Sunday, September 28, 2008

Once a fan, always a fan...?

It's been several years since I hung up my "er fan club" tee and stopped watching what *was* one of the best shows on television. As original characters left (I don't think I'm the only one who skipped a day of high school after George Clooney's final episode?) and plot lines became more and more difficult to swallow (cue "Somewhere Over the Rainbow") and tolerate (Chen, I hated every word you ever uttered), I did the unthinkable and turned to Grey's in my hour of need. Despite missing the entire first season, I caught on pretty quickly and have happily given up my Thursday night DVR space (it becomes a tight race during spring sweeps) to Meredith and McDreamy. Over the years, I have tried to stop by County and catch up on what the staff is up to, but I missed a lot and couldn't work out most of the deets on my own. Abby's alcoholism, Pratt's position as CHIEF, and the fact that Morris hasn't killed over 100 people yet? None of these are things that I quite understood.

When I read that ER was embarking on its 15th and final season, I knew I had to recommit. Regardless of our breakup, the final season promises returns from old cast members (I will watched a million bloody surgeries for the chance to see Carter's face again) and explanations for lots of questions. Here's some discoveries that I made during this week's episode, which I finally viewed yesterday:

-- ER is way, way more bloody and gory than Grey's. In addition, there is about 5 minutes of plot advancement to every 45 minutes of impaled skulls, infected broken legs, or erupting neck tumors. Grey's has a much more 50/50 approach.
-- I have missed more than I thought. Pratt's storylines were always the most difficult for me to endure, so I was amiss to see that his BROTHER is now an ambulance driver/EMT and I would have to deal with 2 of them. Luckily (SPOILER ALERT), Pratt kicked it in episode one of this final season. Thank you, writers! You have me for another week!
-- There are lots of allusions to Abby and Kovac, but no actual Luka spotting as of yet. I thought they were getting married? I missed a *big* story here, so a fill-in would be much appreciated.
-- Neela is still the most. annoying. doctor. ever. I thought she left? I cannot look at her without thinking of Bend it Like Beckham.
-- Frank's still around, which I was happy about, but he was hitting the sauce harder than anyone else at Pratt's "remembrance" at Ike's. Potential future drinking problem?

And while we're talking about Uncle Jesse in scrubs , it reminds me that I haven't yet blogged about Aunt Becky's new show -- the new 90210. Or, as I've taken to calling it, "9021 -- OC". This show is more like the smash phenomenon that its original predecessor. In the pilot, there is a bonfire by the beach (just like the OC's pilot), where one kid yells "Welcome to Beverly Hills!", just like Luke spat "Welcome to the OC, bitch" when he first beat Ryan's ass to the ground. After the pilot, I found myself seriously readdressing my weight and wondering if I was a lot older than I feel (taking away "coffee money" is an actual punishment?). I was also a little disappointed at the INSANE number of references to the original show. I get it -- it's still West Beverly, the Peach Pit is still around (will always love Nat), but the adult plotlines need to diminish. I want more teenage sex and drug abuse, less reminiscing about Dylan (though am excited about a potential return) and Brandon. Did anyone catch that Andrea and Jesse's daughter Hannah was the news anchor of the school's news program? It's too much to comprehend! All in all, though, I am a slave to the CW, and I am loving this program. It might warrant its own blog, someday... when it runs 15 seasons like ER. Who's with me in re-watching the first 14 seasons before the May series finale? I'll bring the snacks!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Busy blogger.

What a busy couple of weeks it has been! Last Friday I headed up north for a much anticipated (and much blogged about) DLO reunion, country fest edition. You can read some fantastic and hilarious deets in Emily's blog, and even more on Lindsey's. A million wonderful things happened during the visit (obviously), one highlight being the purchase of a VERY elusive tee, and a plan to beg redemption from Dick's Sporting Goods for letting me down in a severe way.

Every time I go to visit Em and Linds, we cram what seems to be too much into about 52 hours. This time was no exception, but I think we all held up surprisingly well (special props to Em and Casey for tag-teaming the 1 am trip home from Indy). Friday night was Toby Keith, which was just really fun in general. We did a lot of slippery-slope careful dance moves in our boots while we wondered how many fifths of Jack TKeith had put down before the show. I won't go into the scary specific lyrics that were altered, but the number of references to sex, drugs, and nudity rivaled any episode of Springer I've ever seen. After the concert, the after party was held at Animations, a bar with a wood floor and a juke box (which was all I ever needed). There was lots of country music playing, draft beer drinking, and cowgirl stomping, followed by my demands for a closing time Skyline drop-in. All in all, a great kickoff to another great reunion.

Saturday morning was a little on the rough side. Not only am I not used to excess beer drinking and dancing for hours on end, I am *not* used to 2 am food binges. Lindsey was the champ of the morning, dragging my sorry ass to Target to purchase some matching homemade tanks for that night's main event: Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney at Lucas Oil. I managed to eek out some less-than-extraordinary pink tanks, and we started our trek to Indy. As always, my spirits were raised (difficult, since they were already sky-high) as we passed the state line and corn field after basketball hoop. We tailgated for a bit before the concert in what was basically a wind tunnel. Lindsey and I obviously couldn't pass up the chance for some Top Model practice:
The concert was un-be-lieveable. No doubt the greatest show I have *ever* seen. Gary Allan and LeAnn Rimes opened (Em and I screamed along to "Can't Fight the Moonlight" while Linds and Casey downed 24 oz. Coronas), then the stage was set for Kenny and Keith. At some point, the retractable roof and bay window in Lucas Oil was opened, and I was equally excited about that. A lot of pictures happened as I gallivanted around the stadium when we first got in, getting as excited about Honey Mustard and Ranch being offered at condiment stations as I was about recycling cans with horseshoes on them. Like a kid in a candy store, I was wide-eyed and filled with joy at everything I laid eyes on. Here is a highlight of an amazing wall advertisement for Sony HD:

The concert started at 4, and we left close to midnight. A not-so-quick stop at the Pro Shop (thank you to the staff there for staying open, and to my friends for staying with me!) and we were on our way back to Cinci.

Sunday morning we hit the Bengals game with plenty of time for t-gating, despite a 2 1/2 hour delay from original planned time (it was necessary). The windstorm that ensued there was insane, and I certainly felt I was to blame for bringing hurricane weather along with me. The storm resulted in a ton of power outages, and our resourcefulness as a group shone through when we found that Hooters in Kentucky was open (too bad we forgot to ask if their DirecTV was working). After dinner, we hit up Yagoot (I now want to own a franchise) and chilled out for the rest of the night, before I headed home on Monday morning.

I spent the remainder of Monday in a coma-like lack of sleep/lack of DLO haze, and returned to work on Tuesday. Then, at 5 am Wednesday morning, I headed down to South Florida for 3 days of work-related meetings. This year's Store Manager Meeting's theme was "The Future's So Bright, We Gotta Wear Shades", and the "festivities" were equally cheesy and none-too-inspiring. We learned about the new products for holiday (lame), the current state of the economy (yup, still horrible) and our plans to make more money this fiscal year (no bonus for this lady). The days started early and lasted long, and I was so happy to return home around 9:30 Friday night.

Saturday was spent doing laundry (9 loads, a new record) and catching up on sleep and around the house. Today I knit and watched close-but-ultimately-disappointing football game (a converted Bengals fan, I was sad to see that they couldn't pull it out) after close-but-ultimately-disappointing football game (I hate teal).

I am happy to report I have 12 pattern rows and 12 border rows left on Anakin's Linus blankie, and it should be bound off by the end of next weekend! Lindsey's "WhoDey" scarf is 10 blocks deep and looking fab, and I have some patterns ready for potential Christmas presents to start next. Tomorrow starts a new work week where I get to slap on a happy face and go and share my newly inspired business ideas with the rest of my staff. This week is shaping up to be equally as exhausting as last!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


"Dear Mary Ann*:
Thank you for shopping at Your business is very important to us. Unfortunately, we are unable to complete your order 8785993463.We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.
The following item(s) have been cancelled from your order:
Item: 4493L5835F14HX
Description: NFL Ws Vintage SS Tunic Tee INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Quantity: 1 @ $ 21.99"

Really? My business is really important to you? If I step foot into a Dick's Sporting Goods in the greater tri-state area this weekend and lay an eye on one of these tees in your stores, it is ON. If you show it on your website, and I ordered it over 30 days ago, one of your employees should be a) hopping a flight to China to pick it up from the factory, b) making it on their sewing machine at home, or c) issuing me a $25 Dicks gift card for my trouble.

I KNOW THIS SHIRT EXISTS! I just want to OWN it!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Can we just get on with it already?

Monday night, and I am needing this week to come to an end with a quickness.

Perhaps it was the dreadful events of last night's first ever game in Lucas Oil. Maybe it was the lack of sleep that resulted in pulling for the boys in blue 'til the bitter end (and a 4:30 am work wakeup). Most likely, the viewing of One Tree Hill (wtf is UP this season? Brooke beat to a pulp? Q *killed*?) has severely diminished my mood. Certainly, I am in a serious funk. I have been meaning all day to create a dream setlist OTG list (Kenny and Keith this Saturday with the DLO!). I cannot even knit. one. stitch. The fact that I dragged my lazy ass from the couch to the computer to even put these thoughts on virtual paper is a huge feat in and of itself.

I should be excited about the week's end, but I cannot muster up the energy to get through the next 3 days of work-related hell and general unease (the packing, the flying, the nerves, the OCD, it all adds up to a big mess on the eve of travel).

I will do my best to dream of DLO, concert greatness, yagoot with Nillas, snuggling with Linds (had to put it out there, love), and a season without Tom Brady's pompous... face.

Friday, here we come...!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My true calling.

The beginning of the 2008 football season marks not only an end in all Sunday social activities for 17 consecutive weeks (not to mention post-season play), but it also is the time of year I sit up and take notice of sports journalism. I will consistently tune in to SportsCenter for recaps of the week's play, use my HipHoptionary to translate Stuart Scott's commentary, and curse the TV as females much less qualified than myself prance up and down the sidelines with a microphone and a less-than-admirable wealth of NFL knowledge.

Here am I pictured with my favorite sports commentator of all time, Chris "Boomer" Berman. This particular photo was snapped at my aunt and uncle's annual Christmas party in Ft Myers in 2004 (Boomer and Uncle Chuck go way back). I didn't have a chance to bend Berman's ear at the time, but I really think this sports commentating gig is something I could handle. What do Andrea Kremer and Suzy Kober have on me, anyway? (Suzy, by the way, has *no* wikipedia entry). I mean, I manage to draft some pretty decent blog entries on a regular. How much more is there to learn about reporting? Here are some general rules I would follow:

1. Wear adorable outfits with fashion forward accessories in the team of the night's color palette -- no pantsuits.

2. Dress as a Colts cheerleader for every game broadcast on or around Halloween.

3. Never, ever, ever mention Brett Favre. Also, vow to never refer to the Jets as the "New York Bretts".

4. Ask more leading questions about players' personal lives. (i.e., What does Tony Romo see in Jessica Simpson that he *didn't* see in Carrie Underwood?)

5. Find out the true story behind Bill Belichick and that damn hoodie. Would it kill the man to wear a collared shirt?

Mary Ann*, sports journalist -- Believe in Now, right? Get this girl a screen test, stat.

And in the meantime, go Colts!