echo ""; echo ""; Making Fetch Happen

This is like Julia Child giving cooking lessons to the Swedish Chef

November 25th, 2008

Even that Star Wars reference won’t make this any less gay:

0, this site 40, bronchitis 0″>

I was incredulous when I looked across the room and saw this on the enabler’s computer. (that sounds like a good nickname for him here, especially because he’s always enabling fetch in one way or another) Did this really happen? I had the same expression when I saw Debbie Reynolds on Will and Grace, or Betty White on Ellen as a catburglar (sadly, footage not found), or even Gladys Night’s brief appearance on 30 Rock.

But things like this do happen. Al Gore (again on 30 Rock) utters the line “Quiet! A whale’s in trouble…I have to go.” James Lipton and Liza Minelli on Arrested Development do a brilliant job of playing themselves and their characters. There’s that whole arm of the Geico ad campaign with the celebrities, (Charro? Really?) and people are constantly appearing on The Simpsons and saying things you thought you only dreamed they would say (Joe Mantagna as Fat Tony badmouthing Godfather III, Lucy Lawless showing her true powers, Wolfgang Puck jumping into the Puckmobile, Dolly Parton using her makeup remover to corrode the bars of a holding cell, and the list goes on….). And don’t get me started on that whole Bea Arthur thing again…..

Although it can be overdone, this kind of meta/in-on-the-joke thing gets me every time. But things like this clip – and in its own way, High School Musical – confuse me because it seems too improbable to be unintentional (Efron MUST know how silly he looks when attempting to appear angry), but maybe it’s actually being presented with a certain kind of seriousness that I am too jaded to enjoy at face value. Maybe Ru and Diana were introduced at an event most fabulous, got to talking and thought this would be a really cool joint venture (they’re both musicians, after all, and both have, as Linda Granger would say, a solid homosexual fan base….). And so in the spirit of sisters helping sisters they organized a parade in WeHo and procured the requisite number of costumes (the phrase “how many tea services can you do?” springs to mind….) and just put on a show. (Oh, and are they both lipsynching? Yes, yes they are.)

I hope I never take myself seriously enough to stop appreciating humor like this, or to stop seeing it in the things that I do. I mean, what do I do for a living? Wave my arms around and make people feel good about themselves. And then I come home and see RuPaul and Diana Ross on my boyfriend’s computer and my first thought is: “how FETCH!!!” If that isn’t ripe for parody………..

A quiz

November 22nd, 2008

Who is the mysterious dame in this priceless pic, population health and/or what film is it from?


















If you said “Sharpay Evans” and/or “High School Musical 2″ you would be correct.

I would be sad, physiotherapy and you would be correct, injection and we’d have to never speak of it again.

Thanks to a certain “enabler” who commented that I should Netflix High School Musical 2 (an enabler with whom I share not only a taste in movies, but an address) I have indeed just finished watching said film. I won’t go on for hours about it here, as I’ve expressed quite enough about its big-screen sibling in a previous post. I will say that as much as I appreciated the heightened drama and attempt at character development (I said attempt: Efron’s nervous squint and Hudgens’ askance sigh do not a conflict make) the movie suffers from the same symptom as do a lot of part-twos made with their part-threes already in the works – it’s a middle child. Not quite the big-screen spectacle of HSM3, but with clear growing pains as it tries to get beyond the small-screen charm of the original. Efron’s rage aria is almost as bad as in 3, and the baseball vs. dance number was everything I hoped it would be. (spoiler alert: dance basically won)

The context of the scene pictured above is not terribly important if you’re not familiar with the films (and Efron’s treasure trail is not the point, so stop looking), but it did cause me to exclaim “because if anyone would fart pink taffeta, it would be Sharpay Evans.” I then spent the next two scenes of the movie trying to remember what that shit is actually called, because even though taffeta is a funny word, it’s not what that is. Thus began possibly the gayest thing I have ever done: sitting on the couch under a blanket with my boyfriend and our cat, watching High School Musical 2, and browsing the wedding section of looking for pictures of tulle.

And what could be more fetch than that?

Did I mention don’t pay him any attention? Ah yes, I did.

November 21st, 2008

Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing my duty here. I mean, abortion after those first few posts about opera I’ve managed to suppress most my classical-music-nerdiness for the sake of broader appeal, erectile but now maybe I’ve dug myself a new hole with all this talk about Murder, She Wrote, The Golden Girls, and Betty White. I mean, if that’s not narrow appeal, I don’t know what is. So I’ve been trying to think of something a little more “now” that could bring fetch to the masses, or at least bring the masses to fetch. Maybe this’ll even bring the Germans back.

It was while pondering this that I realized that the last thing I am is “now.” My last non-classical iTunes album purchases were Shanghai (Twelve Girls Band) and You’ve Stolen My Heart (Kronos Quartet and Asha Bosle, so it only half counts). Of the top 10 tracks on iTunes I have heard of three of the artists (Beyoncé, Kanye West, and Britney Spears) and I have heard only one of the songs.

Luckily, this song is #1 at the moment – Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” (I’m glad that the convention of enclosing the song’s hook in parentheses after the actual title to make it more recognizable is still used) and not only had I heard it, but I am dimly aware of the youtube phenomenon that has sprung up around the video; it’s no Soulja Boy, but still…..

There is of course the original and the SNL sketch featuring Justin Timberlake. (watch that one before it goes down) Then there are the hundreds of people on Youtube who have taken it upon themselves to do homáge to the rather catchy choreography, and of these this one is undoubtedly the best. (if you have to verify your age don’t worry: his outfit’s just a little skimpy. here’s a mashup with the original video and without the age restriction, but with some annoying annotations) If you can’t get enough of this guy, there’s the local CW news team’s story about him, as well as his appearance on the Bonnie Hunt show. (wait, really? she has another ill-hated TV venture? I could do a whole MSW/Betty White-style post about her….no! must….be………..mainstream……..ackkkkk)

Besides the good Mr. Mercado’s famous rendition, here are my other personal picks:
- alone in the snow of Alaska. Finally, a mention of Alaska without Palin!
- a pretty talented ensemble….much more together than the corps of some ballets I’ve seen (no! must be mainstream!)
- this rather confusing video which took this and made it into this. Apparently this is not the first song to receive such treatment. NEWSFLASH: This meme might have actually BEEN THE INSPIRATION FOR THE VIDEO. What?????

OK, I have to stop now. That discovery made the meta-ness of this whole experience way too creepy. But before I go, might I suggest the following for protracting Youtube’s obsession with this song:

- a video with the song overlaid on clips from LOTR. Also acceptable: new lyrics to the song which describe Frodo’s journey.
- perhaps a video featuring other things on which one can put a ring, capitalizing on that pun
- to return to the underlying meme, videos of Beyoncé’s choreography with different music. Might I suggest this, which is of poor quality but is in fact of my own creation? (spoiler – it’s not me dancing…)

(It breaks down a bit in the middle, but don’t leave without seeing 1:14 to the end: I worked hard on that final cadence. HARD.)

I’ll admit, at the end of this little experiment I’m right back where I started: with the lame classical music jokes. Oh well….I should probably just stick with what I know……….

Old people pretending to not be old are funny

November 20th, 2008

OK, story so I was watching M,SW (I should just omit that in the future….it’s practically redundant to actually state it) and I thought I recognized this actress (Anita Morris). Went to her IMDb page to find out why, turns out she was the rich bitch in Ruthless People. But not only that, she was on a thing called Circus of the Stars in 1988, which was hosted by none other than Bea Arthur! This got me all excited, but unfortunately this was all I could find, and the quality’s not that great.

But then I thought: what would happen if I type just “Bea Arthur” into youtube? Would I finally find her one-woman show? Some outtakes? Hilarious moments from Maude? (good luck with that one) No, but this did pop up, and I am completely astonished and mortified.

If you couldn’t read the credits and the faces don’t jog your memory, the other dames involved are  Sally Struthers, Charlotte Rae (Facts of Life), and Katherine Helmond (Soap, Who’s the Boss). If you can’t make it all the way through (the middle’s a little flat when Bea’s not on camera) the other guest star (whom you may recognize) at the end is WELL worth the wait. Holy shit.

Verbing weirds language

November 20th, 2008

As I noted in my previous post by the use of the neologism “Netflixed, dentist ” I am a huge fan of the popular online DVD rental service. In fact, since now we don’t have cable, my only outlet to popular video entertainments are the DVDs from Netflix, Netflix’s own online video player (where I’m getting my Murder, She Wrote and Xena: Warrior Princess fixes), for, yes, South Park, and Hulu for more shows of the now: 30 Rock, The Office, The Simpsons, Fringe, Kath & Kim, The Daily Show/Colbert.

So for you inquisitive minds, here’s what I currently have at home:

High School Musical 2 [thanks, mysterious enabler!]
Ugly Betty: Season 1: Disc 1
Magnum P.I.: Season 7: Disc 2 [this is for you, people, you'll see....]

and in my queue:

Star Trek: TNG: Season 2
That Touch of Mink
Murphy Brown: Season 1
Monty Python’s Life of Brian
All of Me
Poirot (Volumes 6-12)
A Clockwork Orange
Star Trek VI
Divine Madness
Kentucky Fried Movie

and the list goes on….something like 100 items, most of them dreck. When the fetch happens, you’ll be the first to know. For example, this amazing clip from MSW that I watched this morning:

p.s. bonus points for anyone who can name the source of the subject line. No googling!

Is this really the last chance to get it right?

November 19th, 2008

I should have done this a few days ago, capsule but here goes.

remedy 0, thumb 40,0″>

I feel like an alcoholic at the beginning of a twelve-step meeting, but I went to see High School Musical 3 last weekend. To say that I was dragged there not of my own volition is a half-truth at best; having Netflixed the first HSM last week, I was simultaneously horrified and intrigued, and enough of the latter to make it worth the $10 to see how the new one stacks up. Although the original bore all the hallmarks of a made-for-Disney-Channel movie, it managed to get more things right than it deserved (and I’m not just talking about Efron’s boyish charm) and so my enjoyment of the film managed to tread that dangerous line between ironic and genuine. I’m not sure I can say the same for HSM 3.

The setting is again Albequerque, NM, and the movie begins with the trademark East High Wildcats in the middle of a fast-paced championship-basketball-game-cum-musical-number, as the twinkish Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu, another alumnus of my high school) sweat their life away and grimace as much as possible. The end of the game thankfully also ends the direct involvement of basketball in the plot (further separating it from the first, where it played a major role in the primary conflict) although to take it’s place is the well-worn trope of college applications and the accompanying separation anxiety. This in turn brings into play such hilarious plot points as Juilliard recruiters doleing out scholarships like Halloween candy and an early-decision honor’s program at Stanford that yanks students out of their last semester of high school to come to the campus to do nothing more than ride bicycles, wear flowy skirts, and have adult-sounding cell phone conversations with their friends back home (not to mention forcing their parents to come with them and sell their house in I’llbequirky) It’s decided that the spring musiCALE will be about the students’ own lives at East High, which causes some musical confusion I’ll discuss later. Problems arise even without the help of show-stealing meddlesome diva Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale), and as the show seems doomed to failure the phoenix rises clumsily from the ashes on opening night, and all are satisfied. I’m glossing over the relationship troubles of Troy and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens), partly because it’s more than a little hackneyed and partly because it gets in the way of my fantasies. There’s also more focus on Troy’s inner conflict between theatre and basketball (is this really such a big deal?) and by extension his conflict with his father’s desires and his own.

Now to preface my opinions: one of the things which I think was a failure of the first movie was never seeing the show-within-the-show. In my experience this is always the best part: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Babes in Arms, Singing in the Rain (not counting the stupid treadmill dream sequence), the Producers….not to mention Noises Off or Waiting for Guffman! Musicals within musicals are well-enough trodden ground (Kiss Me, Kate or the musical of The Producers) and it’s easy to disambiguate the impromptu singing and the “scripted” singing of the inner show. Cabaret is another good example of how these two can interact and comment on each other while still remaining fairly distinct.

HSM3, however, totally fucked with this in an unacceptable way. Some of the numbers started in “RL” and then transitioned into a rehearsal of the musical, or made their way into the musical later. (this reminded me of the end of Singing in the Rain: how preposterous was it that Velma and the orchestra knew that song that Don sang to himself on the rainy street weeks earlier? It just doesn’t add up….) And just when I thought I’d figured it out, Efron and Bleu broke into their choreographed machismo number “The Boys are Back” (homoerotic does not even BEGIN to describe it….) and when the dancers came in from the wings and the set instantly lost all trapping of reality, I imagined we were now in the rehearsal of this number for the show. Except we weren’t. This might have been an attempt at whimsey, but it left me even more confused.

I was pleasantly surprised with the plot: again, I didn’t see HSM2, but 3 was definitely a step up from the first one, which was a confused muddling of clichés hastily stitched together with middling musical numbers. It managed to surprise me a few times (in a good way) and I continued to enjoy the outrageously one-dimensional characters, despite the fact that they tried to take the two characters that might have been gay (Ryan, the snazzily-dressed choreographer, and Kelsey, the brooding composer of the shows) and threw them together to make us try and believe that everything was on the up-and-up. (I mean, they share a love of terrible hats, but that’s not enough to overcome their obvious sexual proclivities) I also completely loathed Troy’s rage aria, not only because it was so poorly acted, but the rain of CG basketballs would not even have passed muster in 1994. Oh, and did I mention that the recipients of the Juilliard scholarships (which were being awarded based on the applicants’ performances in the musical) were announced during the musical? What?? The climax at actual graduation (not fake graduation during the musical, when the awards were announced) was decidedly anti-climatic and probably the worst ensemble number in the movie.

Knowing that I went to an arts-oriented public high school, you might think these types of movies make me nostalgic. I haven’t seen Fame, but Camp is another good example of a movie that supposedly sums up my high school experience, but it doesn’t. And that’s just it: no one went to East High. It is at once our best and worst memories of the high school experience, as defined so eloquently then and since more by society and its depiction in the media than by our actual surroundings. High school is about learning to cope with the massively complex realities of life which had been theretofore suppressed or ignored, and every movie, book, play, or TV show set in high school attempts to reconcile one aspect of this reality through the lens of what we perceive as a culturally shared experience. (Even though there were no jocks at my high school  – there were no sports – the idiom is one which I understand) I thought the first movie had a direct (and horrificly transparent) message: it’s OK to dabble in various already-socially-acceptable forms of expression, but they still (even in a plurality) define who and what you are. I’m not sure that HSM3 was so worried about continuing or updating this message, but it leave me questioning how many decisions I’ve made and how many have been made for me.

So can I reccommend HSM 3? Not completely, but don’t deny yourself the hilarity of at least renting this fantastic trio of films. Don’t watch them alone, as you might find yourself enjoying them at face value. Rather, if you can’t go to a theater and sit behind nine screaming girls while simultaneously laughing at the movie and them, as we did, see it with a few friends and some drinks, and feel free to discuss it openly amongst yourselves – you will not be talking over gripping or important dialogue.

And after you’ve seen them, head over to and see last week’s episode “Elementary School Musical.” Genius.


November 18th, 2008

Legions of Fetch, buy we have a mystery on our hands. And no, diagnosis I’m not referring to one of the mysteries in the many, many, MANY episodes of Murder, She Wrote to which I’ve been treating myself lately: this mystery does not involve a murder in which one of my friends/neighbors/nieces/nephews/sympathizers has been implicated.

I got a spike of traffic from Deutschland recently, one area in particular called Kaiserslautern….have I forgotten that someone I know recently begun life anew there and did they perhaps decide to visit my site over and over again to get a little bit of that down-home American faggy charm? Was it people looking for Josh Groban? (pleeease don’t tell me it was him) Or am I Germany’s new favorite source for all things fetch?

(Ich weiss nicht, wie man “fetch” auf Deutsch sagt. Vielleicht weil “fetch” ist eine verkürzte Form von “fetching,” “bezaub” oder “fessel” passen könnten?)

OK, I’ll stop trying to dust off my rusty German. I’ve never had the pleasure of going to Germany, and I’m still not sure if my semester in Vienna improved or worsened my German overall…..which reminds me – before said sojourn my aunt bought me this t-shirt:

thinking, I’m sure, that it was very funny indeed. I never wore it there, not only because even I couldn’t bring myself to appreciate it ironically, but because she got it in size 2XL. (I’m not THAT big in Europe, people…..)

Well look, whatever it is let’s keep it coming. America’s image abroad is not going to heal itself, even with such a great shot in the arm as our new President-Elect (Ja, wir können!), so I want to help it in any way I can. My friends, what brings you here? How can I serve you better? Comment away! In the meantime, here’s the funniest thing I found on a youtube search for Kaiserslautern.

Ich bin ein Kaiserslauterner!


November 13th, 2008

All right, sickness I finally have enough work and work-related drama to push my procrastination instinct into high gear, symptoms which can only mean one thing: making some fetch while watching Murder, She Wrote. (Now that Netflix’s watch instantly is available on my mac, I may never leave the house again….)

But I digress…..where was I? Ah yes! It’s been just over a week since Election Day, which I spent happily going along with people’s assumptions that I was volunteering my time to work at the polls….which will be true until I get my $200 check on non-IRS-reported income! Cha-ching! And that for 9 hours of work and 5 hours of doing next to nothing….

I’ll start at the beginning – I arrived at 6am, met my fellow workers and started setting up. I’ll make up some names partially to preserve anonymity, and partially because I don’t remember any of them. There was Tom, the manager, who reminded me so much of my little league coach that I laughed a little every time he asked me to do something, half-expecting him to say “hustle!” or “good eye, buddy!” He apparently is a big deal – his precinct was the first in the county to report in the 2004 election, and I can see why: he runs a tight ship. The assistant managers (who apparently were promoted days before the election) were Doris, who was in charge of provisional ballots (possibly the shittiest job at the precinct – more later) and Fran, who sort of patrolled the whole time doing a little bit of everything….and then there was Paula, who I don’t think was an assistant manager but I don’t know….these three ladies were so interchangeable I had to memorize features of their clothing to remember who was who. In addition we had Trina, a younger woman who was trying her damndest to look like Sarah Palin – I almost told the manager that her glasses should not be allowed on the premises as it might be considered a form of campaigning. (unfortunately the only thing her glasses were actually campaigning for was her lazy eye, which I might not have noticed were it not so elegantly framed) There was Mary, a young, sharp woman who I think was a student somewhere…I didn’t get to talk with her nearly as much as I would have liked. There was BJ, who was so forgettable that I sat next to her for 6 hours and can’t remember what she looked like, and almost left her out of the narrative entirely! Then, finally, we had the two older ladies who I’m sure are staples of voting precincts everywhere: Dottie, the old bint who just handed out the stickers who looked so much like Ruby Romaine that I broke the no-cell-phone rule briefly to take a surreptitious photo of her, and Bev, the old black lady who was CLEARLY in charge of the whole operation. (They do rule the world!) One guy never showed up, so Dave, the technical advisor assigned to our area stayed the whole day working as a greeter. His notable contribution to the day was making the same series of jokes to voters in line ALL DAY, which although funny, got pretty damn tiresome for those of us cooped up in that room.

(BTW, I’m near the end of “A Fashionable Way to Die,” a fabulous episode set in gay Paris, and we’ve just gathered all the suspects…during the flashback to the murder, she shoots him in the left shoulder and he grabs his right….priceless!! Oh, and apparently the blackmailer was cheating on his mistress with his mistress’ daughter!! EWWWW!!!)

All right, now that we have the cast….the day started with setting everything up, which was already mostly done by the time I got there….after quickly getting re-acquainted with the computer that makes ballots on the voter cards, the polls opened and the people who had gotten in line at 5:30 made their way into the building to cast their votes – right inside the door to greet them were Bev, Trina, and Mary, who gave them forms to fill out. They then walked down to our station to get ballots from me, BJ, and Paula: I was at the end of the table, so no one could see me unless I waved like a madman…..Once they got the little cards with the ballots on them they waited in line for the voting machines, voted, and then exchanged their card for a sticker from Dottie. If anything went wrong, like their name wasn’t on the rolls or (most likely) they had requested an absentee ballot which never came, they had to talk to Doris at the provisional table….this area bred the most malcontents, especially in the morning when things were busiest. There was apparently a line around the building until about 11 or noon, and from then on people trickled in until the end of the day. Between 7 and noon I personally issued 350 ballots, and I was one of three people (although thanks to my competitve nature, I can tell you that I worked, on average, 30% faster than the ladies on my right). After noon most of us switched between the computers and the front desk with the forms – Bev “didn’t like the computers” so she stayed at the desk, and somehow Paula figured out how to just lay low and stay at the computers, which most of us agreed was by far the most fun job.

Now I’ll just describe some of the events that stuck out over the course of the day, in no particular order.

When I started working at the greeter station it had gotten pretty slow, so Bev and I were talking off and on……she kept getting up and going to the back room where had our stuff, and I couldn’t figure out why….then she mentioned that she just couldn’t “get enough of those pretztels [sic] in the back room…..whose pretztels [yes, sic] are those, anyway?” I told her that they were mine, and that I had brought for everyone. For the rest of the day, everytime I caught her eye on the way to or from the room, she smiled and said something like “mmmmmm…..pretztels!”

At one point a deaf woman came in…….Doris was over my shoulder at the time, and we got her to fill out the form, but failed to impart that she had to show one of the six acceptable forms of identification….that is, until I signed the letters I and D, which she understood and showed her driver’s license. Finally I used that knowledge for what it was intended and not just for playing hangman with a friend during church….

A common trope at the greeter’s station was to compliment a female voter’s handbag, many of which were huge and crazy. Once things got slow, this spun out into a general conversation about handbags involving most of us. (What I would have given for some “Bags and shoez, shoez and bags”)

Many people brought their young children to the voting machines, which often led to hilarious results. Children don’t generally understand the concept of a secret ballot, and were given to frequently yelling their parent’s choices in the otherwise generally quiet room. By far my favorite was the little boy who loved the way “Obama” sounded and just said it over and over. When his father finally pressed the screen the boy yelled “Vote for Obama again! Two for Obaaaama!!”

This neighborhood was mostly affluent, older Caucasians. There were, however, some hicks, a few yokels, and some straight up white trash. (I bet there were more absent teeth than absentee voters….) My favorite was the guy who came to me near the end of the day: like many people he had forgotten to write “Fulton” at the top, but unlike everyone else he had REAL trouble spelling it, even after I spelled it out one letter at a time. Then he had trouble writing his name…..well, you get the picture. If only I could have convinced him that McCain was spelled O-B-A-M-A…..

There were many hilarious errors in the voter rolls….mostly misspellings of names, which sometimes made it difficult to find people in the system….my favorites were Bernda instead of Brenda, and Quimette instead of Ouimette…….but the awkward part is that the form that everyone filled out, the form that clearly said that it was a felony to sign it if anything wasn’t accurate, had to match the voter rolls even if they were wrong. So people had to be surreptitiously given the option either to lie on the form (to be fair, most of these cases involved old addresses on the voter rolls, and they had put their newer address) or vote provisionally, which not only took longer at the precinct but involved having to go down to a county office within 48 hours to resolve the issue…..blerg. Who would choose that willingly? Some people got all high and mighty about it, but what were we supposed to tell them?

Oh, the poll watched lesbos! My, my, my….these two womyn (yeah, you know) came in around 1pm from some poll watcher advocacy group….no matter how many times they said “non-partisan” the whole thing sounded like they were just looking for trouble, and I suppose that’s their job. I only wish we could have staged something for when they returned at 5….maybe a jar of jellybeans sitting out somewhere, or a page from the Book of Mormon we using to test for literacy, or maybe a separate fastpass line for people who wanted to vote again…..I felt bad that they came all that way to find nothing!

(The next episode was wholly forgettable, as many of the Cabot Cove ones are….but check out Jessica Fletcher on facebook……she has a SHITLOAD of Italian fans! I wonder if the show has a whole other life and fanbase in Italy that rivels its American notoriety…..I’m also imagining how many fucking facebook friends Jessica would have…..and not even counting all the people she helped put away!)

Regulations strongly prohibit any political speech, clothing, etc., which was mostly pretty easy to maintain…..I managed to let a few good jokes go by unspoken to make sure they wouldn’t be construed as such. In addition, it was fairly easy to tell who people were voting for – as I said, this was a mostly affluent, older white neighborhood. So whenever Bev and I saw any African-American (most of whom were pretty young) we imperceptibly perked up, got them their forms ever so much faster, and looked at each other a little knowingly. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but looking into her eyes I swear we were both thinking “Yes, we can!” (maybe she was just thinking “God, what a fag….”)

Speaking of typecasting voters, a young black nurse was escorting the oldest, whitest, crotchiest lady I’ve ever seen to the polls, and perhaps I don’t give the young lady enough credit, but she seemed more than slightly perturbed by the fact that she was allowing this old woman to cancel out her vote. (she made sure to point out that she had voted early, because this wasn’t her precinct……I bet it wasn’t!)

(Jessica’s currently trying to play the old helpless lady act to get some evidence: “The girls in Cabot Cove are never gonna believe that I actually talked to the man who saw the dead body!! ::shovels popcorn into mouth::” This of course assumes that even in season 3 there is one man, woman, or child in Cabot Cove that hasn’t had a dead body in their own goddamn house thanks to the murders that follow old lady Fletcher around…….maybe I’ll have to start another blog, or just a recurring segment on this one: Making Fletch Happen………)

I never could figure it out, but I think that the poll location was maybe a post-juvy school….awkward much? There was all sorts of stuff about second chances and statements of encouragement on the walls…..

There are only three roads in this area and everyone lives on them. It became a bad joke after a while……

Ah yes, the terrorist. That’s a horrible, HORRIBLE stereotype to use, especially since I think this guy was Indian….:) j/k Anyway, this guy had all sorts of problems……in the beginning of the day Tom the manager came over to me and asked me to pull a name up on the computer. When I did I noticed a purple box with an X next to his name: usually the box is gray and empty or yellow with IR (ID Required), but I’d never seen purple before! Tom then said if he came in to notify him immediately. Is the no-fly list connected to a no-vote list or something?? Who knows. Anyway sure enough the guy comes in, US passport and citizenship papers in hand. I sent him to Tom, and he sat by the provisional table, alternately waiting and filling out forms for maybe half an hour. He ended up voting provisionally, but it sounded as though for some reason it wasn’t going to go through……I never heard the whole story, but the kerfuffle it caused was unmatched for the rest of the day.

Well, almost. A charming old lady came in just after it stopped being busy, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. She had a bit of a problem (one of the typos in the voter rolls, I believe) but they eventually found her and gave her a ballot to use at the machine. After a minute she came up to me at the greeter station and said that she had put her card in, but the machine didn’t recognize it and wouldn’t give her the card back. I went over to see what would happen but the card was nowhere to be seen. I surreptitiously looked on the floor, thinking the poor dear had dropped it. Nope. The card was, indeed, nowhere to be seen. It’s impossible to push it so far into the machine as to be irretrievable, or at least, that’s what we thought. Tom came over to help, so I explained the situation and went back to my seat. Not a minute later I see Tom holding the voting machine over his head at a 45º angle and shaking it like a British nanny. No card was dislodged, even when a screwdriver was applied. It turned out that rather than putting the card in the slot, the poor dear had somehow jammed it in between the machine and its casing, where it remained unreachable for the rest of the day. Yes, the saga doesn’t end here, or even with Tom performing the dubious feat of issuing her a new ballot with the handheld encoder, thus leaving our totals only slightly off, or even with the machine being decomissioned and sent over to the corner for the rest of the day.

(OH MY GOD MRS. FUCKING PEACOCK IN AN EPISODE ABOUT NUNS!!! Eilieen Brennan can do now wrong….especially when she plays the same damn character……And guess what it’s called? “Old Habits Die Hard.” I can’t get enough of thie shit……12 seasons was not enough)

Finally the polls closed. After so many hours of so little activity, the closing hour was hilariously frenetic….after the polls closed we had to close down the computers, print three separate reports from each voting machine (two go with the memory card to the county office for the official count, and one gets posted on the door for the public – read: poll watchers – to take) and make sure everything was packed and sealed just so. Remember the machine the woman broke? Well apparently all the machines had to be broekn down in the right order, so we had to keep running over to the corner and dealing with the gimpy machine whenever we got to the empty spot it had occupied.

I think that’s about it. Civic duty never was so much fun…..and once I get that check, I’ll be a much happier man.

And I’ll never eat pretztels the same way again ;)

UPDATE: And would you believe it? Elieen Brennan did it, just like in the second ending of Clue!! (I really wanted to hear: “How did you know my name?” “The kingdom of God is at hand!”)


November 5th, 2008

Tomorrow I’ll actually sit down and write about my experience working at the polls. For now, viagra here’s the list I made late last night so I wouldn’t forget the salient points: hopefully it’ll confuse you enough to whet your appetite for my carefully crafted prose…..


deaf girl

ruby romaine

dave my coach

fun fast computer times


kid votes twice for obama

guy who couldn’t spell fulton and had trouble with his own name

Bernda and other misspellings

testifying to typos

poll watcher lesbos

my secret pro-obama code with my co-worker

poll location was maybe post-juvy school….awkward?

old bint with the bad day who broke the machine

the terrorist

there are only three roads and everyone lives on them

the black nurse who semi-grudgingly helped the old white lady cast her ballot

If you have an umlaut in your first name, than you a crazy bitch.

November 4th, 2008

So far, cost this has been a fairly dependable life rule for me. For example, the only Jürgen I ever knew was my German professor in college – one of his claims to fame was his shirts, which would mysteriously unbutton themselves one button at a time whenever he turned to write something on the blackboard….plus there was the time he made me sight-read what turned out to be “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer” (Mack the Knife) in front of the whole class.

Mostly, though, I’m providing a break from election coverage in the form of a little gem from my favorite be-umlauted people in the whole world……

Yup, Björk. I probably don’t know as much about her as I ought to. (this being my first real exposure to her: up my alley, sure, but not exactly representative)

But enough with this. Tomorrow or Thursday I’ll be posting a long exposé about my experience working at the polls. (I promise it will be brave, haunting, and hilarious.* Preview: my co-worker asking to have some of my “prets-tuhls.” I couldn’t make this shit up.) Until then, enjoy this:

Her next appearance: examining the internet and marvelling at all the tubes and their WHOOOOSHINGS.

* Thank you, Jean Kerr. No one knows you but me, and all my life I will plunder your comic genius for my own sole amusement.

  • About

    Things. People. Places. The movers and shakers that make it happen. Fetch, that is. What's Fetch? Maybe this will help explain. Dedicated to LQ and her fierceness.