Monday, May 26, 2008

They said you was high-classed, well that was just a lie

Dear No One in Particular,

I have an embarrassing penchant for tacky, gaudy, cheesy things. Giant plastic jewellery, glitter, the colour pink … I love all of these things. Needless to say, I understand that this love needs to be exercised in moderation. All things tawdry are my undercover lover, and are only allowed to go out with me in public once in a while. No holding hands, though.

It should be no surprise, then, that I love reality TV. LOVE it. Especially talent/competition reality shows.

If I were being entirely truthful, my affection for reality TV is more like a sick obsession. I stalk shows on my Tivo, actively searching for new and increasingly ridiculous shows to watch. Obviously, this isn’t all that difficult a goal to attain: it seems as though the Golden Age of Television has passed, and we’re now in the Dark Ages of Primetime.

Case in point: “Groomer Has It”, Animal Planet’s answer to Bravo’s monopoly on talent/competition shows. I thought that Bravo execs had mined that well dry; I figured that they had hit the bottom with “Shear Genius” (a show that was actually pretty entertaining). But no, Animal Planet jumped in with a jackhammer. “Meerkat Manor” is a testament to Animal Planet’s poor programming. Full disclosure: as an only child, I tend to anthropomorphise just about everything, but watching Meerkat Manor made my head hurt. Yes, I understand how parallels between animal life and human soap operas could be drawn, but Christ in heaven that show is dumb. I saw one episode, and it happened to be the one where Flower died. While it was kinda sad (it was more disturbing to watch the meerkat die in a visceral sense, not an emotional one), I can’t wrap my head around the whole outpouring of emotion that followed. It was like Princess Di had died all over again; tribute videos flooded the Internet, even the freaking New York Times did a piece on the little rodent.

At any rate, “Groomer Has It” is utterly ridiculous. It’s proof that TV execs are running out of ideas for TV shows. While there is no doubt that dog grooming takes a certain level of skill to execute well, it hardly merits a TV show, let alone the sheer amount of drama that is displayed. These people take themselves and this show far too seriously. Contestants make proclamations like “the title of ‘Top Groomer’ would change. My. LIFE.

I, uh. I’m not 100% sure how to respond to that. I’m sure being on TV would change your life, not to mention your career. But I highly doubt that Paris Hilton is watching Animal Planet, thinking that she will send her obnoxious live accessories to the winner of this show, and only that winner. I don’t trust that she has enough active brain cells to string that many thought together. But I digress. My point is that it’s not the title that these people are interested in, not matter how many times they say it. Just admit that you’re a whore for the money and the trailer -- sorry, “mobile grooming salon”.

All this having been said, I have kinda fallen in love with this show. I caught a couple of episodes while on vacation, and oh my god, it’s so ridiculous it’s great. It’s the “Showgirls” of reality TV! Like I said, the groomers take themselves so seriously. One girl (now eliminated) admitted that she had a “seventh sense” about a dog yelping, and decreed it was because the dog was matted or in pain. That’s a MENSA candidate I want grooming my pet.

Aaand that’s the key to my love of reality TV: it’s a wonderful conduit for my anger. I have a lot of rage, and yelling at reality TV contestants, while incredibly lame, is how I channel my rage into safe outlets. Also, it tends to be pretty entertaining.

I used to watch “Biggest Loser”, but by the end, I’m so emotionally invested that I feel as though I’ll have a heart attack by the season finale. The Boy keeps telling me that it can’t be healthy. I keep telling him to shut his word-hole.

But back to “Groomer Has It”. The judges crack my shit up. One of the judges is cross-eyed. Not just a wee bit, maybe are his eyes a little wonky? kind of cross-eyed, but straight-up his-pupils-are-pointed-at-each-other fucked up eyes. I spent an entire episode screaming “HOW CAN HE SEE?!” He also has a super-pinched face, which makes me think he’s a bit too haughty for someone who’s walleyed. Really, that’s a critique that could be applied to pretty much all the judges (not the walleye bit, but the overly haughty part). These people are dog groomers (some simply show dogs). They’re not exactly saving the planet, here.

Another favourite of mine is Jay Rodriguez of Queer Eye fame. He’s such a great host. You can see the thoughts parading through his mind: What did I do to deserve this andThis is so dumb. He knows he’s better than this, but he’s trying not to let it show.

I have an intense love-hate relationship with reality programming. I love to hate it: I spend entire episodes laughing at the contestants and screaming about how painfully dumb they are. I have crafted whole arguments for eugenics based on episodes of America’s Next Top Model. And yet, I keep going back. I think it might be something like love. Sick, disturbed love.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Dear No One in Particular,

You may have noticed that I've added that uber-stalking tool, Twitter. I have no real reason, per se, to add yet another technical widget to my life, yet I did.

The appeal of Twitter, to me, is the fact that I can update with my beloved Crackberry. I love the idea of people answering the simple prompt "what are you doing?" and updating as the day goes along. So because I live for convenience, I'll be doing my obnoxious "daily life" posts via Twitter, and using the blog for longer, hopefully more thoughtful essays.

Here goes.


Rain rain, go away ... NOW.

Dear No One in Particular,

It's freaking raining. Not like a nice Oahu air-conditioning drizzle. No, it's pouring. There are puddles in the yard that look like kiddie-pools.

This sucks. So much for hitting up the pool.

Here's hoping it clears up.


P.S. I almost forgot: there was this hella scary accident/chase in town this morning. Apparently, the driver of a pickup truck was so overcome by road rage that he drove backwards along the freeway, chased another car and rammed it off the road. The truck-driver may or may not have chased the car-driver on foot. Honestly, I didn't see it; I was stupid enough to sit with my back to the road. Luckily, a tourist caught it on tape and told us the story. Totes watching the news tonight.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Captain's Log

Dear No One in Particular,

A short break from my Kauai vacay to update in bullet form. In the past 3 days, we have:

  • Visited the emergency room once.
  • Driven around the island twice.
  • Eaten some amazing meals, including taro hummus (!) sandwiches and Brazilian food.
  • Gotten really, really drunk.
  • Gotten really, really drunk within 10 feet of Pierce Brosnan.
  • Been woken up by roosters crowing.
  • Met two young siblings named Phoenix and Dayton (yes, really.)
  • Hiked 1/2 a mile of sandy beach at midday.
  • and I have gotten 2nd degree burns on my feet.
Not exactly the relaxing beach vacation I had in mind, but it's only our 3rd day here. Then again, it's only our 3rd day here, holy God why do these things happen to us.

Tomorrow: a short trip to a lovely nearby beach, a farmer's market (and hopefully liliko'i), shave ice, and a sunset dinner with drinks. And if we see Pierce again, all the better.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Delightfully refreshing!

Dear No One in Particular,

Ever since I found a review on Candy Blog, I've been obsessed with the new Indiana Jones Mint Crisp M&Ms. "Like a Girl Scout Thin Mint" -- who wouldn't love that?
I didn't think I'd be able to find a bag of them here in Hawaii, so I told my mother that all I wanted for my birthday was a bag of these limited edition candies.

Well, they proved to be quite elusive in Northern California as well, and I didn't hear about them for weeks after I first put the tap out to look for these. Finally, the Boy's Fabulous Cousin was able to find them at Target. Of course. The one megastore we don't have here. She promised to send us a couple of bags as well as whatever else struck her fancy in a belated-birthday care package. I heard from my mother a couple days after that, saying that she found them in Walgreens. Apparently, they hit shelves sometime late last week all over California.

I still hadn't seen them around here in Hawaii, so imagine my surprise when I found the medium bags in the good Safeway! Kind of on sale!* We picked up a couple bags and tore into them on the drive home.
And, hoo boy, are they tasty. I don't care much for the normal M&Ms (I can't remember the last time I ate one), but I loved the crispy version and maintain that they should bring them back for the American market. Anyway, the Mint Crisp M&Ms are pretty much like Candy Blog described: the chocolate isn't overly sweet, and coupled with the strength of the mint flavour and the lovely crunch of the M&M makes them delightfully refreshing. I think they're mintier than Thin Mints; they don't have the waxy sweetness of the cookie. The mint is nice and sharp, the chocolate adds a bit of sweet creaminess.

Really, really addictive stuff. If you can find some near you, pick up two bags. You won't regret it.

The Boy wants to freeze a bag** so I'll let you know how good it tastes cold and crispier.

Oh, also! Finals are done! I have one week off, and then I go back to school. No matter, I have a million chick-lit books to keep me company on the beach. I highly doubt I'll be thinking about school.


*2 for $7. Not really the cheapest candies, but better than paying the full price.
**He freezes everything. EVERYthing. Like loaves of bread and ears of corn. I wish I was joking.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Crazy Train

Dear No One in Particular,

Finals week is creeping ever closer, so blogging will be more and more infrequent. Not that it had any sort of schedule in the first place.

I've been taking the past couple of nights off, just to give my mind some rest. I've finished 2 finals, and have 4 to go, so every spare moment is treasured. I have a couple of reviews and rants at the ready, but no time to actually write up a post! Sadly, I probably won't have that time for a while, since after finals, I'm going on a mini-vacation (ok, not the sad part), only to go right back to school (sad part).

To hold my place here in the blogosphere:

-- Meiji Gummy Choco. These are made of crack, ya'll. I wish I could write a more eloquent review of these delicious candies, but I'm too busy freebasing entire tubes of them. I've tried the Strawberry version of them, and today picked up the mixed variety. While not all the flavours are winners, they're painfully addictive. I've had chocolate-covered gummis before, but those were incredibly -- and inedible-y -- disappointing. The Candy Blog has a wonderful review of these bite-size wonders -- it's far better written than anything I could write.

-- I've blogged about my love for Step It Up and Dance before, but I think it bears repeating. I have this terrible relationship with reality TV, and man, talent shows are something else. I'm still not completely in love with the show -- it hasn't stolen my heart from So You Think You Can Dance. Recently, I've become OBSESSED with lindy hop videos. I'm thinking of proposing soon, granted they drop the restraining order. NOTHING CAN STOP OUR LOVE, LINDY HOP.