Analysis Paralysis
Thursday, November 30, 2006
This blog is a real pain the ass sometimes. Writers block, anyone?

I have no idea...
what to write about.
what to hang on my very empty walls at home.
why I make unfunny, not-at-all-feminine facial expressions in pictures.
why the dog continues to sleep in my piles of dirty laundry.
how to get the fabric pills off of the couch.
why I always seem to choose really uncomfortable throw pillows.
why I prefer the scent of Auto Febreze to regular Febreze.
what to eat for lunch.
what makes caramel corn from Garrett's Popcorn Shop so. damn. good.
whether I even want to bother with holiday cards this year.
why I always pair sweaters that shed with black pants.
what to get Sean for Christmas.
why IN GOD'S NAME leggings and flats are back in fashion.

If Ever a Wiz There Was: A Lesson in Dishing It Out & Taking It In Return
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Overheard on the red line this morning:

Man: Would you stop singing that damn song?!

Woman: I love that musical - shut up.

Man: (grunts in irritation)

Woman: (singing) If I only had a braaaaaiiinnnn, (pauses, thinks, looks at man and speaks with a wry smile), If you only had a big dick...

Man: Oh, hardee har har, you think you're funny?

Woman: (laughs uncontrollably)

Man: If you only had a heart, and a cute face, and a tight AAASSSSSSSSS

Woman: Ok, this isn't funny anymore.

In Concert
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Over the past 20-odd years, I have had the pleasure and privilege of being part of choirs. Church choirs, school choirs, semi-professional musical theater casts, even the occasional drunken karaoke outing. And every single time I auditioned, EVERY TIME I was forced to sing aloud (and alone), I sang harmony. I can't help it - I'm just contrary like that. I don't hear the melody as clearly and sometimes? Sometimes my alto self just can't help but bust out the back-up. In my next life, I plan on coming back as a background vocalist.

The explanation for this popped suddenly into my mind during my long drive back to Chicago after Thanskgiving. My father keeps 7 CDs in the changer in his car - 6 stored, 1 playing. The same 7 CDs. Ever since he got the car 2 years ago. It's annoying. Whatever. THE POINT IS that we started singing out loud to no one in particular, and suddenly my entire childhood came rushing back to me over the sound of his smooth, smoky baritone.

My parents always listened to mixed vocals when we were kids - Alabama, the Judds, Aretha Franklin, Carpenters, Anne Murray, Ray Charles, the OakRidge matter the genre, the music always had a strong sense of harmony. It must have started then, because I can find no other reason for my bizarre singing habits. Somewhere along the way, I became good at it.

What music reminds you of YOUR childhood?

Holiday Randomness
Monday, November 27, 2006
Despite the fact that I took the majority of last week off of work, I am still in need of intensive recovery from the holiday weekend. And I didn't even cook! Seriously, I have no excuse.

It all began with a bang, quite literally, on Thursday morning. At roughly 8:00 am, I awoke to cannons, loud music, and cheering outside my windows. Now I know how Scott Bakula's character felt everytime he woke up in another person's body on Quantum Leap. (Can we please petition to bring that show back? It's one of my favorites. Puh-lease?) TURNS neighborhood is the staging and starting area for the McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I figured since I was up, I should probably get the dog outside for a walk before he pees all over white-so-far-so-good-let's-try-and-not-spill-anything carpet. I grabbed my camera, put some shoes on, and we ventured out the front door. Upon reaching the front door, this is what I saw:

That, my friends, is a glittery horse's ass. Happy Thanksgiving, indeed. I felt a little better knowing the horse was more upset about it than I was. Apparently, my block was the staging area for all of our equine friends participating in the parade. I had to pick up the dog just to get across the street, thanks to his immediate fear of the horses, and the hundreds of steaming horse...ahem, contributions...that were scattered all over the street. Don't get me wrong - I'm not a horse hater. I think they are some of the most majestic and graceful animals that ever lived, but c'mon. Yuck.

Click on my Flickr sidebar to see more photos, including the staff of Medieval Times (one of the knights whistled at me as I walked by - perhaps it was my residual mascara undereye circles, or the ratty pair of 3X sweatpants I was wearing? We may never know), a cute Canadian band, and others. I was also interested to see the staging area - I have been a part of the Macy's event in NYC twice, and I think the backstage stuff is always the most entertaining.

After a dinner with friends, I went home and prepared for a weekend trip to the northwoods of Wisconsin. Doc always knows when I am packing, and becomes massively insulted. He then pouts and ignores me, making it impossible to catch his frowny face on camera. Usually he won't even look at me, and then at the last minute, he climbs in my suitcase and refuses to get out.

My aunt and uncle live in Wisconsin (we call it "the forest," or "up there"), and it's always an interesting gathering - we shop at dollar stores, go antiquing, eat too much cheese, and yell over one another in an effort to catch up on each other's lives. Then, my sister, her husband, and I go out to the pub next door and have a couple cocktails. The pub, by the way, is shaped like a keg...because this is the forest, and that's what all pubs look like up in hunting country. Right? Also, a hot tub and pool excursion is mandatory - both to quiet my niece and nephew, but also because NOTHING looks sexier in a two piece bathing suit than someone who has recently consumed 11.3 pounds of turkey, stuffing, and risotto.

All of this is punctuated, of course, by a 4-hour ride home that involves spraying for fleas at my grandmother's house (don't ask...I'm still itchy), and having to turn my face away from every truck that has dead, woodland creatures strapped to its roof. WELCOME TO THE MIDWEST! Cue the carnival music.

Random Thoughts
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
1. Every time I'm feeling low, or not that attractive, I'm going to look at the picture below. (taken this weekend at the GA aquarium - click to enlarge) This photo will serve as a reminder that it could always be worse...

2. I've noticed that a lot of people order orange juice from the airplane drink cart. Why is this?

3. I need to stop going to Cute Overload and looking at the puppy posts. NOT helping suppress my urge to adopt another dog.

4. When did "poot" become the replacement vocab for "fart?" Who started this trend?

In other is an alarming statistic:

5 : Minutes it takes Jamie to get to Corner Bakery on a normal day at 12:15 pm

15: Minutes it takes Jamie to get to Corner Bakery during holiday tourist mania

40,341: Times Jamie wanted to stab herself this afternoon for DEIGNING to leave the office during the day (, knowing that the streets would be full of irritating people who stop abruptly and take inane pictures of themselves.

Curiously Endearing
You know what the beauty of Netflix really is? It's like a sudden surprise each time I receive a new DVD -- mostly because I set up my queue a million years ago and haven't checked it since. I have no idea what is on it!

So you can imagine my surprise when a random British film entitled "Dear Frankie" was waiting in my mailbox last week.

It was one of the best movies I have ever seen, and I'm not just saying that because I love the way Scottish accents sound. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006
All is well that ends well, and we both survived our southern exposure this weekend. Until Friday evening, the only time I had ever been to Atlanta was driving through it on the way back from spring break in 2000. WHICH IS RIDICULOUS because Atlanta is moderate in temperature, you can walk everywhere downtown, and I was born just outside of the city! Crazy!

In other news, the racing thing was hilarious and so cool, in a geeky way. Sean bought me a "Ride Along," which is a 3-lap ride, as a passenger, with one of the professional instructors onsite. At one point, I tried to lift my legs (and pull them towards me) and couldn't because the force had them pinned to the floor of the car. It was awesome - roughly 175-180 mph, according to my driver.

More pictures later!

Signing Out...for Now
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Big weekend coming up: trip to the ATL, hopefully stop by the aquarium, and then drive to Birmingham. What's in Birmingham, you ask? Why, Talladega Raceway, my friends. Sean is finally using the gift certificate I bought him from the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

During that time, I will be nervously videotaping, and praying that he doesn't drive himself into the wall and die coming out of Turn 2. I'm just sayin'.

Back soon, lovelies! Have a great weekend.

Blending In...or Not
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Last night, I was fortunate enough to be invited to an open house/cocktail party at the very popular 1154 Lill. Located on Armitage between Halsted and Sheffield, this make-your-own-handbag boutique calls Kiehl's, BeneFit, Betsey Johnson, Lush, Cynthia Rowley, Art Effect, and Paul Frank its neighbors. In short, this is a neighborhood I am very rarely in. It is to Chicago what Georgetown is to Washington D.C.

There is something difficult, at least to me, about Lincoln Park. The only neighborhood in Chicago in which I've never had any desire to live, it mocks me whenever I am there -- and yet, my complex about it is of my own making. Every time I am there, I feel assaulted by polished-looking yuppie couples with $900 strollers and a black lab, and have a hard time NOT feeling somehow inferior. Who ordered the frumpy with insanity sauce, and a side of inappropriately out of place? It's crazy, really. I would have owned to this a long time ago, but that damned Eleanor Roosevelt quote rolls around in my head each time I think to post about it.

When I arrived last night, feeling squashed and wrinkly from my busy day, I had trouble getting in. I'm not kidding. WHY DON'T WE JUST GO BACK TO 7TH GRADE AND YOU CAN TELL ME THAT MY GLASSES ARE TOO BIG AND I CAN'T BE COOL IF I'M NOT A CHEERLEADER?! THIS ISN'T STUDIO 54, FOR GOD'S SAKE. Once I finally got the golden ticket to actually join the party, I walked into the joyful, brightly-lit room, and saw my friend Jen (a.k.a. she who always appears perfectly pressed and put together but don't hold this against her because she isn't really the robot she appears to be). I hung up my ratty fleece next to a coat rack full of impossibly clean, stylish winter coats with cute scarves (no lint on any of them - how is this possible?). I turned around to join the party, and was confronted with a room full of impeccably put-together women, all of whom seemed totally wrinkle-free in their clothing, had matching jewelry on each part where jewelry is supposed to go, and though it was misty outside, there wasn't a frizzy head to be found (excepting mine, of course).

I felt like a lipstick-stained coffee mug in a room full of sparkling champagne glasses.

One adorably-coordinated work tote (and one pink martini) later, I still didn't feel like I fit in. I had fun, for sure, because who wouldn't love making a customized handbag -- especially myself, who loves handbags more than life itself?! Yet something didn't feel quite right. I suppose my first task for 2007 will be to shape up my mental self-esteem. What Eleanor Roosevelt said was true, and I have a responsibility to just be myself.

There is something Stepfordian about it, that the neighborhood itself makes me feel like I have to immediately put on lipstick and powder my face. Gag. Lincoln Park is my kryptonite.

I guess I'm just more of a downtown girl. A wrinkly one who likes orange handbags.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006
This picture, originally featured in the Chicago Tribune makes me smile. I wonder what the gentleman has just said, and think about how happy they look together.

This is exactly the type of moment I'm always looking for in a photograph - whether I'm taking it, or just looking at it. Candid photos are like diamonds...getting a really good one takes keen observation skills, excellent timing, and above all, patience. I think I've caught perhaps two good ones in my entire life.

I become irrationally angry when a blogger posts a photo of the side of a building and floods of people swarm onto their comments interface, praising the image. Where is the LIFE in a photo like that, the WARMTH? Maybe my artistic aesthetic is otherwise inclined, or I'm just below whatever taste level one must possess to think that a photograph of a torn billboard is art. When we're all dead and gone, what will our descendants think of the millions of potentially boring, relatively insignificant photographs lying around - ones of fire hydrants, manhole covers, dilapidated buildings, and urban areas littered with graffiti?

I guess it all comes down to an issue of motivation, and what motivates each photographer (amateur or professional) to snap a picture. I'm bored by the inanimate, and therefore, must resign myself to a life of frustrating photo shoots - trying to catch the people and things that make up the fabulousness of everyday, real, simple life. I guess I'll just have to make my peace with that, and keep my fingers crossed.

What's your motivation?

Monday, November 13, 2006
I woke up several times last night, due in no small part to the alcohol I consumed over dinner with my girlfriends. I knew that I'd wake up ralphing if I didn't flush my system with water, so I tried to drink a glass each time I awoke.

At 5:55 am, I laid down with a belly full of water and couldn't fall back asleep. This is unusual behavior for me - I can ALWAYS fall back asleep. But not today.

Why, you ask, is today different than any other day?

Because -- INEXPLICABLY-- I somehow got "The Bear Necessities" from Disney's The Jungle Book stuck in my head. Couldn't get it out. Complete with visions of an animated, dancing bear, and his loin-clothed companion.

THIS is why I hate animated films. Now you know.

Tales From the Blue Line
Friday, November 10, 2006
In honor my departure this evening for Louisville (another competition), I wanted to do my part as a responsible citizen. I want to inform you of a new threat to our Chicago commuters...

The creepy old guy sneaking photos of young, redheaded women.

There I was, minding my own business in a jump seat on the train, on my way to O'Hare. At the Jefferson Park stop, a trio of older folks boarded, and an old man sat directly across from me. They were speaking in a Slavic language and appeared to be relatively harmless. I even thought to myself, "wow, that guy looks like the dad from Everybody Loves Raymond. How funny."

Then I realized that he was fidgeting and staring at me. The hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up -- I've had my share of uncomfortable experiences with inappropriate people (flashers, junkies, etc.) on the Blue Line. I also noticed that his hands were near his crotch. OLD MAN CROTCH. There, I said it.

Turns out, he was adjusting his digital camera and snapping photos of me from across the train. When I realized what was going on, I was indignant. I glared back at him - stared him straight in the face, and he quickly (read: clumsily) covered his camera with his hands and looked away. At which point, I gathered my luggage and moved to the opposite end of the train.

Full disclosure: I did the only logical thing prior to moving seats - I took the grainy pictures you see in this entry with my cell phone. Just in case he comes back to America to stalk me, I should have some timestamped documentation, right? Better safe than sorry, right? I only think of this blog, people. It's all for you. (and for me)

I try really hard not to figure out what EXACTLY his plans were for those photos. I never saw the camera angled up towards my face. WAS HE TAKING PICTURES OF MY CROTCH FROM HIS CROTCH? IS THIS KIND OF DISGUSTING BEHAVIOR EVEN POSSIBLE? It's not like I was sitting there naked. I could be a Playboy playmate, and that angle STILL wouldn't have been attractive.

WTF?! Who does that? It's JUST SO WEIRD.


Breaking Update
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Welcome to my cube - here I am, in all of my flourescently-lit glory. I got this straight hair in less than 10 minutes, people. LESS THAN 10! Does anyone know how to PhotoShop some lipstick onto my pale, pale face.

Anyone? Bueller?

P.S. No, that is not chest hair. Those are freckles. This sun damage is brought to you by multiple years of band camp and summer dance rehearsals! Enjoy.

P.P.S. Does this mean I have to start wearing earrings?

P.P.P.S. Where did my eyebrows go?

My Neck is Pale! Who knew?
In chopping nearly all of my hair off last night, I learned several things about myself and life in general.

1. I feel simultaneously more and less feminine.

2. I have been using my bright, shiny, DISTRACTING hair to hide my other physical insecurities.

3. It takes me almost zero minutes to do my hair. Seriously. This is a major trade-off for the whole "I look vaguely like a pre-pubescent boy" thing.

4. I am now acutely aware of my underchin. Anyone know any exercises for this area of the body? No 27 year old should have the beginnings of a wattle.

5. The shock value ALONE is enough to keep me laughing all day long. My coworkers are slowly coming around to it -- one walked right up to my hair and tugged really hard b/c she thought I was wearing a wig. (omfg...YE-OUCH!) Another told me that I looked just like my niece. I'm still trying to figure out if EITHER of these responses was meant to be complimentary.

6. The new hair looks better curly. SCORE! That takes even LESS time to prepare in the morning!

And now for what you've been waiting for...the many stylings of Jamie's new hair. (click to enlarge)

Semi-Straight, probably what it will look like on a daily basis

Looks cute in a headband, THANK GOD


Anybody need a triangular ceramic hairbrush?
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
How ironic that this post goes live on the same day I have an appointment to chop off all my hair?!


If Gloria Steinem had had a crystal ball and flashed forward to a 2005 filled with catfights and women scheming to trap men, snag the coveted horrific "Mrs.," get cosmetic procedures to look like Playmate bombshells and dress, as Dave Chappelle say, like "whores," would the sister have even bothered to lead that bonfire of the bras?

I think not.

Whether or not American feminism will be defeated by American conservatism, it is incontrovertibly true that American feminism was trumped by American narcissism.

Exercise in Futility
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Last year, I impressed even myself by catching a lucky shot of the dog in this hilarious jingle bell collar and using it for a holiday card. This year? Not so much. Looks like I'll be either (a) using Sean as a photography assistant, and/or (b) just buying some stupid cards at the Walgreens or something. I'm going to try another photo shoot, but let's be honest. It doesn't look good.

To wit:

Cut off



I even attempted to bribe the dog with treats. Which only made him crazier. Then, for at least a half-hour after we were done, he stood near the table just staring at the treats. Clearly he is working on his superpowers of telekinesis, you know - willing them to jump out of the treat jar and onto the floor where he can gobble them all up.

Monday, November 06, 2006
No offense to all my vegetarian friends out there, but I just about peed my pants when I noticed that my local McDonald's had brought back the McRib. I know how they make it, I know it's disgusting and probably inedible, but I love it with all my cholesterol-laden heart.

Then I find out about THIS. I can't believe it. It's like someone waved a million dollars in my face, only to take it away again.

On the outbound flight, I had the extreme misfortune of being seated directly behind a young woman who was rather talkative. And by "talkative," I mean didn't-stop-talking-to-her-neighbors-in-her-outside-voice-from-the-time-she-sat-down-to-the-time-we-landed-in-Detroit-and-can-I-please-stick-hot-pokers-in-my-eyes-now?

Since a majority of the ridiculousness occurred while we were waiting in line for takeoff (which meant that I couldn't use my iPod to drown out her insanely annoying northern Illinois accent- even worse than my own), the only thing left to do was eavesdrop. Oh, and also to make a list of all the things that came out of her mouth, because DAMN if I'm not going to blog about it. I also attempted to get an audio clip so that you could all suffer with me retroactively, but none of them are clear enough.

Here is a list of the topics (and some quotes!) she covered during our 30 minute wait, and also snippets of the rest of the 1-hour-20-minute flight. Enjoy. If you begin to feel nauseous, please utilize the air sickness bags, provided for your convenience in the seatback pocket in front of you.

"Hey - they have TVs on this plane! Even in economy class!"

Tour around Italy during high school honors class trip - complete with scrapbook photos and a detailed story about how she violated the clothing code in the Vatican, and broke the rules by taking a photo of Michelangelo's tomb. (bonus - random story about pickpockets, and an in depth explanation of why she would never want to be Catholic)

A complete history of her grades from K-12, and the healthy behaviors she had that helped her to achieve such a level of success

Explanations of each page of her scrapbook, which included a breakdown of each person in every photo, and her relation to them

Discussion of her knitting project (sitting blatantly in her lap, alongside the scrapbook)

"I got stuck in regular people classes, which were SO BORING."

Pictures of prom & homecoming, and the camping trip afterwards where she deliberately did not share a tent with her boyfriend because she didn't want people to think she was easy.

A story of her 6-month battle with mononeucleosis, including the victorious narration of how she slept her way through French class and still got straight A's! et voila!

Her boyfriend. And then, some more about her boyfriend. Did she mention she had a boyfriend?

Story about a car accident she got in that WASN'T HER FAULT THANK GOODNESS OR HER INSURANCE PREMIUMS WOULD BE SKY HIGH AND DID YOU KNOW THAT SHE WORKS 80 HOURS A WEEK ON TOP OF HER SCHOOLING TO AFFORD THE INSURANCE? Fortunately for us all, the other party's insurance paid for her 5 months of physical therapy.

Photos of her father's second marriage to a woman she really dislikes.

Photos of her dogs, which are both weimeraners. She pronounced it "weimer-eimer" and was corrected by the man sitting in front of me (who was right). Then she corrected HIM on his pronunciation, and make up some cockamamie story about how the breed name was pronounced in ancient Germany.

Side note: This story reminded me immediately of Anchorman - "San Diego, translated means a whale's vagina." I chortled out loud, and then had to slink down in my seat when she looked back to see who was laughing at her. Whoops.

Took the time to counsel her seatmate on proper academic time management skills, and not-so-subtly suggested that her seatmate's daughter might benefit from time spent away from her extracurricular activities.

A detailed breakdown of her bank account balance, and how she "schools" her financial advisor each time she visits because she knows exactly what she wants to do with her money -- a lot of her story had to do with CDs and direct deposits, as if she had invented the whole "automatic deposit into a savings account" idea. Bonus story: how she can make $100 last an entire month.

Stories about being elected to homecoming court, and how she didn't win but that's okay because it's a popularity contest at her school anyway.

And finally? A full history of the college scholarships that she was offered (including dollar amounts), and her response to each one with an explanation why a certain insitution wasn't good enough, or how many extra hours she'd have to work to attend another.

Seriously. In writing, it's almost as annoying as it was in person! As she chatted her way through the wait time to exit the plane, I exchanged looks with several people within earshot as if to say, "are you as frustrated with this as I am?" You're irritated now, aren't you? I have a talent for that, in fact, I got this scholarship in high school for it...

Random Observations: Sunday Night
Sunday, November 05, 2006
- Why eat a healthy dinner when you can just make a yellow cake, thoroughly coat it with chocolate frosting, and follow it up with a cold glass of milk?

- I saw Eminem this weekend when I was in Detroit. I'm not kidding - his daughter was competing in the event I was judging. I didn't recognize her, but her group's routine was adorable and her studio is apparently known for their excellence.

- I straightened my hair tonight for the last time before the big snip snip. It took 45 minutes. Yet another reason to chop it off.

- I figured out what I'm getting everyone for Christmas.

- Anyone want to dogsit on Thursday for a grumpy dachshund mix?

Motor City Madness
Friday, November 03, 2006
I'm in Detroit this weekend to judge a dance competition.

I'm sleeping on the pull out couch in an otherwise nice hotel room.

You don't want to know what the mattress looked like before I had to REQUEST LINENS AND MAKE IT MY DAMN SELF.

It's a good thing I love the people I work with, because otherwise I'd be driving a car to Melissa's house, to try and convince her to stay up with me and drink copious amounts of pale ale.

At least this weekend will make for EXCELLENT (imagine me wiggling my fingers and glaring like Montgomery Burns) blog fodder. The flight alone? GAH. You have no idea.

Very Hairy
Thursday, November 02, 2006
But not for long -- I made an appointment last night to have all of my hair chopped off and donated.

deep breath

Next wednesday, November 8th, I will be going from what you see in the sidebar to something on the TASTEFUL side of this:

Just kidding. It will probably be shorter.

I'm doing this for two reasons, really:

1. My hair is healthy, the color is in demand, and so long that I am really tired of dealing with it - it's everywhere. Stuck in the straps of my handbags, on the bathroom floor, clogging up the drains. I need to cut it anyway.

2. My hair will grow back quickly - at approximately 1/2 inch per month. Someone out there needs this hair a LOT more than I do, and theirs might never come back. It seems selfish to keep it, in a way.

I haven't had my hair super short since the 2nd grade, when I was often mistaken for a little boy. (my unisex name didn't help matters) Regardless, what's done is done, and I should be able to post some interesting photos next week...if it turns out horrendously, I welcome any/all laughter and mocking...and if it turns out beautifully, I fully expect loads of praise about how timelessly beautiful I am.

photo courtesy of Hair Boutique

It's a Small World After All!
Now you have that song stuck in your head, don't you?

Chalk one up to the theory of "six degrees of separation." Several days ago, a reader found one of my comments on All & Sundry. I mentioned attending the UIUC-UW football game, and she popped over here via the link on my comment. Her name is Jen.

After much thought and a couple of emails, I realized that she isn't just any Jen. She's JENNY P, my residence hall floor advisor from freshman year of college! Seriously! She voluntarily dealt with a floor full of 17 year old women, most of which were clueless and living away from home for the first time. She was awesome - very patient, and never yelled at my roommate and I when we turned up our dance team music really loud and rehearsed in our room.

So let's recap - Jen P in NC is reading a website based out of WA State...finds my comment, links to my blog here in IL, realizes I look familiar, and the rest is history. How crazy is that? She is adorable as always, and married to a dashing man named Charlie.

Hi, Jen!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I've decided that until I can get time to work on my for-real-not-hosted-by-Blogger site, this is going to be my bizarre, HTML playground.

Please ignore any unusual goings-ons, including the one photo Flickr that I just installed. (Thank you again, Lynda!)

In the interim, please pardon our dust.

Thank you,

The Management

Etymology 101
So there I was, minding my own business...watching Dancing with the Stars on tv, warm and cuddly dog curled up behind my legs, sipping on a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio. Then it happened.

Carrie Ann Inaba, I really love you, I do. Anyone who can take their background as a pop/hip hop backup dancer and parlay it into a famous judging spot on a Top 5 television show focused on ballroom technique and performance has to be, on some level, a self-marketing genius. I'll grant you that.


This daughter-of-a-school-nurse-who-had-lice-not-once-but-twice-in-second-grade would like to take you to school on the derivation of this disgusting but popular phrase. Nitpicking. As in, combing through a child's (or adult's - shudder) scalp looking for embryonic, undeveloped baby lice. LICE IN UTERO, if you will. Then imagine finding them and pulling them out with a painful, plastic and metal comb. Inevitably, the whole experience winds itself down with a lovely, toxic shampoo called something like RID, KILL, or DON'T GET THIS IN YOUR EYES OR YOU'LL GO BLIND.

So next time Emmitt Smith loses his frame, or trips over a quickstep combination, please please PLEASE choose a different word. Carping, quibbling, whatever, just find a thesaurus before tonight's taping.

By the way, you almost made me spill my wine. Not cool. Not cool at all.