Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New (old) Favorite Show

I will go ahead and admit it. I am addicted to Most Extreme Home Makeover. This show is the shit!!! I had heard about the show previously, but I actually saw It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia mocking it with their "dream boards" before I actually saw the show itself.  It took only a single episode and I was hooked. 

This show works on multiple levels for me.  First of all, there is almost always a great back story to why this particular family is getting this second chance. With almost 15,000 applications per week, I am sure it is not hard to find that tear-jerker of a story.  I have seen an episode involving a LAPD police officer who is shot and paralyzed only 12 hours after running a charity race to support police officers hurt in the line of duty....Ironic!!! I just saw an episode where they brought amazing technology (and a new house) to a family where BOTH parents are deaf and they are raising two of whom is blind and autistic.  There was another episode where they changed the life of woman who raised three orphans with AIDS who had been left to die in the government system.  On the same note, they built a HUGE house for a single woman who has adopted multiple children with disabilities including: two who only have torsos, one with fetal alcohol syndrome, one with brain damage from trauma, and one with a bone disease where she cannot flex her elbows or knees.

The next reason I am so addicted to this show is the amazing houses they build. Sometimes it might be a more modest duplex to house two homeless families, and other times it might be the most lavish castle because the families' father who died was obsessed with the renaissance era and they wanted to honor him.  No matter what the exterior or size, all of the designers spend days (and I am sure weeks of research prior) to make sure each member of the family gets a themed room and the newest technology available to make their lives easier. If a child likes the outdoors, you can expect them to get a bed amongst a canopy of trees. If someone wants to be a pilot, they end up with a mock up of a part of a planes fuselage in their room to hold the flight simulator.  I just saw one episode where the main focus was a 22 year old who was recently paralyzed due to a case of mistaken identity from a gang member, and he was given a full voice activated house. He just makes commands to "Anderson" and the house will even send a machine to come lift him out of his chair and carry him to the bathroom or his kitchen.

Finally, I love the designers they picked for the show. While I really like Paige and Tracy, it's the male designers who steal the show.  My personal favorites are Paul, Ed, Michael and Preston.  Of course I like watching Ty as well, but he is the host so of course he is amazing. It doesn't hurt that he is a good ole Georgia Boy as well.  Yes, all of these people are going to be well known for their efforts, and yes they are probably making bank. However, unless they are some amazing actors as well, you can generally see the care and concern they have for each family for which they are working so hard night after night making custom beds, desks, and murals to fit each room.  They all are really talented as well. They have their, contruction, fashion..........but they have no problem hanging dry wall or planting some tulips if that is what the project calls for. 

The show also has helped me out with issues I may be having as well. If there is a day where I am tired of studying the library, or I am lonely or sad for some reason, it helps me to realize how much better off I have it than so many out there. No I didnt really need a show to know that, but it can never hurt to get the reminder every once and awhile. It makes me want to go out and help as many people as I can.  Speaking of which......I am finding out it is actually not as easy to volunteer for certain things as I thought. Six month wait for habitat for humanity!!!

Don't get me wrong. I know I have fallen for scripted banter, the directors' editing of the episodes, and the well composed music that goes along with each tear jerking story. I know some of these people end up losing these houses anyways due to the immediate property values rising through the roof. I don't care.......I am hooked. It's like watching an emotional, super-size version of Monster House.   So keep on keeping on Most Extreme Home Makeover......and Move That Bus!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


As if we Americans need any more reason to gather together in drunken debauchery, I just got back from my first experience at Gasparilla.  Before actually seeing the festivities, this event was described to me as a pirate mardi gras. I believe it actually lived up to its description. The one I went to was supposedly the "alcohol free" childrens' parade. Ha Ha. Yeah right. I saw more high schoolers passed out in the lawn than anything (no surprise there).  The "adult" parade is this weekend I believe and if they plan to take it to the next "adult" level then I am not sure I would be prepared for it anyways. There is some background history to the event, which I am sure you can google if you are truly interested. Mostly it is just a bunch of rowdy drunks who plan on dressing like a pirate, but end up looking like they got dressed in the local Salvation the dark.  To carry the booze, many people steal shopping carts from the local grocery store and then dress them up to look like pirate ships. 

There are many parts to the event: the ship parade, the staged attack on tampa bay by the some locally famous pirate ship, the float parade, VIP parties, etc.  However, without getting up super early or having a huge cash flow to be a VIP, you really only see the float parade through its 10 mile+ journey. The entire parade rout is barricaded and people are standing on both sides just grabbing beads as they fly out into the crowd. I actually saw a set of beads fly perfectly onto some guys head and around his neck while he was just standing there talking to his friends. Pretty rad. At least it was at the time.

The rest of the weekend my roomate Aaron and I were basically pampered with food by our buddy Chris' parents. Friday night was Super Lasagna night followed by homemade strawberry shortcake. And after Gasparilla, we arrived back to his house for a feast including filet mignon, homemade Au Gratin Potatoes, fresh bread, and for dessert......another strawberry shortcake, cherry cheesecake, and Italian chocolate decadence cake. 5 months of working out undone in one weekend. But a great weekend it was!

Only 5 or so more exams to go before boards and rotations!!! Here we go!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Kavorkian may want to use his own machine!!!

So for the past few weeks, I had been pretty excited to see Dr. Jack Kavorkian speak here at Nova. He is a well-known, controversial figure who has created some of the biggest medical ethics questions of our time........a patient's right to die.  I have never really taken a stance on the matter, instead relying on federal and state laws to guide my train of thought. I went to this lecture expecting to hear a mix of theological, judicial, and cultural points of view. Instead what I heard was a bitter 81 year old man whose sole argument was that America is the second coming of Nazi Germany.  It was like listening to someone with tangential dementia (thoughts all over the place).

It started off, for the first two minutes, as if we were going to get what we came to see. He started listing his three main projects, or causes. They are Patient's Right to Die, Prison Reform, and Education Reform.  Then he started giving examples of how America has made decisions and chosen to uphold laws via the supreme court in such a way that we are not a democracy, but a tyranny.  I will admit, while I don't agree with that, he made a few intelligent points to back his bold statement.......At This Point!!

Then it goes downhill. For the next 40 minutes, he basically kept trying to prove how America is like Nazi Germany. He found some list of 14 things that defines fascism, and then went through each point to try and correlate how America fits each one. They were such far stretches from anything realistic or logical that people started just leaving by the hordes.  It didn't help that this old man couldn't figure out how to use the microphone in front of him and nobody in the back could hear what he was saying for half of it.

One main point that really pissed me off though was when he said that we need to stop calling our American soldiers heroes.  I could understand if he meant that just because you are in the military, it does not innately make you a hero......but that was not the case. He thinks that the military is just our U.S. version of S.S. officers, which is amazingly insulting. Well Dr. Death, if they aren't heroes, they at least deserve our respect and praise for doing the tough jobs that my friends and I sure don't want to do.  

After a short question and answer section, Dr. Kavorkian ended his not so amazing lecture by raising the American flag. That would be a nice sentiment, except instead of the stars being there to represent the 50 united states........there was a swastika!!!  

So there it is folks. A bitter, unorganized, elderly man ranting (mostly incoherently) about how much he hates America.......the country of his residence.....because they  put him in prison. This is my favorite, ironic part. Kavorkian was present for over 130 assisted suicides. He set up the machine and let the patients themselves press the button to start the death process. However just once, that we know of, HE DECIDED to press the button to kill the patient. And it was this one time that he decided to videotape it and send it in to 60 minutes.  This is what convicted him. So basically, he screwed himself.  Way to go Jack, Way to go.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Jurassic Park 4 - Invasion of the US!!

Someone hacked this traffic warning machine in Indiana. That's hilarious. More so if someone actually changed their course to avoid the Raptors Ahead.

More blogging to come soon.......I am going to see Jack Kavorkian, AKA Dr. Death, speak on campus this Thursday. And yes, he is still alive and not in prison. Should be pretty damn interesting!