Thursday, February 26, 2009

I totes want to vom in my mouth

I know, classy title. But "I'm in Kuwait!" seemed anti-climactic since its really just a stopover into happyville, and frankly, its not like I haven't led with that before. Seriously though, ya'll, I totes want to vom in my mouth. I am almost quite literally just off the plane/bus and I still feel insanely nauseated (is that the right tense? I remember being constantly corrected b/c I would say I feel nauseous, and that would be the wrong way to say know what? Screw it. You know what I mean), to the point where I am slowly sipping orange gatorade I just bought at the 24 hour PX and hoping I don't make a spectacle of myself here at the internet cafe.

You know how I love to be dramatic and claim that something I just went through is the worst thing in the world to ever go through, and how I would do a thousand other torturous tasks if it meant I never had to do that one again? Well, brace yourselves, b/c I'm about to make another bold declaration. I mean, it is HORRIBLE. I swore I would bring water, breathe deeply, and think positive thoughts to NOT feel sick, but no go. It is like the least fun amusement park ride in the world, and you are stuck on said ride for 2 hours, smelling overwhelming smells of gas fumes and military plane...something, sitting in the most uncomfortable seat ever, wearing a heavy helmet that DOESN'T fit, so it keeps sliding down your head, wearing obtrusive earplugs, no stretching room b/c you are packed to the gills, and in the extreme temperature zone (either too hot or too cold) and sometimes, under a crack in the plane where you get water dripped on you when the plane jerks, which is ALL THE TIME. Wow. Yeah. That is flying military air in a horrible, horrible nutshell. And I'm sitting there, almost praying my back goes out so it will distract me from the cold sweats and the overwhelming need to vomit while weeping. Why the weeping? Well, mainly b/c I fear it would turn into a Goonies/Chunk situation where my vomit inspires the hordes to vomit and it all escalates rapidly to the point where everyone hates me and I'm covered in my own barf. Which, would not be pleasant b/c I had a roast beef sandwich for lunch and I fear that wouldn't be the best upchuck to wear for an already miserable flight. I did not vomit, but like the last two times I flew, it was truly touch and go. And I think it was more touch this time than the other times.

I've been told there are doggie bags b/c spewing is a semi-common occurance, but I have yet to see one. I see plenty of oxygen bags which do not look user-friendly at all, so I will totes be that person who needs someone to assist her in case the need for them arises, but I do not ever see any doggie bags. Therefore, I am stealing one from one of my commercial flights and hording it. I think what makes experience all the worse is not knowing where I could barf, with the exception of all over myself/in the helmet I need to wear on my head. So maybe having a viable option will make me feel better. I also plan on taking not one, but two of my emergency muscle relaxants so I will possibly be almost comatose for the flight. Hey, you can't yark in your sleep, right? I know I should be ashamed of my planned prescription drug use, but considering the fact that flexiril is almost over-the-counter with how tame it is, and also considering how MISERABLE I am, I'm not ashamed. Feel free to call the A&E folks for the show Intervention (which I kinda love). I just don't want to have to experience that ever again, and knowing I do is almost enough to make me never return to Iraq, abandoning my laptop, at least 10 books I haven't read, my LOTR trilogy, and my series of Gilmore Girls on dvd. Almost.

Just to beat this dead horse into the ground and give ya'll some perspective, things I once said I would never want to repeat, but am now willing to repeat if it meant I never had to take a MIL-AIR flight again:

-Dentist visit, including fillings (but there is a slight condition on has to be with Dr. Mathis who is really good at it compared to the masochist I went to before coming here)

-Allergic reaction to aloe when my back is sunburnt (remember that HORRIFIC experience mom?)

-Being sunburnt to the point where I have blisters on my neck (yeah, it happened after three days of no sunscreen at Johnson Shut-Ins immediately followed by an all day softball tournament with more no shirt stuck to my oozing blisters)

-Strep throat so bad I have to spit in a bowl b/c I can't swallow

-That horrible Kuwait airport experience where I thought I would either have to live at the airport, or accidentaly agree to be a mid-east slave to one of the guys leering at me (Offensively put, I know)

-Having my tire blow out the night before my sisters wedding and having to walk to a pay phone, with my flip-flop breaking, so having to walk BAREFOOT on gravel/sharp sticks to a dirty gas station and pull my mom away from much more important things to pick me up

I know I could come up with more, and interestingly enough, I couldn't bring myself to put down "experience the massive anxiety of asking someone to recommend me for grad school." Maybe that time is still too fresh in my mouth to use it. I'm sure shortly following any of the aforementioned experiences, I wouldn't have quite the perspective I have now. Who knows? Right now, I'm merely consumed with thoughts of how I will kill time for the next 72 hours, and where I can go vomit that doesn't smell like sewer.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ode to Conan & Oscar

Hello all! Wow, it has been a great weekend for pop culture. I've been attached to for the past three days, reading updates, making comments, viewing videos. I speak of not only the Oscars, but of Conan O'Brien's last episode of Late Night before he makes the move to the Tonight Show. All in all, what a great weekend.

First, lets talk Oscar...

If you've been keeping up on my twitter posts, you know I've been experiencing some crazy insomnia lately. Before this happened, I had plans to go to bed early on Sunday night, wake up at 3 a.m. to catch the live broadcast of the Oscars, and not miss out on one bit. But then that insomnia hit, and I was seriously doubting my plan to get up early if I was actually asleep...not to mention the fact that I might not even wake up. You would think that after a few nights of seriously deprived sleep, you body would finally collapse. You would think. I know I held those misconceptions whilst experiencing jet lag, so the fact that I deluded myself this time around is pretty foolish. Last night rolls around, and like clockwork, I'm up for hours. I think I finally fell asleep around midnight, pretty much planning on missing the Oscars. But the insomnia worked in my favor. I woke up around 3 a.m., tossing and turning, and couldn't go back to sleep. Huzzah! So I turned on the t.v. and began enjoying the show.

Random thoughts (very free-flow, so I apologize):
-Ick to E!'s red carpet coverage. But not surprised.
-Delighted to see ABC got Tim Gunn to be one of the hosts for their red carpet coverage. He is truly a class act, and makes me miss my Project Runway.
-LOVED the opening number. I was grinning from ear to ear. Yeah, the lyrics weren't always funny, but they were well organized, it was energetic, and Hugh did a great job bringing down the house (and props to Anne Hathaway for her pipes).
-Found a LOT of the transitions and segways very awkward, made the show feel unorganized at times. I think the editor (steven, correct me if it's some other behind the scenes guru) must have been dipping into the champagne.
-ADORED the acting presentations. They had 5 previous winners giving a short monologue describing the nominated's performance and giving them a bit of time to shine. Yes, I did get a slightly sick feeling imagining how long the show could go if they did it for every category, but they didn't, and man, it worked for me. Made it more personal, great to see past winners (except Cuba...seriously? Tim Robbins wasn't doing anything? Or George Clooney?), and just classily done.
-Found myself "meh-ing" about pretty much all the winners. I haven't seen anything except The Dark Knight (which, nice shout-0ut to the ridiculousness of it not getting nominated in the opening number).
-Loved Tina Fey's and Steve Martin's presentation. They were hilarious and fun to watch.
-Hated Jack Black and Jen Aniston's presentation. They kept cutting to Brangelina, which was tacky and just ridiculous.
-Found most of the set pretty, but some of the props were odd. Can't be as bad as the Emmy's were though, eh?
-Really, really wanted to love the Baz Luhrman musical number, but, once they brought out the High School Musical kids, and the kids from Mamma Mia, I was out. Hugh still sang/danced great, but it was just awkwardly placed in the show, a bit overdone at parts, underdone at other parts, bad song choices, and just felt like a bit of pandering with the performers chosen.
-I love me a good montage, but still found the categorical montages a bit off. And allowed crappy movies to take notice...lame-ish.
-Really liked them lumping the boring categories together, like with Will Smith. A time saver so they could focus on the classy.
-Liked the In Memorium for the most part, with the song adding a personal touch, but it was hard to read the names and not get dizzy with the fast paced/edited clips. But man, Paul Newman was truly a great actor. He will be missed. Same with Paul Schofield. I'm like JD from Scrubs when he says "God bless all Molly's everywhere" but replace Molly with Paul.
-Though I haven't seen any of the films and know nothing about performances, I was secretly glad Mickey Rourke didn't win b/c looking at his face makes me want to vom a little in my mouth. Harsh, I know.
-Read above, but still delighted Kate Winslet won. I really like that gal and find her charming, gorgeous and truly talented. AND, I laugh b/c she was right in her guest appearance on just takes a "bloody movie about the Holocaust" (paraphrased) to win an Oscar.
-Liked how they used past winners to tie into the nominated best pictures, emphasizing that great movies follow basic themes, twist them up, and give new reflection to them. Really liked it. And miss Steven Speilberg winning oscars...rumor is he's got an Abe Lincoln biopic in the works with Liam Neeson rumored to be the tall guy. DELIGHTED.

I think that's it for my notes. I have spent the last couple of days reading all info about how the Oscars were recieved and if anyone enjoyed them as much as I did. Well, almost everyone universally hated the musical number, but everything else was pretty split. Whether it be Ben Stiller's scathing portrayel of Joaquin Pheonix, or the way they presented the acting trophies, it's a mixed bag. I'm delighted to say that the heavy majority of viewers/fans, was thrilled with Hugh Jackman's performance (Oprah included...makes me love Oprah that much more b/c she was the first to call him and congratulate him on the Oscar gig) and think he should return. I do as well. I have sooo much more to say about this, but it'll come out better in a convo rather than me verbally exploding all over this post.

Moving on...Conan O'briens last show. I was incredibly happy when it was announced he would be replacing Jay Leno as the Tonight Show host. I can't think of anyone more talented in the late night realm. Yes, Craig Ferguson is charming (it's that accent), and yes, David Letterman is a classic, and yes, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have me in stitches on a daily basis. But when all factors are taken into account, this was an easy decision. What I DON'T understand is NBC's decision to appease stupid, not funny, sexist and uncreative Jay Leno's massive ego and give him a nightly spot in primetime in front of Conan. BAD choice NBC. I think I can pretty much cut your network for my primetime enjoyment if that's what you think is watchable. I mean, Jay is NOT funny. At all. Not even close. It's painful and I cannot even stomach watching him when there is nothing else on and all I want to do is veg out in front of the t.v. I have been known to watch that horrible MTV show Next in place of watching Jay. It's that bad. And the people I work with not only do not think Conan is funny, but they think Jay is hilarious. Who are these people? How do we communicate on a daily basis without me just screaming constantly to block out the sounds of their voices? If you are a fan of Jay, now is NOT the time to share b/c I will judge you mercilessly. That's fine that Conan is not everyone's cup of tea. Some people don't like witty, self-deprecating, creative and realistic humor. I can abide by that. But I cannot, and will not, be okay with Jay fans. Makes me sick.

Back to Conan, so yes, it's a smidge insulting that they are pandering to Jay like this. But Conan is a true class act, thanking him and many others in his final speech, almost choking up (causing me to choke up) and just ending the show on a great note, bringing in our old friend Andy Richter (who hilariously said "I told you you would never make it without me!!!"), giving us great montages, and showing Conan's favorite clip "Oldtime Baseball" which I had never seen, and man, was I missing out. Sidenote, was that last sentence the worst run-on sentence ever or what? I'd fix it, but I think I just set a record.

Conan, you will be missed at the 11:35 slot, and I worry the Tonight Show might send you down an irreversible path that leads you to a fate similar to Jay's (though I don't know if Jay was EVER funny), but I will still tune in and hope that you bring us classic bits similar to these (my personal favorites):

-Walker Texas Ranger lever
-Abe Bagoda
-You traveling ANYWHERE (comic gold)
-In the Year 2000
-If they Mated
-Anytime you are doing a bit with producer Jordan
-Your string dance
-Your nerd impersonation "I know..."
-Your stint at UPS
-Your reaction to situations out of your control, i.e. writers strike, blizzards, NYC's blackout

Feel free to share your favorite moments from either the Oscars or Conan...I know I've missed many things, so I eagerly anticipate reminding.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Photo Tag and the Killer Cold

There is something about being sick that is inherently selfish. I kinda like it. I mean, your health is down and no one can blame you for taking time to ignore everything else except babying yourself. Moreover, if you have a loved one nearby, they support this effort in focusing all TLC on you. So usually, if I get a cold or something similar, I accept it as natures way of telling me to slow down and take many, many naps. But I don't think that cheery outlook is going to work this time. I have come down with what I'm dramatically terming the "Killer Cold that ate my face"...this title was inspired by this cold making my face ache. Like I ran into a brick wall and didn't break anything, but sure as heck bruised the majority of my face. Moreover, its affected my ability to take all those naps. I can't breathe through my nose, and breathing through my mouth tickles my sensitive/not-yet-sore throat to where it keeps me awake. Oh, and when I do manage to sleep, the Sri Lankan room cleaners/maintenance guys are bugging me to clean my room or something. The first time, I gave them some privacy and went into work where I just sat there wanting to die a little bit. The second time, I think we misunderstood each other and they left for parts unknown and I attempted to go back to sleep. The third time, I was like, screw it, and let them in and promptly put on my sleep mask, burrowed under my covers and let them have their way with my room while they drilled...something. I'm sure they thought I was crazy. Whatev's. So here I am, staying up to watch Lost, still wanting to die while my head threatens to explode and my nose rubbed raw from continual snot emissions, switching from hot to cold to hot about every 20 minutes, and really wishing I could get some of that aforementioned TLC. But since I can't, I'll just lay here and feel sorry for myself.

On a much more positive note, I've gotten a couple of amazing care packages from some dear family members in the past month or so. Thank you all of you. Now I just need one of you to ship yourselves over and come baby me while I act like the world revolves around me. Seriously, they are so good. I'm going to need each and every one of you to live in a warzone in the future so I can attempt to reciprocate. Get on that. I think I have one last package (of my own doing) arriving before my R&R in two weeks. TWO WEEKS!!! That is CRAZY!!! I mean, there were definitaly times I felt like I was going to go crazy and end up that stapler-obsessed guy from Office Space if I had to stay here one minute longer. And that might still happen. But the past two weeks have flown by, and I'm fairly positive the next two weeks will as well, and very soon, I will be hanging out with the Southerland clan, forcing Joe to teach me the same French phrase I won't remember, playing with my HUGE nephew (no, that's not a fat joke...seriously, that boy has some long arms and legs...when did he become a little man?) and shooting the breeze/psycho-analyzing with Emily. This will of course involve some Jimmy Johns and/or CPK. Just sayin'.

Lastly, I was tagged in a post by Tamara earlier this week and totes did not even notice until I visited it for a second time. Funsies!!! I'm not going to post the explanation b/c I'm not going to tag anyone since you alls were already tagged and/or know to what I refer. And, I can't follow the 5th picture in the 5th folder rule hardcore b/c my fifth folder has no pictures in it, so I pretended it didn't exist and present to you the following:

This is a picture taken about a year ago (I think??) by our photographer extraordinaire, Emily, in front of The Pasta House after a delicious Saturday brunch. Yes, you read me right...The Pasta House not only has a brunch, but they serve it on Saturdays as well as Sundays, a rarity in brunch world. And I think they started on the brunch thing to compete with other CWE eateries and their brunches. I don't recall what I had, but I'm sure it was delicious. Kyle was in town form some random weekend, and this was the best way to visit with the Southerland crew and get a meal in...and I'm fairly positive we went straight to The Cupcakery after this. We are a group ruled by our stomachs and the enticement of walking there so we feel like we've burned off some calories. I miss that necklace I'm wearing, as it was misplaced by my friend Jenna in Wichita, and then Kyle was supposed to pick it up at the store she left it at and never did. Boy owes me a necklace.

Mmmm, that was a good memory. Thanks Em for taking pictures of the good times in our lives!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Boring Post Warning...

Okay, I realize that I not only failed to sell the following post, but I attached a warning to it as well. I just thought you alls should know this entry may not entertain the masses (and really, how egotistical of me to assume my other posts entertain the masses) as it is related to the latest in sports information. So fatheaded minnow, this one is for you (read the comments of another Lambson blog to get to whom I refer). And anyone else who cares about my musings.

First off, the KU-MU game. Oh what a treat to discover they were airing it on ESPN as part of their rivalry week (what a great week) and I was able to watch most of it. As we all know, the time to watch this match-up is when KU is visiting MU, if only b/c that's when MU stands a chance. Doesn't matter the current skill level of either team, 9 times out of 10, they give us an amazing game that has me at the edge of my seat, if only b/c for most of it, I'm not even sure who I'm rooting for. Often, if MU is just atrocious and has no post-season hopes, it's for KU b/c I want their rank to be higher. Other times, I'm rooting for MU b/c KU can stand to take the hit and I happen to like particular players on MU's team, like in the year of Derick Grimm and Jason Sutherland. This year, I was rooting for both. Each possession had me screaming defense, throwing up my hands at a hastily shot 3-pointer, and glorying in the beauty of a perfect fast break. And so it was rather easy to celebrate MU's win, if only b/c they were the home team, they were the lower ranked than KU, thereby making them the underdog, and KU, while a very talented group, will more than likely not win the championship again this year, so I can just bask in their growth as a young team. An extra treat was hearing the announcers say "Columbia, Missouri" and picturing being there in a short amount of time.

Man, I think I can unequivocally state that college basketball is the best sport around. I love many other sports, but it's the combination of conference play, a season that only lasts 4 months, raw talent being molded by honorable coaches, the fact that money is not the reason for the season (at least not openly like with all pro sports) and the perfect post-season contest, that make this sport so spectacular.

Which brings me to my next favorite sport, baseball. While watching the only rivalry to beat MU-KU this morning, Duke-UNC, they happened to mention the A-Rod scandal. It was near the end of the game when it was clear that Hansbrough was going to get his fourth win at Duke, that Dick Vitale and some other guy (can anyone remember any other announcer when the overwhelming personality of Vitale is around?) brought up the A-Rod steroid usage. They stated how disappointing it was, how Alex has claimed to not really know what he was using, how he can save his career, yadda, yadda, yadda. I agree with most of what they had to say, basically that he needs to donate a huge chunk of money to charity, he needs to be willing to scratch off the homers from his Texas years from his record, and various other things. I've read many columns about this whole situation, and some seem to imply that everyone pretty much assumed he was using. I beg to differ. I don't claim to adore A-Rod, nor have I followed his career religiously. But even with my limited knowledge, I would like to think I could have ventured a hypothesis that he was one of the users if it was that clear to everyone else. Am I wrong? I mean, he never bulked up like Bonds or Cansenco, which was inspired on his part. Maybe I'm living in naive world, where someone of that talent wouldn't have to rely on something so dirty to keep him at the top of his game. Is it wrong that a small part of me is happy to hear this news? I HATE what it continues to do to the sport of baseball, just making that scarlet letter even bigger. But as a huge Derek Jeter fan, it's a bit of validation to know that the person Derek is constantly compared to is not the perfect athlete everyone claimed he was. I know, petty. I mean, in the worlds eyes, Derek has already won. Doesn't matter that A-rod is the highest paid Yankee, New York and all Yankees fans love Derek so much more, he has the rings, he has an assured place in the hall of fame (which A-rod may no longer have). I don't know. I'm meandering here without a point. I guess my basic statement is that I'm hugely disappointed that A-Rod turned out to be a user, I'm angry that the unions and owners still haven't done enough to stop the rampent steroid use, I'm hopeful that the Yankees can get past it this season, I'm hugely relieved it wasn't about a player I love (that would be a crushing blow).

Last note...during the same sports discussion Vitale had while Duke was throwing up prayers against a well-honed North Carolina, they mentioned Favres retirement from football and how they wished he had gone out as a Packer, as that's where he spent almost his whole career. And it was mentioned that they would hate to see Derek Jeter in any other uniform than a Yankees uniform. I couldn't agree more. Yes, it hurt when Roy Williams went to UNC, and yes, I was a smidge bitter for that summer...but, it makes sense. It's where his roots are. And frankly, I think all parties are quite happy right now. KU got their championship with Bill Self, a great guy, Roy got his with UNC, and still had the class and loyalty to root for KU last year when his own team lost to them in the previous game...I'd like to think we are all content and over any negative feelings we may have once had. But if Derek Jeter goes to any other team, it would truly break my heart. I think the only way I would at all be okay with it is if he followed Joe Torre. I'm still hurting over Steinbrenner's idiotic move to not keep Torre, but I don't hold it at all against good ole' Joe. And the Dodgers are a good team to coach instead. I mean, it's not like he went to Boston. Maybe it's foolish to wish that Derek never leaves the Yankees, especially when the almighty dollar rules all professional sports these days. But I'm going to continue hoping that he does. That he stays as classy as he has been his whole career, and not cling to a career long over, and not seek out money above loyalty and legend, and stay in those pinstripes.