My New Favorite Game

I have a new game called "Where's Franco?" 

I often lose him in the nooks and crannies of our small apartment that happen to be busting at the seams.  When I think I have looked everywhere, I panic, entering worst-case-scenario mode bestowed upon me by my dear mother.  I begin to believe he has somehow grown three feet taller, evolved 3 million years to develop opposable thumbs, and gained supercat strength to open a window and jumped 20 feet to his broken-bodied, bloody death. 

Or worse, that he's managed to weasel his way inside the wall and has gotten his voluptuous, curvaceous body stuck back there and I'll never find him, until I hear his sad meowing somewhere back there with all the rotting mouse carcasses, but the fire department can't get him out in time before he starves to death, because being the diva that he is, he turns his nose up at eating rotting mouse carcass. 

Or worst of all, that he's somehow unlocked both locks on the door, with those new opposable thumbs, and escaped into our building's hallways, leading to a hefty fine from our apartment management company!

I am starting to realize that I am going to be the world's most paranoid helicopter parent.  My unborn kids have a lot of freaking out to look forward to.  I can't wait to pass it on to them for my grandchildren, the way Sandy H. has passed it on to me.

Luckily, we usually find Franco.  Where's Franco?

Some of these are the guest towels. 
And yes, I plan only on lint-rolling them before handing them off to you.
Martha would not approve.


I Wasn't Going To Watch Audrina's Reality Show, But I've Officially Changed My Mind

Unfortunately, the lovely, classy, talented Audrina was voted off Dancing With The Stars, and her completely belligerent and foul-mouthed mother had a LOT to say about it, and about the "tramps" on The Hills, "Jimmmmeh Kimball," and much, much more!

Thank you, Original Ceiling Eyes, and you're welcome, CiB readers!

Also: I hope this is me in 20 years.  Girlfriend is Cindy Crawford-hot at her age!

Hating Duke Without Borders

Sandy H. reports from dinner time in Morocco:

"Tonight we sat next to a guy who went to Duke. He was an a*#hole."

Not that we needed any more of an explanation, because our most recent run-in with a Duke grad involved him calling us "slow-minded" within two minutes of meeting him for having gone to UNC, i.e. the Southern Part of Heaven.  But Derrick wanted to know more, so we had to ask why, specifically, this guy was an a*#hole.

"I - I - I - Me - Me - Me - My - My - My.  He SAYS he was head of a 300-person law firm (your dad doubts it).  Thinks Chapel Hill is not a 'real town.'  I said, 'Have you been there lately?'  'Many times!'"

We have to interject here and ponder the existence of Durham as a "real town."  We would call it a "real ghetto town," a "real ugly town," a "Voldemort is real and he lives in this town..."  We could go on.

Sandy H. continues: "Is thrilled UNC was bad in basketball last year, hopes it happens again, does not like Roy.  Coach K is the world's greatest coach.  Has traveled everywhere, done everything, knows everything.  I could go on but this re-cap is ruining my morning."

Ours, too.

"It was a challenging evening, but I've been proud of me.  I have conversed with everyone, even a*#holes, and said nice things about everything, even Duke.  Nearly killed me."

Our friends over in London, like us, hate Duke with an infernal passion undying, and encountering obnoxious Duke people outside the U.S. border only adds fuel to that lava-spewing cauldron of hatred.  You can read all about their trans-continental hating here and here

Lord Voldemort, Hannibal Lector, Hitler's ghost,
and the douchey kid who wrote I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell all live here.

Hump Day Patty Cake

I love how they play, get bored, play, get bored, the one on the left smacks the other one in the face, they play, get bored, the one on the left bites the other one on the head, they play.

Thanks Dannah S. for the tip!


This Is Payback For All Those College Application Essays Mom Wrote For Me

Ladies and gentlemen, I present my attempt at taking over Sandy H.'s Dancing With The Stars Recap while she is lounging around on a cruise ship, pounding pinot grigio.  I had never seen the show before, and I could only watch the first hour because Gossip Girl is basically my religion.  And before you start harping on the amazing technology of 2010, listen: CiB doesn't pay well enough to afford DVR.

So.... how are we going to stretch this shizz into two whole hours with only 7 dancers dancing for about a minute?  I know.  Let's show the Top 10 DWTS performances of all time, as voted by our viewers! 

#10: Shawn Johnson.  I keep thinking about that stalker she had.  Scary!  #9: Donny Osmond.  I keep thinking about how he's a Mormon.

I'm falling asleep.  It's a good thing tonight is no-wine Monday, otherwise I'd already be halfway through one R.E.M. cycle and it's only 8:05. 

I don't know the celeb at #8, but he's dancing with the Proactiv girl who's dating Ryan Seacrest.

Apolo Ohno is at #7 dancing with Proactiv girl.  I can't believe Apolo was on DWTS.  It's 8:10 p.m. Only 50 minutes until Gossip Girl.

#6 is Joanna Krupa (whoever that is) and the brother of Proactiv girl who's also dating the stunning and talented Cheryl Tweedy.


#4: Nicole Scherzinger, during that period when Dancing With The Stars became Dancing With The Dancers.

And a commercial break.  8:20 p.m.  20 minutes of my life gone.  20 minutes closer to death than I was 20 minutes ago.

#3: Apolo again!  The ladies loves them some Apolo.

#2: Gilles Marini.  Wasn't he the dude who gave frontal in Sex and the City: The Movie?  Nudity could make this tango a little more exciting.

#1: Drew Lachey.  The #1 dance as voted by viewers out of 1,000 dances involves a solid 5 seconds of piggyback riding a dude to the tune of "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy."  Brillz.

30 minutes until Gossip Girl.

Audrina's partner is the first person ever to accuse her of "thinking too much."  I am distracted by Audrina's implants.  Her too-tight tank forces them up under her armpits.  Very unsettling.

Audrina looks gorge.  Inspiring me to hit the gym in the a.m.  Or not.

Kyle and Lacey are dancing to Adam Lambert.  You have 7 rock songs to choose and you first chose Queen, and follow it up with Glambert?  I question a lot of ABC's choices, and if you've ever seen so much as a single commercial for Wipeout, you would too.

It's 9 p.m.  Time to give up on this and go catch up on the avant-garde artistic stylings of the greatest show of our time.

Blair, pie, and minions.


Martha's Calendar

I remember the first time I made my mom buy me picked up a copy of Martha Stewart Living.  It was the summer of 1998 and Sandy H. and I were driving through New England after my summer at Choate (I wasn't quite fall-winter-spring semester Choate material).  We were in Maine and I was snuggled in the back seat of the rental station wagon with the July MSL, adorned with a cover picture of a beautiful homemade yogurt-currant-blueberry parfait: a perfect 4th of July cover that drew me in to a lifetime of domestic low self-esteem.

As we drove past the Bush complex in Kennebunkport, I finished digesting my MSL, and I confirmed exactly what I always knew I wanted to be when I grew up: rich.  And a collector of fine antique pie birds, an owner of magnificent Friesians, a grower of prize gourds, an entertainer of white people, and an all-around domestic goddess, even though I despise the title "domestic goddess."

I had this new idea for a blog last night and then I got really sleepy and dozed off for a little while and woke up being pissed off that I had totally forgotten about my new blog idea.  Then I picked up my November issue of MSL and turned to one of the first features that I have always found wildly entertaining: Martha's Calendar.  And then I remembered my new blog idea.

Martha's Calendar is totally and utterly absurd and worth the subscription price just to get a small glimpse into her schedule.  I've read that it's cut down by at least 90% for each day, and it's still beyond what any human is capable of doing if you work at a full-time job and need to fit in at least four hours of craptastic TV a day.

I'm not entirely sure, but in 2011, I might be living Martha's Calendar for a year and blogging about it.  It's kind of an aggressive goal, because when I told Derrick about it, he said, "Did you see what you would need to do on November 5th?  She's traveling to Manitoba to watch the polar bear migration, then she's touring the arctic tundra and viewing the northern lights."

Yeah, that would be hard to do.  So would all the gardening and composting and taking care of the chicken coops, what with the fact that I live in a one-bedroom apartment in the middle of a major urban center.  It's also not entirely original, in more ways than one.  It could be great for me though; I've been dying for an excuse to start horseback riding again!  And I know Derrick is tired of eating lemon-rosemary grilled chicken with steamed carrots.  Wouldn't he just love it if I whipped up some farro salad with oven-roasted grapes and autumn greens with parsnip-apple mash?  What the f**k is farro?

I may just have to settle for going to the zoo and watching the polar bears migrate from their feed bin to their lap pool, and viewing the light-polluted sky of north Philadelphia.  Which would be technically, if not Martha-perfectly, correct.

As if I needed another reason to love her.  
Would you please look at those ridunk Frenchies.


It Doesn't Take Long For The H. Family Reputation To Make Itself Known

Sandy H. has just arrived in Portugal and writes:

"Greetings from Portugal!  This is the lovely view from our hotel room:

...And so begins the tour of eating and drinking. They already know us and wave when we walk by the hotel bar.  Fewer than 12 hours in town."


Pennsylvania Mania

At a lunch time outing with some office mates the other day, the conversation that started off gabbing about other office mates took a decidedly more interesting turn: crazy sex laws.  I don't know how we got here, but we did.  Maybe because I was talking about how Derrick is thinking about bringing another wife into our marriage to spice things up.

We decided to do a little research on the illegal things we do without realizing it, and focused our search on the state in which we currently live.

In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.  It's illegal to sing in a bathtub.  It's illegal to sweep dust and dirt under a rug.

Derrick's and my marriage would not be considered legal if it had been performed in Pennsylvania because neither the bride nor groom can be drunk during the ceremony and it's illegal to shoot off a cannon at a wedding.  That, and we both passed out on top of our outdoor fridge after the consummation.

During our research I did see a stupid law that I already knew about from many years of touring hundreds of college campuses with Sandy H.: that it is outlawed for more than 16 women to reside in a house together because it constitutes a brothel.  This is a favorite wake-up tactic employed by tour guides across the state when discussing sorority life and Greek housing.  You can always count on someone's obnoxious dad to make an obnoxious joke comparing sorority women to prostitutes.  Then that dad's child would be all like, "Ughhhhh, DAD!  GOD, you're SO ANNOYING!  Ughhhh!"

Then the tour guide will follow the rest of her formulaic plan and talk about how even though it's a large school, the classes are small and you can get to know your professors really well!  Last night she went over to her professor's house for pizza with one of her classes and she's going to be babysitting for another professor this weekend.  Why is it that every tour guide dines on pizza with and babysits for her professors?  We didn't know a single person at any of the colleges we attended who did this. 

Anyway, back to the brothel law.  This is a stupid law because I'm pretty sure an effective brothel could be achieved with just 15 women.  Pretty sure the Maison Derriere in Springfield managed it ...

"We Put The Spring In Springfield" Lyrics

You could close down Moe's or the Kwik-E-Mart
and nobody would care
But the heart and soul of Springfield is
our Maison Derriere!

We're the sauce on your steak
We're the cheese in your cake
We put the spring in Springfield!

We're the lace on the night gown
The point after touchdown
Yes, we put the spring in Springfield!

We're that little extra spice
That makes existence extra nice
A giddy little thrill at a reasonable price!

Our only major quarrel's
With your total lack of morals
Our skimpy costumes ain't so bad
They seem to entertain your dad!

The gin in your martini
The clams on your linguini
We keep the *boing* in Springfield!
We remember our first visit
The service was exquisite!

Why Joseph, I had no idea!
Come on now, you were working here.

Without it we'd have had no fun
Since March of 1961.
To shut them down now would be twisted.
We just heard this place existed!

We're the highlights in your hairdo
The extra arms on Vishnu.

So don't take the *boing*, we won't take the *slide whistle*,
Yes, let's keep the *crash* in Springfield!


Celebrity Doppelgangers

I consume celebrity gossip and culture quickly and in massive amounts, the same way I am currently consuming yesterday's office going-away party cupcakes that are stale, but whatever.  I pay closer attention to these people than I do to the people in my own life - like friends I value but only keep up with on Facebook or the chick who has worked at the desk next to me for the last year - whatever her name is. 

And yet I still do a double-take when it comes to some of these celebs and I'll mistake them for someone else.  I lifted these from Perez Hilton, i.e. my main news source.  Spot on!

Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman.  Gorgeous times two.

Katy Perry and Zooey Deschanel.  Like twins!

Javier Bardem and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  I have always mixed these two up, but one of them has an Oscar and one of them is married to a chick from One Tree Hill.  Who's the big winner?  Also, apparently one of them was on Gray's Anatomy, which is a show I quit watching after Katherine Heigl's character told everyone off for making fun of her for taking immodest photos to pay her way through med school.  So, pretty much the first episode.

Edie Falco and Ellen DeGeneres.  Never thought about this one before, but okay.

Chris Rock and Mario.  Is it racist to say I've mistaken Mario for Chris Rock?

Gwyneth Paltrow and I guess someone who could possibly be her niece but not her doppelganger, the younger, less GOOP-y, less snooty, awesome Aussie Mia Wasikowska. 

Erika Christensen and Julia Stiles.  I used to mix these two up ... circa 1999.

Willem Dafoe and Denis Leary.  If someone compared my looks to Willem Dafoe's, I would feel the way I felt when I was in 6th grade and my class all had to write down nice things about one another anonymously, and someone wrote to me that I was "Pretty.... inside."

Amy Adams and Isla Fisher.  Totally couldn't tell these two apart in movies for two years.  One used to work at Hooters and one is married to Borat. 

Tom Hardy and some dude named Logan Marshall-Green.  I have no idea who he is, but, yeah, they look like mega, smoking hot twins.

Khloe Kardashian and Joanie Laurer, aka Chyna Doll.  Khloe is much prettier than this picture gives her credit for.

The insane hotness that is Zac Efron and Chace Crawford.  I would have done Chace Crawford and Ian Somerhalder (below).  I have more pictures, but I thought this wasn't a bad note to end on.  I'm so over the annoying Blogger photo uploader today.  Enjoy the Yum.


French Bulldog Puppy After A Bath

Sometimes I want to bark at my blow dryer in the mornings, too. 

Birthday Girl

Me: It's raining - I can't believe it.  It never rains on October 19.  October 19 is always the most beautiful day of the year, and I'm not just biased because it's my birthday.
Jeff: God probably just finally realized October 19 was your birthday after 29 years and now He's crying.

Hopefully both God and I will perk up later today.  I have a lot to be thankful for in my old age:

1. No gray hairs (yet).
2. No wrinkles (yet - although I have someone's mother's special skin-tightening doctor on speed dial for when the day comes).
3. No heart conditions (yet - I really, really love cheese).
4. No emphysema (yet - I have *cough* over a year left living in Philly and *cough* fording the Schuykill River every day *cough cough cough*).
5. No hearing loss (did you say something?).

Tonight I plan on celebrating my birthday like any normal 29-year old would.  I'm going to set up my retirement account and then I'm going to slather my face with Vaseline.  I need to preserve the last little bit of my twenties - I'm going to squeeze out every last drop of them, and then use that last drop to moisturize underneath my eyes.

Gonna wake up 10 years younger! 
Age 19, here I come!

Bristol Palin, Maybe You'll Get Lucky and Your In-Flight Movie Will Be "Snow Dogs."

Sandy H. has decided that to celebrate the anniversary of the day she gave birth to the greatest person in the world, she is taking a cruise through Portugal, Morocco, the Canary Islands, and across the Atlantic to the Bahamas, so this will be her last DWTS recap for a while.  I'm going to sacrifice watching Gossip Girl for the next two weeks so I can try my hand at not just writing a recap but actually sitting through an entire episode of DWTS, which I have not yet accomplished in my 29 years.


Sandy H. writes: Happy Birthday, Bugs!  Guess what!  You're 8 years and 364 days older than Bristol Palin.

I miss the old Dancing with the Stars:  The crying, the fights, the divas.  The producers must miss it too so they’re getting a little desperate.  Last night Jennifer walked out on Derek during rehearsal to … take a walk.  She took her purse!  Will she ever come back?  Yes, she did!  That was pretty much it.  And we must have seen at least three or four promos of this excitement. 

During the first-ever TV Theme Week on DWTS our stars in Week 5 seem to be either too nervous or too tired or just too bored to show the passion and emotion that makes us want to watch them.  Brandy and Maks’s quick step earned their highest score of the season – a 27.  Dancing to the theme from Friends, they want us to know they really really like each other so much in spite of their earlier difficulties.  (I enjoyed the difficulties! And I’m not buying this friendship thing one bit).  Florence and Corky danced to –you’ll never guess this one – the theme from The Brady Bunch. Even though their tango earned only 21 from the judges, it was their highest score of the season.

One reason we watch DWTS is to see the progression the stars make from non-dancers to ballroom swans.  We think that just maybe we could dance too.  Of course, with weeks of professional training, not to mention the help of Hollywood stylists and makeup people, maybe we could.  (Also, the fear of public humiliation in front of 20 million people would be incentive enough for me).  Favorite question from Bill H. during past DWTS:  “Which one’s the pro?”  This year he’s not asking that so much.  In Week 1 Jennifer and Brandy and Audrina were really good.  They’re still really good, and most of the rest have just sort of plateau-ed.  So 4*s this week to Kurt who finally jumped off the plateau with his adorable foxtrot to the theme from Bewitched.   The judges praised his “easy casual” musicality that reminded them of Gene Kelly.  Bruno said he was “brilliant.”  The dance was good enough for Len to stop talking about Kurt’s huge “ham hands.”  Apparently, that’s a good quality in a football player, not so much in a ballroom dancer.  Kurt earned his highest score of the season, a 24, as did Rick, who hauled out Kobe Bryant and Coach Phil Jackson to tell partner Cheryl what a Hard Worker and Perfectionist Rick is.  Although Len said his rumba was “not a romance, more of the couple staying together for the children,” he still gave Rick an 8. Way too high as far as I’m concerned.

Jennifer and Audrina danced well last night, but, given their excellent past performances, they underwhelmed.  The judges gave Audrina a 23 for her rumba to – here’s another shocker – the theme from The Hills.  Did someone hear that song and think what an amazing rumba it would make?  Really?  And Bruno wanted Audrina to be “pulsating with passion” during her rumba.  I mean, Audrina is sweet and beautiful, but I just cannot imagine her rumba-ing with pulsating passion.  Still, what do I know?  I’ve never met the girl.  Jennifer did a more than competent foxtrot, earning her a 25, the second highest score of the evening.  Compared to her fabulous tango from last week, the judges seemed disappointed, as were we.  That’s too bad because if almost anyone else had done the same dance, we would have been thrilled.  That’s what you get for being fabulous.  You spoil us.


At the bottom this week were Kyle and Bristol.  Kyle and his partner did a sort of disco foxtrot to the Charlie’s Angels theme that’s just hard to explain.  It was the old John Travolta disco-arms-over-the-head thing but with foxtrotting feet.  To answer your question, yes, it was as weird as it sounds.  Len said, “It started bad and it gradually got worse and worse.”  He awarded our boy a 5, but the other judges were kinder and Kyle ended up with a total of 20.  As far as Bristol goes, we’re all still trying to get that girl to show more personality.  Her partner Mark really did all that he could do, bringing in clowns to teach her to do big smiles and big sad faces.  The pair donned monkey suits to jive to the theme from The Monkees.  Unfortunately, a personality still didn’t emerge, and it didn’t help that she forgot a lot of the routine. Her 18 was the lowest score of the evening.  I think Bristol may be headed back to Alaska, and, big sad face here L, yesterday was her birthday. 

Next week we have “Rock and Roll” Week to look forward to, the first week the dancers will perform two dances each. That will surely separate, as Judge Len says, the “dancers from the chancers,” whoever they are.  

Pack your bags, Bristol.


Curvy and Creepy

I would say that watching Paranormal Activity shortly before bedtime is one of the best ideas I've had in a while.

There's no better way to soothingly ease your way into your work week than to go to bed with your husband like normal in your scary, creaking, old apartment, having just watched a movie about a young couple going to bed like normal and being woken up night after night to be terrorized by a demon.

Derrick is uncharacteristically not as terrified as I am at the moment, but that probably has more to do with the fact that he missed about half of the film thanks to the unfortunate and inevitable accompaniment to day drinking: the evening hangover.

But before I go off on a tangent about how I'm not sure who among the two of us should be more embarrassed that I outdrank him at the Eagles-Falcons game, let me get back to this insane and amazing movie.  I have to wonder how a film that looks like any idiot with $400 and a bedroom could have made it ended up grossing $193 million at the box office.

I must come up with an idea for a low-budget scary movie soon - something that can yield totally ridunk returns.  Come to think of it, although he is extremely cute and fluffy - and "curvy," as they say on Say Yes To The Dress: Big, Franco can be pretty creepy when he just stares at you for a few minutes and then disappears for several hours (seriously, where does he go?  Our apartment is like 300 square feet!).

Check it out: 90 minutes of this guy looking into your soul and then just walking away.  I see nothing but dollar signs.

He killed that toy mouse just by looking at it.  
Will you survive Franco's death stare?


Your New Favorite Thing You Want: Baby English Bulldog

I want to grab this little guy by his non-working rear drumsticks, marinate them and chow down on their stumpy cuteness.  Then I want to eat his crunchy little Dorito ears. 

Happy Friday! 


Taking Advantage of the Faint of Heart

I love the shizz out of this time of year.  It's like a non-stop orgy train of cool-weather holidays starting at Labor Day with stops at my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, with a sprinkling of sweata weatha and the occasional spice cake or two ten!

No more sweating yourself to sleep!  No more banging your head against the wall for NOT appreciating that ice maker while you had it.  Adios, Hermione Granger hair, you can use your hair dryer again!  No more walking around the apartment in your underw--- meh, I don't see any reason to stop doing that.

I might love Halloween and its accompanying movies a little more than the average person.  I once became obsessed with owning a DVD of Practical Magic, even though I recognize that it's probably one of the worst movies of all time, and one that both Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock would rather forget was ever made.  I drove to every DVD-selling storefront in a 50-mile radius looking for Practical Magic.  Did I think to call ahead anywhere?  Of course not.  My brain was overwrought with witch obsession!  I encountered one Best Buy employee who was at first puzzled by my quest, and then for some reason found it worthy of his judgment and ridicule.  I stomped off empty-handed and finally had to give up, order it online and waaaaiiiittt for it, ughhh! 

Derrick and I were just friends before that fateful night when I got him drunk and informed him that we would be together forever.  During that "just friends" period, we went to see The Ring.  I absolutely love this movie and will watch it at any opportunity.  This movie scared the shit out of Derrick, and though he won't admit it, it still does to this day. 

There is a woman in the movie-within-the-movie in The Ring, who stands in front of a mirror, brushing her long dark hair, and then she turns around slowly to look directly at the viewer.  It is tinkle-your-pants freaky.  So sometimes when I know Derrick is behind me, I'll stand in front of a mirror with my eyes really wide, and then I'll slowly turn around to look at him without blinking or smiling, and he totally wigs out.  That's not freaky - that's just funny.

Watch Samara's creeptastic video yourself for an inspirational way to freak the shit out of your loved ones!


Shake Shake Shake

When one chooses a career path that involves a feast-or-famine environment, those days of fasting can seem endless when your boss can't return your e-mails because she has pink eye (SORRIES!).  You scour the blogs for anything entertaining or educational, and realize it's time to limit the number of articles you read about Courteney Cox and David Arquette's break-up / open marriage / cheating scandals.  The only Facebook update from the past 25 minutes is the news that a girl with whom you took ballet lessons in 3rd grade is now friends with a person you've never heard of.  Gripping.

Then 3:30 p.m. rolls around and your brain starts to feel like it's growing cobwebs.  You stand up, and feel kind of dizzy, so you sit back down.  You decide you need some candy corn, so you should probably go get some.  And then you eat the candy corn.  And you sit back down.

The phone rings and it's a number you recognize, and you can't believe it, it isn't one you want to avoid!  And then you have this conversation:

Leigh Ann: Hello, you big dodo brain.
Jeff: Hello, you smelly little stinkity stink stinkbug.  Have you been annoying everyone today?
Leigh Ann: What are you doing tonight?  Are you going to brink a dottle of wine... I mean drink a bottle of wine?  And breat a brick ... I mean eat a brick of cheese?  Jeez, my brain is turning into a big pile of macaroni and cheese.
Jeff: I wish your brain would turn into a big pile of macaroni and cheese.  Then I would hold you upside down by your ankles over a plate and shake shake shake you until your head fell off, so I could eat it.

And then you realize the length of your day prior to this phone call was totally worthwhile.

Jeff and I have been having this exact same conversation three times a day, every day, for eight years.  Here's a picture of us being disrespectful at the Vatican in 2002.  Jeff's look holds up well, but I am pretty sure I am outfitted entirely in American Eagle, except of course for the Skechers.

And here's him at my wedding performing the traditional breaking of the plate over the bride's head.  He was honored!



Because You Don't Watch It But All The Ladies In Your Office Do And You Want To Fit In

On to Sandy H.'s Week 4 Dancing With The Stars Recap!

“That was a get-a-room-dance!” – Host Tom Bergeron to Florence Henderson.

We said farewell to Margaret Cho last week.  I won’t miss her or her dancing, but I will definitely miss her adorable parents sitting in the front row of the audience every week.  It was always good to see them sitting there looking happy and so obviously proud of their daughter.  Margaret says such mean things about them in her standup act that either they are the most forgiving people in the world or their English skills are limited.

Monday night it was all about Brandy, Audrina, and especially the fabulous Jennifer. You heard it here first: These three girls will be in the finals.  No one else is even close.  Receiving the first 10s of the season and a score of 56, Jennifer was dazzling in a tango that was described by the judges as “incredible,” “precise,” and “amazing.”  Even with a neuroma in her foot and screws in her neck, this girl is a wonder, and it didn’t hurt that her music was an actual tango.  Sometimes DWTS hurts its performers by using music that is a little too hip for the occasion.  Brandy - wearing as little as is legally permissible on television: her underwear and a scarf - looked beautiful, her rumba earning her a 48.  Her partner Maks skipped the spankings this week, thank goodness, and the two seemed more connected in spite of the cheesy “date” the producers cooked up between the two.  Something tells me that when all this is over, Brandy and Maks won’t be getting together braiding each other’s hair, and reminiscing about the good times on DWTS. Audrina’s tango couldn’t quite match the magic of last week’s waltz.  Len said he was “not transported,” and Bruno found her “cool and detached.”  Still, the dance earned her a 46.  Anyway, let’s celebrate Week 4 with 4*s to these girls for pulling away from the rest of the pack.

Just to shake things up, DWTS celebrated an “acoustic” week with the dancers on a small, round, elevated stage inches from the audience.  Dancing rumbas or tangos, each couple received two scores: one for technique, another for performance, with a maximum score of 60. With two sets of marks showing just how far ahead Jennifer, Audrina, and Brandy are from everyone else, maybe we should hold off on doing that again any time soon. (The Situation’s score was exactly half of Jennifer’s.) The night’s theme may have been acoustic but the overall tone was, as judge Carrie Ann said in describing Florence’s dance, “sexy, raunchy, dirty.”  The Sitch finally showed his abs; Bristol’s partner did the whole tear-the-shirt-off thing; and Florence’s passionate rumba embarrassed the judges.  The bottom six are getting a little desperate.

The Sitch’s tango was arguably one of the worst in the history of the show.  Personally I think Kate Gosselin’s paparazzi number holds that honor, but The Situation is very, very close.  Judge Len Goodman described it as “consistent – bad throughout.”  The Sitch’s partner Karina danced around him.  He was just a piece of equipment, unable to manage more than a couple of steps and lifts. With a score of 28 (and that’s out of 60, mind you, NOT 30) Mr. Sorrentino is probably out the door. Bristol’s unfortunate rumba, earning a score of 32, was not much better. She seemed to spend a whole bunch of time lying on the floor, limiting her actual dancing.  And that may have been the plan. Her partner Mark tried to convey the emotion she was lacking with the old shirt removal trick.  Didn’t help. 

Athletes Kurt and Rick were in their usual middle positions, scoring 34 and 39.  Why did it seem this week that several of the stars weren’t holding up their end of the deal, just standing there like poles for the pros to dance around?  We already know the pros can dance. That’s why they’re there.  I think Kurt and Rick have lost interest, and as a consequence we’re losing interest in them.  No interest = no votes.  That’s not the case with Florence though.  She may have only gotten a 35, but when you’re 76 and people describe you as “dirty and raunchy,” you know she’s leaving it all on the dance floor. Doesn’t mean she can dance, of course, but she wasn’t so bad she’ll be gone this week. Kyle wasn’t bad. This may be damning him with faint praise, but he was the best male celebrity dancing last night. He’s 19, enjoys a great cheeseburger more than a great rumba, but at least he looks as if he’s having fun and trying.

Florence and Kyle, Kurt and Rick may be especially lucky that this is the season of The Situation and Bristol. I will be amazed if those two aren’t out this week and next. I keep waiting for them to surprise us and finally grasp the whole concept.  Hasn’t happened though. They just seem to have hit a plateau of bad dancing that isn’t going to change.

As soon as I pushed “Send” on the blog last week, I regretted what I’d written. I hate it when I do that. I’ve been really hard on Bristol and I want to apologize. I realize that for most of her life she was just a Regular Girl, becoming famous suddenly because of a series of events – some of her own doing, some not.  She’s competing against seasoned performers who, if not dancers, are certainly accustomed to crowds and critics and interviews. (For the sake of argument, let’s just agree now that what Audrina and The Situation do on The Hills and Jersey Shore can be described as “performing.”) I have been critical of Bristol’s modest clothing choices on the show, but the person I should have been talking about was the middle school girl I saw get off the school bus on our street this week.  Did her mother actually let her go out of the house like that?  And her school did not send her home to change and/or call Child Protective Services?  Jeez.  So here are 4*s to Bristol and 4*s to all the shy, fashion-challenged, small town Regular Girls who take a chance and step outside their comfort zones.  Not enough of us do that. At 19 I could never have done what Bristol’s doing.  Even for money.*

*Okay, maybe for money.

What everyone wants to be this Halloween:
A Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone.


Best Wishes To The Frickin Newlyweds

Sandy H. writes: "Just perusing the women's sports section.  Ms. Bloom married Mr. Frickin in Chapel Hill at Fearrington Village, with bridesmaids' luncheon in the South Parlor of the Carolina Inn and the rehearsal dinner at Top of the Hill.  Sounds nice, except I wouldn't want to be Mrs. Frickin.  Too many Frickin jokes can be made with this name."

Mom is right, and not just about the Frickin name.  The small-but-noisy parakeet-like feminist inside us shakes her head at the notion that the Celebrations page of the Sunday paper is viewed as the women's sports section, but the keeping-it-real garbage-eating pigeon in us knows it's true, especially in the South.  There, you can date a man for several years and be pitied for being perfectly happy with your unmarried life and not placing some sort of proposal ultimatum on his stopwatch - not that we would know what that's like. 

Once you've made it to the Celebrations page, where in some circles you will already be deemed a winner, how will the rest of us ultimately determine who the real winners and losers of this page are?  Of course, the true winner is any bride who marries the right groom for herself, and blah blah blah, cupcakes and rainbows, but since we can't tell that from an announcement, we'll go straight to the more superficial bullet points for spotting the losers.

There is a 100% chance that these brides are wearing tiaras, and their bridal portraits sometimes feature stuffed animals from their childhoods.  Before you scoff at this like it's something we made up, believe us, we've seen it before, and not just with a stuffed animal - with a Cabbage Patch doll.  There is probably mention of a "miniature bride and groom" as part of the bridal party.  The cake topper was totally hilarious and involved a plastic bride dragging her plastic groom across the top tier.  It's funny because men don't want to get married!  Ha ha!

There are so many excellent avenues to take to play voyeur to these loser weddings.  If you are looking for a laugh sometime this week, and want to reaffirm the fact that your wedding had/is going to have a "W" next to it on the Celebrations page, the CiB team recommends checking out Tacky WeddingsWedinator, or the tangentially-related and always amazing Cake Wrecks.  

Men HATE commitment!  He's really in for it now, I tell ya!  
How hysterical and not even remotely cliche!


Breaking News: Kittens on a Roomba

The fat shirtless kid at the end doesn't even taint the cute.

A Friday Cat in a Sink Bath

What are you doing this weekend?  Hopefully, you will enjoy whatever it is more than this guy is enjoying his sink bath.


Duh..... What Country Is Asia In?

Sometimes I wonder what Derrick sees in me.  He is brilliant, gifted, was valedictorian of his high school, received a full merit scholarship to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is now pursuing two post-baccalaureate degrees in three years.  I, on the other hand, house the incredibly useful knowledge that the '90s one-hit-wonder "Crazy For This Girl" was sung by Evan and Jaron, who were identical twin Orthodox Jews.

Scene: Lunch time at Jimmy John's

Derrick: I won't be home until late tonight because I have a meeting with my business venture team.  We're working on a project that could take us to Asia, South America, Australia or Europe.  It's pretty cool because the team is diverse and made up of me in finance and private equity, two guys with military backgrounds, and two girls who were in marketing and private equity.  Hopefully we'll be able to strategize this initiative with some dividends and diversify our portfolios with some other words that are big.

Leigh Ann: *blink*... *blink*...

Leigh Ann: I was watching Teen Mom yesterday, and it was so funny because Gary was buying flowers for Amber because she was going out on a date with an ex-con she met at Wal-Mart, and instead of saying he thought it would be a "nice gesture," he said "nice GUESS-chur."  HAHAHAHA!

End Scene.

Luckily for me, Derrick is always willing and able to come down to my level.

"Numbers are hard!"

Buns in Baths

I don't think I'm on a bun kick.  It's just that I've stumbled across some pretty amazing bun-ness in the last day or so.

Buns in baths!

Courtesy of !! OMG Blog !!


Two Fountain Drinks, Please, With Extra Bun

I am pretty sure that if all our world leaders sat down together to watch this video, peace would break out like a middle schooler's skin.

Polygamy: None of the Monogamy, All of the Monotony

When participants in singular marriages grow bored and antsy with the drudgery of their married lives, they take up a hobby, take a vacation, redecorate the living room or go dig around in that forgotten lingerie drawer for a little excitement.  When polygamists get bored, they just add more wives.

Thus is the inception of the first episodes of TLC's Sister Wives.  I spent two very peaceful, quiet hours watching this incredibly boring show, and when I wasn't dozing off, I spent most of that time wondering why anyone would ever name a child any of the following names:


If you're going to name your kid Truely, why not at least spell it correctly?

My favorite moment came within the opening five minutes, when the women clarified that they each had sexual relationships with the terribly-named patriarch Kody, the sister wives do NOT have a sexual relationship with one another, and they don't have group sex.  As one of them said, "We're not weird like that."  Because orgies are soooo much weirder than polygamy!

Not sure why this came up on a Google image search of "polygamist,"
but it does make me long for the days of Rock of Love, the greatest television program of our time.


Sandy H. and the Dancing With The Stars Recep: Week 3

“Walk with your feet.  Dance with your heart,” from Judge Len Goodman to Audrina.

We had to say bye bye to Michael Bolton who received the only “3” anyone can remember a DWTS judge ever give.  Happily, last week was not a total loss for Michael.  He was mentioned on Glee – not in an entirely positive way, unfortunately.  Glee kids don’t actually sing “Adult Contemporary,” or, apparently, even enjoy listening to it.  Still, a mention is a mention.  AND, because Susan Boyle got a sore throat and can’t perform Tuesday night, Michael gets a gig singing on DWTS. (Better than Michael dancing.)

I balanced my checkbook yesterday afternoon, and I have numbers on my mind, so here goes:

         6 ½:  The number of dancers – Stars or Pros - who removed an article of clothing.  This week’s theme was "Dances that Tell a Story."  Taking off your clothes shows the judges you’re Really Getting into Character.  Rick gets the ½ for being a tease, unbuttoning his shirt but not removing it.  Another week has passed without The Situation showing that body part he so wants us to see.  And, even after the removal of a trenchcoat, Bristol still wore enough clothes for an arctic winter.  More on this later.

         1 – The Crying Count was down this week, with only Florence weepy over reminders of her late husband.

         2 – Comeback Kids: Two close-but-not-quites of the last couple of weeks danced into my heart, so a few little *s go to Audrina for her lovely waltz.  The story was something about dancing with her soldier-lover. Or maybe he was a ghost.  Whatever.  At least there wasn’t all that saluting people did last week.  Judge Len told her she had “danced with her heart.”  Audrina got the highest score of the season so far, a 26, with Bruno and Len both giving her 9s.  BTW, somebody please go get that girl a cheeseburger.

Also a few little *s to Brandy for a nice bounce back from a less than stellar performance last week.  She got a 24.  Extra *s to her for putting up with being spanked in rehearsal by her partner.  That was really tacky.  (Just gossip here, so don’t pay ANY attention to this, but, supposedly her partner Maks thinks she’s a diva and is doing what he can to get her off the show.  Of course, I for one don’t listen to gossip, but he definitely doesn’t have the chemistry he had last season with Erin Andrews.)

Also receiving 24s were Jennifer and Rick – both doing sambas.  Jennifer got a little mixed up somewhere in there, and those mean judges, one after the other, had to keep pointing it out.  Rick and Kurt (who got a 23) are both natural athletes but not natural dancers.  Maybe the judges are a little kinder to them than they deserve, but both really seem to enjoy themselves.  Also with a 23, Kyle – I’ve still not met anyone who’s ever heard of him – is a joy to watch, just surprisingly graceful.  Carrie Ann said she could “feel his passion out to his fingertips!” I hope people vote for him even if they’ve never heard of him.

Lower down the leader board but probably safe cause who’s not going to vote for Mrs. Brady, Florence Henderson (in a corset-y dirndl showing more cleavage than Bristol) received a 20 with her v e r y   v e r y  s l o w  a n d  s l e e p y waltz to “Edelweiss,” arguably one of the most annoying songs in history. Her partner also sported military garb.  They love that stuff on DWTS. The audience loves her, but the judges not so much this week. Tied right there with Florence is The Situation who’s not as awful as I thought he would be.  He and his partner danced to “Boom Boom Pow” by The Black-Eyed Peas.  Maybe not what Fred Astaire would have chosen for a foxtrot but it kinda kept your mind off his dancing.  It was some kind of time travel thing that made Len say, “If that’s the future, I’m glad I live in the past.”

And down at the bottom were Bristol (with a 19) and Margaret (with an 18).  Bristol stopped by the Golden Girls’ yard sale this weekend and picked up a frock for the evening.  I swear they use so much yardage on her clothes there’s no fabric left for Audrina and Brandy who have to go backless every week.  I mean, you can be modest, but this is crazy.  Mostly the judges criticized Bristol’s acting ability, not her above-average foxtrot.  “I know there’s something in there.  Show it to me, Baby,” Bruno told her.  Well, Bruno, that’s almost exactly what I’ve been telling her the last few weeks and she hasn’t listened.  And, frankly, I think showing a little skin wouldn’t hurt her scores either.  

Margaret, wearing a rainbow-fringed outfit, did a samba dedicated to being “out.”  I think.  “This is the gayest thing that has ever happened, so I could not contain myself,” she explained.  The judges praised the message but not the dance.  Sadly, someone will be eliminated Tuesday night.  That said, we do have The Return of Michael Bolton to look forward to!

I love any excuse to put up a picture of the Girls.


I'm The Douchebag

Sometime last year, I remember a normal, average night hanging out at a bar with some friends, when all of a sudden the bar became swarmed with business students wearing dress shirts, ties, blazers, and boxer shorts.

I like to imagine this event began with second-year MBA students telling first-year MBA students "Yeah!  We do this every year.  You go out in your boxers and we do a bar crawl.  It's awesome."  And then when the first-year MBA students show up in their boxers to bars with fully-clothed second-year MBA students, they realize that "Yes, we're being hazed!  This is awesome!"  Welcome to the world's most obnoxious bar crawl, where attire is described as "business on the top, party on the bottom."  Indeed, it's the mullet of outfits, and is just as charming as a mullet itself.

There I stood last year thinking, "Psssh.  I will never participate in this event.  What a bunch of tools."

I remembered this as I pulled on my skull and bones boxers on Saturday and watched Derrick iron my white button-down shirt.  (That's right.  I can't iron.  I don't even know how to turn the iron on.  You got a problem with that?) 

I remembered it as I walked across the park as quickly as I have ever walked in search of other reluctant douchebags like myself, dressed like idiots. 

I remembered it as I kept drinking and then forgot what I was supposed to remember because it was, in fact, awesome and a lot of fun.

When in Rome, you have to drink the Kool-Aid.  Or something like that.

"Kourtney, do these match my ascot?" 

Welcome To The Family

The minute I laid eyes on this big, hairy guy and his smooshy pink tummy, I had to make him mine.  His green eyes pierced my soul and then his sandpaper tongue licked my hand.  Ew, and also, aw!

Meet Franco, birth name "Jordan."  Jordan may be the worst cat name of all time which is why it has been changed.  And obviously, "Franco" is the best cat name of all time.  He's like a more formal, tuxedo-wearing version of Frank the Tank.

And no, he will not be getting a bath.  That's ludicrous.


Dear Nerds: It Gets Better

There is a wonderful campaign going on over on YouTube and beyond called It Gets Better, which is aimed at gay youths and encourages them to persevere through the excruciating years of middle and high school.

We are inspired and want to start our own campaign to encourage one particular young demographic near and dear to our hearts, letting them know that these years don't last forever, and it gets better!  Our target: nerdy, awkward straight girls.

We know just how you feel.  We were just like you.

You think having long hair is automatically pretty because D.J. Tanner has long hair and it's pretty, but really your hair is just bushy, frizzy and way too long?  It's okay.  One day, you'll figure out how to use styling products and a blow dryer.

You're embarrassed about those braces?  Have you ever seen anyone with straight teeth before, or no?

Kids in your class make fun of your flat chest?  One day, you'll appreciate the wardrobe your flatness allows you to have.

Boys ignore you now, when they're not making fun of you?  Who cares?  One day, you'll be married to a private equity banker!

Classmates make fun of your big forehead?  Eh, nothing we can say here, except moisturize it like crazy and you'll have the most wrinkle-free forehead at your reunion and they'll all be jealous!

You like The X-Files?  A lot of people like The X-Files!  Why is your private equity banker husband making fun of you for this?  Whatever.  He likes Star Trek.

"Y'all watch The X-Files last night?  It was rad!"

On a more serious note, I am devastated by the recent string of suicides by young people, and humiliating others for sport is the opposite of cool.  This piece is intended to make fun of no one but myself.  It gets better, y'all!