Tuesday, December 07, 2004

this year is winding down, but the foci of today's hart surely show no signs of ceasing (to rock, that is). in fact, they just might rock you right on through to 2005. if you haven't caught up with the latest state quarter or this season of "degrassi: the next generation", you're missing out.

in case you didn't know, britpoppa is a quarter enthusiast. recently, the fifth and last state quarter of the year 2004 was released to the public and it is nothing less than spectacular. you can read all about the badger state and its personal coin, the 30th of 50, here. i really enjoy the bold design, featuring the head of a cow, a cheese wheel and cob of corn. it is reminiscent of the delightful georgia peach quarters of 1999. one 24-year-old, equally delightful as the 99 quarter, said of wisconsin's foray into coin design, "i kinda have a crush on that cow." don't we all? actually, we don't. another individual was disturbed by the design, asking, "why is the cow eating the cheese, isn't that just somehow wrong?" in response, a reader said, "animals are sort of meant to eat their own dairy products - you remember nursing, right?" i sure do, fondly. britpoppa nursed to the ripe old age of 4. delicious. anyway, feel free to share your ideas on the new quarter, or any quarters of years past.

it doesn't really get any more fierce than a nerd out for vengeance. unless it's a girlfriend-beating nerd out for vengeance. last year on degrassi, we watched the cheesy storyline of rick and terri. she was big boned, he wore glasses. they were a perfect match. or so it seemed. rick, unfortunately had a bit of a temper problem. and that temper spread to his fists. he grabbed, pushed and slapped terri into the icu and off of degrassi, leaving paige and spinner, terri's friends, feeling guilty and ready for vindication. they wouldn't get it that season, though, as rick also appeared to have left the school forever. but a good canadian melodrama doesn't stop there and rick returned for season four, seemingly rehabilitated. the students of degrassi weren't going to let rick pretend that nothing had happened, however. when he beat terri, he lost his chance of ever fitting in. a neverending pummeling of the spirit began with the raven-haired girl-beater as it's target and spinner, paige, emma, jay and alex at the reins. at first, it seemed rick would quickly be driven out of the junior high-cum-high school, but his adoration of emma won her pity and then her friendship. the cause also lost a supporter in paige as she and spinner broke up. rick even found a confidante in fellow outcast, toby. things were turning around and we even saw a more human and sympathetic side to the brooding spectacle sporter. perhaps, there was a place in degrassi for rick.

last week, we saw both the highlight and low point of rick's life in the span of mere seconds. first, he won the trivia gameshow and the respect of jimmy and his classmates. he even may have had a chance with emma. but spinner, jay and alex wouldn't let that happen. alex's mother was a victim of domestic violence and she was not about to let rick stay at degrassi peacefully. jay, the school thug and alex's boyfriend, would do anything that alex wanted, especially if it was at the expense of some nerd. spinner (with new stupid haircut), still aching from his ignorance of the terri situation and always out to prove his manliness, was also onboard. they set up a carrie-like prank that covered rick in goo and feathers just as he won the gameshow. as he walked off, degraded, emma ran to comfort him. he misinterpreted her condolences and tried to kiss her. emma, taken aback by his actions, responded cruelly and told rick that she only ever befriended him because she felt sorry for him. rick, in his father's suit and covered in goop as well as disgrace, prepared to let his parents in on his life now that it had hit rock bottom. terrified of how they would react to his humiliation, he was relieved to find that they were not there and instead walked to a cabinet in the den and pulled out a gun. we're left waiting for a full-on columbine shoot-out next week and totally on the edge of our seats. well done, schuyler, hood, taylor and moore. well done.