The Chronicles of a Witty Observer

Archive for February, 2011

If I am what I eat, does that mean I’m nuts?

Forgive me, humble readers of my blog, for writing about what is on my mind today as opposed to what you care to read about, but I’ve been back at school for about a month now, and already I miss the little things I don’t get outside The Bubble that is my campus.

Like, food.

REAL food.

I know I’ve written in the past about how shitty my campus’ single dining hall treats its students and how limited the food choices can be. But it’s been especially limited in recent days to fried chicken smothered in heavy creams, soggy squash medleys, and mushrooms, mushrooms, mushrooms.

Mushrooms rank between televangelists and exercise on the mile-long list of things I hate. That’s in the top 20.

The past few days I’ve barely eaten at all, because the new BC I’m on is making me one look at Glenn Beck (#7) away from vomiting all over the room at any given point during the day. The Dining Hall is being so kind as to endorse my former food phobia, making my boyfriend nervous and sparking that dangerous way I use to obsessively count calories down to the single digits.

So at least there’s nothing in my stomach to vomit up, right?

But at the same time I’ve been experiencing what has become an annual event with me: the mid-winter What-The-Hell cravings. Last year it was for star fruit and dried mangoes. The year before it was honey-roasted peanuts. This year, it seems to be taking the form of grilled salmon. Fresh grilled salmon on top of a pile of basmati rice with toasty brussel sprouts and asparagus. Sweet, filling, good-for-you sustenance. The ideal salmon filet would have been grilled on a cedar plank with brown sugar on top (not too much, but just enough to add a little sweetness to it). The cedar plank I discovered this summer.

Forgive me while I go drool a little. Oh wait, I’ve got morning sickness, so never mind that. My point is, look at all the stuff I crave this time of year. Fresh, healthy, yet still mouth-watering things. My blue rice cooker can only give me so much pasta and Zatarains beans and rice (which is high in sodium anyway) before I want something other than quick carbs.

I’ve probably had the equivalent of one small steak’s worth of protein in the past two WEEKS. It’s clear in that I’m getting drowsier every day and how it’s getting harder to stay on the treadmill. I even experienced some chest-tightening and breathlessness during a workout I’d successfully and comfortably done for a few weeks the other day. I’m pretty nutrient-deficient right now. A lot of people are this time of year. But I get so pissed off when I can legitimately trace a lot of it back to the fact that my school’s dining hall forces me to resort to cereal for three meals a day.

I could logically buy my own food and cook it…but that’s just it. Like many college students, I have neither the time nor the talent to cook something like my salmon dream platter for dinner on any given night. Not to mention, the dorm kitchens lack the necessary sources (for instance, a GRILL) with which to make said items.

Also, I’m going to Hawaii in a month for Spring Break (!) so I lack the cash to be able to fund a quest for fresh fish and mushroom-less chicken soup (seriously, mushrooms belong in beef-flavored soups which I stay clear away from anyway). I’m stuck to crackers, cereal, and English muffins (with a little cherry jam for color/flavor).

And we can stop eating these things and let the Italian plumbers in the next castle over take care of them…

I think it sucks when you’re in my position. I have expensive/healthy food tastes but no means by which to satisfy them (at least while I’m at school). It’s the same with my fashion sense. I’ve always wanted a gorgeous gown that flatters my chunkish figure, but when I find one, it’s no less than 200 bucks.

My only other option is the Express Café, which the Dining Hall runs because the only coffee/sandwich shop in town inexplicably closes down for the winter. It has ready-to-heat food and parfaits and stuff, but it’s obviously just leftovers from yesterday put in containers and slapped with insane prices ($5.50 for a bowl of chicken and rice the size of a Wendy’s salad container). Students are given a credit card with a 100-dollar balance, but that does NOT last long, between the overpriced chef salads and exceedingly delicious raspberry-chocolate steamers (made with skim milk, so even I can have them!) that eat up my account.

Did I mention the Express Café used to be free with every meal plan? Not the case anymore. Good ol’ Wells! Exploiting it’s already-poor students for every damn penny their worth!

I know I already mentioned the fact that the lack of healthy food is extra-dangerous for someone like me who’s deathly afraid of regressing back into that which was this past summer’s calorie-obsessed hellhole. I’m fighting back the mindset, of course, with all the support I have backing me up.

But sometimes it isn’t enough.

Dear Wells College Dining Hall, Fuck you.

Fuck you for not listening to the students. Fuck you for being so obsessed with goddamned mushrooms and creamy bases that turn even asparagus spears into heart-attacks waiting to happen (they aren’t even GOOD creamy bases). Fuck you for putting out hamburgers every day but ignoring the requests that vegetarian options become more regular.

Most importantly, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you for starving me. Yes, I do, I fact, partially blame you. Signed, Me.

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Coat Hangers United for Justice!

I get more news from Facebook postings than I do on my daily tryst to cnn.com. Many of my friends are, fortunately, just as politically savvy and up-to-date as I am, and I’ll frequently see articles from various news sites on my feed when I log in.  Sometimes I really regret what I see. Like right now.

Apparently, there’s a movement in the Mount Rushmore State (South Dakota for all you who never made it past fifth grade…kinda like many of the people I’m telling you about now) to make the manslaughter of abortion providers ‘justifiable homicide.’ This, in short, would essentially make it perfectly okay for any fanatic to walk into an abortion clinic, shank himself some doctors, and go along his merry way to the McDonald’s across the street.

I seriously thought this was an article from The Onion before I clicked on it. I hoped it was.

It wasn’t.

I even googled AND wikipedia’d the website to make sure it was a legitimate website.

It was.

This bill, according to the article, has a sponsor already and has been called a ‘self-defense bill’ on behalf of the unborn. Apparently, Phil Jenson, the sponsor, believes the murder of an abortion provider is perfectly fine because it ‘prevents harm to the fetus in the end.’

So, let me get this one straight, Mr. Jenson. It’s fine to murder a person who is doing their job and has been living, breathing, existing, voting, and paying their taxes to assholes like you for presumably at least 25-30 years in order to protect the ‘life’ of what biologically is still a parasite.

Before I even get into the meat of this one, may I just mention that South Dakota has already rejected abortion bans statewide TWICE? By at least 10-point margins each time it’s come up? You clearly represent the majority in your state, sir. How the hell are you still there?

I guess if you can’t beat ‘em, straight-up slaughter their asses.

I’m not going to go on about at what point a fetus is ‘alive’ within the uterus and therefore deserves protection/rights. That argument has been done to death by pro-choicers and I’ll run out of energy typing it out.

My proposed argument is, regardless of the age of the fetus, regardless of how the little cluster of cell tissue came to be or whether or not it will be raised a fundamentalist Christian (or whatever you extremist pro-life weirdoes make your case as nowadays), it doesn’t matter.

What does is that you lot are all going off the deep end by proposing that murdering innocent human adults legal.

In what fucked-up universe does the prevention of what may or may not be ‘infanticide’ justify flat-out homicide? Why now does The Minority Report come to mind?

Look, you nutter-butters can believe what you want about abortion and who has rights and who doesn’t. I know some very well-rounded pro-life people who intelligently make their cases, and even though I disagree with them, they do have the right to say and stand up for what they believe is right. I also know people who are pro-choice in the political arena but pro-life in their personal world. I can tolerate anyone who has different views than mine as long as they (A) don’t try to convert me, or (B) take their beliefs to ‘the next level.’

This isn’t taking pro-life activism to the next level. This is taking it up and out of the entire building and dropping it from a height of 20,000 feet above sea level.

In fact, why do you even call this a ‘pro-life’ bill to begin with? Proposing the legalization of doctor-murder is about as anti-life as a Jonestown pow-wow. MURDER IN ANY SENSE SHOULD NOT BE LABELLED AS ‘PRO-LIFE.

My new theory after seeing this article and proposed bill is that abortion rights are just an excuse by Fundamentalist Christians to shout their unintelligible gibberish just a little bit louder.

It also allows Fundies to guiltlessly partake in the glorious wonder that is bondage.

These people call themselves ‘Christians’ but they have about as much heart as a Dalek fleet…and a thousandth of the intelligence. I haven’t found the passage in the Bible where is said that Jesus told his apostles to go forth and kill–yeah, I don’t even need to add ‘abortion doctors’ to the end of that. It’s no longer just about saving babies, it’s about asserting power, and these people clearly want it so much that they’re essentially proposing  playing God with the lives of college-educated men and women with families. Are they THAT threatened by…well…anyone who doesn’t feed off of their own dogma? You’re threatening LIVES. Already-born LIVES.

Taking it from YOUR point-of-view, only giving it the ironic-but-true twist that only I could do: you’re no better than the baby-killers themselves. In fact, you’re worse. But they light of God is shining too brightly in your eyes that it’s blinding you to that big fat ‘DUH!’

It’s all about Machiavellian power now for you all, isn’t it? Striking fear into the liberals’ hearts and minds. You don’t really care about any unborn babies this might save. And, if logic serves me right, which is always does, it won’t save many. It will more than likely run the abortion doctors out of state for sure. But they’ll simply move out towards the coasts where they can continue to practice WITHOUT the fear of being lynched KKK-style.

My father is straight-up pro-life, and I have the feeling even he would call this utterly ridiculous. Why do we let fucktards like Phil Jenson represent us in government again?!

Oh, right, we don’t. South Dakota did. Well, God love ‘em. I think I even heard Forrest Gump do a facepalm there.


My Date with The President’s Daughter (A Review)

Disney just isn’t the same anymore.

I blame High School Musical for single-handedly bringing the once-glorious Disney Channel spiraling into awful tween-actors, cheesy sitcoms, and…geh…Miley Cyrus. It was really the first formulaic mind-numbingly  awful film/show that basically had the eternal message of Life can’t go wrong when you’re in high school! High school equals time of your life and don’t you forget it!’

Look at any DCM from the past five years and tell me all you see are obnoxious twentysomethings playing teensomethings having good old Christian fun ALL THE DAMN TIME! Apparently nowadays you can’t cram in any depth without losing the entirety of the bubblicious atmosphere Disney is famous for. That ruined a lot, and that’s why I am convinced it is the brainchild of Beelzebub.

That and the fact that I narrowly made it past the target demographic age for HSM when it came out. Luckiest break since I missed out on Zoey 101.

Believe it or not, in the late 1990s, Disney found a small, microscopic little niche where some depth CAN be added to the smiling WASP childrens’ silly antics and still earn a DC Seal of Approval. This was the era where such films as Smart House, Luck of the Irish, and, one of my favorites, My Date With the President’s Daughter, were born.

Let’s make an example of My Date, for instance.

The plot is highly simplistic, but then again, Disney’s gotten away with that for decades. Hallie Richmond is the titular daughter, a painfully-naïve sheltered girl (natural considering her circumstances) who just wants to go on a date. Her father seems to be loosely-based on George Bush Sr, and therefore, is highly conservative. Finally, he lets her go on a date with Duncan, a sweet but awkward dork she met while sneaking away from a stop on her father’s re-election campaign.  Duncan steals his father’s BMW, sneaks away from the Secret Service with her, and the hijinks ensue, which include-but-are-not-limited-to: getting into a brawl at a club, putting on a magic show at a biker bar, showing up on TV, having the BMW stolen, running from Secret Service, having a romantic dance on a rooftop overlooking the city, and rescuing Hallie from some college biker douche who only pops up in the second act of the movie.

For it’s clichés and seizure-inducing late-90s artifacts (neon-light clubs, young guys thinking that dressing in 80lbs of leather is hot, fuzzy pink butterfly jewelry, etc.), the film has a lot that post-2005 Disney Channel doesn’t.

So dated it hurts. Stop it, 1998!

For one, the teen actors can act. Will Freidle as Duncan (Boys Meets World, anyone? *yes please!*) is just enough dork to be believable and lovably awkward, but has just enough hero/macho in him to make me feel tingly in certain places. Elisabeth Harnois plays Hallie, and gets the character just right enough so that I’m interested, but not annoyed with her naivety. Hallie is actually a typical teenage girl with as much intelligence as charisma, and while she isn’t a source for much of the humor, she’s still likeable.

Nowadays, you’d either get a gorgeous ‘insecure nerd’ like Vanessa Hudgens (who, for the record, I would gladly run over in my Park Avenue for free if the opportunity arose) or some stupid naïve girl who’s played solely for laughs like Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana.

The secondary characters are great too. I’m especially fond of Dabney Coleman’s President Richmond who can be just as adorable as he is intimidating.

Secondly, the teen characters aren’t fucking morons who are high on high school life. Duncan and Hallie both have their shallow hang-ups, but both are clearly aware of the world outside their minds. One scene that I consider to be the pivotal scene is where they meet a protest against Hallie’s father on the street, and Hallie stands up for her father, expressing that being the President doesn’t just mean spending taxpayer’s money. It’s more than smiling to the cameras all the time like a celebrity.

Political awareness in a sixteen year old? Madness! Blasphemy, I say!

You don’t count. You’re a whole different level of madness.

Thirdly, while the bulk of the movie does rely heavily on how much trouble can befall the poor, bumbling Duncan on his first date, it doesn’t depend on sight gags, prat falls, and childish jokes. The movie recognizes it’s audience as teenagers as opposed to eight-year-olds. And this makes sense, seeing as the main characters ARE, in fact, supposed to be teenagers.

In HSM, the main characters are the same age, but the insipid antics of the HSM crowd lead me to think Disney is assuming that teenagers are drooling idiots as opposed to young adults. They must, unless the key demographic is specifically stated to be ages 2-10 (in which case, why aren’t the main characters FUCKING EIGHT YEAR OLDS!?!?)

*Taking a deep breath* Okay, I’m back.

I’ll admit that the media is changing, attempting to fit the needs and wants of the youngest generation. But apparently Disney Channel takes that to mean ‘dumb down.’ My Date is a cute, intelligent, yet entirely innocent movie. It’s no Beauty and the Beast for sure, but it’s not supposed to be. There’s a fine line between innocence and idiocy that Disney has long since fallen out of touch with.

The Disney Renaissance is over, and there’s really no way of it coming back. *Le woeful sigh*


My Valentine’s Day Rant (hey, you knew it was coming…)

Let me tell you a little story about a sad, sad girl named Colleen…

Once upon a time, there was a sad, sad girl named Colleen.

She grew up in a not-so magical kingdom known as Culture-is-Outlawed Wasteland Suburbia (or COWS, now with 50% more right-wing conservatism!). It was a land where Image was King, Money was his Queen, and Reputation was Law (and Jesus his Manservant). For a sad, sad girl named Colleen, who possessed none of these qualities, high school was the bane of her very existence. She had her circle of allies, but beyond that, she might as well have been wearing a chicken costume to school every day. She was an outcast. No well-meaning male would dare come near her, and those who did were not only ill-meaning, but also the very definition of douchebaggery. COWS had very little to offer her.

One celebration COWS valued highly was that which fell on February the 14th, known as Saint Valentine’s Day. This was a day where paired (heterosexual) individuals were allowed to go burn their hard-earned monies on processed sugar, overpriced flowers, and tacky costume jewelry for their significant others, which, in COWS, was the only true way of expressing affection. The industries got a boost, and so did diabetes. Because nothing says ‘Je t’aime!’ as much as a bag of sugar-coated diabetes (disclaimer: the author of this tale is very pro-candy and is using this mockery in a purely sarcastic manner, in case any of you didn’t notice).

Colleen’s very few romantic exploits during this era never fell on this day. They would always bloom in late spring and dissolve by midsummer at the latest. She was never allowed her own bag of diabetes/candy, and her only tokens on this day would be dime-a-dozen Harry Potter paper valentine sentiments with silly puns and shiny paper from the biology teacher. Poor, sad Colleen.

So instead, she took matters into her own hands and gave birth to a tradition of her own, the Valentine’s Day Blood!Fest. Every year, whether by herself or with colleagues, she would pop in the goriest monster flicks and grosses of the Tarantino films and enjoy being independent. Cliched? Indeed. But it was a way to express the true meaning of Valentine’s Day: that some justice-of-the-peace was beheaded in Ancient Rome once. Blood!

She even carried this tradition to college with her, known as the land of Culturally Abundant Time and Space (heretofore known as CATS). She spread the word of the Blood!Fest and told COWS and their St. Valentine’s commercialist orgasm to shove it in their diabetes bags.

And Colleen lived happily ever after…

…until now.

This year, things are different. I have a significant other for the first time ever on the day of the Commercialist Christmas (you know, besides the…actual Christmas). I cannot participate in my own Blood!Fest this year and instead plans to spend the day with said significant other. He is bringing gifts for me and I have gifts for him too. We will exchange them, watch movies, he will cook for me, and do a lot of things I’ll leave to your imagination to guess.

Which begs to ask the question…am I a hypocrite?

Because even now, I stand by the fact that Valentine’s Day is a shameless exploit by the candy companies, florists, and Wal-Mart (because those bastards are always involved) to convince people to buy shit for their lovers to express their love for each other…because that’s the right way to do it in a capitalist society like ours.

Well, I can tell you right now, my guy and I have NEVER had a problem expressing affection, with or without presents and candy.

So really, if anything, the day should be spent like any other for us, right?

Well, I have to confess, I’m excited that I’m celebrating it this year not as ‘Single’s Awareness Day’ (a title which I have loathed since it was born). I’m excited that my boyfriend is coming down, giving me things, cooking for me, watching Battle Royale and Inglorious Basterds (old habits…*wait for it*…Die Hard) with me, and those ‘other things’ (hint: it starts with s and ends with –ex). It will be a wonderful change for sure.

But am I compromising my beliefs for enjoying it and celebrating the day with more than a glimpse of my Betty White calendar (more badass than you’ll ever be) and shrugging?

In my own defense, up until this year, I got a V-Day consolation package from my mother that had candy and a fluffy stuffed animal (I refuse to grow up. I will gleefully receive fluffy things until I’m 150). And this year I was home the week before so she just handed me my V-Day package to save on postage while I was home. So in all technicality, I was exploiting Valentine’s Day from a young age to begin with.

Maybe I LIKE the presents in spite of what day they are given on. I’ll happily accept free things given in a well-meaning manner on Ted Bundy’s Birthday if they were offered to me! I mean, people don’t look forward to their birthdays because it means they haven’t died over the past year…they love the parties, presents, and the attention! Maybe that’s my best defense yet. I was so deprived of all of that in my public education days. Maybe now that I can enjoy it at long last, I should make it the best ever.

Aaaaand now I sound like a capitalist pig.

But it’s the truth. I’m about to face the cold-hard reality of life on my own, working at a job that makes me consider suicide on a weekly, if not daily, basis, and the ever-looming threat of being forced to conform to society in site of what it may stand for in order just to survive in the dog-eat-dog world of America. The more fluff and candy I get now, the better. I need to live it up while I’m young and have a boyfriend who’s willing to buy me chocolate and roses.

Valentine’s Day, you may represent some stupid highly-marketable shit, but goddammit, I say we bury the hatchet for now. Treat me right and I won’t call you ‘Fucking Morons’ Day’ anymore. For once, I’m not going to spout hipster crap about you. Because I hate hipsters just as much as I hate you.

Except maybe this one…

Happy FUCKING Valentine’s Day, world! And Happy Mopey Blood!Fest Day all you singles! You deserve your fun/outrage too!

…and all was right with the world. At least until *cue ominous thunder crash*St. Patricks Day.

You fucking demons have your own rant coming…


My Final Word, and That’s It

I am going to use this post to make my peace with Glee. Or, at the very least, state my case at why I think it’s a load of hooey disguised as a diversity-promoting mature High School Musical TV series.

I do not watch the show, but for the purposes of research I watched several episodes from seasons one and two. So yes, I feel as if I know what I’m talking about when I say what I’m about to say. I do feel as if I have better things to do than spend an hour a week on this show. However, I cannot quote every episode word-for-word, nor keep a list of all the classics they revamped and took out of context for the purposes of campy fun, so don’t ask me to, and don’t lash back at me doing such things to try and prove another point. I won’t listen and I won’t care.

But my silence must be broken.

One, I do feel the talent on the show is genuine. Yes, Lea Michele can sing. Yes, Chris Colfer, can act. And Darren Criss…just yes, yes, yes. Okay, the writing is moderately witty. That is the very least I can say in defense of the show.

Tragically, that’s about ALL I can say.

Because, two, for a show that boasts one of the most all-around diverse casts on television, it’s pretty, well, pretty. And white.

I do appreciate the serious issues regarding differences they write about on the show, and how seriously they take Colfer’s character Kurt, the token gay boy coming into his own. But other than homophobia, the show deals with very, very few issues regarding diversity, and it shows in the fact that the romance plots, the personal issues, and the vast majority of the solos (not to mention the semi-skanky magazine covers) go to the pretty white characters.

And this is a fucking travesty, seeing as the tokens outnumber the WASPS by far. I’m pretty sure the only ‘social minority’ that isn’t represented on the show is the Japanese otaku.

And we aren’t just talking racial tokens either. There’s an overweight girl, a physically-disabled boy, a minor character with Down Syndrome, several gay/bisexual characters both in and out of the closet, nerds, punks, and more.

So, answer me this: how come I watched an episode where Lea Michele had THREE songs and half of the show’s plot focused on her shallow romantic trysts with (surprise!) another pretty white person, while most of the others had no songs and hardly any camera time? Why are the two token Asians dating each other? Why do am I expected to accept the fact that all of the authority-figures on the show are just as cute/white?

So much white bread, but no Nutella in sight…

Glee could’ve been a concept that revolutionized television media forever. In way, considering it’s extreme popularity, it already has. But it could have THAT much more of an impact if Mercedes had the song instead of Rachel (who, by the way, I find to be one of the most irritatingly unsympathetic spotlight-whoring characters on television as a whole). Why can’t one of the token Asians be dating a character of a different race? Why don’t I even know the NAME of the kid-in-a-wheelchair because he has so little plot/camera time??

Glee isn’t making the effort it should. And it upsets me in a way even the great Jane Lynch can’t make up for.

I find so much more interest in the characters that get the least amount of camera focus many times, and that’s just a little quirk I have. In The Breakfast Club, I wanted to know the janitor’s story.  I cried when Tosh and Owen died in Torchwood, and their ‘relationship’ piqued my interest  more than anything Gwen and Jack or Gwen and Rhys had (okay, I effing hate Gwen all around, I’ll admit it). Unless a lead is so deep and so well-played they capture my interest, I am not attracted to leads. I’m attracted to supporting players.

Glee does nothing to give the leads a chance in my mind. Finn is too passive. Rachel is an annoying, high-maintenance diva. Schuster is too milquetoast. The cheerleaders are bland (aside from the dumb one…Brittany was her name, yes?), and Sue Sylvester’s antics are funny indeed (I did see the episode where she married herself…hilarious). But, realistically, one major character can’t carry a show.

There isn’t an excuse in a day where the youth generation is especially crying out for tolerance in both the racial and LGBTQ arenas for disguising the just-another-suburban-teen-drama as a revolutionary masterpiece that belongs in the West End before it belongs on a TV screen in all it’s amazingness. I’d rather see Chris Colfer’s character get his own show. The actor deserves it, but now he’s been pushed even further out of the show, so it seems, after Kurt ‘transferred’ to another school! Next, will Mercedes go ‘study abroad in Africa’ a la Topher Grace (fyi, that little abscence single-handedly ruined a great show)?

It is this illusion and promise of a wonderful/diverse/real show and it’s ultimate attempt to disguise it’s lack thereof with more fluffy that keeps me from being a ‘Gleek.’ Advertise, but don’t deliver. It’s like buying a cake with chocolate frosting only to cut it open and find it’s vanilla inside. Disappointing. Glee, you’re sugary-sweet teenage dream maybe have millions blinded, but you don’t have a fan in me for this very reason.

Not until Lea Michele gets a whole episode without a song and attention paid to her.

And she starts dressing like a high school student and not a dental hygenist.