Monday, April 30, 2007


I practiced softball today! I had a good time even though:

A. I got sunburned—although not as badly as I really should have, what with the being outside with no sunblock for a couple hours. (Yes, Mom, I know. I'm sorry. I just forget if it's not the pool or a football game. We'll play our games at night, though.) I just got pinkness on the forearms and my face is fine because, proving that I am not a complete moron, I wore a hat! Maybe it’s because I’m farther from the Sun in Wisconsin?

B. I haven’t used a mitt since the year 2000. And I haven’t used a mitt on a regular basis since the year . . . let’s think about this . . . 1994? Holy cow. Yes, I apparently haven’t played organized softball since OJ Simpson tried to flee Los Angeles in a white Ford Bronco.

C. I am going to be SORE tomorrow. My right arm, right shoulder blade, and back aren’t happy about how hard they had to work to get the ball back to the pitcher when I was catching; my legs are annoyed about all the runnin’ around; and my left hip and knee are cheesed off about how I fling my right leg out behind me when I throw. (It’s pretty ridiculous, yet uncontrollable.)

I managed to get on base a couple times while we were scrimmaging and managed not to make a fool of myself for the few minutes I played meaningful field positions, so I was pretty pleased. Still, I’m glad my team is in the lowest, easiest, “run to your right side to get to first” league.
(I’m kidding. Everyone on my team knows which direction first base is, I swear.)
Click here to read more . . .

Saturday, April 28, 2007

What a Man.

In celebration of my having figured out how to put videos in my blog, I bring you one that I enjoy very, very much:

(In case anyone's wondering why there hasn't been a Ridiculous Boyfriend Spotlight on Acie Law IV--that's because it's not ridiculous. I mean, we went to college together. We did! Technically. And I, of course, have A Plan. But it's A Secret Plan, because I don't need any random internet hussies stealing it.)

Click here to read more . . .

Friday, April 27, 2007

A Review of Music and Lyrics

Chanda and I went to the cheapo movie theater today to see Music and Lyrics, starring Hugh Grant! And Drew Barrymore.

It's a quintessential chick flick; I would have expected nothing less. As with your standard quintessential chick flick, there's not bunches to say beyond "It was cute!" Hugh Grant is a washed-up 80's pop star, Drew Barrymore is a kooky gal, they overcome some obstacles and then fall in love. It started out fairly slowly, but Hugh Grant, as always, was funny without even trying and, also as always, mysteriously sexy. (If you add up the individual physical features of Hugh Grant, it should not total an attractive man. And yet. Maybe it's the accent.) It picked up steam in the second half, though. The love story was not completely believable, but it was nice and happy.

The reason that none of this really matters is because the movie opened with this brilliantly cheesetastic music video, which was easily worth the $2.50 admission all by itself:

Click here to read more . . .

Friday, April 20, 2007


When my Henry VII biography gets adapted as a screenplay, I think I'll recommend Bill Nighy for the title role. He's a good actor and, seriously, check out the resemblance:

Side note: while looking for Henry VII pictures, I found this quiz. The highlight is the childrens' drawings of the monarchs the quiz asks about. (The third Henry VIII? Spot on!)
Click here to read more . . .

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ridiculous Boyfriend Spotlight On . . .

Dr. Chase!

Just because House is the best show on television doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its flaws. Yes, it can be a little formulaic, and yes, every season there’s an annoying story arc with somebody eeeeevil out to get House (or some chick who used to live with him out to mess with his mind), and no, you should not try to watch an episode while eating. But if I could fix one thing about House, I would give Dr. Chase more lines.

This is not simply because Dr. Chase is very, very pretty and has a delightful Australian accent. The actor who plays him is very good—he’s probably the second-best actor on the show, which is a very big compliment for somebody who’s on a show with Hugh Laurie.

Also (and this is a problem for all non-House characters on the show besides annoying Cameron), we know very little about Chase’s character. What we do know, however, speaks well to his qualification as a Ridiculous Boyfriend.

1. He’s a sweetie. Like when he decided that he wanted to have a real relationship with Cameron and then she shot him down? His sad face was so sad!
2. Unusually for a tv character, he’s religious. And I don’t care what your God-views are, when he said that prayer over that baby when he was doing an autopsy on it . . . only a heart of stone would have failed to melt.

3. He's good with kids. Every time there's a nipper on the show, Chase bonds with it. (And only kissed one of them.)

4. I already mentioned he's Australian, right?

5. And pretty?
Click here to read more . . .

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Don't You Judge Me!


I am

going to watch

American Idol . . .

on purpose.

Yes, it's true. But I have three good . . . three not-awful reasons for doing so. Which I will present in reverse order to kick up the suspense.

3. Apparently, most of the people still on there can actually sing. I've tried and physically cannot watch the early episodes of each season where it's 1.5 minutes of good singing and 46.5 minutes of stupid people embarrassing themselves. I know they have to know how bad they are, and I know they're purposely subjecting themselves to it just to get on tv, but I still feel really sorry for them. And that's not good entertainment.

2.5 (because it's not really a reason, as much as laziness) It's on right before House, which I'll be watching anyway, so all I have to do is turn on the tv an hour earlier.

(Maybe I just put that in there to remind you that House is on tonight.)

2. I've been reading the Television Without Pity recaps of the last few weeks of American Idol, and they are FUNNY. So they should be even funnier if I actually watch the show beforehand!

But the number 1 reason I'm watching American Idol (on purpose!) tonight?

S a n j a y a !

I can't help it! I need to witness the phenomenon!

Click here to read more . . .

Monday, April 16, 2007

Kingbaby Names

This is a very exciting post, because it features . . . a guest columnist! But first, our topic.

I mentioned in a recent post that if I married Prince William (fingers crossed!) and gave birth to a future heir to the throne, if said heir was a boy, I'd want to name him Henry. This attracted some comment--the name "John" was suggested as an alternative. Well, it can't be John. The only John there was--well, he was no good. Remember the Magna Carta? His nobles forced him to sign that because they were sick and tired of his nonsense. Remember Robin Hood? That weaselly, maneless lion? That's John. Similarly, Charles is ruled out (the current Prince Charles is going to go by George once he's king, so I hear) because of the ax-related unpleasantness ("The most interesting thing about King Charles I is that he was 5 foot 6 inches tall at the start of his reign, and only 4 foot 8 inches tall at the end of it"--Monty Python's "Oliver Cromwell"). Richard is also unworkable, what with Richard III having been pure eeeeeeeeevil. Oh, and Arthur would be great, but anytime you name an heir to the throne that, he dies an extremely untimely death.


The name Henry also got bagged on by this week's guest columnist, the incomparable Lesley Skousen. Lesley is my second-year mentor in the history department. We both study early modern England, although she's more of a Reformation scholar.

Ha, ha! I just totally pissed her off right there.

Seriously, though, Lesley knows her stuff about kings 'n' whatnot, although she's wrong about what the best name for my kingbaby would be, claiming that Edward is the best choice. In an effort to settle the me vs. Lesley, Henry vs. Edward debate, each of us have presented our argument and YOU, the readers, can decide.

No voting for John.

The Case for Edward

"Edward" is the best Kingbaby name. It is the most frequent and most ancient of English king names; with three famous Saxon kings that makes 11 Kings Edward of England total. Not only is it regal, but it comes with many fun nicknames - Ed, Ted, Ward, and Eddybaby (the Kingbaby), among others.

Edward has been the name of many a successful ruler, with brilliant qualities. Edwards I and III were exteremely strong kings that led England to social peace and proto-national security. Edward I built the Tower of London into what it is today. His son, Edward II, was a bit spoiled, and he sure loved him some Gaveston (his little "Ganymede"), but his weak reign had more to do with being spoiled and silly than with his regal name. When his wife conspired to kill him, and succeeded, Edward III did the appropriate thing and punished the traitors - but showed mercy towards his mother, granting her permenant banishment from court instead of the hangman's noose. See? Edward is powerful, but merciful and family-oriented.

Edward IV continued the Edward style of I & III. Despite the Wars of the Roses, he managed to rule in relative peace. What an achievement. However, he died (bravely and in style), leaving young Edward V in the hands of Richard (aka "Richie Rich" "Hunchback Rich" or "Dick") - a dispicable name. Edward V was murdered, but I bet he died a brave death, protecting his younger (and inferiorly-named) brother Richard.

Edward VI had 3 strong namesakes to live up to, and one namesake to avenge. He took this responsibility seriously, and implemented radical political, religious, and social change. He was prococious, daring, clever, and innovative. In an attempt to preserve his work after he realized he was dying, he orchestrated a creative interpretation of inheritance law to give the crown to Jane (the Nine Days' Queen). What a name.

After a century of Scottish rulers and another century of German rulers, Victoria named her successor Edward VII, after so many illustrious Edwards of the past. Since she lived soooo long, he became king as a grandfather. But don't let your oppressive ideas of ageism fool you - he was a fun-loving playboy with a great sense of humor, infamous for his parties and fun times, even in old age. What a great guy.

Finally, Edward VIII did the most courageous thing of any other Edward - he chose Love over the Throne. Forbidden by Parliament to marry an American divorcee, Edward gave the Crown to his brother, married Mrs. Simpson, and lived Happily Ever After in Paris.

So what would Rachel get with a Kingbaby named Edward? She'd get a strong king, a lover, a fun guy, and an authority figure. She'd get a king able to manage law and finances, provide religious and moral guidance, build great architecture, be a patron of the arts, quell social upsrisings and civil war, and fall in love without being a jackass about it.

Clearly, "Edward" is the best name possibile for a Kingbaby.


The Case for Henry

It's been far too long since England has had a Henry. Henry VIII ("The Big Ocho"?) kicked the bucket 460 years ago and they've been bereft of Henries ever since. This is a shame, because having a King Henry makes life much more interesting.

Henry I: Probably had his own dumb brother shot (by an arrow—it was 1100, yo) so he could take over, and holds the English monarch record for acknowledged illegitimate children (20 + !)

Henry II: Married one of the coolest babes in the history of history, Eleanor of Aquitane. Together, they ruled a whole bunch of France, went on a pretty successful Crusade, and then fought like cats in a bag for a while. That’s the kind of thing that gets you portrayed on screen by Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn. (And then later by Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close. I don’t even have to remind you that Patrick Stewart = fantastic, do I?)

Henry III: Dullsville. I’ll just take the hit on this one.

Henry IV: He just pretty much decided he’d be better at the whole “kinging” thing than Richard II, so he locked Richie up and took the throne. Usurpation is the spice of life! That’s either a well-known saying or something I made up just now. You decide.

Henry V: As most historians acknowledge, France has gotten OWNED several times throughout history. But few people OWNED France as thoroughly as Henry V.

Henry VI: Meek, pious, kind of stupid, lost all the stuff his daddy had won in France, got overthrown twice. That . . . that’s not easy to accomplish.

Henry VII: As you should all know by now, Henry VII is my fav-o-rite English monarch. Like John Adams, much of my favor stems from the fact that he is sorely underappreciated. I mean, the man grows up in exile because the current king wants to take him out, overthrows one of the greatest villains in all British history (the abovementioned Richard III), wins the Wars of the Roses, puts down like five major rebellions, founds one of the kickin’est dynasties in Europe ever, and still all anybody knows about him if they know anything at all is that he was greedy. Come on. Anyway, I intend to be The World’s Foremost Henry VII Scholar someday (I mean, since I’m the only one who cares, it should be easy, right?), so it would only be fitting to name my firstborn after him if I were also the future Queen of England.

Henry VIII: The more I learn about Henry VIII, the more intensely I dislike him. However, there’s no doubt that he was a fascinating character, and he and his wives (Catherine! Anne! Jane! Anne! Catherine! Catherine!) are responsible for my initial fascination with English history. Also, I have a totally sweet coffee mug that has a picture of Henry VIII, and then pictures of all his wives that DISAPPEAR when you put hot water in the mug! I’ve got to hand it to Henry VIII--what other monarch could have inspired a drinking apparatus of such greatness?

So if I named my kingbaby Henry, would he kill people? Get married over and over (and over and over)? Usurp something? Deal some serious SMACK to his enemies? Any of these are possible! Clearly, in this age of figurehead monarchs, what the people want--nay, what the people need--is an exciting and unpredictable monarch, not just to liven up their tabloids, but to carry on the fine English tradition of wild and crazy Henries.

Click here to read more . . .

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mysteries of the Universe: Explained!

Volume I:
"Why do girls date jerks?"
Because jerks are confident enough to actually ask girls out.

If there's a mystery of the universe you'd like explained, just leave it in the comment section, and I'll get right on it.
Click here to read more . . .

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Ridiculous Boyfriend Spotlight On . . .

Prince William!

I just received this email, and deemed it true:

Lesley Skousen
to me
6:32 pm (24 minutes ago)

Emergency boyfriend spotlight is NECESSARY!!!!

omg omg omg omg

You see, I wrote off Prince William some months ago, believing the media's take that it was only a matter of time before he made Kate Middleton Princess Katherine, first former middle-class future Queen of England. But since they've broken up, the stage is set for the triumphant introduction of Princess Rachel, first Kansan future Queen of England. Oh my gosh, this is going to be awesome.

I mean, sure, the media pressure is going to be pretty intense, but if it gets to be too much, I can always take a break by going home to Bison. Because I don't care how hardcore the British tabloid press is--they're not going to follow me there.

Besides, it's not all about the title, and the fortune, and the giving birth to little future King Henry IX or wee future Queen Victoria II--no! It's also about how William is hot.

OK, and I hear he's smart and I bet he's sweet and funny, too. But most importantly, we have a connection, man. NO American girls knew who he was back in 1995, but I did. People Magazine ran a cover story about him and his brother, and I got pretty sure I was going to marry that guy. I even cut out one of his pictures and took it to school with me, all "Look at this boy, isn't he the cutest?" He was 13 and I was 12 and it was perfect. All I had to do was go to England, meet him, and allow him to fall in love with me. I don't even have to update that! It's a foolproof plan. FOOLPROOF.

So maybe that's not the whole plan. Maybe it involves me meeting him somewhere historical, and striking up a conversation with him, letting him know that I do know who he is, but playing it off all cool, like I meet famous people every day and it's no big thing. And then we'd get to talking about his ancestors and I'd be all, "Henry VII is my favorite" and he'd be all, "That's so original and charming; let's make out" and I'd be all, "Hey, you should at least buy me a drink first/maybe we should go somewhere besides this abbey" and he'd be all, "Oh, quite," because he'd say "quite" all the time because I bet they all know American girls love that. And eventually he'd be all, "I think you should meet my Nan. Should we go and see her?" and I'd be all, "Yes, let's!" and even though she wouldn't expect to like me, what with my being an American upstart and all, I would soon win her over with my unassuming charm and she'd give us her blessing and we'd all live happily ever after.

Like I said, it's FOOLPROOF.
Click here to read more . . .

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Random Thought

My parents must feel pretty lucky that we had mostly grown out of Disney movies by the time they started releasing all those direct-to-video sequels (and, in the case of Beauty and the Beast . . . midquels?)

I mean, Cinderella II? How is that necessary?
Click here to read more . . .

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Wish I Could Animate GIFs

Then I could make things as funny as these.

Subtle, huh?

Daddy Bush and the SecDef (as those of us who know him well call him) are the highlight of this little vignette.

Bitterness: a great artistic motivator.
Click here to read more . . .

Something Wonderful Happened This Weekend

We got a couch!

My roommate and I have long wandered in a wilderness of couchlessness, but all that is now behind us. We found a couch at the furniture store two doors down, and it's big, smooshy, comfortable, and ugly--in short, it's perfect.

It has even brought our cats closer together.

My estimate is that this couch will improve my life by approximately 15%.
Click here to read more . . .

Monday, April 9, 2007

Keeping up with my Correspondence

Dear United Press International (can I call you UPI?),
"Wichita State coach Mark Turgeon is set to take over as head coach of Houston's Texas A&M men's basketball team"?
Sincerely (OK, insincerely, if you want to get technical),

P.S.: This is why AP is better than you.


Dear people on the bus,
Two quick suggestions: Listening to music? Use headphones. Also, shower.


Dear the entertainment media,
I saw The Sopranos once. I don't care that it's going off the air. It's taken such ridiculously long breaks between seasons anyway, no one would notice if you didn't keep whining about it.
Click here to read more . . .

Friday, April 6, 2007

I Suppose I Should Address the Issue.

As you may know, Billy Gillispie now coaches at Kentucky instead of Texas A&M. I have yet to choose a definite feeling about this. There are several possibilities:

1. Anger: So he just shows up at Kentucky, with his blue windbreaker, when he couldn't even be bothered to wear a maroon tie when he coached for us, and then he talks about how the Kentucky fans are so great and it was so hard to play in front of only 8,000 Aggies and how the Kentucky players are the most important people to him in the whole world and how he's a "country boy" and a "handshake man" (HANDSHAKE MAN?!?) and I just wish somebody would wipe that smirk off his face . . . well, you get the idea.

2. Betrayal: he didn't tell any of his players in person. Not a one. He left a message for Joe Jones and text-messaged the rest, apparently. Josh Carter found out from SportsCenter. Nice. And, if we're looking for personal betrayal, there's always this:

“I am thankful for the commitment Texas A&M continues to make to allow us to do the things we need to do, to achieve our ultimate goal—winning a national championship,” Gillispie said. “The commitment has been there since day one and continues to grow stronger still. While it’s embarrassing to me to be compensated so well to perform my passion for a school I love, I am sincerely appreciative of the efforts of Bill Byrne, our university administration, the board of regents and everyone associated with Texas A&M for their personal support they continue to show. We will continue to do our best to try and make the Texas A&M family proud.”

March 30, 2007. I guess he meant he'd continue to do his best to make the A&M family proud . . . for about a week.

3. Resignation: Of course, coaches lie all the time. Breathe, break down game tape, eat, lie. And Kentucky . . . well they care about basketball there. A lot. And even though I still think Billy would eventually have made more than the football coach if he'd stayed at A&M, basketball would never be THE THING for Aggies. And for a really ambitious guy . . . yeah, I can see why he'd choose them over us.

4. Sadness: A&M was really, really horrible at basketball before Billy Gillispie showed up. Some sports columnist put it a way I'd never heard it before: Billy won three NCAA tournament games in three years, the same amount A&M had won in the previous ninety-two (92) years. I think I can leave it at that.

5. Utter Bereft Depression: If you'd asked me a month ago what my reaction would be in this situation, I think this would be my answer. I really love Aggie basketball, but that never would have happened if not for Billy. And I love Bobble Billy, and now he has to live in the back of my closet. And what about my cool hologram poster that switches from (women's coach) Gary Blair to Billy? What am I going to do with that? And the matching magnet? And what about my BG-GB basketball shirt? I mean, it doesn't even make sense to say that it stands for "Bob Gates Gets Booty" anymore, because he's gone, too! And what about the recruits Billy had signed? Will they still come? What will happen to Aggie basketball? What will happen?

6. Magnanimy: On the other hand, Billy left us in a much better situation than he found us. He's a great coach, and I'm sure he'll go on to do great things. I've said it before--that man is going to win a national championship someday, it's only a question of what team he'll do it with.

7. Pettiness: But wouldn't it be great if he FAILED? And, like, didn't even GET to the tournament? And then the Kentucky fans RODE HIM OUT ON A RAIL? (Answer: yes it would.)
Also, I'm pretty sure I'm going to start referring to him as "The Handshake Man." And make sure it, you know, drips with sarcasm.

8. Hope: Maybe we'll get a new coach that's just as good (I know I should say even better, but face it--I can't get that hopeful). What if . . . what if we get . . . BRUISER FLINT, possessor of the greatest name in basketball? (Do click on that link. Totally worth it.)

That would be awesome.

Also awesome? This picture from Texags:

Click here to read more . . .

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Ridiculous Boyfriend Spotlight On . . .


Yes, I know--if I was going to have a Homestarrunner-type boyfriend, why not Strong Bad? Or Pom Pom? Or even Senor Cardgage? Well, I thought about it, but then I caught sight of my Homsar figurine (what? It's part of a set and I got it for Christmas and it's wicked awesome! Shut up!) and decided to go another way.
According to (which is, in its own way, far more amazing than wikipedia could ever hope to be--and wikipedia is pretty amazing), "Homsar is perhaps the strangest and most enigmatic of all the primary residents of the Homestar Runner universe. "

You know, the more I read of that hrwiki link to Homsar, the less I feel I have to say, or indeed can say, about him. It has that delightful wikipedia tone that takes even the dumbest of topics seriously. Check it: "Many believe that Homsar speaks in word salads (a speech disorder characteristic of schizophrenia in which grammar and sentence structure is often intact, but the words themselves have no particular meaning), but a detailed analysis of his speech patterns has shown that this is seldom the case." Who did a detailed analysis of his speech patterns? It's a good thing these people are preoccupied by cataloguing the entirety of the universe, or they'd end up taking over the world.

Anyhoo, it's not that Homsar is attractive, or not a cartoon, or intelligent, or even necessarily sentient, but he just makes me happy. His hat! It floats! His words! They make no sense!

And now, three Homsar links, so he can make you happy, too.

Click here to read more . . .

Monday, April 2, 2007

Basketball: Annoying Championship

Since I'm watching the Florida-Ohio State game (go Ohio State, by default!) all alone (all aloooonnnne), I decided to share some of my thoughts on it with you, the internet. (Well, the reason I'm watching it all aloooooonnne is because I am sick, but I cannot spread my cold to you, the internet.)

8:00ish: It has to be said, and I'll try just to say it once, but Joakim Noah . . . he makes me feel like I'm going to throw up in my mouth a little. Ew.

8:20ish: I really like OSU's bright red uniforms. They're very vibrant.

8:25ish: I'm so glad OSU is making some shots. The last game I watched, Florida-UCLA, was like watching high school girls' basketball. OK, no, scratch that--it was like watching bad high school girls' baksetball.

8:27: They're talking about Joakim Noah wants to come out (of the game) because he's so tired? Really?!? They've been playing for 3 1/2 minutes! Suck it up, spaz!

8:31: I'm entertained by how much ol' Billy Packer keeps complaining about the refs calling too many fouls. Get after 'em, old dude!

8:32: Corey Brewer got hit by Greg Oden's elbow? Really? It looked like he just fell over, which would have been a lot funnier.

8:33: Billy Packer just said "I don't know why players have to come out at all [when they get five fouls]. It's doesn't happen in any other sport!" For some reason, I find that vastly entertaining.

8:34: And Greg Oden travels. Raise your hand if you're surprised. Sometimes, I think, "That really old looking kid is pretty darn good at basketball!" And sometimes it's, "What a big clumsy ogre." But, uh, in the nicest way I could mean that. (Go Ohio State! I guess!)

8:39: This has nothing to do with this game, but how happy is this bear?!

8:42: Again with the talking about how the players are tired! They're only halfway through the first half! What kind of namby-pamby practices do Thad Matta and Billy Donovan run?

8:44: Oh, I'm sorry, according to Billy Packer, it's Billy "Dunnovan."

8:48: Why in the world do basketball games need aerial blimp coverage? (Hint: they don't.)

8:49: White guy dunk alert! And (heh heh) it was by Terwilliger, which name always makes me laugh. Not only is it just a funny combination of sounds, but . . . Bob Terwilliger!

8:51: Jim Nantz: "They call him [I don't know, some OSU guy] Microwave because he can heat up so quickly!" They do? That's pretty lame of them.

8:53: Jim Nantz: "And Florida has a double-digit lead!" Oh joy. Thad Matta needs to take a timeout because, you guessed it, his team is REALLY TIRED.

8:55: Oh good, that commercial with hip-hop "Sweet Home Alabama." Who thought that would be a good idea?

9:04: An 11-point lead for Florida going into halftime. How ideal.

I think I'm going to stop now, partly because I should be doing something more productive, and partly because this is a really cranky entry. I will make one final point, though: You know those Hartford commercials with the bad CGI elk? Couldn't they get a better CGI elk? Or a real elk? I keep thinking a real elk would be cheaper. And would look better. Everybody wins, including the elk, who'd probably get a salt lick in addition to becoming the most famous elk around.

Edited to Add: 10:13: The highlight of the game--they showed Jim Tressel (the OSU football coach)!

Oh my gosh, he's so adorable. He looks like Harry Truman in a sweater vest. Too bad he doesn't have much to be happy about--just like the last national championship matchup between these two freakin' schools. (You'd think there would be enough national championship games to go around, but noooooooooo. Win hogs.)
Click here to read more . . .