Thursday, January 3, 2008

Out With The Old, In With The New

Brace yourself for a great 2008! (sorry it rhymes I had to do it!)

So after much deliberation here are the 2008 resolutions (and subsequent commentary)

1. Gym
Purposefully vague so when my weekly average is the twice a week and I put on 10 lbs I don't feel like I failed.

2. Crossword or Sudoku a week
Intention is to keep the brain sharp, does it count that I only do the Monday versions?

3. Happy Hour Once A Month
Need one I can achieve successfully

4. Grad School Applications
Doesn't mean I'm going, just want the ego boost to know where I can actually get in!

5. Audition Tape
Want to be a reporter remember?

6. Get on the Phone
I hate answering the phone, particularly the cell, so if I make the calls to Mom, Dad, Carly, and Aly - I'm not answering...see the logic!

7.Finish scrapbooks
Currently still working on Hawaii trip 1998....true story

8. Pick back up the French and Spanish books

9. Actually read the books sitting on my night stand

10. Drink your water!

11. Wash your face before bed!
Probably more than you wanted to know about me!

12. Take your vitamins!
Seriously Jen!

13. Watch more television
I know right?!

14. Do family research
another far reaching one but I have 12 months right?

And so I don't feel sooooo bad...lets recap other's mistakes last year: (Care of Wash Post)


5. "I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children."

-- Lauren Caitlin Upton, Miss Teen South Carolina, in the Miss Teen USA pageant, airing live on NBC. The 18-year-old was asked why one-fifth of Americans can't locate the United States on a blank world map. She later said she was flustered by the question.

Judge's note: Nobody expects beauty queens to be profound (see also: professional athletes, rock stars) but this one gets points for being an indictment of the same American educational system that was the basis of the original question. The video clip became a mean-spirited YouTube sensation, which prompted a backlash of support for Upton, who then went on the morning talk shows to give her more formal (and entirely forgettable) answer.

4. "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country."

-- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during a question-and-answer session at Columbia University.

Judge's note: Ahmadinejad, apparently trying to wrest the Most Homophobic President title from Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, appears so out of touch with reality that his remark does something he didn't intend: It tells us far more about him than it does about Iranian society. "It's so out there that I don't even know that it's homophobic," says Shapiro. "It says more about his delusions than it does gay people or Iranians." Given that this is a man who wants nuclear warheads, his delusions are important. And scary.

3. "That's some nappy-headed hos there."

-- Radio host Don Imus, describing his perception of the Rutgers women's basketball team.

Judge's note: Perhaps the most unforgettable thing anyone said this year. Odious, racist, appalling, it led to a national fireball of a discussion on race, misogyny and the firing of Imus. It was a temporary setback; Imus was hired by another network later in the year, though with black cast members and a subdued attitude.

2. "He has a wide stance."

-- Sgt. Dave Karsnia of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport police, summarizing Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's explanation of their June 11 bathroom stall encounter.

Judge's note: Perhaps the clearest addition to American slang this year. Craig was arrested on charges of lewd conduct, as the plainclothes officer said Craig was soliciting bathroom sex by sliding his foot from one stall to the adjacent one, touching Karsnia's in the process. This also takes the "Most Misquoted Quote Award." Just as Bogie never said "Play it again, Sam," Craig never said he had a wide stance. He actually said, "I'm a fairly wide guy," in the tape-recorded conversation with the officer. People liked it better the other way -- Google records about 104,000 Internet hits for "Larry Craig" and "wide stance" but just over 900 for "Larry Craig" and "wide guy." "Once it reaches a certain point, what he actually said doesn't matter," says Barrett. "Linguistically, you can never say 'wide stance' innocently again."

1. "Whoop-de-damn-do."

-- Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, quoting his own reaction to being told the Senate had confirmed his nomination to the Supreme Court.

Judge's note: This is a Shakespearean moment, if not quite rendered with the Bard's eloquence.

If you're a fan of Thomas, it reads as a devastating remark of despair: A black man in America rises from humble circumstances to the pinnacle of achievement after enduring the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (also known as the confirmation process), only to become so disillusioned that the mountaintop no longer means anything. Tragedy, pathos, injustice. Wow. If you're not inclined to care for Thomas, it reads as the flippant remark of a bitter man, plucked from relative obscurity by a cynical president, to undermine the legacy of an icon (Thurgood Marshall). Worse, Thomas relates in his autobiography, he uttered the remark while sitting in the tub -- he didn't even want to get out of the bath! -- and pouting. Wow again.

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