Monthly Archive for October, 2003

ok, i just couldn’t resist blogging about one the few things on tv that crack me up (don’t forget: i only got one channel on my tv in italia) … MTV’s boiling points is a bit like their buzz kill shows from the mid-90s. their stus entrap and annoy unsuspecting saps for a set # of minutes … if they go nuts before the clock stops, the joke’s over but if they endure the prankster long enough to reach the time limit mtv rewards them with 100 bucks. ok … beyond b.p., the simpsons (re-runs included!), and hardball with chris matthews, if it’s not a good game on i’m still channel surfing. i swear vh-1 rolls 16 candles, breakfast club, or pretty in pink twice a week … uh, not that there’s anything wrong with molly ringwald :)

well … i’ve been busy with a ton of stuff since moving back to DC but here’s a flash blog – one name i keep hearing from sources all over the beltway is trader joe’s, which appears to be more than just food of the gods … it’s where the gods shop for groceries. gootrous-gootrous-gali is so enamored he’s almost the chain spokeskid, but i must admit the TJ dishes he’s always heating up smell pretty good. to boot, they’re supposed to have some dirt-cheap yet credibly good table vino from down under – hey aussie girl, what’s australian for “trader joe’s?”

yobbish (anti-social, obnoxious, loud, uncivil, loutish) behaviour is in the news a lot over here in the uk. you see it every night around 11 pm when the pubs close down especially. along the same lines, bullying in school is also making headlines. in the states, it seems some think that the antibullying movement is flawed. and the columbine-inspired film by gus van sant, elephant, which is coming here soon, sounds interesting. a real scary movie because it was real.

and i thought the AFC champion raiders were digging themselves a hole….our president, his foreign policy already dangling by a thread because of the mounting death toll in iraq and the lack of WMD evidence, wants to kill off another of the few remaining reasons we went in there in the first place – to liberate the kurds. yup, he’s sending in troops from the other wonderful country that was murdering them….the damn turks. a decision sure to make the iraqi people love us that much more. does this guy not want to get re-elected? does the term betrayal mean anything to him?
(thanks to liam for the ny post link)

manneken pis  grand place  waffles  chocolate tits  bruges
just got back from a most enjoyable four-day-weekend trip to belgium. i know what you’re thinking….belgium? where’s that? what’s there? isn’t that where that lame jean claude van damm came from? yes, but don’t hold that against them. they’ve got some great stuff there.
– it abounds with interesting and unique architecture. art nouveau really took off there.
– it has a strong history in surrealist art with magritte (the ‘this is not a pipe‘ guy) and delvaux. and there’s a pretty good set of museums with works from older masters like rubens, bruegel, heironymous bosch and jacques-louis david.
– the cuisine is excellent. either the traditional belgian food or french/european. you don’t have to have the mussels & chips, though you must try those at least once while there.
– it possesses one of the world’s most beautiful squares, the grand place.
– you might have heard of the famous pissing statue they have there. the manneken pis. a bit overrated(it’s so small) but worth a chuckle. they dress the little dude in a different outfit every day and he goes full monty at nightfall. when we were there, he donned a japanese outfit(pictured) and a jockey’s uniform.

first and foremost though is the beer….oh, the beer. there are over 400 varieties in belgium alone, with the best being the trappist ales, in my opinion. i had a westmalle trappist, a tripel karmeliet, a straffe hendrik, and a delirium tremens (what a great name). check out the beer advocate for reviews on these and many more, including my hometown’s own evil empire swill. i know….only four beers in four days is pretty weak, but i had aussie girl holding me back. plus, i would’ve tried more, but i had some bad quiche or something and was out of action for a day. never even got to the lambics. i thought of my pals back in DC that worship the microbrews while i drank (what a great site for the next stufest, by the way).

of course, i wouldn’t forget to mention the waffles and the chocolate…or as homer would say, with drool spilling out of his mouth, “aghhhhhhhhhhhhh…choc-lit”. it was everywhere and in all shapes and sizes.

the highlight of the weekend was our day trip to bruges. it was an hour by train from brussels. what an amazing city! it was like being dropped into the 16th century. very clean with scenic, cobbled and tree-lined streets running alongside and over canals. stunning architecture. gabled townhouses with ten foot ceilings are the standard, unlike the british homes which are seemingly built for trolls(and skinny trolls at that). bruges’ town square (the markt) was even more beautiful than brussels’, which is really saying something.

all in all, i wasn’t expecting much from belgium and it really surprised me with what it had to offer. i definitely would like to visit again, maybe next time via the chunnel.

the thing that sucks most about being overseas is that night games, whatever american sport they may be, are shown here at 2 am, if they’re shown at all. take last night for example. i missed two classics. one i would’ve enjoyed more than the other.

first was chucky and the overrated bucs losing to dungy and the colts in a great comeback (that one i would’ve liked). someone tell that sapp bitch that if you want to call yourself one of the best defenses of all-time, you can’t give up 38 points. not at home. and especially not with a three touchdown lead and less than 4 minutes to play. that’s unheard of. almost as bad as blowing a 15 point lead to the lowly bears. how i wish i could’ve seen gruden squirm while this was all happening.

second was the athletics’ heartbreaking loss (if you’re an oakland fan) to boston in game 5 of the mlb playoffs. and the bizarre boston celebration. to quote carson: that was some some crazy, wild stuff. people are saying that they choked again. for the fourth time in four years. yes, they were probably robbed in game 3, although maybe they should have slided when they were supposed to, and touched the plate, and kept running, and had the right man bat, and avoided tavern debates, and beat the teams they are supposed to beat.

hmmmm. wonder if there’s something in the water in oaktown.

espn.com’s page 2 site is running a best uniform bracket, whereby people can vote for the coolest uniforms in sports. the teams are organized in specific sports brackets and whittled down to a winner NCAA tournament style, with 64 teams initially. we all already know who should be the winner, but the silver and black have drawn a tough first round opponent in the cowboys (do i smell conspiracy?) they’re still a lame team, but they have a pretty big following and i’d be surprised if the raiders beat them. that is, unless the raidernation gets a whiff of the contest. i think the st louis cardinals have a pretty good chance to advance though.

since i’ve been a fan of cameron diaz since the mask, i figured i’d put the sweetest thing in my netflix queue despite the bad reviews. it didn’t hurt that christina applegate, selma blair, and parker posey were also listed among the credits. when i read that diaz was dating that girly-man from the boy band, i wanted to yank it from my rental queue, but it was already in the mail.

the movie was pretty bad, but not without a few funny gags. it was kinda like a trashy, badly written version of swingers, but with women as the playas. a farrelly brothers movie for chicks. i can’t believe some of the stuff they got away with in the movie: a girl rubs her crotch because her partner was too big, a girl gets stuck while giving fellatio (the guy had a piercing), there’s a musical segment about the penis in a restaurant (“it’s too big to put in here”) and a scene where a girl takes her “stained” (ala monica and bubba) dress to the cleaners. there’s cunnilingus on the highway, breast implant jokes, fart jokes, and much more. and these are supposedly a-list actresses. to think i was really close to watching it with my parents. this reviewer described it well: “Sewer rats could watch this movie and be so skeeved out that they’d need a shower”.