myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics Totally Biased Book and Movie Review: 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Guest Post by G: Review of My Dog

Due to the overwhelmingness of my idiotic life lately, I have fallen back on the tried and true method to take whenever I cannot get stuff done... I make someone else do it, in this case, my child was closest to the computer. So I give you Meowkaat's First Official Guest Post by my ten year old son, G. (I have left in errors and typos in place, because I think it's perfect the way it is. :)

I have a Papillion named Sweetie Pea. “Papillion” means “butterfly" in French. This breed of dogs comes from France. They are hundreds of years old and used to belong to the French royal families. They are still rare in the United States.

They are very cute. Their ears are big, and triangular in shape. This is where they get their names, because when the hair grows down on the ears and flutters, they look like butterflies sitting on their heads. They have a small face which makes them cute, with a pointed nose. Their eyes are big for their faces, and that is also what makes them cute. All animals with big eyes on little heads look cute. They are very small, these dogs, and my dog is smaller than normal. She weighs five pounds. They have feet like a rabbit’s that are called “hare feet”. Their hair is long and silky, and they are always white with colored patches. The patches can be brown, gold or black. Sweetie Pea’s hair is white with both ears being black and her eyes are surrounded by black too. The rest of her body is white, to the tip of her curly tail.

Most Papillion’s are supposed to have long hair but not Sweetie Pea. She has shorter hair than normal for this breed. This makes her rare and even cuter to me. Sweetie Pea’s job in our household is whenever someone is mad or sad, she makes them happy again. This is done by just looking at her. When I am upset my mom always says, “Think of Tweeters (that is her nickname),” and I can’t help it, I start to laugh just imagining her little face looking at me. She is full of energy and bounces around the house like she is on springs.

Sweetie Pea grew up with our old Doberman named Jett. She was kind of raised by him, so she thinks she is a Doberman, too. She has no idea how little she is and she thinks she is so tough, she can beat up anything. She picks on our new Doberman, Gemini. Gemini was raised by Sweetie Pea, and so she thinks she is a Papillion. We have crazy dogs! Sweetie Pea is a good watch dog. If anyone or anything comes in our yard or to the door, or even walks by on the sidewalk, she starts barking like crazy. Then Gemini starts up, too. We can’t ever let Sweetie Pea go outside because of her thinking she is a big dog. She would try to pick fights and get beaten or eaten up.

Last summer, my family went to the ocean for vacation. When we got there, we saw how much Sweetie Pea loved it. She would race across the sand like a little white bullet. She would chase the seagulls whenever they appeared on the beach. She would run so far and fast after them when they flew away that she looked like a little white dot.

One thing we discovered about Sweetie Pea on our trip was that she loved to also chase sand. My brother and I would throw handfuls of sand in the air and she would run and jump and snap at it wit her mouth. We played this for hours until she finally got tired.

Later that night, we noticed that Sweetie Pea didn’t seem to be herself. Instead of running around and being happy, she was just lying in the corner and her face looked very sad. We didn’t know what could be wrong with her and since we were far from home, my mom didn’t know what veterinarian to call. She gets as worried about sweetie Pea as she does about her kids. She loves that dog so much...well, so do I actually. We were all so worried! Then, late that night, she started throwing up. What do you think it was? Sand! She had swallowed so much sand at the beach when we were playing that she got sick. Her little belly must have been filled up with it. She threw up sand all night while my mom sat up and watched her. i don't know what she thought watching was going to do, but she is like that. She has to stay up with the sick one. So, then next morning, the funniest and grossest thing happened. Tweetrs was feeling fine, and went outside like normal. Then she went to the bathroom (number two) and we couldn’t help but laugh. It was a sandpoo. because it was shaped like normal, but it was totally made out of sand. It was so funny and so gross! I am laughing right now thinking about that sandpoo.

The one thing that Tweeters worships is the laser. It is a tiny, hand-held laser that sends out a bright red dot of light. She loves to chase that dot! It’s all she wants to do, all day, every day. If she knows where the laser is at, she will beg for it. She will sit on the floor by where it is, and look up at it, and then look at you, and whine in her throat. She will tremble and bark and even bite at you to get your attention so she can look at the laser and then back at you. She tries so hard to get you to play with her with it. When you give in and turn it on, and shine it on the couch cushions- WHAM! Sweetie Pea dives at the cushions and hits them so hard, face first, trying to bite the laser light. You can then scroll it across the floor and watch her run after it. If you shine it on a cardboard box, she will rip that box to shreds, thinking in her little dog brain that she is killing the big, bad laser!

Sweetie Pea does some other funny things, like licking my nose and my friend Zach’s nose. She knows a lot of words, but the one she hates is “Bath”. If you say it to her, she will shake and run away to hide. Her play growl sounds really stupid, like she is gurgling in her throat like a frog. Or a baby bear. She does the cutest trick if you hold her up by her stomach and tell her, “Say your prayers!” She puts her little front paws together and looks like she is praying. We get both of the dogs rawhide chews and we used to get a big one for the Doberman and a little one for Tweeters, but Sweetie Pea wants the big one and will sneak it away from the big dog, the first chance she gets. This is because of her thinking that she is a big dog, too.

Sweetie Pea makes me happy. No matter how sad I feel, or no matter what a bad day I might have had, she can always make me smile.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Mother's Day Sort of Rant Rather Than Review

... I apologize. I promise to get back to reviewing and stop ranting by this weekend. Really. In the meantime, just let me vent a bit.

I know, I know, I have been kind of slow lately in updating this site. Call it lethargy. Call it laziness. Call it, The weather has finally warmed up and the air conditioners were not yet put back in. Mostly, though, call it Mother’s Day week, a.k.a. Hell Week Number Two, in the florist’s vocabulary. It has taken me all week to regain my ability to focus my eyes and stop the drool from escaping my mouth when I bend my head to the left. I don’t know if I have mentioned how the new owners at the shop do not really know how to, well, you know, arrange flowers? Guess who that left to do 98% of the bouquets? Indeed. Because of that lovely holiday, my life has been a series of flowers, flowers, and flowers, with the occasional plant and balloon thrown in….vases, baskets, and dish gardens…ordering, greening, waiting on a billion people. Not to mention trying to convince that last-minute Larry that his mom will indeed like something out of the cooler even better than the fantastic bouquet that he is envisioning in his mind.

This is what I call, for lack of a better term, not wanting to use the many cruel and derogatory terms in my head, a “Created Bouquet”. This occurs when someone comes in to buy flowers for someone else and goes directly to the flower selection, looking it over with a critical, and of course, expert eye. I admit this is usually women, but occasionally a man will do it, too, and he isn’t always gay. They almost always immediately tell me what they don’t like. And yes, it is usually roses. No, not what the person they are actually buying the flowers for doesn’t like, but what they, the purchaser, do not like. This has never made a great deal of sense to me. Although you may indeed be one of those rare individuals who truly dislikes roses, and I suppose there are a few, though why they always seem to be proud of this nonsensical character trait baffles me… the most beautiful flower, the most sweetly scented flower, lush and fragrant and absolutely gorgeous, but it is with weird pride that people declare, “Oh, I don’t like roses!” I suppose in our search for individualism in this copy-cat world, everyone has to take joy in being different, no matter how small, or strange, that difference may be… anyway, if you are indeed one of those individuals, that doesn’t mean the person you are buying for is, too. In fact, logic argues against it, since I have seen the happy recipients of rose arrangements for many years, and it is, in fact, most of the population that likes, or even loves, roses. Do we use this odd determinant when selecting other gifts for people? Imagine it.

“Oh, that is a cute blouse, I could get it for her, but it is a size small, and I don’t wear a small.” Or “I see that new Stephen King book is out and I bet she hasn’t read it yet, but I don’t like suspense novels, so I will get her a romance novel instead.” Or “Wow, the box of godiva chocolates is on sale, I could get that for a gift…ah, but I am on a diet. I guess I will buy her some lettuce.”

You see what I mean? It’s just weird, choosing flowers for someone else based on your ideas of good/bad/likeable/unlikeable.

I got off track, how unusual for me… ok, so the created bouquet buyer then starts to select the exact flowers they want in the arrangement they are buying. “I will take a couple of those lilies,” they say, pointing to the alstroemeria. “And three of the daisies,” waving negligently at the stems of daisies, which incidentally have six blooms on each stem, so if I were to cut off three of them, the stems would be an inch long and not very good for anything. “Just don’t use any roses,” they inevitably say, pointing at the lisianthus. “I don’t like roses.” Did I mention this is always said with a measure of pride? So after they have picked out their four flowers, and a vase that needs at least twenty to fill it up, they usually tell me how to arrange it. This is probably beautiful in their mind’s eye, but I will tell you, even if I follow their directions to the nth degree, somehow it never, ever looks they way they planned for it to. I will tell you why, although this is only my theory and hasn’t ever been tested. This is because florists actually do this for a living, and we kind of know how to do it, and the rest of you don’t. I have heard many reasons for this created instruction. Most people say they don’t like “arranged” looking flowers, usually with the same note of glee that they announced their dislike of roses. “I just like them to look like they have been stuffed in a jar.” However, when I hand them the flowers they have picked out, and a jar, they suddenly can’t just stuff them in there and make it look quite the way they envisioned. So they tell me to do it. Sigh. Now, I can understand if they mean they don’t like the stiff, fan-shaped arrangements that are done for funerals, but when they tell me they prefer the “Martha Stewart” look, I want to scream. Do they think Martha is not arranging those flowers before she allows the photographer to snap away? (or more likely, having her on-call professional florist whip it together?) In fact, most Martha-type of arrangements take much, much longer than a traditional-looking bouquet, simply to achieve that artless, “just stuck in a vase” look. And she uses masses of flowers to achieve it. She has unlimited amounts of flowers and can virtually stack them on top of one another to achieve the look. Normal people don’t have that kind of money. A “simple, elegant bowl of hydrangeas” that you see Martha set on the table, marveling at the sweet, “unarranged-ness” of it, probably costs a hundred bucks and takes an hour to get to look just right.

At holidays, the ideal customer is the one who tells me, “Just do whatever you think she will like. You have always done great before”, and give me an amount they want to spend and tell me what to put on the card. I love those people. Especially those who realize in this little town, being the main florist, I probably do know what their mothers will like more than they do. On a holiday such as Mother’s Day, it is the worst time for someone to come in and choose their three and a half flowers and gigantic vase and order me to “just put in there, no greens or anything, not like, arranged.” And then of course, they ask for it to be “big”… and “I want to spend around twenty five bucks.” If there is anyone reading this who thinks $25 will get you a big beautiful bouquet, I am sorry to break it to you, but gum is no longer a penny and you can’t get a newspaper and a cuppa joe down at the diner for a dime anymore, either. And going to the talkies cost more than a nickel, too.

I admit that possibly, for sentimental value, you can love a “created” bouquet… I suppose. It could be considered the floral equivalent of a hand-made card, brought home clutched in one grimy fist, and presented to Mom along with her breakfast in bed of cheerios. But once that kindergartener has grown up and holds a job, drives a car and hopefully pays his taxes…well, at that point, most moms would like a “created” bouquet about as much as a hand-made card. I know, I know- there are exceptions to this. There are no doubt some moms who are reeling in horror at the suggestion that they wouldn’t like something that their darling child made up, on his own. And if you are one of them, madam, you are a rare creature. You will just have to take my word for it.

I have spoken to enough unhappy recipients of “created” bouquets. I am the one who has to take the call, while a woman on the other end is shrieking about “the most ugly” , “lopsided”, etc… and then tactfully try to explain that her child picked those flowers out himself, and told me exactly how he wanted them arranged. Usually at this point, the mother in question will grunt, “oh.” But she is sour, I tell you, sour and unpleasant, and I know that deep in he heart she blames me for this fiasco of flowers, and believes I should have convinced Junior to buy her a dozen roses.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Blades of Glory Movie Review

Blades of Glory

Starring: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder,

Directed by:



If there was an Academy Award given to for repulsion of the female viewer… I think Will Ferrel just might get it for this movie. Playing the character of Chazz Michael Michaels , he oozes that “I’m too sexy for my ice skates” while at the same time being so absolutely...gross, really, that is the only word that comes to mind. Gross like you are just about to take a big bite of, say, cheese, and then you notice something sticking out of it on the side, and you turn it over, going, “Hey, what is that…?” and then you realize that it’s a toenail. And it’s not your toenail.

Ok, so...that shuddery feeling? The involuntary twist and jump your shoulders just made, like you are trying to tuck them into your ears? The goosebumps of yuckiness that kind of wash over you in a wave? That is exactly the way Ferrel makes you feel in his role of Chazz Michael Michaels whenever you realize that he is supposed to have sex with people. Female people. Exactly like that. The bad boy of men’s figure skating, he has lost his Olympic gold medal and been banned for the rest of his life, because of the slappy slap fight he got into with his arch enemy, Jimmy MacElroy, played by Hedar.

Jimmy is the completely opposite from Chazz, a strange boy , raised by an eccentric millionaire father who apparently adopted him solely for his skating abilities. Chazz is a sex addict who wear a fringed leather coat and constantly tosses off sexual innuendos that make the skin crawl. Then there is Heder, who is always fun to watch, if you can stop staring at his face and wondering what happened to his chin.. if he ever had one, I mean, well, where did it go? But like I said, once you get past that whole non-existent chin thing, then you can concentrate on his character. Jimmy wears a cap of golden curls on his head and is a total innocent. In fact, one of the funniest, and most delightfully awkward parts of the movie, is when he receives his first real kiss. My lips hurt just watching the two of them mash their mouths together inexpertly, obviously doing it the way they “thought” it should be done while carefully balancing their snowcones in their hands. Fer cute, as they used to say in my native land of Minnesota.

So these two total opposites are, three years later, at sad little dead ends in their once glorious life paths. Chazz is playing the part of a wizard on ice in a kiddie show, prized by the owner, who puts up with his disgusting manners and alcoholic breath to have him in the show. I have to admit that the puking inside of the gigantic wizard head was a bit much for me, but my gross-out level is sadly low. Jimmy, meanwhile, is holding skates for spoiled brats to try on in a little skate shop in the middle of nowhereland. The only thing that hasn’t changed is Jimmy’s stalker, who, although disappointed that the object of his lustfully violent thoughts has fallen so far, remains faithful to the sweet goal of one day killing him. In fact, it is the stalker who comes up with the idea of the two competing as couple’s ice skaters, putting them back on the rink and in competition with the creepy sister and brother of Team Van Waldenberg. Aha, and here we have the bad guys of the movie, who our intrepid heroes must battle to win their rightful gold.

I expected stupid, and hopefully, stupid funny. What surprised me was that I didn’t have to get up more than once during the entire show, and for me, Ms. Can’t Sit Still For Longer Than Thirty Minutes Without Imploding, that means the movie is entertaining. And it genuinely was. The chemistry between the two actors was genuine, and the tidy little storyline didn’t fall into boredom land for longer than a second or two.

I admit that I watched this movie because of my unrelenting sense of nostalgia. See, A Night at the Roxbury is one of my all time forever favorite comedies. And I laughed a good portion of my butt off during Napoleon Dynamite. So I continue to see movies with these two guys, hoping, but not really believing, that I will get a laugh buzz. It hasn’t actually happened yet, I will let you know if it does. In the meantime, though, Blades of Glory, while not exactly laugh-buzz-inspiring, did give me a chuckle tingle.

I give it 3 &s…

&… like I said, if grossing women out was a category, Ferrell would get an oscar for this one

&… the relationship between the two once-enemies was just corny sweet enough to make me smile without puking

&… the stalker. L.O.L. heee

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