Monday, February 28, 2005


In thinking about what to write about today, I couldn’t decide if I should talk about me waking up this morning and walking straight into my bathroom door, (it’s NOT fun, believe me, my face still hurts) or if I should talk about the wonder of the city that is Wacko Waco that I went to this weekend (really the only wonder Waco contains is the Dr. Pepper museum).

I finally decided to make a mini-recap of last night’s Academy Awards. For the most part, they were extremely boring. Maybe it was just me, but I wasn’t rolling on the floor laughing so hard at Chris Rock’s jokes, but then again, I’m not a rich, stuck-up, Hollywood snob so I probably wouldn’t understand those jokes.

Anyway, they lasted longer than three hours and two of those were taken up by Beyoncé’s 10,000 performances. Shortly after the show she was admitted into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most performances in any show EVER. First we were dazzled/confused by her R&B rendition of a French Boys’ choir song from The Chorus, then we were driven into depression by “Learn to be Lonely” from Phantom of the Opera, also sung by Beyoncé, and finally a duet! This one featured the great singer, Josh Groban with “Believe” from Polar Express. He actually sang the song by himself for the movie but since Beyoncé’s here anyway, why not just throw her on in?! And throw her in they did, making it her third performance of the night. Now, surely with all the effort put to getting Beyoncé to learn these songs, you’d think one of them would win, but then you’d be wrong. No no no, none of those songs won, nor did the hip Counting Crow’s song “Accidentally in Love” from Shrek 2. The song that won was of course, was the worst/WEIRDEST performance of the night. “Al Otro Lado del Rio” (which roughly translated into English means “The Polluted and Decaying River”) from the Motorcycle Diaries won the Oscar for best original song after a riveting performance from Zorro himself, Antonio Banderas. There’s not really ANYTHING I have to say about that. (PS, if you listen to the song, count how many times he says “luce” I’m trying to and so far I count about 2,000)

There were of course many other things I noticed about the Oscars, such as, WHO thought it would be a good idea to put two women (Penelope Cruz, who's career so far, that I know of, has only consisted of dating Tom Cruise, and Salma Hayek) who BARELY speak English, in charge of giving out TWO awards? It took about 15 minutes for them just to read the nominees’ names and the only words I’m PRETTY sure they said were “Best Sound Mixing” but that’s only because they were written at the bottom of the screen. Also, Prince apparently thought the fact that he didn’t know ANY of the nominees names that he was announcing was funny because he laughed the whole time he mispronounced them. Sorry Prince if you think it’s funny that other people use REAL NAMES instead of a position of royalty or a SYMBOL that you can’t even dictate at ALL…

I also thought the awards that they gave away AT the nominees’ seats were a little sad, I mean, do they think these people are too ugly to be put on stage or something? They might as well just give them the awards in a dark alley if they’re so afraid of showing them to the world. I think they’re just a little worried about how the techies will show up after director Peter Jackson from Lord of the Rings showed up to the Oscars last year like it was all-you-can-eat ribs night at Colter’s Barbeque.

I was happy for Hilary Swank and Jamie Foxx and SOOO happy that the freakin Aviator didn’t win best picture. Hilary better be glad the Academy didn’t watch her SNL before the voted because Kate Winslet might have been walkin’ home with Oscar last night instead. (PS: Kate’s sketch with Amy Poehler playing the 8 year old step daughter of RICK who wanted to get her ears pierced, is one of my all time favorites, "RIIIIICK RICK RICK RICK RICK! I don‘t wanna get my ears pierced anymore Rick…").

Oh goodness… The joy of watching millionaires award themselves with gold-plated statuettes and $100,000 gift bags…

Disney and Pixar's The Incredibles took home the Oscar for best animated feature... I feel that Shrek 2 was robbed! What do you think? Please include your thoughts a comment... (If you even suggest that Shark Tale should have won, I will stop being your friend... If I ever was in the first place)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Real World: Austin

So it turns out that the new house for MTV's "The Real World" is really just an old warehouse that they've fixed up, painted, and slapped a neon AUSTIN sign on... I figured I should take that picture since it's gonna be on TV all day long. The house, not the picture, and I could say I've been there. Not that that's a huge deal, I mean, any one can go there I suppose... Oh goodness, I'm rambling (or "flagging" as the Angry Brit would say). I think I'm just gonna go now...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Adventures in Alamo Land: The Angry Brit

So everything in San Antonio wasn’t all just fun and games. There was work to be done! I definitely had day-long rehearsals that made me want to severely hurt myself. Our conductor was the Brit, Simon Carrington ( Simon was a former “King’s Singer” and is currently a professor of music at Yale University. Big stuff right? Well let’s just say, I didn’t like Simon too much… Before we even started rehearsing, he informed us of his extreme aversion to coughing and told us that we were to never cough in rehearsal. Yes, to never cough is to try and keep your body from properly functioning, but never-the-less he wanted us to do that. At first that rule seemed a bit much, but then when you start hearing some of the hacking coughs that people start putting out to get attention (and there were a LOT of attention-wanters there) it can get pretty annoying. So ya, I left San Antonio having a hatred for all coughers around the world. Watch out.

Also during rehearsal Simon had no limit on how many or what type of questions people could ask. This of course led to a bunch of choir losers who wanted Simon to think they were just the smartest people ever to ask HOURS AND HOURS worth of questions. Not even kidding, we would spend 2 hours answering questions on just one song. We had such intelligent questions as, “Sir, it is OBVIOUS that the altos have a forte marking on measure 47, whereas the tenors have a fortissimo marking on the same measure and I’m just not sure that we’re making the difference obvious enough.”

OK well, FIRST OF ALL, that is NOT even a question! That is an obvious statement that did not need to be said! And SECOND of all, NO ONE LIKES YOU! You aren’t cool just because you ask annoying questions!

Anyway, thank GOODNESS the people I was sitting by didn’t ask stupid and annoying questions because I would have either killed them or myself by the end of it and that would not have been pretty.* To get through the question sessions I would usually take the writing end of my pencil and stab my forehead with it to both distract myself away from the questions and to stay awake.

But anyway, back to Simon. Him, in all his Britishness would use words that I assume are British, but I couldn’t help but wonder if he made up some of them so he looked cool. He often told us to work on our music “During lunch or tea.” COME ON, he knows we don’t do tea here! Desperate to let us know you’re British much?! Oh and he also told us to let him know if he was “flagging.” This was a term that Simon used to mean “rambling or running off course.” His most favorite words though by far had to be “diminuendo” (decrescendo or get softer) and “warbling” (vibrato or crazy shaky voice). In any given minute he would usually use all of those words several hundred times each.

By far though, the most funny/sad story of the week was when the altos and the men were rehearsing a staggered entrance. The girls would come in first, followed by the guys moments later. We sang the part once, only to be stopped by Simon because one of the girls didn’t make the right entrance. We tried again, and eventually 3 more times. Each time we stopped, Simon pointed at the girl and told her not to miss her entrance again. Finally on the 5th time to sing that section, Simon stops, the whole room is quiet, he points at the girl and suddenly his face looks shocked. “OH MY GOSH,” he says, “You’re a GUY with long hair!” Whaaaaaat??? The entire choir is like, WHAT JUST HAPPENED and finally we all realize that all this time, he has been mistaking one of the guys for a girl because he had long hair. Needless to say, the boy turned bright red and Simon was completely embarrassed. Oh, he also never called on that kid again…

Oh the fun you’ll have when you put an angry British man with 250 choir nerds! There should be a reality show about that! I’m gonna get to work…

*I would not have REALLY killed anyone (including myself), that line was used purely for effect and so you could have the full impact of the situation.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Adventures in Alamo Land: One More Reason to Hate Subway

So I've decided to break up the stories from my trip to San Antonio into a series of entries rather than one really long boring one. The first story, as you can tell from the title, is about my great Subway adventure. Here it is:

Thursday night, I've just had rehearsals for the All State Choir from 9am to 9pm. Needless to say, I'm a little bit hungry. I check out all the restaurants at the mall and none of them seem appealing, mostly because NONE of them are actual franchises of restaurants, but mostly just knock off wannabes. So I head outsides in the streets of downtown San Antonio to find some food. I end up at Fuddrucker's Hamburgers and am really excited about having a good burger, but unfortunately the line is WAY too long and I only have like, 30 minutes till I have to be back for more rehearsal. So I give in and decide to go to Subway. (I say "give in" because I HATE Subway, if I ruled the world, all Subways would be Blimpies. I however, don't rule the world, but you just wait, JUST wait.) Anyway, I walk in and the line is for once, not long at all, and this makes me feel just a little bit better about having to eat there. Then, out comes the server dude. "We don't have no bread. You'll have to leave." I laughed back and him and proceeded to tell him my order. "No. We Don't Have No Bread. It'll be a couple of hours before we do, you'll have to leave." You should have SEEN the look on my face. I was like WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?! I say, "So wait, are you trying to tell me that SUBWAY, a SANDWHICH SHOP, doesn't have bread?!" And he just rudely says back. "Ya." WELL, if that wasn't the WEIRDEST THING EVER. I was almost speechless. So I just end up leaving, and as I walk out the door I shout, "FINE! I LIKE BLIMPIE'S BETTER ANYWAY!" But I don't think they cared. I am still just astonished at the fact that Subway didn't have bread! I just can't fathom it. So ya, I called their complaint line and told the district manager who didn't seem too concerned until I told her that I knew Jarred and threatened to call him if they didn't fix their problem. She quickly apologized and then proceeded to offer me free meals. If one thing is always the same about Subways, it's that, no matter where they are, they always find the most slow and BITTER employees they can to run the store...

I never have liked Subway and this didn't help them any. It did however, leave me with a lasting memory and a good story for the blog!

Look for more Adventures in Alamo Land in the coming days featuring stories on Angry Brits, Annoying Pidgeons, and much much more!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

8 Hours Was Well Worth the Wait

OK so, yesterday was the Gavin DeGraw concert at the Lakewood Theater in Dallas. Me and 2 of my friends DEFINETELY got there at like, 12:30 and the doors were scheduled to open at 7:30. When we arrived, we attempted to befriend the girls who were ALREADY waiting in front of us in line. "Hey fellow Gavin fans! What time did yall get here?!" To which they very snobbishly replied, "3am... We came from the Austin concert." Apparently they thought since they had slept on the street in Dallas all night, that made them cooler than us. That was OK though, we just from then on, referred to them as the MEAN GIRLS.

Speaking of Mean Girls, we had my portable DVD player and were watching that to help us get through the long day of waiting. A couple hours into our stay in line, 2 girls that had driven 8 hours from Kansas, got behind us in line. We ended up talking to them and liking them a lot. They really liked our Texas accents and the fact that we say "Yall." It was refreshing though to have someone nice in line with us besides the MEAN girls in front of us...

Anyway, 7 hours go by and it's now 7 o' clock. Thirty minutes till the doors open, when none other but the QUEEN BEE herself arrived at the show. Apparently the MEAN girls in front of us really were the wannabees, and had been there all day to save her a spot in line. However, my group and the other 800 people behind us were not so agreeing. We began talking very loudly about how "ANNOYING IT IS TO WAIT 8 HOURS AND HAVE PEOPLE CUT IN LINE!" After about 30 minutes and 400 death stares from this girl, she finally went to the back of the line... We cheered.

Anyway, we get inside and DEFINETELY are standing on the FRONT ROW. The concert was AMAZING. He did like, every song on his CD and then played a lot more. I got to shake his hand during I Don't Wanna Be and my friend caught one of his guitar picks. Seriously, Best Concert EVER. (Besides John Mayer because well, he's amazing too) But anyway, after the show we were all EXHAUSTED because by then we had been at the theater for TWELVE hours. BUT. We didn't leave just yet, we waited around for another hour or so to MEET him. It was so cool, I got my t-shirt and CD signed and got a picture with him too. It was very nice of him to wait around after the show to meet 300 people. OH, and while we were waiting, the Mean Girl Queen Bee was ahead of us talking to him and apparently trying to give him her number. The whole time she was there we were shouting out, "She's a mean girl, a MEAN GIRL!" I don't think she liked us very much...

Ahh but anyway, the whole day was awesome, I was front row at Gavin DeGraw and got to meet him. So, to those of you who are going to the show tonight, HAVE FUN and it's AMAZING, to those of you who could/should have gone to the show, you REALLY missed out, and to those of you who don't have a clue who Gavin DeGraw is, go buy his CD, Chariot, RIGHT NOW!!!

Waiting in Line

Lakewood Theater and the Coors Truck

Waiting in Line at the Concert

Our Corner at the Theater... Homeless

Waiting in Line at the Concert

Our Kansas Friends Carrie and Danielle

Gavin DeGraw Concert


Gavin DeGraw Concert


Gavin DeGraw Concert

Gavin Standing on his Piano Seat

Gavin DeGraw Concert

5 Feet From Gavin

Gavin Concert

I Don't Wanna Be

After the Show

Me and Gavin

Friday, February 04, 2005

EVERYTHING is a Dollar

I wasn't introduced to the wonder that is $1 stores until just a couple of years ago. I mean, of course I've been to Dollar General but ironically everything in there is NOT a dollar. The first time I went to Sam's $1, (by the Fiesta grocery store), it LITERALLY changed my life. They have EVERYTHING. Not kidding. You want a statue of a black Jesus? Well there's one at Sam's $1, in fact, there are like, 50. Now, how much do you think this holy statue would be? $50? $100? Noooooooo. ONE DOLLAR. That's it! EVERYTHING IN THE STORE IS $1!!!! How do they do it? On my first trip to that store, I think I asked my friend how much each and every thing in the store was and they were like "IT'S ONE FREAKIN DOLLAR. WHICH IS WHY IT'S CALLED SAM'S ONE DOLLAR!" Sometimes I go in there just to get a good laugh. There's some stuff in there that I can't tell what it is at ALL but I still buy it cuz it's like the funniest thing ever. Then I just give it to someone for their birthday! One of my funnier purchases there was this bag of "Assorted Balloons." It ended up that these were like, the reject balloons that no one wanted. I pulled out balloons that were like, "Feliz Cumpleaños!!!" and others that said "HAPPY YEAR 2000!!!" (which I purchased in 2004) Then there were more balloons that were very awkwardly shaped and had ugly birds on them. Needless to say, the balloons made me happy, and were well worth the $1 my parents worked for in order to buy them.

If gift certificates existed for Sam's $1, I'd ask for them for Christmas. Not even joking. The thing about the $1 store is that they are so honest and straight-forward. For instance, the last time I was there I purchased a tray of paper like, just little cut pieces of paper to write lists and stuff on. This was OF COURSE, only a dollar, but what I liked best about it was that there was no gimmick to it. The name it had on the cover sheet was TRAY OF PAPER. There was no fancy title or pictures, it simply said TRAY OF PAPER. I also bought a blue knock-off of the LIVESTRONG bracelet (can currently be seen on my left arm weekdays from 7am-9pm and weekends 7am- 11pm) that says BE-STRONG...

Ahh yes, the Dollar store makes me happy... now, this is not to be confused with the 99 cent store. They aren't that good. Yes, everything is 99 cents, but that only makes your bill like, 10 cents cheaper depending on how much you buy, and that's just not worth giving up all the quality of the dollar store for a measley 10 cents now is it?

So anyway, just know that next time you need to get someone a really cool gift for their birthday or Christmas or something, don't waste your money at Target or Walmart, just go to Sam's $1... after all, you can buy them like, 50 things and they're really the best/FUNNIEST gifts EVER...

If you don't know my grandmother (who, in order to protect her identity, I will just refer to her as G-mama) you're missing out. Long ago, before settling back in Dallas, my G-mama and G-papa were explorers in the Amazon. This was of course before my dad was born. My G-mama often collected specimens in tanks and lived in her RV in the middle of the forest to get the "full rainforest experience." Now for me, the Rainforest Cafe is enough "rainforest experience" for me, I don't need to be surrounded by bugs and rabid animals to feel happy. But she and my G-papa prefered this way of living. Anyway, with the birth of my dad, things had to settle down a bit more, they had a child to raise now, a human life in their hands. So, in order to be more "normal", my G-papa insisted on moving OUT of the RV an into a real home. This resulted in the immediate building of a tree house in the middle of the forest to make things more "normal." Now, my dad didn't have a nanny or anything fancy like that, my G-parents got help from the locals there in the forest. It ended up that since the G-parents had to go out and explore a lot, my dad was raised by gorillas. I know, funny right? RAISED BY GORILLAS! HE MUST BE TARZAN! But that's just not true, the gorillas had more of an Indian name for him. "Funny White Boy" they would call him. Sadly enough my father didn't realize that they were making fun of him by calling him this, so he just went along with it.

Anyway, to make a long story short, my father was raised by monkeys. But that's not the really important part. My G-parents finally REALLY settled down when they moved into a house in Euless, the only catch though to moving was that my G-papa had to promise my G-mama that she could have a pond in the backyard. She didn't tell him that it was for the BABY ANACONDA that she smuggled into the United States claiming it was her "newborn" and strategically covering it up on the plane with children's clothing and by reading it stories. (She claims it wasn't bad since she saw Lucy do it on I Love Lucy with a giant piece of cheese. Apparently she doesn't know the difference between an anaconda and cheese...) So ya, the anaconda has gotten bigger and bigger and currently wraps around the house 4 times and can't really move. But it wouldn't hurt a fly! It's really sad when all the representation anacondas get are these horrible movies about them killing people and eating them and junk... I mean, there was one time when my cousin got bit, but she only lost one leg, she can still walk and everything, no biggie...