Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wake Up To a Happier Life

Wake Up to a Happier Life

Amanda Dickson

When we woke up this morning, Superfan was suffering from a crippling bout of depression, which we mistakenly attributed to the discovery that Doug routinely watches and critiques rated R movies (no stars for American Wedding?!? - Alas, we thought we knew you, Doug). That and the chemical imbalance that makes the re-uptake of seratonin in Superfan's brain very difficult. But after our morning dose of ELEV (just what the Doug-tor ordered), we realized that our sadness could be the result of our part-time, minimum wage jobs scrubbing fecal matter off of the urinals at EnergySolutions Arena (its just temporary until Superfan's modeling career can take off - check out our photo below! - To any of the publishers at Des Book [hereafter cited as DB], let Superfan know if you're interested in using him/us for any upcoming dust jackets!)

Thanks to Amanda Dickson's new book, Wake Up to a Happier Life, we realized that the real key to happiness is finding a cake job that pays a crapload of money (like morning radio host on Wake Up with Grant and Amanda) and then write a book telling everyone just how happy your job makes you (Oh, that we could all host our own morning talk shows!). But for those of us stuck in less glamorous professions, Amanda apparently has some advice for us, too.

Doug was obviously thrilled to have Amanda as his guest, and Wrightly so! The vixen Dickson has been a long-time colleague and friend of Mr. Wright for quite some time (in fact, we were a little shocked to find out that Doug plays favorites. Could it possibly be that sometimes ELEV has guests on the show that Doug doesn't know anything about and possibly doesn't like? We shudder at the thought). The show's style was a little rowdy for our tastes, and had more of a free-flow feel to it than the scripted conversation from last week's guest Chris Stewart. But we suppose its to be expected when two buddies are given a microphone and an international audience of listeners!

We were beside ourselves with anticipation to learn how Amanda finds so much fulfillment in what she does. Who better to tell us how to be happy in our lives than a woman who has had to struggle to find happiness in a career where she is paid large sums of money to talk for a few hours a day (sports and weather together on the 9's, which includes every 9 of every hour for four hours EVERY DAY [except weekends, holidays, and days off]). How does she keep her spirits up? Apparently she needed a whole book to explain.

She begins the book with a short dialogue occurring at a party (can we assume that the Amanda in the conversation who talks about being a radio host might be one and the same as the author, and that perhaps the dialogue is actually a recollection of just such a conversation she has had??? We don't know, as she nevers says so in the book), and then follows it up with some sort of transgender identity question about whether or not she's really named David (although confused, Superfan is definitely intrigued). Apparently Tim McGraw has struggled with the same question, and is now writing a song about it. Anyways, Superfan thinks the message is only people named David are really happy (Great, Superfan is so screwed - I mean what kind of messed mother names her son Superfan instead of David? In any case, Superfan just changed his 6 year old daughter's name to David. Thanks for the heads up Amanda).

Doug's interview took an unexpected, and overly emotional turn for worse when Doug asked Amanda how she deals with criticism. The message she shared has changed the way Superfan views the world. Amanda revealed her secret to dealing with anybody that does not think she is wonderful (you would NEVER find us in that group Mrs. Dickson!). It used to bother her, until she realized that the people unfairly throwing criticisms at her, they were the ones whose horrible private lives made them the problem, not Amanda (and Doug could not have agreed more!). The angelic Amanda even went so far as to express sorrow for these people, who have such dark and horrible lives that they don't love her (or her book). What a powerful message! There is no such things as legitimate criticism, as all "constructive critics" are actually miserable people who try to lay the blame for their lives at the feet of Doug and Amanda. Thanks to Amanda, now we know that the modeling agent's complaint about Superfan's body not looking anything like our photo portfolio is really just a reflection of the fact that his wife beats him regularly! Now, whenever confronted by any criticism (like Superfan's wife's gripe about bedwetting), we always take the high road (aka, the Amanda Dickson road), and we feel sorry for our critics.

The emotional highlight of the show came when Doug began talking about how he deals with criticism. The majesty of his words moved Amanda to the point that she could barely speak. Mustering hardly a whisper, which got softer and higher with each refrain, Amanda cried out, "Yes, Doug, that's beautiful," repeatedly. In spite of ourselves, Superfan joined in the soft chorus, and "Yes Doug" became our mantra. Certainly a show to remember.

On a scale of 1 to 5, we rate the book a 2 (Superfan is titch homophobic, and doesn't get the whole David thing - plus, even after reading the book, Superfan faced a tough bout of crippling depression while trying to get the urine smell out of bathroom 3 on the second floor - We're Waking Up, Amanda, and it ain't workin!), and the interview a 5+ (once again, Doug turns a stinker into something memorable). And now for the question:

Did Doug read the book?

Superfan 1: "Yes, Doug. That's beautiful."

Superfan 2: Are you kidding? He lives it! (and so probably didn't read it)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Fury and Light

The Great and Terrible Volume 4: Fury and Light

Chris Stewart

We've been waiting. I know you all have been waiting. It is finally here. We were absolutely thrilled to hear Chris Stewart in his interview about his terrifying (and I do not use that word lightly) novel. It was clear that Doug was terrified as well. Anybody listening would have been able to hear the terror in his voice as he talked about Fury and Light (and this was not his normal terror when he hasn't even looked at the book that he is supposed to be discussing), which is the 4th volume in his Great and Terrible series (we're still not sure which those titles applies to his books, but it could conceivably be both!). If this interview did not send you scrambling to fill your food storage, I don't know what will.

Doug and Chris begin talking about the book without really explaining what went on in the other novels that proceed this one. They Wrightly assumed that everybody had probably already read volumes 1 through 3 numerous times. And even for those very few who hadn't (and shame on you), the universal nature of the book's plot (scare the crap out of people) made the interview accessible and compelling for everyone.

We've done our fair share of rumenating on the end of the world, but in all of the apocolyptic end times scenerios we've conjured up we never saw this one coming. Nuclear bombs and EMDs (erectile malfunction dysfunctions?). Who'd have thought that world would be destroyed with nuclear bombs? Who? I'll tell you who. The genius that is Chris Stewart.

I was particularly moved when Chris took the time to give us a little physics lesson. I guess there is something called an EMD that, according to Doug, will literally send us back to the 1800s. Time travel. A scary thought for some, but an exciting prospect for people who want to relive that moment in high school where the coach didn't put you in. There is hope for Uncle Rico.

During the interview Doug took a brief commercial break, and needless to say we were sorely disappointed (but who are we to disagree with Doug's choice. He is Mr. Wright). Suddenly, our disappointment turned to fear as we heard devastating news about the 72 hours that changed the world. (Which apparently could not be seen on the big screen but could only be read?) That fear quickly turned to joy as we realized that we were listening to a commercial for the very book being discussed in the half hour commercial that is ELEV. (This was followed by a commericial for the new Mo Tab doing showtunes CD available now at Des Book [hereafter cited as DB] - apparently fans of the choir DEMANDED an album of Showtunes, which are Mo Tab's most requested songs ["Lovely Ladies" from Les Mis, anyone?]. Personally we cannot think of a better use of the Lord's choir, then rehashing Sunrise, Sunset, and other pop showtunes classics!)

On a scale of 1 to 5 we rate the book a terrifying 5 and the interview a 5.

And now for the question:

Did Doug read the book?

Superfan 1: Of course he did. He's been waiting and waiting.

Superfan 2: I've heard Doug's building a bomb shelter and packing his walls with wheat. What do you think?