Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why Would Anyone Ever Want 50 Chicken McNuggets?

Picture this: Mike and I are driving slow on a Sunday morning (probably jamming to Maroon 5) in my sweet little vintage automobile when when we see it:


"WHAT?!" Mike says, as he grinds the car to a screeching halt about 2 micrometers from the Golden Arched marquee "50 McNuggets for 10 bucks! That's incredible!"

"It's not that big of a deal," I say, pulling my nails out of the upholstery,   "We used to get that all the time when I was a kid, you know how my mom thinks 50 is one of God's numbers." 

"You've heard of this before?!"

Of course I had heard of it. I  grew up in Los Lunas where everything, especially fast food, is purchased in bulk in case there is ever a famine/depression/impromptu family reunion.

"Why haven't you ever told me about this? Think of all you can do with 50 Chicken McNuggets!" 

Mike hadn't heard of the 'NFL SPECIAL'  because he grew up in Los Alamos, which I'm pretty sure is the only place on earth where they opened a McDonald's and shut it down a year later because nobody in the whole damn town had developed a taste for the Big Mac.

"Mike, the only thing you can do with 50 Chicken McNuggets is eat some, feel guilty and fat, eat some more to make yourself feel better and before you know it you can't fit into a wedding dress and you can't stop crying."

"But the sauces, Jamie!  Think of the sauces.  You could try every single sauce McDonald's has to offer. We have to do this." 

Mike gets to wear a tux.

"No, Mike we don't. It's nine in the morning and there are only two of us,  we are not getting 50 chicken McNuggets. Plus I don't like condiments, you know that."

So that's that right? Life is happy and Mike listens to me like he always does. No obscene amount of McNuggets for breakfast.  

Sadly, as the day wore on there was obscene amount of McNugget talk.  Mike couldn't get the idea out of his head and after a full day of listening to nugget chatter I finally gave in Mike and I headed to towards that same fated marquee which had so piqued his interest 8 hours earlier and we picked up 50 Chicken McNuggets for dinner.

The first thing we learned is that 50 chicken McNuggets is a hell of a lot of food. It took 2 big bags to hold all of our McNuggets, I instantly knew that we had over done it:

Mustache bag guy is pretty creepy

Also, as you may notice, Mike got way too excited at the drive-through and when the asked him what sauce he wanted all he could think of was sweet and sour, so we ended up with 11 of them. In an attempt to redeem himself, Mike found some other sauces:

Man, we're classy folk

In their defense, those little McNuggets did look pretty good.. all warm and golden and nuggety:

Worth their weight in gold

So we got to work eating the McNuggets and Mike pretty much lost himself in some kind of fried chicken/condiment frenzy and in an attempt to prove that we hadn't purchased 7 pounds of chicken-like food product in vain he wolfed down more nuggets than is considered safe by the Surgeon General:

I can't believe I'm marrying this guy.

I indulged a bit too, wedding dress be dammed:

How Sarah Palin eats a McNugget

After about  20 minutes my jeans felt like they were ripping at the seams, my body image had plummeted far into the depths of a sweet and sour tub and we still had a ridiculous amount of nuggets left, so we did the only thing feasible with them... puppy treats!!

I can has a McNugget?

I don't recommend feeding your dog Chicken McNuggets as they pretty much turned Butters into some kind of demon dog:


We soon learned that unless you're a family of 5 or you live in a frat, buying 50 chicken McNuggets at a time is probably not the best idea. Aside from the, you know ramifications that kind of marketing scheme on the health of the American public. However,  in the end, every single last one of those damn nuggets were consumed, here's the final tally:

Jamie: 12
Mike:  22 (um, gross.)
Herman: 8
Butters: 8
Wedding dress: 0

The wreckage. And we washed it all down with Coke Zero.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Here Comes Another Bride

So, if you haven't heard, as of April 18, I am officially a wife-to-be.  It appears that after 3 and a half years putting up with all the theatrics that are Jamie Armer,  Mike has decided he can do it for a lifetime.  We're all hoping that a new last name will curb some of the neuroses. We're giving ourselves a year to get together some kind of nuptial shindig in which there will generous libations and all the other  happenings that occur when two lovebirds such as ourselves get hitched . That said, I've spent the last month getting schooled in all that is old, new, borrowed and blue and here are some of the more important things I've learned:

It's not cool to announce your engagement on Myspace/Facebook
Apparently it really ticks people off to find out such big news through their favorite social networking site.  In my defense, I called everyone who I thought should be called (i.e. anyone whose phone number was stored in my cell phone) within about 14 nano seconds of him putting the ring on my finger and the two of us spent our entire first betrothed weekend on the phone chatting it up with friends and relatives around the country.  So the mass e-nouncement probably wasn't the best idea, but I was excited and I wanted to get the news out as quickly as possible.  A huge chunk of my life is dedicated to getting The News out as quickly as possible and it's a hard habit to shake.  I still feel pretty bad about hurting peoples' feelings and  all so if you would like me to call you so we can discuss my engagement please send me your phone number and I will do so. 

Everyone expects you to have some kind of complicated engagement story
It's the same deal as when I graduated college and everyone asked me what I was going to do with the rest of my life -- they never seem satisfied with my answer. Ours was cute and simple. He took me to the Sandia Crest.  He got down on one knee. I said yes and called him a punkass. It was cold so we went home.  People always seem so disappointed when I tell them this story that it makes me feel like I should start embellishing a bit. Next time someone asks me how he proposed I'm going to say "Well, for some reason I was standing all alone on Sandia Crest in a beautiful evening gown, when all of the sudden Mike drops out of the sky via a white satin parachute and when he hits the ground a 20 piece brass band comes out of nowhere and starts playing our favorite song, then he gets down on one knee and I look up and notice we're on the jumbotron, and I start to cry and say 'Yes! Yes! Of course!' and the whole crowd erupts in applause and then the Pope comes out and tells us congratulations." Maybe that will keep them satisfied.

You will be judged on your engagement ring even more than your shoes
Mike and I discussed getting engaged long before it actually happened and I made it very clear to him that I did not want a typical engagement ring -- particularly, I did not want a diamond.  I really really wanted some type of blue stone and spent a lot of time daydreaming while googling aquamarine and topaz but I could never really find anything online that I absolutely loved.  Mike, being the geologist, opted to go with a sapphire because of some complicated geological reason that I don't understand, perhaps because it has good cleavage, and picked out one of the most beautiful stones I have ever seen and had it set in a elegant swirl setting.  It is the perfect. I have, however,  had a mixed reaction from the public.  I've had a few people give me sad eyes and say "Well, you can get a diamond later on in life,"  as if my sapphire is some kind of placeholder for compressed carbon.  Trust me, we didn't go cheap with my ring -- we went with what I wanted -- which is worth more than anything else anyway.  I've also been given a few "Well.. that's unique.  I wouldn't have gone with it myself, but..." Well, that's why I'm engaged and you're not, bitch.  And of course there's the "It's uh, 'pretty'" FUCK OFF.  It's my ring and it makes me so happy I want to burst into a billion little bits of sapphire joy which will severely irritate the contact lenses of the cynics of the world, thus making them cry tears of joy, sapphire joy. 

The point is, everyone has an opinion, and when it comes to getting married, everyone has two, but unless  they're going to somehow get tied in that knot with you, the only that matters is what a makes the Mr. and the Mrs. (THAT'S GOING TO BE ME!! YAY!) happy.  We've got a lifetime of not doing what everyone expects us to do ahead of us and it's way too early in the game to let it start getting us down. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Just Google It

This is what was going through my head on the way home tonight: I wonder what the difference between hypochondria and mitochondria is, because you know, they both sound the same. I mean know that I hypochondria is when you think you're sick all the time and mitochondria are like bacteria or something like that, but I wonder why they both end in chondria? How could the two words possibly be related? Why do they have the same suffix? What the hell does chondria mean? I wish I would have taken Greek in college. Or maybe Latin. Chondria sounds more Latin right? I took Spanish, what in Spanish sounds like chondria? Man, I wish I would have paid more attention in Spanish class. Remember how hot that 2nd year Spanish TA was? I think he played soccer. Soccer players are hot -- that's why I have no idea what in Spanish sounds like chondria -- man I guess I'll just look it up when I get home. Me gusta jugadores de futbol. Muchachos guapos.

And Google it I did. The first thing I learned was that I should have also paid more attention in biology class, as mitochondria are the parts of a cell that give it energy. My friend in med school is probably ripping out her hair right now. That's trichotillomania by the way. Also, I learned from this nifty website that chondria is Greek and it means cartilage. So if hypo means below, one who is a hypochondriac is concerned with what is below the (rib) cartilage. So that sort of makes sense. So what about mito? It means thread. So thread cartilage? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Ok we're going to have to back up. Because mitochondria is actually plural for mitochondrion so our root is actually chondrion, which means granule. Now we've got something like thready granule, and if you look at an image of a mitochondrion it starts to make sense.

Ok so enough with the etymology lesson (and the italics!) My point is that through the magic of internet search engines it has become incredibly easy for us to find out about anything at anytime. Our strangest curiosities are instantly quenched at the click of the mouse. At any given time of the day I can find out the calorie content in a Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger (A LOT) or diagnose myself with a rare and incurable disorder that usually only affects chickens in Nigeria.

At heart I am a true lover of books and libraries but I have to admit that the internet has its merits. It seems like I've spent days on end at Snopes.com and Mentalfloss.com I just wonder if this plethora of instant knowledge makes us any smarter. It kinda feels like easy come easy go.

Is knowledge more valuable if it's earned? I mean if you spend all day rolling out pasta dough and squashing tomatoes and then cooking a lasagna in a wood fired oven with logs you gathered from the forest (barefoot) and then ate it you would be full right? But if you put 2 HotPockets in the microwave for a minute thirty and then ate them you'd also be full. Same result right? If you're full, you're full. But are you satisfied? I guess it depends on how good of a cook you are.

Feels like all I have time for right now is HotPockets.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Fatty Fatty Fat Fat

Last Friday night the boy and I found ourselves at our friendly neighborhood Target seeking some much needed essentials.  Four years ago I would have been mortified to find myself at Target on a Friday night because I would have been convinced that the rest of the world would be out having a way better night than I was and thus making much better use of their time on earth and deeming me a complete waste of space.  However, on this particular Friday night I was feeling pretty good because I was with my man and I was looking pretty darn cute -- I had on a new outfit and my hair was behaving -- I couldn't have been happier. That is until we encountered on particularly horrible child: a five year old little blonde girl who was left to play in the isles while her inattentive mother sorted through oversized tee-shirts and high waisted khakis in the women's department.  When I walked past this particular child she pointed at me and said rather loudly "She's fat!" My jaw dropped and I looked to my boyfriend to make sure I wasn't hearing things.  The little girl's mother paid no attention to her demon child and stayed contemplating life's most pressing question: pleats or no pleats?  Unsatisfied with her mother's response the little girl tried again, this time more loudly with an even grander gesture,  she once again pointed at me and shouted "SHE'S FAT!"  This time her mother -- who wasn't particularly slim herself -- looked up briefly at me and shushed  her child and then  continued on with her chest-high khaki quest.  A few other shoppers gave the child mortified looks and then looked to see if I was indeed fat -- the mother however made no attempt to rectify her child's actions.

In reaction to being branded a Target Heifer(R),  I ran and hid in the shoe department and sobbed while my poor boyfriend -- doubly out of his realm  in the midst  shoes and a shattered self image --  tried his best to console me.   When I finally came out of hiding mascara streaked and and runny nosed I wandered the isles scrutinizing every other woman in the store just to make sure I wasn't the fattest person there.  In a final, desperate attempt to make me feel better, my boyfriend insisted on  stopping at Starbucks on the way out and I almost broke down again when I ordered a Skinny Latte and I couldn't help but wonder if the clerk was laughing on the inside.

On the way home from the store I began to play the scene over and over again in my head, except each time I had some time of witty remark to shoot back at the child and her mother:
"Yeah, well you're ugly."
"Oh honey, when you're 25 you and your boyfriend will both be wishing you had boobs like these and and ass like mine."
"You are the reason they invented birth control."

Finally though, I just felt silly for getting so upset over the whole ordeal.  Why?  Because I'm not fat and I love my body -- and it's really stupid to take anything a 5 year old says seriously.  I understand that the word "curvy" has, as of late, been grossly overused as a polite synonym for "overweight," but I am not afraid to admit that I am curvy in the truest sense of the word -- I embrace the fact that I am very nicely proportioned .  I AM NOT FAT.  No, I am not as thin as I would like to be and that is why I spend a few nights a week at the gym and try my best to eat healthy so that I can shave off a few pounds --  I know that it is imperative to my quality of life to be at a healthy weight -- but I understand that I am never going to weigh less than 140 pounds (my goal weight, which is right within my BMI) and I'm fine with the fact that I the last thing I will ever look like is a 12 year old boy.   I know that I've been blessed with some very valuable "assets" and if I needed any more proof as to how good I look I know that my boyfriend cannot keep his hands off me. 

Mostly though, my heart aches for that little girl.  I feel so bad for her that at such a young age she has already been taught to pick women apart based on hyper-unrealistic expectations.  That she hasn't even moved out of a size 6x and she's already been so bombarded with the airbrushed manipulations of the human body put out by our media that she believes all women should fit into clothes only a few sizes larger than her own.  So much so that she sees an average woman such as myself and feels the need to brand me fat.  What in the world is her mother so preoccupied with that she cannot take the time to instill in her child a healthy body image?

I understand that America is in the midst of an obesity epidemic and I wouldn't encourage anyone to remain unhealthy but it goes both ways.  We should be striving for healthy bodies and not some manipulated ideal of beauty that does not exist in the real world.


On an end note:  When I have children if one my girls EVER said anything like that I would spank her, make her apologize and burn all her Barbies.  But that's just me. 

Monday, February 18, 2008

10 Things my Dog Has Eaten (and Somehow Survived)

This is my dog, Herman.

 Herman seems to be a mix of lab/golden retriever/chow/terrier/coyote. We'll just call her "cute." Herman is a girl. Herman is not a goat. Herman has a stomach of steel.  Here are some interesting  things Herman has eaten in her three years of life:

1.  When Herman was a puppy and was still being housebroken she had a few accidents in the house. One day as I was cleaning up one of these accidents I noticed that it caught the light in an interesting way.  As I leaned closer I saw that it actually sparkled.   It was like a little disco ball of puppy poo.  Upon further investigation I discovered that Herman had eaten an entire tube of red glitter.   This is how Herman got the nickname "Glitter Shitter."

2.  Like many young women, there was a point when Herman developed a taste for sexy undies. I would come home from work to find everything but the elastic band eaten on my panties or just one cup remaining of a bra.   It didn't  matter if they were cotton or lace, push-up or underwire -- Herman would eat them all.  Eventually I had to stop shopping at Victoria's Secret and find my unmentionables at more frugal locations -- undies are expensive dog treats!  Ask my boyfriend if he still loved Herman after that one. 

3.  When it got to be winter I deemed it way too cold to leave Herman outside all day and would let her stay in the house while I was at work.  One day I came home from the work to find that a 2ft section of the carpet had completely vanished from the middle of the living room -- and Herman in the corner with her tail between her legs.  Turns out Kibbles and Bits were just too ordinary for Herman and she decided to chow down on the flooring.  This his how Herman got the nickname "Carpet Muncher." 

4.  As a young college student in a kickass rental house I deemed it my duty to have the Halloween party of the century.  It was wild and I kept Herman in my room all night for her safety.  The next morning I let her out to use the bathroom and she came back with her entire snout dyed magenta.  Apparently one of our responsible guests had left a half full cup of "Jungle Juice" (Everclear, Vodka, Sangria, Fruit and Kool Aid) outside and Herman took it upon herself to finish it off.   She then spent the rest of the day wining and hiding behind the couch -- seems we were both a bit hungover.  

5.   One night I decided I would take it easy and watch a little TV  and eat some pizza.  I ordered a large pizza from Papa Johns figuring I would save some for later or share it with my roommates.  I opened the box and went into the kitchen to grab a soda.  When I came back the ENTIRE pizza was completely gone.  Herman was only weighed about 15 pounds at this time but somehow she managed to pull off something I had previously only thought was feasible  by frat guys and the morbidly obese. 

6. One day I came home from work to find that some how my little pooch had dyed her snout a deep blue.  I was completely baffled by this and tried to find any blue foods in the house she could have gotten a hold of -- nothing.  It was only when I  found a half empty bag of Miracle Grow with dog teeth marks in it that I figured it out.  Of course being  almost poisoned to death Herman was in the best of spirits and showed no signs of eating the fertilizer -- and no she didn't get any bigger either. 

7.  Probably the most important tip ever given to new dog owners is to not give dogs chocolate as it can prove lethal to our four pawed friends.  Needless to say I panicked when I discovered that Herman had eaten an entire bag of Reeses Peanut butter Cups.  Since she seemed fine I didn't take her to the vet but I kept a close eye on her for the next few days -- then I started seeing the telltale orange wrappers all over the backyard and I knew she was going to be ok. Then about  a week later Herman climbed up on the counter and ate an entire bag of Hershey's Kisses  -- this time I had no sympathy.  

8.  Because prescription drugs are so expensive I found that it is much more cost effective to order them through a company that will supply you with a three months supply at a dramatically discounted rate.  I had just gotten three months worth of birth control when I came home to find all three plastic cases chewed beyond recognition and not a single pill to spare --I guess Herman was planning a wild night out. I called poison control and they assured me she would be just fine -- my boyfriend and I would just have to be extra careful for the next three months (well it's not like I had any sexy underwear to turn him on. anyway)

9.  Herman went to visit my boyfriend's family a few days ago and they had to leave her in the house while they ran some errands.  When they got home they found that Herman had eaten about half of a bird's nest that my  boyfriend's mom had saved from the spring before.  I guess she got halfway through and decided twigs and mud weren't that tasty after all.

10.  My parents are building  a new house and my boyfriend and I have been going down there to help with whatever we can on the weekends.  Last weekend we took Herman with us and we discovered she has quite a craving for gypsum -- we had to continually stop Herman from eating the drywall scraps lying around the construction site -- she didn't seem to bothered by it -- I could tell she was just thinking "All in all it's just another taste of the wall."

I don't know why my dog eats weird stuff.  I promise I feed her -- a lot.  These are just the things I know about that she's eaten -- I can't imagine what she's consumed when I'm not looking. All I know is that she's the best looking 50lb garbage disposal I've ever seen. 

Monday, January 28, 2008

Go Sit On Your Tiara!

I'm going to put it out there: I've been  mildly obsessed with Miss America since I was about 5 months old.   When I was a kid -- and we only had network TV -- my entire family used to gather 'round the 'set every year to watch America's best young women duke it out for the world's most coveted rhinestones.  Even my brother and my dad -- the testosteronies of the family -- couldn't resist the 120 minutes of sequins and Aqua Net. It would start with the opening number, we'd all be on high alert to catch Miss New Mexico in her 7 and half second spot touting her her home state as The Land of Enchantment. We'd then try to convince ourselves that this year she had it in her to win and spend the next 10 minutes trying to spot her in a flurry sashes and upbeat music  -- this always proved difficult, because, well,  they always put Miss New Mexico in the back.  We were then given a break from all that pizazz with an eternal 4 minutes of well placed advertisements for suntan lotion and lipstick until we were swept back into the magic and immediately ushered into the elimination of all but 16 contestants.  Trust me, I'd hold out until the last semifinalist called for the 47th state -- of course I was momentarily devastated when we weren't called but I soon busied myself with trying to predict who was going to win:  Texas, California, Hawaii, New York, Tennessee, Alabama -- the show would go on and eventually one of these states would win. Although I was always a little disappointed that our own little estrella didn't win, I would go to bed happy and dream of red roses and high heels.

I loved the pageant so much that I even decided that I might look good in a tiara and tried my hand at a few pageants of my own -- these were horrible failures.  Although I was a darn cute kid, I was not incredibly poised.  At one rehearsal I fell off the runway, at another I packed socks that were too big for me and so bulky that I couldn't pull my cowgirl boots over them during a costume change -- I went out on the runway in with just the droopy,  floppy socks and had to drag my feet just to keep them on (why I didn't go sans socks just wear the boots is beyond me). There is much documentation of me standing in a row of primly made-up little girls all smiling daintily at the camera and I'm swaying back and forth in a daydream or picking at my tights.  When I started getting becoming a little chunker it was time to give up on the pageants for good. However, I was still entranced by Miss America, and even as a Woodstock loving - homemade peace sign necklace wearing - would've burned my bra if my mom would've let me -8th grader I still made time for the pageant. In high school my interest in the pageant began to dwindle and my awareness of the rest of the world increased and eventually I pretty much forgot all about the pageant.

In college I almost had a revival of pageant fever when  Marta Strzyzweski, a Polish beauty from Los Alamos was selected as Miss New Mexico in 2001.  I found her incredibly admirable -- as did many others in our state (she worked at the Labs and played classical piano for Christ's sake!) -- and we all held out hope that Marta would be our ticket to finally winning Miss America.  Of course the night of the pageant came and Marta followed the path of so many Miss New Mexicos before her -- in the back row only to be eliminated after the first commercial break.  It was then that I completely lost interest in the pageant.  It became evident that the same blonde opera singers and baton twirlers competed every year and unless you were from the one 12 select states that always won, there was nobody to truly root for.

In all my pageant watching years, Miss New Mexico has never been Miss America.  Note in 1984 (when I was 2 by the way) Mia Shanley from from Alamogordo won Miss USA, so maybe that sort of counts. For those of you who are not pageant savvy, Miss USA is the Donald Trump owned beauty pageant whereas Miss America is a scholarship program.  As a point of reference, Shanely's  biggest accomplishment during her reign as Miss USA was to bring the pageant industry to Taiwan, whereas Miss America is teamed with The Children's Miracle Network.

Apparently the rest of America started to become just as disenchanted with the pageant as I had become. Eventually it was deemed too lame for primetime network television and found its way over the Country Music Television channel -- where I wasn't even aware that the pageant was still being televised.  Eventually even CMT had to give up on Miss America (what does it say when you're not even relevant to CMT viewers?) and this year TLC (The LEARNING Channel, mind you) picked up on the pageant.

This is where I started to become interested in the pageant again. One, because if it's on TLC then it has to be educational, right? And, two, because TLC started airing a program entitled Miss America Reality Check on Friday nights that aimed to reinvent Miss America and bring it out of the dark ages of hoop skirts and and foot-long earrings and make it relevant to a modern audience. I was hooked from episode one, and I forced my boyfriend to watch every last darn episode with me the month before the pageant.  I really believed that TLC was going to do something miraculous with the pageant.  They challenged the contestants to wear more modern and elegant clothing and to address questions with personality and originality  -- unlike their Stepfordy contemporaries of the past. 

Mostly, though,  they highlighted many of the contestants that normally would have been otherwise lost in the crowd. I totally became enchanted with the oftentimes "out there" Miss Alaska, and  I thought Miss Washington was spunky and entertaining.  My boyfriend had a thing for Miss Wisconsin (because "all girls from Wisconsin are hot.") Of course, I was delighted to see our very own Miss New Mexico, Jenny Marlowe, get some airtime.  She was spontaneous and clever and completely captured me and my boyfriend's hearts. I watched her chop off all her hair and wow the audience with a black hat on the red carpet.   I was more than delighted when I googled Marlowe and made the connection that I had seen her on stage in the UNM Theater production of Urinetown. Although I felt like Urinetown itself was a horrible production probably written by guys who never get laid or change their socks (think a live production of a D level Southpark) and that the next time UNM puts on a musical they should probabally cast people who know how to sing,  Marlowe left quite an impression on me.  She and the guy who played dad to her character completely stole the show and were its only saving grace. When Marlowe won the final award on Reality Check for being exemplary of the changed that needed take place in Miss America, I was ecstatic. I thought we were in. This was going to be our year!!!   At least we'd make it to the top 16. 

The night of the pageant I invited some friends over for a grand viewing  (and some grand cocktails) and we sat in front of the high-def in high-def anticipation.   I was excited to see the New Miss America pageant and was confident it would be fresh and entertaining.  When Jenny came on during the opening number and told us to "Get your kicks on Route 66," I squealed with glee.  However, things took a turn for the worse after that fateful first commercial break.  Spunky Miss New Mexico was eliminated  along with just about everyone else I thought was worthy of the title.  In fact the top 16 seemed to consist of the usual suspects. Usual big hair. Usual lacquered on makeup. Usual horrific dresses.  I was completely disappointed.  Not just for Miss New Mexico, but for everyone else that wasn't from Texas or California.

Horribly, they made all the losers sit on the stage and be present for the rest of the pageant -- offering them a plate of cookies and saying "here, eat some carbs."   

For the swimsuit competition (thinly veiled as a component to show health and fitness) was totally sexed up this year, with cleavage bouncing all over the stage.  Ok, so it may have been a bit bolder, but ahem, it is a swimsuit competition, so I don't know how much farther they would've taken it. What's next year going to bring? Thongs? Complete nudity?

The new an improved question and answer was completely disgusting.  Instead of the contestants commenting  on relevant  world events,  (say I don't know, the war in Iraq?) it became a giant Lindsay Lohan/Jamie Lynne Spears bash fest.  US Weekly in evening wear. Yes, that empowers women, give them a tiara for talking shit about each other.  

Eventually the crown was placed upon another head of pouffy blonde hair.

TLC taught me that even on reality TV,  Miss America simply cannot be made over.  Even when they sexed it up and dumbed it down it equated to nothing more than a parade of skinny blondes  and badly sung opera.  It's not even that Miss New Mexico didn't win -- it's that she didn't have a chance against her competitors -- who  I'm sure all came out of the womb wearing a sash and vaseline on their gums. It's that first and foremost, pageantry is an industry and I forgot that.  It's  that I was given a glimmer of hope that my childhood fascination could be revived and I was gravely disappointed. Nothing changed, there she is, Miss America.