Friday, May 30, 2008


For whatever reason, reading and learning about drug addiction is fascinating to me. I am a huge fan of Intervention because it is so rich in information since you see teh addicts first-hand account. Who knows why. I think it's just crazy to get inside their mind and see their lives become consumed with a subtance. It rules their lives. It's just crazy for me to conceive that happening.

For that reason, I was a sucker to pick up the memoir Broken by William Cope Moyers when it was in a sale bin. I just finished reading it, and it wasn't too terrible of a read. He is a recovering crack addict and alcoholic, basically jumping from one drug to the next from his teenage years and even into his marriage with children. He would skip out of work days on end, binging on crack in a dirty crackhouse in the city and forgetting about his family. I can't even imagine being that tied to something so artificial that it would pry me from people that I love. Addiction is a powerful thing.

The book wasn't that bad, not too hard to get through, but redundant at times. I felt like it went on a little bit longer than it should, but it did have some really powerful scenes in there that really made you think about addiction and the control it takes over someone. I wanted to read it because I've never read or seen anything about crack addiction from an addict's mind, so this gave me a small window into the world of it. Josh Kilmer-Purcell wrote a memoir where his lover was a crack addict, but that was from an outside perspective. Now that is one dirty substance no one should ever touch. I'll always remember when Purcell talks about his eyes raging like a rabid animal. He had this rage and energy that scared him. That's frightening.

Moyers talked a lot about having daddy issues--dealing with the impact of his father's success and he felt like he could never measure up. He was one of President Johnson's right-hand men; now he really is a powerful guy in the world. He felt like he never deserved anything handed to him. I bet that could slowly destroy you, but I don't know. Never been there. Never known anyone who really dealt with that. Doesn't mean it's not true.

The memoir had a lot of journals and letters, texts from the actual experience. If I ever wrote a memoir (and published it), I would do the same thing. I think it adds layers, real layers, from the actual account. It doesn't get more raw than that.

One thing I really enjoy is the picture on the cover. It's a picture taken for a magazine of his successful family, and he is trying to climb out the window. He said he always felt that he needed to escape, even as a child, and I think that idea really ties into the whole theme of his memoir. Really intelligent insertion there.

Has anyone read the book? What did you think of it? Or any comments on crack or addiction?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mason Jennings

Do you like music with that acoustic sound? A guy and a guitar creating some cool beats that you could relax to? Mason Jennings is your man.

Recently, I've been absorbing myself with as many of his songs as I can get ahold of. His talent is so raw, so unique. He has this folk sound to him--a little bit Dylan-esqeue with talent but without the twangy voice. Sometimes he plays harmonica like Dylan, but he doesn't compare talent-wise or lyric-writing-wise. He just reminds me of him as a young guy starting out. (Check out "Crush the Pill" or "Crown" if you disagree).

I checked him out because he's playing at Bonnaroo, and now I can't contain myself. This guy is so talented, even underrecognized if you ask me. I see big things for this guy. He's that good.

If you're interested, check out some of these songs: "California," "Darkness between the Fireflies," "If You Need a Reason," "Dr. King," "Keepin' It Real," "Lemon Grove Avenue," "Ballad for My One True Love," or "Living in the Moment." If you want to watch him perform on YouTube, check him out playing "Fighter Girl," "Butterfly," or "Be Here Now."

What songs do you like by Mason Jennings? Why do you like/dislike him?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Polar Bears

If anyone has seen Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth, then you are aware that polar bears are facing a threat of extinction in the upcoming years.

How can this be? Why now? Well, there are a few factors.

First of all, global warming is hurting and changing their enviornment so significantly that it's hindering their rate of survival. In a nutshell, artctic temperatures have risen so much that polar ice caps are melting. Polar bears rest on these ice caps and hunt for their food on them, so without these ice structures, polar bears are either drowning because they are so exhausted from swimming or they are unable to hunt for their food, AKA starvation. Researchers predict that, at the rate of Arctic ice melting, by 2030, we will have no more ice in the Arctic. I don't doubt it.

Next, the Bush administration has been drilling for oil in their natural habitat, again interfering with their environment and altering its natural setting.

In 2005, a petition to save endangered species, specifically polar bears, was filed, but it wasn't acted upon until this year, 2008. It's becoming a bit late at this point, but better late than never.

Scientists have not yet commented on the decreased population number of the species, but they have released that body rates and reproductive rates of polar bears has significantly declined.

It saddens me to think that our destruction, gluttony, and non-action is causing a species we all know to just slowly disappear. When something happens gradually, its disappearance isn't noticed as much. Too abrupt an incident, like a hurricane or terrorist attack, gains more attention.

My friend who lives out in San Fransisco said they have been airing an awareness ad on television to promote awareness of the potential extinction. She says the ad features a child asking his mom if they can go to the zoo to see polar bears. His mom responds, "I hope so." I hope so too. How can we just let this happen? If we let them die, then other species will be effected. Seals and fish will overpopulate. It will deeply impact the ecosystem. We've already ruined it enough already, why keep perpetuating this problem?

So, what do you think of this polar bear crisis?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Am Legend

I Am Legend was a blockbuster hit a summer ago. But, I waited until it came out on video to check this sci-fi thriller out. So now, here is my chance to kind of ramble on about it.

Will Smith did an excellent job portraying a scientist who is one of the last men on earth after a virus strain leaks through the world and kills off most of the population, turning them into zombies. Now, I was kind of skeptical to begin with since there are SO MANY zombie movies. Not all are even noteworthy. 28 Days Later was done very well. Great film. I can't think of another one that was worth watching again or mentioning here.

The movie did such a great job that I felt tense and scared the whole time. I felt so creepy and eerie that I wanted to get up and leave at points. I had this overwhelmingly weird feeling--a sign of a powerful movie.

I love the insertion of "Three Little Birds" and "Every little thing is gonna be alright" by Bob Marley. I love the insertion of music into books and movies. I feel like it makes the plot so much more dense. It gave this uplifting tone to the movie, that despite all, everything CAN be all right. Very strange juxtaposition though of Bob Marley, a pot-smoking raggae lover, and Will Smith and a zombie movie. It works though. Good choice.

Anyway, I thought it was well done. I'm sure the book was fantastic too. What I would like to comment on is this: Imagine that you're in Will Smith's spot. You wake up every day, knowing that every person you ever knew is dead, celebrities, family, friends, everyone, and you just keep living even though you are chased by zombies EVERY day. They chase you because they want to eat you and turn you into a zombie. You go through the motions just to survive, and in his case, to fix the problem. But for most of us, we're not scientists who can find the cure to change the world.

If you were in Will Smith's shoes, what would you do? Is it worth it to stay alive?

I know I'm sounding like a downer here, but I don't really see the point. I think life is beautiful--this earth is filled with so many different joys and experiences that make life worth living. But at that point, when everyone is dead, you have to fight for every ounce of food and shelther, running from zombies (and I am terrified of being chased), is life really worth it at that point? When he curls up in that bathtub with his dog and listens to the zombies preying on anything alive--that makes me think, what's the point? I'd be scared shitless. Screw that.

So what do you think you would do? I know it's hard to put yourself in that kind of situation, but I'm trying to be honest and realistic here. Movies make us think about ourselves in a situation, so I'm turning the tables on a very bizarre idea from this book turned movie. What do you think?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tom Green

Where did Tom Green go? Or a better question, who remembers the hype of Tom Green?

I remember being an absolute fanatic of his MTV spoof show, The Tom Green Show, which consisted his acts of assaulting people on the street to act like a complete ass. But that was hilarious. Especially to teenagers like myself.

But, The Tom Green Show aired in 1999 to 2001, and then again when his new show aired, The New Tom Green Show, it seems as if he disappeared. He was a cult classic, becoming so popular that he got small-time roles in films like Road Trip, Freddy Got Fingered, and Charlie's Angels. After that, where did he go?

Or, do we just think he disappeared because he left MTV? I don't watch MTV anymore myself, but he just seems to have left the public eye once his show got cancelled and he won his short stint with testicular cancer. Was his humor too strange to last or could he still prevail?

Well, I've done a bit of research via my favorite search engine besides Google, Wikipedia, and I have learned that he is still in the entertainment industry. He hosts a late night show called Tom Green's House Tonight on radio. I wonder how one could hear it if they wanted to? Does anyone know?

What else that I did not know was that Green got his start in entertainment through rap. Yes, Tom Green was a rap artist. He was in two groups, one called Organized Rhyme and the other called the Keeping it Real Cru. I could never see Tom Green doing rap. How could we take him seriously? He's such a goofball and a total white boy from Canada. Come on now. I love the guy, but rap? It wouldn't work.

Well, at least now he's still doing what he loves--making people laugh out of being an ass and making fun of himself. But, I do need to comment that I always felt bad for his good friend Glen Humplik who was always the center of his jokes. Glen was the perfect guy to beat on though. He is an average guy, too average, and he just took everything from Tom for entertainment purposes. Kind of pathetic, but we all laughed. Let's face it.

I started thinking of Tom Green today because, for whatever reason, "The Bum Bum Song" entered my head. I realized that I could recite certain verses of the song, and I could remember the parts of the music video that corresponded with it. Watch it here.

What else is crazy is that the guy had a brief marriage with Drew Barrymore which I watched live when it happened on SNL. That's history. I'm not surprised it didn't last, but it just shows how popular he was at the brink of the 2000s.

What I like about Tom Green is that his skits tried to disrupt mainstream culture. People get so mad when he intervenes in their lives. It's hilarious just to see how people react to something abnormal. Genius.

So, what skits did you like of Tom Green, or did you not like him at all? Honestly, I loved the ones where he was bandaged on crutches and fell all over the place. He was the original of those skits; Jackass came next! I also liked his caramels bit when he was a hick at the mattress store. And the finale of all: his stint with Monica Lewinski and the hand bags. Absolutely hilarious.

Tom Green: yay or nay? Why?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Diet Coke is poison?

So I have a slight concern as of late. A good friend of mine, a smart friend of mine who just recently graduated from Geneso, revealed some shocking information that I can't just turn my head on. I consider her smarter than myself, and for her to be telling me this information which she says she learned at Geneseo, a good school, it's hard for me not to think about it a little bit.

She advised me not to drink Diet Coke. Why? Because it contains aspartame.

For those of you who do not know anything about aspartame, like me, it is the additive that makes the product diet. But, when the ingredient is left at room temperature, as Coke products are when they are shipped to various selling points, the aspartame breaks down into formaldehyde, methyl alcohol, formic acid, diketopiperazine and other toxins. So basically, in a nutshell, when you drink Diet Coke, you are drinking poisons.

She said to me, Did you ever drink a cup of Diet Coke at a picnic where the bottle had been sitting in the sun all day and it tasted a little fuzzy? That's formaldehyde. You can taste it in warm Coke. Once the Coke turns luke warm, the poison is in there. It can't be reversed.

Now, I heard this and I wasn't really convinced. I still ordered a Diet Coke the next time I went to a restaurant. I think my problem is that people aren't dying from this. This isn't being linked to any known diseases (well, yet anyway) so the threat isn't so severe. I mean, what's the worst that can happen?

I hate when people get too uptight about eating and drinking foods that are spoiled or poisonous. I'm really not that uptight. I eat brown bananas and food that fell on the floor (hell, I ate a sandwich that landed on the gravel the other day. That's pretty gross but I won't die from it. I'm hungry). I think America sometimes overexaggerates or freaks out a bit too much--sometimes it's good to ingest a little bacteria or problems because then your body creates a tolerance or isn't as weak because they've been exposed to negative things. Now, I don't try that on purpose. It just comes naturally. But I've never consciously made the decision before, i.e. not drinking Diet Coke because it's "poison."

I rarely drink soda anyway. I know it's bad for you. I drink it spraringly, as I was taught in Health class. (Top of the food pyramid). Soda dehydrates you and sucks the calcium out of your bones. It's a good treat though on occasion. I mean come on, we're Americans here. Coca Cola is America.

But, when you go to drink soda, Diet is so much healthier (less sugar and carbs). Regular soda is so thick and heavy, too sweet. I have trained myself away from it. So what do I do now knowing that Diet Coke is formaldehyde? I still reach for it. I can't go for regular. It's sickeningly sweet and fatty. I'm torn.

This website has an argument against Diet Coke. Check it out if you want more info.

So what do you think? I'm torn. I mean, is it really that bad for you? Regular or diet? What is one to do?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cosmopolitan Greetings

Perhaps this will be my first of a few Allen Ginsberg poems I will have in my blog. For a school project, our assignment was to select a poet to study. I chose Ginsberg as my study, and now I am becoming absorbed in his life. What I did not know about the guy is that he coined the term "flower power." What a sick influence he had.

Anyway, this is my first poem selection. More to come.

Cosmopolitan Greetings

Stand up against governments, against God.
Stay irresponsible.
Say only what we know & imagine.
Absolutes are Coercion.
Change is absolute.
Ordinary mind includes eternal perceptions.
Observe what’s vivid.
Notice what you notice.
Catch yourself thinking.
Vividness is self-selecting.
If we don’t show anyone, we’re free to write anything.
Remember the future.
Freedom costs little in the U.S.
Asvise only myself.
Don’t drink yourself to death.
Two molecules clanking us against each other require an observer to become
scientific data.
The measuring instrument determines the appearance of the phenomenal
world (after Einstein).
The universe is subjective..
Walt Whitman celebrated Person.
We are observer, measuring instrument, eye, subject, Person.
Universe is Person.
Inside skull is vast as outside skull.
What’s in between thoughts?
Mind is outer space.
What do we say to ourselves in bed at night, making no sound?
“First thought, best thought.”
Mind is shapely, Art is shapely.
Maximum information, minimum number of syllables.
Syntax condensed, sound is solid.
Intense fragments of spoken idiom, best.
Move with rhythm, roll with vowels.
Consonants around vowels make sense.
Savour vowels, appreciate consonants.
Subject is known by what she sees.
Others can measure their vision by what we see.
Candour ends paranoia.

I have notebooks filled with poems or thoughts like this. Random stream of consciousness that fill up lines like this. Random insight flows and trickles in, sending you messages from your unconscious that can be really deep and meaningful. I appreciate each line here.

What do you think of this poem?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lame: The Hills or Speed Racer?

Alright, I need to vent about what I find lame.

Does anyone read Rolling Stone as avidly as I do? If so, perhaps this blog post is a little late, but I still need to let it out of my system. Last month, Rolling Stone featured the girls from MTV's reality show, The Hills, on their cover. Ahem. How? Why? I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one. This month, they come out with the Eagles on the cover. How do you go from The Hills to The Eagles? Will someone explain that to me?

Okay. I understand that our sad nation is slowly becoming addicted to trashy reality shows. It's inevitable. What can we do to stop this growing beast? Practically nothing. We're drawn to trash. Look at Jerry Springer. It's still on the air. They still have new episodes. Enough said.

Also, I know that MTV has been going down in the past few years as well. The channel is now more concerned with reality shows more than the music itself. MUSIC TELEVISION hardly seems an appropriate title for the channel. They cut down videos and only air them from 1AM to 5AM! Hardly noteable. But now MTV is consumed with these strange reality shows about rich girls from California. I just don't get it. I mean, they have everything they want, and now daddy bought them a reality show too? It's just sick!

I get that MTV jumped on this bandwagon. Teenagers want to fantasize about a better life than their own. Living in California with an open credit card is not a bad life. But I can't believe that Rolling Stone picked this up. I consider them a credible source! I dropped the magazine when I saw it. It looked like some porno magazine with them all flashing their skin in a promiscuous way. How dare they stoop to the level of MTV! How dare they!

Now listen, I know they went this way when they published a feature article on Britney. But at least that article was informative and explained the tragedy of a pop star. That has to do with the music industry. How does this connect? I just don't see the connection. Are they looking for sales? What is it? Then they come out with the Eagles--something I would expect of them. It just doesn't fit together like two puzzle pieces.

And, on a new note, I must add my concerns with Emile Hirsch. He puts out this fabulous breakthrough performance with Into the Wild, and then he sells himself out with Speed Racer. Are you kidding me? You work this hard for street cred and then throw it all away on a cheesy kid's flick? You've gotta be kidding me. I don't know which is more lame.

So now I've got it all out of my system. It's all lame. A lame sandwich. A sandwich that makes me sick. Blah.

So what did you think of the Rolling Stone issue featuring the Hills? Or, what do you think of Emile Hirsch's transition to Speed Racer? Which is more lame?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dr. Maya Angelou

Last night, Dr. Maya Angelou spoke at the Palace Theater in Albany. Of course, I was in attendance, especially because my Literature of the Oppressed class is currently in the middle of an African American literature unit. It couldn't have fallen more perfectly.

Angelou is an amazing story-telling and speaker, but I guess one would have to be if one was a best-selling author and popular novelist. The way that she portrays people in speech is so fine-tuned, so right on; I felt like I could see, know, and understand the people she was describing when she spoke about them. She could even impersonate dialogue well too!

Even though she is aging, she still could captivate an audience by sitting down in a chair. I don't think I could be that interesting by just sitting in a chair on a giant stage. Impressive quality.

Angelou repeatedly sung this one refrain at various durations during her performance. It was a chorus of "rainbows in the clouds," an optismistic way to look at life. She did offer much advice to the crowd; she taught the crowd that everyone is paid for, and we should pay it forward to someone because you never know how greatly that one act of kindness will have on that person. She was greatly influenced by her Uncle Willie who taught her to love to learn as well as her teacher Mrs. Flowers who supplied her books that inspired her to love literature. She said something along the lines of, "She had no idea who I would become," and that really struck me. You never know who anyone is going to become. You never know the influence you hold over others. Why not perform random acts of kindness then for all, for we never know who anyone will ever become.

What I did not know about Dr. Angelou was that she speaks about four different languages and teaches in some of them. She has many doctorates (how does she do it!?) and is a professor at Wake Forest University. I would LOVE to have her as a professor! AND, what most astonished me, was the fact that she has so many poems memorized! She recited two Paul Laurence Dunbar poems and one Shakespeare poem, not to mention some of her own. I can't even remember what I said yesterday, let alone reciting a poem verbatim. Again, impressive.

Her stories were so moving that she was brought to tears. She has this powerful persona that draws you to her words. Also, she told hilarious stories of being mobbed by fans. I could imagine that she would be, but it's funny to hear her talk about people shoving babies in her arms, pilots speaking with her as the plane starts its flight, people poking her and yelling at her in the airport. So now she doesn't fly. I don't blame her.

Angelou concluded with the poem she wrote for the United Nations, a powerfully long poem that meant so much to her. Her words inspire me to want to create and respond to the world. One can have many professions, as does she. Overall, she is extraordinarily inspiring.

What are our thoughts on Dr. Maya Angelou? Has anyone read any of her works and poems? I have only have the joy to read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and a couple poems. What should I read? Has anyone seen her speak? How was she?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Candy, Heath Ledger's last movie, was quite a dramatic performance. Being that I am such a strong lover of independent films, I checked out his latest indie film, Candy, and felt as awkward and strange after it as when one watches Requiem for a Dream.

Candy is about a couple who turn their good, healthy, loving relationship into a drug-induced nightmare. The movie is based on a book which separates the piece into three parts: heaven, earth, and hell. Obviously, heaven starts out when everything is workable and good. They can drown out in heroin and still get away with things. They pawn what they steal and make love--everything seems fine. Then, in earth, their lives start to spiral down. They start prostitution and live in pretty terrible condition. The viewer can see the physical deterioration taking place in the couple because of their lifestyle and the drugs.

Candy is a nice play on words, because the main character's name is Candy, which alludes to the fact that Heath's character was addicted to the girl and the drug. Drugs can become like a partner in the relationship, unable to break away from the destruction or damage caused. Intelligent connection the author created.

The film is also very artistic and focuses a lot on the artist corrupted by drug addiction. I do think many amazing artists were and are under the influence of drugs, but some cannot handle it. Some are ruined by it. This movie is an example of the negative influence of drugs on the artist, how it used to help create but then leads to the end of creation because of over-consumption.

Some plot details really didn't match up for me though. I mean, I can see how a girl from a good, prosperous family could turn into a prostitute who is hooked on hard drugs. They set it up that her mother mentally destroyed her from the need to be perfect, so she strayed the be the opposite. Drugs were an escape until they became her life. I could see how a family would take them in or help them, but maybe once they become wrapped up in the drug circle, all options look hopeless.

Certain things I have been learning about drug addiction through various research (i.e. documentaries, memoirs, novels, textbooks, and from friends) is that the drug can become one's life. Nothing else matters. It is what they can depend on, the thing that is always there and always makes them feel better. It's what they know, and change is hard to initiate.

I just can't believe how far people will continue to slip into the drug, no matter how devastating the effect on the body or the life itself. Candy, Heath's girlfriend, loses a baby because she can't kick her habit. They hold the tiny baby in their hands, way premature, and they still continue to do drugs even though they have killed a life. They sell their bodies for it. Their bodies become weak and frail, and they lose teeth and color in their skin. It's just insane how far one will go. They ignore all the warning signs and just keep going down and down and down. It's depressing to watch.

But, this is the truth. Drugs were and are prevalent in America as they are in other countries. It seems that in the 60s, we had acid. In the 70s, we had marijuana. In the 80s, we had coke. In the 90s, we had crack. In the 00s, we have meth. Heroin was always around in there somewhere. There's always a popular drug, but this is going towards a chemically-based dependency. The progression of the drug trend is scary--these are becoming dangerous and unhealthy. It's scary to see where we'll be in the 10s.

Anyway, I was blown away by Heath's last performance. It's kind of sad that this is the way he went out, even though he did a fantastic job portraying a hopeless drug addict. I bet this role would lead some to think about his lifestyle having to do with his questionable death. I don't think the role coinsides with his death, but it surely is a last tragic performance. Well done Heath. He went out on a bang, if you ask me.

What did you think of Candy? Or even, Heath Ledger's abrupt passing?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jimmy Fallon

Has anyone heard about who is going to replace Conan O'Brien on Late Night? The news is out; it's Jimmy Fallon.

Since Conan will be taking over Leno's spot at 11:30 on his late-night talk show on NBC, an opening lies for a new host. After much deliberation, NBC has selected SNL alum Jimmy Fallon who once dominated the show before his premature leave to pursue an embarassing short-lived movie career.

Smart move?

Now don't get me wrong. I like Fallon. I think he's a funny guy. He does well in skits, minus the fact that he can't hold in his laughter--something he should have learned along his quests in SNL. He doesn't work well as a lead in movies, or maybe he just chose terrible flicks to create. I am just wondering if he can hold a solo show by himself as the main attraction. I wish him well.

Maybe I am so skeptical because I am such a fan of Conan. I don't know who else could replace him that would make me happy. My friend said, "So who else would you want then if not Jimmy?" Well, it's better than Carson Daly. I'll admit that. Fallon is a decent choice then, I suppose.

Fallon appeared on Conan when it was announced and he says he is nervous. I don't blame him. He has big shoes to fill.

What do you think of Jimmy Fallon on Late Night? Good/bad decision? Who else would have been a good choice?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Nickelodeon Quiz

For any of you who were into old school Nickelodeon shows, especially many from my last post, take this quiz that tells you which show you are. Do it here.

I just took the quiz right now, and apparently I am Clarissa Explains It All. I don't really see myself matching up too closely with Melissa Joan Hart, but I guess we're basically twins. I guess it could be that I like art, creatvity, thrift stores, and I had a little brother... Not that close.

Other shows that could be you are the following: Doug, Wild and Crazy Kids, You Can't Do that on Television, Are You Afraid of the Dark? or Salute Your Shorts.

If you took the quiz, which one are you? Does it match up? What other shows should they have put instead of others?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Old Nickelodeon Shows

Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with old school Nickelodeon shows from the 90s. I wouldn't consider myself a TV junkie, but I used to watch a lot of TV shows whenever it was not nice outside. For upstate New York, that occurs quite frequently.

I wish that networks would pick up these old shows and re-air them. Can we start a petition somehow? I know GAS has picked up a lot of game shows (i.e. Double Dare, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Guts, Nick Arcade) and Noggin has All That and Kenan and Kel, but can't they air some of the better shows? My brother and I both have Salute Your Shorts and Are you Afriad of the Dark? We bought those from bootlegs on eBay. They're amazing, but they have some difficulties playing.

And remember Stick Stickley? When he used to spin around the wheel and we would get a shot to choose the next show on? So simple yet so amazing! Remember his address? My friend Ang does. "Write to me, Stick Stickley..."

Anyway, I think we should petition these back on the air.

This is my tribute to those amazing shows. Here are the good ones:


The Secret World of Alex Mac
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Salute Your Shorts
Clarissa Explains It All
Space Cases
All That
Kenan and Kel
The Adventures of Pete and Pete
Hey Dude
My Brother and Me
The Journey of Alan Strange
The Secret Files of Shelby Woo
David the Gnome
Eureka's Castle
The Adventures of Tin Tin
Allegra's Window

Game shows:

Double Dare
What Would You Do?
Wild and Crazy Kids
Nick Arcade
Figure It Out
Get the Picture
You Can't Do That on Television
Legends of the Hidden Temple


Ah! Real Monsters
Rocko's Modern Life
The Angry Beavers
The Wild Thornberrys
Ren and Stimpy

Which do you miss? Which was your favorite?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Celebrity Jeopardy

Yesterday I blogged about Jeopardy, but I couldn't move on unless I mentioned Celebrity Jeopardy from SNL. Being the huge fan that I am, I can't normally think of the regular show without the spinoff. This is my tribute to the excellent sketch.

Watch every episode that you want on this one website. They're absolutely hilarious.

As I said in the last post, Will Ferrell plays a funny Trebek--not accurate by any means--but the persona he takes on is funny because he's such a wuss who is always taken over by his arch nemesis, Sean Connery, AKA Darrell Hammond. Connery always tosses out some pretty raunchy jokes about Trebek's mother, or he creates obscene drawings on his Final Jeopardy round. There's always a new surprise, something funny.

I want to know, who are your favorite contestants?

Dean Edwards as Chris Tucker
Jimmy Fallon as Adam Sandler, Nicolas Cage, French Stewart, Robin Williams, Dave Matthews, and Hilary Swank
Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek
Ana Gasteyer as Martha Stewart
Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery, Phil Donahue, and John Travolta
Norm Macdonald as Burt Reynolds
Amy Poehler as Sharon Osbourne
Horatio Sanz as Ozzy Osbourne
Molly Shannon as Minnie Driver
Kenan Thompson as Bill Cosby
Drew Barrymore as Calista Flockhart
David Duchovny as Jeff Goldblum
Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek
John Goodman as Marlon Brando
Lucy Liu as Catherine Zeta-Jones
Norm Macdonald as Burt Reynolds
Tobey Maguire as Keanu Reeves
Matthew Perry as Michael Keaton
Winona Ryder as Björk
Martin Short as Jerry Lewis
Ben Stiller as Tom Cruise
Reese Witherspoon as Anne Heche

Which is your favorite intential screw-up?

The rapists (Therapists)
An album cover (Anal bum cover)
The condom thing (Condiments)
Ape tit (Apetit dejeneur)
S-words (Swords)
Penis Mightier (The pen is mightier)
Horse semen (Horse men)

Which episode is your favorite?

SNL was really hot during the years where Celebrity Jeopardy ran. It had Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri, Molly Shannon, Derrell Hammond, Dana Carvey, Norm McDonald (before he was fired, but he was an AWESOME Burt Reynolds), Jimmy Fallon, Ana Gasteyer, to name a few. They were so good in the 90s. Sigh.

What do you think of SNL? Any of the above questions?

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Jeopardy: a classic game show in America. Wheel of Fortune works the same way. They have been staples of early evening television for as long as I can remember in my twenty two years of life. Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak have held these jobs for a long time, and the popularity of the show sticks.

Anyway, I caught the show last night, and I had a few ideas circulating around my head. Is it just me, or does anyone else feel old when they watch it? I don't mean to offend anyone, but game shows (like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune) are definitely airing to that older retired demographic. They air at an early time when they eat, and they've been around. Other game shows are targeted at other demographics (i.e. newer reality game shows and other intellectual games). I just think someone hits a different level of watching the show when they bring Jeopardy questions up in regular conversation. "Oh, in Jeopardy last night they asked a question about that country!" Then you kind of know that it's reached a new level.

But I won't lie, when I get a question right, I feel like a million bucks. Hell, I am not near as smart to make it on that show as other Harvard grads who normally stand behind those booths. I am only the shouting state school grad on the couch shouting out every answer and getting less than 10% right, if that at all. I get all excited when they have categories I could potentially get (like Literary Figures or American History). But some of these questions, we'll NEVER use in any other context. The stupid information we pack into our little minds. At least Jeopardy contestants put it to good use. Make some money out of it.

I can't end this post without making a comment about Alex Trebek. Man is he pompous. He pronounces the words like he's a native speaker of the language, and he acts like he knew every answer to every question he asks. There's no WAY that that man is as smart as he comes off. Come on Trebek. Who do you think you're fooling? I know that Will Ferrell didn't get an 100% impression of you down, but he was pretty hysterical.

I saw Trebek on Conan O'Brien once, and his arrogant attitude reflected there too. He has a very young, attractive wife (who's surprised?) and he just seemed to be boasting and full of himself. I mean, whatever, the guy makes a lot of money and has a good job; I'll give him that. I just don't think he needs to act like Mr. Smart Guy, someone I do not believe he is.

And one more question: If you were a contestant on the show, what would your little snipit be when they introduce who you are? I think it's interesting to see the little stories that they choose to talk about themselves, even if it's just for a minute or so. Some are kind of embarassing. I think, really? Of all the things you could talk about yourself, you chose that? Kind of weird. What would you choose?

What do you think about Jeopardy?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What Teachers Make

When I was completing my undergraduate degree to become a teacher, my classmates showed me this slam poet, Taylor Mali, performing "What Teachers Make." If you are a teacher, it's inspirational. It was helpful for us beginners who put so much work into class and didn't really get too much time in the classroom using our own materials.

Months later, I actually am using my own materials in the classroom, and it's terrifying and exciting all at the same time. I want it to be fun yet educational. Anyway, if anyone ever feels discouraged or upset from teaching, play this poem or read it below. Listening and watching him perform it is way more powerful, so I would suggest that, so give it a go. It's worth the time.

Watch it here. Here are the words:

"What Teachers Make, or
Objection Overruled, or
If things don't work out, you can always go to law school"

He says the problem with teachers is, "What's a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"
He reminds the other dinner guests that it's true what they say about
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the other dinner guests
that it's also true what they say about lawyers.

Because we're eating, after all, and this is polite company.

"I mean, you¹re a teacher, Taylor," he says.
"Be honest. What do you make?"

And I wish he hadn't done that
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy
about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven't called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
Billy said, "Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?"
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this (the finger).

Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! What about you?

What do you think of his poem?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Crop Circles

I'm sure we're all familiar with crop circles from our culture or from the popular of the movie Signs. What is your theory behind them: are they man-made hoaxes, extra-terrestrial, or something else?

May 5, 2008 was the last siting of a crop circle in Tennessee. They always look similar: they are triangular, irregular, or intricate shapes and designs imbedded in crops. They are formed overnight, and there really is no explanation to how they are completed.

When I heard about the recent crop circle, I did a small bit of research on the topic. I was curious as to how long these have been spotted around the world. The earliest crop circle was documented in 1678. They believed it was done by the devil, a sign of the devil. Today, experts have done expirements on them to determine whether or not they are formed by humans or not. Some tests have shown that they would be impossible to be made by humans in the short span of time, with the precision, and with machines. Definitely a debatable topic.

Obviously, if you believe if "aliens" exist, then you might think they have a hand in the matter. If not, you must think it's all a big hoax. Honestly, I believe that it's pretty egotistical and ethnocentric to believe that we are the only living species in the ENTIRE universe. There HAS to be something out there. I mean, I don't think they're going to hurt us or anything like they do in the movies. I think the movies have it all wrong. They've killed the stereotype. If they were going to hurt us, they would have already. I believe they must have more intelligent technology and means for travel. I bet they've been here and I bet they've made these crop circles. I bet there are people out there who would argue heavily against me, and that's fine, we're all entitled to our beliefs. I just think it has to be something more intricate than mankind. I don't know what, but it's definitely something.

That's my two cents on "aliens," or whatever they are. And crop circles. That too.

So what do you think of crop circles? What causes them, do you think?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dangerous Pedestrians

Why do pedestrians run, bike, or walk in the road?

You know what I'm talking about. They are either a bit inside, outside, or just over the solid line that defines your lane of traffic. Why do they have to be so close?

My problem is when there is a sidewalk designated far from the road and pedestrians still choose to bike, walk, or run on the road. Do they want to get killed? Do they want to start an accident? I understand that the road is better paved than the sidewalk, but it's not safe to dance with traffic as you work out. Come on people.

My heart skips when I see these people because the last thing I want to do in my day is injure a person. I don't want any trouble. But some of these people take up so much room! I have to almost do a complete lane shift just to avoid them. I find it to be a hassle and a huge problem.

Does anyone else agree with me, or does someone believe the opposite and think that it's great that people are working out?

(I do think people should work out more, but don't choose busy streets! Come on people.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


For those interested in poetry, and especially those English teachers out there, check out, a website dedicated to poets and poems. On the website, it includes poet bios, poems themselves, and more, but the BEST feature is actual audio footage of poets reciting their poems. I have used this in the classroom before, and the students really enjoyed it. Check it out. It's worth your time.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Human Footprint

I don't normally watch National Geographic, but this special, The Human Footprint, really intrigued me. Since I am so interested in global warming and overconsumption in America, this show was absolutely fascinating, and pretty disturbing as well.

The Human Footprint shows how much an average human being consumes throughout the course of an average lifespan, 77.9 years. The point of the study is to show how much just one person contributes to this earth. When so many people say "I don't know what to do to help this global warming problem," even cutting down on little things could help. If everyone cut back a little, as you will see, we can really make some change and perhaps help this planet that is suffering because of our destruction to its natural environment.

Look at these staggering statstics:

In the course of a lifetime, a human being will consume or use...

-3,796 diapers (1,898 pints of crude oil, 715 lbs of plastic, 4.5 trees)
-13.056 pints of milk
-2.5 tons of beef or 5 average-sized cows
-1.7 tons of pork or 6 150 lb pigs
-2.3 tons of chicken or 1,423 chickens
-1.3 tons of eggs or 19.826 eggs
-9,917 lbs of potatoes or 20,000 potatoes
-4,376 loaves of bread or 87,000 slices
-5,542 hot dogs
-14,598 candy bars or 12 cart fulls (this adds 1,056 lbs to a person)
-11,196 apples
-5,067 bananas
-12,888 oranges
-29,700 lbs of garbage
-43,371 cans of soda

-28,433 showers
-700,000 gallons of water
-156 toothbrushes
-389 tubes of toothpaste
-656 bars of soap
-198 bottles of shampoo
-272 sticks of deoderant
-35 bottles of hair styling gel
-37 bottles of perfume
-50 tubes of lipstick
-1,277,043 gallons of water we will use (equivalent to leaving the water spout on for a year and nine months)
-567,575 gallons of sewage
-64 tons of aluminum and plastic from bottles/cans
-68 lbs of clothes thrown away/year
-48 new pieces of clothes/year
-$1,000 on clothes/year
-$52,972 spent on clothing (men)
-35 billion loads of laundry/year
-560 gallons of water
-13,248 beers
-942 bottles of wine
-5 refrigerators
-7 air conditioners
-10 TVs
-15 computers
-8 microwaves
-7 washing machines
-12.5 years of TV watched
-22,000 kilowatts of electricity from TV watching
-412 books (43 trees)
-5,054 newspapers
-627,000 miles traveled in a lifetime (25 times around the earth)
-31,350 gallons of gas

Other facts:

-Diapers would circle the world 90 times for one baby to use diapers until age 2.5
-Humans eat 1,649,630,427 lbs of food every day
-2,000 cans of soda are opened every second
-500,000 trees just to send out every Sunday's paper
-265 million turkeys killed and eaten on Thanksgiving
-20,000 Christmas trees cut down/year
-30% of the world's cars are in the US

Most of these statistics made me cringe. I'm not surprised, but seeing the statistics are just insane. Look at how much one person impacts the world! We consume so much! It's ridiculous... Check out their website here.

So what do you think of these statistics?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Summer Games

I was walking through Target yesterday, and I couldn't help but browse through the childrens' game section. Some games are reminiscent of the past, others are new toys of a new generation.

Honestly, I must admit that this blog was inspired by one toy: skip it. Any child in the 90s will remember this bright pink toy. You stuck the end around your foot and skipped around to see how many you could do in a row (even though no one ever really counted--you just merely saw how long you could do it). Now the toy is called something else like "Hopper," but at least it's still around and marketed to children today.

I also wanted to comment on summers of the past, not to sound like an old lady or anything. I never was inside unless it was raining. We were always playing outside, inventing games or playing old school games that involved great physical activity. That's why I was so skinny growing up. I never sat still. I was always playing and running and moving--hardly was I behind a TV or computer. It's different today.

This blog post is a tribute to old school outdoor summer games:

Skip it
Capture the flag
Crocodile Mile
Playing with the sprinkler
Pool games
Annie over
Street hockey
Wiffle ball
Tree house
Imagination games
Pogo stick
Drawing with chalk
Hide and go seek
Ghost in the graveyard
Truth or dare
Red rover

What other games did you play growing up? What is your take on the change in playing behavior with the new generation?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Chalk Illusions

Yesterday when I was searching google images for optical illusions, I came across this really cool website of this artist who creates optical illusions with chalk on blacktop. He's really talented. These images are from this website, so check it out. Otherwise I'll just paste them below.

I wonder if he gets paid to do this, or where he discovered that he had this talent. It's not easy to create illusions like this. Where would one learn how to distort images like that? That's talent if you ask me. The artist's name is Julian Beever if you ever want to check him out.

All of these look real, but don't let them fool you: they're all chalk.

What do you think?