Thursday, March 31, 2005

I hope God isn't Catholic

So now the Pope has been given last rites as his health gets worse.

Wow, what a triumvirate. Who had Johnnie Cochran, Terri Schiavo and the Pope in their death-in-threes pool?

UPDATE: Want to know what it's like to work in news? Desensitizing to tragedy. Late this afternoon and tonight, whenever we switch out in the control room, the one comment most heard is, "I hope the Pope dies when you're in the chair and not me." Yep, that's our concern. We're going straight to hell, not passing go.

Short and pithy

- Did anyone else notice the chocolate crosses in the candy aisles this Easter? Who could eat that? Eating the chocolate hanging Jesus is not going to bring as much joy as biting off the ears of a chocolate bunny. Also, I’m pretty sure there was no Bible verse, In Hershey 7:3, that quotes Jesus at the Last Snack, “This chocolate shall represent my body, the cream filling my blood.”

- The Florida Supreme Court ruled that cities have to post warnings on beaches that the ocean is dangerous. Also, signs should point out that when sand gets in your bathing suit your crotch area feels really funny and it’s a bitch to get out of your shoes. (Link via Fark.com)

- From the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” files, a New York teacher was caught paying a homeless man with a developmental disorder to take his state certification exam, and was caught because the homeless man scored so much better than the teacher had previously. (Via OpinionJournal.com)

- Police have their hands full with a gang called MS-13. I think we all knew Gates was organizing something sinister with Microsoft, what with all his ganging of technology to terrorize the tech masses.

- British online betting site Blue Square.com is running the odds of which character will be dead at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? Sadly, Hagrid is circling the drain, while Harry himself is on the board with the least likelihood of dying with 16-to-1 odds.

- A roof being added as part of a Texas Instruments building collapsed, proving that even they can’t figure out how to work those complicated graphing calculators, either.

Idol all wrong

The bottom three was all wrong last night; neither Jessica, Nadia nor Anwar deserved to be on the stage, and Jessica should have been around a few more weeks. The bottom three should have been Scott, Anthony and Nikko, with Scott leaving. Then again, I'm not a 14-year-old girl and I don't vote, so I'm full of piss and vinegar without making a difference, eh?

Anwar was having enough problems with his singing on "American Idol," so it probably won't help with the discovery of a gay personals ad that might be a hoax, but the date of the last entry indicates it may not.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Who does it hurt?

Doctors inserted a feeding tube in the nose of the increasingly ailing Pope. Later, Michael Schiavo filed a lawsuit ordering the tube removed because he's sure that the Pope wouldn't want to live like that.

If you've been curious about any of the Terri Schiavo case, from her first medical problems until now, here's a FAQ with all of the answers.

My favorite quote from all the controversy comes from National Review Online's Jay Nordlinger:
What would it hurt? Who would be hurt by Mrs. Schiavo's continuing to be fed — by her not being starved to death? I mean, it's no skin off the New York Times's nose, right? ... Her parents and siblings want her. Michael Schiavo can "move on" — can obtain a divorce, marry his girlfriend, wash his hands of the old wife. But no, he has to have "closure," in the form of Terri Schiavo's death (by starvation — did I mention that?). And his supporters, for sick reasons of their own, also have to have her dead. She has to be gotten out of the way. Her life is a rebuke to them, somehow.


Nordlinger also quotes a friend and writer who is equally confused as to why events have to end like this, "It's amazing how they — you know: they — need her to die. She has to die, or they will be livid. Her continued life is a kind of offense to them. If she doesn't die, then Tom DeLay and Jerry Falwell . . . well, they'll be happy!"

Even still, I was never more angry about this until yesterday when I heard that Michael Schiavo asked that an autopsy be done on Terri when she passes so that a full report can be done on the extent of her brain damage. My, how noble of him. Oh, wait, he never let doctors take an MRI or PET scan while she is alive. Might change their minds about killing her, after all. But an autopsy? That means she's already dead, right? Then go for it! Oh, and he's going to have her cremated even though her parents want to bury her.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Amazingly depressed

Pardon any typos. It's difficult to see the screen through my tears.

I just got home and found out that the power went out while I was at work. It was off for so long that my VCR didn't reset the time and therefore didn't record my shows.

I can't watch The Amazing Race.

*sigh*

To make matters worse, in my Lean Pockets box just now, one of the pockets didn't have a microwavable sleeve. DID YOU HEAR ME???? NO SLEEVE??? How the heck am I supposed to cook it correctly without the frackin' sleeve?! AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Could someone help me out? Give me a recap in the comments of the two-hour show? And mail me an extra sleeve for my Lean Pocket?

Let's go Idoling

With Mikalah and Lindsey gone, the rest of the top ten are all pretty good. Except for Anthony. He should go next on this, 90s night.

1) Bo needs a remedy, and unfortunately the prescription calls for a different song. His performance is fine, but the song wasn't anything special, (Simon agreed as usual) and he started off a little flat. Thankfully he's done so well in the past it won't matter.

2) Jessica's Leann Riming, and not bad at that considering Leann's songs are usually full of vocal tricks. I just hope Jessica doesn't cancel out Carrie with the cute blonde vote. Simon comes out firing with the "you don't have the likability" factor of other contestants. Ouchie. And true. I mean, Jessica's very cute, but I'm not sure I'd care if she wasn't around, you know?

3) Anwar rewinds back to 1992, and as usual starts out pitchy and boring, even nasal this week before improving with the yelling. Seriously, dude, you have got to start as well as you finish. You may believe you can fly, but you only have to sing on this show, and sing the entire song well. He didn't even finish that well tonight. One of the bottom three for the night, IMHO. Randy agreed that his low notes weren't working for the whole song. Thank you, Randy, for recognizing this! Simon agrees, yet Paula, of course, disagrees, and frankly that makes me want to run her off the road.

4) Nadia worked with her hair in the 90s, and still ended up with the crazy do. Not that I can say much. I haven't owned a brush since the first week of college, 1993, so you go, Nadia. Not with the singing, though. Just okay. She's not the only one who can yell for three minutes. Randy and Simon agree, but say she's a great performer so who cares?

5) Constantine says in his pre-interview that he thinks the 90s were grunge-rific, so he sings ... a slow song designed for stalkers who got dumped? WTF? Then he doesn't even sing it well, and that makes me happy. Go Bo! Randy thinks Con was great, Paula seconds, I throw up in my mouth, and Simon says that it was better than Bo, but only because the song targeted the pre-teen girls who comprise 89 percent of the show's voting.

6) Nikko finally references his dad, Ozzie Smith, and sexes up his routine with a song I've never heard of. He's not that bad, but not a showstopper, either. I guess he's going for the Usher vote, but his last note was the worst of the night, and that's not a good way to go out. Randy gives him Most Improved, and Paula applauds because she just loves everyone and I want whatever she's on.

7) Anthony can't explain, something about the way I look tonight, and that's creepy. He and Nikko are vying for the nerd vote, which worked for Clay, but Clay had an amazing voice. Anthony? Not so much. Randy says it was okay, you know what Paula said, and Simon is honest and says Anthony was awful.

8) My girl, Carrie, relates a story about her father cleaning a shotgun when she went on her first date in '99, which has absolutely nothing to do with the domestic abuse song she sings by Martina McBride. Unfortunately, she just sings okay, but Martina has an awesome voice so that's difficult to emulate. Still love you, Carrie! Randy says it was the best vocal of the night (are my speakers busted?), Paula, duh, and Simon opines that Carrie has the "it" factor beyond karaoke singing.

9) Ryan just called Scott, "Scotty the body," and I really don't want to know what kind of relationship they've developed. Scott then continues to progressively get worse since his audition. Seriously, it's as if he's Cinderella and losing his fairy godmother's powers gradually. His voice never hit one note correctly. Dude, hurry, find the magic pixie dust! Paula says Scott has "her heart," and that's it. She should be banned next season. She's not a judge anymore, she's a cheerleader.

10) Vonzell's last, and certainly not least. She even got a six-foot-tall trophy! Not tonight, though. She should have sung "Saved the Best for Last," because that's what happened. Instead, she tackles Whitney, and that's bold. Whitney, Celine, Leann, Martina, these are all women who sing better than 99.999999999 percent of the planet, so you best know you can hit that note. Vonzell, for the most part, did, and as a result she was the best of the night, followed by Carrie and Jessica.

Swimming in self-deprecation

(Sorry for the lack of blogging and commenting. Blogger has been acting up worse than Bill Clinton at a Miss Teen USA pageant.)

For the first time since I joined the gym here at work last July, I had the guts - literally - to hop in the pool. The thing I hate about our pool (about half the size of an Olympic one) is that it's like a fishbowl, situated in the middle of the two floors and surrounded by glass, so people stare at you while walking past, and they don't even toss in food.

I won't even get into the stress of getting out of the pool and worrying who's walking past as my butt-crack is showing because my suit is soaked.

Anyway, I really need to buy some goggles, because either I'm losing my sight from the chlorine or what they said is true, you really will go blind if you keep doing that.

Also, I'm sore in muscles I'm pretty sure had already atrophied, which I'm told is a good thing. Never know when I'll need those muscles again to lift the plate of supreme nachos and 40 oz fountain drink.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Stupid squeaky carts and other musings

Jeff’s thoughts while shopping at Save-Rite:

- “Where’s the Caffeine Free Diet Coke? C’mon, they have to have Caffeine Free Diet Coke. Who doesn’t have Caffeine Free Diet Coke. OH MY LORD THEY DON’T HAVE CAFFEINE FREE … wait, there it is.”

- “Hey, she’s cute. I wonder if she’ll be turned off that my cart is full of anti-fungal medicine and canned soup, proving that I’m both fat and a bad cook.”

- “Let’s see, frozen dinners. I refuse to buy any that require me to remove halfway through and stir. If I’m going to be lazy I’m going all the way, baby!”

- “I wonder if anyone else finds the Land O'Lakes butter squaw sexy.”

- “Why do they say 10/$10? Do they think I’m going to be fooled into thinking, ‘yeah, I could really use ten boxes of pudding for ten bucks instead of two for two dollars.’ Oh, hey, the Lean Cuisines are three for five dollars. I better get six.”

- “Will the staff kick me in the shins if I turn left inside the doors instead of following the prescribed rightward path to the deli and bakery first?”

- “I need to learn to stop shopping before I get to the frozen dessert aisle, kind of like how you should always stop reading a Grisham novel after the second-to-last chapter. You always regret it in the end.”

- “Speaking of, I immediately regret my decision to get in this line.”

- “Why did that lady in front of me leave so much space in front of the little divider on the belt behind her groceries? Is she afraid my Twizzlers will touch – and therefore ruin – her Milk Duds?”

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Trailers for sale

I trust everyone had a relaxing and happy Resurrection Day. I spent my Easter brunch eating nachos while watching Guess Who, then at the sports bar watching the NCAA Tournament. Let's take a look at what I will or won't be spending my weekends seeing in the future:

Lords of Dogtown - A flick about the birth of skater dudes rampaging the streets and pools with their rad moves. I'm sure my brother-in-law, Joe, would love it.

Kicking and Screaming - Will Ferrell goes from the soccer coach of a Bad News Bear squad to an arrogant Ditka clone. Looks great.

Bewitched - Ferrell again, this time with Nicole Kidman as our favorite nose-twinkler. I don't have high hopes for it, but with those two as leads I'm going to at least be spending my dough.

Wedding Crashers - Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson crash weddings to bed chicks. Sweet. I'll be taking notes.

The Longest Yard - I need to get this out of the way: No one needed to remake this classic. That being said, I like Adam Sandler, I like Chris Rock, I think the movie will be funny and I'll see it opening weekend. Yeah, I'm a sellout, what of it? Worked for U2, didn't it?

Staying alive

Okay, fess up, who doubted my bracket math? With North Carolina's win and Kentucky's loss tonight, I'm closer to finishing in the money in our work pool (top four out of 38). Now I need Illinois to win the title, and Michigan State to beat UNC (sorry, Steve).

If this isn't possible, personally I'd rather see a Louisville-UNC championship.

If you don't have anything nice to say, say it LOUDER

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

- Nowadays, your gas tank can go from zero to $30 in under a minute.
- Here’s a new drinking game. Take a shot every time a TV anchor or reporter says shocked or outraged. You’ll be bombed before the first commercial.
- Note to telemarketers: When you call a church, don’t ask for the owner. He’s been gone for 2,000 years, but we expect Him back any day!
- Mark McGwire proved that Tom Hanks was wrong. There IS crying in baseball!
- If you have trouble meeting new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball.
- Paying for gas this morning was a breeze. They had one table set up for remortgaging your house, one table for selling a pound of flesh and a third for selling your firstborn.
- Always keep several "Get Well Soon" cards on the mantel. If unexpected guests arrive, say you've been sick and unable to clean.

Vents I Sent:

- When it comes to Terry Schiavo or abortion, first and foremost can't we all at least agree to err on the side of life?
- This could make liberals’ heads explode: How many millions of people have been aborted over the past thirty years who could have paid taxes into Social Security and help prevent future cuts?
- Hey Miss Volvo, with the “Not In My Name” bumper sticker. Don’t worry, all the successes in the Middle East aren’t.
- If Democrats vowed to end Social Security and replace it with Coke bottle caps for free one-liters, their loyal puppy AARP would sit up and beg for more.
- Is it just me, or does modern art seem like a giant Rorschach test hung in museums and sold for thousands of dollars?
- How can you be against the death penalty, yet support one for someone whose only crime is not being capable of feeding herself?
- When a private citizen creates a ponzi scheme it’s a crime. When the government does it Democrats call it a grand American institution that should be preserved at all costs. (Courtesy Right-Thinking from the Left Coast)
- The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.

Easter humor

I didn't go to church this morning, so you can't even consider me a Holiday Christian anymore, meaning that one of these has to work for me. Courtesy Grif.net, prayers that may or may not be good for your walk with God:

Lord, help me to relax about insignificant details beginning Saturday, August 28th, at 11:41:23 a.m. E.S.T.

Lord, help me to consider people's feelings, even if most of them ARE hypersensitive.

Lord, help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though they're usually NOT my fault.

Lord, help me to not try to RUN everything. But, if You need some help, just ask.

Lord, help me to be more laid back and help me to do it EXACTLY right.

Lord, help me to stand up for my rights (if you don't mind my asking).

Lord, give me patience, and I mean right NOW.

Lord, help me not to be a perfectionist (did I spell that correctly?).

Lord, help me to finish everything I sta

Lord, help me to keep my mind on one th - Look a bird! - at a time.

Lord, help me to do only what I can and trust you for the rest. Do you mind putting that in writing?

Lord, help me to be less independent, but let me do it my way.

Lord, help me slow downandnotrushthroughwhatIdo.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Bracket Algebra 101

Okay kiddies, this is why you need to learn math and at least make it through Algebra II like I did in tenth grade before enjoying your junior and senior years math free.

The NCAA Tournament can bring out the most confusing X and Y scenarios, and I've figured out that the best I can finish in Headline Madness is fourth place, which is the final spot that pays out. You know, for charity and stuff.

Here is what has to happen ... deep breath ...

North Carolina wins Sunday. Kentucky loses to Michigan State.

In the Final Four, Illinois beats Louisville and Michigan State beats North Carolina.

Championship: Illinois beats Michigan State.

If this happens, I'm $20 richer. (It pays $30, but to enter it costs $10. See? Math is fun!)

On the other hand, personally tonight I would have been fine with Arizona winning, and the idea of a Kentucky-Louisville title tilt would be immensely exciting. Seriously, business production out of the Bluegrass State would cease. The people in the state already smoke more per capita than any other, meaning the factories at Marlboro would be churning out 100 times the number of fags (oh get over it!).

Watch players scratch and spit like never before

Scenes from Turner Field this afternoon, where the Braves showed off a $10 million high-definition scoreboard, which was supposed to show the Braves-Mets preseason game, but it was canceled due to rain. No such rain here on a gorgeous, hot Atlanta Saturday.

Representin' the World Series champions, it's me:










The staff was unbelievably good-spirited. Driving into the parking lot, dozens lined up to wave and welcome everyone to what was essentially a TV unveiling!

Okay, the day was really a fan fest, since kids got to run the bases and the staff gave dugout tours and let us check out the Braves museum for free. The concessions were also open, meaning I already tasted my first ballpark jumbo dog, and pronounced it Good.





Instead of the spring training game, they showed last year's division-clinching win. It was awfully impressive. (The scoreboard, I mean.) Even from behind home plate I could see the action clearly, better than sitting at home with my old console TV. Although if they gave me a remote for the thing, life would be sweeter. Imagine watching The Amazing Race with a 70-foot screen. You could see all of Rob's smirks up close and personal.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Pure marshmallow wickedness

I don’t want to be harshing on you, or make you feel particularly guilty for the world’s ills, but if you buy and/or eat Peeps you are contributing to the spread of evil in the world. There. I said it. Sorry, but this is the time to be honest, and save you from yourself.

Bracket racket

Good night last night. I was three-for-four in my picks, correctly guessing that Illinois, Arizona and Louisville would advance. Of course, no one had West Virginia, so that's no loss. Why is it called March Madness? Because last night at 11:30 p.m. I'm pacing in my living room, clapping and yelling and moaning with every shot as Arizona squeaked past Oklahoma State, a game that if it happened in January I wouldn't watch even if the cheerleaders performed naked on the sidelines. Okay, that last part is a lie.

As a result, I moved up to fourth place in the Headlines pool, but really need North Carolina, Duke and (the biggie) Utah to win tonight. I'm tied for first with the most correct picks and one back in potential correct picks, yet 32 points behind total from first since I haven't picked all that many upsets.

UPDATE: As usual, the tournament gets its retribution on arrogant Bracketeers. With Duke's loss, I'm out of one of my national title teams, and Utah's loss cost me a valuable upset. I'm down to seventh again and out of the money, but as long as Illinois wins the championship and North Carolina wins Sunday but loses in the Final Four, I'm hopeful. Bracket not busted yet!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

What, you never heard of finger foods?

A diner at a Wendy’s in California found a human finger in a bowl of chili, which, ewwwww, you know?

This reminds me of the Saturday Night Live skit way back in ’86 when John Larroquette dies and asks Saint Cornelius (Dana Carvey) life's most interesting questions:

Deceased: Well. Let's see.. what's the grossest thing I ever ate?

Angel: You don't want to know.

Deceased: Oh. Okay. What about the 200th grossest thing?

Angel: Okay.. that would be some butterscotch pudding that had a dead earwig in it.

Deceased: [ grimaces ] Oh, gross! You mean I never tasted it!

Angel: Well, you made this very funny face.. but you were watching a football game on TV at the time ...

Surprisingly, human fingers aren’t on the FDA's list of permitted objects in fast-food restaurants (no word on Chinese takeout services). However, you’ll be shocked and queasy by what is allowed in your food.

(Link courtesy Neal Boortz.)

Scientists gave up looking for the Jeffysaurus

Archaeologists in Montana have recovered 70-million-year-old soft tissue, including what may be blood vessels and cells, from a Tyrannosaurus rex.

One of the researchers later said that it was possible to recover DNA from the dinosaur, and then they’ll clone it and start what might be called a “Jurassic park.”

You have no right to talk to your child

This is exactly where pro-abortion crowd wants the country to be:

A Southern Illinois woman was arrested last week (March 17) after trying to intervene on behalf of her 14-year old daughter's effort to have an abortion. The girl was allegedly taken to an abortion clinic by the mother of the man allegedly to have impregnated the 14-year old.

…A medical tech at the clinic told me, ‘It’s your daughter’s rights, it’s her body. You have no rights.’”

…Employees assured this girl on her departure, “No-one will ever know you were here, we’ll bury your records.”

In the meantime, the woman who had taken the girl for the abortion was slipped out the back door of the clinic.


The pro-abortion lobby would rather women get abortions than give birth, because it's good for their politics. Never forget that.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Want some fries to go with that shake?

Romance novel covers like you've never seen before.

Coming soon to Amazon.com: "Jeff: An Erotic Tale Of Baseball And Pizza."

UPDATE: These reader submissions rock, too.

(Via Instapundit.)

Running in place is no way to get awards

Jeff diet life plan update:

My gal pal at the front desk of the Turner Athletic Club, Lonnie, nominated me for Member of the Month for April, but I had to politely decline the honor. Sure, I work out five days a week, but others do, too, and are actually in shape!

I would have felt guilty for accepting even this non-ceremonial title because while I exercise plenty, my diet is awful. I’m really just working out to stay the same weight, which is terrible. I'm in shape, at least, but not losing inches.

What makes me sad is realizing that if I had started eating right at the same time I joined the gym back in July, I’d have lost fifty pounds or more by now. Then it just makes me want another bacon cheeseburger with onion rings on a pile of M&Ms.

So I told Lonnie (who is from Louisville, by the way, so we always rib each other on the Memphis-Louisville rivalry) that I’ll gladly accept the nomination once I’ve actually lost weight to go with my efforts in the gym. Or if they throw in a trip to a fancy spa in Sedona, Arizona, I’ll take it with gusto!

1, 2, 3 I'm a winner!

Previously on The Amazing Race 7, Rob convinced other teams that quitting was okay and the Anti-American Bitches learned that Argentina is east of Chile, albeit a few hours too late.

Last week, I kept saying it would be a non-elimination leg. I stand by that this week. It's time for somebody to skate despite being in last, and to lose their money but have it affect them in no way.

Here are our teams, in case your memory is less than a week:

x - Debbie and Bianca, a.k.a. Anti-American Bitches
Uchenna and Joyce, a.k.a. Infertile Pink Slip
Lynn and Alex, a.k.a. Happy Boys
Rob and Amber
x - Ryan and Chuck, a.k.a. Git-R-Done
x- Megan and Heidi, a.k.a. Barbie Twins
Meredith and Gretchen, a.k.a. Bait
Brian and Greg, a.k.a. B & G
Ray and Deana, a.k.a. Ray-san and Deana-san
Susan and Patrick, a.k.a. Jealous Much?
Ron and Kelly, a.k.a. All-America (And They Know It)

3:49 a.m. - The Happy Boys get their clue and head off for a ranch. Right off the bat, they're talking about wanting to beat Rob and Amber again, and really do they remember there are other teams?

4:07 a.m. - Uchenna and Joyce, a.k.a. "Babycakes" are supportive and eager, surprisingly no mention of Rob and Amber.

4:52 a.m. - Brian/Greg and Ron/Kelly take off, and Ron makes a reference to the military, 'cause he never brings that up.

Since the ranch doesn't open until 6, there's a chance to catch the Happy Boys, except for the getting lost. Brian and Greg are admiring the sunrise on the mountains, and really, yeah, it looks awesome.

An early Roadblock! The teams are taking on a "Traditional goucho challenge" riding horsies around barrels in a set amount of time.

Just now leaving in fifth, at 6:59 a.m., Rob and Amber are on their way.

Joyce takes the Roadblock for her team, and Alex for his. He's not exactly the horse to race, and misses by one second. Joyce is freaking out and pulling so hard the horse is rearing back like she's in Fort Apache. Alex manages to beat the 40-second mark on his second try.

Now we're flying to Buenos Aires, on two available flights that are five hours apart. Seems Alex and Lynn could get way ahead of everyone else, because Joyce gets thrown off again.

Ron/Kelly are third to the horses and she takes the reigns, literally, just as Joyce finishes. Even though she got knocked off at least twice, she's all smiles. I adore this team.

Brian/Greg are lost, so are Rob/Amber, and he looks too tired to care right now.

Kelly finishes in 39 seconds, just as B & G arrive. To show their frustration in falling behind, we hear "Darn it." Ooh, better watch the temper on those two!

Making the 9:30 a.m. first flight are Lynn/Alex, Uchenna/Joyce, Ron/Kelly and B/G.

The sixth team to depart, Ray-san and Deana-san, leave at 8:34 a.m. with what he calls the "bottom-feeders." Dude, you let her try to eat four pounds of beef, then agreed to quit and take a penalty. Guess what?

8:44 a.m. - Meredith and Gretchen depart. 8:56 and in last, Susan/Patrick. Really, none of this matters because they're all going to end up on the second flight at Buenos Aires.

Rob and Amber "stumble" upon the ranch, and Rob easily guides his horse around the barrels, too the joy of Amber, who says that if they can manage to make the 9:30 a.m. flight the other teams who ate all four pounds of food will abso-freakin'-freak out.

Rob notes that it's obvious that "the other teams love us. They're striving to be like us." Heh. He's a winner. Seriously, I have a non-sexual male crush on him. It's not even the Red Sox connection.

And because of that, he makes the 9:30 a.m. flight. Lynn/Kelly are laughing that Rob/Amber didn't make it, and then ... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! In your face, Happy Boys! Survive THAT! Oh, and stop being so obviously jealous of Rob and Amber's popularity! Makes you look, well, like a bottom-feeder, and that's not a gay joke.

In an interview, Lynn says "I hate (Rob and Amber)" and really, why? They didn't even try to be nice or get to know the Survivors. I just can't see why some of you defend the boyfriends. I'm a good judge of character, folks, trust me. They're not worth the cyberspace to defend.

Talk about good editing. Meredith and Gretchen are feeling sorry for the street performers, annnnd cut to Susan and Patrick, who are honking and trying to run them over!

Ahead at the ranch, Deana-san isn't succeeding and Ray-san is yelling at her, because that should spur the horse on. Meredith shows up and makes the first ride count. Deana's just yelling at the horse, at Ray, at that stupid gum commercial with the Scottish accent. The world sucks, basically, for Deana at this point.

Now we figured it out. Deana needs to show the horse some skin! She takes off her shirt and rides around in her sports bra, and finishes with time to spare. Who knew horses liked the (human) ladies?

Patrick doesn't make the barrels the first time, and when his mom tries to encourage and help, he tells her to shut up, and really, Patrick, up yours. That's what moms do. Quityerbitchin'.

Meanwhile, the other teams are landing in Buenos Aires, and Rob and Amber got their bags first. Heh. Back in first already, and without four pounds of beef intestines and saliva glands.

Last out of the airport? The Happy Boys. Sweet justice, thy name is The Amazing Race.

Rob and Amber find a guy in a raincoat in a park, who would be arrested in the States.

It's time to travel by train to the city of Tigre, where they'll find their next clue at the docks.

All the teams are on the same train, meaning the race to be first is meaningless and they'll all be close, while the last three teams on the second flight - Ray/Deana, Susan/Patrick and Meredith/Gretchen will be in dire straits.

And Ray, how does it feel to be the snail sucking the gunk off the bottom of the Amazing Race aquarium? schadenfreude, thy name is The Amazing Race. (Yes, I spelled that right the first time.)

Okay, Lynn/Alex just compared Rob/Amber to an STD. There are so many jokes to make here, but frankly I don't have the time or patience. Lynn and Alex have got to go, and I don't care that many of you like them. I HATE them. HATE.

Detour! Hop on a boat and search for a shipwreck or find an island along the river delta. I don't know. If you're good with maps, choose the island. But the ship might not be difficult to find either. Let's compare, since Lynn/Alex are looking for the island and Rob/Amber are looking for the shipwreck, as are Uchenna/Joyce further behind. At the same time, Ron/Kelly are looking for the island. This Detour seems to be splitting teams more than any other the past two seasons. It's usually obvious, but this is all about searching, nothing physical.

Rob and Amber's boat nearly goes kablooey, but they continue and find the boat right away.

Back to the shore, it's 35 miles to the Pit Stop, which is a polo club in La Martina.

Lynn and Alex's boat is falling apart so much that the guide is paddling. Again, sweet justice sings. They have to wait for a new boat, but don't get their time back. Yay.

B & G catch and pass Rob and Amber since the latter's boat was leaking. Rob gives his Red Sox cap to the driver of the boat for taking the chance that his boat might sink, and of course it didn't. Love Rob, who in the taxi says he was born with a lucky horseshoe up his a**. Hee.

They're in first, so congratulations! More good news, they won a trip to London. If you'll notice, last week the Happy Boys won the leg and didn't win a trip. Seriously, I'm schadenfreuding all over the place.

Uchenna/Joyce find the island when they were looking for the shipwreck, which means God is good and helps those who deserve it.

In second at the Pit Stop are B & G, and good. They're likable. Same with Uchenna/Joyce, who are third to the mat. Has this ever happened, that the first three teams are my favorites? Can I mark this forever?

Holy cow, in fourth it's Ron/Kelly, and fifth place is Lynn/Kelly, who will spend the next 12 hours chewing out Rob and Amber under their breath, to my delight. Morons.

The last three teams just landed, by the way, in case you forgot about them. I did. None of them have a chance to win based on how they get along, their physical and mental abilities.

Ray/Deana and Meredith/Gretchen get the train to Tigre first, with Susan/Patrick behind and thinking they're ahead. Can you say doomed? No, not really. Recall that I think this will be a non-elimination leg. They're safe.

Meredith and Gretchen are first to the Detour, and Susan and Patrick second, because Ray and Deana decided to walk the wrong way to the docks. *coughBottom-Feederscough*

Ray/Deana are unlikably finding the island, with Meredith and Gretchen on their heels, only they're following them after they've gotten the clue. Oy. Only because he can't stand not being the bad guy, Ray says he refuses to lose to a couple of geriatrics.

Oh, and Susan and Patrick's boat died, so they had to wait for a replacement.

Ray and Deana step on the mat in sixth place, and Phil points to ... Meredith and Gretchen in seventh place and still alive! Which means, Susan and Patrick are last, and ... are eliminated. Dang.

I mean, I won't miss Susan and Patrick, mainly because he is just another Racer jealous of Ray and Amber who falls by the wayside, and he sassed his mom. Bastard.

I really thought there must be a non-elimination round by now. Stop making fun of me, you schadenfreuders.

Next week: A two-hour episode to Africa, so the African-Americans can get all emotional, Brian and Greg wreck and there's absolutely no mention of Rob and Amber for the first time. Which means they're safe.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

You know who needs to go

Know what won tonight on American Idol? Fashion.

First, Carrie comes out with her big 80s hair that's both funny and awesome. It was funsome. (I know, what a great word!) Then, Nadia follows with her Afrohawk, and Nikko sports the pimpin'-ain't-easy outfit, and Bo and Constantine rock the rocker hair. Who needs music when you've got all this style?

Okay, so Mikalah does, because she was spectacularly awful tonight. But once again, fashion-wise, I was glad to see they stopped caking on the makeup on her young face and let her look like a teenager again with the straight hair. But she still must go.

Once Mikalah goes, Scott needs to follow. He's gotten progressively worse every week since the audition, and I'm afraid that with five weeks left he'll start sounding like William Hung. Do it for yourself, Scott, and quit now.

In three weeks, Anthony should get the boot. For some reason tonight, Randy and Paula took the Happy Juice and were praising everyone, even if they didn't deserve it, while Simon was the only one who heard what I did. That was the case with Anthony's screeching, Scott's boring tune, Jessica's butchering of the Top Gun love anthem and Nikko's pitchy hit.

Anwar continues to confound me. He always starts slow and out of tune, then picks it up and finishes strong. Maybe he just needs a better warmup routine.

This is what made me saddest tonight, and it nothing to do with the competition. Many of the songs were selected from the early to mid '80s, songs I loved and remember fondly. Then I realized, many of these contestants were babies or not even born when the songs came out. Egad. This must've been how Mom and Dad felt after last week's '60s theme.

Party in Jackson

Want to talk about being out of touch with your alma mater? I totally missed that the Lady Bulldogs are in the NAIA championship game tonight! Go Union!

UPDATE: Name of the day, Oklahoma City player Natasha Doh. Maybe the Lady Dawgs could keep her at bay with donuts and beer. Mmmm ... donuts ... *drool*

UPDATE 2: Great Caesar's ghost, I just found the game on our sattelite receivers! Router 93 if you're in the CNN Center building. It's on some network called CSTV, if your satellite has it. Yes, I get to watch the second half during my break before the 9p show! Good times. Union up two early in the second half.

UPDATE 3: Union up 15 with 14 minutes left!

UPDATE 4: Still up 15 with nine minutes until celebration!

UPDATE 5: Getting sloppy. Leading by 13 with seven minutes to go, but the Lady Dawgs haven't scored in four minutes.

UPDATE 6: Five minutes remaining, and Union has a 13 point advantage on Oklahoma City. Are students getting ready to party? Somehow I don't think Jackson has to worry about a ragtag bunch of Southern Baptist students overturning and burning cars and looting downtown stores. Although my junior year we had a killer water balloon fight.

UPDATE 7: Uh-oh. Swooning. Union lead down to four with 1:30 left. Timeout. Freaking out.

UPDATE 8: Trying to watch and set up for the 9p show. Up four with 40 seconds to go, OK City has the ball, and just scored. Oh my.

UPDATE 9: Hee, like Union lost to Southern Naz my senior year, Oklahoma City forgot to foul us until eight seconds to go. Up two.

UPDATE 10: Two free throws made, and we're champs! Yee-haw!

Jeff's Briefs 3/22/05

- Here's my idea for a new reality show: Robert Blake and O.J. team up to find the "real" killers of their ex-wives. Brilliant!

- Oprah today was complaining that so many criticize her for not getting married or starting a family. First off, shut up, Oprah, you’re like the richest person west of the Mississippi. Second, who are we to say she doesn’t already have a few kids? Think about it, maybe her fat periods were really when she was pregnant, and the skinny periods months later came from losing the birth weight? Hmmm? Now you’re thinking about it, aren’t you? Kind of like how you never see Michael Jackson and his “sister” Janet in the same place together.

- Is there a set norm for how to put a card in an envelope? Front facing rear or facing the address? (Yes, these are the things that I think about.)

- By not signing Kyoto, the U.S. is branded as the environmental scourge that will destroy the planet. Or not:

Mercury from China, dust from Africa, smog from Mexico — all of it drifts freely across U.S. borders and contaminates the air millions of Americans breathe, according to recent research from Harvard University, the University of Washington and many other institutions where scientists are studying air pollution. There are no boundaries in the sky to stop such pollution, no Border Patrol agents to capture it.

Pollution wafting into the USA accounts for 30% of the nation's ozone, an important component of smog, says researcher David Parrish of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. By the year 2020, Harvard University's Daniel Jacob says, imported pollution will be the primary factor degrading visibility in our national parks.

All of these countries are exempt from Kyoto, the treaty that’s supposed to end air pollution as we know it, or at least delay it a few years at a cost of trillions of dollars. Curse you President Cowboy Chimpy McHitler for not building fans to blow this pollution from our coasts!

- I drive through a quaint old town called Bell Buckle on my way from Atlanta to Chapel Hill, and I always wondered where they got the name. Surprisingly it has nothing to do with the annual RC Cola and Moon Pie festival:

Stories vary, but some believe the name came from a bell and buckle tied around a tree close to a free flowing creek. Others believe the Indians carved a bell and buckle into a tree to discourage settlers while still others believe the bell and buckle symbol was used by surveyors to signify the usefulness of the land for pasture.

Okay, so that didn't clear up the question, but it's a start.

- Scientists in Scotland have a study they say proves that women in the latter part of their menstrual cycle prefer men who look healthy. Okay, so just how long does this “latter” stage last, because in my case it seems to be about 30 days. That’s why I love January, March, May, July, August, October and December. I’ve got a shot at any woman at least one day in those months!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Trailer Parkin' it

The Weather Man - Nic Cage tries on the comedy role again sans action, and sure I’ll see it since I think he’s a fun actor. Cage’s dad in the film, Michael Caine, gets all philosophical: “The hardest thing to do is usually the right thing to do.” Well, except for not watching "The Simple Life." That's easy, and the right thing. Speaking of ...

House of Wax - Oh goody, another horror flick where hot teenagers get picked off one after another. Ooh, spooky, a town where all the people became wax figures! That wax Clinton may fondle your butt, so beware! The only recognizable star is Elisha Cuthbert, which means she may be the only survivor. Okay, Paris Hilton is in the movie, too, presumably so the bad guy can download the phone numbers from her cell phone. Oh the personal privacy horrors!

Batman Begins - A gritty beginning for our masked hero, trained by Qui-Gon Jinn.

The Translator - I cringe when this trailer comes on, because it's so painful to watch Sean Penn emote, Nicole Kidman try out her new accent and the entire obvious plot unravels before our eyes in the span of two minutes.

UPDATE 7:08 p.m. - Okay, so I just saw the trailer for Fever Pitch, starring Jimmy Fallon as an obsessed Red Sox fan who is dating Drew Barrymore. This might end up being my favorite movie ever, or I may get arrested for burning prints of it in every theater in Atlanta.

One way conversations favored Bush's re-election

Today's Political Quote of the Day comes from John Podhoretz, as quoted by David Frum:
I’m reminded of something that John Podhoretz said many years ago: The great advantage that conservatives have over liberals is that we are bilingual. We can speak our language and we also know theirs. They however even now still don’t know ours and cannot be bothered to learn.

In other words, Red Staters have to see and read and hear from Blue Staters all the time, but the Blue Staters can't be bothered to understand Red Staters and their crazy religious redneck zealotry.

Or hadn't you noticed that all shows set in New York are about fabulous people in fabulous lofts and all shows set in the South are "Hee Haw" redux?

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Something about dogwoods and Kansas and jalapenos

Oh sure, I could have gotten out today, walked around and taken in the oncoming rush of spring.

The day was gorgeous, 70 degrees and sunny, meaning that since it's March the rest of the week will be wet. Still, the dogwoods are in bloom.

I would have taken a new picture, but this photo from last year looks exactly the same from my apartment, so I'll do a little recycling in the hopes of landing a hippie chick:



Of course, all of that I might have seen, were I not inside watching basketball at the sports bar or at home on the computer watching basketball and the commentaries of Star Trek First Contact (director Jonathan Frakes is having a really good time with it). I didn't even manage to play some golf.

Oh yeah, I also went clothes shopping. Reason No. 27 I'm not a metrosexual: Buying clothes is a waste of money. And I only spent $16 on a pair of jeans and $16 on a pair of slacks and $6 on a T-shirt, at evil low-cost Wal-Mart, no less, yet I still feel like I could have spent that money more wisely, like on a few DVDs or new Star Wars Episode III action figures. Really, does it matter if my old jeans had a hole in the crotch the size of a half-dollar?

My bracket is still intact, albeit with duct tape and rubber bands holding it together. Three of my final four teams (Illinois, North Carolina and Duke) stuck around, so I'm in seventh place in the Headlines Madness group, and as long as Utah upsets Kentucky next week (fingers crossed) I might be able to catch up. The league is weighted to reward picking upsets, so even if I pick the most correct plus the champion I might still lose. I went at it like normal, and actually picked few upsets in the hopes that picking correctly would make up for guessing the Cinderella teams. So far, so good.

I'm not even going to discuss how poorly I played trivia at the bar this afternoon. Let's just say I couldn't have qualified for Teen Jeopardy. (Ba-Zing!) I was playing almost as poorly as Georgia Tech. (Ouchie.) But as Kansas sang - and I correctly answered - I shall continue to "Carry On, Wayward Son." Masquerading as a man with a reason/My charade is the event of the season/And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know ...

Is there a more satisfying job than the sports bar manager who gets to turn all the satellites to games that make the fans/customers giddy? The folks at my bar at least try to accommodate all of my odd requests for games. This afternoon the bartender kept looking at me funny as I asked to see the Grizzlies-Suns game, and the Red Sox spring training game, and the Bay Hill Invitational golf tournament, all the while dozens of people are watching the three NCAA tournament games on the big screens. But they helped me out, and that's why I go back. That, and the big plate of nachos topped with chili. No jalapenos, though. I have my limits. Or at least my tummy has its limits.

A couple of pithy notes about NCAA advertisements:

- I'm not sure what the new War of the Worlds movie holds other than shots of Dakota Fanning squealing and crying.

- Dude, you pile my lunch tray with "spam" and "viruses" again, I'll shove that dessert cart up your USB port, if you know what I mean.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

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

My weekends are becoming alarmingly routine. A few hours at the sports bar watching games and playing trivia, either a round of golf or hitting buckets at the driving range, grocery shopping at Publix, random shopping at Target and Best Buy, then a sandwich from Subway.

That's exactly how today went, all the while keeping up with the NCAA Tournament round of 32. First, though, I went to the bar at Noon to catch the Memphis-Virginia Tech NIT game, with the Tigers pouncing on their former Metro Conference foe.

Here are my trivia scores, and see if you can tell when I started to lose interest while chatting with the bartender, Jessica, and those around me: 9,408 (but 25th nationally), 11,001 (18th), 11,547 (59th), 10,217 (1,473rd - oops), 7,179 (ouch). Whatever. To get all braggy, I still have the second overall score for the month of March, although I can't seem to get over 12,000 lately.

Is there a rule that club sandwiches at restaurants have to be so thick as to be inedible? Or do I have a tiny mouth? (Yeah, right, I heard that!)

After the game I set out for the driving range. It was too chilly to play 18, and that became an even better idea when it started to sprinkle while I was hitting balls. One of the weird things about golf is how you can pure so many good shots, yet one club seems to be your bane. The last few weeks I couldn't hit my 7-iron straight if it was on a string. Today I was pinging the pin from 160 yards with the 7-iron, my normal club from that range, even better since the cold air makes it difficult to hit clubs their farthest distance. Maybe it helped my confidence that the girl in the snack cart was totally flirting with me earlier. I swear. Cross my heart and hope to die shoot a 68. You know you've got it going on when you detect a flaw in your swing as the club draws back and you correct it midswing so that the ball flies right.

At Target I picked up some underwear since too many of mine became holy, and I don't mean that God looks at them favorably. One of my personal credo's is "Boxer briefs are one of the top five inventions ever." Right behind the Internet, automobile, Maxim magazine and Diet Cherry Coke. (I know you're thinking that I missed one, but I can slice my own bread.)

Next stop, Best Buy, for the new special edition DVD of Star Trek: First Contact. I also had the opportunity to help out a couple of fellow John Wayne fans, pointing out to them the collector's edition DVDs of The Quiet Man and Rio Grande. Unfortunately, far too few of the Duke's movies have been updated to DVD with extras and in the widescreen format.

Tonight, nothing spectacular. I ordered a pizza and BBQ wings from Dominoes, and I'm watching basketball and rooting for my bracket intently. It's enough to make me forget that it's Saturday night and I'm home alone on the computer. (Awww.)

Despite last night's upsets of Syracuse and Kansas, with Utah's win this afternoon I moved into third place (out of 38) in the Headline News league. Even finer, using our CBS Sportsline format, my upside is huge since I lead the "Best Correct" category. That means I've lost fewer of my Sweet 16, Elite 8 and Final Four teams than the rest of my co-workers. Better still, the girl ahead of me picked Syracuse to win it all, so she's doomed! Awesome. (Social lives are for suckers.)

Once the games are over, it's movie time. First I'll see First Contact, as I mentioned, and in the mail today I got Troy to fulfill my obligation to Columbia House. Naturally, when I opened the package I had to unwrap the DVD and fumble with the three security stickers, because, you know, otherwise I could just walk into their warehouse willy-nilly and take the movie.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Stop what you're doing! We're still doomed!

Just one more example of how the global warming craze is nothing but a way for environmentalists to control the world economy, comes a report that adds nothing but confusion:
Even if people stopped pumping out carbon dioxide and other pollutants tomorrow, global warming would still get worse, two teams of researchers reported on Thursday.

Sea levels will rise more than they have already risen, worsening the damage caused by extreme high tides and storm surges, and droughts, heat waves and storms will become more severe, the climate experts predicted.

That makes immediate action to slow global warming even more vital, the teams at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado report in the journal Science.

Huh? So globe warming will get worse even if humans aren't doing anything, so we should stop doing what we're doing? Doesn't that prove that humans aren't necessarily responsible for global warming, as much as, say, natural forces like volcanoes and sun activity?

Of course, there's no power in blaming Mother Nature for the cause du jour.

Busted no more!

Aw, yeah baby, call me the Comeback Kid! With a perfect 8-0 mark this afternoon I moved up to a tie for third place, ten points back in the Headline News pool.

Tonight, I've got Georgia Tech, Louisville, Wisconsin, Kansas, Duke, Mississippi State, Michigan State and Syracuse, meaning I don't need any upsets to occur (well, Miss. St. over Stanford doesn't count as a 9 over an 8).

Right now Pittsburgh is the only sweet 16 team I've lost, so I'm fine there thus far.

Apparently my co-workers are all North Carolina fans, because 14 of the 38 picked them to win it all. (Steve did, too.) Um, folks, Roy Williams is their coach now. You know, the one who choked at Kansas every year. I didn't go out on a limb, with Illinois, but I feel pretty safe about this.

Tomorrow I'm actually more interested in the NIT, since Memphis plays Virginia Tech at Noon.

Leia's bikini will pop right out at you!

George Lucas has officially hit bottom and is starting to dig.

He announced that he will re-release all six Star Wars movies starting in 2007. In 3-D.

Egad.

He's starting to suck so much that I hear a black hole has formed over Skywalker Ranch.

UPDATE: Okay, so yeah, the new trailer has me jazzed for Revenge of the Sith, but that doesn't mean Lucas is forgiven for all of his sins.

Preserving the sanctity of my life

Once again, a judge has ruled that Terry Schiavo's husband can remove her feeding tube, meaning she'll starve to death over several days.

A lot of talk about this has been the discussion of living wills and telling your family your wishes should you end up in a vegetative state.

So here is my wish: KEEP ME THE F*** ALIVE!

Seriously, as long as you can afford it, plug me in, stick a tube down my throat, whatever, just not with the unliving! Just prop me up in the outhouse and dump a smoothie down my throat a few times a day.

I keep getting an image like how Bones killed his suffering father in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, only to see a cure developed for his condition six months later. Similarly, I just know that the day after I'm taken off the machine, doctors will figure out how to fix me. Screw that. Keep me alive and let them research!

Eye of Jeff's Beholder

Today's fortune cookie: "Beauty in its various forms appeals to you." Okay, so it's not a prediction, but it's true nonetheless.

Obviously, this is beautiful:



There's beauty in this form, too:



And this, obviously:

You did it! No, you did! Did not! Did too!

Is it a coincidence that Mark McGwire looks like Paul Giamatti in Big Fat Liar? Anyone got an opinion on this? It seems steroids is almost entirely a media-driven scandal. Heck, I'm in the media and I'd rather talk about something else. Not that I want my players juiced, though.

I think we'll look back on the 90s and see all the records and think, "that's not right." And we'll tell our kids about the "Steroid Era" with all the inflated HR numbers and be embarrassed. Still, the House hearings on Thursday were nothing more than grandstanding full of self-righteous indignation. You know, like this blog.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Tide rolled, Jeff roiled

Like any addicted sports fan, I have several brackets made up for the NCAA Tournament, so that no matter what happens I can I say I picked it to happen.

However, there’s only one bracket that matters and that’s because it has ten bucks riding on it. A ten dollar, uh, donation, I mean. It’s the CNN Headline News pool, and after the first eight games this afternoon I’m tied for 16th, getting six-of-eight correct, but losing points because I didn’t pick Wisconsin-Milwaukee to upset Alabama.

Among my surprises, I have Utah advancing to the Elite 8, and had Pittsburgh going to the Sweet 16 with a win over one-seed Washington, but since Pitt lost today that’s not going to happen. In the same region I picked Louisville to make the Elite 8, beating hometown Georgia Tech in what would be an amazingly fun game to watch this weekend.

My Final Four features Illinois over Wake Forest and Duke over North Carolina, with Illinois topping UNC for the title.

UPDATE: Well this is a personal record. Day one done, and I've already given up on this bracket. I'm tied for 14th out of 38, but twenty points back already.

Got something to add?

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

- After watching the mudslides, I think it's time we donate some kudzu to California.
- I don't know why they call her Paris Hilton. She's more like a Smyrna Econo Lodge.
- The weather forecast should be printed on the Opinion page.
- Why did all those dolphins beach themselves? Did they feel a sense of porpoise?
- After showing my husband what his Social Security benefits would be after I kicked the can, he said, "That's not even enough to get my new wife's hair done each month!"
- Thanks to the media, I know far more about Martha Stewart's probation than proposed changes to Social Security.
- On that new TV show where the woman claims to be a medium, is it just me, or does she look like a large?
- I predict that at roughly $3 per gallon we won't care what environmentalists have to say about oil drilling or new refineries.
- Never spend any money when you owe somebody money - especially not in front of them.
- Hmm ... a motorcyclist killed performing stunts on a stolen motorcycle. File that one under "problems that solve themselves."
- Sign on a synagogue: “Under same management for 5,763 years.”

Vents I Sent:

- Would someone tell Sean Penn that he's just an actor, for gosh sakes? Stop taking everything so seriously.
- Where’s the Academy Award tribute to the fearless limo drivers that dodge traffic and flying mascara to get those self-important oafs to the Kodak Theater? (Stolen from a poster at Right-Thinking)
- Congratulations to Federated, but remember, if you want to return May after 30 days, you'll need both the receipt and the original packaging for a full refund. (Courtesy James Lileks)
- Someone needs to tell Giuliana Sgrena that if she were “targeted for assassination" by the U.S. military, she'd be, well, dead.
- With all this fawning over Dan Rather, I almost forgot that he presented fake documents in an attempt to bring down a president.
- Is the name for those addictive Girl Scout cookies, thin mints, supposed to be ironic?

If only there were some sort of chocolate confection to eat

Know what I hate? People who put those spinning rims on their wheels.

But that’s not important right now.

What I hate is when I go to a vending machine for a nibble, then spend five minutes staring at it. Then I put in a dollar bill, and still gaze at all the snacks for five more minutes without deciding. Then someone walks up behind me and I panic. And we all know that when you panic in that situation, you end up selecting the most fattening product in the machine.

Irish eyes are smiling

For those of you, like me, enjoying St. Patrick's Day as a tribute to the Irish part of our heritage, I hope you're wearing green. If not, pinch yourself for me. That's right, Stephanie, I'm talking to you!

(Okay, at least imbibe green beer tonight and drink responsibly. Better going in green than coming out green.)

Let me learn you, too. In case you always wondered what "Erin go Bragh" is, it means "Ireland forever."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Today's fortune cookie

"You should be able to make money and hold on to it."

Well, yeah, I should, but that doesn't mean I will.

For instance, I just bought two new Red Sox t-shirts. You know, to go along with my three jerseys, two tees and polo shirt I already have.

But see, these are WORLD CHAMPION shirts, and I need them in time for my trip to Tampa with Dad in April for a three-game series!

I knew you'd come around to my thinking.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Argentina is thataway

Last week in The Amazing Race 7, a few teams complained that Rob and Amber were actually playing the game, and the Barbie Twins won't be getting their Dream Car with the Race's million smacker prize.

Can I guess that this week is a non-elimination leg?

We also traveled from Lima, Peru, to Santiago, Chile (mmm, chili), and this time we'll drive through the Andes to Argentina, stopping to eat some soccer player meat in the mountains.

Ew. But hey, Alive is a good flick.

Rob and Amber are having a great time. Everyone else seems m

Ron's saying he's not sure he'd want to marry his beauty queen partner, Kelly, because, I don't know. Something about her rushing to start a family, and I'd like him to talk to Uchenna and Joyce about that.

Ray-san and Deana-san are arguing about, well, arguing. Never a good sign.

Lynn and Alex hop on the "beat Rob and Amber" bandwagon as soon as they get their clue. Hey dudes, maybe you should try not to piss off an entire market of people by claiming they're liars, like last week.

Leaving last, B and G aren't all about reading pesky things like "clues," since one of them several minutes later in the cab said, "Argentina?"

Everyone left in the middle of the night, and oh, look, the car park doesn't open until 5 a.m., so we're all together again (DRINK!).

While Debbie and Bianca, the Anti-American Bitches, are making plans, Rob and Amber totally steal their cab, yet the girls are oblivious, so they can't even blame the Survivors.

And they're off! And all of them figure out that "norte" means north, so congratulations on your language skills. Oh, wait, Susan and Patrick are lost. Never mind. Patrick's saying "we have to go that way" and pointing, which doesn't do much good considering she's in the front seat and he's in the back, and she's looking at the road.

This leg has a Yield, and Rob and Amber know the other teams have it out for them, so they should be first all the way. The other teams are evil, but it's the game and Rob and Amber are great players, so I can't say it's a bad tactic.

Still, everyone's following Rob and Amber, so apparently they're not too focused on getting ahead, which is straight from the Lex-is-a-sucker notebook. By the way, they turned off from the Norte, since it goes north, and the sign overhead basically said, "Hey, the Andes are over to the east! Follow me!" Not everyone finds it this obvious.

Not getting ahead: Susan and Patrick, still lost in Santiago an hour-and-a-half after the other teams found the "Al Norte." (Did I just write "the The North"?)

Outside the game, can I just say that that drive through the mountains looks amazing? Gorgeous.

Rob and Amber are first, and pass the Yield without using it, so the other teams are out of luck. Ha!

Detour! Paddle or Pedal. Either take an inflatable raft seven miles down a raging river with a few experts on board, or pedal a mountain bike on a seven-mile course along a path next to train tracks. With help provided on the boat, you gotta think the raft will be quicker.

Rob and Amber agree, taking the raft, with the Happy Boys not far behind.

On the road, B & G pass by the old folks, Meredith and Gretchen, complaining that Meredith is driving slow. Ha, good one. Maybe next he'll unleash the old chestnut, "and his left blinker's been on for miles!"

Meanwhile, Lynn and Alex pass Rob and Amber on the river, talking about how they were "sick" of being behind the Survivors. Seriously, jealousy must be this spring's fashion accessory, because this show is rank with it.

Sweet. Next the teams drive to a campground for some Argentina BBQ! Oh how good that must be.

Lynn and Alex are so proud to have passed Rob and Amber, who themselves don't seem to give a rat's ass. Amber's laughing about getting into shape to fit in her wedding dress, and he's saying how proud he is of her for sticking with the rowing, so yeah, Rob and Amber are my peeps.

In a close group in the middle, all rafting, are Ron & Kelly, Uchenna & Joyce and Ray & Deana.

Debbie & Bianca are still on the Pacific coast of Chile, apparently waiting for Magellan to finish his circumnavigation of the globe to hitch a ride or something. Giddy I was, since Susan & Patrick were lost but at least drove the right direction towards Argentina.

Still, I swear this is going to be a non-elimination leg, so I can't get cocky.

Still biking the trail, B&G get passed by Meredith and Gretchen on the river, then Ron and Kelly.

Hey, all this rafting and I didn't make one Deliverance reference. Ick. Don't think about that movie or squealing pigs. You are now, aren't you? I'm heebie-jeebieing.

At the campground, a Roadblock that asks "Who isn't a vegetarian?" Guess they won't be eating rice and beans.

Okay, so the "feats" started out promising, with beef and sausage, then it got all "Fear Factor" on us with talk of intestines.

Way back in last place, Debbie and Bianca are flashbacking to when one of them almost died in a rafting accident in the past year. With these two, that probably means she lost her makeup kit when the boat flipped over. HATE.

Chowing down, Rob isn't quite enjoying all this food, since it's not exactly four pounds of Fenway Franks. That would only take ten minutes. There's a reason brains and intestines aren't served in major league parks. Well, except Seattle.

The first to barf up his food: Alex.

The first to quit: Rob, who decides to take the four-hour penalty instead of trying to finish. DUMB.

They then try to convince other teams they can't do it, which works for Ray and Deana a few minutes later. Okay, not so dumb.

And here's Ron talking about Iraqi prisons again. Okay, you were a P.O.W. She's a beauty queen. We get it!

Meredith is talking about quitting, too. Okay, what the heck? Four hours is a long time. Going through the day, my eating schedule is three meals, four hours apart. In between, though, if I wanted I could eat a (big) bag of M&Ms. If you eat half the meat now and half two hours later, you're two hours ahead of the penalty.

I'm not understanding this strategy, except that Rob knew he could swindle other teams into following, and that's why he nearly won Survivor and is marrying the girl who did win.

Meredith gives up and accepts the penalty, long after Rob, meaning Rob and Amber are officially safe.

Who is eating the food? Uchenna, so he and Joyce are first to leave. Good for them. LOVE.

Alex is next to leave, proving that sexual orientation has no bearing on how much and what you can eat. There's a gay joke in here, but I'm going to leave it.

Even though the Pit Stop at a ranch eight miles away, Uchenna gets lost. Not good. Happy Boys are first to the mat.

Third to eat up, B & G, with Ron finishing soon after.

The weird thing is, Meredith and Gretchen's penalty didn't start until the next team arrived, meaning Susan and Patrick, who tells his mother to be quiet while she says to eat and vomit. He says she's being "insensitive," and yeah, it's a game, so suck it up then spit it out!

Over two hours later, he's barely touched anything, while Debbie and Bianca just arrived. Even though they went at Rob and Amber, Rob still says that he thinks she'll eat it and says she's "tough." See, he's all about the Game.

Rob and Amber are team number five despite the penalty. Even Phil is amazed that Rob convinced other teams to quit.

It's been four hours since Patrick started, so Ray and Deana and Meredith and Gretchen's penalty is over and they head for the Pit Stop, finishing sixth and seventh, respectively. So Rob and Amber's strategy worked for them, too.

And you know what? Rob knows that all the teams will end up bunched together at the start of the next leg, so he won't fall behind at all.

Back at the BBQ, Patrick finishes eating after being challenged by Debbie and Bianca, who are happy if doomed.

The editors would like for us to be concerned that Susan and Patrick are lost, but really there wasn't any doubt. But did you care?

Debbie and Bianca? Ninth, and last. And eliminated.

Okay, so I was wrong. There was an elimination. And Debbie and Bianca didn't have time to be annoying this leg, so I couldn't even jump for joy to see them gone. They are cute, after all, and all the hugging was at least a cheap testosteroney thrill.

Next week: Rob and Amber are aggressive, Joyce falls off her horse and Deana is on her horse, but still ready to give up (why? we'll find out, and it won't matter because five seconds after that clip she'll finish the task and they'll end up first).

Simon says: Vote for Nadia

Tuesday on American Idol:

This is Nadia's world and we're just living in it. She has to be a 2:1 favorite in Vegas after this week, with Bo next at, like, 25:1. She was that good.

Then again, most of the rest weren't as bad as the judges said. I think the audio in the auditorium was considerably worse than the feed we got on TV.

Well, except for Mikalah and Lindsey. They were awful. But they were awful the last three weeks, too, so this is no surprise.

In fact, those two deserve the boot before Constantine, who turned in his best performance yet. I still want him gone soon, though, and I'd like to kick him in the pancreas.

Turning 30 with gusto

In just over seven months I’m turning 30, and since this is still 2005 and I don’t have to go through carousel and/or risk fleeing for Sanctuary, I still have time to enjoy what’s left of my immature adulthood.

I’ve already taken a vacation for the week of my birthday, but I can’t figure out what to do with it. Here’s a list of what I’m considering:

Caribbean Cruise
Las Vegas
New Orleans
Golf vacation
Space Camp
Follow the Red Sox in the playoffs again
Drive around the South and visit family

I’m leaning toward the cruise idea, but naturally the obstacle is $. Cruises don’t really like single travelers and charge from 150 to 200 percent what someone pays when they have a roommate to share a cabin. Grrr.

Any other ideas and recommendations are welcome.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Extra! Extra!

It's time to check the latest news Headlines and pluck them for all the comedy gold I can get in my pan:

Three laid-off Americans struggle to find work
Nancy Pelosi scolds President Bush: "If not for his reckless tax cuts for the rich there would be only two unemployed people left."

Allergy study: Roaches worse than furry pets
Cheaper to feed, though

Scientists seek source of Mount St. Helens blast
Tom Arnold asks, “What’s with all the questions?”

IRA shooting offer sparks outrage
401K keeps quiet to avert suspicion

Man survives doctor-assisted suicide attempt
Tries less controversial lawyer-assisted court case.

McDonald's Unveils Healthy Living Campaign
First recommendation: Don’t eat at McDonald’s.

Killer whale calf a Hawaiian 'Beauty'
Note to self: Don’t look for Hawaiian girlfriend.

The funny pills make you stronger

Quote of the day:

Red Sox star David Ortiz, on why he’s being tested for steroids:

"They pick me [to be tested] every time," he said. "I don't know why. I don't know if it's because I'm a big guy, or what, but all I know is all they are going to find is a lot of rice and beans."

Creepy quote of the day - from the same article – by Red Sox manager Terry Francona on why pitcher Curt Schilling wasn’t tested:

"Are you kidding me? Have you ever seen him in the shower? He's not on steroids," said Francona. "I don't know [anything] about steroids, but he's not on them. If Snickers are considered illegal, he may be on them."

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Sunday Busy Sunday

Yes, I did, in fact, again spend a few hours at the sports bar today.

But ah ha! I also played 18 holes, got an oil change, a haircut and did my grocery shopping, so I think I deserved some time with the guys watching basketball and playing trivia. Even if I did split two games with a guy named Frank, and frankly I should have wiped the floor with him both times.

(Damn I'm arrogant. Someone should put me in my place. But who? Huh? Huh? Try me! Uh-oh, thunder. Either the angels got a strike or God's filing his "smiting" plan.)

By 6 o'clock, the world stopped to announce the brackets for the NCAA tournament starting Thursday. My quickie final four, allowing plenty of time to change my mind, is Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Kentucky.

Of course, tomorrow also brings the office pools (Gambling? I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you!), meaning that the only person to pick the correct final four will be the woman who makes her selections based on the quality of each city's symphony.

Bitter? Duh.

UPDATE: In blogging news, since Wally and Brent took a hiatus from our world, thankfully Wally's better half, Julie, stepped in with her own blog!

Jeff's Briefs 3/13/05

- Has anyone else won anything with the new green caps on the 20 oz. Coke bottles? I swear, once the company made the color switch they got all stingy with the free one-liters.

- Residents of Satan Wood Drive are trying to change the street name. Apparently the homeowners are tired of nearby residents of Exorcism Cove yelling at them and sprinkling holy water all over the place. Meanwhile, the populace of Hitler Oaks say, "What's the big deal?"

- It’s time to start checking your change more closely. Apparently the new Wisconsin quarter can be worth up to a thousand bucks if you get one with an extra leaf on the corn stalk. I thought I was a millionaire when my ten dollar bill said “In God We Trust,” but it turns out they all do (for now).

- Saddam Hussein's regime offered a $2 million bribe to the United Nations' chief weapons inspector to doctor his reports on the search for weapons of mass destruction. You know, the ones Saddam didn't have.

- A judge in England let a confessed killer go because he was too guilty. In other news, Boy George says he won't watch Queer Eye for the Straight Guy because it's "too gay."

- Am I the only one who hates it when you’re among a group of people and one shows a picture of their ugly spouse, and the rest of the group goes overboard to pretend how attractive he/she is?

- The French are pissed! What could have happened? The Germans lining up in Alsace? Jerry Lewis said their cheese was smelly? No, they don’t want to work more than 35 hours a week. Only 18 percent of those polled wanted to work longer hours, and really, is anyone surprised? If you only have to work seven hours a day, you can get away with skipping a shower, and you can hurry to the cafĂ© and work on your manifesto, “Why Americans Are Fart-Knockers.”

- Scientists found out that women on "the pill" were more choosy than women not using oral contraceptives. In a similar study, men wearing beer goggles were more likely to pick the ugliest women in a bar at closing time than sober men.

- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin decided to get all cowboy-ish and speak up for his country’s right not to be protected by U.S. technology, declaring, "This is our airspace, we're a sovereign nation and you don't intrude on a sovereign nation's airspace without seeking permission."

When that first missile is headed to North America, here are two scenarios:

1, A missile is aiming at Washington. Bush tells Martin, “Screw you, we’re shooting it down and Canada can’t stop us.” Canadians shrug and agree, say the U.S. deserved it anyway.

2, A missile heads for Toronto. Bush calls Martin and asks, “Are you sure you want our help? It is your country’s space and all.” Martin: “Yes! Yes! God’s sake, yes!” Bush: “Well … okay. By the way, you know, I’ve always enjoyed visiting Alberta. Would you care to part with that fine land? Thanks.”

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Under fire at home and abroad

It may skew a bit left for my tastes, but I recommend the documentary Gunner Palace if only to introduce you to our troops in Baghdad, who come through stronger than anything the filmmaker wants to say.

What else did I do today?

First off, I woke up and went straight to the sports bar to watch Memphis play Louisville for the Conference USA championship. For those from Memphis and Louisville, you know that this is a highly charged rivalry, even more so in such a high-stakes game in which the Tigers had to win to make the NCAA tournament.

Now that I've set that up, let me say that I only got to watch the last 3 ½ minutes of the game.

Why? Because all of Atlanta was focused on the capture of Brian Nichols, who killed a judge, two deputies and a court clerk Friday morning just a couple of blocks from CNN. In fact, you've no doubt seen a few pictures of him in one of our parking decks. Thankfully for me, this happened a few hours before I went to work, so I felt safe.

I have to wonder, though, what all the visitors here for the SEC Tournament at the Georgia Dome downtown thought of this national news. Do they consider it part of being in a big city? Or will they avoid Atlanta forever?

Anyway, the local CBS affiliate, WGCL, felt compelled to show Nichols being driven along the interstate and interviewing random people where he was captured, instead of the Memphis-Louisville game. With about ten minutes left in the game the station pushed back coverage of the Nichols saga and showed the game on one-fifth of the screen, impossible to see the action or score from the bar.

In the end, of course, Memphis lost in the most tragic way imaginable, missing two of three free-throws with no time on the clock to lose by one. I was literally banging my head on the bar, then called Dad and Steve to commiserate. They felt compelled to feel sorry for the shooter as a freshman in a pressure-packed situation. I'm a harda**, however, and wish the kid nothing but nightmares for the next six months.

I stuck around the bar for the Georgia Tech game, and at least they didn't blow it and beat North Carolina in the ACC semifinals.

After spending four hours in the bar on a gorgeous 65-degree sunny day I drove to midtown to see Gunner Palace. To get there I drove by Piedmont Park, the largest green space in the city, and it seems the entire town was out and about while I went back indoors to see the movie. I did have the sunroof open and the windows down, so does that count as "outdoors"?

That does it, tomorrow I'm getting in some golf, no matter what.

After the movie I made my Target run, then I stopped at Best Buy to purchase the special edition DVD of Top Gun because, well, I think you know. I felt the need, the need for speed. The commentary is packed with not just director Tony Scott but Navy pilots and officials who judge the film based on what it is and what they went through at the real life Top Gun school. They didn't say if every student gets their own Kelly McGillis, however.

In your face!

Take this survey of faces on National Geographic that compares your thoughts to a cop's.

Then to the question "What do you think this person will do next?" see if you can figure out which ones I predicted as:

Try to blow up the Bat cave.

Tell me I was driving too slow.

Pop a blood vessel and end up in the hospital.

Cry over spilled milk.

Pout. Yell at himself under his breath.

Inquire as to my family heritage. Not in a good way.

Take two papers out of the dispenser but pay for one.

Watch Dawson's Creek and eat chocolate

Complain I was driving like his granny.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Not exactly the Starbuck of Atlanta

Care to be saddened? Let's look at the State of Jeff's Social Life, 2005.

It's Friday night, and I get off work at 10 p.m. Want to know what my excited thoughts have been all night, regarding this out time?

"Hey, alright, I can be home by 10:30 to watch the start of Battlestar Galactica!"

Make fun of me, but don't insult the show. It's excellent.

Living on the edge

Apparently Blogger is experiencing technical difficulties, since I cannot post a comment on anyone's site.

Be assured that I was going to make very witty comments that would have changed your lives forever, but now those thoughts have passed and my wit and wisdom is lost to the ages.

Then again, there's a 98 percent chance this post will vanish into thin air and you'll never see it. Let's take that risk and I'll hit "Publish Post" ...

UPDATE 6:28 p.m. - A ha! My little trick worked! Nothing gets Blogger like some reverse psychology in which I challenge their superior computer knowledge! Fooled you!

Revenge of my a**

Stacy emailed to ask why I haven't blogged about the new Revenge of the Sith trailer, and to be honest, I didn't think about it. I was at work Thursday night (actually working for once), and taped "Survivor," instead of the "O.C."

By now the trailer should be on the official Star Wars site, and it is, only it's reserved for "Hyperspace" losers members who fork over $40 a year.

Let me say this straight: That's wicked retarded, and screw you, Lucas (I don't mean Stephanie and Bill).

If I want a real trailer, I'll head over to see Lindsay Lohan in the new Herbie the Love Bug flick.

That's right, I watched the trailer and I liked it! So pfft!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

When kitties attack

See, no one believes me when I say that cats are evil. With all the felines preening and sleeping behind the couch under the curtains, it's all cute and cuddly until they strike:

A man cooking in his kitchen was shot after one of his cats knocked his 9mm handgun onto the floor, discharging the weapon, Michigan State Police said.

Joseph Stanton, 29, of Bates Township in Iron County, was shot in his lower torso around 6 p.m. Tuesday, the state police post in Iron River reported. He was transported to Iron County Community Hospital.

... State police said he was cooking at his stove when the cat knocked the loaded gun off the kitchen counter behind him.

People, when will you learn. Guns don't kill people. Cats with owners stupid enough to own guns kill people.
Some blogalicious funny, courtesy Grif.net:

A man bought two horses but couldn't tell them apart, so he cut the tail off of one of them. This worked for a while until the other horse caught his tail in a gate and pulled off his tail.

The man cut a notch in one of the horse’s ear, and that worked for a while until the other horse cut his ear on some barbwire.

Finally someone suggested that he measure the horses. So he got a tape and measured the horses and was happy to find out that the black horse was two inches taller that the white horse.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Bill, with a Twist

Demons are skating in Hell and pigs have wings, so why should it come as a surprise that my brother-in-law, Bill started a blog.

In his second post, Bill notes how he writes via "stream of consciousness," which isn't too far from what I do, just he'll have fewer boob references.

Take that, haters!

Last week, Team Git-R-Done got the boot while the Anti-American Bitches, Debbie and Bianca, won the first leg, proving again that God doesn't take part in our everyday lives.

Let's check the credits, notice a few updates on nicknames:

Debbie and Bianca, a.k.a. Anti-American Bitches
Uchenna and Joyce, a.k.a. Infertile Pink Slip
Lynn and Alex, a.k.a. Happy Boys
Rob and Amber
x - Ryan and Chuck, a.k.a. Git-R-Done
Megan and Heidi, a.k.a. Barbie Twins
Meredith and Gretchen
Brian and Greg
Ray and Deana, a.k.a. Jonathan II
Susan and Patrick, a.k.a. Jealous Much?
Ron and Kelly, a.k.a. All-America (And They Know It)

Uchenna and Joyce I dubbed Infertile Pink Slip for the awkward they were introduced last week, as being unable to procreate and both getting canned. Susan and Patrick are Jealous Much? because Patrick focused all his energy on wondering where Rob and Amber were instead of his own task, which is fine for Survivor but disastrous for The Amazing Race. To Ron and Kelly, I added the (And They Know It) to All-America because of how often they referred to each other being a P.O.W. and beauty queen. We know, stop pointing it out. Ray is Jonathan II for obvious reasons; he belittled Deana for a full hour last week.

Still working on names for Meredith and Gretchen and Brian and Greg, but Rob and Amber won't get one. You know who they are. They are the stars.

Still in Cuzco, former capital of the Inca empire, and out of respect I think the Anti-American Bitches should give a sacrifice. A human sacrifice.

Leaving late at night, our teams are traveling by bus for 400 miles to Arequipa, dubbed "the white city," (which doesn't have anything to do with the pale Happy Boys) and a shoeshine place for the next clue.

By doing actual research, Rob figures out that the 7a bus leaving an hour later than the first one should arrive sooner based on fewer stops. The Bitches and Jealous Much? are planning on taking the 5:30 based on times alone, and Rob isn't telling them. Rob and Amber did tell Jonathan II and Deana, which? Maybe Ray's not as bad as the first week. Maybe I could date one of the Barbie Twins, too, but not going to happen.

The Bitches and Jealous Much? confront Rob and call him a liar. Seriously, it's a race.

The Happy Boys talk about proving something, like being butch, and then he giggles. Great edit by the producer.

They're all bunched on the same bus (DRINK!), so it doesn't matter.

Brian/Greg and the Barbie Twins flirt. Yeah, yeah, we're all so pretty and it's such a CHORE!

A bunch of teams are bribing the bus driver to open the front door only, which he does. All orchestrated by Rob, of course. Hee. I don't mind, because it's mostly helping teams I'm rooting for.

The teams have to shine shoes to get their next clue, and flipping through the 2002 World Almanac, shoe shining isn't listed as one of the country's leading businesses. Who chose that as to represent a poor Latin country? What's next, window washing on the corner?

Ron is the first done, Ray next, Amber third, Susan fourth and Gretchen fifth.

The next clue says that there are two flights to Santiago, Chile, 45 minutes apart, so it's important to shine fast!

On the second flight are the Barbie Twins, Infertile Pink Slip, Anti-American Bitches, Brian/Greg, and Happy Boys.

One of the Happy Boys mentions that they're good "pulling up the rear." Too obvious?

Now the teams are in Santiago looking for a statue of the Virgin Mary. In a largely Catholic country? Are there any such statues? Narrow that down for me.

Rob and Amber and All-America (And They Know It) are first up the mountain to see a big concrete representation of Jesus' sexless mommy, while the other three teams are stuck in traffic.

Detour! Shop and buy ingredients or Schlep two miles to a bookstore and deliver 180 books to the Library of Congress. I have to think that the ingredients wouldn't be that bad, but most of the teams are picking the physical task.

Meanwhile, Susan and Patrick didn't get enough pesos so they're either begging for money or trying to get someone to give them pesos for dollars (or Sols, which Peru uses) I don't know, I couldn't make cents of it. Get it? Cents? Yeah, I'll stop.

"Dumb as a rock" Rob is the only one to insist on loading all the same size and weight of books in order to get one simple load that won't balance awkwardly.

Ron and Kelly decide to take two trips, while Rob and Amber make one trip and pass Ron and Kelly. Using a dolly, 180 books isn't that bad for a couple of blocks, military man. Oy.

Somehow Meredith and Gretchen take it easy and get caught by the teams from the second plane, which never bodes well for future chances. If you can't get to a statue and stay 45 minutes ahead, you're doting.

Rob and Amber get their clue first for the Pit Stop at Santa Lucia, which I think means they have to look for a woman named Lucia wearing red velvet and a fake beard.

The Pit Stop already? Wow, this week is flying by. Or it's an hour shorter.

Rob and Amber are first! Take that, haters! In your face! In your face!

Turns out Shop was the poor choice. Meredith and Gretchen don't have enough money to buy the fish needed in their list. So really, after getting caught by the second plane and this, at this point they're just dangling for the other teams to nibble off. Thus, they are now Team Bait. Even though they're given the fish for free after begging.

The Barbie Twins are still at the Virgin Mary, just behind Brian/Greg, so that little tryst looks to be extinguished soon.

Despite making two trips, Ron and Kelly are in second place, followed by Ray and Deana, with no Jonathan-esque blowups, so maybe there's hope.

The Happy Boys are shopping and begging for freebies as well as Team Bait, so God bless Chileans, you know? Susan and Patrick beg for money outside first, falling behind. Stacking books? Not so bad. Of course, too many teams are making two trips and not following Rob's lead by getting small, uniform books, so who's watching on TV right now and smirking? Rob, that's who.

Apparently there are weight requirements for the shopping, and that's ruining many teams' timing. The Happy Boys get run out of the fish market when they claim the scales are "rigged." You'd have thought they were Butch and Sundance in Bolivia the way the crowd boos the dudes.

Uchenna and Joyce are in fourth place, and wow, where'd they come from? Silent but deadly.

Team Bait are so lost, Meredith is talking in third person. Jeff thinks that's funny.

Somehow the Happy Boys are in fifth place, proving the other teams suck. Debbie and Bianca are sixth, followed by Meredith and Gretchen.

Brian and Greg need 86 more books, the Barbie Twins have their ingredients, and Jealous Much? are team No. 8. Patrick laughs that "it's going to be this dramatic each time," and yeah, that's cute. He and his mom are fun together when he's not griping about Rob.

It's a race for ninth place! Brian/Greg and the Barbie Twins aren't flirting anymore, they spotted each other in nearby cabs and start sprinting. Brian/Greg "win," so the Barbie Twins go bye-bye. Eh, no big loss. They didn't even flaunt their sexuality.

Next week: Rob and Amber seal the Bitches' cab while Brian and Greg are flat. Tire, that is.