February 26, 2010

That girl is like a virus

I realized last night that Parvati and J.T. are almost the exact same player. They both have excessive amounts of charisma, and use it to their advantage. They could both be very successful cult leaders. Upon meeting them, other players suddenly want to help them win. In J.T.'s original season, one player said "J.T. winning would be like me winning." In Parvati's second season, her alliance convinced one player to not use immunity and another player to hand over his immunity, right before voting them out. Both J.T. and Parvati joked about how stupid everyone was to believe them, and then successfully lied to them again. In those seasons, Parvati and J.T. won the million dollars.

In this season, Parvati is on the "villains" tribe and J.T. is on the "heroes" tribe. When men use charm and charisma to win Survivor, it's heroic and lauded as brilliant "strategy." When women do it, it's sneaky, evil, and compared to a virus, while being dismissed and devalued as mere "flirting."

February 19, 2010

Things I'm learning from Survivor

I realized the this season of Survivor gives us the opportunity to really understand what makes a hero and what makes a villain.

  • Allow men to "run their mouths," but vote out women when they do it.
  • Allow men to suck at puzzles, with no consequences. (Even though losing the puzzle means voting someone off.)
  • Are really good at building huts in the tropical forest.
  • Like to repeatedly shout "ONE VOICE" over the top of other people talking.

  • Have the uncanny ability to predict horrible events. (At least if you are Courtney. She has two fulfilled prophecies so far: "Break her shoulder!" and "I hope he doesn't drop dead.")
  • Can't build huts or make coconut popcorn.
  • Allow men to complain loudly, but mock women when they offer suggestions. Or at least when they are waitress offering suggestions.
  • Make really sad boo-boo faces.
  • ROCK at puzzles.

February 17, 2010

The last hour of my life

I just spent the last hour watching tv, switching back and forth from Millionaire Matchmaker and Cougar Town. I know Millionaire Matchmaker is stupid, but sometimes (ok, lots of times) I really enjoy stupid tv. Watching Cougar Town was totally an accident. I was aiming for the Olympics, but clearly Channel Surfing is not my sport. I only missed by 1 channel, so if I keep practicing, who knows. If I could change the channel using a gun while wearing skis, I might have a chance in Russia in 2014.

7 pm, Thursday... he better be aiming for CBS or NBC

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually kinda liked it. It scored overwhelmingly high in the "casting people I like from other shows" category: Monica from Friends, Phoebe from Friends (though only for a guest appearance), Jordan from Scrubs, Shawn from Scrubs (my favorite of Elliot's boyfriends), and most points for BUSY PHILIPPS!!! Kim Kelly from Freaks and Geeks!

For the cast alone, I watched for the entire two episodes, no doubt missing wonderfully trashy shenanigans from Patty's Millionaire's Club. It was actually pretty funny! And occasionally insightful and sweet. Jordan is playing her exact same character, who I love. Monica is a lot like the Monica from the early seasons, when she was actually likable. And Kim Kelly is all grown up, but still the same lovable loud mouth. So maybe this show doesn't score high on the originality, but I'm ok with that. Not every show can be Community. I think the next time I watch this show, it will be on purpose.

A Very Important Rant

Today's rant is brought to you by: Crazy fans

Some people cannot handle being fans. They cannot handle liking something. Please note the following:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

DO NOT do these things. It is inappropriate. (One excessively more so than the other, I'll let you decide. Hint: IT'S OPTION A.) If you are a crazy fan, and you insist on doing these things, please continue to do so over the internet. It is hilarious. (Not really a rant, but the exasperation is still there.)

Pandora discoveries

Contemplative emo edition. This songs may already be popular and overplayed, but they're new to me.

"Almost Lover" by A Fine Frenzy

"There's No Way" by Sam Bisbee
(no youtube video. D: sorry.)

"Roam" by Lijie
(enabling not allowed... here's the link)

...and this isn't a new discovery, but since the videos for my three new faves are so fail, I'll include it as bonus. This is probably my favorite love song.

"Amie" by Damien Rice

February 11, 2010

Fire represents life

I promised a Survivor post, and here it is. Try to contain your excitement.

Survivor is tonight! I'm just so happy. Tears of joy.

I keep trying to write a post about why I like Survivor so much, as a way of introducing the epic upcoming "Heroes vs. Villains" 20th season. (Airing tonight, 7 pm, on CBS!) But I decided to just keep it simple. You are either a Survivor fan or you aren't. I can't make anyone love this show as much as I do, but I can talk about it on my blog with the hopes of discovering some other closet Survivor lovers.

That's right. I've even bought the merchandise. I'm officially a Survivor geek.

So here's my pre-Suvivor post. I am ranking the survivors from season 20. The people at the top are the ones I'd most like to see win. The ones at the bottom are the ones I'd really enjoy seeing lose a fight with a shark. Or maybe just get voted out pre-jury.

Season 20 Survivors: Favorite to least favorite to most loathed:
  • Boston Rob - Villain: from the Marquesas and All-star seasons
  • Parvati - Villain: from the Cook Islands and Fans/favorites seasons
  • Cirie - Hero: from the Panama "Exile Island" and Fans/favorites seasons
  • Courtney - Villain: from the China season
  • Colby - Hero: from the Outback and All-star seasons
  • Amanda - Hero: from the China and Fans/favorites season
  • Jerri - Villain: from the Outback and All-star seasons
  • Candice - Hero: from the Cook Islands season
  • J.T. - Hero: from the Tocantins season
  • Stephanie - Hero: from the Palau and Guatemala seasons
  • Tom - Hero: from the Palau season
  • Sandra - Villain: from the Pearl Islands season
  • Sugar - Hero: from the Gabon season
  • James - Hero: from the China and Fans/favorites seasons
  • Danielle - Villain: from the Panama "Exile Island" season
  • Rupert - Hero: from the Pearl Islands and All-star seasons
  • Randy - Villain: from the Gabon season
  • Coach - Villain: from the Tocantins season
  • Tyson - Villain: from the Tocantins season
  • Russell - Villain: from the Samoa season

Yes, this is the THIRD season for some players. Player or fan, survivor is a lifetime commitment. The players in bold are previous winners. The players in italics made it to the final tribal council in at least one of their seasons. This game is going to be good. I can't wait! :D

February 9, 2010

Apprehension, wealth, and number two

I often want to blog about religion, but I'm apprehensive. It feels inappropriate to discuss the scriptures and my testimony on the same site where I talk about poop. (Maybe I should just stop blogging about poop. Yes, these links are all unique posts concerning poop.) I've thought of starting yet another blog devoted solely to religious topics, but religious experiences are meant to be shared. And I'm lucky enough to have people that actually read this blog. I have mentioned church before, but there have been many moments where I've wanted to share an insight or an experience, and have held back. How do all of you other bloggers feel about this? Does any body else share similar reservations about publicly blogging about their testimonies? I think community is a vital element of testimony (I'll expound on that in another post), so I'm going to try and overcome my apprehensions and post more often about religion.

(Even though I'm pretty sure everyone who reads this knows me in real life, here's some brief background. I was born and raised in the LDS church. I went to BYU. Since college, I've been sporadically active and am trying to change that "sporadically" to "regularly." Regardless of my activity level, I've always lived a Mormon lifestyle and have a very strong testimony of the church.)

I'm going to start out slow. I LOVE Mormon blogs. My absolute favorite is Feminist Mormon Housewives (site not working currently, see here for now), though By Common Consent is a close second. Earlier today, I was reading a book review on Times and Seasons. It reminded me of several other excellent posts I have read on various bloggernacle sites about wealth and prosperity. For a couple of highlights, see here, here, and here (especially Amri's comment 17).

Each of those posts resonated strongly with me. Not because I think I'm wealthy (though I know compared to the rest of the world, I really am), but because I see a lot of wealth in my family. My family is very conservatively Mormon. They are very generous with sharing their wealth. But they subscribe to the idea that wealth is a result of righteousness and hard work. I think hard work often (but not always) relates wealth, but I firmly believe that wealth is largely obtained through luck. There are plenty of evil lazy rich people and even more good hard-working poor people. Prosperity (as defined in terms of dollars and assets) comes from being dealt a really good hand and knowing how to play it. I don't like conflating it with religion and righteousness.

I remember a family vacation, at my uncle's lake house. I was sitting with my dad in the upstairs living room, overlooking the lake that was just outside the back door. My dad asked me if I ever look at all this and wonder why I wasn't born into this family. Why I had the bad luck to be sent to my dad instead of his more prosperous younger brother. My dad was acknowledging the luck aspect of wealth, but still assigning it more importance than I think it deserves.

Whether I like it or not, ideas of wealth and prosperity are heavily infused into our religious culture. It's an interesting and often emotionally-charged discussion. Is wealth good or bad, or is it more complicated than that? For those of us lucky enough to be wealthy (and really, all Americans should be considered wealthy), what are righteous uses of that wealth? How much of that wealth should we be sharing? Where do we draw that line between want and need? While I'm not exactly sure how I feel about any of it, but it is definitely a discussion worth having.

I know that's kind of a cop-out ending. But if I felt like I had to have draw persuasive mind-blowing conclusions every post, I'd never talk about anything but poop. And thus ends this installment in Jamie Tries to Talk About More Religion. (This doesn't mean I'm going to stop posting about silly things. In fact, look for another one of those obnoxious Survivor posts coming soon.)

February 8, 2010

WoW noob

Seeing as most people I know play and love this game, I thought I'd try out the 10-day free trial. Here are my observations from my first (and probably last) two hours of playing World of Warcraft:
  • By far, the hardest part of the game is coming up with character names.
  • All fantasy creatures (wolves, cougars, wild pigs, etc) carry on them a pair of tattered pants.
  • I was able to trade 50+ items of tattered clothing for 400 bullets and 400 arrows. Score!
  • Oh wait. I can't just throw arrows and bullets. And the store merchant won't buy them back. So these things are even more worthless than my 25 pairs of tattered pants. Fail.
  • Playing as an "evil" cow shaman is WAY more fun than playing as a "good" human warrior.
  • Upon first entering the human world, I see a human male something pounding THE HELL out of a tree with a wooden mallet.
  • Upon first entering the cow world, I see several large male cows spinning furiously in circles.
  • I decide to stop laughing at them when I walk into a torch and accidentally catch myself on fire.
  • My human warrior man was much more patient than me. After being stabbed several times by some troll, he still doesn't have enough rage for a decent hit. When I just step on a belt buckle, I am brimming with rage. I can't imagine how full of rage I'd be if I was attacked by an ugly troll carrying two extra pairs of tattered pants.
  • Cows and humans can't walk through walls, torches, or rocks. Though not from lack of trying!
  • Though it is more convenient, walking backwards out of a room instead of turning around is a bit embarrassing.
  • Though it promises to increase your health, sitting on the ground and eating a piece of bread in the middle of a battle is not a good idea.
  • Are higher level players able to talk at me, through my speakers? Or was that the drugs kicking in? I passed a player-cow by a bridge (green text and everything), and she asked me, audibly, out loud, to help her find her dog. I stared at her for a while then ran away.
  • The chat feature is not at all intuitive, and I'm much too impatient to read an instruction manual. So if you approached a shaman cow last night, and she stared at you for several awkward moments, and then ran away, I'M SORRY. I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT THE STUPID CHAT.
  • So it turns out, when I'm a magic evil cow in a social situation with other magic evil cows, I act the exact same as I do in real life!

February 5, 2010

Before and after

Alternate title: Woo! New haircut!

New haircut, hair color, AND glasses.

One of the most hilarious tv moments ever

Alternate title: This will probably not be nearly as funny out of context but OH WELL.

The show:
Community. You should really watch that show. I haven't proselyted a show this fervently since Arrested Development, and weren't you all glad when you finally gave in and watched then?

The characters:
Jeff - snarky used-to-be lawyer with a giant ego
Britta - aimless, usually mature, 28-year-old
Annie - high-strung, over-achieving 18-year-old
Troy - 18-year-old used to be high school football star
Abed - somewhat awkward pop-culture junky
Shirley - middle-aged recent divorcee with thinly-veiled rage issues
Pierce - tactless older man who desperately wants peer approval

From left to right: Abed, Senor Chang, Shirley, Troy, Britta, Jeff, Pierce, and Annie

The set-up:
Annie started dating Vaughn, Britta's ex-boyfriend and a "gateway douche bag." In order to save her from him, Jeff and Britta tried to get Troy to start dating Annie. All of these people are in the same study group. All of this scheming has just come to light, during a study group session.

Jeff: Annie. We’re sorry. We were worried about your well being.

Britta: I guess we feel like we’re sort of all a family and Jeff and I are like your Greendale parents.

Annie: You’re not my mom, Britta. She would never wear boots that go up that high. And what about respecting me as an adult and as a friend.

Britta: Oh. You want to be treated as an adult and a friend? Try not dating your friend’s ex-boyfriend, find your own man.

Annie: But you don’t like Vaughn.

Britta: No I don’t. But I also don’t like seeing him with anyone else. Ta da!

Annie: I asked you if you cared and you said no.

Britta: Fine. I cared. I’m a girlie girl. I like boys and I don’t like it when they’re mean to me and I don’t like when they stop kissing me and start kissing my friends. I’m not that cool. I’m not Juno, okay homeslice?

Jeff: This is what it was about for you? You were jealous?

Britta: Oh please you can’t tell me that you weren’t jealous that Vaughn had his hippie hands all over your debate slash make-out partner.

Annie: What are you insinuating? I took that kiss for the team.

Jeff: What?! [pause] Yeah, that kiss wasn’t for pleasure. It was strategic and joyless.

Annie: What?! [pause] Yeah.

Troy: You did get weirdly specific when you were describing Annie’s body.

Jeff: More specific than the stuff you told me about Britta?

Annie and Britta: What?!

Shirley: Does anyone get specific about me?

Pierce: Check your e-mail.

Shirley: I mark you as spam.

Pierce: Who the hell is Pam?

Abed: When you guys first came in we were as wholesome and healthy as the family in "The Brady Bunch." And now we’re as dysfunctional and incestuous as the cast of "The Brady Bunch."

Shirley: I agree with Abed. This is getting creepy.

Annie: No more creepy than when Jeff wears tight jeans and you say "I’d like to slap those buns on the grill."

Jeff and Pierce: What?!

Shirley: First of all I don’t talk like that and second of all where I’m from it’s perfectly normal for women to talk about their male friends’ backsides. And you don’t see me saying anything crazy about Abed and Troy’s weird little relationship.

Abed and Troy: They’re just jealous.

Jeff: Alright, alright, maybe we’re not a family. Maybe it’s more complicated. Because, unlike a real family, there’s nothing to stop any one of us from looking at any of the others as a sexual prospect.

One of the best tv moments EVER: At this point all characters look around the table and consider all possible romantic pairings, or "ships" as we tv junkies call them. It is just several moments of silent looking, but it is one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen. I can't wait to buy this show on dvd and start forcing more people to watch it.

February 3, 2010

Me as a cartoon character

Alternate title: I miss photoshop. :(

Meet the Cartoon Jamies:

This Jamie can control your thoughts, dreams, and entire perception of reality with her grossly over-sized forehead.

This Jamie is an antler-horned green goddess of nature who shape-shifts at will from human to tree to wapiti.

This Jamie is an ambiguously gendered sociopath who recently escaped from the secret lab of an evil pharmaceutical corporation. S/he suffers from constant, uncontrollable explosions of adverse side effects.

This Jamie is a typical cubicle drone by day, ruthless robot assassin by night. Her super human strength relies on regular inhaled doses of helium. The higher her voice pitch, the deadlier her fists.

This Jamie is the sassy mother figure that keeps the big-headed, deer-horned, drug-addled, and squeaky robot freaks working together on the side of justice. She's in an on-again/off-again relationship with Batman and always looking snazzy in her off-white pullover turtleneck.