Brian Johnson’s Favorite Seinfeld Episodes

Friday, November 20th, 2009 by Rachel

Now, you might find yourself saying to yourself, “Who is Brian Johnson, and why should I care about what he thinks about Seinfeld?” This is not a reasonable question. Brian Johnson isn’t just a character in The Breakfast Club. He is, in fact a real person, heroic and credible. I met Brian Johnson in the first semester of my freshman year, as he was a TA in my chemistry lab. Brian also shared one of the greatest nights of my life, an impromptu hangout in Woodfin/Weaverville–though only by proximity as he slept on the couch and suffered from the worst food poisoning of all time induced by a UNCA cafeteria turkey burger. (I had puked several hours earlier, and thankfully recovered quickly). Brian Johnson truly deserves no introduction, but I gave you one anyway. Read and enjoy!


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Favorite Seinfeld Episodes

Sunday, November 15th, 2009 by Rachel

As promised in the second entry of, I have compiled a list of my favorite Seinfeld Episodes. It wasn’t easy. I mean, there are 180 Seinfeld episodes! I feel like these 20 are representative of why I enjoy Seinfeld. First, I’ll start out with my absolute favorite top 5, then I’ll list the rest, since I don’t think I could really objectively rank that many. Enjoy! Look forward to hearing your thoughts on these.


Five Favorite Seinfeld Episodes.


1) The Fire (Season 5): Jerry does what every comedian has always dreamed of—heckle a heckler. Meanwhile, after arguing with a clown played by Jon Favreau, George proves to be the ultimate coward in the face of fire, trampling a bunch of children. This episode is so ridiculous every way you look at it. Don’t want to spoil all the plot points for you, but you definitely need to watch this one if you haven’t seen it.


2) The Merv Griffin Show (Season 9): Kramer starts his own gameshow, and what better guests than Jerry, George, and Elaine. George runs over a squirrel, and his girlfriend insists that they take the squirrel to the vet. (No worries, as the squirrel is saved with tiny instruments.) Jerry proves to be the ultimate creepo when he drugs and sedates his girlfriend to play with toys.


3) The Junior Mint (Season 4): Jerry can’t remember his girlfriend’s name, but he knows that her name rhymes with a part of female anatomy. Meanwhile, Elaine’s once-fat ex boyfriend undergoes major surgery, and Jerry and Kramer let a Junior Mint fall inside of the boyfriend. Serious, inside.


4) The Wig Master (Season 4): While George investigates the prostitution ring in his parking garage, Kramer becomes a pimp. Jerry is a little bit gay, drinking champagne coolies. Elaine cuts off her boyfriend’s hair when she realizes that he never planned on giving her the store discount on the little black dress she wanted.


5) The Slicer (Season 9): Who knew that a meat slicer could set up the plot of a whole episode? My favorite part of this one is the George/Kruger relationship. When George realizes that he had a fight with his boss many years earlier, he gets a photo photoshopped to remove himself from the background. Chaos ensues.


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October’s Halloween Movie List

Monday, November 2nd, 2009 by Rachel

I watch scary movies all year long, but October gives me a real excuse to watch these movies with somewhat less picking from others. I think scary movies have a lot more depth than they’re given credit for, and I enjoy them more than any other movie genre, generally speaking.


Since Friday the 13th is coming up in a few weeks, I’m sure this isn’t the end of movie season for me, but I wanted to go ahead and keep you posted on the movies that I have been able to watch in the past month. Note too, that we also started watching The Addams Family and Nightmares & Dreamscapes, so I’ll probably write up something on those when I finish them. I’ve still been watching Seinfeld on a nightly basis, and, as promised in the second entry on this site, a list of my favorite Seinfeld episodes is coming soon.


Most of these are not “new” movies, but movies in my collection that I just happened to pull out and watch this month. Most of the time I am working on other projects (like student grading or poem writing) during my movie watching, unless it’s a movie I haven’t seen before.
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Sunday, October 4th, 2009 by Rachel

103106jackolanternOctober is my favorite month, Halloween my favorite holiday. This October looks to be a busy one, but I’ll still make time to celebrate. First decorations went up on September 30th. For me, decorations will probably be up two weeks after Halloween, the last Friday the 13th of the year. My parents just stopped by the house for the night on their way down to the beach, and they brought me even more decorations, including my beloved Helga. Helga is a musical “statue” of sorts, with a button on the bottom that makes her dance along to “spooky” mechanical music. She is a very hideous witch, but I love her.


I remember watching my first scary movies in middle school with Mary Beth, but Mom says I watched them even earlier. She would come home from aerobics/exercise class to find baby me watching Jason movies with Dad. She attempted to put a stop to this, as I’ve always been prone to nightmares, but it didn’t work. Like many tween/teenagers, Scream had me hooked. Scream was the movie that brought the slasher movie to a whole new generation. This is the movie that made us go back and revisit the oldies. From Hitchcock to John Carpenter to Wes Craven to Sean S. Cunningham to Tobe Hooper to George Romero…I can’t get enough! I want to watch these movies all year (and I do!), but this is the month when my love of the gruesome and macabre actually becomes somewhat acceptable.


I wish I could go to school to analyze ONLY scary movies. Who cares about the dramas, independent films, or literary adaptations. I want to watch movies that scare the bejeezus out of me and figure out why they are constructed the way they are, why people die when they do. I think there is something much more complicated at work than what we give most slashers credit for.


On November 1st, I’ll post a list of all the scary movies I had the chance to watch this month. I started a little bit early, watching Rosemary’s Baby last weekend and My Bloody Valentine 3D the week before that, but that’s okay.

What would I do?

Thursday, September 24th, 2009 by Rachel

On the first day of teaching poetry this past spring, I asked my class “Why do we write poetry?” One student, a slam poet, said dramatically, “Because if I didn’t, I would die.” Of course the whole class laughed, but I think there’s definitely some truth there. In the most depressed moments of my life, I haven’t been able to write. Not being able to write makes me even more depressed. If I don’t have a piece of paper, I’ll write on my skin. This is something inherent about my person…poetry is something that I NEED to do and have been doing for as long as I can remember


In one of the first poetry classes this semester, we discussed the necessity for MFA programs and had the “Why are we here? kind of talk.” I said that without this degree, I wouldn’t be able to get a job. Laura Newbern responded with something like “But why couldn’t you go work on a fishing boat?” That really floored me. I thought, well, I guess I could, but can people really come home after that kind of day and write? Regardless, I’m not really cut out for physical labor in any form. One of my classmates pointed out the badassness of someone like Hemingway, who’s off driving ambulances and fighting in the Spanish Civil War and still making time to write.


I have a lot of days when I wake up and think that I don’t know what I want to do with my life. In the 8th grade yearbook, I was voted most likely to become a teacher. That always really annoyed the crap out of me. But look where I am, as poet, perma-student, and teacher. So let’s just cut all three out of the equation. What would I do if I couldn’t be a poet, MFA student, or masterful English 1101 instructor?



*Doctor (specifically medical examiner or gynecologist)
*Crime scene investigator (somewhere exotic like Miami)
*Horror film director
*Animal cop
*Organic farmer
*Sock monkey manufacturer
*Palm reader/psychic
*Tattoo artist (shaky hands might put me at a disadvantage)
*FBI agent
*Playboy bunny
*Stand up comedienne
*Environmental lawyer
*Celebrity/entertainment lawyer


What about ya’ll? What would you do if you couldn’t write?

Things that give me the Heeby Jeebies

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 by Rachel

This is a work in progress. Expect updates/adjustments as I continue this blog.


1) dead ladybugs
2) spiders (more specifically spider bite)
3) palmetto bugs i.e. cockroaches stuck in between my window and window screen
4) chalk on my hands
5) touching moles (not the creature, the spot on the body)
6) Criss Angel getting smushed by a steam roller
7) finger nails pulling back
8 ) copy machines
9) mysterious knocks on my door
10) cheese graters
11) moths
12) Clint Howard
13) stinky unidentifiable liquid in the bottom of my trashcan
14) sexually transmitted diseases
15) giant pictures of dead babies
16) teeth getting knocked out
17) stapling
18) paper cuts
19) ten car pile ups
20) people walking down train tracks
21) rolly pollies
22) dirt under my fingernails
23) sand on my feet
24) computer viruses
25) the internet
26) eggnog
27) driving at night
28) stuff in my hair (bugs, dust, fuzz, leaf)
29) ceiling fans over me when I’m sleeping
30) sticking fingers near sockets when I’m unplugging stuff.

First Week Reflections

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 by Rachel

1) Teaching in the morning is much different than teaching around lunchtime or in the afternoon. My 9 o’clock students still seem sleepy. My 10 o’clock students have woken up. Maybe their energy will fade as the semester continues. I am not a morning person.


2) Freshmen are idealistic and delusional. I don’t want to kill their idealism or delusions, but I do worry about them. For example, yesterday I found out that there is a program where guys drive around in golf carts and pick up girls who are walking by themselves on campus. Don’t these poor cute Southern sorority girls realize that they can’t trust the guys in golf carts either?


3) I have to memorize two poems this semester. I’m going to try to complete one by mid-October and one by the end of the semester. The last class I memorized a poem for was a completely horrible fever-inducing mess. I worked SO hard on memorizing this awful little eight line poem as requested by my instructor. I showed up on the day assigned, ready to recite, and I was the only person in class who completed the assignment. I recited it okay, with a few messups, and the instructor said we’d come back to it next week when everyone else could recite it. We never came back to it.


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Places I Want to Go

Monday, August 10th, 2009 by Rachel

Since moving to Georgia, we have had the opportunity to do our fair share of exploring.  We’ve driven through Gray to Macon and back.  We’ve driven around the Eatonton area.


We took a few days vacation to Fripp Island, SC with Derrick’s parents.  We rode around on golf carts, ate some wonderful seafood, watched hermit crab races, played darts, examined alligators from a close but safe distance, and watched beach movies.


We took a ridiculously short trip to Greensboro, NC, during which we got our teeth cleaned, sorted through my bedroom stuff, saw Chris Courtright, Jessica and Kaden, got to paint some of my old bedroom, eat El Mariachi & watch Knowing with my parents.  Last week, we drove out to Harlem, GA to go to the Laurel and Hardy Museum, which was just wonderful!


I wouldn’t quite say I’m the traveling type.  I hate flying.  I have ridiculous car anxiety.  BUT I do like going places/seeing things.  Walking is my preferred mode of transportation, but I’ll settle for a car ride if I have to.  This limits my exploring in a way, but I feel that it also gives me the opportunity to develop a deep appreciation for this region.


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Why are writers so boring?

Saturday, August 8th, 2009 by Rachel

I watched White Oleander yesterday.  I am going to admit already that I have not read the book.  Honestly, I never had much interest in either the book or the movie. Yesterday, as I was planning on scrapbooking on the living room floor for most of the afternoon, it seemed like good background.  Of course, I didn’t end up scrapbooking at ALL and only spent my time watching the movie.  It is fantastic, especially with such a strong cast of women actors (especially Michelle Pfeiffer and Robin Wright Penn).


Like I do with all movies that I watch, afterwards I went to IMDB to check out the trivia and found this: “In the film, Astrid’s mom is an artist, while in the book her mom [Ingrid] is a writer – showing an artist working would make the movie more interesting than showing a writer write.”


Is this really true?  Is watching a movie about writing boring?


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