Category Archives: England

Stop putting garbage in my mailbox. I SAID STOP IT.

Today is a very exciting day! It is PRIMARY DAY! That means I get to vote. You all know how much I dig voting. The minute I get out of work today, I’m all about running to the polls and voting like a BOSS. Primary day was supposed to be Tuesday but they moved it because of 9/11 and my dad thinks that’s a very bad idea because he thinks it would be a very nice thing to do, to vote on 9/11. I can’t say I disagree.

VOTING! I still miss the real voting booths, though. Sigh.

We have lots of races to vote for today so it is VERY IMPORTANT that I vote. Even though I am scary exhausted tired. STILL WILL BE VOTING DAMMIT. You all need to go vote in your primaries. Your primaries are important and decide who gets to be on the ballot in November! Don’t leave it up to the yahoos! It takes you like FIVE MINUTES. In and out. Bing bang boom you’re DONE and won’t you feel good? Won’t you feel like you did your civic duty? People who are not registered with a party, you are EXEMPT today. You have to be registered with a party to vote in a primary. And I’m not going to tell you to register with a party; that’s not my place. You can register or not. That’s your thing. I know some people don’t want to be registered for one reason or another. I’m down with that. But if you ARE registered, go primary-vote! It is easy and fun and you get to vote TWICE this year, and what’s better than voting? Not much, is the answer. Not much at all. Shut right up, I love to vote. LOVE IT SO SO MUCH. And, even better? WE GET TO DO IT AGAIN IN NOVEMBER. And then, even BETTER? I WILL STOP GETTING POLITICAL MAILERS IN MY MAILBOX AFTER THAT! YAY! (Listen, my mailbox is small and those political mailers are big and the mailman is hellbent on getting them all SQUISHED in there every day. So my real, valid mail is all CRUMPLED. Because of FLYERS. That I throw in the GARBAGE. STOP WASTING MY MONEY AND SENDING ME FLYERSSSS!

I found this on Zazzle. It made me laugh. A., that his name is “John Doesmith,” because “John Doe” wasn’t enough, and B., that some candidates might get flyers printed on Zazzle. Heh.

(Also, think about this. I’m sure you’re all getting these flyers and phone calls, right? Well, you Merkans. I don’t think you non-Merkans are. If you are, that’d be kind of weird, right? Confusing-like. Anyway, you’re probably all getting inundated with this garbage. And think about it: do you think a robocall or a flyer has ever, in the history of EVER, made someone change their mind or decide upon a candidate? Really? I’d be awfully surprised if you answer me yes. And I might want proof. Maybe photographic proof, or written proof, I haven’t quite decided yet. I’ll let you know. It just seems like SUCH a colossal waste of MONEY and RESOURCES and TIME to me. Unless we’re making more work for printing and garbage people, because I can’t think of what else these might be good for. Ideas? Anyone? I’m totally down for changing my mind if someone knows something about either political flyers or robocalls that I don’t.)

We don’t have to only talk about politics today. I’m SURE I can come up with something else to discuss. Oh, today is Ken-goes-to- London-day, which is super-exciting.

Ta dah! London, are you so excited? YOU SHOULD BE!

Everyone wish Ken a happy and safe safe safe trip in which he has the best time and planes stay in the air when appropriate and land ALSO when appropriate. Ken is going to do the best things like hang out with his tea-people and idle luxuriously with his friend Nigel and meet the lovely Elaine. I will be working all the hours so I can’t enjoy the London trip as much I was able to enjoy the Berlin trip he took us all on a while ago and that is utter sadface on a lot of levels. Because I was even IN London once! It is like old HOME week! And I want to virtually meet Elaine! (Well, and really meet Elaine, but sometimes one takes what one can get.) However, someone has to answer all the phone calls that come into the Capital Region and make money because otherwise the bills will not be paid and then I will be out on the street like a crazy homeless, and so therefore hard decisions have to be made like “on one hand, you could stay home and virtually go to LONDON” and “on the other hand, you could BE A GROWNUP and GO TO WORK” and I guess you have to pick the second one even though it’s not the fun option. And, as your oh-so-helpful mother might tell you because there’s nothing more helpful than unwarranted advice: “Make a PLAN. Take CONTROL of your LIFE.” Thank you, Mom! So not at all something that makes me want to stab myself in the eye and makes me feel like a less-than-contributing member of the human race! Something happened to the phone connection right after that. It went dead, I have no idea what happened there. Huh. Technology, what can you do, am I right?

Anyway, Ken! Have the best time in London. Elaine, have the best time with Ken in London. Oh, and of course, we all know from the Bon Vivant stories that one time, Ken SAVED London, and therefore gets all the free tea and also the love of his BFF Kate Winslet. I hope Ken will make some time to hang with Kate Winslet while he is in London. Otherwise, she’ll be SO CROSS.

“Ken, you had better make time for me! I am quite serious!”

Oh, and, in one more happy tidbit of news which I TOTALLY almost missed, OUR VERY OWN JIM was published in Salon yesterday. Seriously, Jim is taking the world by storm. JIM! I am so proud of you! Go check out Jim and tell him how awesome he is. Jim, this had better not mean you’re leaving your post here.

We can’t do this without you, you know. By “we” of course I mean “me and Dumbcat.”

OK. Off to bed. You know what I love about waking up at 5am? No, me either. Have a nice day, intertubes!


Wilted and faded somewhere in Hollywood; I’m glad I came here with your pound of flesh

I need to write a post I don’t have to think too much about today. I’ve been picking up extra hours at my part-time job and will be for the foreseeable future, so I am TIRED, yo. Today was nine hours of craziness. It wouldn’t have been too bad, except all of our computers randomly stopped working for about a two-hour stretch. It was not the most fun. First one system would go down, then another, then our whole office in another state (we have a couple distance offices) went down for a little while, then ANOTHER system would go down, and we kind of got to the point where we were irrationally giggling because what the hell else are you going to do? Luckily, I work with some of the most kickass people in all the land there, so we keep each other sane. Thank you, my wonderful coworkers! You are awesome and I love you. Thank you for not losing your shit when you could easily have done so today.

So, anyway, I decided, what does one do when you need to turn your brain off a little? I have a few hours, then I have to go to bed so I can get up early and do it all over again tomorrow. And, of COURSE, the answer is, CELEBRITY NEWS! What, you don’t look at celebrity news when you want to turn your brain off? You’re a liar, of course you do. OK, maybe SOME of you don’t. I can’t speak for all of you. I think I know at least two of you who don’t care the least little bit about such things.

I actually don’t look at much celebrity news, because there’s very little of it I care about. You know what I don’t care about? Those sparkly-vampire people and who cheated on who (whom? there’s probably supposed to be a whom in there, yeah? I suck at who and whom, don’t even correct me, I don’t care) and who’s sad and who’s moved out and who’s living with Reese Witherspoon while he gets over his bad bad breakup.

BORED NOW.

DO NOT CARE. You silly sparkly-vampire people. Cheat, don’t cheat, whatever, you’re in your early twenties or something, right? When my friends and I were in our early twenties, we were fooling around with anything with a pulse. If that person was in a relationship with someone else, well, that was unfortunate. We also drank a lot. This could explain the whoriness. I can’t even imagine if I was all over the tabloids when I was that age. It would be SO EMBARRASSING. It’d be all walk-of-shamey and makeup all running down my face and vomiting in cabs. Watch out, Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian. (Also, this is a very good example of people GROWING UP and not acting like assholes when they mature. Well, I still sometimes act like an asshole, just not as publicly.)

But sometimes I can’t help but look at celebrity news. Here are examples of things I can’t help but look at:

  • dead people (especially if they were on Celebrity Rehab, shut up, I am a moth to the flame of that damn show)
  • celebrities I like (which are varied and I can’t even explain my attraction)
  • celebrities who are acting like total loonies (I’m looking at YOU, Cruise, also YOU, sugar-tits Gibson)
  • celebrities who wear really wacky clothing and think it’s normal (I’m still totally charmed by everything Bjork does)
  • casting news of almost every book adaptation

And that’s pretty much it. I don’t care about much else. Mostly it bores me. I assume this means I’m broken, because from the number of TMZ-style websites and People-style magazines people LURVE the celebrity news.

Anyway, as long as it falls under one of the categories above, when I’m in a “blergh I need news where I don’t want to THINK” I read some celebrity news. So today, lets’ talk about celebrity news. I promise I’ll try to make it somewhat entertaining. WHAT I SAID I’LL TRY.

First: Lance Armstrong. No, he doesn’t fall under any of the categories above. This one’s an Amy’s-dad story.

Dad: DID YOU HEAR WHAT HAPPENED?
Me: Lots of things happened. Which one are we shouty about?
Dad: Lance. They did it. THEY DID IT.
Me: Lance…Bass? I don’t know what we’re talking about right now.

Are you at all embarrassed this is the first Lance that came to mind when Dad said “Lance?” I am, a little. Shush. Bye, bye, bye.

Dad: YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED.
Me: Yes. Thank you for reinforcing that.
Dad: As an unemployed person, you could watch the news ALL DAY LONG.
Me: Could. Don’t. What Lance are we talking about?
Dad: ARMSTRONG.
Me: Oh, him. OK. What’d they do?
Dad: He stopped fighting the charges. They’re trying to take away his medals.
Me: OK, wait, I’m looking this up now.
Dad: You should already KNOW this.
Me: I was busy today.
Dad: Doing what?
Me: Stuff. LOTS OF STUFF. OK, this says he’s not allowed to cycle anymore, and also they’re definitely taking this medals away. Hee! He can’t cycle anymore. He’s WALKING from now on. EVERYWHERE.

No more medals. Dad does not approve.

Dad: THIS IS NOT A LAUGHING MATTER. THE BASTARDS. You know whose fault this is.
Me: The government?
Dad: Yes. He didn’t do DRUGS. Only LOSERS do drugs.
Me: OK. I don’t know enough about this to make any decisions here.
Dad: You know, you could just believe me when I tell you something.
Me: If I did that, I’d be voting Republican and eating red meat for every meal. No thanks.

Blergh. I hate beef. I know. I’m totally un-Merkan.

Dad: You’d be BETTER OFF. Those things are SMART. Plus, DELICIOUS.
Me: Mmm-hmm.
Dad: Why are you whispering?
Me: What? Random McGurk. I’m not.
Dad: STOP WHISPERING.
Me: Dad. I assure you I am not whispering.
Dad: Here, talk to your mother, your whispering is making me angry.

Then Dad gave the phone to my mother, and she picked up the extension in the other room and we chatted for a little while. Then I heard my dad in the background all “WOMAN WOMAN WOMAN LET ME TALK TO HER WOMAN WOMAN WOMAN” (sometimes he calls my mom that, it’s a thing, don’t ask) and she was all “sigh sigh sigh YOUR DAD WANTS YOU AGAIN.”

Me: What. I’m not even whispering.
Dad: Say some more things.
Me: What? What is WRONG with you today. You are being SO WEIRD. Mom heard me JUST FINE. I think your ears are broken.
Dad: MORE THINGS.
Me: Seriously, did you take that old codeine you have in the medicine cabinet that you’re saving in case there’s an apocalypse? I told you that’s probably expired and will cause brain damage now.

Dad has a whole drawer of old medication. I don’t even know what he’s saving it for. And I’m pretty sure it won’t do what it would have done when it was new anymore, either.

Dad: I FIXED IT!
Me: What the hell?
Dad: You weren’t whispering.
Me: No. No I was not whispering. I never whisper. Even when someone tells me to. I don’t think I’m capable. I’m very loud. You know that.
Dad: It was the PHONE.
Me: The phone was whispering? Is it haunted?

HAUNTED PHOOOOONE!

Dad: No, I was holding it with my face and I turned down the volume with my cheek by accident but I didn’t know it so I thought you were messing with my head.
Me: Yes, because I often pull a long con like whispering for a long period of time so you think you’re losing your hearing.
Dad: But while you were talking to your mother just now, I found the instructions. And at first, they wouldn’t tell me how to turn up the volume, so I almost threw them out the window.

RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW!

Me: RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW. That’d teach ’em.
Dad: Then I found it! You hit the VOLUME button.
Me: Huh. That’s tricky of them, right? Very misleading.
Dad: So when I told you to keep talking? I was turning up the volume, and listening to see if it made your voice louder! Pretty tricky, right?
Me: Man, Dad. You’re the most tricky. Can’t put one over on you! How’s the volume now?
Dad: GOOD. I can hear you just FINE.
Me: What if I YELL SO LOUD?
Dad: Stop it. I have delicate ear-areas.
Me: Yes. Like a bat.
Dad: I hate bats. Stupid bats. Get in your house and swoop at your head with rabies in their teeth.

I’ve got rabies in my teeth! Someone get me some floss!

Me: Right in their teeth! Right in there.
Dad: I have to go now, because I’m going to read more things in this manual. You can also set how many rings before voice mail picks up! I’m going to change it to FIVE.
Me: Walk on the wild side, dude. Walk on the wild side.

So, there is CELEBRITY NEWS from dad-filters. Dad loves Lance Armstrong. He has Lance’s bracelets and he is Dad’s hero. I have no idea if the guy did drugs or not. I find it hard to believe he passed hundreds of drug tests without failing any, but I know nothing about drugs or testing for drugs, so I’m no expert and I don’t even play one on teevee.

The other celebrity news I read this week that I was all glued to was the news of Prince Harry. Listen! Listen. I LIKE PRINCE HARRY VERY MUCH. Here are my reasons.

Shut up, he is ADORABLE.

  • He is a ginger;
  • He is kind of adorable;
  • He makes funny faces;

    This looks like Harry holding a hedgehog. I like this very much.

  • He is tall;
  • He doesn’t seem to be capable of following the royal rules and regulations;
  • He looked super-hot in his military uniform (shut up, I’m only human, even though he’s young enough that my semi-crush on him makes me feel a little icky);

    I know, right? He could totally invade my country ANY DAMN TIME AT ALL. By country I of course mean my LADYBITS.

  • He seems the most normal-human of the royals, and I like that about him.

So this week, Prince Harry came to Merka, and as you do when you’re an adorable ginger prince who will most likely never be king (that has to kind of suck, right? Being that close, but so far? I think I’d act up, too) he partied with Ryan Lochte who is apparently the new Michael Phelps and then played strip billiards and some asshole took a billion naked photos of him and sold them to the gossip magazines. NO, I’m not going to put them in here. Instead, here’s a photo of Harry holding a dog. Were you aware there is a Tumblr called Prince Harry Holding Things? Well, now you are.

AW MY ADORABLE LITTLE PRINCE HARRY! All the naked photos. How embarrassing. You know his grandmother was all, “NO NO NO WE DON’T DO THAT HARRY!” but then my guess is he charmed her into forgiving him because he blushed and apologized and she was all, “I CAN’T STAY MAD AT YOU MY BOY” because shit, he is the CUTEST.

See? Look. She ADORES him.

I don’t know that you could stay mad at Prince Harry for long. He’s like the kid with a frog in his overall pocket and mud all over his shoes but a cowlick and you can’t stay mad because he has a winning smile. I totally dig Prince Harry. I think he’s stubborn and irascible and full of fun. (Except I pretend the time he wore a Nazi uniform didn’t happen. I hate that. That’s the only time I was like, “Prince Harry, I can’t forgive you this one thing, and I will always be a little wary of you since that happened because you were TOTALLY old enough to know that wasn’t ok and you KNOW you weren’t drunk when you put that on, no matter how drunk you got once you got to that party. NAZIS ARE NEVER OK HARRY.”) NO, I am ALSO not showing you Nazi-uniform Harry; instead, here is a photo of Prince Harry shrugging winsomely.

*sigh*

Anyway, Prince Harry was all naked but none of the pictures showed anything good. Not that I looked. OH NO NOT ME. I am PURE AS THE DRIVEN SNOW and NOT AT ALL PERVING OVER A 27-YEAR-OLD. And listen, is that the most pervy? It’s not like he’s young enough to be my kid. He’s only about 10 years younger than I am. Is that terrible? If you think it is, you shush, I don’t want to hear it.

Also, if the only headline you can think of is a variation on “the Crown Jewels” you are not trying hard enough.

What do you think Prince William thinks of these hijinks? My guess is, jealousy. He never got to have hijinks. He was too busy balding (seriously, he used to be so handsome, I am so sad about his decline) and being groomed for eventual kingship. Kingdom? Both. Either. I don’t know. Also, probably he’s all, “that’s my baby brother, what can you do.” As a sister of a baby brother, I can attest you can forgive a baby brother a LOT of things. A LOT, a lot. Baby brothers are kind of magical like that. Even when they are no longer babies and have babies of their own and that baby is named THE NEPHEW and he is made out of rainbows and hugs.

I’ll take the one on the right, please. The one on the left looks too serious and unnaturally aged.

There is your celebrity news! Which was light on both CELEBRITY and NEWS. I’m not good at staying on task.

Now I am going to bed so I can go back to work tomorrow and work MORE HOURS. I know, you’re totally the most impressed with my work ethic, right? Listen, I don’t want to live in a cardboard box under a bridge, that’d be bad news. Dumbcat’d run away and I don’t think wifi works under bridges, yo.

(Title from Hole’s “Celebrity Skin.” You knew that, right? Of course you did.)


Going for the gold! Or whatever, I’m not picky at all.

Welcome to Wednesday, where we will be having OLYMPIC NEWS. What’s best about this is that guess how much Olympics I’ve watched? If you guess zero, you are CORRECT. I haven’t even watched recaps. I’m not mad at the Olympics. I just don’t care. I mean, yay, Olympians! You are doing an amazing job! But I am not watching it. Even though I’m home all day and totally could do so.

Here you see a major reason I don’t want anything to do with the Olympics. Ryan Seacrest is a massive tool.

BUT, there is a lot of Olympic news all over the place, and I still read all of that. Of course I do. I like news.

I just checked the really real official site and apparently China has won more medals than the U.S. has. This is apparently what my dad was talking about when he was all crankety-pantsed the other night. He likes MERKA to win ALL THE MEDALS. He thinks if we don’t, then the games are rigged. I don’t know that they’re so much rigged as some Olympians are better than others, and therefore win more medals. At least, that’s what I’d like to think. If the answer is otherwise, don’t tell me about it. I don’t want to know. So right now (which is days before you’ll read this, I’m sure by the time you read this, things will have changed) China is winning, and WHOO MERKA! is coming in second in overall total medals. I like to check up on the countries that the people I care about live in, so in news of countries that some of you live in (sorry if I miss some of you!) we have Great Britain currently (as of the writing of this, things change ALL THE TIME!) tied for third place, Germany in seventh place (you go, Ken’s country!), Canada in twelfth place, and poor Andreas’ Finland has one medal. One! That is NOT ENOUGH. I even researched what it’s in and the answer isn’t AWESOMENESS, like you’d expect, but sailing. (Sailing is an Olympic sport? Huh.) Listen, Finland needs more medals. Because that’s where my ANDREAS lives. So therefore it is FILLED with awesomeness. Also, why would it even NEED medals? IT HAS ANDREAS. He’s BETTER than medals.

Why aren’t you giving Andreas’ country enough medals? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

Anyway, here is Olympic news, and semi-Olympic news, and some Olympic cuteness, and things that are Olympic-related. Even though I’m not watching the Olympics. Yep. I know, right? I’m pretty fancy.

First, your dose of Olympic cuteness. Jim (you know Jim! He’s my Minister of Flynance!)……posted this post the other day. You should click on it, because it has adorableness about his daughter and her love of the Olympics. Or, in her parlance, the “Wimpics.” Which I love to death, and think it should be called forever and evermore. I decided she should be the official NBC Wimpic commentator, because I will tell you right now, if she was doing the commentary? I’d be watching those Olympics. I’d be watching those Olympics SO HARD.

Next: this is going to make you disgusted with me. I have excuses, but not many.

You know how at the Olympics in 1972 people got murdered by terrorists?

I’m glad you did. I didn’t. Not until recently.

I KNOW! How embarrassed am I? You can totally yell at me right now. It’s fine. Here are my excuses:

  • I wasn’t born yet;
  • Until probably 10 years or so ago, I didn’t pay attention to ANY news outside of the United States (I know, I know, I was terrible);
  • It was Olympics-related, and when Olympics happens, I immediately tune out;
  • Did I mention, I wasn’t even born yet? I did? OK. I’ve run out of excuses.

So a few weeks ago I read somewhere (I want to say in Ken’s paper, but it might have been elsewhere, I’m not sure, I read a lot of things in a lot of places) about how 11 people (athletes, coaches, and a police officer) were murdered by terrorists during the Munich Olympics in 1972. Here were my thoughts. 1. WHAT THE HELL? How did I now know about this? 2. People got MURDERED? During the OLYMPICS? Actual athletes that were there to compete? What a terrible thing, you know? You’d think someone would have mentioned this within my earshot in the last almost FORTY YEARS OF MY LIFE. Give or take a year or two. I’m not quite forty yet, jellybeans. I’m totally yelling at my dad for not thinking this would be something I would find interesting. He knows I like to hear about such things. Anyway, I spent like half an hour reading all the internet things about it. And crying. About something that happened 40 years ago. Because that’s how I roll. No, seriously, well, you all knew about this, so it probably won’t upset you as much, but think about it. You’re all minding your own business and sleeping or whatever, getting ready to represent your country at the Olympics the next day, and then terrorists show up and suddenly you’re being held hostage and then EVERYONE DIES? Also, how terrible for the city. You’re so excited, and you won the Olympic bid, and the Olympics are in your city, and then this happens? How heartbreaking would that be? This is the worst story, sincerely. How did I not know about this? I feel like maybe my public education failed me.

Then I found out there’s totally a movie about it so I got it from the library and THAT was exciting because I thought I could LEARN things plus I would get to see Ken’s city but the internet tells me that a., half of the movie is imaginary, and b., none of the movie was ACTUALLY FILMED IN MUNICH. And the movie is CALLED Munich. SIGH. Apparently I should have gotten the movie One Day in September instead. I was TAKEN IN by Steven Spielberg’s name, dammit.

Trickery, Spielberg. Trickery.

What, this is totally Olympics-related! Just HISTORICAL! I love history more than real-life, most of the time.

Anyway, since this is the fortieth anniversary of this situation, the widows of the athletes wanted a moment of silence at the current Olympic games, but the officials put the kibosh on it with no explanation. I don’t know why, either. Would a moment of silence have killed them? Were they afraid that it would show them as taking a stance, politically, and make them a target for terrorism? I think if you just said, “This is a moment of silence for murdered Olympians” the point would be made, but whatever.

Anyway, I’ll be watching this movie soon, and if you want to put money down on whether or not I’ll be crying, I’d bet on the tears. You’ll win that bet. Even if the second half is all imaginary imaginariness.

Oh, yeah, this looks better. Dammit. But also scary. Is it scary? I don’t know about scary. True-life scary is bad news.

OK, update. I totally watched Munich? And here are my thoughts.

  1. It was the longest movie in the history of the world.
  2. I am terrible at action movies; I had no idea who the people were, what was happening, or what was going on at any given time. I had to have the Wikipedia synopsis open the whole time so I could go back and forth between the two so I’d know what was happening. True story. This movie made me feel like an idiotic asshole.
  3. I kept waiting for Cillian Murphy to show up, because I’d read he was in it, but when over an hour and a half had passed and he wasn’t there, I looked up what the hell was happening, and realized it was Ciaran Hinds in the movie, not Cillian Murphy. Because apparently I have some sort of confusion with foreign C-names. And they look NOTHING like each other. Like, at ALL.

    Ciaran Hinds, who was ACTUALLY in the movie…

    …and Cillian Murphy, who I was expecting. As you can imagine, I was sorely disappointed.

  4. The first fifteen minutes or so were awesome and compelling and all about the Munich hostage situation and made me cry; the rest of the movie (the remaining TWO AND A HALF HOURS, you guys) was about Eric Bana and a band of ragtag misfits hunting down the terrorists. In the dark. With much shooting and shouting and bombs. I hate movies that are too dark and I hate shouting, shooting, and bombs. Also, everyone had an accent and everyone looked very similar, so I didn’t know who anyone was.
  5. There was like NO MUNICH. Ken, give me a movie to watch where I can see your pretty city, because it sure as hell isn’t THIS one.
  6. My review? Blergh, no thanks. Also, the explosions scared Dumbcat and made him leap up and claw my leg at one point. Spielberg, you owe me a Bandaid. A SOLID GOLD HOLLYWOOD BANDAID. Also, my library doesn’t have One Day in September. I am disappointed.

OK, wait, I totally have more Olympics news! No, I do!

Apparently (I wasn’t paying attention, not a surprise) there is a gymnast named Gabby Douglas. She recently was the first African-American to win the Olympic gymnastics women’s individual all-around competition. That’s exciting, right? And she’s as cute as a button, too.

So, what did everyone concentrate on, when she was competing? Her form? Her dismount? Her attitude? Her scores?

Nope. Her hair.

Apparently, it was some sort of SOCIAL MEDIA OUTRAGE that she didn’t have a better hairstyle? People took offense to the clips she used to hold her hair back?

OH NOES THE HORROR (except not at all the horror)

Um. I don’t want to be judgey, because as mentioned, the Olympics are totally not my thing, but I think there’s a chance we’re concentrating on the wrong thing, here? She’s not competing in the Olympic hairstyling event. It’s GYMNASTICS, for the love of Pete. Also, from what I can see, she had a ponytail, and, like me, she’s one of those people with flyaways, so she used little clips to hold those away from her face. I’m down with that. Are they they prettiest? Nope. But sometimes, when you’re doing something where you have to pay attention, it’s function over style. When I’m driving, I put my hair up, and then put a hat on it, because I don’t have air conditioning and my windows have to be cranked open and my little flyaways flop all over and tickle and annoy me. I would assume you’d want that hair to stay out of your face, were you going for A GOLD MEDAL AT THE OLYMPICS. Who cares what it looks like?

She is as cute as a damn button. She’s got a bucket of personality. I like her a lot.

Also, Gabby Douglas (who is 16, by the way, and what a kick-ass chica) responded to all of the kerfuffle with surprise.

“I don’t know where this is coming from. What’s wrong with my hair?” Douglas, 16, said on Sunday in London. “I’m like, ‘I just made history and people are focused on my hair?’ It can be bald or short, it doesn’t matter about (my) hair.”

Douglas says the gel, clips and ponytail holder are tools she has used to keep her hair in place for years and the debate about it doesn’t matter.

“Nothing is going to change,” she said. “I’m going to wear my hair like this during beam and bar finals. You might as well just stop talking about it.”

I wish I’d been that self-possessed at 16. I probably would have gone out and gotten my hair styled so people would stop making fun of me. I used to have the self-esteem of a pet rock. No, wait. Pet rocks probably have very GOOD self-esteem. Um…of a bullied sugar glider? Better. They seem fragile. I mean, people used to make fun of something I wore, and I’d NEVER WEAR THAT THING AGAIN. Now, people say things about me (I mean, it doesn’t happen often now, but people still say things, it’s not like I live in a glass bubble) and I’m like, meh, is it comfy? Does it fit? I’m good, then, you can suck it.

Next: social media and Olympians.

Two different Olympians were barred from the Olympics (either from competing at all, or from continuing on) for tweeting sour-grapes, racist tweets to their followers in the past couple of weeks.

Social media: where you can say WHATEVER YOU WANT. Oh, wait, no? Oh, ok then. Sorry.

Listen, obviously, I’m not the person to talk to about how best to use social media, as I was kind of fired recently and one of the reasons had to do with my “overuse” of Twitter, and also blogging. Thing is, I didn’t care because I was at the end of my rope at that point. If you actually WANT to be where you are, I think it’s kind of important to be CAREFUL.

There was a Greek athlete who tweeted racist things about West Africans, and a Swiss soccer player who denigrated South Koreans after losing to them.

What’d I say? What’d I say?

If you have to be a racist, maybe you could, I don’t know, email a friend privately? Or write in your journal? At least until the Olympics are over? You trained probably your whole LIFE to get where you are, how stupid are you going to feel when you’re old and your grandchildren are all, “Grandpa, tell me about when you were in the Olympics!” and you have to say, “Well, I didn’t get to compete…because I went online and called someone on the other team an offensive term relating to the mentally handicapped because I was bitter they beat my team.” You’re going to feel like a massive tool. And your grandchildren are going to think you’re a massive tool. Well-played, you. Also, side-notey, but is the Olympics really a place for racism? I thought maybe you could just, I don’t know, compete? And be happy? You’re in the damn OLYMPICS! Those people also worked really hard to get there! Unless they’re throwing the elbow in your face in competition or something (in which case, take it to a ref, not your Twitter followers) then just be a good sport, you’re not 5 years old and on the kindergarten playground, here!

Finally: we have a hometown SCANDAL!

So everyone locally was all YAY YAY YAY because we had a local kid competing in the Olympics! He was going to be competing in judo and he was all over the news and all of us around here were all “YAY LOCAL PERSON!” (Well, I wasn’t. I was more like, huh, judo’s an Olympic sport? Who knew? and then giggling because it reminded me of the time Napoleon Dynamite’s brother went to take judo classes.)

Then he got kicked out of the Olympics for testing positive for drugs. What kind? Performance-enhancing, you’d think, right? Nope.  Weed, of course. You know. As you do, before competing IN THE DAMN OLYMPICS.

Ugh, MAN! No WAY!

His excuse? “My positive test was caused by my inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realise had been baked with marijuana, before I left for the Olympic Games,” said Delpopolo in a statement.

Huh. Well, this can go one of two ways.

  1. He’s a lying liar who lies, and he ate some pot brownies before taking off for London at a goodbye party.
  2. He went to a goodbye party, and his most good-time-Charlie friend was all, “Shhh! Hee hee! These brownies are DELICIOUS! There’s something in the brownies that will make you want MORE BROWNIES!” and was unwittingly dosed with marijuana that way.

To tell you the truth, I have no idea. I think either is equally likely. I knew a kid once who was all “I used to trick people into doing angel dust” and when I was like, “Um, what the hell?” he was like, “I used to lace weed with it, and then give the weed to people to smoke, and then ask them, ‘have you ever done angel dust?’ and they’d be like, ‘unh-uh’ and I’d be like ‘YEAH YOU HAVE!’ and it was HILARIOUS.” When I told him that didn’t seem so hilarious, he seemed befuddled. Honestly, it seems more likely he’d have been dosed without his knowledge, because I’m sure Olympians are aware of the drug-testing rules, aren’t they? And even I know that marijuana stays in your system for a while. (When I was young and making much less intelligent choices, the rumor was a month, but I have no idea if that’s true or not. We weren’t all that intelligent back then. Or, we WERE, but we were seeing the world through a smoky haze. The internet tells me that if you’re a heavy smoker, you can test positive for THC up to 90 days after quitting. WHOA DUDE. GNARLY.)

Duuuuuuude.

Either way, our local Olympic dreams are DASHED. Well, “our” meaning “everyone except me” because I didn’t really have any to begin with. I’m still gobsmacked judo’s a sport. I feel kind of bad for the kid, though. I think if the drug you did is proven to be DETRIMENTAL to your performance, you should still be allowed to compete. It’s not like those brownies gave him a leg up, you know? I bet if you asked his competitors, they’d be like, “SURE! Let him compete! I’ll fight the stoner! NO I WILL!”

OK, there you go, ladies and gentlemen and also Ding Dong Joe. All the Olympics news for you! Off to not watch more of the Olympics! As I do! Or…well…don’t, I guess!


An open letter of apology to London

Dear London:

Listen, I’m really sorry.

The other night, #MittShambles started trending on Twitter. I’m usually really out of it, news-wise, so I of course had to research what the latest Mitt-tastrophe was.

Guys! YOU GUYS! I gots me a street named after me, yo!

Oh, holy hell, London. I am so, so embarrassed. Seriously, I’m glad I don’t have to look any of you in the eye today, because I’d be as red as a beet.

Oh, so embarrassed.

Oh, wait, maybe some people are as out of it as I am, news-wise, and are wondering what went down. Because I love you, I’ll fill you in.

On Thursday, Mitt Romney (who will be running as the Republican Presidential candidate here in MERKA later this year) went to London. It was ostensibly as a fundraiser – there are a lot of rich American Republican businessmen living and working in London, and he was having a $75,000 a plate fundraiser for them (or, I guess, for himself) – but while there, he decided to show the Londoners what it would be like once he’s elected President, by doing some speechifying, and some interviews, and meeting with some fancy London bigwigs. Easy enough, right?

$75,000 a plate? Better come with a home, a hot man, and a European tour, buddy.

Oh, no, not at all easy. Not at ALL easy. Yikes.

Listen, I’m not great in front of people. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I often start running off at the mouth because my nerves get the better of me, and I say very stupid things that are not at all indicative of me as a person. I think a lot of people do that. It’s not just me. I’ve seen more than enough bad speeches to know I’m not the only one petrified in front of people saying stupid things. That said: the man is trying to be the leader of the United States. THE WHOLE UNITED STATES. OF MERKA. You kind of have to be good at speeching to lead the country.

In case you’re not aware, the Olympics are going on in London. Well, when Romney was there, they were about to begin. They were one day away. FURTHERMORE, in case you were ALSO not aware, Mitt Romney was the chief executive of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. So Romney, I guess, thought it was ok that he got all judgey-judgey about the way the London Olympics were being run and set up and such. You know. As you do. When you’re trying to make a good impression in a foreign country.

Bill. Aw, Bill. Remember the speeches he used to give? *swoon*

Shit, did I mention how embarrassed I am, London? Let me reiterate. I’m so embarrassed. So, so embarrassed.

So first, Romney started saying shit like the London Olympics might be in trouble because of security concerns, and that it was “hard to know just how well it will turn out.”

He also said there were “a few things that were disconcerting” about the Olympic preparations. “The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging.”

And then I just…kept talking? And talking. And talking some more.

UNGH, ROMNEY, MAYBE YOU COULD JUST SHUT IT NOW? NO? THERE’S MORE? EFF.

(In news of the BURN!, David Cameron – he’s the Prime Minister, come on, you know this – said “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.” HA HA! Listen, the Brits are pretty polite. This is a TOTAL burn. This would be like if a MERKAN said “SUCK IT ROMNEY YOU PODUNK ASSMUNCH.” Only with more middle-fingering. And we’d probably shoot him in the face.)

Good one, Cameron!

Then Romney was all “oh, oh shit, did I do that?” and backpedaled with a sweeping “um um um any little boo-boos will be overshadowed by the extraordinary demonstrations of courage, character and determination by the athletes.” (Everything in that sentence up until “overshadowed” I made up. Also, that’s not an apology or even a backpedal. That’s a privileged kid who doesn’t know how to say he’s sorry who realized people are mad at him attempting to save face. And failing. Miserably.)

I kind of imagine it like this, only without the awesomeness of Fred Willard or “A Mighty Wind.”

In additional news of the “what the eff?” Romney also:

  • forgot the name of Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, and in order to save face, called him “Mr. Leader” (his name wasn’t like Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak or something. It was ED, for the love of Pete. You can’t remember Ed? You high or something, Romney?)

    It’s ED, Mr. Romney. ED. TWO EFFING LETTERS.

  • Met with the leaders of MI6, but obviously was SO STOKED that he got to sit at the cool kids table for two minutes and maybe also thought he was in maybe a James Bond movie that he TOLD EVERYONE. I wasn’t aware of this, but apparently MI6 is England’s Fight Club? And you all know the first rule of that, right? Shit, Romney. I’m pretty sure Goldfinger’s under your bed right now or something ready to suspend you over a tank full of sharks while he tells you about all of his evil plans and schemes, giving you time to escape, if you’re wise enough to use it. (Isn’t Goldfinger a James Bond badguy? The one with the scary grill? He is, right? I think I remember Dad making me watch that once. OH SHIT FINE I looked it up and his name was “Jaws” and he was from the movie The Spy Who Loved Me. I really dislike James Bond movies. They’re all the same to me.)

    I AM COMING FOR YOU ROMNEY.

    Also, I guess there’s another secret service called MI5, and he also met with them, and one of Romney’s advisers spilled the beans about that, too. (I’m getting the feeling that a., maybe all these secret societies shouldn’t meet with any yahoo running for president of MERKA, and b., Romney and his people were totally narcs in high school. Or hall monitors or something. Something asshatty.)

  • He also said he was really looking forward to watching volleyball from the “backside” of Downing Street which made a lot of British people giggle because that totally means bum, you guys. BUM! (Also, who even uses backside in that sense? Weird. Unless it’s a rich person thing. Is it a rich person thing? I wouldn’t know. Romney would.)

    Here is the backside of a hedgehog. Hee! Backside!

  • One of his advisors said that Obama didn’t understand America and Europe’s shared “Anglo-Saxon heritage.” Some news outlets are saying that Romney himself said this; some are saying an advisor said it. Either way: RACIST, YO. Because Obama’s got African-American heritage, he can’t understand the troubles we seen, can’t understand our sorrow? Please excuse me while I laugh myself into a hernia.

Londoners were really, really disgusted with Romney.

OK, London? Listen. I’m so sorry. I want to make it very clear: MITT ROMNEY DOES NOT REPRESENT ALL OF US.

Mitt Romney is a bullying rich boy. (Seriously, if you take nothing serious from this entire post, click on that link and read it. And then share it with people who vote in America. Yeah, it’s a story for another blog, one closer to election, I’ll talk more about it then – but we’re one election away from this man being our president, my fellow Merkans. Someone who not only bullied gay teens in school, but someone upon whom it made NO IMPACT. He DOESN’T EVEN REMEMBER DOING IT. He calls it “pranks and high jinks.”) Someone on Twitter the other day compared him to a middle-aged Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. I don’t know if there’s been a more apt comparison since he poked his Whac-a-Mole head out of the ground to try to be the next GREAT BIG LEADER OF MERKA.

Put your head back in your hole, Mole. We don’t need you here. We have a hammer in case you pop up again. Whack. Whack.

I’m so sorry he came to your lovely city in the middle of your lovely country and he shit all over you while you were preparing for this gigantic event that you’re probably all nervous about. I’m so sorry that some of you are all “you bloody Americans!” and all stompy-stomp and giving us dirty looks. I’m so, so sorry.

We’re really not all that backward and embarrassing. I promise. Gah, I’m just beyond embarrassed. HE DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ALL OF US.

I just found this a few minutes ago. Apparently, Romney’s not going to apologize. It’s all on me. (Did you all know about this?)

NO APOLOGIES! THE GREATNESS OF MERKA!!!!!1!

I have no idea how the election’s going to shake out. I really don’t. I’m petrified about it, to tell you the truth. Because I don’t want a gay-bashing, jingoistic, bullying, glad-handing rich boy running my country. Please don’t think I do, London. As much as all of you, I wish he’d never opened his mouth when he was across the pond; he makes all of us look bad.

I lived in London for 5 months in college. Your city was a city of wonder. There was always something to see and do and it was so bustling and so thriving and so beautiful and I wish I hadn’t been so homesick because I would have been able to appreciate it more. You have wonderful theater and actors and movies and art and architecture and history (and oh, oh, oh, how much do I miss being able to stop into the store and buy a Flake bar whenever I want one? SIGH) and I’d give my EYETEETH to go back and visit you again now that I’m wise enough to look at all you have to offer with my grown-up, much less eye-rolly…um…well, eyes, I guess.

I’m seriously drooling right now.

Please don’t judge us by our most asshatty denizens. We have such better people to offer.

Please accept my most abject apologies. If it helps at all, I am happy to come over. I would remember Mr. Miliband’s name, I would totally zip my lip about meeting with your secret agent men, I’d never mock your abilities to have the Olympics there (because, honestly, I don’t know anything about the Olympics) and I would totally never mention the ass-side of your buildings. I can be a lady when I need to be. Totally can. I think you’ll see I’d be an EXCELLENT ambassador of awesome. I’d leave and you’d be all “GO GO MERKA!” and it would be the best thing ever.

Send that plane ticket on over. I’d be happy to stay at a mid-range hotel. The chocolates on the pillow don’t have to be that fancy. I’d settle for a Flake bar.

And listen, London: I’m so sorry. Seriously. Here is black and white picture of Benedict Cumberbatch with facial hair. He is one of my favorite products of yours. Can you look at him and be mad at us? Can you really? I can’t. I look at him and my mad-feelings just melt away. Just meeeeellllltttt away.

With all the apologies in the world, plus a few more, and a very red face,

Love, Me.


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