Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Reviewed: Donald Trump Sends You a VIP Ticket

It arrived yesterday with hardly any fanfare. The mail had been sitting on the table for a couple of hours when Joe said, “Oh yeah, you got a letter from Donald Trump.” Sure enough, a nice ivory 5x7 envelope with my very real name on it (even a middle initial!) in a font that looks like fake handwriting.

So now, less than a month away, I (and a friend if I so choose) will know the secrets of wealth creating. I read on to find that Donald Jr. has even waived the $149 tuition fee, which includes lessons on taxes and protecting yourself and getting a 32% return all in “the Trump way.” Not only do the tickets have pictures of both Donald and Jr., the latter with something on his chin that could either be scruff or a not-so-carefully maintained goatee (which, by the way, seems totally out of character—come on, man!), but they also have a perforated end that will allow me one free copy of Think Like a Billionaire.

I wonder if the Trump way means you’ve got one too many M’s in your signature.

55 Stars. The fake handwriting really did have me for a minute.

Reviewed: Sweatpants

They are so soft and comfortable. I don't care if I spill stuff on them. I can put them on after school or work and not have to later change again into pajamas, but can run to the store if I really had too.

20 stars. Seriously, I am wearing sweatpants around?

Note: This review covers sweatpants concerning personal use, and does not pertain to sweatpants in a professional or extra-curricular sense (see image).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Reviewed: California Dreams Theme Song

For one thing they were a real band, AND the soundtrack to the show is available for $43 at This song and accompanying sitcom made the phrase “surf dudes with attitude” infamous. It was sung by the original two cast members, the Garrison siblings, and then in later seasons when NBC realized they weren’t attractive enough, lead vocals were taken over by Jay Anthony Franke (Jake! Bad boy! Motorcycle jacket!) and Jennie Kwan (Samantha Woo!). The best thing about this band/show was, unlike Zach Attack, the actors were actually musicians and the drummer Tony sang, too, while playing the drums with big muscles! “…kinda groovy…laid back moods…” It’s in your head now, isn’t it.

99 Stars. Check out the lyrics here and watch the video here

Reviewed: All Abouts Girl Scout Cookies

The only thing to redeem the month of February after the bitter aftertaste of spending yet another Valentine's Day alone is Girl Scout cookie day. At first I was incredibly disappointed after receiving the cookies I had ordered. What was this, a box of All Abouts? I never ordered these. How could I have made such a mistake? I hadn't even heard of these ridiculous All Abouts. That night, after dinner, I opened them up to eat some anyway. They were surprisingly delicious.

85 stars. They don't have to be frozen to be good like Thin Mints. They aren't as dry as Do-si-dos. But they aren't as good as Samoas.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Reviewed: Capri Sun Orange

Capri Sun Orange tastes just like Hi-C's now discontinued Ecto-Cooler, and you get more of it since it is in a pouch not a box. The Ghostbusters used to consume my life. Around the time when my mom put Hi-C in my lunchbox, I played Ghostbusters on the playground everyday with my best friend Leslie and our mutual crush, Derek. I had my first kiss bringing him back from the dead after a vicious round of ghost busting.

94 stars. It earns extra stars because you can get the last bits of juice out of the pouch without making that "all-I-am-sucking-up-is-spit-from-the-straw" noise

Reviewed: (Insert Store Here) Gift Cards

Gift cards have enjoyed a rising popularity for sure, but count me out. I am officially jumping off the bandwagon. As gifts, I’ve found that after the initial joy of the “just like money!” feeling I become unusually tense with store gift cards. They begin to control my life. Before I journey out to the store in question, I sit for hours at my computer comparing prices on the different products I could possibly use the card on. Should I go with a new DVD or a new CD? Is jewelry a better investment than clothes, considering the upcoming season change? Do I want lotion or pants? Candy? Then I try to figure out what the best day and time would be to get to the store. I plan my route—subway or bus? Wednesday or Saturday? Do I want company or should I go alone? And what if the card is accidentally blank? What if I spend all but $1.27?

The whole process just makes me realize that I am not stable. Then I eat some M&Ms and watch Party of Five on DVD.

50 Stars. They work for some people.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Reviewed: Joe comments on my new haircut

Take 1: “You look like Jennifer Aniston.”
Take 2: “No, what I meant was, you look so much like Jennifer Aniston.”

So I said, say something besides, “I like it.” or “It looks nice.”

Take 3: “I like it because it looks like how it did before you left, but a little more scraggly on the ends.”

0 Stars. Come on, scraggly?!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Reviewed: Tempting Fate

As I pulled up to the parking spots a few days ago I realized once again all the metered spaces were gone, but my lucky spot on the end was vacant. I pulled in and started an argument with myself internally. I had gotten away with it last time, but would I be able to do it again. Then I tried to decide if I even believe in fate, or if I have a more existentialist view of life. Time began to run out and although I hadn't figured out the whole fate thing, I left my car and walked to class.

97 stars. 2 me, 0 meter maid. Will I do it again? I sure hope I don't have to make that choice tomorrow.

Reviewed: The final OC montage

So what, Frank Atwood is an alcoholic abusive convicted felon for three and a half seasons, and then all of a sudden he fathers Julie’s child, wears a suit to work, and becomes the model dad just because Kevin Sorbo has an extended guest appearance? Everything sucked except for the final two minutes when Ryan is a hot architect, and then I became instantly depressed at not being able to see Ben Mackenzie on tv anymore.

I mean, really, what’s the deal? Every season of the OC has ended with an awesome montage except the final one. (1: Ryan knocks up his girlfriend and goes back to Chino while Seth sails out into the Pacific alone, 2: Marissa shoots Ryan’s ex-con brother as he’s trying to kill Ryan, 3: Ryan is run off the road by Volchuk, leading to Marissa’s death in his arms.) Also, seasons 1 and 2, had the best montage songs ever; Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” and Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek”, respectively.

And I guess Kirsten and Taylor weren’t doing anything cool enough in their lives five years later to make the montage.

16 Stars. Pretty sorry as far as montages go. At first I thought it sucked that Marissa didn’t make the montage, but then I thought, oh wait, she’s dead.

Reviewed: Hot Showers

I read a Fear Street book in grade school because I had already finished all the released Goosebump books. Anyway, I don't remember much of the plot other than one of the main girls is killed in the locker room after cheerleading practice. The killer locks her shower door and breaks the water handle so only extremely hot water comes out. The girl is burned to death and her skin melts off. Ever since then I have been too scared to take a shower as hot as I want because I think I am going to die.

15 stars. My skin could melt off!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Reviewed: The Abandoned movie poster

Hi, I’m a scary doll with blood running out of my eye. Thanks, poster designers, for making me feel 10-years old again.

2 stars.

Reviewed: iPod earbuds

Small-eared people unite! The iPod earbuds don't fit properly in my ears. They precariously dangle, always on the verge of falling out, causing me to spasmodically keep tapping my ear making sure they stay put. I would buy another set of headphones but if I am going to go out of my way to select and buy a pair, I want a pair of the huge noise-canceling DJ kind. However, that would just be ridiculous. Not only would they be 10 times the size of my nano, but I wouldn't be able to shove them in my pocket. Not to mention, it's not like I listen to the latest underground dance beats, more like NPR podcasts and tips from Grammar Girl.

35 stars. I have to pretend like I like them because I am too lazy to buy another set of headphones.

Reviewed: VH1's White Rapper Show

Did you catch the episode where the girl drinks cough syrup from the bottle and beats up a stuffed animal? Or how about the one where a girl raps about c-sections?

I can't get enough of it and it broadcasts about 10 times a day. As a matter of fact, I need to go watch it right now. I hope $hamrock wins.

32 stars. Makes me ask a lot of questions about myself.

Reviewed: Tazo Honeybush Tea

Oh, Starbucks. Why don’t you carry Tazo Honeybush? Your herbal tea selection is definitely lacking. All you’ve got is Calm (chamomile = gross), Passion, and Wild Sweet Orange. Come on, get hip to the Honeybush, Starbucks. It’s smooth and comforting with nice rich color and a hint of honey. Not too sweet and totally good for you to boot. Drinking it would take away my nervousness about the imposing dominance of your one-every-two-blocks locations.

59 Stars, with points taken for the embarrassment of having to say “honeybush” out loud.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Reviewed: Picking a good outfit from my closet yesterday

Usually I have a really hard time picking out something to wear. Sometimes Joe gets mad, especially when we are about to leave the house and I decide to change my pants. But yesterday, out of nowhere in the midst of a sad sack rant about how I don’t have any friends, I realized I had pulled a good outfit from the wasteland of my closet. It was vintage me; a dress over jeans combo with a lonely sweater I had stopped wearing last year because it was too short. Granted, it was after I had stripped off two other completely unacceptable outfits, but overall it put me at being ready in under an hour.

68 Stars. Extra points because I wore it again today with different shoes.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Reviewed: Relentless Man of the Year DVD previews on TV

It was already too much this summer when the stupid movie came out in theaters and they advertised it mercilessly. But now it’s time for the DVD release, and yet again the commercials are inescapable. (“It’s like they are trying to convince themselves it isn’t bad,” Joe said.) I don’t know what exactly it is about them that makes me visibly cringe when they come on, especially when I’m actually trying to watch something good on TV like The Office, but I think it might have something to do with that one joke showcased in the preview—Robin Williams, standing at a podium, says, “I did not have sex with that woman. I wanted to…”—in surely what is an attempt to entertain every old lady in the country. Give it up, Williams. This is almost as bad as the previews for Wild Hogs with those other two aging comedians who haven’t done a good movie in years (William H. Macy, what were you thinking?)

0 Stars.

Reviewed: Nike Dri-Fit Soccer Socks

So, I am just going to assume you live in one of the many, many areas ravished with snow, ice, and bone-chilling winds. As I was layering up the other morning I kept thinking about what I could wear to keep my calves warm. Then it dawned on me to put on a pair of soccer socks. They far surpass regular socks because they are thicker, taller, and have a super tight yet comfortable elastic band at the top. This prevents that annoying slipping down that happens with most socks when you try to pull them up as high as they will go in attempts to keep the wind off your freshly shaved legs. The minute that wind hits, your legs turn to goose-bump city, sending chills up and down your body second only to the pain when your leg begins to "wake-up" after falling asleep. These socks are especially handy if you wear boots because, again, they don't fall down and cause your leather boot to touch skin and kind of stick to it. Or is that just me?

92 stars. After all, you are wearing soccer socks to places other than a soccer field. Also, sometimes once entering a building where the temperature is regulated it can be a little much. You could also be the start of a new trend, especially with Beckham in the States now.

Reviewed: Dauber on Heroes

Whoa. It’s Bill Fagerbakke (Dauber from Coach) and Craig T. Nelson is nowhere in sight. I couldn’t have been happier to see Fagerbakke pop up on the last two episodes of Heroes, playing opposite Masi Oka (Hiro) and James Kyson Lee (Ando) as a drug enforcement agent tangled up with a Vegas stripper. There’s the completely uncomfortable and hilarious scene with Lee dressed as a room service attendant plinking ice cubes one by one into the glass for an inordinately drawn out time (smiling, “how are you doing today?”) as Fagerbakke stands watching in a towel and one of those paunchy past-40 man stomachs. It’s almost as good as last night’s episode, when Fagerbakke screeches up in a black Crown Victoria, pulls out this gigantic gun and opens fire on the deceitful stripper Hope, then tackles (and punches off-camera, I swear, and it’s still hilarious even though they don’t show it) her in the parking lot just as the rest of the cops show up and pull him off. How could Fagerbakke ever have been in the shadow of ol’ T. Nelson? It just ain’t right.

90 Stars. Fagerbakke is also the voice of Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants. The things you don't know until you ask.

Reviewed: Primal Fear on USA

Where was I when this gem of a movie came out? Fortunately, I was able to catch the last three-quarters on USA this past weekend. There is some amazing acting by the gorgeous Edward Norton and my female favorites Laura Linney and Frances McDormand. Okay, I know Richard Gere is in it too, but he isn't that bad. Maybe that's because this isn't a romantic comedy despite the overt sexual tension. The movie is about an altar boy charged with murdering his priest and ends with a M. Night Shyamalan twist despite the fact The Sixth Sense hadn't even been made yet.

77 stars. I missed the beginning and all the swearing was bleeped out and, I am sure, some scenes were missing. Also, the commercials really took me out of the story. Oh, and as previously stated, it loses stars for preemptively ripping off M. Night.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Reviewed: Hot Dog Litter

Maybe it was an accident. Someone could have knocked it out of the person’s hand, or a kid threw it down. It looked so forlorn.

22 Stars if it was an accident. 83 Stars if someone threw it down on purpose. And 99 Stars if a bum later came along and ate it.

Reviewed: A Friend Goes Twosies in Your Bathroom

Joe used to make his friends drive home if they had to. But yesterday, a friend from out of town said, during a lull in the conversation, “I kind of have to go to the bathroom again.”

I said, “So go.”

“It’s number two,” he said. “But I noticed that your bathroom is equipped with a fan.”

I told him fine, as long as he lit a candle. (We have one in there. A fan can only do so much, and is not good for short-term remedy.) Before he made his way to the bathroom he said, “See? Now I know we are good friends.” It took about 5 minutes, giving me plenty of time to check my e-mail and voice messages. Afterwards, we had snacks. He even went back after sufficient time had passed to turn off the fan, saving electricity.

25 Stars, because really, how can it be more, and that’s only because I added 10 stars for slipping in the sneaky “good friend” compliment.

Reviewed: Philips DVP5960 DVD Player

In addition to being completely stupid in size (only about 7 inches deep and weirdly 18 inches wide) this Philips player has a super high annoyance factor concerning operation. Let’s say you are looking for a nice evening of Sean Astin, pre-Rings but post-Goonies. Encino Man it is. To insert the disc you must first turn the power on, then wait between 80 to 90 seconds for the player to figure out if there is actually a DVD inside, the digital screen reading “Load” as you push the ‘open/close’ button in vain. Ninety seconds doesn’t sound long on paper--just wait until you are awkwardly crouched next to the TV stand with the disc in hand while the rest of the people in the room are looking at your butt. Finally, when this Philips player confirms what you already knew, the DVD tray comes stumbling out, clunking along like your grandpa on his bad leg. Don’t even ask me about the remote.

32 Stars, but I’m hesitant. Because it’s so wide it has to be stacked underneath the cable box to not look retarded, I’m worried that the weight will eventually kill it (considering that the manual recommends 10 cm of space on top for ventilation.) An early death would considerably lower the number of stars.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Reviewed: Not Getting a Parking Ticket (in a snow covered lot)

Finding a parking spot only a few blocks from my class' building was easy. I would show up about 15 minutes before class, pull into a metered spot, drop some coins in, and head to class. Today, however, was an entirely different scenario. All of the metered spots were taken leaving only non-metered, permit required, will be ticketed or towed spots. What to do? I pulled into a the vacant spot right next to the row of metered spots, deciding getting a ticket was better than legally parking somewhere else, walking in eight feet of snow, and ending up late to class for my efforts. I trudged back to my car after class and looked all around for a ticket. There wasn't one under the windshield wiper or in the crack where the hood meets the body, or even on the ground. I did it. I tricked the meter maid. She thought I was in a legally paid for metered spot. I won this round and if I had to do it again, I probably would. Overall, not getting a ticket rates 95 stars. It loses five because I was worried all class about the ticket that wasn't there.

Reviewed: Calvin Klein Firm Support Down Alternative Pillow

I got a new pillow. I should have known it sucked the first night when I laid down and my head was about 4 inches higher than my husband's. It felt like my head alone was literally sitting up. That night I had a dream about the woods near my childhood home--normally a pleasant place full of peaceful nature--but it was full of spider nests, wasp nests and snake nests and as I navigated through they all were falling on me. The spiders were these long, white ones hanging from udders. After that frightening sleep I woke feeling like my spine had been glued to a popsicle stick and if I moved my head it might snap off. Therefore, I give this pillow 13 stars (getting points for the fact that it is a pillow, and has a fairly nice-looking covering, and also because anything less than 10 stars would be a burlap sack stuffed with horse poo)