My Feelings About America's Next Top Model

So, this is probably one of the worst/best shows ever created.

If you don't know what happens on this show, here's the gist: reality elimination competition for girls in their late teens/early 20's who want to be a model, hosted by model Tyra Banks. Every episode they get a new "challenge" and a photo shoot. The challenge usually involves them doing weird modelesque things, like for example wearing green body suits underneath their clothes so that when they're filmed, the only thing you can see is the clothes.

But my favorite part, and the only reason that a show with air-headed, ridiculously hideously skinny, self-centered, scantily clad brats as the main characters keeps me hooked, is the photo shoot. That, and the critiques are kind of funny, too. But mostly the photo shoots are just...cool! They're weird and creative and interesting to me. Advertising is like a weird kind of art designed to manipulate you into buying things, but even though (in my opinion) it's evil, it's still artistic and just...interesting. My favorite part is not when they show the actual photo shoot, but when they show the final products and get critiqued. Here are some of the photo shoots that they've done that I think are weirdly fascinating:

- the models had to wear bald wigs - they didn't actually become bald, they just looked bald.
- the models had to pose like they were on the cover of a raunchy romance novel, and then the final product had the text overlayed on it - I thought it was hilarious.
- posing dangling from a rope ladder
- posing with snakes
- posing as homeless people

...I haven't watched it in a while, so I'm having a hard time remembering my other favorites. I watched parts of 3 different episodes today while nursing. It was fun. It reminded me of when I used to watch this with Liel and Natascha in the Avenues.

But every time I finish watching this show, I'm left with a sickening feeling. I always promise myself that I will NOT watch it anymore, that I'm not allowed to because it definitely promotes bad body image, and (in my opinion) it's demeaning to women. And yet, I tend to break that promise often. It's just so addicting. I suppose there are worse things than choosing to watch the modeling elimination show instead of the chef elimination show while nursing - at least I'm not planning my whole day around episodes of this silly show, but still, I generally like to think that I should be able to defend my morals and values better than I do. Sigh.


My Feeling About Butt Kissing

I don't like it.

Unfortunately, it seems to be a necessary evil.


(That was my nephew Alan typing. He named each letter as he pressed it.)

On second thought, there are a select few peoples' butts I wouldn't mind kissing, and that includes innocent little people whose butts may be dirtier, but whose hearts certainly aren't. The only thing is, those people are too innocent to know about non-literal butt kissing. If only adults were more like them. Sigh.


Why the French like the Millenium more than any other nationality

Danny and I were having a conversation about French dates for some reason. He was appalled (it just took me about 5 minutes to figure out how to spell that word - I thought it was "up-haul") at the sheer complexity of French dates.

For example, there is no one single word for "eighty."Instead, they say "quatre-vingt", or "four-twenty." And don't ask me why they don't pluralize the vingt to make it "four-twenties." That would make too much sense.

There is also no word for "seventy." Instead they say, "soixante-dix", or "sixty-ten."

And then, it gets REALLY complex when you say "ninety" - or "quatre-vingt-dix" ("four-twenty-ten").

Add to this the component of dates. Instead of saying nineteen whatever, they say, "mille-neuf-cent" or "one thousand-nine-hundred."

The year 1999 is bad enough in English - nineteen ninety nine. But it's SEVEN SYLLABLES in French! That's absurd! "Mille-neuf-cent-quatre-vingt-dix-neuf." I remember having the hardest time with this while learning French, and even now sometimes I have to think it out in my mind.

So Danny decided that when the millenium came around, the French must have been the most excited, because their syllaballage got reduced from seven to two: "deux mille."

Ah French.

You Lie!

So, here is a funny story.

We're learning about occupations in my 3rd year Arabic class. One of the new words was "politician" so I told the kids a story that my friend Mary told us last night when she and her husband came over for dinner.

First we talked about the congressman Joe Wilson who got up and said, "You lie!" in response to President Obama's comment that there would be no health care for illegal immigrants.

So during the speech that President Obama gave to K-12 schools, he said something about how it's too bad that popular culture sends the message that in order to be rich, famous, and influential you have to be a super model, a rapper, or an actor, but the truth is that the majority of people will never be super models, rappers, or actors. One of her students got up, right on cue, and said, "YOU LIE!"

Later in class, I had one student act out different occupations and while the rest guessed which one they were doing. Of course, the clue for "politician" was "INTA KIZZAAAB!"