29 January 2006

Reality TV

Anyone who knows me, knows I love me some Reality TV. To be completely candid, I love TV, period. But Reality TV, it holds a special place. It is often like a train wreck I can't turn away from, or a "thank god I didn't have my college years caught on tape" moment.

But then there are shows like "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

I thought the original concept of Extreme Makeover was kind of gross. It wasn't as bad as The Swan (I swear I only watched these shows maybe once or twice, but...see above: train wreck), which made people compete, but I did think taking people through these extreme surgeries took things a little too far. It's fantastic that it helped people feel better about themselves, but at what cost?

Anyway, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Without fail, this show makes me cry. You see these people, trying to get by with what they have, even in the worst of circumstances. There was the one family somewhere in LA that had hired a contractor to work on their house, the contractor stole their money, left the house incomplete (and uninhabitable) and ran. They are already struggling with that when they found out the mom of the family was really sick. So here they are, living in a grandparent's apartment, a family of four in one room.

So, yeah, a sob story in itself. But the beauty is, EM:HE went in and changed this family's life. Gave them a nice place to live, with some cool features to hopefully help the mom, and gave them hope. It may seem contrite, but to me...it shows there is some good in the world. This may be naive of me to think, but with so many bad reality shows concentrating on 20-somethings prancing around drunk and hooking up with one another, it is refreshing to see one that actually does some good. That gives people back a life they thought they had lost, some a life they never thought they could have...and it gives them all a sense of hope that things can and will get better.

Sometimes this only lasts during the episode. There have been a few lawsuits, people not liking their house, people feeling like they had been taken advantage of...this makes me sad. This is one time where I like to focus on the good of the event, rather than the (sometimes baseless) bad aftermath. If, for a moment, someone else feels hope from this show, and I'll admit that I have felt hopeful after watching this show, then I am ok with that.

26 January 2006

Florida Part Deux: Drunken Boogaloo

I'll be the first to admit that tonight I have had a bit to drink. I was good last night, going to bed early and getting a good night's rest, so I felt I could go out and have a grand ol' time tonight. I just felt I should disclaim in case there are many typos or slurred sentences (very unlike me, I know).

Tonight we went to the RiverWalk(?) area in Ft. Lauderdale. Yes, I am still here, and yes, the toilet water is still yellow. But I am starting to wonder what the hell is going on with the water here in Florida; tonight at dinner, I excused myself to the restroom and found that at that restaurant, the water was also yellow. Upon flushing it, the color remained consistent. Maybe whoever said it was a FL problem and not a hotel problem was on to something. I didn't notice this at the bar, but perhaps that's because I am blinded by Captain Morgan.

The RiverWalk (I am going to call it that...someone else did tonight and I think it sounds good, and really, I don't care what the actual name is) boasts many restaurants and bars. We ate at a fun one that had 3 for 1 drinks. Captain Morgan's, shockingly, is on that menu. Usually it is not considered a well drink. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty darn good by the end of dinner. For those of you who might be visiting Ft. Lauderdale, the Porterhouse in the RiverWalk district is where we ate, and they have an awesome Happy Hour.

Sooooo...after dinner we heard music busting the seams of the bar across the street. We headed over there to see what was going on, and maybe to have a drink. That was at about 9, and we are just getting home now at about 1.30-2am. The cover band was really good, and played all sorts of 80's songs, and some 00's song (what is this decade called, anyway. The 00's sounds so dumb). They played The Killers' "Mr. Brightside," which I love and was excited to hear. We all danced, and when they played "Sweet Home Alabama" were able to pull even the most resistant of dancers onto the floor.

The band took a short break, and the DJ played alot of Gwen Stefani. Methinks he has a pointless crush. Girl is preggers with Gavin's baby! No DJ stands a chance.

After their very long break, the band folks came back to play some more songs. They changed it up a bit with some Rolling Stones and Doors, and also some blues. The introduction of the blues set brought the introduction of a dance offer for me. I danced horribly, but the guy was cute and it was fun. We tried to talk but it was too loud and I was too drunk to understand an accent in that kind of noise. The cute guy was from New Zealand, and I guess heading to SF sometime soon. I am not holding my breath.

Anyway, we talked while several of my coworkers waited for me to come back inside. Once back, they raised their eyes on what went on outside. As I was very cognizant of their watching (I would watch, too, if one of my coworkers went outside with a random guy), I said hasta luego to the Kiwi and finished my drink.

We left a short time later, but not before one last enounter with the cute guy. Since he had asked, I went over to give him my phone number before I left. He tried to pull me onto the dance floor, but I was resistant to his wiles. I gave him my number, and he gave me a hug goodbye. The he pulled me in for a real kiss, which was nice, but again, my coworkers were all there, so I just giggled and pulled away. I don't think he was too happy, but... Is this too much information.

At this point I should really sign off, throw my stuff in my suitcase, and go to bed. I hate the packing!

25 January 2006


So...here I am in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Former home of MTV Spring Break. Strip mall central. Still a little broken from one of many hurricanes.

I am here for work...usually this would lead me to assume that our accommodations would be really good. We are staying at a well-known chain, and the website would lead you to believe that this is a really nice resort and we picked a great place for a meeting and to enjoy what Ft. Lauderdale has to offer.

The website led us in the wrong direction.

Now, I know I have been spoiled by previous accommodations. I know there is a bit of snobbery shared by me and my colleagues when it comes to hotels. But, really....is it so much to ask that after I flush the toilet, the water be clear? Or the water in my shower not be yellow? Or, simply, that my front door shut without me having to throw all my body weight against it to make sure it locks?

It is just gross.

Seriously...yellow water? Several of my coworkers have made the same comments, and all of us at one point have walked by the toilet and thought, "Didn't I just flush that?" Someone tonight at dinner wondered if it was just how water was in Ft. Lauderdale. This would be a possible reason, except that in the main hotel (a large group of us are in rooms outside of the main hotel, which we lovingly refer to as "the ghetto"), the water runs crystal clear. Rumor has it that in the main hotel, the guests also have full-pressure showers and down comforters. You may wonder why one would need a down comforter in FL, but the way the air conditioner works out here in the ghetto, you wake up thinking you are in the Arctic.

I don't remember "golden shower" being among the amenities in this hotel.

19 January 2006

Pizza & Beer

So tonight I went to the local pizzery for a beer. A beer, meaning one.

Well, as you will probably tell from the rest of this ramble, that didn't happen.

First of all, I must share. Beer Night at the Front Room is great. How have I lived here for 2 years and not ever experienced it!? Pitchers of beer are 3.50$. My friend and I had 2 pitchers. On a Thursday night. It was great!

Also great? The very good looking men kept coming through the front door. We were stationed at what we thought was a horrible table, the closest to the front door and right in the line of traffic. How wrong we were. Strategically, it was the most awesome table. Aside from the girl at the window whose pants were a little too...uh...revealing (she needed to say no to crack), we got to see and stare at every person who walked in the door. It was great!

There was a 1.5 hour table limit, but I guess it "wasn't busy" (according to the host man), even though there were lots of people waiting for tables. We ended up sitting there for at least 2 hours plus change. The host didn't pressure or try to kick us out, so that was nice of him. And since the waitress didn't come by too much, we didn't feel bad about not ordering more.

I am bummed that tonight was the first time I have gone to Beer Night, even though it is less than one block away. Dumb me! But I am glad I finally went, and vow to make it a more frequent experience. I will be out of town next week, but the following Thursday, if you're looking for me, I'll be there.

14 January 2006

Rainy Saturday

It is raining today. After a pretty perfect and sunny week, when I finally have a day off, it starts to rain. And not just a drizzle, but lots of huge rain drops, and lots of wind.

On a typical Saturday, this wouldn't bother me so much. It would cause me pause and lead me to question Mother Nature why she chooses to punish us on the weekends, when all we want to do is get outside! But usually I don't mine curling up on my couch and watching movies or some low-quality show I Tivoed during the week. In fact, this is what I prefer to do.

This particular Saturday, however, I have visitors heading into town. We have a full day planned, which will be interrupted somewhat by this new storm. It sure won't be as fun to walk around downtown San Francisco! Having visitors means I need to finish cleaning my apartment, which is tough when it is raining and I have no motivation to move off the couch and do any kind of work.

As you can see, rather than getting up and cleaning, I am writing here. (This blog thing may get me in trouble) Time is ticking away, they will be here soon, and I am still sitting here in my pj's. Oops.

13 January 2006

Testing 1, 2, 3...sibilance, sibilance

After many years of not writing anything (the most recent date in my archived Unraveled musings is sometime back in 2001!), I figured it was time. I am not a huge blog person, but I missed writing. So, here I am.

Since this is just to set things up and test this thing out, I won't spend more time on it. Welcome!