does most of the work in camp, she gets to be in the final three.

That leaves a final two of Twila and Chris, which will make for the best possible Q&A with the jury. Imagine, uber-bitch and lesbo man-hater Ami has to choose between a woman, Twila (and yes I'm sure of that), whom she once told to be more "feminine," and the only guy to make the final six, Chris, who skated in by letting the women snipe at one another.

At this point, I wouldn't care who won, but will start looking forward to the reunion when Ami comes in draped in a rainbow scarf and begins blaming everyone but herself for the witchy way she came across on the island. Good times.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

A six-shooter is a handicap, not a gun

Anyone looking for a last-minute gift for the Jeffster? One person can buy it for $45, three for $15 apiece, nine for $5 each, or 45 people can chip in a buck.

For what? Well, for cowboy golf art, of course! That's wicked awesome, partner!

UPDATE: Oh yeah, in case you really love me and agree that this is a cool gift, my favorite one is "Hole in One" because it's a great mix of three things I already have art of in my apartment: Golf, the West and the Grand Canyon.

Artist enjoys last supper before being smited

Annnnnd this is the point where Red Sox worship (which I have no problem with, usually) turns into sacrilege.


(Link courtesy Eric Wilbur, Boston Globe blogger)

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Happy holiday for all blue Americans

Know a Democrat who just can't let go of Kerry's loss and embrace our totally awesome president, George W. Bush the Great?

This holiday season, remember these folks with holiday gifts for left-wing "progressives".

Here's the one I'll be putting in stockings:
Hate Free Radio - Are you constantly being offended whenever you turn on your radio? Don't you wish you could shut up the right-wing haters and put an end to their freedom of speech? Since Kerry lost, you'll have to wait a while longer, but in the meantime the Hate Free Radio is all you need. Containing no tuner, the Hate Free Radio is hard wired to NPR. You'll hear nothing but anti-American news reports all week (followed by whale mating calls on weekends). $24.99



Battle for the ages

The biggest game of the year in the NBA was tonight, and stupidly I was next door watching on TV at work. That's right, folks, the Memphis Grizzlies came to Atlanta to take on the Hawks!

Memphis won, but if I had thought about this before I would have taken the night off and combined all ten of my "vouchers" (otherwise good for one cheap seat apiece) and gotten a seat as close to the court as possible. And if you've seen a Hawks game, you know that there are plenty of seats to stretch out and watch a really bad team. Not to mention a chance to sue some crazy fist-swinging player who might head into the stands!

Go Griz!

Like, dude, cool beans

A cunning linguist from the University of Pittsburgh has examined the use of the word dude and pronounced it a word good for all seasons:
"It's like man or buddy, there is often this male-male addressed term that says, 'I'm your friend but not much more than your friend,'" said Scott Kiesling, whose research focuses on language and masculinity.


Like the "F" word, uses for it can be found in almost every sense of grammar. For instance, one of my favorite bits of creativity in high school (way back in 1991 our sophomore year) was a skit I did with Patrick in which we had to use just one word the entire time. We chose 'dude' and it was awesome, fitting every bit of emotion we tried to convey. The story involved me coming home, looking for non-sexual male roommate Patrick ("Dude?"). I search and search, until I hear this low, guttural "Duuuuude" coming from the closet. Nearing it, Patrick jumps out ("Dude!"), then stabs me repeatedly, he yelling "Dude!" violently, me moaning "dude" in pain with each blow. After I'm dead, he wails out "Duuuuuuuude" in remorse.

Maybe you had to see it. It was gold, I tell you, gold! And not at all homoerotic!

Most Ivy Leaguers suck anyway, so it doesn't matter

Sometimes you have to give credit due for a good prank, so we (meaning "I") here at Thanks For Noticing Me applaud the Yalies who got an entire crowd of Harvard students to announce they suck.

Check out the video of the ruse here.

I still like Carrot Top

John over at the Planet Blip has the definitive list of who is on steroids and who isn't. For my brief list that only I could know here at the News Leader: Tucker Carlson IS; Robert Novak is NOT.

Amazing Race to "Dakar, Africa"

It’s time for the weekly The Amazing Race update, featuring a mind-blowing experience from quite possibly the worst Racer ever, and the Grandparents cry and hug. Again.

First, though, if you’ve got a speedy connection (and if you don’t at home, you do at work, you cheeky time-wasters), head over to the Race site and watch the Insider videos that provide additional interviews from the week and Phil’s diary in which he stands in front of a green screen and tries to remember what happened.

Normally during the show open I’m busy pausing and slowing down through the parts with the women in bikinis, but this week I noticed something else … darker … awkwarder … when we get to Spaz & Whiner, while they sit in their hot tub Spaz kisses his dog on the lips! Ew, he’s got dog germs! Maybe he got rabies, and that’s why he’s always an emotional volcano. Even worse, I’ll bet that he treats that canine better than he treats his wife. Asshole.

Last week, the teams made their way from Norway to Sweden, where the Hot Blonde Mormon Sisters got the boot. This week, the teams fly from Sweden to Senegal so we can skip straight to the Third-World Hellhole missions and forget that the world is a good place.

The first fifteen minutes of the show was entirely all for naught, as teams were separated some five hours to start with, but all eight teams still ended up on the same flight out of the country. Again. (DRINK!) (That’s my new drinking game. Each time they’re all bunched up, take a shot … of Diet Coke).

In short explanation, the teams went to City Hall, which opens at 7 a.m., only the first teams were told to come at 10 a.m. (first off, they believed some moron standing guard, and second, never checked for a sign that plainly said the place opened at 7), so the first teams slept in and relaxed while the teams in the back passed by. But like I said, it didn’t matter, because they’re all flying out together. Except, at the airport Spaz asked for a ticket to “Dakar, Africa.” You know, like when he goes to “London, Europe” and “New York, North America.” Idiot.

Off to Dakar, Senegal, where I would get queasy and uncomfortable. This is the point everyone realizes how dirty, rude and smelly Third World countries are, and act surprised. The team that fared the worst with all this were the Models, whom I now call the Centerfolds. Until this week I didn’t realize how skinny Centerfold Chick is, but she’s dangerously thin. She also notices that Senegal smells awful, and Centerfold Dude takes up where Colin left off this summer, arguing with all the taxi drivers about the fee. At least Centerfold Dude didn’t end up arguing his case in a police station, but I think he might have if someone didn’t pull the taxi driver away at the Detour. The driver was never heard from again. Don’t mess with CBS!

Everyone else figures out how to bribe the taxi drivers and find a clue to a cemetery, which of course doesn’t open until the next morning, so we’re all even again (DRINK!).

So it doesn’t matter when the Grandparents get a flat tire, to which the Grandpa says, once again, “the fickle finger of fate diddles us.” Heh. Meanwhile, Whiner is telling their driver “vite, vite,” meaning faster, while Spaz thinks she’s saying “beep, beep,” because Africa is mainly made up of people who speak Roadrunner.

Detour! We’re at a fishing village with cameramen scaring goats. Our teams are given two options: First, grab baskets of fish and stack them on a big table in the correct order. Second, teams can hop on a boat and head out to catch four fish with nothing but a line. Amazingly, two teams, Father/Daughter and Grandparents, choose to go fishing. It should be no surprise they leave last. Plus, we get great shots of Grandpa hurling over the side of the boat several times.

Every time this happens at a Detour where teams choose the dumber task, I think of Raiders of the Lost Ark: "They're digging in the wrong place!"

By now, though, my world is turning upside down. The person who is treating the locals best and seems to be enjoying Senegal the best is … wait for it … Spaz. I know. I threw up in my mouth when he gave all the local kids candy. Hey, dude, what about their dental plans?

From the village, it’s a taxi ride to the Roadblock where one member of the team had to dig up salt from a lake.

The Wrestlers proved that physical prowess makes a difference even when they can’t slam each other on a mat, as the Wrestling Chick kicked every other girl and guy’s butt. Meanwhile, Hellboy is all whiny, “it burns!” while Hellcat berates him and says doesn’t “have time to baby-sit my girlfriend.” Ouch. This time when he volunteers suicide, she doesn’t relent and says, “That’d be awesome.” Ouch. Earlier, she told the entire country that he lives with his parents and his mother still clipped his toenails for him when they started dating. Ouch. Even so, when they land on the mat she still kisses him, so apparently it doesn’t matter if her boyfriend is strong willed or proud.

After the Roadblock it’s time to find the Pit Stop, so we take a taxi and a ferry to Ile de Goree, where slaves used to be shipped out of Africa. And if any of the African-American viewers gets all pissy that slaves were brought over, ask them if they’d rather be in Senegal or Chattanooga today.

By the end, even though they kept losing their leads, first place was Long-Distance (Doomed!), which is getting to be a regular feature. They work really well together, and if I wasn’t sure their relationship wouldn’t last because of the long distance aspect, I’d root for them a lot. When she was doing the Roadblock the guy blissfully smiles, “Damn she’s hot. Looks even better doing” the task! And he’s right. With her pigtails and smoking body, she looked great.

Finishing in second, showing that evil can get rewarded, is Spaz, still dragging around a local guy recruited to translate for him. Wearing a dashiki and sunglasses, the local dude was hella-cool and should have taken Spaz’s place for the rest of the Race.

In third are the Wrestlers, who look better every week in terms of smarts and attitude. Behind them, the Actors. The Actors are officially renamed Ennui. I know nothing about them and get no sense of personality anymore. The first week they were fun, the second week fighting, and from now on, zilch. Where they even in this show?

Coming in fifth are the Centerfolds, followed by Hellboy and Hellcat. The final two were far behind after choosing the worse Detour, with the Father/Daughter pulling ahead. Doesn’t matter. The Grandparents are last, but this is a non-elimination round and they survive.

Problem is, since the last season the rule is that if you’re in last place in a non-elimination round, you give up all your money and don’t have any to start the next leg. What could be a worse place for a pair of old white people to ask for money than an island where slaves used to be sold?

Next week: Father/Daughter confront slavery’s past, and Ennui accuses the Wrestlers of using steroids.

It's bad.

Here's a warning: Do not see Alexander. There. You've been warned. My civic duty (heh "dooty") has been performed.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Curmudgeons vs. Whippersnappers

Most of you that drunkenly stumble onto my site are probably too young to care about retirement yet, but you should probably note, as Rich Lowry has: "The AARP's most fundamental principle is 'Get all you can, while you can — young people be damned.'"

Bring on Social Security privatization! I guarantee I can get more out of my paycheck than the government can!

The only missing is a Swiss girl in braids

Last night I had my own personal Heidi game moment. Home early from work, I was enjoying being able to watch Monday Night Football without that pesky job getting in the way. With less than three minutes left, Seattle scored a touchdown to go up 39-29 on the Cowboys, so I gave up on Dallas and turned on my tape of the E! True Hollywood Story about “Saturday Night Live” that came on this weekend.

Well la dee freakin’ da! I might as well be living in a VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER because I missed one of the greatest comebacks in the history of MNF, as Dallas scored twice to win, 43-39. When I turned off the VCR to hit the head, I saw the score and went numb. WTF? How did I miss this? Al Michaels was right, as always, “Don’t touch that dial!” “Seriously, don’t do it, ya moron!”

Got an itch on your nose?

Yeah, okay, the teaser is terrible, but Bewitched with Nicole Kidman and Will Farrell will be a fun movie. Besides, we've all seen countless reruns (and for the old farts, when it was actually on the air), and enjoyed every minute. Next, I heartily await the "I Dream of Jeannie" adaptation!

Holy cow, I was just kidding. But IMDB actually has a page listing a Jeannie movie, starring none other than up-and-coming babelet Lindsay Lohan! Oh my. So naughty.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Many Helens of Troy

By the second half of the USC-UCLA game on Saturday I cared not about the game, and yelled at ABC to show more of the Trojan cheerleaders. I believe the words you're looking for are "hummina hummina hummina."

French brains waving white flag

French police actually planted explosives in travelers' bags in a security exercise that went horribly wrong (remember, this is the French we're talking about) when the stuff that goes KABLOOEY went missing.

Lee at Right-Thinking has the pithy response:

Testing your security system by running explosives through it is one thing. Actually putting explosives into the suitcase of an unknowing private citizen is astonishingly arrogant, a monumental violation of privacy, and flat-out dangerous. Which, come to think of it, is a pretty good description of the French themselves.

Over at the Abode

On his blog, Steve wants to know where the colorful Christmas lights have gone. He's got new pictures, too!

Winter Bummerland

I initially planned on decorating the apartment for Christmas, even if I'm the only person who will see them. (So sad.) Well, except for the people across the hall who can see my wreath. Their dog might try to eat it, too. (Sadder.) I even turned the cable to the music channel featuring Christmas music. However, when I opened the box that Aunt Lynn said contained their extra artificial Christmas tree, it contained only branches and no shaft (giggle). I guess when I'm feeling in a festive mood I could stand up and hold a couple of branches aloft. Maybe I could even add an ornament or two. My arms could get tired, though. So my Eeyore stocking will have to suffice.

Peeling the Christian onion

In this month's Lark News, a weird guy in the choir gets a second look. Unfortunately, the Babes in Christ swimsuit calendar doesn't open to an actual page.

Fighting for my right to party

Stop! Everybody check their persons and surrounding work area! I lost my Beastie Boys "License to Ill" CD again. This is like the fourth time I'll have to buy a new one, daggumit! Sometimes I just need my "Brass Monkey." That's one funky monkey!

And my SUV doesn't produce hot magma, either


Washington state's top polluter isn't a pulp mill, a power plant or refinery. It's the newly awakened Mount St. Helens.

I'll bet Mother Nature drives an SUV, too. Darned polluting bitch.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Keeping it real

Obviously, this was the highlight of my weekend:



Yep, you guessed it, that's me and the Red Sox World Series trophy. I'm holding the picture of me and Dad inside Busch Stadium following game four, the clinching win.



It could use a little work, what with the champagne and beer smudged on it, not to mention a couple of missing flags.



The trophy stopped by Boston hangout Frankie's sports bar and grill not far from my apartment in north Atlanta, a side trip from flying between New England and Ft. Myers, Florida. The appearance wasn't publicized much, just a blurb in Friday's newspaper and word-of-mouth via Red Sox fan site Sons of Sam Horn, but the crowd was lively and most all wearing Red Sox, Patriots and/or Celtics gear. The word I'm looking for is "camaraderie."



Everyone wanted a closer look, just to make sure what happened Oct. 27 was real.

It was. It is. Good times.

Oh, and Yankees suck.

Otherwise, the weekend was boring. I watched a lot of football to fill the gaps. Saturday I did take the time for a couple of hours at the sports bar to eat, play trivia and watch a few games. Later, shopping, at Target, Publix and the mall, since I felt the need to expand my base of places where cute girls can ignore me. That, plus buy a Red Sox World Series champions cap.

And yet, the Star Wars special was REAL!

Tongue firmly in cheek, The 10 Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time. My favorite, The Lost Star Trek Christmas Episode: "A Most Illogical Holiday" (1968):

Mr. Spock, with his pointy ears, is hailed as a messiah on a wintry world where elves toil for a mysterious master, revealed to be Santa just prior to the first commercial break. Santa, enraged, kills Ensign Jones and attacks the Enterprise in his sleigh. As Scotty works to keep the power flowing to the shields, Kirk and Bones infiltrate Santa's headquarters. With the help of the comely and lonely Mrs. Claus, Kirk is led to the heart of the workshop, where he learns the truth: Santa is himself a pawn to a master computer, whose initial program is based on an ancient book of children's Christmas tales. Kirk engages the master computer in a battle of wits, demanding the computer explain how it is physically possible for Santa to deliver gifts to all the children in the universe in a single night. The master computer, confronted with this computational anomaly, self-destructs; Santa, freed from mental enslavement, releases the elves and begins a new, democratic society. Back on the ship, Bones and Spock bicker about the meaning of Christmas, an argument which ends when Scotty appears on the bridge with egg nog made with Romulan Ale.

Filmed during the series' run, this episode was never shown on network television and was offered in syndication only once, in 1975. Star Trek fans hint the episode was later personally destroyed by Gene Roddenberry. Rumor suggests Harlan Ellison may have written the original script; asked about the episode at 1978's IgunaCon II science fiction convention, however, Ellison described the episode as "a quiescently glistening cherem of pus."

Want some cheese with that whine?

The latest quotable Vents posted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (registration required):

- The Bible states that the love of money is the root of all evil, but I certainly would like to test out the theory.
- Where does the Department of Transportation get that lane pain that disappears every time it rains?
- Nothing says male bonding like a deep-fried turkey.
- Proof I should not have invited her to Thanksgiving dinner: “Mother-in-law” is an anagram of “woman Hitler.”
- I never knew what happiness was until I got married, and then it was too late.
- Funniest headline of the year: “High Court Weighs Medicinal Marijuana.”
- It’s weird, but all my ex-wives have the same first name: “plaintiff.”
- Hey TBS: Ginger was a redhead!
- I wonder how the Zappa kids, Moon Unit and Dweezil, feel about losing their dorkiest-celebrity-names status to Julia Roberts’ kids, Hazel and Phinnaeus.
- Airport security: best job in America for getting intimate with strange women without getting arrested.
- These days, naughty little boys and girls no longer play doctor. They play airport.
- I don’t mind getting a mammogram, but I’d rather not have it administered by airport security guards.
- You know it's been a bad year when the first Christmas card you receive is from your automotive collision center.
- First place in the stupid billboard category is the one that says "tattoos while you wait." Are there places where you can get a tattoo without being there?
- Do we really need two radio stations in Atlanta playing Christmas songs 24/7?
- Warning: If you marry a left-handed person, you can expect to be confronted with twist ties put on backward for the rest of your life.

Vents I Sent:
- Strains of the flue may change every year, but they never become anything other than influenza. I fail to see how that means we evolved from an amoeba.
- Is Jimmy Carter sick? A gang of thugs stole an election in Ukraine, and he wasn’t around to give it a thumbs-up.
- To placate weenie liberals, obviously we should re-label our executions "euthanasia."
- I’m converting to Islam. That way, I can curse everyone and it’s your fault for not “understanding” me.
- I’ve seen more order at a Detroit Pistons basketball game than at the mall this weekend.

From the Funny E-Mail Department

Golf humor:

- A man comes home from work and is greeted by his wife dressed in a sexy little nightie. "Tie me up," she purrs, "and you can do anything you want." So he ties her up and goes out for a round of golf.

- A gushy reporter told Jack Nicklaus, "You are spectacular, and your name is synonymous with the game of golf. You really know your way around the golf course. What's your secret?" Nicklaus replied, "The holes are numbered."

- An American went to Scotland and played golf with a newly acquainted Scottish golfer. After a bad tee shot, he played a "Mulligan" which was an extremely good one. He then asked the Scot, "What do you call a Mulligan in Scotland?" ... "We call it hitting 3."

Friday, December 03, 2004

At least I've got Rubber Ducky

orange
Orange. You are on the edge of going through with
your threats. Take a break, you deserve it.


What Terror Alert Level Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Right 'round, like a record, baby

In the break room (the second one in the back with the broken TV and near the bathroom the CNN.com folks used to stink up all the time before they moved downstairs), someone or some persons are always clicking off the turntable in the microwave.

What depraved, sick wacko doesn't want their food to rotate when being nuked? Were they not breast fed as kids? Do they prefer unevenly cooked pets when blasting their ferrets in the microwave?

Weirdos.

Looks like I've been taking the non-sex patch

A hormone patch that works to restore a woman's sex drive should not be approved until additional studies to determine its risk, federal health advisers said Thursday.

Word from D.C. is that the male advisers won't approve the patch until it also restores a woman's drive to cook and clean. (By the way, I'm single.)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Resolving not to be serious. Ever.

Steve got a head start on the rest of us with some New Year's resolutions in his blog.

(Seriously, why is "blog" not recognized by the Blogger spell checker?)

Of course, his were all about being a better person and taking care of things, blah blah blah. Come on, Steve, get to the cool stuff, like resolving to teach the boys how to play music using their armpits! Or, even better, resolve to set up certain friends with any hot girl friends. I won't even be selfish. I'll introduce to Brent any who don't work out with me. That's the kind of nice guy I am.

Amazing Disappointment

Today's fortune cookie gives hope of future success in reality TV: "You will travel far and wide for both pleasure and business." Hey, "The Amazing Race" fits both!

This week’s The Amazing Race may prove that the number of likeable teams left is dwindling faster than Krispy Kreme’s in Louis Anderson’s dressing room, but if you don't love this show you're a fascist McFascist who beats their grandfather and eats kittens while humming songs from Captain and Tenille.

It’s not like I’m addicted to the show. I can quit anytime I want. I just don't wanna.

Last week, the teams left the first stop in Iceland for Norway, home of those cool vowels with lines over and through them (like å and ø). This week, Sweden, and those cool umlaut double-dot thingies over vowels.

The teams left in the middle of the night, meaning that they would inevitably bunch up (again) to ride the same train to Stockholm, which is apparently an all day trip because it was already dark by the teams arrived.

The first task was to find a bar made entirely out of ice and slide a shot glass down the bar so that if it stopped on a red circle painted near the edge they received the next clue.

The Long-Distance (Doomed!) couple started the leg in first place, hit their target first and pretty much dominated this entire leg with ease. If they weren’t doomed as a couple I’d really like them and the fact they never argue. Then again, when you’re winning every leg there’s not much to fight about, is there?

But since no one was successful for a while, the fact that the Father/Daughter team got lost on the way didn’t affect them. Once again, all the teams left the bus at the same time, yet people still ended up in all directions.

It didn’t matter, anyway. AGAIN, the teams stacked up again at the next stop, a freakin’ Ikea! Yep, they’ll never see that in the States, no sir. What’s on the next leg, picking up cough syrup at Walgreens? Maybe stop by Kroger and order Phil a ham sandwich at the deli?

Anyway, this is the Detour, where teams again make dumb decisions about their talent. The first option was to count bins of stuffed animals and pots and pans. The second option was to build a desk, you know, the kind you get in a box and read the directions upside down with five extra parts left over while your significant other tut-tuts the entire time? I mean, I don’t know this by experience, but I’ve seen it happen.

You want to know high comedy? Listening to the Wrestler Dude counting the animals, “66, 68, 80, 82 … “ Moron. It wouldn’t have been easy to count all those items (total amount: 2304), but he’s easy to make fun of. Of the four teams who did the counting instead of building, three were among the last three teams to leave.

This is completely off the subject, but did you see the report that “the pill” is good for preventing knee injuries? Can’t you just see male athletes asking their trainers to slide them a few on the down low?

The clue tells teams to take the train to Häggvik (umlauts! - Here’s a guide on typing them). The Actors (Hayden&Aaron, who didn’t fight this episode like the last leg) and the Long-Distance (Doomed!) couples took the lead, riding a tandem bike to a “rural farm,” as opposed to a ranch in the middle of Manhattan, and the Roadblock.

Unlike the easy zipline last week, at least the Roadblock this leg was necessary for the men to use their braun and unroll bales of hay to find the next clue.

Naturally, Spaz had Whiner wheeze her way through the task, because he’s an abusive a**hole. Spaz&Whiner need a sign around their necks at all times reading “Warning: contents under pressure may explode.” At one point as they argued in a taxi he pulled his arm back as if he was going to elbow her while they argued. That would have been the point that I, the producer, yanked him by his blue hair and whipped him off the show. Then Phil would narrate that the producers apologize for letting such a prick get through their screening process. If that won’t happen, the least the other teams could have done was to each use the Yield on Spaz and get them out of the race as quickly as possible.

The pit stop for this leg was back in Stockholm at a former Navy ship no longer needed because they’re wussy neutrals, but with plenty of blonde babes, so they’ve got that going for them. Okay, the longer I stare at the word Sweden, the less sense it makes. I know it’s right, but after you look at a certain word a million times it never looks correct.

In first place - by a whisker - are the Actors, followed by the Long-Distance (Doomed!) couple.

Yay, the Father/Daughter team is in third place! They actually seem to have teamwork down pat. The Daughter lets the Father lead, and they’re both happy.

Unfortunately, next up in fourth are Spaz&Whiner, then Hellboy and Hellcat, followed by the Models. I don’t want the Models to win, for purely vengeful reasons. They look like the kind of people who would have written in my yearbook, "Have a great summer."

The wrestlers and the grandparents counted for hours at Ikea, gave up and built the desk, yet are still in the race? Why?

Meanwhile, back at the hay field the Hot Blonde Mormon Sisters were passed by five teams. One of them (heck if I could tell which was which) spent EIGHT hours proving she doesn’t have the Midas touch, pushing over some one-hundred bales and never saw a clue. Unfortunately for them this was an elimination round and they got the boot. In the ultimate embarrassment for a Racer, Phil came to them to say adios. Ouch.

What justice is there in the world when Hot Blonde Mormon Sisters are gone, the fun Queens are gone and the Brooklyn Jews are off, yet Spaz and the Wrestlers are still around?

Next week – the Wrestlers and Hellcouple fight, while the grandparents get all weepy and lovey-dovey (again). Either we're being led to believe that they will mount a tremendous comeback or they're toast.