Saturday, December 31, 2011

Eight Things From 2011 I Am Soooooo Over

I thought I'd take a departure from the format instituted in last year's recap and do a different kind of year-in-review for 2011. While the past 12 months saw a lot of good happen in my life (getting a job in advertising and purchasing my first car), it seems like there was just as much stuff that irritated the crap out of me. So without further ado, I present...

Eight Things From 2011 I Am Soooooooo Over

1. "Firework" by Katy Perry

I hate this song. Like, really hate it. Like, really, really, really, really HATE. IT. Like, stick a fork in my eyeball, pull it out, saute my dislodged eyeball with mushrooms and peppers, wrap it all up in a tortilla and top it with sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, and guacamole and eat it rather than listen to that fucking song one more time type of hate. Why do I hate it so much? Have you heard the lyrics? They sound like they were written by a seven year-old. "Boom Boom Boom/Even brighter than the moon moon moon." Seriously, what the fuck? Yet people inexplicably loved the shit out of this song and it was everywhere, from awards shows to Glee.

2. Taylor Swift

The first Taylor Swift song I ever heard was "Teardrops on my Guitar." I'll admit, I liked it, as well as some of her subsequent singles. But after listening to her 100,000,000,000th song about a boy, all I can do is roll my eyes. Get some more material, girl! Or write about grown-up relationships, because every single time I listen to one of your songs, I feel like I should be roaming the halls of Taylor County High School all over again. I'm 28. I'm over that high school shit.

3. The Duggars

When they first started getting media coverage, I was enthralled just like everybody else. Kids numbering in the double digits?! Holy shit! But now even their sweatshop-sized numbers aren't that interesting. I am SO TIRED of it being breaking news every time this woman pops out another kid. The television shows try to make it all mysterious and drop teasers left and right that say things like, "Michelle Duggar has big news! What could it be? We'll find out after the break!" but it's NOT mysterious! She's fucking pregnant! That's her deal! It's not like she's going to announce she found the cure for cancer or helped colonize life on Mars. She's with child. Again.

4. The Kardashians

Refresh my memory: why are these ladies famous? I'm waiting..............................................

Okay. Moving on.

5. American Idol

Why is this show still on? When it first debuted it was unique. Well, it was unique to those of us who didn't watch a lot of Star Search growing up. But now? The only original judge left is Randy, and from what I hear, all of them are too nice! The main thing that made American Idol worth watching was Simon Cowell's painfully honest comments that crushed wannabe contestants' hopes and dreams. Really cutting shit like, "You are the worst singer in the world" and condescendingly rhetorical questions such as, "Do you honestly think that was good?" If a contestant cries and it's not because they were told their tone-deaf performance caused babies to contemplate suicide, I'm not watching.

6. Two and a Half Men

One of the reasons Charlie Sheen's magnificently hot mess of a public breakdown thrilled me was the fact that it would be the demise of this horrible, unfunny show. But you know what? It's still alive! This show is like a cockroach in that no matter how many times you step on it, the little bastard just WILL. NOT. DIE. Come on, fellas. The half-man is pretty much grown. Unless you're planning on renaming it Three Full-Grown Men, please, for the love of God, end it.

7. Lindsay Lohan

All the girl did this year was bounce in and out of court. Can we please just file her in the, Please disappear already! section?

8. Awkward conversations

I don't know if the social networking sites out there are making us all socially weird, but it seems like I had a hell of a lot of awkward conversations with people this year. It's gotten to the point where I'm questioning if I'm the socially-awkward one, and that's an idea that fills me with fear. Call me crazy, but isn't a conversation supposed to go something like this?

Me: So what do you do?
Them: Me? Oh, I'm an archaeology professor.
Me: Oh, that's cool!
Them: Yeah, I really enjoy it. It's really nice when I get to get out of the classroom for some real hands-on learning, though.
Me: Oh really?
Them: Yeah. Like one time, I had to beat some Nazis to the supposed location of the Ark of the Covenant...
(continue on with banter about Nazis, the Ark of the Covenant, etc.)

It seems like a pretty cut-and-dry formula: I ask you a question. You answer it, and then ask me a question. I answer that, and then at some point we find some commonality and talk about it. You'd think it'd be easy. Instead, here's what I've had to deal with:

Me: So what do you do?
Them: I'm an archaeology professor.
Me: Oh, that's cool!
Them: Yeah. ::crickets::
Me: did you get into archaeology?
Them: ::shrugs::
Me: Has it always interested you?
Them: Yeah ::crickets::
Me: ::goes off to kill self because that would be more entertaining than this conversation::

I hope 2012 sees me talking to more people who are well-versed in communicating with other humans face-to-face. I can't deal with another year of pulling teeth only to find out that the industry you work in is just, "okay."

So that's my list. I was originally planning to write about eleven things that bugged me in 2011, but it's 2:00a.m. (no matter what Blogger says!), I'm tired, and I can't think of any more right now and all I want to do is sleepy-sleep. So happy New Year everybody! Cherish and relish in the optimism you are feeling right now, because in a week, all that will disappear and you will be the same embittered person you were before midnight. Cheers!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Reflections as an Adult: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Merry Christmas! Like pretty much the rest of America, I am celebrating with my family, opening presents, eating a ridic Christmas din din, and watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. And upon watching this timeless holiday special as an adult, I have a few thoughts:

1. Peppermint Patty is sooooo a lesbian. I mean come on, homegirl wears basketball shorts and mandals, and she probably played on the Peanuts softball team. Let's call a spade a spade. 

Basketball shorts? Check. Mandals? Check. 

I'm pretty sure Marcie is also bi-curious. That explains her seemingly inexplicable friendship with Patty and the fact that she calls her "sir." Either that or she's hella confused. Either way, middle school and high school are going to be pivotal eras in her quest of self-discovery. Maybe college too. 

Was Peppermint Patty Marcie's first girlfriend? 

2. Lucy is a whore. She just has that vibe, right? I'll bet she sleeps with all the boys at Peanuts High School by the time she turns eighteen. She'll also be on a future episode of Teen Mom

You know how some girls just look whorish? Lucy has that look.

3. Pig Pen's future is going into a trade. He just doesn't look like he'd be an academic success. He looks more like a guy who'll work with his hands. After he graduates from Peanuts High School, he'll go to a trade school where he'll study welding. Not that that's a bad thing. Welders can make up to $62,000 a year! Hell, that's more than what I'm making with a college degree! So let's not hate on Pig Pen. Sure, he's a hot mess now, but he'll get the last laugh at the high school reunion when he's a baller and the only thing that whore Lucy will have to show for the past ten years are her seven children and a wicked case of herpes. 

4. Schroeder is a tortured genius. The incredible range he gets out of that toy piano is just the beginning. He'll compose his first symphony at the age of thirteen, drop out of school and get privately tutored, and study at Julliard. He'll achieve so much success at such a young age that he won't be able to handle it so he'll turn to booze, pills, and sex until he just does himself in one night during a drug-crazed orgy at the age of 23. But the upside is his name will be counted among the likes of Beethoven and Mozart. 

Schroeder: too much too soon. 

5. Charlie Brown and Linus will co-found Peanuts' version of Apple. Not too bad for a blockhead and a kid past the age of four who carries a blanket around. They, along with Pig Pen, will pwn the rest of the Peanuts gang at the high school reunion and eventually take over the Peanuts universe. Suck on that, haters!

"We rule!"

6. Snoopy will live forever. Because he's awesome. And it wouldn't be Peanuts without that little bastard. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Examiner article

For today's adventure, I check out The Library Coffeehouse on south Dale Mabry. See the verdict here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Spicin' It Up

Earlier today I was talking to Arleen about the awesome turnout religious-themed lectures and classes would get if they used catchier titles. Let's face it, "Worship, Sacraments, and Liturgy: Theology and Praxis" doesn't scream of thrills and chills. Utilizing one of my titles below, however, will not only add a little extra spice to the church bulletin or pamphlet, but it will guarantee maximum attendance and that each and every person will be MOTHERFUCKING STOKED AND READY TO LEARN.* If you're reading this and you're the parish priest at my church, YOU'RE WELCOME. And sorry for saying, "motherfucking."

Possible Lecture/Class Titles for Catholics (but this technique can be applied to any lecture or class, regardless of subject matter)

1. The Liturgy: What Up Wit Dat?

2. The Eucharist: Are We a Bunch of Cannibals? (Bonus: you can incorporate the Zombie Jesus meme that's popular with the young kids these days, thus increasing your target audience. I know, I know--I'm a genius!)

3. Say Whaaaaa? All About Confession

4. Saints: Yeah, They're Pretty Cool

5. 19 Kids and Counting: Psych!!!! (This one's about Natural Family Planning.)

6. Who's Your Daddy? All About the Priesthood

7. Sister Act: The Truth About Nuns

8. A Priest, a Minister, and a Rabbi: An Ecumenical Discussion

 And why we're on the topic of spicing things up, can there be a rule or something requiring every church choir to sing the Sister Act version of Salve Regina? Do you know how disappointed I get when I hear a choir start to sing that song, ONLY TO REALIZE THEY'RE SINGING IT THE OLD, BORING WAY? I WANT THE CLAPPING, DAMMIT! 

*I can't guarantee jack. Sorry. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Paranormal Activity Wednesday

Confession time, you guys: sometimes when I hear a weird noise or creak in my apartment, I automatically think it's a ghost. Most of the time, this attribution is my attempt at trying to inject a little excitement into my life rather than an actual belief that a spirit decided to shack up. But on Wednesday night, karma decided to screw with me, and I honestly thought I was going to have a starring role in Paranormal Activity 4: You Wanted a Ghost, Now You've Got It! Good Luck Surviving, Dumbass. 

I was sitting on my couch reading a book, when I heard the noise at my back door. It sounded like a light scratching noise, followed by a shuffling sound. Before I had a dog, I would always chalk up the supposed "weird" noises I heard to either figments of my over-active imagination, or to just ordinary building noises. But having a dog that alerts on everything is kind of a good confirmation of your sanity. If I hear a noise and Ava doesn't do anything, then it's just a figment of my imagination. If I hear a noise and Ava alerts, then I know the sound is real and I'm not a crazy lady who hears imaginary things. And judging from the fact that she was growling and sniffing like she was trying to peel the paint off the door after I heard the noise, I was confident that it was real. And of course, it had to be a ghost. Because that's logical.

I tried to ignore it and continued to read my book. Then I heard it again, and Ava started growling. For a brief moment, I thought that maybe the noise was a sign from God that I should stop reading my book (it's the one written by Father Alberto Cutie), and I briefly felt guilty. Then I got over it and figured that if God really wanted me to stop reading the book, He would strike me with lightning or set the book on fire, all burning bush-style. So I went back to my ghost theory, and again tried to ignore the noise. I figured if I didn't give the ghost any attention, it would get bored and leave.

I heard the noise again. This time, I decided to peek out the window to see who--or what-- was out there. In a horror movie, this behavior would probably put me on the fast-track to a vicious gutting and dismemberment by an inbred, toothless hillbilly who complements me on the quality of my bones while doing the job. But since this was not a horror film, I was confident that wouldn't happen despite the fact that the noise was probably a ghost or a demon waiting for the chance to the invade my body, all Exorcist-like.So, armed with nothing more than the weird, misplaced confidence that I wouldn't get murdered, I walked over to the window, peeked through the blinds--

--and nothing. There was nothing to see. Now I was absolutely positive it was a ghost or demon spawn. Again, I picked up my book and tried to ignore it. I heard it again. My heart pounded with alarm. I heard it again. I grew defiant, determined to kick some supernatural ass. How dare ghosts and demons fuck around with my otherwise pleasant Wednesday night?! I'll show them! I heard it again, and this time, it was louder, really scratching against my door. Determined to put an end to the shenanigans, I walked over to the door, threw it open, and confronted my "ghost:" a coupon door hanger. I had taken the one off my front door, but didn't even think to check the back. It was a windy night, so the wind was blowing the hanger, which caused the scratching and shuffling sounds against the door. And the last noise I heard, the loud one, was the sound of the door hanger falling off.

Had this been a horror film, my opening the door would definitely have seen me get shot in the face or choked out by a psychotic zombie clown or something. But since it was real life, I meekly picked up the door hanger and went back to reading my book, glad that my ordinary Wednesday night saw at least a few minutes of excitement. Even if it was all in my head.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Birfday Shennanigans

My birthday was officially yesterday, but my girlfriends and I celebrated on the 29th. For this year's festivities, I thought it would be fun if we got to experience a bit of fine dining, so I decided to do a girls night at the dessert room at Bern's Steakhouse. (Note: We did not actually have dinner at Bern's as that would have cost us our first-born children. To save money, we did dinner on our own individually and splurged at the dessert room.)

We had a blast. I have been blessed with such an amazing group of girlfriends (including the out-of-state ones who were there in spirit), and I wouldn't have greeted 28 any other way. I could do a write-up on what all went down, but Arleen beat me to it, and perfectly captured just how fun it was. Chickety-check it out here.

Alright, 28! Let's do this.

Oh yeah--happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Why the Rapta Didn't Happen

I forgot to carry a 1. It'll actually happen on April 24th, 2035. My bad, y'all.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Rapture? Or The Rapta?

If any of you follow current events at all, you're probably aware that after Harold Camping's epic Rapture failure back in May, he was all, "My bad, y'all! (Insert gibbersh nonsense meant to explain why the Rapture didn't happen)" and re-scheduled it for today. I don't believe in the Rapture (no offense to those of you who do). However, I do believe in the Rapta*. Who is the Rapta, exactly?

The Rapta. Amazing what you can find on Google, amirite?

The Rapta is like Jesus, Shaft, Samuel L. Jackson, and a velociraptor combined. He's a bad-ass mofo who possesses a curious sexual prowess yet also has divine powers and prehistoric deadliness. He will judge the masses with a holy righteous anger and urban style. He will cast people into Hell while saying something Samuel L. Jackson-esque like, "Sleep tight, motherfuckers." And he's not afraid to whip out his talons and cut any believers who give him lip. The Rapta is both awe-inspiring and terrifying. And when he comes back for his followers, it's going to be one cool, urban, shit-storm of an apocalypse. Think Jurassic Park. Think the book of Revelation. Think Pulp Fiction. Now think of all those things combined and set against a soundtrack of 90s Warren G and Snoop Dogg.

Better get right the Rapta now, folks. He's scheduled to come back October 22, 2011. Spread the word. (Hey, that's tomorrow!)

*I really don't. Transition device, people!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Ridiculous Stuff I'd Buy If I Could Afford It

Ever since my velociraptor costume post, I started thinking about everything I would buy if I could swing it. So without further ado...

Ridiculous Shit I'd Buy If I Had A Crazy Large Disposable Income (In Pictures!)

To clarify, I mean the time machine, NOT Doc Brown and Marty McFly. That would be weird.

Oh, what the hell

Twofer! I want both the hoverboard AND the self-lacing sneakers.

'Cause I didn't have one as a kid


Wow, that's a bunch of useless crap. Maybe being broke is a blessing in disguise.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bay Area Eats: Burger 21

Ever since Burger 21 in Westchase opened, I've been hearing rave reviews. Creative Loafing Magazine even proclaimed it, "The best burger in Tampa Bay." I love a good burger, so last week my friend Kathy and I made a visit to see if it lived up to the hype. My opinion: not so much.

First of all, the menu is a la carte, which means you pay for everything separately, which means you could end up shelling out a small fortune depending on which burger you select. I ordered the Black & Bleu burger and the Chocolate Cherry Bomb shake and that alone cost me $12.62. The burger was okay, but nothing to write home about. For such an original combination of ingredients (applewood-smoked bacon, bleu cheese spread, and  "award-winning" Gorgonzola crumbles) it didn't pack much flavor. As for the shake, well, you can get a better one at Steak n' Shake. I found the Chocolate Cherry Bomb to be incredibly bland. For twelve bucks, I expected more.

My opinion is to skip over Burger 21 and go to either Square 1 or Five Guys if you're looking for a good, quality hamburger. They have a better value for their prices, and they automatically include fries with your order, just as it should be.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I Need This Costume in my Life

My friend Ali and I love dinosaurs. To be fair, when I say that we love dinosaurs, I don't mean we love them in the sense that we read about them and are interested in learning about their eating habits or what part of the world each species is from. Our enthusiasm can basically be summed up by the simple phrase, "Dinosaurs are cool and Jurassic Park is one of the greatest movies ever." In other words, it's not much more mature than an eight year-old child's. So when we saw this costume, we just about flipped our shit: (Shits? Should it be plural? Never mind, not the point.)

It's a motherfucking velociraptor costume, y'all! That's pretty much the coolest thing ever invented, and, yes, that includes toilet paper. Do you know how much fun I could have with a costume like that? Here is just a taste:

1. Go trick-or-treating and terrorize kids into giving me their candy.
2. Answer the door when trick-or-treaters come around for candy and terrorize them into NOT taking any.
3. Go in people's backyards, tap on their windows and run away (making sure they get a good glimpse of me before I run off). What are they gonna do? Call animal control and say they saw a dinosaur in their backyard?
4. Run up and down Bayshore Blvd. and just see what kind of reactions I'd get.
5. Try to play with my dog. Since she is apprehensive of other dogs, and they are her own species, she'd probably have a stroke when she came face to face with a dinosaur. Actually, maybe I won't terrorize Ava. I don't want her dying prematurely from a stroke.
6. Screw it, I'm fucking with my dog. She probably won't die, just run under the bed. AND GUESS WHO WILL BE WAITING FOR HER WHEN SHE COMES OUT?
7. Go to the dog park. Why should Ava have all the fun?
8. Write a  blog post. Sample: "woie hPOIFH Poi hpf]WEPI ]i 09UET[u-TUI =-00ETejti."
9. Go through the McDonald's drive-thru.
10. Enter a dance-off.
11. Go speed-dating.

It's probably a good thing I don't have a large disposable income because I'd spend most of it on stupid shit like velociraptor costumes and this.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Reflections as an Adult: Dawson's Creek

If you were a teenage girl in late 90s/early 00s, there is a good chance you were obsessed with Dawson's Creek. I watched it faithfully every Wednesday night until my mom put the kibosh on it and I had to resort to watching it at my friend Dawn's house during sleepovers, which caused me to fall behind on the storyline, thus FOREVER PUTTING A DAMPER ON MY TEENAGE YEARS. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

ANYway, my friend Alisha and I decided to revisit this magical time in our lives, so we started re-watching the show. While we got sucked right back into the teenage drama and angst, some things did stick out watching it as adults:

1. Pacey dresses like a dad. He's FIFTEEN. COME ON.

15 year-old Pacey

Typical father

2. They don't talk like typical high school kids. When I was fifteen, I thought their extensive vocabulary and general OWNING of the English language was sophisticated, and my goal was to speak like them. Re-watching the show as an adult, their language didn't come off as sophisticated. Instead, they sound like a bunch of socially awkward gifted kids. In one episode, Joey actually calls Dawson a sphincter. She actually uses the word sphincter non-ironically. At my high school, calling someone a sphincter put you on the fast track to eating lunch with the kid who pissed his pants during band practice and the other kid who had a key-chain of two people having sex doggy-style (true stories). Why? Because using the word "sphincter" as an insult makes you look like a fucking loser, that's why.

3. Joey is a HUGE, catty bitch. We all know that Jen's a whore, but come on. From the second Joey meets her, she is all, "Are you a size queen?" and, "Are you a virgin, 'cause Dawson is." For someone living in a small town whose dad is in prison, whose mom is dead, and whose sister is knocked up and living in sin with her--gasp!--black boyfriend, Joey sure likes to race dangerously on the freeway to becoming a complete social outcast. "Hi, kettle? This is Joey. You're black." Also, as Alisha pointed out, she wears poor people clothes:

There's Joey, looking all poor and stuff.

4. Dawson is a HUGE goober. He's just so whiny! In one episode he was PMS-ing over the fact that Jen went to the school dance with a football player and even the look on Joey's face was all, "Dude, pull the tampon out of your vag and just GO TO THE FUCKING DANCE ALREADY, JESUS." When I was fifteen, Dawson was my perfect man. Re-watching the show as an adult, he's still the perfect man...if you like women. Snap! Oh no I di'int! 

All that being said, I still love this show. What other series could rock such an awesome 90s soundtrack

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bay Area Eats: The Brunchery

On Saturday, I met Ali for brunch at the appropriately-named Brunchery. I had been there once before and really enjoyed it. The restaurant's decor, food and general atmosphere reek of going to grandma's house. It's comforting, and the food can go toe-to-toe with Denny's or Perkins in both taste and pricing (actually, it might even be cheaper!) any day. However, Saturday's visit left a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended).

It wasn't what I ordered. The Bayshore Benedict was a tasty variation on the classic eggs benedict, with a croissant, scrambled eggs, bacon, tomatoes, and hollandaise sauce ($8.59). It wasn't the service; our waiter was incredibly polite and speedy with getting us our food and refilling our coffee cups. The trouble came when I went to check out.

Earlier this year, I purchased a $16 Groupon for The Brunchery. After that amount was deducted from our bill, the damage was only $5.78. I told Ali I'd take care of the meal, and she agreed to take care of the tip. When I gave the cashier my debit card, he said he couldn't take debit because they only run cards on amounts of $10 or more. I didn't have any cash on me, so what I ended up having to do was purchase a gift card for $10.78 and use that to pay for the rest of the bill. In short, I had to pay five dollars more than what I should have had to pay.

It's not the amount that pisses me off. $10.78 is still a pretty good deal for two coffees and two entrees. It's the principle of the matter. Even though it's no longer illegal for stores to refuse small credit card charges, I think it's a little ridiculous to penalize consumers for opting to use cards. I rarely carry cash on me simply because paying with a card is quicker and easier and I get rewards points every time I use my debit or credit card. I shouldn't have to over-pay just because my purchase falls under a certain dollar amount.

C'est la vie, I guess. But I don't think I will be going back to The Brunchery. Problem is, I still have a $5 gift card. So I thought I'd have a little giveaway. If anybody out there wants the gift card, be the first person to leave a comment on this post. It doesn't even have to be about the post. You can comment about how you're looking forward to the new season of Mike & Molly for all I care. ('Cause I sure am!) In all fairness, the food is pretty great. Just be sure to pay in cash if your bill is less than $10.

* * *
This gift card is only good for The Brunchery located off MacDill Ave. in Tampa. If you're out of state, you're out of luck. Sorry. Unless you are planning on visiting or something.  

Just so you know I'm not lying.

Five dolla, mo fos!

Monday, August 29, 2011

How to Piss Off White People in a Bar

For best results, carry out this social experiment in a bar that is either all or mostly full of white people. The results will be that much more hilarious as they will be amplified.

* * *

1. Put money in the juke box.

2. Select an obnoxious song like "Tubthumping."

3. If given the option to insert more money to insure that your song will be played next, DO IT.

4. Stand back and watch as those who put in their song selections earlier walk up to the juke box in a drunken stupor and confusedly try to force their heavy-lidded eyes to zero in on it, as if staring it down will somehow solve the mystery as to why they selected a song to play 30 minutes ago and it still has yet to play while the obnoxious, horseshit-sucky ditty that's currently playing is take up precious song space. I guarantee you they calculated precisely when their song could be expected to be played, and the fact that you went in and fucked up the playlist will cause confusion, frustration, anger, and, ultimately, hilarity.

Van Der Meme just 'cause:

Proof That Justin Bieber Looks Like Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry

Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry

Justin Bieber

I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS THIS, EITHER. Chickety-check what I ran across while searching for pictures:

BOOM. Told ya so.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ava: Therapy Dog?

A few weeks ago at work, a friend and I got to talking about how cool it would be if we could get our dogs certified as therapy dogs. Images flooded my mind of Ava having her belly rubbed by a group of kids in a hospital and of sitting on the laps of the elderly while they regaled her with war stories and pictures of their grandchildren. I decided to do a little research.

As soon as I pulled up the test drafted by Therapy Dogs International, it became painfully obvious that the only thing Ava would be able to give to the elderly and sick kids were heart attacks and fear. She would pretty much fail the entire test. Here are a few examples (pulled directly from the requirements brochure, which you can view here):

Accepting a Friendly Stranger
"This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation...The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the Evaluator."

FAIL. On our walks, Ava will lunge at strangers because she wants to attack them with her love.

Walking Through a Crowd
"The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers, without appearing overexuberant, shy, or resentful...The dog should not be straining at the leash."

FAIL. I've walked Ava past three or more people in my neighborhood. She wants to attack them ALL with her love. And in any crowd thicker than three people, I'm pretty sure she'd flip her shit.

Reaction to Another Dog
"Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 10 yards, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 5 yards. The dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other."

FAIL. Ava will go from thinking she's hot shit around other dogs to being afraid of them to wanting to play in about three seconds. She can't figure them out. She may also have split personality disorder.

I'm just glad I looked up the test before I waltzed in and was all, "Go ahead and test my dog, she's awesome, and I'm sure she wouldn't give a Hospice patient high blood pressure." That would have been embarrassing.

* * *

So I swore that when I got a dog, I wouldn't be one of those crazy pet owners who open up Twitter and Facebook accounts for their animals because it was a little wackadoo. But then I thought of all the hilarious and inappropriate stuff I could tweet as my dog, so I caved and now Ava's on Twitter. Follow her if you want. She tweets about Justin Bieber.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sad Bastard Music Monday: Iron and Wine Edition

My friend Brian gave me the idea for this one when he mentioned the song, "Naked As We Came" in response to my last Sad Bastard Music Monday post. I got to thinking, and Iron and Wine really does have a lot of melancholy songs, which is PERFECT for Sad Bastard Music Monday. So without further ado...

"Naked As We Came"


"Boy With a Coin"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

No, I Don't Actually Hate Jews

I love 'em. Jesus was a Jew. My comment on Holy Taco was simply trying to make a point (see here for the blog post AND ALL OF THE COMMENTS IT HAS GENERATED*). My point is this: there are some pretty talented unknown bloggers out there, who would LOVE to get as many page views and comments Holy Taco's blog post has gotten. Yet because they don't offend a particular group of people, they go on being unknown, because apparently, that's the only way to get people to read, comment on, and RE-BLOG your post. Publicity is publicity. Whether it's positive or negative, it still puts you at the forefront of peoples' minds. Holy Taco still got page views, which, if it's monetized (and I'm sure it is), translates to revenue. Holy Taco could give a crap if people love what they post or hate it; in the end, it is still getting visits and generating buzz.

Am I bitter? A little. I would love to get enough page views and comments to where I could monetize my blog, and I'm sure I'm not the only writer out there who feels that way. So if you'd like to support writers who are actually talented and who don't post content that makes fun of people, might I suggest checking out the following list:

::End Rant::

I DO want to say a big thank you to those who have been visiting. Thanks for the support! Glad you're (hopefully) enjoying the blog. :-)

*Yeah, I get that I kind of undermined myself by linking to the exact blog post that I've been ranting about, but I needed to give a point of reference to anybody who didn't come here from Holy Taco.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sad Bastard Music Monday: Chicago Edition

It's Monday, and you know what that means? A lot of sad and depressed people running around. Know why they're sad and depressed? They're grieving. They're grieving the loss of the weekend. They're grieving the fact that they have to get up at an ungodly hour and be productive for the next four days. They're grieving the fact that they can't drink at noon (well, maybe it's just me). Even though I have no hard facts to back up what I'm about to say, I firmly believe that Monday is the most depressing day of the week.

Know what I say to that? LET'S BE SAD. Monday is a huge suckfest all the way around, and we're just kidding ourselves when we go around and say trite shit like, "This is going to be a great week!" and, "I am going to stay positive today!" No, you won't. The minute you step foot into your office, or classroom, or wherever you work, that smile will turn upside down and you'll be wishing that you were addicted to cigarettes so you could get a break every half hour or so. Chances are, this week will be just as mundane and suicide-inducing as last week until you're set free for two days by the wondrous, sexy weekend. So let's cut the crap and just indulge in our Monday blues. Which is why I'm starting a new feature I'm calling Sad Bastard Music Monday, where I will post a short playlist of songs that'll make you want to curl up on the couch with a box of tissues and season one of Dawson's Creek and just BAWL YOUR FUCKING EYES OUT.

To kick off this new feature, I decided to go with one of my personal favorites when it comes to sad bastard music: Chicago. So sit back, close your eyes, and let Peter Cetera's voice make sad, reluctantly consensual love to your mind. It won't be satisfying for either one of you, and you'll probably wind up even more depressed than you were before, but it's Monday. Let it happen. It's okay to cry.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ali's and my Super Special Mystery Date

When Ali and I went to Target on Saturday, I swore I would not succumb to its crack-like beckoning and get sucked into its lair of rock-bottom prices on shit I didn't need. I was on a super-tight budget because of spending more than I intended on booze the last two Friday nights, so I couldn't afford to make any impulse buys. I resolved to ignore the voices coming from the $5 DVD shelf that said, "Come on, only $5 for The Goonies! $5 is nothing! $5 will not send you to the streets! Did I mention that it's The Goonies? It's a frigging classic! AND IT'S ONLY FIVE BUCKS!" I would tell myself that all the clothes on clearance were crap. I knew Target's wily ways, and I wasn't biting.

But then we wound up in the toys section, and found a game that shared a place with such favorites as Dream Phone and Girl Talk.

"Oooh, Mystery Date!" Ali squealed, grabbing a sparkly box.

"WHAT?!" I grabbed the box from her and examined it. "That's so awesome this game is still around!" I started reading the back description. "It's the game of Mystery Date all dressed up in sparkles and glitter!...Spin the knob and open the door...will you meet your matching date? Or will you meet the Nerd--oh no!--and lose your cards--"

"--Hey, what's wrong with the Nerd?" Ali asked.

"Nobody wants to be with him. He'll make you lose your cards."

"But the Nerd is the guy who will grow up and go to MIT and become rich because he's smart. These other guys will be the type who will end up working on my car."

"Ali, this game is for girls who are, like, eight," I said. "They don't have the life experiences we do." I turned the game over and couldn't help but notice the little red clearance sticker in the corner: $7. Only $7!! Really, what was $7 in comparison to a night of cheap thrills and silliness and revisiting childhood? It was practically highway robbery!

"I'm getting this. I have some Jack Daniels at the house, we're gonna get some Coke, and when we get home, we're drinking and having Mystery Date night." Ali was on board, but I didn't have any doubt that she would be. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend a Saturday night consuming alcohol and playing a child's board game? It's a recession-friendly activity.

And you thought I was lying.

Checking out reaffirmed that I was making the right decision by buying the game, for even the check-out guy got excited. Well, actually, I thought he was excited for the same reasons we were, but in retrospect, I think he was just making polite conversation, figuring we were buying it for a younger sibling or a young niece or something. Sometimes, I forget that outsiders "don't get" Ali's and my quirky senses of humor. We can come off as being downright weird, actually, and this is exactly what happened with the check-out guy. I mistook his enthusiasm as coming from the same place as our enthusiasm, so I decided to let him in on our plan: "We're totally drinking Jack and Cokes and playing this tonight!"

"Uh--okay," he said, the light of his excitement becoming noticeably dimmer. At first, I couldn't figure out what the hell his deal was, but then it hit me: it probably looks really strange for two grown-ass women to buy a little girl's board game and use it for their own entertainment instead of buying it for a little girl. Then I remembered that I didn't really care how we looked to him, and just paid for my purchase.

Later on that night, after eating way too much sushi and getting a couple of McFlurries (we decided to forego the booze), we played Mystery Date. We were actually pretty hard-core about it; we didn't talk much during game play because only one thing was on our minds: getting our date outfits together and finding out if we matched our mystery date. For the record, I owned at this game, winning two out of three games. So I feel pretty confident in saying that I can kick pretty much anybody's ass at Mystery Date.

You can't see it here, but all the playing pieces are girls in their PJs. I was concerned, but then I realized they were in their PJs because they were getting ready for their dates, not because they were huge whores.

Mystery Date is so awesome, even Ava wanted to play. And she's a dog.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Dog Has More Game Than Me

While walking my dog over the past few weeks, I've noticed an interesting phenomenon: almost every man we've come across has unabashedly cuddled with her. They pet her, they kiss on her, they let her kiss them--and these are young guys we're talking about, not necessarily old men, although they love her as well. It hit me: bitch has more game than I do.

Since I've had this revelation, I haven't figured out whether I should kill myself or get into my PJs and listen to sad bastard music by Chicago while shoveling heaping spoonfuls of New York Super Fudge Chunk flavored with the salt of my tears into my mouth. Let's go over some instances where Ava has pwned me in the men department, shall we?

1. Cute dog walker boy: NOT SO AWKWARD AROUND MY DOG.
A lot of times while walking Ava, I run into the guy who lives a few complexes down walking his dog. Ava has barked at both this guy and his dog on several occasions, yet last week, they shared a moment in which the guy squatted down and let Ava kiss his cheek. I, on the other hand, have been nothing but pleasant, and what do I get? Polite, yet incredibly awkward, conversation. Pwned.

2. Tough bicycle dude: NOT SO TOUGH AROUND MY DOG.
For the record, when I say "bicycle dude," I mean a literal bicycle NOT a motorcycle. So maybe the guy wasn't that tough after all. He was in a wife-beater and had tattoos on his arms, though, and that looked pretty tough to me. Okay, I'm getting side-tracked. ANYway, he was on the sidewalk, fixing something on his bike and Ava and I started to walk by. Little attention whore that she is, Ava lunged over to him, and basked in pure glory as he pet her and fawned over to her. Then he looked at me and said, "Beautiful." Meaning my dog. Not me. Pwned.

Maybe I'm missing out on a golden opportunity here. Maybe Ava could be an asset in helping me meet people. Maybe if I went somewhere that had a lot of single guys around, I could just pick her up and hold her out at arm's length in their direction as if she were a giant magnet. Maybe she doesn't have to pwn me. You know what? I think I'll try that. Buh-bye, Chicago.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Songs I Am Loving Right Now

I don't have anything pithy or funny to write about at the moment, so I decided to link to some songs that I am LOVING THE CRAP OUT OF RIGHT NOW. Enjoy.

David Thies-Restless
This guy is kind of like a Catholic John Mayer, except without the questionable Playboy interview.

Busy Signal-Night Shift/One More Night
I love reggae. I also love the song, "Night Shift." So when I found out that the two were combined, I nearly pissed myself out of pure joy. Okay, not really. I just exclaimed something like, "Hell yeah, I am feeling this!"

Matisyahu-Time of Your Song

A Jewish guy singing a reggae-ish tune. With soul. My head is about to explode.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Well, This is Awkward...

So apparently Teen Kitty is also the name of a porno site starring girls who, in the words of my friend Ali, "have daddy issues."

Sorry, one person who Googled "teen kitty" looking for my blog. Unless you were looking for the porno site and instead stumbled across my blog, in which case I feel dirty. :-/

Monday, July 11, 2011

Teen Kitty Adventure #1, Part Three

Adventure #1 wraps up in this final and underwhelming chapter. Will Eleanor defeat her evil supervisor, allowing justice to triumph over all? Probably. Will she finally get some R-E-S-P-E-C-T at school? Eh, probably not. If you still need to catch up on what the hell is going on, I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO. And I guess you can check out parts 1 and 2, GOSH.

* * *

As soon as Eleanor reached the Kitty Loves Cat Shelter, she had a vision. In it, she saw her boss in his secret lair within the shelter, pacing back and forth nervously. Gritting her teeth, Eleanor snuck into the shelter and made her way to his secret hideout. She knocked on the door three times. The movement inside stopped.

"Who's there?" asked her supervisor.

Eleanor grabbed the doorknob, turned, and swung the door open dramatically. She remained standing in the doorway. "Feline justice," she said. "Now the claws come out."

"I knew something was different about you!" her supervisor said. "You were a weird kid before, but now you're just a freak." A mean grin spread across his face.

"A freak you created," responded Eleanor evenly. She easily jumped over the hole where a trap door had previously been. "And now you're going to have to deal with it."

Her supervisor froze momentarily, his finger on the trap door button. The he regained his composure. "What are you gonna do? Claw my eyes out?" he asked sarcastically.

Eleanor flexed her hands, and razor-sharp claws protruded from her fingertips. "Maybe." She lunged at him, but was only able to scratch his cheek before he pushed her away. Five thin strips of blood appeared.

"Wow, did anybody ever tell you how much you ABSOLUTELY SUCK AT FIGHTING?" asked her supervisor. "Seriously, my dead, retarded grandmother could do a better job. AND SHE'S DEAD!" He lunged back at her, but she jumped easily over him and landed on the other side of the room, next to a shelf with an open bottle of rubbing alcohol on it. In the blink of an eye, she grabbed the bottle, lunged at him, and threw it in his face.

"AAAAHHHHHH!" he said, stumbling around, clawing at his face and eyes. "IT BURNS!" Eleanor shoved him hard, knocking him off his feet and sending him down the trap door's hole. She stood over the hole.

"'Retarded' isn't politically correct," she said, as the tigers descended on him. She saw something move out of the corner of her eye. In her boss' armchair was Fluffy, who had somehow rolled onto his back and couldn't roll back over. She walked over to him and picked him up.

"Let's go home, Fluffy. Our job here is done."

* * *

Back at John's Pass was a motionless feline body. To the naked eye, it looked dead. But then its paws started to flicker, followed by its tail. The eyes opened, and the cat was fully awake, standing on all fours. It had been in shock. Suddenly, a shadow appeared, and a pair of hands reached down and picked it up.

"I've got you now," a voice said.

* * *

What? A cliff-hanger? Oh no I di'int!

New Article

Been a long time comin'. For this entry, I reviewed a lovely little spot in New Tampa called The Coffee Beanery. Ch-ch-check it out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Capturing Lightning in a Bottle

Lately, it seems that my life has been peppered with a lot of awkward interactions with complete strangers. People who know me will probably scoff at what I'm about to say, but I am actually completely terrified of just going up to strangers and talking to them. When I'm in these types of situations, I can feel myself reverting back to that shy little kid who was too afraid to initiate conversation, preferring to wait until the other kids noticed her and started talking to her.

To my credit, I've been working on it. I'll actually force myself to go into situations where I don't know anybody and make conversation. Usually after I make that initial contact, I'm over it, and I'll ramble on all the livelong day about everything from work to the weather, but lately it seems that every time I've done this, the interactions with people have been suicide-inducingly awkward. (Just made that phrase up. Go with it. It'll become a thing.) Then I get all paranoid and think, "OH MY GOD, WHAT IF I'M THE AWKWARD PERSON AND THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY HAVE SOCIAL SKILLS AND I'M MAKING THEM WANT TO COMMIT SUICIDE JUST SO THEY'LL HAVE AN OUT OF THIS CONVERSATION AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND?" Then my head explodes.

Earlier tonight, I found myself in yet another awkward conversation with a complete stranger, and the paranoia set in. But before it got too carried away, it got me thinking: I've met so many people in my life. I've had so many interactions, from awkward conversations, to just brief pleasantries with strangers. But only a handful of these interactions and meetings have resulted in friendships. When you really think about it, meeting someone with whom you connect instantly is like capturing lightning in a bottle. You don't come by it often, but when you do, it's special. When you really think about it, making a friend relies on the perfect mixture of timing, fate, and a kindred spirit connection. (Just made up that phrase too. LOOK AT ME, ADDING TO THE AMERICAN LEXICON!) You can't just forge a friendship with anybody.

When I met all of my closest friends, there was an instant connection, an instant feeling of, "Yeah, I'm totally going to wind up being friends with this person." I can pinpoint exactly where and when we met (in no particular order):

If you were to ask Margie how we met, she would tell you that it was at cheerleading try-outs in sixth grade. I was sitting on the bleachers in the gym, and she sat beside me. Apparently my opening line was, "Hi, I'm Sarah. I'm having an asthma attack." I don't recall this incident, but I've said some random shit in my life, so it's not out of the realm of possibility. I'm just glad she didn't hold this first meeting against me later on in eighth grade when our friendship started to blossom, and in ninth grade when it finally solidified. I knew she was a kindred spirit when we paired up in biology class to dissect an earthworm, a frog, and a pig, and we went at our task with the RECKLESS, GIDDY ABANDON OF SCHOOL CHILDREN ON PIZZA WEDNESDAY.

I met Meagan in choir practice shortly after moving to Perry. She just seemed like a nice, approachable girl, and I sat beside her during choir practice and youth group meetings and talked to her, pretty much forcing my friendship on her. If you were to ask Meagan her first impression of me, she would tell you that she thought I was an adult because I acted very mature. I was twelve. Ironically, after fifteen years of friendship, I now act like I'm twelve.

Ali was the first friend I made when I moved to Tampa. We both worked at Victoria's Secret. For my first day of training, I had to be at the store at ten, and she was working that morning as well. We sat and chatted while waiting for the manager to come and open up the store. Ali can non-awkwardly talk to anybody and make them feel at ease, and it was this quality that let me know that we would wind up being friends. Seven years later, I consider her my soul mate.

I actually met Arleen online. When I first moved to Tampa, I was naive about a lot of things. I had just transferred to USF from North Florida Community College, a tiny school in north Florida. Students didn't send out mass emails to their classmates at NFCC. There was no reason to; the classes were small, and everybody knew each other. So when I got to USF, I wasn't versed in mass email etiquette, and would respond to every single mass email I got. I wanted to be polite, you know. Arleen sent out one such mass email to everybody in one of our classes, asking if anyone was from Spring Hill. (I think she was looking for people with whom she could carpool.) I emailed back and said that I wasn't, but that I had an uncle who lived in Spring Hill. From there we started emailing back and forth and decided to meet up in class one day. The rest is history.

Jenna and I bonded over laughing at a girl falling on her ass after class one rainy day. And, yeah, Judgey McJudgerson, I know that was kind of mean girl of us, but come on, can you honestly say you've watched someone fall and not cracked up? I know you've seen "Scarlett Takes a Tumble." THAT SHIT IS FUNNY. Anyway, we sort of knew each other from class; we sat next to each other, and we were working on a group project together. But that rainy day propelled us from mere acquaintances to fast friends. As we were leaving class, Jenna ran up beside me and said, "Did you just see that girl fall on her ass?" which then started a conversation about how people falling on their asses is HI-larious, which then turned into friendship.

Olivia and I were on USF's newspaper staff together, but I don't remember us really becoming friends until our Critical Thinking class. I think we bonded over the fact that the class was a joke and the professor was a douche bag. We're also smart asses, so our personalities just meshed.

I worked with Monica at Ann Taylor Loft. She was one of the assistant managers, and I thought she was way older than she actually was. Monica is my age, but because she was so well-composed and so...managerial, I thought she was in her thirties. It wasn't until we were working together one night and started talking that we found out we had a lot in common, including our desire to go country line-dancing. I still remember that first outing. We were on our way to The Roundup, a Country Western club. Monica was driving, and she was driving fast. We whipped around a curve, and she giggled maniacally and was all, "TEE HEE HEE, I HAVE SUCH A LEAD FOOT FOR SUCH A LITTLE PERSON!" Not gonna lie, I was pretty terrified, but she got us to the club alive and in one piece, that night and numerous nights since.

I met Kathy in the same class in which I met Jenna. The three of us sat next to each other, and we were also working on the same group project. Like Ali, Kathy can pretty much talk to anybody about anything, making you feel as if you've known her your whole life. And, as with Ali, these qualities let me know that we would end up being friends.

When you really think about it, making friends is like capturing lightning in a bottle. I feel blessed to have captured lightning eight times.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ava's New Fave Hiding Place

Here is how I know Ava was meant to be my dog: she, like me, goes through weird phases. Like one time, in college, I went through a phase where I listened to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" non-stop everyday for about two weeks. I don't know how my roommates kept from murdering me. Likewise, Ava went through a phase where she would climb behind my entertainment system and just sit, staring awkwardly at me while I watched TV:

It only lasted a day, so I'm not sure if you could properly call it a phase, and I'm pretty sure she was back there because that was where she hid her rope toy, but you know what I mean. ANYway, she is now doing another weird thing, and it's been going on for the past few weeks: hiding under my bed. Actually, it's not so much as hiding as it is just hanging out. Earlier this week, when I was watching a movie, Ava abandoned her traditional post on my lap to go lounge under the bed. When I came home from work (I get out at 1p.m. every other Friday because my company is on summer hours, holla!) she came out from under the bed suddenly, in a manner that said, "Well, hello, I wasn't expecting to see you so soon." Here's what I think she does under there in ascending levels of ridiculousness:

-rehearse her plan of action in case of burglars or if the maintenance man comes for a surprise (to her) visit
-think about the cute boy dog down the street
-contemplate her life and debate whether or not she is behind in what she has contributed thus far, as opposed to other dogs her age
-write in her secret doggie diary
-plot her escape
-plot to take over the world, Pinky and the Brain-style

Looking over the list, "plot her escape" is kind of silly. Why would she plot her escape? I MADE HER CHICKEN BROTH POPSICLES, SON!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Deal of the Weekend!

I've never been a label snob. I've always been more concerned with getting a good deal than with the name on the tag, my mindset being that if it's cute, fits well and is an affordable price, who cares if it's Chanel or Mossimo? There are, however, two luxury labels that I adore, and I've been wanting to own a piece of each for awhile: Tiffany & Co and Dooney & Bourke. I crossed Tiffany off my list a few years ago via a somewhat unwise and impulsive purchase (that I don't regret one bit). Today, I crossed Dooney & Bourke off my list in the exact opposite fashion: running the numbers and making sure that it was a purchase I could actually afford instead of just slapping it on a credit card and telling myself I'll worry about it later.

I'm not a huge handbag person, but I love Dooney & Bourke. It's the same reason why I love Tiffany & Co.: it's such a classic style. Dooney & Bourke handbags go with anything and class up even the most casual of outfits. I've been itching for one, and have been keeping my eyes peeled for a good deal. I've had a few close calls. I saw a handbag at a TJ Maxx in Kentucky, but it was a crazy orange color and ugly as hell. I saw a wallet at Marshalls, but no handbags. I almost bought a bag at a consignment store in Kentucky, but I wasn't crazy about the cowboy boots and spurs design and my friend Monica pointed out that it was kind of tiny and couldn't hold very much, and if I was going to drop $50 on a purse, it should be able to hold all my things. She was right, so I sighed and put it back on the shelf. It wasn't meant to be.

Today all that changed. On a lark, my friend Ali and I went to Macy's to look at some rings that were on sale. Before we left, I wanted to go by the handbag section just to see if there was anything good. Lo and behold, an entire table of Dooney & Burke purses were on sale! They were only in two color schemes and designs, but they were the styles and designs I loved: simple and classic. Problem was, even at the clearance price of $146.25, it was still out of my price range. A sales woman saw us browsing and was using all her methods of persuasion to try and get me to buy the bag, and asked if I had any coupons. I said no, and Ali jokingly asked her if she had any coupons to offer us. The sales lady said no, but that she was working with another customer who had some coupons and that she'd ask her client if she would give me one. Her client did, and gave me one for 20% off. On top of that, I had $37.65 credit on my Macy's credit card, bringing the grand total of the purse to $87.54. Totally in my budget. Let me put it another way:

Original price of the bag: $195.00
Clearance price: $146.25
After 20% off coupon was applied: $125.19 (including tax)
After $37.65 credit is applied: $87.54

Total savings: $115.65

Who's the (wo)man?! This girl.

I love my bag, and the great deal I got it for makes me love it even more. I'm proud of myself. Instead of impulsively buying it, I took my time, crunched the numbers and was prepared to walk away if it was too much. And now I have a nice handbag and zero buyer's remorse. Life is good.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Show Me How You Burlesque

Actually, don't show me, because if you are anybody other than the cast of Burlesque, you will probably look like this and embarrass all of us. Speaking of embarrassing, you know what movie wasn't as embarrassing as I was expecting it to be? Burlesque. Transition. Nailed it.

Don't get me wrong, this movie won't win any awards. The plot and dialogue could have been written by a hyperactive second grader who was just given a giant chocolate bar and a 2-liter bottle of soda. It's basically Coyote Ugly without Tyra Banks and John Goodman, but it wasn't as bad as Coyote Ugly. I know, I know--WTF, am I right? Here's what separates it from that other movie about a small town girl (livin' in a lonely world) who took the midnight train heading anywhere moves to the big city to follow her dreams: the dance numbers. The performance sequences in Burlesque make the gals in Coyote Ugly look like a bunch of drunken Okies just bumbling around, salivating like Pavlov's dogs whenever their eyes land on a sweat-stained fiver wielded by an overweight businessman smack dab in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Allow me to utilize a visual aid:

coyote-ugly-movie-08.jpg (445×282)
Low self-esteem! Daddy issues!

Burlesque_Movie_stills_19.jpg (600×400)
Flashy! Pretty!

coyoteugly.jpg (250×215)
Hot mess! White trash!

Sexy! Sassy! Sophisticated!

Are we on the same web page now? Anyway, I basically gave away the plot earlier, but here's a more detailed breakdown: Christina Aguilera plays Allie, a small-town girl from Iowa, who moves to L.A. to follow her dreams. She stumbles upon the Burlesque Lounge and is immediately all, "OMG if I don't become a performer here I will slit my wrists!" But then Cher is all, "Hold up, homegirl, don't think you can come in my house with your dreams and your hope! You know what I do to dreams and hope? I shit on them. That's what I do. This is me, shitting on your dreams and your hope. Buh-bye." Allie then is like, "Oh, hells naw," so she gets a job as a waitress at the lounge, where she spends most of her time watching the show, yet still manages to get people the right drinks. I don't get it. I also don't get all the staring that goes down in this damn movie. This is pretty much the first half hour:

"OMG, I wanna be up there."

"OMG, I need to be up there."

"OMG, I would sell my body in a sexual way to be up there."

"Seriously, who do I have to bang to get up there?!"

After more staring and pleading, Allie eventually annoys Cher enough to get a spot as a performer. But that's not the end of the story! She finds herself in a love triangle with a bartender named Jake and McSteamy from Grey's Anatomy, she steps on the toes of a rival dancer played by Kristen Bell, she pals around with Stanley Tucci who reprises his role from The Devil Wears Prada, and she helps Cher keep her club from going under. Phew! That's a lot for a girl from Iowa who has been in the City of Angels for a month, two months, tops! It can pretty much be summed up like this:

burlesque-movie-photo-01-550x366.jpg (550×366)
"Gosh, you're pretty."

"I am McSteamy! Have sex with me!"

Picture-185.jpg (565×378)
"I'm the gay mentor who everybody looks to for support!"

Kristen-Bell-Burlesque-Promos4.jpg (426×639)
"I hate that tramp!"

cher-burlesque.jpg (450×300)
"I'm Cher, bitch! Respect!"

Burlesque_Movie_stills_26.jpg (600×400)
"Yay, let's dance and be sexy!"

Still, though, Burlesque was pretty enjoyable, and the costumes and performances are hot. If you want a movie sans plot holes as big as sinkholes, go rent Kramer vs. Kramer or Philadelphia or something. But if all you want is to have a good time and watch pretty girls in pretty clothes prettily strut around on their pretty little legs, then give Burlesque a whirl.