Woohoo! According to Aint It Cool News, one of my favorite TV shows, Angel, has been renewed! Not that AICN is the most reliable source, but even the hope of having Angel stay on the air after Buffy ends this season is worth celebrating.
I hate, hate, HATE those stupid "television station identification marks" that are constantly displayed in the bottom-right corner of just about every channel. For the life of me, I don't understand what purpose they serve... I mean, isn't it enough that we have to suffer through station identification advertisements between commercials? But now it's gotten ten times worse. Some networks are adding idiotic sound and animation down there! For example, in anticipation of a new series called "Nip & Tuck" running on FX, they have been running a little animated graphic of a knife blade whirling in WITH SOUND to advertise it. Well, there's a tolerance point I have for annoyance, and that crosses the line. I've de-programmed FX from my Tivo, and don't plan on watching again unless they come up with a program so compelling that it outweighs their stupid and abusive behavior towards their viewers. Somehow I doubt that's going to happen and, if this type of crap continues on other networks, I'll just give up television completely and wait for the decent stuff to come out on DVD.
At the insistence of some raving friends, I've finally started tuning in to Bravo television's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. In this latest twist to "reality television," a team of five gay guys render advice in fashion, grooming, style, design, food, and culture upon some poor straight slob. This show is funny. The only problem with it is that the advice they give costs major bank, and I don't see how the average guy could possibly afford to go to $500-a-day spas and shop at Ralph Lauren. Oh well... it's entertaining, which is more than I can say for most of the stuff on television.
Even if you hate motorcycles (poor sick bastard!) there is no way you cannot enjoy Discovery Channel's American Chopper! The constant drama generated by Paul Teutul and his son Paul Teutul Jr. is far more entertaining than most of the crap on television, and watching Paulie build these amazing bikes from the ground up will give you an appreciation for motorcycles you never knew you had. Thankfully, Discovery is going to release the first season on DVD so I can free up some room on my Tivo... but $144.95?? This set should be at least half that much.
Oooh! My Alias: The Complete First Season DVD set finally arrived yesterday, so I spent the entire evening watching Jennifer Gardner kick ass. But episodes of Alias are like M&Ms in that you can't eat just one... the hours clicked by and, before I knew it, the clock was reading 2:30am (damn them for ending each episode in a cliffhanger!). It's astounding that such a well-written, well-acted, and complex show can survive on television given the mentality of the American television audience (though I suppose the fact that Gardner is really pretty doesn't hurt). Even more surprising is just how deep the show is... layers and layers of twists and turns, with the show reinventing itself constantly to stay fresh and interesting. If you haven't seen Alias yet, then you are missing out on one of the best programs ever to hit television.
What I plan to be watching this Fall (well, not really -- with the exception of well-written, complex shows like Alias, Gilmore Girls, and West Wing -- I Tivo through a typical 30-minute show in about 10-15 minutes). Fortunately, I have a dual-tuner Tivo, so I can record two shows at once, but that doesn't save me for those times I really need three (which forces me to drop shows like "Tru Calling" and "Jake 2.0" which I might otherwise try out).
08:00-08:30 The Simpsons (FOX) I miss Futurama, FOX bastards!
09:00-10:00 Alias (ABC) One of the best on television!
10:00-11:00 The Lyon's Den (NBC) Amazing buzz, so I'll give it a try.
MAYBES: Arrested Development (Good reviews, interesting premise).
09:00-10:00 Las Vegas (NBC) Looks too good to be true, probably is.
09:00-10:00 Everwood (WB) Better than average angst-drama I Tivo through in 20 minutes.
10:00-11:00 CSI: Miami (CBS) Inferior CSI clone with the truly awful David Caruso.
MAYBES: Skin (surprisingly, a hit with the critics), Two and a Half Men (Sheen!).
08:00-09:00 Navy NCIS (CBS) JAG spin-off is worth a look.
08:00-09:00 Gilmore Girls (WB) 3-hrs. of television in a 1-hr. package!
GUESS NOT: I'm with Her (Fluff crap-fest romantic comedy I would have tried if it was in a better time slot).
08:00-09:00 Enterprise (UPN) Don't ask me why (okay, it's T'Pol!).
08:00-09:00 Smallville (WB) Not half bad, but getting there.
09:00-10:00 The West Wing (NBC) Hope it survives the lost of Sorkin!
09:00-10:00 Angel (WB) Vampirey goodness in every bite!
10:00-11:00 Karen Sisco (ABC) Excellent buzz.
WHAT THE-? Kind of wanted to see Jake 2.0, but not against TWW and Angel!
08:00-09:00 Survivor (CBS) Not-so-real reality television.
08:00-08:30 Friends (NBC) Let's run this one into the ground.
08:30-09:00 Scrubs (NBC) One of the few good comedies on television.
09:00-10:00 CSI (CBS) If they don't water it down for CSI: Miami, it's good.
09:00-10:00 The O.C. (FOX) The shame! I actually like this one!
10:00-11:00 Without a Trace (CBS) Mostly lame, but still watchable.
GUESS NOT: Coupling (wanted to see how they butcher the amazing BBC original, but not against The O.C. and CSI), Tru Calling (Eliza Dushku! but not until Survivor is over).
08:00-09:00 Miss Match (NBC) Usually hate this stuff, but it's Alicia, so I'll try.
08:00-09:00 Joan of Arcadia (CBS) Interesting idea, so I'll give it a shot.
09:00-10:00 JAG (CBS) Catherine Bell makes every show sweet.
10:00-11:00 The Handler (CBS) Joey Pants kicks ass!
GUESS NOT: Wanda at Large (love Wanda Sykes, but it's a crappy time slot).
Carnivale (HBO) David Lynchian type strangeness... I can't wait.
Six Feet Under (HBO) Kind of sliding, but a good watch.
Sex and the City (HBO) Approaching the finish line.
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (BRAVO) A gay-ol' time.
Inside the Actor's Studio (BRAVO) James Lipton sucks up to the stars with both lips.
American Chopper (DISCOVERY) The drama! With motorcycles!
Monster Garage (DISCOVERY) Power tools gone horribly wrong on vehicles.
Monster House (DISCOVERY) Power tools gone horribly wrong on homes.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (SYND) She was born for this crap.
Monk (USA) Tony Shaloub rocks.
I do not, of course, actually have time to watch all of this crap... but about half will drop out or be cancelled, so it all evens out in the end. A pretty good season, I think, which is actually a bad thing!
With so much crap on television, it's always a pleasant surprise when something worth watching comes along. Not so surprising is when these shows come from HBO, where quality seems to be more important than dumbing down to the lowest common denominator (namely, the American television audience). Well, after Sex and the City and Six Feet Under, they appear to have struck gold once again with Carnivale. It's an odd David-Lynchian-type mix of The Stand with little touches of Pulp Fiction and even The X-Files tossed in for good measure.
The story focuses on a traveling carnival who takes in what appears to be a prison escapee named Ben who has some pretty amazing supernatural talents, but the carnival itself is not quite what it seems. On the other end of the spectrum is a preacher who appears to be getting signs from God, but other happenings may be suggesting otherwise. And, of course, everybody has secrets and a past that's begging to be explored.
Bonuses include appearances by the talented Patrick Bauchau, Amy Madigan, and Nick Stahl in the lead. If you like unusually good television that is just left of mainstream, this is worth a look.
Argh. Just one more day in Sweden would have been sweet but, all good things must come to an end, so now I'm back home. As sad as I am that the vacation is over, I am really, really happy to be able to ride my motorcycle again. It was like a punch in the gut every time I saw a Beamer cruising past the streets of Stockholm and, now that I've been riding, I dread the next trip where I have to spend time apart from my ride. Heaven only knows how freaked out I'm going to be when the snow hits.
The worst part about leaving for vacation when I did was the start of the Fall television season, so now my Tivo is completely stacked to the max. The good news is that most of the crap could be immediately deleted... case in point: Coupling. The original version out of the U.K. is one of my most favorite programs, so I was a little worried about how badly it would translate for American television. Well, all fears were justified, as the program is complete and total crap. They've destroyed it. The acting is abysmally bad... even from Rena Soffer, who was amazing in "Oh Grow Up." No spark. No timing. No ANYTHING. And I don't think I would feel any different if I hadn't seen the BBC original either... this show is just plain bad.
Fortunately, Alias was as excellent as always. Why in the hell doesn't this show get better ratings? It's got everything... hot women beating the crap out of people, mystery, intrigue, action, drama... amazing acting and writing talent. If only they would ditch the stupid "Marshall" character (why in the hell does every show have to put an idiot in it?). Tired of the same old boring television? Watch Alias... it completely changes every 4 episodes!
James Earl Jones guest starred on tonight's episode of Everwood, and again proves that he's one of the most captivating actors on the planet. Nobody else has such graceful subtlety on screen, and I have yet to see him in anything I haven't liked. Makes me want to watch Field of Dreams for the 100th time.
Today I received the DVD I ordered of Coupling: The Complete Second Season and was mildly amused by the sticker on it saying "The original UK version of the smash NBC hit!" In case you haven't heard, the lame-ass Americanized NBC version of the awesome BBC show was just cancelled a few days ago. I wish I could say I was surprised, but it was in no way comparable to the original, and should have never been made in the first place.
It's not that I really care that the show was cancelled, but I do worry that American audiences might skip over the original show on the DVD shelf because they think it sucks as bad as the American version. That's really too bad, because this is one of the funniest shows ever to hit television.
WTF?!? One of the better shows on television, Alias, has been preempted for The American Music Awards tonight. It's bad enough when good shows get interrupted or postponed for dumb-ass news briefs that nobody gives a crap about, but to purposely bump Alias for this self-congratulating wank-fest is just annoying. Why not preempt a moronic show like Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire, Extreme Makeover, or any of a hundred other stupid-ass reality shows built for people too stupid to follow a plot?
So now, instead of getting to top off my weekend with the sweet hotness that is Jennifer Garner...
... I instead get to watch a show that opens with Britney Spears bumping and grinding like a crack whore impersonating Madonna, and a no-talent ass-clown like Kid Rock scream "I WANT TO MAKE LOVE" over and over again (I see that dating Pamela Anderson has somehow extended his 15 minutes). I can only imagine the show goes downhill from here (even with Jimmy Kimmel hosting and a performance by 3 Doors Down), so I suppose I'll call it an early night. I've said it many times before, but f#@% ABC television... f#@% them up their stupid asses.
Is it just me, or does Betty White totally kick ass? I was just watching the mostly forgettable I'm with Her tonight and here comes Betty (playing herself this time!). All of a sudden, a mediocre show that's barely holding my attention takes a quantum leap and has me riveted to the television...
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I guess it's too much to expect that, at her age, Betty could make an appearance on ALL television shows. How much would it rule to have Betty White on Alias? Or maybe on Las Vegas or even C.S.I.? And what about movies? If anybody could have saved Matrix Revolutions from sucking as bad as it did, it's Betty White!
Before heiress Paris Hilton became famous for her "home movies," she filmed a show called The Simple Life which shows what happens when you take rich city girls and transplant them to a farm in Arkansas. In each episode they find new and unique ways of offending their hosts and just about everybody they meet, which makes for terrific entertainment. It should surprise no one that both Paris and co-star Nicole Richie (daughter or Lionel Richie) ended up doing whatever they wanted, while acting however they wanted, whenever they wanted to do it.
In other words, they were behaving just like every other "that's hot" woman on the planet. The only difference is that they were filmed and have become television stars because of it. Forget baseball, this is exactly the kind of thing that makes me proud to be an American.
Yet another killer episode of Alias tonight, which is pretty sweet considering we've been waiting weeks to see it. What's truly amazing is how creator J.J. Abrams is totally fearless when it comes to reinventing the show. You never know which characters are going to live, die, change, disappear, reappear... or even if the entire concept of the show is going to be altered.
I have to admit that the ending was not as shocking to me as it could have been... they are running out of people that could switch from good to evil or evil to good (an Alias hallmark!), so it was only a matter of time before they got around to it. But still, the way everything dropped into place was pretty slick. Now if only they would find something to do with Dixon! His character used to be kick-ass cool when he was out on missions, but now he's barely in the show at all. Maybe he'll turn evil next.
I have no idea how Trey Parker and Matt Stone continue to churn out South Park shows that just keep getting better with each new episode. I've been too busy to watch television for the past few months, and have just been letting everything stack up on my Tivo. Well, the thing is finally getting full, so I've been trying to squeeze in a few shows here and there to make some room. Among those were about 6 episodes of South Park I hadn't seen.
I haven't laughed that hard in a very long time, which was surprising because none of the episodes had my heroes Terrance & Phillip in them.
Probably the best episode ever was one called "Christian Rock Hard," where Cartman decides to form a Christian rock band to become rich and famous (since he has no talent, he figures Christian rock is the way to go... it seems to sell no matter how bad it sucks), and Stan, Kyle, and Kenny get arrested for downloading music off the internet. The usual hilarity ensues. If you haven't checked out South Park in a while, it is just as insightful, timely, and damn funny as it's ever been.
I rarely have the time to just sit down and watch television and, on those rare occasions that I do, I usually end up watching only those shows that I have my Tivo record. But today was a little different. I had so much work to catch up on that I didn't want to risk being distracted by something "good" so I just parked the television on VH1 and left it there.
My plans for non-distracting television were dashed when the Bands Reunited: A Flock of Seagulls episode came on. I already had it recorded on my Tivo DVR, but became instantly captivated and couldn't help but watch. Something about seeing people who have long since put their mega-star life behind them and moved on... only to be mercilessly ambushed with the prospect of a reunion with their old band mates... it's just compelling television.
Since I am a huge fan of AFOS... this episode was fantastic for numerous reasons (not the least of which is hearing them play again!). The stories behind the rise and fall of the group is just the icing on the cake.
But then VH1 continued on with more Bands Reunited episodes, including Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Klymaxx... each with loads of drama involved in getting the bands back together again. This is a really cool series that will captivate you, even if you don't like the bands they feature.
Now if only VH1 would provide an RSS feed for the companion blog to their other amazing show Best Week Ever, I would be really happy.
Okay. I am officially addicted to VH1's new Bands Reunited show. The only problem is that it's not enough... I want MORE. I want to see Flock of Seagulls and Berlin's entire reunited concert! Not just the few songs they put at the end of the show, but the entire concert!! And what about a tour? I'd pay serious money to see some of these bands play. But even that is not enough... I want more bands to be reunited!
The original Depeche Mode... the original New Order... the original Thompson Twins... Breathe... Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark... Information Society... Johnny Hates Jazz.. The Kane Gang... The Psychedelic Furs... Talk Talk... When in Rome... THE SMITHS! Ack! So many cool bands from the 80's that I'd give anything to see back together, even if for just one night. The possibilities are endless, and just thinking about it makes me sick with anticipation over what new shows VH1 might dredge up for the next batch of episodes.
Ooooh... Romeo Void and The Alarm are just around the corner...
As most people who know me knows, I am a huge fan of television legend Betty White. She can take any role and completely own it, and then eclipse anybody else who dares share a scene with her. Well, Betty was on Ellen today and revealed that she is guest-starring on three(!) episodes of The Practice starting February 15th! Sweet!
As I have mentioned many times, I absolutely loathe those Pier One commercials featuring a screaming Kirstie Alley dressed in dumb-ass prom dress rejects. Every time one of her insanely stupid ads airs, I want to puncture my ear drums and then gouge my eyes out.
Why in the hell would an advertiser want to annoy prospective customers of their product like that? Because it works. Pier One reported drastic increases in foot traffic (around 12-17% depending what you read) after the Kirstie Alley campaign began airing.
But, mercifully, they've hired a new commercial spokesperson to replace her: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Thom Filicia. This is quite a coup, because Thom is really good at his job (have you seen some of the things he does on Queer Eye?) in addition to being on a very popular show. Apparently, Thom is also in discussions to create his own line of decorator goods there as well, which means I may actually have to step foot in one of these places one day.
Continuing on with my infatuation with VH1's Bands Reunited, I just watched the last episode of the series for another old-time favorite group, The Alarm, and found it to be one of the best yet (unlike the episode for Squeeze, which was not only boring but disappointing as well). Oh how I hope that VH1 continues on with another season. Sure it won't be quite the same surprise when old band-mates are ambushed (since everybody knows about the show now), but there are so many bands out there left to be reunited...
Alrighty then... a show of hands as to how many people are actually gullible enough to believe that Justin Timberlake's exposure of Janet Jackson's breast during the Super Bowl Half-Time Show was an accident due to a "costume malfunction." Nobody? That's what I thought. It seemed like a very deliberate act to me (I =ahem= watched it on Tivo several times to be certain) and the fact that she "just happened" to have a nipple shield seems to confirm it, because something like that just can't be comfortable (not to mention Justin singing "gonna have you naked by the end of this song").
Even more compelling is this pre-game news release by MTV which is now mysteriously absent from their site, but freely available in Google's cache...
Shocking moments indeed! But how hard is it to shock America when all it takes is two seconds of breast on television to freak people out?? Personally, I was more offended that Kid Rock used the American flag as a poncho, but what do I know? Anyway, that's television for you... make no mistake, it was absolutely planned. Janet and JT had to do something to counter that kiss between Madonna and Britney! I just wonder how Britney and Madonna are going to top it at the Grammies this weekend...
Well crap! The WB Network has just cancelled one of my favorite television shows: Angel. What a horrible way to start my day! What's really surprising is that this is turning out to be one of the best seasons of the show ever, and the addition of James Marster's Spike to the cast makes each new episode a classic ("feel my wrath you barrel tossing monkey!"). I thought the ratings were doing okay as well, which is why this is a particularly puzzling thing to have happen.
I honestly don't understand how The WB can afford to lose a show with such a devoted following considering that most of their other shows suck ass. It especially doesn't make sense when you consider how much money that they are making off of video and DVD sales for both Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You'd think that they would want to keep that franchise cash cow going for as long as possible.Oh well, that's one less thing I have cluttering up my Tivo next season. I suppose that I should be grateful we got the 100+ shows that aired, and hope for occasional TV movies of the "Buffyverse" in the future.
I had never watched The Practice past the first few episodes, because it just seemed like David E. Kelley overload, and not terribly interesting. As I wrote a while back, Betty White is guest-starring for three episodes so, naturally, I had to tune in and watch.
Wow. Not only did Betty kick ass playing a bitter, money-grubbing old tyrant... but the show is fantastic! James Spader is riveting as a the lead lawyer who engages in questionable activities (and even more questionable ethics) in defense of his client. I wish I had known that the show ended up being this interesting when Spader came on board at the beginning of the season.
Back to Betty... she's amazing, of course. I always love it when she plays against type and isn't afraid to portray somebody nasty! She not only holds her own in every scene, but really makes herself out to be loathsome, which is pretty tricky when she looks like somebody's sweet old grandmother. I sure wish more directors would realize how nifty it is to put Betty White in their shows. How cool would it be if the head of "The Covenant" on Alias... one of the most ruthless and powerful people in the world... ended up being Betty? That would be totally sweet! Too bad we don't get another new episode of Alias for three frickin' weeks!!
I am not deaf, so I can only imagine how much it sucks not to be able to hear the world around you. I can only guess at the daily difficulties involved in striving to live a life no different than that of hearing people when so much of our world is dependent on sound for communication. And now I can only sympathize that a deaf American's life is going to suck a little more because the U.S. Department of Education consists of f#@%ing fascist morons that feel deaf persons are no longer capable of deciding for themselves what is "educational" entertainment on television.
A press release by the National Association of the Deaf says that almost 200 television programs have been declared "inappropriate," and will no longer be eligible for Closed Captioning (a.k.a. "subtitles") funding. At first I was nonplussed at this news, because there is so much crap on television that 200 of the worst shows would hardly be missed. And then I read the list and saw it had all kinds of inoffensive programs that should totally be captioned. What the f#@%?!? These are not shows featuring hard-core pornography or gruesome and gratuitous violence... these are staples of the American television experience! If I were deaf, and all of a sudden found out that I could not watch my favorite programs, I'd be pretty pissed. Here is just a small sampling of shows I enjoy that I could no longer watch (shows with an asterisk* are cartoons for heaven's sake!):
Do you notice how many cartoons are on that list? And I only listed a small handful of those I like! How much does it suck to be a deaf kid and not be able to watch all the shows your friends are watching? Apparently, this all has to do with their "educational value" which is ludicrous. I learn more in an episode of Law & Order than I learned most days in college. And I have yet to see an episode of The Simpsons that didn't have some interesting facts and a moral lesson of some kind. This is not a judgment call about education, it's censorship. What if you wanted to be a professional baseball player or race car driver when you grow up? Wouldn't sports and racing on television be educational then? What if you are a professional animator... watching cartoons is educational research! All the world is experiences to be learned from... even TV shows.
I am absolutely outraged that a country founded on freedom is run by government agencies that would deny freedom of choice from deaf Americans. Who is the government to say what programs are of educational value when our schools suck so bad? I notice that The Prince of Egypt is deemed educational... but to whom? Well, since it's a Bible story, I'd imagine that it's only educational to deaf Christians, so now we are having the government dictate which religions are educational?
Spread the word. Write your congressman. Let the government know that "We The People" will not tolerate censorship for any of its citizens. If you don't act now, how long will it be before cartoons, sports and other cool shows are denied to all of us because they lack "educational value?"
Is it my imagination or is Scrubs getting better with every new episode? I just got through watching last week's masterful guest appearance by Brendan Fraser off my TiVo and can't recall a television show since Cupid that was so touching and funny at the same time. — Speaking of Cupid, who do I have to kill to get that show out on DVD? — I still can't sleep and, even when I take sleeping pills, I still only get a maximum of 2 to 3 hours each night and it's starting to freak me out... time to go to the doctor I guess. — I want to take a Geek Cruise and I have no idea why, since this is the type of travel I usually laugh about. — I need a camera phone so I can have a moblog like Joi Ito. — I want my motorcycle back but found out today it will either be late this week or early next... stupid weather. — The wait for Kill Bill 2 is killing me. — Is there anything more painful than liking somebody who doesn't like you back? I hope not. — Is my lack of sleep making me delusional, or does John Stewart from The Daily Show have a better handle on the nation's politics than any major network? — I've started playing all those awesome old Infocom text adventure games and find them just as engrossing now as I did in the early 80's. — In exactly one month I have to start traveling again, but I'd rather just stay home this year. — Is it unrealistic to still believe that this world will eventually know peace? — I had to use a Windows PC for just 15 minutes today, which only reaffirmed to me how damn lucky I am to use a Macintosh. — I am wide awake despite taking two sleeping pills and a couple Excedrin PMs an hour-and-a-half ago, and getting no sleep the past two weeks. It's going to be another one of those nights.
I love my television and, thanks to TiVo, I am able to watch it with such efficiency that it doesn't pose any big infraction on my life (it's amazing how you can watch an hour-long program in about 20 minutes once you pass through all the commercials and boring bits). If you are looking for a distraction, here's a few suggestions...
Wonderfalls: I've only seen one episode of this new show, but am already hooked. If you missed it, you are in luck because they are running an encore Thursday on FOX (9/8 Central). A young woman named Jaye hears voices from inanimate objects that compel her to get involved in the lives of others in interesting ways. Really cool, WATCH THIS SHOW!!
Alias: The best show currently on television. If ass-kicking spy drama is something that appeals to you, then this is the place. Jennifer Garner is both beautiful and deadly.
The Practice: I never really cared for this show until this season when James Spader joined the cast as attorney Alan Shore. Now I don't miss a single episode (I wish all drama television were this funny and thought provoking). If you haven't watched in a while, now is a good time to start... Shore has been fired from the firm and a really ugly battle is about to commence that's certain to be entertaining.
Angel: When Spike joined the cast this season, a good show became amazing. And now that wimpy Fred has turned into an evil goddess with a shot at redemption, I can't imagine what cool stuff is about to go down. Unfortunately, the show has been cancelled and this is the last season, so best watch it while you can.
Law & Order Criminal Intent: The best of the Law & Order shows and the best cop drama on television period.
Scrubs: Finally a comedy on television that actually has some intelligence to it without becoming boring (like Frasier). This is about the only show that I don't end up fast-forwarding through... you just can't, because there is never a dull moment.
I'm With Her: No, I don't know why.
Sure there are other shows I watch, but these are currently the only ones that I obsess over.
Yikes. I am sure there is something really creative that I could do for a theme like "television" but I have no idea what that my be (and I make it a point to visit the Theme Thursday site only after I have already posted mine). Instead I tried to visualize what comes to mind when I think of "television," and the short answer is that I don't. Once you go Tivo, you'll never go back to live television again. That being the case, I thought I'd take a photo of what I see every time I turn the TV on...
It's really too bad that that came up with such a goofy mascot for such a seriously cool and useful product.
The best show on television you probably aren't watching is called Wonderfalls airing Friday nights at 9:00 on FOX. I'm totally hooked, but am fearful of getting attached to it since something this cool is just too good to last. Nope, it will undoubtedly be cancelled so that we can get yet another mind-numbing "reality" show. How sad. You should give it a try before it disappears forever (UPDATE: This coming week, they are airing it on Thursday, April 1st... then it's back to Fridays again).
In other television news... while watching tonight's excellent Wonderfalls, I saw this really cool commercial for AXE body spray. It's kind of a nifty chain-reaction type thing...
Not only is the ad itself terrific, but now I can't get the song out of my head... "You give me love... love... love... love..."
I'm liking the idea of TV shows being released on DVD (and there is even a cool site devoted to the subject). As more and more programs are released, I get more and more excited at the prospect of being able to watch long-forgotten and long-cancelled shows that I enjoyed at one time, but have no way of watching now. Nothing would make me happier than finally having Cupid and Oh Grow Up! released on DVD so that I could see them any time I want... very few shows currently on the air even come close to their quality.
I spend most of my time fast forwarding through commercials on television because they are stupid, unimaginative, and just plain boring. But now American Express has figured out how to make a commercial that people are going to want to watch. Even more impressive - though the commercial is five minutes long, I've taken the time to watch it three times! I'm half-way tempted to sign up for an AmEx card, just to support this stroke of brilliance and encourage other companies to make more interesting ads.
What would it be like to have Superman as your best friend and just hang out? If you are Jerry Seinfeld, it would be something like this...
Even better news... AmEx is making more of these cool "webvertisements," and it will be interesting to see who pops up next. When can we see Wonder Woman meeting David Letterman?
I knew that a show as good as Wonderfalls was too good to last and, sadly, I was correct. According to creator Tim Minear's fansite, the show has been cancelled. WTF?!? How is it that any show with even the slightest glimmer of actual intelligence can't survive? Instead, we get an endless barrage of "reality" television programs that are so dumbed down that they might as well be spoon-fed to the audience.
Conclusion: People are too lazy and stupid to want to think while being entertained.
The truly moronic thing here is that there are 13 episodes of Wonderfalls completed... what happens to them? Can FOX find it in their heart to air them at midnight Sundays (or some other crap time slot) just so people who like the show can watch them? I mean, THEY'RE DONE! Is it too much to hope that they can be released on DVD one day?
If it's unique, different, smart, intelligent, witty, and unpredictable... very soon now you won't find it on network television (no matter how many rave reviews it receives). I wish networks wouldn't even bother ordering great shows like Wonderfalls to get people's hopes up when they have no intention of marketing it, supporting it, or giving it a decent time slot. Just bring on another episode of "Extreme Makeover Blind Date Celebrity Challenge" and stop wasting our time. Dumbasses.
I just got done watching the Biography tribute to Phil Hartman and it once again hit me how much I miss that man. He was unquestionably one of the funniest people on the planet, and his work on Saturday Night Live makes him my favorite SNL player to date (who could forget Phil as Sinatra? Donahue? Clinton? and so many others?). And then there were his standout characters of Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure on The Simpsons. And, of course, his brilliant performance of Bill McNeil on News Radio.
Every time I hear a voiceover that Phil did... or run across an old show or movie Phil was in... my heart sinks a bit as I wonder how many other wonderful projects he could have made for me to laugh with had he not been killed. Phil, you are much missed.
It looks as though more excellent television is heading to DVD... I'm especially happy about Quantum Leap and Tour of Duty (which are on my wish list), but am dismayed that crap shows like Saved by the Bell, Andromeda, Punky Brewster, Mutant X, Star Trek Voyager and, heaven help us, Who's the Boss are being released when amazing shows like Wonderfalls, Cupid and Oh Grow Up! are not. Oh well, I suppose I should be thankful for what I can get rather than lamenting what I cannot...
Yikes... I'm going to go bankrupt over the next few months!
When I get back from a trip, the first thing I do is check out my TiVo to see what television shows have been recorded while I was away (the answering machine and unpacking will just have to wait). After watching Tina Fey on SNL and an interview with Tina Fey on Ellen, I've decided that I have a crush on her. It's hard not to have a crush on a woman that's this smart and funny.
Okay, she's totally hot too. I think it must be the glasses.
I still cannot figure out what is so astoundingly difficult about The Friday Five that "April is a busy month" is a rational excuse not to post five simple questions. I think people are going to start abandoning it if this keeps up. Anyway, I am once again going to post up my own questions so I don't get out of the habit. I was talking with some people about the end of the television show Friends yesterday, so maybe that's a timely topic?
1. What is your favorite episode of Friends? That is amazingly difficult because there have been so many excellent episodes (particularly in the early days), but "The One Where Everybody Finds Out" is the one I most often think of when I think of the show now... it's the one where Phoebe accidently finds out about Monica and Chandler's relationship, so she conspires with Rachel to mess with them by pretending to be attracted to Chandler. Not only do you get a hilarious faux-seduction scene with Phoebe and Chandler, you also get Chandler and Monica saying they love each other, which is a much more defining moment for the show to me that the whole Ross/Rachel thing. Close runners up would any of the "flashback" episodes and the shows where we get to see Phoebe with her twin sister Ursula.
2. Who is your favorite Friends character? That's a close call between Chandler and Phoebe... but in the end I'd have to say Chandler. Most of the funniest moments have him in them.
3. Who is your least favorite Friends character? ROSS... could he BE any more annoying? Though Monica does have her stupid moments too.
4. Which of the Friends characters are you most like? Just like Chandler, I also have disastrous luck with women and an often-inappropriate sense of humor.
5. If they were to make Friends all over again today with an entirely different cast, who would you like to see on the show? I can't imagine anybody else playing those parts but, just for fun, here's my go at it: Phoebe: Tara Reid plays ditsy well and, from her guest appearances on Scrubs, I know she could also have a serious side and fit into a group dynamic with no trouble. Monica: Caroline Dhavernas from the short-lived (but amazing) show Wonderfalls could easily bring another level of irony and wit to the character, all while making her less compulsive and whiny. Rachel: Jessica Alba would totally kick ass in this role. Chandler: This part is almost impossible to cast better than Matthew Perry, but I think The O.C. alum Adam Brody (who plays a similar character anyway) would be a good choice. Joey: The show always suffered a bit from a lack of diversity (as MOST shows do) so why not convert from a struggling actor to a struggling singer and put Usher in the mix? Ross: It's not hard to top David Schwimmer's whiny, spineless take on the character, and I think someone like Breckin Meyer could do a much better job of it.
Friends has had their ups and downs over the years, but very few American television programs have this consistent level of quality, so I will definitely miss it (though not too much, because I've been buying all the DVD sets!). In the end, it's probably best that they are calling it quits while the show is once again on a high note, but I can't help but wonder what would have happened if we would have gotten just one more season...
After a nasty lull when Phil Hartman left, Saturday Night Live finally seems to be gaining some momentum again. I used to just tune in for a bit of Tina Fey deliciousness on "Weekend Update," but more and more I find myself actually watching the rest of the show. Last night's episode had some really great moments, particularly the "Harry Potter" sketch with Rachel Dratch somehow creating the best Potter parody I've yet seen...
The sketch revolves around the kids returning from summer vacation to find that Hermione (guest host Lindsay Lohan) has gone through a bit of a... uh, development... since they saw her last...
Then Fred & George stop by and make a play for Hermione...
Of course she'll have none of that...
Fred & George: Well, if you'll excuse us, we're off to beat a couple of bludgers.
Harry: Ah! Going to play some Quidditch?
Fred & George: Uh, no.
It's time for some spells... but the magic doesn't seem to be working! Are you concentrating?
By the time Horatio Sanz shows up as Hagrid, you just know this is one of the best SNL sketches ever! You're Hermione? Yikes!
Hagrid: Alright. I better go out to the woods and tame my dragon.
Harry: Ah! You got a new pet?
Hagrid: Uh, no.
Next week we've got Jennifer Aniston hosting before the Olson Twins do the season finale. SNL seems intent on going out with a bang this year.
People who attempted to record the last episode of Friends on TiVo got screwed. NBC shifted the timing of the show so that the final 5 minutes ran over the 9pm stop time, and that just sucks. I'd imagine that they did this intentionally so that they could sell more of the upcoming DVDs... but mostly they did it because they are assholes that have no problem with crapping all over the fans that have made this show and their network #1. I have a growing fear that this type of "anti-TiVo" terrorist tactics will become more and more popular with networks as time goes on. Perhaps network execs feel that people won't record shows on TiVo, but instead go back to watching TV "live" so they don't miss anything (thus unable to fast-forward past commercials and piss off advertisers).
There are several fatal flaws with this kind of dumbass thinking: 1) This same type of whining has already been done before... it was called the VCR. 2) Shows continue to have more and more advertising with less and less actual show, so it's no wonder people want to fast-forward through the crap in the first place. 3) Very few television programs are actually worth having to sit through advertising anyway. 4) Once you've had TiVo, you are never going to go back to the "old way" of watching television (at least I won't), so all these tricks to get people to stop recording are futile when all you're going to do is make people stop watching altogether. 5) The shift towards paid, advertising-free networks like HBO that have quality programming instead of an endless parade of lame reality shows will eventually bury networks in their own feces. 6) The real problem with network television is thinking that increasing the amount of advertising, tricking viewers with TiVos and VCRs, cutting production values, and not supporting new shows is a fair trade for paying TV stars millions of dollars... it isn't. I'll take a well-written, well-acted show with no big-name stars any day.
And how was the last episode of Friends?? Pretty uneventful. Everything turned out exactly like everybody thought it would and nothing really happened that made the episode necessary. The result being that this is the weakest episodes in the entire 10 years the program has been running... not the best way to end an era.
I am a big fan of Survivor despite the fact that I loathe "reality television." It's the most passive genre of TV entertainment, requiring no imagination or involvement by the viewer and very little creative energy (or monetary investment) on behalf of the networks. Maybe I've still got a soft spot for Survivor because it was the first reality show to catch on here in the States, and was unique at the time. Of course now there is an avalanche of crappy imitators and each new copy is worse than the last. I'm left hoping that this is the year the reality bubble will finally burst, and the entire fad will collapse on itself.
Unfortunatly, there's not much chance of that happening. People are getting lazier and lazier and want to think less and less, which means the popularity of these dumbass shows will undoubtedly continue to grow.
Back to Survivor All-Stars, everything pretty much ended exactly as I had predicted it would. Rob is a master manipulator, played the game better than anybody in recent memory, and deserved the win (sure Amber may have won the game, but make no mistake that it was Rob who was the big winner by getting cutie Amber and her million!). The proposal was the icing on the cake, but also not unexpected (it was just too corny to not have it happen!).
About the only thing I didn't expect was all the losers turning into a bunch of whiny bitches at the final tribal council. I mean, come on! You've all played the game before, you know this was going to happen... so why in the hell act so betrayed and shocked? Lex, Kathy, Alicia, and Big DUMB Tom (the lamest of the bunch) are all pathetic losers who don't deserve the million because they obviously don't know what it takes to win it. Shii-Ann and Jenna were the only ones that really "got it," which was a surprise.
Poor Jeff Probst. This is one of those jobs where there is no way to not come off looking like a complete tool... yet he somehow makes it work for him.
I'm beginning to hate hotels. I can't go to the restaurant because the season finale of Alias is on in just 15 minutes. So I'm off to find a vending machine for dinner. Unfortunately, the machine on my floor is broken. I decided to go to the lobby because the gift shop is open until 10, but they are closing an hour and 10 minutes early (change the damn sign idiots!). So I go up a floor, but there's no machine... I go up another floor to use that one and it too is out of order.
What the hell? Sure this is just a Holiday Inn, but it's a nice Holiday Inn. Things like this shouldn't happen. I shouldn't have to waste twenty minutes buying a snack. When I finally find a working machine on the 4th floor, I find pork rinds mixed among the over-priced goodies for sale. Who in the hell eats pork rinds any more? Who would want to?
So here I sit eating crap that's not pork rinds and watching Alias. As usual, the show kicks ass. It's only been running for 5 minutes and there is already more action happening than in an entire hour in other so-called "action" shows. Oh goody! Marshall just got shot! I hate Marshall! DIE MARSHALL, DIIIEEEEEEEEE!! Yeesh, the opening credits haven't even come up yet! This rocks!
Oooh... now Vaughn has caught up with his very naughty wife. You've been a very bad girl Lauren... I have a feeling this is not going to be pleasant. Yes! Beat her evil ass with the crowbar! Again! Again! DIE LAUREN, DIIIEEEEEEEEE!!
Bummer, Alias is over now. As usual, a terrific cliffhanger ending for the best show on television.
Sigh. I've read that ABC will not start the fourth season of Alias until JANUARY 2005! That sucks, but the good news is that they plan on airing 20 weekly episodes with no interruption. This will be a pleasant change from the way ABC keeps pre-empting the show this past season. And hey, anything is better than cancellation.
I have to get up at 5am for my first flight. Usually this wouldn't be a big deal because I only sleep from around midnight to around 5am anyway, but all this travel has messed-up my already messed-up sleep schedule. I've been sleeping from around 2am to 7am as of late, and so I can only imagine what an unpleasant day I have awaiting me. I should have just gotten it over with and bought the pork rinds.
An open letter to the inconsiderate dumbasses "partying down" on the 42nd floor of the Hilton Towers New York outside my hotel room at midnight last night: I realize that getting older must be a traumatic experience. I'm going to be there soon enough, and understand your pain... I really do. You are getting older, but don't want to be older, and so you compensate by acting like you are in a college frat house whenever you get away from home even though you are pushing 50.
That being said, there is no reason that I should have to suffer because of it. When you walk through the halls of the hotel screaming "WOOOOO HOOOOO!" and laughing hysterically at anything your drunk ass perceives as funny (which, apparently, is everything)... you don't look "young and cool" your look "old and stupid."
So next time you feel the urge to act like a daft prick and disturb the peace and serenity of those around you at obscene hours of the night... why not try acting your age instead? You are on the executive level of the Hilton on a Wednesday night, not a beach house in Ft. Lauderdale during Spring Break weekend.
In other news: My ride to Newark International this morning at 6am was sure interesting. My cab driver decided to cram his way into a toll lane after coming off the New Jersey Turnpike. Unfortunately, he did so right in front of a very impatient person and got broad-sided by a van. To make matters worse, the lane he fought so hard to enter was an EXPRESS-PASS lane and he didn't have one.
This is going to be an interesting day, I can just tell.
UPDATE: It turns out my day is not a total loss... Aint It Cool is reporting that Wonderfalls, one of the best television shows ever (that was stupidly cancelled after only a few episodes!), is being prepped for a DVD release by the end of the year!
The end to a very challenging weekend for me was made a little better with the Series 4 premiere of Coupling on BBC America. While not the most brilliant of episodes, it did wrap up in a clever way. I was worried knowing that Jeff wouldn't be back this time around... but his replacement, Oliver, seems like he may actually benefit the show. Seeing the group through the eyes of a newcomer might make things more interesting? Time will tell I guess.
In other news, I gear up for a fast this week (it's one of those things I try to do every 9 months or so, and I'm running late). While I never look forward to starving myself for days at a time, the benefits of fasting are pretty hard to ignore, so off I go.
I wish the sun weren't going down just yet... I sure would have liked a motorcycle ride in today.
In what can only be described as "a moment of brilliance," Comedy Central has hired British talk-show host Graham Norton to create a version of his program here in America. Of course, given our uptight nature about sexual innuendo and raunchy comedy, I have to wonder just how much latitude Graham will have... I dread the idea of us getting a watered-down show when the original was so damn funny.
It remains to be seen if Graham's rather elevated sense of humor will play well to the average dimwitted American television viewer that prefers their laughs spoon-fed to them, rather than actually having to think about something. I can only hope. But the big question that has to be on everybody's mind... will Graham bring DoggyPhone and Betty to New York with him?
All will be revealed tomorrow night on Comedy Central. Here's hoping that it doesn't suck!
I don't get Showtime, so I kind of missed out on an intriguing program called Dead Like Me. Since the first season was just released on DVD, a friend has been begging me to buy it, telling me that it's her favorite show. So I went ahead and got it, and she's right... it's pretty great. Which begs the question: Does series mastermind Bryan Fuller wake up and say "I am such a friggin' genius!" to himself in the mirror each morning? If I created something this brilliant, I know I would be.
The show centers around a girl named George who dies when a toilet seat from a Russian space station falls from orbit and vaporizes her in an explosion. Rather than continuing into the afterlife, George becomes a "Grim Reaper"... one of the legion of undead who collect the souls from the dead (or about to be dead) and escorts them into whatever awaits them in the great beyond. She's actually part of a team of "Reapers" who are directed by their leader "Rube" (deftly played by Mandy Patinkin).
It sounds odd, I know, but what makes the show really special is the black humor which permeates every scene. Sometimes touching, other times funny, but always interesting and smartly written, It's kind of a look at life from a not-quite-living perspective.
Might be worth checking out at the video store if they have it. The opening credits showing Grim Reapers in black hooded robes with scythes doing everyday normal things like going to work, doing laundry, and playing basketball is reason enough.
Betty White has been nominated in the "Best Guest Appearance in a Drama" category for her role of nasty Catherine Piper on The Practice. Obviously, I think she deserves to win, but she's in competition with Marlee Matlin (who actually was pretty good on Law & Order: SVU) and Sharon Stone (also guesting on The Practice, but nowhere close to Betty's performance) so her odds are probably not that great. For those unfamiliar with my Betty White psychosis...
Yes, I will say it again: Betty White kicks ass. After Elizabeth Hurley, she's about the only big Hollywood star I have any interest in meeting.
By far the most inspiring Olympic event I've witnessed so far was the Women's Marathon Run. Averaging a 5 minutes 35 second mile in up to 100-degree heat, Mizuki Noguchi of Japan brought home the gold after a grueling 26 miles. In addition to the difficult conditions, she also had the added pressure of following up the previous Japanese win from Sydney 2000. You kind of get a sense that near the end there, the poor gal was running on empty... but the minute she entered the stadium for that final lap and realized she was going to get the gold and started waving to the crowd... well, moments like that are what makes the Olympics worth watching (photo taken from Athens2004.com, which will probably merit me all kinds of nasty threats from the IOC because they just don't appreciate free promotion for their site!)...
The drama escalated earlier in the race as British world champion Paula Radcliffe dropped out in tears. Whether it was the heat or emotional pressure did her in, it's hard to tell. In any event, it was a heart-wrenching moment that all of Great Britain must have felt.
Another inspiring moment was American Deena Kastor as she worked her way from 18th place, picking off the competition one by one to win the bronze. Where she found it within herself to keep progressing like that I have no idea. When they talk about triumph of the human spirit, stuff like this must be exactly what they mean.
All I know is that I could barely run a mile, let alone 26, in 100-degree heat (well, okay, I would have a hard time running a mile in sublime temperatures with a light breeze... I'm kind of a weenie that way).
I woke up to find that I have no Internet. What am I supposed to do now? What's going on in the world? I suppose that I shouldn't complain... in the four years I've had DSL this is only the second time it's gone down. But it does mess up my daily routine in a way that I'm not quite ready for. I wonder what's on television this morning?
Gah! I should have never looked! Morning television is crap! You know this is true when the most interesting thing on in the 100 channels I receive is Little House on the Prairie.
And speaking of Little House, what in the heck happened to that show? I was never a big fan... boring people in a boring place doing boring things in a boring time just doesn't appeal to me (Oh no! Laura lied to Ma and Pa! The humanity!). This morning I find out that things on the Prairie certainly have changed since I last bothered to watch all those years ago. Laura got married, her sister Mary is blind and married and running a school for blind children, somehow they have a brother named Albert (I thought they had a younger sister named Carrie?), and Nellie is married and no longer a bitch.
There were two episodes back-to-back, but there were from different seasons of the show which was confusing. I flicked back-and forth through the first episode, but watched the second. How could I not? Pa is living in the city(!) and his son(?) Albert is in a gang and addicted to morphine? Cool! It's like a really, really clean version of Trainspotting or something!
I've never been so relieved to go to work in my entire life. I hope my DSL is fixed tomorrow morning.
James Doohan got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Finally, after all these years, the genius that is "Scotty" is recognized. Now that I really stop and think about it, he is probably my favorite Star Trek character. Nothing is quite so cool as when Scotty starts to lose it in the engine room! He is also responsible for my favorite post-original series moments... particularly the guest appearance he had on Next Generation and his work in Star Trek IV ("Computer? Hello computer!").
I wish him nothing but the best...
Photos by Jason DeFillippo from the induction ceremony can be found on Blogging.LA. It looks like some other Star Trek faces showed up including Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, and Grace Lee Whitney? That's pretty swell of them. Is there a transcript of the speeches floating around the Internet? I'd love to read what everybody said.
While working at home, I usually have VH1-Classic running in the background so I can listen to all that old 80's music I just can't seem to leave behind. Most of the time, I barely realize it's there, unless some song catches my attention that I need to buy from the iTunes Music Store. Well, if it is available from the iTunes Music Store! All too often I find that an artist I want is plagued by having only "partial albums" for sale. Then I have to decide whether I want the music bad enough to buy it on CD, or just forget it.
Usually I just forget it.
Anyway, I really took notice when a commercial for a new season of Bands Reunited came up. Woo hoo! I've blogged about this excellent show a few times before, and have been looking forward to this. Here's the line-up this time around:
Only five episodes? Bummer. I hope they're good ones.
Flying home from Seoul was made interesting by a layover in Anchorage, which seems like kind of a bizarre destination for Korean Air to fly (Alaska?). The 7-1/2 hour flight was made bearable because I had the newly released Batman: The Animated Series Volume One on DVD. What's amazing is that the 28 episodes in this set are superior to any other rendition of Batman I've seen. Better than the crappy Adam West TV show. Better than many of the comic books. Certainly better than any of the movies (yes, even the Tim Burton ones).
The quality of the stories are top-notch, deftly blending action and drama in a way rarely seen in "American" animation. Even better, the writers are respectful to the source material and aren't afraid to build stories across several episodes (Harvey Dent is introduced five episodes before Two Face is born, for instance). Even one-note characters like "Mr. Freeze" in the comics are fully realized in episodes like the brilliant "Heart of Ice," which strikes a tragic note while not being too heavy-handed.
As if it weren't enough that the show is well written, it's also beautiful to look at thanks to the obvious influence of the Max Fleischer Superman cartoons from 1941. The colors are suitably dark and moody, enhancing the stories with a kind of "retro-futuristic" look that suits the Batman mythos perfectly. Characters are well-drawn and animated, with featured players lovingly crafted. I dare say that Poison Ivy is actually sexier in the cartoon than Uma Thurman's scary take on the character in the embarrassing Joel Schumacher directed Batman and Robin movie.
Voice talent is perfectly cast, with Kevin Conroy (Rusty Wallace from the excellent Tour of Duty series) providing an appropriately heroic tone for Batman/Bruce Wayne. Guest stars include Michael Ansara (Mr. Freeze), Adrienne Barbeau (Catwoman), Roddy McDowall (Mad Hatter), Ron Perlman (Clayface), and many others... with the obvious highlight provided by Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, as The Joker (who knew?).
Because the show was produced using traditional hand-painted cells that are overlaid and photographed with a film camera, there is a lot of dust "pops" and specs running through the picture. It's a shame they couldn't have cleaned up these imperfections in a computer somehow, because it can be distracting at times. Petty bitching aside, this is a purchase no animation aficionado or Batman fan should pass up. I can only hope that a second volume is on the way, along with other Warner Bros. super-hero cartoons like Superman, Batman Beyond and Justice League. Boxed sets are definitely the way to go with animated series.
Security: The big news in travel this week is the impending "update" to airport security, which allows TSA screeners to more thoroughly pat-down people with suspicious bulges in their clothing. To alleviate fears about possible misconduct, the TSA assures passengers that any pat-downs will be performed by screeners of the same sex. That's terrific, because having the "suspicious bulge" in my crotch patted down by another guy while the entire airport watches makes me feel so much safer about flying.
20/20: Lucky us! Barbara Walters has an exclusive interview with child-raping piece of shit Mary Kay LeTourneau this Friday on 20/20! I hope I can overcome my compulsion to watch. Can somebody remind me again why it is that she isn't still in jail?
Incredible: Yet another trailer for The Incredibles is out. I can't possibly express how badly I want to see this film, which looks like it just might be the best thing Pixar's done yet. Having Samuel L. Jackson as a super-hero doesn't hurt, but having Brad Bird (of Iron Giant fame) writing and directing is the movie's biggest asset.
Stonebridge: The number of blog visitors I am getting because of the ass-hats at Stonebridge Life Insurance continues to grow. It would seem these idiots are still harassing people with their never-ending telemarketing calls. Tired of the constant hang-ups, victims are entering the phone number from Caller-ID into Google and getting my blog entries bitching about it here and here. Pathetic. At what point is the FCC going to step in and bitch-slap Stonebridge Life for this abuse?
Miami: The ads for the season opener of CSI: Miami are saying that "one won't survive." Is it too much to hope that David Caruso's character is the one to die? I would actually watch the show if he weren't on it because I like Emily Proctor. Why not put her in charge?
Emmy: For the most part, I think the Emmys completely suck. Rarely does the person or series most deserving of the honor ever win... heck, most of the time they aren't even nominated. Where is Wonderfalls? Dead Like Me? Angel? And sure Scrubs was nominated for best writing (and lost) but it deserved so much more, because it is easily the funniest sitcom running right now. And don't even get me started about Sharon Stone winning over Betty White for best guest appearance. Still, a few nice things happened: Drea de Matteo, The Daily Show, and James Spader all deserved those wins.
I've been pleasantly surprised with the terrific new television programs showing up this season. So much so, that they're starting to back up on my TiVo. The latest David E. Kelley lawyer drama Boston Legal is deliciously good, with James Spader and William Shatner turning in jaw-droppingly good performances. Desperate Housewives shows promise. Lost is as brilliant as I had hoped it would be. Veronica Mars is far better than we deserve. And C.S.I. New York has redeemed the crappy Miami imitation with a darkly different take on the original.
Compare these five (six if Life as We Know It lives up to the buzz) to how many series from last season I am still watching: just two. Arrested Development and Joan of Arcadia... and if Joan gets any more whiney, I'll be down to one.
Now if I only had time to watch all of them.
Shock: Will somebody please tell Pizza Hut that having Miss Piggy sell pizza topped with Canadian Bacon is just wrong?
Disbelief: Why in the heck does CSI Miami (with dumb-ass David Caruso) get a new guy that's incredibly competent while over at the real CSI (with cool-ass William Petersen) they've turned the once-competent Greg into a bumbling moron? I know that Greg has always been a bit awkward socially but, when it came to the job, he was always brilliant... now they move him out to the field and he's suddenly stupid? Why?
Anticipation: It's the Boston Red Sox vs. the New York Yankees. Again! Boston hasn't won a series since 1918... is it too much to hope that this will be their year even though they went insane and traded away Nomar?
Disgust: Political ads have always been pretty nauseating, but the recent crop of television ads are just horrendous. In my home state of Washington, incumbent Senator Patty Murray is in a fierce ad-battle with candidate George Nethercutt, and they both end up looking like complete asses. Nethercutt is a total bastard that's using 9/11 as a battering ram to scare people into not voting for her... Murray is a total bitch that's using public health as a wedge to manipulate people into not voting for him. Stop attacking each other and attack the issues you dumbasses.
Hilarity: Yet another amazing presidential debate parody on Saturday Night Live. How do they do it?
Horror: I'm out of bread. How am I supposed to make toast now??
Mars: I know I should stop being amazed at how wonderful the new television show Veronica Mars is, but I just can't help myself. Every episode is better than the last (much like Boston Legal and Lost). The October 12 episode had a twist near the end that completely caught me off guard, and that almost never happens! I am thankful that the show is on UPN, because ABC would have probably cancelled it by now.
Repeat: The only down-side of watching Veronica Mars is that the theme song is the infectious We Used to Be Friends by Dandy Warhols. Now I can't get it out of my head and, by the time I finally do manage to forget about it, a new episode of Veronica Mars is on again.
UFO: I don't know if I believe in alien abductions or not, but it would sure explain a great many things. Nobody can have as bizarre a life as mine without alien abduction in there somewhere.
Clarification: And when I say that, I mean aliens abducting me... not me abducting the aliens. Though that too would explain a great deal.
Cellular: When I renewed my contract with Verizon wireless, they completely screwed up my billing. Every month I get an outrageous bill with insane charges. Every month I call Verizon to get it straightened out. Every month Verizon throws meaningless numbers at me in an attempt to "explain" their unexplainable mess. Every month I beg them to just give me a pay-off amount so that I can bring my account current and be done with it. Every month I disagree with the charges, but relent and pay anyway so they will just leave me alone. Every month I send in the money they ask for, and it makes no difference. Every month my bill arrives with a mystery "past due amount" that makes no sense. Every month I waste time and energy with Verizon that could be spent doing something else.
Work: I have four days in which to complete two weeks worth of work. I guess that means I have four 20-hour work days ahead of me. It's not the first time but, honestly now, I'm getting entirely too old for this crap.
Doggy: Neil has a calculator so you can find out how old you are in dog years. Apparently I'm 270 years old. See, I told you I'm too old for this crap.
The blogosphere (if not the entire Internet) is abuzz with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart's brilliant appearance on Crossfire, and with good reason: he spanks host Tucker Carlson on air... hard! For those who have never heard of it, Crossfire is a political show whereas a guest is invited to sit between a Left-Wing guy (in this case, Paul Begala) and a Right-Wing guy (the afore-mentioned Tucker Carlson) while the two of them battle it out over political and social issues. The guest is trapped in the crossfire of the two hosts, hence the name of the show.
Basically, Stewart sat down and was instantly on the attack, bitch-slapping the show for "hurting America" and calling Tucker Carlson a dick. And he's right. On both counts. And that's the reason his appearance is so noteworthy, Jon Stewart actually had the balls to say what so many haven't: shows like Crossfire and Hardball are not debate shows at all, they're two-dimensional puppet shows by partisan hacks that services their respective party agendas and nothing more. Debate actually explores the issues at hand with intelligent conversation. Crossfire doesn't really explore anything at all... it's Left vs. Right tearing into each other in black and white terms for nothing more than entertainment value. Since issues can so rarely be boiled down to black and white, it's a war that nobody (including viewers) can win.
It must be pretty good to be Jon Stewart just now. As if it isn't enough that he is championing true political discourse in the media, his show recently won two Emmys for the second year in a row, and his book America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction just hit #1 on the best-seller list...
The book is a parody of the past, present, and future of politics in America and well worth a look, so be sure to check it out at your local library or go ahead buy a copy so you can treasure it for the decades to come (Barnes & Nobel had the best picture for me to steal, so here's their link). I've also noticed that the Crossfire appearance is hitting the web in video, and it's worth tracking down.
One of the pitfalls of being a television junkie is the risk of getting attached to a show that gets mindlessly cancelled. It happens far more often than it should because networks are just too trigger-happy when it comes to showing their viewers a little gratitude and respect. One such casualty of the television landscape was Farscape on the Sci-Fi Channel. This time it was especially gutting because the show's writers were told that the series had been renewed for another season, but then the order was rescinded at the last moment which left us with a heinous cliffhanger.
In an effort to appease the thousands of outraged fans (like myself) who cried out for blood when Farscape was cancelled, Sci-Fi graciously ordered up a four-hour mini-series to tie up all the loose ends. The result is Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars.
Overall, I have to say I enjoyed the show very much. The pace was recklessly fast... bringing about death, destruction, and a fairly satisfying conclusion to the story. For that much, I have to thank Brian Henson, David Kemper, and the entire cast and crew of Farscape. It's been a great ride, and I can only hope that we get to visit their little corner of the universe again one day.
I've returned from vacation and was looking forward to getting caught up with work, watching all the shows stacked up on my TiVo, and relaxing a bit. Alas, it was not meant to be. I've got a quick trip to Chicago ahead of me instead. Oh well.
TiVolution: I did manage to watch a few new shows that I am obsessed with. Namely, Veronica Mars, Lost, Scrubs, and Boston Legal. Seven hours of brilliant entertainment (2 episodes each) that have restored my faith in television. Every week Lost tells the background of a major character (in flashbacks) that explain how they got to where they are now, and I am captivated. Though I have to admit being a little nervous about what will happen when they've run out of characters to explore. Since only 48 47 people survived, what happens afterwards? Knowing J.J. Abrams, something spectacular.
Hope: Dare I get my hopes up again, only to have George Lucas dash them to pieces? The trailer for Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith is all over the Internet and looks fantastic. Hearing James Earl Jones' voice as Darth Vader again after all these years is chilling. All that and Wookies too!!
Weight: The government has just released a study that reveals that the increase in average weight by 10 pounds of Americans in the 1990's has caused airlines to burn 350 million more gallons of fuel at a cost increase of $275 million in the year 2000 alone. But that's not the real problem... despite the fact that 65% of Americans are now classified as obese, airlines continue to pack seats closer and closer together. Planes that used to have 5 seats across now have 6. Planes that used to have 38 rows now have 42. If you are over 5'6" tall (I'm 6'2") then flying coach is absurdly uncomfortable no matter how much you weigh. If you're obese, you can diet. There's nothing I can do to make myself shorter.
Belated: Boston Red Sox World Series Champions. At last.
Treason: I received a surprisingly literate (but no less disturbing) email labeling my blog as "treason" because I don't support the president "who won fair and square." This is odd because at no point have I ever said that I "don't support the president." As an American, I'm pretty much obligated to respect the office of the president and support our country. For the record, what I don't support is the notion that Americans (or the world, for that matter) should not disagree with the president or question his actions. This is the very foundation on which the country was founded, and to imply otherwise is what I consider to be treasonous.
Foxy: Firefox release candidate 2 has been released for MacOS X. I find myself using it and Safari almost equally now.
Trash: If you've read my blog for any length of time, you already know I loathe Cnet. What I don't understand is why everybody doesn't loathe Cnet. Their anti-Apple rhetoric, anonymous editorial policy, and biased "journalism" makes them a source of "news" that should be wiped from the face of the internet. Just look at this URL to one of their stories at news.com:
Uhhh... "iPods are the tools of the devil" ?!? Even their URLs are biased. Worthless Cnet asshats.
Waahhh: I don't want to go to work today. Given the 3-hour time difference plus this antiquated daylight savings nonsense I am working on, the day seems half over even though it hasn't even began. Oh well, at least I get to leave early so I can pack my suitcase and head out again. Maybe gaining 2 hours in Chicago this weekend will fix me up?
I've been running through the episodes on my newly acquired The O.C. - The Complete First Season DVD set and am, for reasons unknown, not completely embarrassed to admit it. Sure it's the kind of teen angst that I ordinarily loathe, but it's also so smartly written and has such high entertainment value that there's no way I can bring myself to stop watching. It's like soap opera that's been perfected to some kind of art form.
Basically, it's the classic "fish out of water" tale that shows what happens when a kid from the wrong side of the tracks (Ryan) is tossed into the bizarre world of the uber-wealthy in Orange County, California. There he is adopted by the Cohen family and meet's their son (Seth) who is the ultimate comic-book reading geek/outsider that I can relate to so very well. How their worlds collide and then overlap should be boring melodrama that has been seen a billion times before but, in reality, is surprisingly fresh and captivating.
It doesn't hurt that Seth has some of the most amusing dialogue on television.
Now that the second season is airing on FOX, it would seem that Seth and Ryan are trading places. Seth is quickly becoming the bad boy in the family, while Ryan is trying to get his life together. Who knows where that will lead, but I'll be watching.
Okay, I'm a little embarrassed about that.
I tuned into Jeopardy to see if minor trivia deity Ken Jennings was still dominating any mere mortals that dare to compete against him. Unfortunately, regular episodes of Jeopardy have been suspended in order to run two weeks of Collegiate Jeopardy competition. With nothing better to do until The O.C. came on, I decided to watch. The ultimate winner of the game, a guy from Carnegie Mellon University named "Kermin" (who is a computer science major), was so far ahead that he made a clever Final Jeopardy wager of $1337. For anybody familiar with hacker-speak, this was pretty cool.
And what kind of nifty name is "Kermin?" Kind of like Kermit and Herman all smashed together, but not.
I've been a bit under the weather lately, which has involved my working at home from time to time. Since I live in an apartment complex, I usually like to work with some background noise playing to mask the distractions caused by the other people living here. Usually, it's a DVD of some television show or an old movie that I've seen before (if it were new, I'd want to watch instead of work).
Since they just released the third season of The West Wing, I decided I would start watching the entire series from the beginning. It's an excellent show, especially the earlier seasons, and I was interested to know how they would run when viewed back to back to back. The dialogue is so dense, that I was guessing it would be exhausting.
But it's not exhausting, it's exhilarating. Except for just one thing... one thing that has driven me bat-ass crazy nuts from the very first episode... I loathe the character of "Toby Zeigler."
I don't know if it's how the character is written, or (more likely) how actor Richard Schiff portrays him, but I loathe him. From his very first scene in the very first episode where he's a total prick arguing with a flight attendant, to every other scene he's ever appeared in... I loathe him. He's an arrogant, obnoxious, irritating asshole that disrupts the "flow" of the show, and I wish there was a special feature on the DVDs that would allow you to view a version of each episode that's Toby-free. Something tells me it would be much better that way.
White: Snow has finally come, and this time it looks like it may stick around for a while. Hopefully at least long enough that we don't have a drought next summer. It seems that we get less and less snow every year, and it comes later and later. When I was a kid, the snow was so deep here we could tunnel under it. When my mom was young, it was so deep here they could jump off the roof into it. Now we're lucky to get 12 inches. Yes, global warming must be a myth.
Filibuster: I just passed episode 2.17 - The Stackhouse Filibuster - in my continuing marathon of West Wing episodes. I think this is my favorite so far. I don't remember seeing it when it was originally broadcast, so it was an even bigger treat. The look on the senator's face when he was near exhaustion and was asked to yield the floor for a question... well, it was television magic.
Henley: You can't buy any Don Henley on the iTunes Music Store! I find it kind of strange, however, that you can buy a huge chunk of the Eagles' stuff there. What's up with that? Even worse, two of the Eagles collections are dreaded "partial albums" and it gets stranger when you see how they've screwed up The Very Best of the Eagles... they chopped three songs out of "disc 2" (The Long Run, In The City, and Those Shoes) and then smooshed everything else together into two 15-track "discs" so it's impossible for a customer to figure out which tracks they will be missing if they purchase it (unless they are already familiar with the album, as I am). Now, I don't blame Apple, because they don't create the content... that's done by the record companies. But whoever is responsible needs to know that proper track numbering is important to maintain (especially when they've decided to not upload the entire album).
Memory: Earlier today I forgot which Metro station was the stop to visit Notre Dame in Paris. And I really hate it when I forget simple things like that. All I knew was that it started with a "C" and was probably something like "Citrus" or "Citron" or something. To Google it would be cheating, so I decided to forget about it and it would come to me. But it didn't. And so just now I decided to bite the bullet, only to find out that the answer was the "Cité" Metro stop. Argh.
Anybody who has read this blog for any length of time knows how much I love Betty White. Fortunately for the world at large, Betty shows no sign of slowing down and is making frequent guest appearances on various shows.
This past Friday, Betty was her usual brilliant self on a total crap show that I never watch called Complete Savages (directed by Mel Gibson, of all people... yes, the Mel Gibson). Of course, she totally owned. This time she played a horrible old lady with one leg who lives next door to the Savage family. Leave it to Betty to elevate an unwatchable show to watchability.
Adding to my Betty high, DVD Talk has posted a short (but no less terrific) interview with her on the release of the first season of Golden Girls on DVD, which you can read here.
Here's some previous Bettylicious posting on Blogography...
We need more Betty.
I had the afternoon off so I decided to catch up with my sleep, catch up with my laundry, and catch up with dozens of little things I've been putting off... like updating the layout for my blog. Nothing drastic, mind you, just a few changes to separate the content a little better. It's always bugged me that everything here isn't really contained, but floating all over the place. I also wanted a new header that could have swappable graphics (this time with cartoons!).
And then, fifteen minutes later, I've got it roughed out (thanks to the glory of CSS). Naturally, it looks fine in Safari and Firefox on my Mac (it usually does) but, the problem is always, always getting it to render properly in that bug-ridden pile of crap known as "Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer." It never fails... it takes just fifteen minutes to get what I want, and then I'll end up spending hours trying to make it work in Windows. Well, it's late, and I just don't have the heart to see how bad it looks in IE, so I guess that will have to wait until the weekend.
And, speaking of catching up, I also managed to watch yet another amazing episode of Veronica Mars from last night ("Annoy tiny blonde one! Annoy like the wind!!"). This show is simply too good for television. Seriously, broadcast television doesn't deserve a show this perfect. Veronica Mars is deliciously complex, cleverly written, brilliantly acted, and shockingly addictive. I think it just might be my favorite show currently on television...
I can't imagine how they are going to manage to keep the intricate web of character relationships going for the entire season but, since Rob Thomas (of "Cupid" fame) is involved, I suppose I needn't worry about it. All I can do now is curse myself for not having saved every episode on my TiVo, and then wait patiently for new episodes to air next year.
Well crap! Showtime has cancelled Dead Like Me, which is easily one of the more inventive shows on television. I guess that means I can dump the channel, since the only reason I bought it in the first place was to watch this one show. It really pisses me off that they don't at least allow the creators of the show to wrap up all the loose ends, and Dead Like Me had more than most. It must really suck to be Bryan Fuller. This is the second utterly brilliant show of his to be cancelled (the other being the amazing Wonderfalls). I wonder if he'll just give up trying to create intelligent, thought-provoking shows and start creating crappy reality shows like everybody else.
In movie news, there's finally a trailer up for the adaptation of Frank Miller's Sin City... and does it ever look delicious! It would seem that they went for a literal adaptation of the comic's visual style, and I'm quite happy about that. Almost as happy as I am about the sweet hoteness that Miller & Rodriguez have lined up for the female cast (including a disturbingly sexy Alexis Bledel... Rory from Gilmore Girls is hot?!? Who knew?). Yowza! Sin City indeed...
Oh yeah, they've got some other guys in it you might have heard of before... Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Michael Madsen, Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro, and Elijah Wood. My gut tells me the film will be fabulous, but I can't help but be pessimistic about the film's chance at commercial success.
It really is too bad that the American population at large is so stupid when it comes to entertainment. It really would be nice to have decent shows on television and movies in our theaters.
I'm truly sorry, but I feel I must get serious for a moment because I have something serious to tell you. It is news that may surprise you, scare you, and shock you to the very core of your being. It may even cause you to question your faith in a higher power, or deny the fragile reality of our existence in this universe. There is something horrible going on. And, even though you may be blissfully ignorant of it as I was, it has been going on for some time now... eating at the very fabric of our society.
I am telling you this as a warning. If you would rather not be made aware of this heinous truth... if you would rather deny the sad inevitability of the horrors I would say to you... then do not scroll down this page!! Turn away now. Go no further. Leave this place of tragedy and ill omen! Just look at the picture of a cute kitten and abandon this blog thinking happy thoughts. Do not read past the kitten unless you are ready to be forever changed...
Are you still here? Are you sure you want to be here?
Okay then, here it is...
Tony Danza has a talk show.
I know. I know. I could not believe it either. My TiVo has this wonderful feature that let's you punch in a keyword and have it then record all television programs which contain that keyword in either the title or show description. One of the keyword sets on my list is "Teri Hatcher." Ever since rediscovering her sweet hotness on Desperate Housewives I've kind of had a thing for Ms. Hatcher's fine self and want to see more than what I can get Sunday nights from 9:00-10:00pm. Can you blame me?
Oooh... got kind of a Teri "fire and ice" thing going on there! Anyway, this morning as I was leaving for work, I noticed that TiVo was recording something. Curious to know what it might be, I turned on my television and there he was... Tony Danza with his own talk show.
You read that right... somebody is actually paying Tony Danza for intelligent conversation and witty banter. At first I was in denial. It couldn't be true. It must be some kind of horrible, horrible holiday prank. But oh no, a quick trip to The Futon Critic, and I see that the show is very real and has been since September. The Tony Danza Show is a frightening actual television program.
At first I clung to the hope that the idiotic characters he plays in shows like Taxi and Who's the Boss? was some kind of elaborate acting job. Surely to get his own talk show he must be a brilliant man with a savy intelligence and witty repertoire? So I washed the blood from my eyes caused by my brain starting to explode and proceeded to watch. But hope springs eternal, and Danza is just as unconvincing hosting an interview as he ever was as an actor. Even the delicious Teri Hatcher could not save him, and that's saying a lot. It's worse than you can possibly imagine... so much worse.
Oh well. I'm sure he's laughing himself to the bank... making more money an hour than I make in a year. I just continue to be dumbfounded that good shows Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls keep getting cancelled so we can put shit like Tony Danza on the air. WTF?!?
Lately I find myself purchasing more DVDs of television shows than actual movies. I'm not sure why, unless it's because I am so desperate to watch good television that I'm having to go back in time to do it. Let's face it, when the most hyped program airing tonight is Who's Your Daddy (a reprehensible show that asks a woman to pick a father she's never known out of a group of potential daddies for big money) what other choice does a television junkie have? Here's what I've been watching lately...
Roswell: The Complete First Season. What is so shocking about this show is not how well written and acted it is, but that it ever managed to survive on television for three full seasons. Something this well done is usually lucky to last three episodes. Roswell is about a trio of young aliens trying to figure out who they really are and where they come from, all while trying to stay hidden from local law enforcement and FBI alien hunters in Roswell, New Mexico (home of the alleged UFO crash of 1947). Sure it sounds tacky, but the electric chemistry between the two leads (brooding alien Max played by Jason Behr, and his cute human love interest Liz played by Shiri Appleby) makes for compelling television. Season One was so good that I was compelled to immediately order up Season Two so I can keep watching. Highly recommended...
Tour of Duty: The Complete Second Season. I loathe most all war movies and war programs of any kind, because I think glamorizing something as tragic as war is pretty lame entertainment. But Tour of Duty was different and went as far as possible to depict the horrors of war within the guidelines of what television would allow. Despite the subject matter, the characters seemed more real... more human... than most any TV drama I've seen, which is why I think I enjoyed it so much. The first season started with new recruits being shipped off to Vietnam, unprepared for what they would find there. The second season continues the story of those characters who managed to survive, but suffers a bit with the addition of love interests for the primary leads of Goldman and Anderson. While the second season is inferior to the first (the move from Hawaii to L.A. for filming didn't help), it still comes highly recommended.
The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season. When I travel, there is always a few Simpsons DVDs in my bag because they are a guaranteed dose of funny when the perils of travel wear me down. Some consider Season Five to be the height of Simpson-y goodness that eventuated a gradual slide in quality with the following seasons, but I couldn't disagree more... I find The Simpsons just as entertaining and relevant today in Season Sixteen than it's ever been. That being said, Season Five is pretty amazing, and my only complaint is that they are not releasing the DVDs fast enough. Highly recommended.
Law & Order, Criminal Intent: The Third Year. Probably my favorite of the Law & Order franchise thanks to the brilliant chemistry between Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, the tales from the files of "New York's worst criminal offenders" are wonderfully brought to life thanks to clever writing and even more clever acting... this is the role D'Onofrio was born the play. While the content is top-notch, I am a little pissed that they've skipped over "The Second Year" and more than a little pissed that they've changed the look of the packaging from "The First Year." I hate, hate it when they change the packaging between seasons. Still, if police drama is your thing, you can't do much better than this... highly recommended.
Next on my list is Tru Calling: a good show that ended up being a great show by the end of the season, which is a real pity since it's been cancelled.
Anybody who knows me even a little bit is aware of my unrequited love for good television. Unlike the movies, TV shows allow you to form an ongoing relationship with characters in a way that cinema can't match. Most television is pretty bad, but a few shows elevate the medium to dizzying entertainment heights. That being understood, how amazing was Alias last night? The series kind of lost its way last year, but creator J.J. Abrams had promised to restore the show to past glory this season, so excitement was mounting. Could he manage such a feat?
Apparently he could, and did so 20 minutes into the first episode.
How is it possible for somebody to be so astoundingly talented? In just twenty minutes Abrams brilliantly turned the dynamic of the show around 180 degrees, returning us to all the things that made Alias so much bloody fun to watch. Every character has been taken back to their roots, including series lead Jennifer Garner's "Sydney Bristow"...
And if that wasn't enough, Mia Maestro has joined the cast as Jen's super-spy sister, so now we've got two hotties kicking ass on the show. Still not enough? Angela Basset has joined up as well.
Un-freakin-believable. Espionage never looked so good.
Today I was planning on going into work, but an impatient truck driver decided to run through a train crossing and get creamed by a freight train, thus closing the street I use to get to the office. Sure I could have taken an alternative route, but I instead decided to take it as a sign that the work gods didn't want me on the job this morning, and stay home today. I'm not a big believer in signs, but sometimes I choose to selectively interpret things in such a way as to benefit me and call it a sign. I'm a bit psychotic that way.
Anyway, I did manage to get some work done at home, but then turned my attention to my extensive videotape collection, or at least the third of it I managed to drag out of my closet...
I have hundreds of 8mm tapes filled with television shows I collected throughout the 90's. Some good, some bad, but all preserved in sub-standard quality from a crappy cable connection I was cursed with at the time. Such is my love for television.
But here's the deal: Many of these shows are out on DVD now. In fact, a good half are on DVD and I've got them. Dozens of the remainder are due out on DVD this year, and I'll be getting them as well. Dozens still I have no idea why I taped in the first place (The Single Guy?!?). This means that I've got several shelves stacked with useless tapes I'm never going to use. I guess it's time to throw most of them away, then record what few shows remain on DVD until they're finally released for sale...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Good sci-fi is hard to find on television. In fact, since Farscape was cancelled, it's darn-near impossible. Even Farscape (which I enjoyed immensely) paled when held to the gold standard of sci-fi TV: Star Trek (that would be the original series, not any of the crappy imitators that followed). It's for this reason that I was pleasantly surprised when I gave the new Battlestar Galactica a chance and it paid off. This is especially bizarre when you consider how cheesy and badly-acted the original version was.
Airing on the Sci-Fi Channel, Galactica runs opposite the latest Star Trek franchise: Enterprise. I had TiVo record them both in order to directly compare the two, and it's not pretty. Where Enterprise is slow, plodding, and pointless... Galactica is edgy, quick, and darkly satisfying. Where Enterprise has characters that are shallow, tired, and predictable... Galactica has characters that are multifaceted, fresh, and conflicted. Where Enterprise has beautiful special effects that are pretty to look at, but boring and historically sparse (remember Odo the non-shape-changing shape-changer?)... Galactica has cutting-edge special effects that are raw, exciting, and everywhere (the new Cylons are no longer laughable men-in-suits, but CGI badasses). Enterprise is the prequel to a documented future... Galactica is forging ahead into a completely unknown future.
How sad. The once brilliant Star Trek has fallen to new levels of lameness with Enterprise. The once embarrassing Battlestar Galactica has risen to jaw-dropping dramatic heights. Oh well, at least there is finally some decent sci-fi on television again.
This afternoon I noticed the pause button on my TiVo remote is the exact same color as Tillamook Sharp Cheddar. There's something profound with this connection between television and cheese, but it's escaping me just this moment. Probably has something to do with the abundance of incredibly stupid reality programs crowding up the channel spectrum (though it's really unfair to cheese to make such a comparison).
Let's face it... as good as Betty White is, she just can't single-handedly combat such an overwhelming load of crap TV with only a few appearances on Complete Savages and Boston Legal (though last night's 60 second appearance there was fantastic).
I am to the point right now where I quite honestly don't know what to make of American society. We've become a nation of hypocrisy that defies all logic to understand, but so long as it's labeled "conservatism" everybody seems to be onboard with it. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but it's become so annoying that what I really want to do is beat the crap out of somebody.
(Then submit a video of said beating to America's Funniest Home Videos so I can win $10,000).
Today's rant brought to you by your friends at the FCC, this country's first and last defense of common decency!
The Federal Communications Commission was founded in 1934 to regulate communications via radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. Unfortunately, the same prude bitches that formed the committee in 1934 are apparently still in charge. So let's see... assuming the average age of its membership back in the beginning was 35, that would make them 106-years-old today.
And there you have it! That explains everything! The most popular show on television is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation which regularly features graphic depictions of gore and violence. The most popular new show on television is Desperate Housewives which regularly features graphic depictions of sex, sexual innuendo, and sex. Yet the FCC has no problem at all with such programming. What they do have a problem with is a nipple on a breast flashed on the screen for 5 seconds (FINED!). They don't have a problem with Oprah discussing oral anal sex, but they do have a problem with Howard Stern discussing the same subject (FINED!). It's random bullshit that even a genius couldn't figure out (I should know... I am a genius, and I sure can't).
To me, this is compelling evidence that the FCC is indeed staffed by 106-year-old geriatric, senile, ass-clowns just as I suspected! They don't know what they hell they're doing because they've lost all cognitive ability. Their brains simply don't work anymore. The lights are on, but nobody is home. And because of this, television networks live in fear.
Case in point: Showing a cartoon with a naked ass in 1965: ACCEPTABLE. Showing a cartoon with a naked ass in 2003: ACCEPTABLE. Showing a cartoon with a naked ass in 2005: WHO THE f#@% KNOWS! And that's why FOX television decided to blur out the cartoon ass on a cartoon character in a cartoon show (the brilliant Family Guy) in a recent cartoon airing. A CARTOON! They have no idea if such a thing will get them fined, so they're having to play it safe so that an organization who controls what we are allowed to watch won't punish them.
And that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. f#@% the FCC for being outrageously inconsistent and generally STUPID. f#@% FOX Television for being such pu$$ies. f#@% EVERYBODY ELSE for allowing stupid shit like this to happen in the first place. What's next? The internet is communication and under FCC jurisdiction... so will the dumbasses decide that web content needs to be regulated? Well, better safe than sorry! From now on, all nude cartoon representations of myself will be appropriately censored...
And, as another public service for conservative America, here's a clue: IF WHAT'S ON TELEVISION OFFENDS YOUR HYPOCRITICAL ASS, THEN GET RID OF YOUR f#@%ING TELEVISION! OBVIOUSLY YOU'RE NOT SMART ENOUGH TO TURN SOMETHING OFF WHEN IT BOTHERS YOU, SO DO US ALL A FAVOR AND JUST DON'T WATCH IT!! That way, we can abolish the FCC, and let advertising dollars and television ratings dictate what stupid crap is aired on TV... exactly as the founding fathers of this country intended.
I love television, but my work and travel schedule makes it very difficult to keep up with the programs I like. Fortunately, I have a magical TiVo box that sits on top of my TV and handles the recording of my shows whether I am home or not... it has all the great features of a VCR, but without all the programming hassles and videotape. I tell it that I want it to record "Veronica Mars" and it will faithfully do so, even if the show changes times, changes days, or even changes networks. It will also skip shows that it knows to be reruns if I ask it to. It's a wonderful device in many ways, and has made my being a TV junkie so much easier to manage.
Yes, I love my TiVo... but I can't wait to get rid of it.
And here's why: with the many advantages TiVo has over a VCR, it has some serious drawbacks. With a VCR, I can use the tape with any other VCR or even loan it to a friend so they can watch it. Well, TiVo finally has the ability to offload video to a computer with their TiVoToGo service, but it sucks ass:
Yes, you read that right, TiVo is offering a service in 2005 that has more limitations than a VHS tape from nearly thirty f#@%amp;ing years ago!
So, since I can't use TiVoToGo (after having waited five years for it), that means in order to get a television show on my laptop, here is what I have to do: 1) Record it on TiVo. 2) Record it from TiVo to my DVD recorder. 3) Burn from the recorder to a DVD. 4) Copy the resulting files from the DVD to my computer. 5) Watch the shitty quality, second-generation video. What a bullshit waste of time that is. Granted, much of this is not TiVo's fault... they are bowing down to the television networks in fear that people will start giving away programming that they should be paying for, but that doesn't make it suck any less.
Of course, that is not really how I get video on my laptop. Here's what I do: 1) Start up my BitTorrent client and download a show in pristine HDTV resolution (when available). 2) Watch the beautiful result whenever I want.
And there you have it. I am still glad to have TiVo for managing the loads of TV shows I like to watch... but, unless I am sitting in front of the television, it's practically useless for watching the content at my convenience. Since this is apparently the best they can do (and new alternatives for transporting video are appearing all the time) I say with no amount of sadness that TiVo's days are numbered. If I wanted to mess with this kind of antiquated, backwards thinking... I'd still be using VHS videotape.
UPDATE: A comment directed to this entry over at Thomas Hawk had said: "Does Dave travel with his VCR? I have never in my life been next to someone on a plane with a VCR and TV on his lap. Ive actually never seen anyone leave their house carrying a VCR." To which I respond:
No. I don't travel with my VCR (I don't even own one anymore), but that is exactly my point: I can't travel with TiVoToGo either (as I am a Mac user with a dual-tuner DirecTV TiVo). So, on top of being no better than a videotape in functionality for me, it also has several ADDITIONAL disadvantages over 30-year-old VHS.
And there's the problem... I am in no way opposed to purchasing yet another new dual-tuner, DirecTV, TiVo Series 2 player (assuming they ever release one), but given that there's no software for the Mac yet, and that they could start tagging all my favorite shows as "non-transferrable" at any point in the future, what's the use? Let's say I buy a TiVoToGo capable player and Mac software is released, but then ABC, NBC, and CBS refuse to grant TiVo transfer rights for any of their programs... what happens then? 80% of the shows I'd want to transfer would no longer be available, and I'd have spent the money for nothing.
This is progress? All it's done is forced people to come up with new ways of circumnavigating a system of roadblocks to getting the convenience we should be able to have in the first place.
Who knew that my disappointment in TiVo's new TiVoToGo service would get such attention? I keep seeing my comments popping up in other sites, and can only guess it's because I had the audacity to say that TiVoToGo is a flawed technology that's no better than VHS VCRs in many ways. Either that, or it's because I drew a cartoon.
Anyway, the latest is over at Big Damn Heroes (which is a pretty cool site now that I've been reading through it!) where they take issue with my reasons TiVoToGo sucks ass. I though it only fair that I post my reply here in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Ooh! Gizmodo, a site I've worshipped for quite a while now, has picked up my TiVoToGo-bashing cartoon from yesterday (thanks to Thomas Hawk adding it to his TiVoToGo review). That's kind of funny, but a little sad too. I actually really like TiVo (as I have said many times here), and being associated only negatively with the company is kind of strange. I don't envy TiVo's dilemma in trying to please television networks with their plans for transferring content off the TiVo box, but I maintain that if Sony, JVC, and other VCR-making companies had buckled under the same pressure thirty years ago, we'd never have had the VCR... so it's kind of their own fault that TiVoToGo is a disappointment because they caved (which is a pity, because their customers are the people purchasing their DVRs... not the networks!).
I still don't understand why, if they felt they just had to initiate DRM, they couldn't have done so in a manner that didn't make it impossible for many people to use the resulting video file! Why not just print the customer's account number across the top of the screen every once in a while (or encode it into the interlacing frames). This would allow them to track down people illegally distributing video, but also allow me to play the file wherever I want. But oh no, instead let's go for some goofy transfer shenanigans? Making your customers jump through hoops like that is just not a smart thing to do, because they will abandon you for a solution that's easier and better suits their needs. I know I will.
Hmmm... now that I've thought about it, it's also disturbing that people might think I am a bat-wielding maniac out to kill the little TiVo-man. Regular readers of Blogography realize that my baseball bat is a running joke here, but I'm not sure that's understood by total strangers.
It's disheartening to know that last week's comparison I made between the new Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: Enterprise was not a fluke. Galactica is so much better, that I find myself secretly hoping they'll finally just put Enterprise out if its misery and cancel the thing.
Enterprise... was action-free this week. It is not inaccurate to say that absolutely nothing happened in the episode. Just a lot of lame shots of Hoshi (fully clothed) and Trip in a decontamination chamber slowly dying while non-physical aliens blab on and on and on inside the possessed bodies of two regular characters so boring that I can't even remember their names. If there was a secondary plot anywhere, I sure as heck couldn't find it.
Galactica... on the other hand, had a fleet-wide water crisis, Tigh's continuing descent into alcoholism, political manouevering, escalating tension between Adama and his son, a prison riot, a daring rescue attempt, a Mike-Tyson ear-biting moment, a death, devious and deranged Baltar getting his hands on a nuclear weapon, a swift end to the blooming Boomer/Tyrol romance, the president revealing her cancer to her military advisor, a guest shot by original series star Richard Hatch, and probably a dozen other events I'm too dazed to remember just now. The show is packed so full of stuff going on that you almost need to watch each episode twice.
The fact that Galactica would spend seven minutes on a throw-away plot that Enterprise deems worthy of an entire boring hour speaks volumes as to the philosophy between the two shows. I can't help but wonder what BSG mastermind Ron Moore would do given the chance to overhaul ST:E.
Wait a second... somebody just told me that TiVo DVRs run on Linux? Yet TiVo isn't releasing a version of their TiVo Desktop software for Linux users? (at least that's what I get from reading their FAQ).
Yikes. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. That's a nice "f#@% you" to the people who made your product possible!
Anyway, speak of the devil, I finally watched President Bush's inauguration speech off my TiVo and, I must say, I'm a bit disappointed. I want specific details, not vague rhetoric! Here's just some of the things I was expecting him to announce (and, if you don't understand what "sarcasm" is, you may want to skip it)...
Beer Endowment Fund:
I maintain that it is the right of every American citizen to drink free beer. You would think that the presidential administration would agree, and support widespread drunken behavior. Mostly because drunk people wouldn't mind so much that the economy is in the toilet, Osama bin Laden is still at large, the weapons of mass destruction apparently don't exist, the rest of the world really doesn't like us much and, even after "mission accomplished," our soldiers and countless others are still dying in a very expensive war that's way out of control.
Reality Television Limitation Act:
The horrifying stupidity of 99% of the reality shows plaguing the television landscape is appalling ("Who's Your Daddy?" "The Littlest Groom?" "TRADING SPOUSES?!?"). Normally I don't believe in government intervention in the public sector like this, but something has to be done before what little intelligence left in the average American TV viewer is sucked away. Limiting each network to a single reality show per season would be a good start.
Preemptive Strike Against Canada:
The obvious next logical step in the president's bid for global domination war against terror is to "liberate" Canada. This would have a number of immediate benefits... 1) We're really concerned about protecting our northern borders but, if Canada were annexed into the U.S., our northern border would be somewhere in the Arctic Circle and who wants to go to that kind of trouble? 2) Those whiners who threatened to move to Canada if Dubbuya won the election would have to explore other options. 3) French-Canadians who suddenly find themselves American citizens could practice an entirely new level of self-loathing, because apparently all the French hate us. 4) "The Great State of Manitoba" has a nice ring to it. 5) There'd be no more border crossing delays when heading up to visit strip clubs in Vancouver.
Spammer Death Penalty:
Oh come on. You know you want it.
Quizno Sandwich Subsidy: I love me the Quizno subs! But when it costs $8.31 for a small drink, a regular Veggie Sandwich, and a bag of chips... well, it's not like I can afford to eat there very often. For that kind of money, I could buy EIGHT servings of Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes at Taco Bell! Government subsidizing of Quiznos purchases is not entirely out of line considering they've been propping up the beef industry for decades (which is how a Big Mac costs $3 instead of $30).
National Dave Appreciation Day: My brilliance should be celebrated world-wide but I'd settle for a national holiday as a start. Laugh all you want, but you'd get a day off work, so it's a win-win situation.
Now that's odd. Suddenly I have this overwhelming desire to kick a spammer's ass, then celebrate by watching a stripper on reality-free TV in Canada while eating a Quizno's sub, drinking a beer, and appreciating myself.
I don't think I could count the number of laughs afforded me by Johnny Carson, there's just too many of them. Staying up late to watch The Tonight Show was a rare luxury in my childhood, and it was the very first program I taped when I got my first VCR with "timer recording." I missed him when he retired in 1992, and I miss him again now that he's gone. Thanks for all the funny Johnny.
Johnny Carson: 1925-2005
UPDATE: Mark Evanier (of "News From ME," one of my favorite sites) has a really nice tribute up.
And just before taking off for Seattle, I receive notice from Amazon that my order has shipped. "Order of what" I find myself wondering... I didn't remember having shopped for anything recently. But then happiness ensues. It's Wonderfalls: The Complete Viewer Collection I had pre-ordered months ago. So now I really have something to live for, and an added incentive for surviving this trip: NINE hours of guaranteed cool television I've never seen before (because the show was foolishly cancelled after airing only four of the thirteen episodes produced).
I highly, highly recommend this brilliant series. Even if you don't want to go out and buy it so that you can watch every amazing episode again and again, it is well worth a rental. It is similar in tone to Dead Like Me, so it should be particularly appealing to any fan of that show.
And I'm off...
Perhaps it's the splitting migraines that have been plaguing me all week, but I am in a terrible mood. Nothing seems to be making me happy. In the hopes that I can alleviate my frustrations, I'm venting things that suck today. Lucky you.
Alias: What in the heck was last night's Alias supposed to be? I don't know. But I will tell you what it actually was: STUPID! I was so happy that the show seemed to be back on track, but now we've got hallucinations, vampires, and rampant idiocy going on at mind-numbing levels. If this is what we have to look forward to for the rest of the season, I wish somebody would let me know so that I can stop watching right now. This has got to be the worst episode of Alias yet, scraping the bottom of the barrel with the rest of the crap that's on television.
Podcasting: Whatever. I suppose when something comes out in a podcast that I actually want to listen to... then I'll start getting excited about it. But, after trying dozens of different "shows," I am less than impressed. When Stern starts a podcast, somebody let me know. I wish Robin Williams would do a weekly podcast, that would rule: comedy podcasts for when you need a dose of funny.
American Dad: We waited all this time so that Seth MacFarlane could create American Dad, a grossly inferior copy of his brilliant Family Guy show? What a complete and total waste of time. Stewie has been replaced by a fish and Brian has been replaced by an alien, but it's basically the same show... only not funny. Thank heavens that the original Family Guy is coming back in May.
Service Pack: I don't use my Windows PC unless forced, which means that it's never much kept up to date with the latest round of bug patches and useless security fixes. This morning I fired it up to find out I had Windows XP Service Pack 2 awaiting (and probably many others, but it's hard to tell). I noticed that Internet Explorer is finally getting a pop-up blocker, so I figure that alone is worth the hassle of downloading SP2. Anyway, my Windows PC is now officially dead. Since I'd rather shoot myself in the head than go through another WinXP install, I've decided to just leave it that way. Microsoft bastards. And here I was actually considering the purchase of a Tablet PC... what was I thinking? Look, it's a version of Windows that sucks just as bad as regular Windows, but you can use a pen instead of a mouse!
iPhoto: And to show I'm not 100% biased here, I offer the following: Given that I am a certified Apple whore, do you know how hard it is for me to find something to criticize about Apple software? Well iPhoto 5 makes it easy, because it's a steaming pile of crap. It's worse than crap. In fact, you usually have to search through Windows 98 shareware collections to find something with this magnitude of suckage. Slow to the point of being absolutely unusable, I have to wonder if anybody at Apple even bothered to test this ass-sucking turd of a program on anything other than a Dual-G5 machine. Apparently they didn't bother to test it at all, considering that many people lost their photos in the upgrade from version 4. Did Apple get bought out by Microsoft while I wasn't looking?
Wonderfalls: I finally finished watching all thirteen glorious episodes of Wonderfalls on DVD and have to wonder... how could this remarkable show be canceled so FOX could have room for shit like Trading Spouses in their schedule? As if that wasn't enough, the inferior "girl talks to God" show Joan of Arcadia is still running. While I used to actually like Joan, she has turned into a whiny bitch that's so boring in the latest round of shows that I've stopped watching it entirely.
Boca Burger: When I became a vegetarian, I was ever-so-grateful when "Boca Burgers" came along, because I could then enjoy the most deliciously fantastic hamburgers... all mad-cow free! But in the past year, they've re-formulated the recipe, and now they taste like ass. Wet ass. I don't know what in the heck they are thinking, but now their burger patties are slimy, soggy, and horrible in every way. Where I once was eating them by the box-fulls, now I can't even stand to look at them. I guess when the company was bought out by the cancer cartel of Philip Morris tobacco (under their "Kraft Foods" umbrella) they decided they didn't want people to actually buy the product anymore, and made it taste and "feel" like shit to get these results. Well congratulations, as if supporting big tobacco wasn't enough of a reason to stop buying them, now you've given me a reason I can't ignore.
Seattle: WHY DOESN'T SEATTLE HAVE A HARD ROCK CAFE YET?!? I mean, come on... Latvia is getting a cafe for heaven's sake! LATVIA! And, while we're at it, whatever happened to the cafes that were supposed to open up in Oslo and Frankfurt? Lastly, it also sucks that the "Hard Rock Beach Club" experiment has closed in Choctaw. UPDATE: It has just been brought to my attention that the cafe in Queenstown, New Zealand has also closed... which is horrible, because I hadn't made it to that one yet!
Station: It seems as though you can't just sit down and watch television anymore. Oh no, first there was station identification "badges" in the corner, now we've got pop-up ads, news tickers, and loads of other obnoxious crap to distract you while trying to watch your favorite show. I weep for the future. How much longer until our television screens are cluttered with so much shit that you can't even watch the actual show?
Trackback: If things keep going as badly as they are now, I will soon be joining the multitudes that are disabling trackbacks on their blogs (like Antipixel and Wirefarm). I loathe waking up in the morning to find 70 emails notifying my of trackback spams... all of which must be deleted and blacklisted. When is it going to be legal to hunt down and slaughter these low-life, bottom-feeding, bug-f#@%ers like the ass-biting dicks they are? They've taken a wonderful feature of the blogosphere and destroyed it utterly.
Lahti: I finally gave in to peer pressure and started having TiVo record Jack & Bobby, which is the story of a young boy "Bobby" who is destined to one day be president, and his growing up with brother "Jack" under the femi-nazi domination of their bitch-from-hell mother "Grace." It's a fascinating concept with good writing and interesting twists... all destroyed by Christina Lahti's completely unlikable portrayal of "Grace." She has -zero- redeeming qualities, and I find it mind-boggling that such a heinous character was ever green-lighted for television. Just like CSI: Miami which I cannot force myself to watch because of David Caruso's arrogantly laughable William Peterson impersination, I'm afraid that Jack & Bobby ain't making my list of must-see shows so long as Lahti is so horribly featured on it.
Hate: I can't help but wonder if these so-called devout Christians who email me the most hateful emails I've ever received understand what the word "hypocrisy" means. I must be on some kind of watch-list since the clown thing, because every single time I speak my mind on such things as gay marriage and other "controversial" topics, I am bound to get at least one raving email (can't you people leave comments?). In my previous post where I recommend a book by Bill Bryson where he discusses the "science of everything" (including evolution) I received an email telling me I was a "shill for Godlessness" and then was consigned to hell... again! I usually don't dignify such things with a response, but I am feeling especially frisky today, so here it is: f#@% you. And I'll also offer a helpful hint: if reading my blog makes you so upset, STOP READING IT YOU DUMBASS! I have never, ever, been anything but supportive and accepting to people's belief structure, and don't think it's out of line to ask the same courtesy from others. Go read somebody else's blog that won't bring about such hatred because, let's face it, there's enough of that in the world just now and I don't want to hear it.
Usually when I like a television show I start counting the minutes until it's cancelled. I'm pessimistic that way. So when they cancel Cupid or Sports Night or Oh Grow Up! or Wonderfalls or any of the dozens of other shows that make for good television, I accept it the best I can and move on. There are surprises, of course (Alias and Lost come immediately to mind), but most of the time the ever convenient "low ratings" excuse makes it all too easy for short-sighted, dumbass television execs to shaft loyal viewers.
The thing that gets me is that the world of television has changed. Syndication can bring old series to life in new markets and provide a financial windfall. Releasing shows on DVD is easy money. Internet distribution is just around the corner. Who knows what new financial outlets will present themselves in the future? It's not just about the ratings anymore. And because of that, "viewer campaigns" to save shows which have customarily have -zero- effect on the minds of the networks, may actually start to be carrying some weight.
Cult favorites like Wonderfalls and Miracles that were ratings failures are getting DVD releases because of consumer demand. Shows like The Family Guy are being resurrected because of runaway DVD sales. Suddenly there's hope for the impossible.
And that's why a group of television addicts over at Television Without Pity are trying to create a preemptive strike in saving a show that hasn't even been cancelled yet. Like me, they are pessimistic about the chances of Veronica Mars getting picked up for a second season (heck, it's a miracle it hasn't been cancelled already)...
And here's the deal (thanks to wyk95 for the tip)...
Inspired by Veronica's clever ploy of writing "Veronica Mars is smarter than me" on the bills in Clash of the Tritons, a few fans thought it would be fun to design a Veronica Mars themed two dollar bill to ask for a second season. Just click here to download the custom $2 bill, print it out, then write "Veronica Mars is smarter than me" on the bills and send them to UPN (you might also include your gender, general age range, and location to show UPN that the show has a very diverse fan base). You can read more about this campaign at the TWoP boards And here's the addresses for the top UPN executives and the UPN affiliates.
Since I'm a big fan of Veronica Mars, I'll be sending mine, hoping we can contribute even a little bit to save a brilliant show from premature cancellation. Or maybe not. But it certainly can't hurt.
Yet another excellent cameo appearance on Boston Legal last night by the incomparable Betty White! Of course, it doesn't hurt that David E. Kelley is writing the most delicious dialogue for her character, Catherine Piper... a cantankerous old bitch who became Alan Shore's secretary when he couldn't keep from sexually harassing the babes that held the position previously.
I'm just amazed that Betty continues to be this brilliant, even at 83 years old...
Catherine Piper: Alan! Wonderful news! The Kerwin deposition has been cancelled, you don't have to go. Your morning is now free. Which works out, because it seems these two police officers are here to arrest you.
Police Officer: You Alan Shore?
Catherine Piper: My aren't you clever! I bet you make detective one day! Was my calling him 'Alan' a clue?
And all delivered with perfect comedic timing that's classic Betty White! I can only hope that she continues making weekly appearances on the show. It helps compensate for the amateurish and jerky "push-in" camera moves that the directors for Boston Legal seem to think create compelling television (though nothing is quite so bad as the shaky hand-held camera work on the show Medium, which I'm guessing they think is artistic and edgy, but in reality just gives me a headache to watch).
I quite honestly do not know how to react to the rampant stupidity going on with businesses world today. Business execs close their eyes to problems, don't serve their customers and then, when trouble starts eating away at profits, turn around and blame their customers for their woes! It's as if I were to stop writing in my blog, then turn around and blame my readers for not visiting my web site and instead reading somebody else's blog. Well, duh!
Reuters has a revealing article about television downloading entitled: '24' Makes Britain a Hotbed for Illicit TV Downloads. It basically goes on to report that TV fans in the UK are tired of waiting months for their favorite television programs to be aired in their corner of the world, so they are instead turning to the internet to get what they want. Well, duh! And it works both ways... Battlestar Galactica aired in Britain months before it did here, and I didn't want to wait for it either. BitTorrent here I come.
Since television network executives are so blatantly clueless, allow me to spell out reality for your incompetent asses...
I am the first to admit that this is not a simple scenario, and don't claim to have all the answers for the problems you will face as you transition to the internet age. But here are some things to consider...
The thing that really gets me ranting is that television networks actually expect people to feel sorry for them! How am I supposed to feel sorry for somebody who is too stupid to keep in touch with customers and their market trends so they can stay in business? Networks are bloated with so much hypocrisy that NOBODY is going to shed a tear when they fade into irrelevance (we've been dying for that to happen with music labels for decades!). Liberation of video media is at hand and you can either accept it, service your customers, and give people what they want... or close up shop and let somebody else do it. Yes, I know it's hard, but nothing in business is ever easy. Just like life.
QUENTIN TARANTINO HAS JUST BEEN CONFIRMED TO BE DIRECTING CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION'S SEASON FINALE EPISODE!! And, as if that weren't enough, he came up with the story idea as well! I have been longing for Quentin to return to Alias, but I think this is actually more exciting. Quentin rules the earth for filmmaking, and is apparently a big CSI fan, so there couldn't possibly be better news for an already excellent show. You can read all about it at the Hollywood Reporter. I wonder which character is going to be in "grave danger?"
And, while we're on the subject of CSI... has anybody seen the cover to the latest TV Guide? It has Warrick, Nick, and Catherine on the cover, with Catherine looking like a hooker! Then you open to the interior, and there she is looking even more like a hooker! I guess that's one way to improve your "horny males" demographic!
I am not a big fan of Doctor Who and have never really understood the cult-like following that the tacky British sci-fi show has. But my best friend was a Who fanatic, and a little bit of his fondness for the time-traveling alien kind of rubbed off on me over the years. While I could never seem to muster the appreciation for the series that others had, I did come to enjoy it quite a lot as a nifty television diversion.
So when the BBC finally decided to revive the character after over 15 years, there were a lot of people wondering just what kind of show would be produced. Historically, Doctor Who has always featured brilliant writing married to cheesy, cheap-ass special effects. But now-a-days where special effects are relatively cheap to produce, but good television writing is exceedingly rare, the fear is that the things that made the show so beloved would be abandoned to try and reel in a new generation of sci-fi fans.
In the end, I can't say one way or another which route was taken based on this one episode, but it seems as though they tried their very best to hit somewhere in the middle. The writing is clever yet a bit kitschy (for nostalgia's sake), whereas the special effects are both old-school bad (plastic mannequin zombies?) and new-school enhanced (CGI touches and pyrotechnics are liberally used). It's definitely a Doctor Who show, but kind of stands on its own as well.
My verdict? I kind of liked it. The chills that ran up my spine from hearing the Doctor Who theme music kind of set me in the mood for being open-minded, and the rest was a fairly decent hour of sci-fi television...
The new Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston) is sufficiently charming, yet nerdy and superior. His new companion "Rose" (played by Billie Piper) is cute, yet not so hot that she doesn't seem like an "average, everyday person." Together they make a fairly good team and, given the show we're talking about, are perfectly acceptable in their roles. In all honesty, I think I like Eccleston's version of the Doctor better than the previous versions (save Tom Baker, of course).
But most people here in the States will never see the show because it was not picked up by The Sci-Fi Channel. And why did they decide to take a pass? Well, I think it comes down to two things... 1) The show has an incredibly "low-budget" look and feel that will compare badly indeed to Sci-Fi's other offerings like Battlestar Galactica, and Stargate (heck, it even looks bad compared to an episode of Red Dwarf!), and 2) It is very much British in both style and execution, which probably won't play well here. You could also argue that the show just isn't geared to a new viewer and would only appeal to Doctor Who fans, but I don't think that's true. In the end I can't really fault Sci-Fi for their decision, though I think it's a pity something couldn't have been worked out for some kind of late-night marathon or something. Oh well, perhaps BBC America will have a go.
About the only addressable criticism I have was that The Doctor didn't seem prominent enough in the show... we seemed to get more of Rose and her boyfriend than we ever did of Doctor Who himself. Perhaps this was an introductory ploy that will be rectified in future episodes, and so I'll have to see a few more shows before I can cement my opinion. Anyway, if you have a BitTorrent client, a fast internet connection, and are a fan of kitschy British sci-fi, then you might want to give this new version of an old classic a try.
This has not been the best of weeks for me, but it has been a good week in entertainment news...
Oldboy. A movie I have been waiting to see for years now... a Korean film called "Oldboy" finally has a US distributor! When I was last in Korea I looked for it, but it had left theaters there (having been released in 2003). It's a mystery/revenge thriller that won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and has critics falling all over themselves with praise (in fact, it's #93 on the IMDB 250 meme I did yesterday, and is assured of going higher on the list once more people have seen it). You can read about the movie and see a trailer over at FilmForce. The only down-side is that I will probably end up having to go to Seattle or L.A. to see it, unless it starts making Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon box office.
Veronica. E! Online's annual "Save One Show" television poll is over, and Veronica Mars devastated the competition with 56% of the vote! All while beating out popular favorites like The West Wing (less that 1%) and Arrested Development (9%)...
Hartman. After being announced, then unannounced, scheduled, then unscheduled, Phil Hartman's final show News Radio is finally coming to DVD! One of my all-time favorite comedians, Hartman headed up an absolutely brilliant cast that included Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall), Stephen Root (Office Space), Andy Dick (Less Than Perfect), Maura Tierny (E.R.), Vicki Lewis (Celebrity Makeover), and Khandi Alexander (CSI: Miami). I stopped watching after Phil died, but every show until then was GOLD and will be a welcome addition to my DVD collection.
Renewal. NBC has already announced renewals for The West Wing, Crossing Jordan, Las Vegas, ER, and Joey. I stopped watching ER ages ago, never got into Crossing Jordan, and thought Joey sucked ass. That leaves me happy for Las Vegas a guilty pleasure which has four of the hottest ladies on television, and The West Wing which took a nose-dive after creator/writer Aaron Sorkin left, but has been rebounding with great new characters (the new National Security Advisor, "Kate Harper," is the best addition since "Ainsley Hays"). It will be interesting to see what happens when the show gets a new president.
Bullshit. Proving that it can't be all good news all the time, The Sci-Fi Channel has debuted what has to be one of the most embarrassingly bad concepts for a movie in recent memory... MANSQUITO! He's half-man, half-mosquito, and all killer...
They cancelled the brilliant Farscape so they could have money to finance this crap? WTF?!?
Alrighty then... just thirty days until my second blogiversary, and things are looking pretty good for the celebration. I haven't totaled everything up, but it's looking like there's going to be over a thousand dollars worth of goodies given away. Yes, you read that right, ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!! No joke. No kidding. Just five days of big fun and fabulous prizes spanning from April 18th to the 22nd. It'll be worth a look so be sure to tune in.
Hmmm... I'd feel pretty good about that, but the weather here has taken a bizarre turn. Saturday morning it was biting cold and actually snowing, but then that turned to rain all day long. Now it's a drizzle again and we're supposed to get scattered showers throughout the day. How am I supposed to ride a motorcycle in this crap?
Oh well. There's something to be said for staying home and watching Angel: The Complete Fifth Season on DVD. I mean, come on! Angel gets turned into a PUPPET in this one!
And just look at what happens to Fred!
Argh, what an amazing show. Just think of what they might have come up with had they been given a well-deserved sixth season. Bastard WB Television executives!
Sniff. I don't really celebrate my birthday anymore, but I'm sitting here burning a candle that smells like birthday cake, so I guess that's something. I haven't kept up with the "candle renaissance" that's going on right now, but it's freaky the dozens of flavors they've got for candles now-a-days. Birthday Cake was strange enough, but Pineapple & Pomegranate? Mojito? Lemongrass?!? The flavors I want are Pizza, Beer & Pretzels, and New Macintosh.
Crushed. Well, the Huskeys couldn't really pull it together, leaving Louisville (at the top of their game) to blow by with a 14-point win. It's kind of a sad day for Washington State, but the Dawgs had a great season, so there's really no reason to whine about it.
Order. One of my all-time favorite music groups, New Order, is releasing a new album Monday! It's called Waiting for the Siren's Call and they have a limited-time free preview where you can listen to every song in its entirety. Very sweet. Since Apple has most of New Order's stuff on the iTunes Music Store, I am hopeful it shows up on "New Music Tuesdays" on the 29th.
Pie! My favorite pie is my grandmother's apple pie, which is unearthly good. Next on the list would have to be Key Lime pie, which I am rarely able to get around here (heck, authentic Key Lime pie made with real Key Limes is hard to find even in Key West!). I've tried making it once before, but it ended up being a difficult, sloppy mess that tasted like ass. Now I have a no-cook solution that tastes pretty darn spiffy and is rediculously easy to make. I'm going to record it here in case I ever lose the recipe card...
Release. March 24th seems to be a popular day to release a new product. MacOS X was released on this day in 2001. Four years later, Sony has chosen this date for the American release of PlayStation Portable. Unlike the Nintendo GameBoy DS which looks like a clunky toy, the PSP is serious. A big, beautiful screen that not-only plays kick-ass games, but audio and video as well. Since Steve Jobs continues to be astoundingly short-sighted about releasing a video iPod, perhaps this is the answer for me? I wonder how much trouble it is to re-encode downloaded TV shows for PSP playback? I want one.
Tru. Fox has dumped the boringly awful Point Pleasant and is replacing it with the second season of Tru Calling, starring the delicious Eliza Dushku! I really enjoyed this show, especially when they introduced the "anti-Tru" (played by Jason Priestly) late in the season. Unfortunately, the second season was short-ordered, but it's better than nothing... and at least now we're finally going to get to see it.
Mars. I've been going insane while Veronica Mars has been on TV hiatus, but the up-side is that I've been slowly working my way through all the previous episodes. I am now seriously starting to wonder if Duncan is responsible for both raping Veronica (his then ex-girlfriend and now potential half-sister!) and killing Lilly (his sister and Veronica's best friend). It's an odd theory, all things considered, but I wonder...
Bleh. It felt very much like a Monday today.
Schiavo. Honestly, I am not going to get into this here. I don't know Terri or anybody else involved, don't know what arrangements she made for her life, and don't have an opinion about whether something is right or wrong for somebody I've never met. What I do have an opinion about is that not everything should be a political issue. What I will say is that I do not want that kind of "life" for myself, and it should be MY f#@%ING CHOICE. So here it is, in public record: If my mind... if who I am... is gone, then don't save me. If there's little chance of recovery, let me go. Don't keep me on a respirator. Yank the feeding tube. Seriously, I've lived a full life and done more than most people ever will, so I'm perfectly okay with it. Don't worry about "making a mistake" or fret about "killing me" because it's all good. It's not that I want to die, I just don't want to live that way. I don't want to be a tool for some ass-wipe politician. I don't want to be a poster child for right-to-lifers. I don't want to be a burden on those I care about. I don't want to be remembered as a vegetable. I just don't want it. And if you care about me at all, then you shouldn't want it for me either.
Laid. Ohhhhh... so that's the problem! My check is in the mail...
Dental. Had my dental check-up this morning. That in itself is nothing special (no cavities!), but getting there sure was. Coming into Wenatchee this morning, some old dumbass in a beat-up Cadillac decided to turn into the wrong lane coming out of Wal-Mart. Usually I find the blissfully ignorant to be funny. But not when they are heading straight for me in a car. After I ran off the road to avoid him, he went on his merry way and heaven only knows what happened. I'm guessing he mowed down a fruit stand and killed a half-dozen people, or perhaps added a drive-thru to a local pharmacy where there wasn't one before.
Star. Mr. Jerz has finally hit the big time as a television star! I look forward to his future works, and am anxiously awaiting his entry on the Internet Movie Database. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Ryan Jerz, ACTOR...
(UPDATE: MrJerz.org is down, and I can't leave a comment... I can only guess that Hollywood casting agents are furiously attempting to book Jerz for a gig! I gotta give the guy props here, he absolutely managed to pull it off. I've seen first-hand what happens when people are tossed in front of a television camera and told to "act" - even in fun - and it rarely goes as well as this. So congratulations Mr. Jerz! Well played! Though I just gotta ask... did you really beat the crap out of the guy who played the thief at the end? Now that's what I call "method acting!").
Parts. Okay. If fingers are ending up in the Wendy's chili. What parts should I expect to be finding in my Wendy's Chocolate Frosty?
Dead. The reason I paid for ShowTime television: so I could watch Dead Like Me. The reason I stopped paying for ShowTime television: because they cancelled Dead Like Me. There's just nothing else on that lame HBO wannabe network worth watching. The second season of this amazing show was even better than the first, and it's coming to DVD on July 19th. It will be bittersweet to watch all those priceless episodes again knowing that there's no more to come after that last one. Crap.
Veronica. Hmmm... since I am about to gush like a 12-year-old schoolgirl, I'd better head on over to MSN Spaces to see how actual 12-year-old shoolgirls gush in their blogs... okay, here we go... omfg! new veronica marz 2nite! hehe. i am like sooooooo psyched! veronica is sooooooo cute and the show is sooooooo awesome!!!! u would luv it. hehe. VERONICA MARS RULEZ DAWGZ!!!!!! woo hoo!!!! hehe. c ya!
I was awakened early this morning by a searing pain running down my spine. I took a pill, and somehow managed to fall asleep again. When I got up to go to work, my lower-back was still tender, but the pain was in check. But after 5-1/2 hours of sitting at my desk, the pain had returned and was almost unbearable... I had no choice but to go home and take another pill.
So here I lay in bed trying very hard not to move. I have no idea what I did to get myself in this mess, but here I am.
Fortunately, I've got the first season of The Pretender on DVD to keep me company. Boy was this great television! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it because the show became a big ol' mess in the 3rd and 4th seasons. But Miss Parker... a very bad girl indeed... kept me watching.
I want ice cream.
The best thing to come out of the U.K. since blood pudding, Red Dwarf is one of those shows I can always count on to make me laugh. The problem is that it's only shown on PBS here in the States, but rarely. On the plus side, BBC America has been releasing it on DVD, but slowly... at the rate of just two series (seasons) per year. The happy ending to all of this is that finally, after waiting three years, Red Dwarf: The Complete Series Five has finally been released. It's easily my favorite of all eight seasons, and has the rare distinction of being the only series that gets a full five-stars for every episode.
It's perfect television...
My favorite of the lot is "Quarantine" which brought forth one of the most brilliant characters ever conceived on television. Mr Flibble, the killer penguin puppet...
"Mr. Flibble is very cross."
Here is just a sampling of the comedic genius we get in this episode, where Rimmer has trapped the rest of the crew in quarantine and been infected with a holovirus that's driven him quite mad...
Lister: Well we've passed the test, Rimmer. You can let us out.
Rimmer: I can't let you out.
Lister: Why not?
Rimmer: Because the King of the Potato People won't let me. I begged him. I got down on my knees and wept. He wants to keep you here. Keep you here for ten years.
The Cat: Could we see him?
Rimmer: See who?
The Cat: The King.
Rimmer: Do you have a magic carpet?
Lister: Yeah, a little three-seater.
Rimmer: So, let me get this straight. You want to fly on a magic carpet to see the King of the Potato People and plead with him for your freedom, and you're telling me you are completely sane?!?
And "Quarantine" is just one of six amazing episodes you get!
So do yourself a favor and run out to buy a copy of Red Dwarf: The Complete Series Five on DVD today! Do it now, before Mr. Flibble gets very cross indeed!
Or, I suppose you could always check back the week of the 18th and see if you can win a brand-new copy... It's just one of the many fabulous prizes being offered up in Blogography's Two-Year Blogiversary Kick-Ass Online Celebration!
Like millions of other people, I am addicted to the television series that is Lost. It's a fantastic show that delivers lots of surprises and has a mystery tying everything together that's just too good for television (it's nice to know that the reason Alias is sucking so bad lately is because creator J.J. Abrams is putting his efforts somewhere).
Tonight is the last episode until May sweeps, which sucks ass, but we do have the benefit of knowing that a major player is killed off. This is probably a good thing, because the only conflict currently running in the show is seen in flashbacks, not the present-day stories. Lost cannot afford to become complacent. Anyway, the only thing we know is that it's going to be a male character who bites it, which means it's one of ten people. For your reading pleasure (but mostly my own amusement) I'm going to run through all of them and try to decide who dies.
For the sake of foreign readers who may not be caught up to the latest episode (or anybody who doesn't want the show ruined with my speculations), I've dumped everything in an extended entry.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Well, well, well... I just finished watching Lost and must say that it was gut-wrenchingly good. And this is despite the fact that the writers took the easy way out... the pussies (and I take absolutely no satisfaction that my guess as to who dies was correct). And now we wait for May sweeps to find out what's going to happen next.
A pity that Alias is still sucking. What the heck is going on there? I know it's been renewed for another season but, at this point, does anybody even care? The show that was constantly reinventing itself to stay fresh has become sadly stagnate. Why can't they go back to the Rambaldi prophecies and the secret organizations and stuff? Sure it's fun to watch Syndney beat the crap out of bad guys, but is that all we're going to get from now on? It's pretty sad when the best thing about tonight's episode was the commercial with Miss Piggy dressed up as Sydney advertising Muppet Wizard of Oz.
Or maybe I'm just pissed off that GameStop didn't get my Lego Star Wars Xbox Game in like they promised. The bastards.
And now for something completely different...
Your name is Robert Rodriguez. You've just completed filming Sin City, one of the more violent, adult movies ever committed to film. What do you do for your next project? Hmmm? What do you do?
Well, apparently, you start working on a flick called SHARK BOY AND LAVA GIRL!! I think I speak for everybody when I say WTF?
Oh well. I suppose he has to have something to occupy his time until he and Frank Miller start in on the Sin City sequel.
The Lego Star Wars for Xbox game may be built for kids, but I was wrong about it being easy. Sure it started out that way, but not anymore. I got stuck on The Phantom Menace section with the pod racing and had to move on to Attack of the Clones section. Then it took forever to figure out how to defeat Jango Fett. So now frustration is starting to set in a bit, because kids who find this game easy are a lot smarter than I am when it comes to video games. I am determined to beat it, however, which means it's a good thing I only get 4-5 hours of sleep each night!
Given my Lego Star Wars addiction and the workload I've had recently, there really isn't much else in my life right now. TiVo is overflowing with TV shows I need to watch, and NetNewswire is so packed with unread blogs that it's probably going to take over an hour to work my way through it. And then I almost forgot to put up my FridayQ entry yesterday, which would have been embarrassing.
Oh well. Another week to beat the game, and then I can get on with my life again.
But I digress. The real reason I am writing this entry is to help spread the good news that Veronica Mars has been renewed for a second season (thanks to wyk for the email letting me know... you made my day!)...
Color me shocked. Television this good is usually canceled.
Okay, I have GOT to stop watching Veronica Mars. With each new episode I turn more and more into a thirteen year-old schoolgirl, and it's really starting to piss me off. But I am getting ahead of myself...
Last night I was all wrapped up in a super-secret project for Blogiversary 2, and forgot that there was actually good television on. It wasn't until after work today that I was thinking "hey, I forgot to watch Scrubs and Veronica Mars last night!" So I ran two stop lights, hit an old lady (with cat), and bowled over a couple of children playing in the street (they deserved it, what were they doing in the street anyway?)... all so I could get home and watch TV.
And so there I am watching Veronica Mars and there's only 15 minutes left, when all of a sudden it happens. Veronica and Logan kiss right there on my television!!
Here's the bullet points...
omg! OMFG!!! So now I am going to spend the rest of the evening downloading screen caps and making pretty graphics for my blog that say "Veronica and Logan 4-ever." And then I need to start a new web site called "VeronicaLovesLogan.com" where I can write my own Veronica Mars fan fiction!
But now I am starting to remember that I am not a thirteen year-old girl, and have better ways of spending my time. DANG YOU TO HECK VERONICA MARS!! Only four episodes left until all our questions are answered.
Veronica's fingers gently caress the puka shells around Logan's neck. "I want you" she says, her voice throaty. "But Veronica, I've joined the CIA! I leave for Budapest in the morning!" he replies, running the back of his hand across her cheek. "Then I guess we had better make the most of the time we have. Take me! Take me now, Logan!" she screams, the tears coming easily. "Oh Ronnie, I love you so..."
For the longest time, I was a huge TiVo supporter. I absolutely loved the convenience and wonder of it all. It's like having a friend that you know you can always count on to record your favorite shows and manage your television habits. But with each passing day TiVo finds some new way of f#@%ing up that makes me want to smash it with a hammer and leave it for dead.
The first hit was when, after five long years of waiting, they FINALLY released their TiVoToGo format so that you can offload your shows and watch them on a computer. Since I travel a lot, this was huge for me. Unfortunately, TiVo's effort was so badly crippled with DRM that it was a case of "too little too late." But, in the end, at least it was here. All I had to do was wait for the promised Macintosh version, and I'd finally have something portable to work with, no matter how messed up it was.
But not anymore. PVRblog is reporting that development on the Mac version of TiVoToGo isn't in TiVo's future plans because of cost issues.
Ass-biting, lying TiVo bug-f#@%ers.
I wonder what kind of "cost issues" you will have when people start abandoning your busted-ass lame shit for something that is actually worth a crap? Something that is built for the CONSUMERS WHO PAY YOU rather than television networks? Maybe I should drink the Kool-Aid and go with a Microsoft Media Center? And isn't DirecTV coming out with their own DVR sometime soon? Or maybe I should just buy a Mac Mini and convert it into a media center for my recording?
f#@% TiVo. f#@% them up their stupid asses.
Television sure is good right now. I guess this is because crappy reality shows are crowding the schedule so badly that only quality "regular programming" is making it on the air. In any event, I am watching more shows now than I have been in quite a while.
For anybody who is actually interested in my television viewing habits, a list of my "Top 10 Must-See Shows" follows in an extended entry after today's movie quote.
With each passing day, I lose a little more respect for my fellow human beings because people, for the most part, are stupid. Astoundingly, unfathomably stupid. And the worst part is that people are stupid not because of genetics, but because they choose to be. Nobody wants to think anymore. They want all their thinking done for them. This kind of lazy-ass approach to living enrages me to the point where I believe that the extinction of the human race is not such a bad thing.
But whatever, it's the world we live in now. Every last obvious detail has to be spelled out in nauseating detail lest the stupidity of the masses will be left standing around scratching their heads. And that brings us to the new "My Pyramid" campaign unleashed by the USDA upon an unsuspecting public. It's not actually "new-new" but instead a revision of the old "Nutrional Pyramid" developed a while back. Its purpose is to help curb the obesity epidemic that's crippling this Nation by educating people to eat healthier...
And so now I find myself compelled to ask... WHO IS THE DUMBASS WHO DREAMED UP THIS STUPID SHIT?!? And... SOMEBODY WAS ACTUALLY PAID TO CREATE THIS JANKY CRAP?!?
I mean, the original pyramid was no masterpiece, but at least you kind of got the idea about what it was trying to communicate. Even the stupidest person could see that you are supposed to be eating more breads and grains than milk and dairy. But this new pyramid is so f#@%ed up that there's absolutely no way to figure out what it is trying to tell you. When I first saw it, I thought it was some new gay pride symbol or something. I never dreamed that it could possibly be communicating any information. Probably because it doesn't communicate any information. Even a brilliant person like me would find it impossible to figure out what the f#@% it was trying to tell you. And since I am a brilliant person, here are my guesses...
WHAT THE f#@%?!! I could go on for pages about how poorly the new pyramid is designed, but I'll spare you. Suffice to say that it's next to impossible to tell what the different colored slices mean, or even how big they are in relation to each other. Somebody on the design team desperately needs to read some Edward Tufte books, because there is no way anybody is going to figure out that this pyramid is telling you to "put down that donut, eat a banana, and exercise." It's just not going to happen. Holy crap... a simple pie chart would have been easier to decipher than this disaster.
It's yet another case of the stupid leading the stupider, and your tax dollars at work. Oh well, it's not like people bother to look at this stuff anyway. Kind of like those asinine warning labels on a pack of cigarettes. People are just too stupid to pay attention, and the people paid to change that are not much smarter.
But enough of that crap...
OMG!! Did you guys see Logan and Veronica totally making out on last night's episode of Veronica Mars?!?? I was like, SOOOOooooooooo excited!!!! Logan is like so totally hot and Veronica is so cute!! And Veronica is all "what are we doing?" and Logan is all "I don't know!" And I was like totally dying and rewinding the TiVo. And then Veronica Mars broke up with Deputy Leo and I was all "OMG! SHE LIKE TOTALLY LOVES LOGAN NOW!!!" And was like "this is totally the bestest show ever!!!!" And went to bed smiling like a fool because I know Logan and Veronica are so totally perfect together!
And then the next morning I woke up and started looking for my testicles.
I thought for sure I had left them next to the television remote, but they weren't there at all. Tonight I'll tear the couch apart, because they probably just fell behind the cushions or something.
Somehow it became May and I didn't notice. Probably because I am too busy fighting with vending machines and watching television.
Of the two activities, watching television seems to be what I am more successful at. I say this because I am typing this entry one-handed after having damaged my other hand beating up a vending machine that stole my money. Fortunately, I did manage to shake two candy bars and a bag of chips out of the deal (even if none of them were what I was trying to purchase).
Tiger Heat. Ever since upgrading my PowerBook to MacOS X Tiger, it runs much hotter. I have no idea what is going on, but both fans are running constantly and my fingertips are burning up from typing on it. Perhaps it's the processor working harder or something? I've tried setting my "Processor Performance" to "reduced" but I'm not sure it's having any effect. This is a bit troubling, and I hope somebody at Apple is looking into it... assuming it's not just my imagination. I guess if she bursts into flames we'll know for sure.
JAG. One of my favorite TV shows, JAG ended its 10-year run last week. I just don't know what I am going to do with myself not being able to look at the sweet hotness of Catherine Bell each week. Oh well. At least they wrapped up the show nicely nicely. Here's hoping that some brilliant television exec finds her a new television show right away.
Mars DVD. According to the genius behind Veronica Mars, the first season is being rushed to DVD with a September street-date so that people who missed it can get caught up before the second season starts up again. The bad news is that there won't be time for any "extras" like commentaries and production featurettes to be included. As much as I would like to have these things, I'm just happy to be getting a release. The only thing that could possibly be better news would be if Rob Thomas's other excellent show (Jeremy Piven's Cupid, the best television series ever) was also being released.
Surgery TV. Is anybody watching Grey's Anatomy on Sunday nights? The show is excellent. The fact that Sandra Oh is in it is just icing on the cake.
Bandwidth Bust. My bandwidth usage continues to climb. I have no choice but to make a few alterations in how Blogography is arranged, or else I will top my new 80gig limit in 18 days (at the current rate). From now on only 7 days will be displayed on the front page (down from 10, which was my weekly average)... and all feeds will also display 7 days (down from 15). I apologize to those readers who only stop by once a week (since you'll end up having to go through the archives now), but there's just nothing I can do about it. This weekend I plan on chopping up the category pages into years so that the pages will serve up dozens of entries instead of hundreds. I'll also be killing trackback. Hopefully all these changes will keep me under the 80gig limit until next January when I can look for a web host with a bigger allowance (it's either that, or stop posting photos, like the one above, which I really don't want to do).
So now Veronica Mars is over for the season and all I can say is... wow. I did not see that coming. All in all a very satisfying end to one of the best things to watch on television. And now we have a four-month wait to find out who was at the door. For anybody who missed this most excellent show, a DVD set is being planned for release in early September, hopefully before the debut of Veronica Mars season two.
In the meanwhile, we've still got the finale of Grey's Anatomy to look forward to. Along with 24, CSI, Lost, and Scrubs. I still have no idea what has happened to Eyes (yet another great show destroyed by the asshats at ABC who keep preempting it... and have probably canceled it). Not a bad year for television.
Now I want pie.
Wouldn't it be great if you could send a bill to people who waste your time? I mean, if time truly is money, then shouldn't I get paid when forced to interact with some dumbass who steals away minutes I could have spent doing something more important?
I think about this often when dealing with airlines, phone companies, technical support, and other organizations that seem to excel at pissing away my valuable time. Yesterday, as I was trying to make my way home, I had more than my fair share of it. In fact, I think I should have netted out around $1000 in dumbass-billable hours.
But it's not all bad news, while trying to catch up with work today, I've been watching all the TiVo-ed television shows I missed last week. Alias, which has been taking a nose-dive as of late, finally managed to churn out a decent show (with Lena Olin, no less!). Lost was kind of an interesting stop-gap until this week's season finale (which looks incredible). Grey's Anatomy was brilliant as always. The Tarantino-directed CSI did not disappoint and was suitably disturbing (I never thought George Eads had it in him). And even The O.C. was unexpectedly entertaining. Good television is so rare, I feel like I've entered some kind of alternate dimension or something.
In other news, I've decided to host my own talk show...
My first guests will be Elizabeth Hurley, Batman, Paris Hilton, and (time permitting) President George W. Bush. I'm thinking there will also be a segment for "Stupid Jared Tricks" where I make Jared (from the dumbass Subway commercials) jump in a tank with hungry sharks and other cool stuff.
If Tony Danza can do it, how hard can it be?
Okay, I just sat through two hours of Lost expecting that at least one small something would be solved or explained. Of course, nothing was, and now I want my two hours back. I think this was about the most lame, disappointing, piece of shit finale ever aired on television. Note to writers and producers: you can't just string people along forever with no pay-off. So where was my f#@%ing pay-off? If they're not going to explain anything at season's end... the most important episode of the entire year... does that mean they never plan on it at all? Will they just keep going and going until they're cancelled, and then leave everybody hanging? Whoopee! It's a hole! THAT'S what I waited all season for? I mean, who cares?
Amazing how Lost can go from being one of the best shows on television to one of the absolute worst. Of course, why should I be surprised? J.J. Abrams f#@%ed up Alias, so I guess it was only a matter of time before he destroyed Lost as well. He has a real talent for starting out with something mind-boggling cool, then letting it degrade to utter shit.
And speaking of Alias... what started out as a slightly promising fourth season (after a disastrous third season)... quickly slid into something far, far worse. Now we've got big red balls and Night of the Living Dead zombies? WTF? And sorry, but no, the little plot twist at the end does NOT make up for what a crap season this turned out to be. Unless something really spectacular happens in the season-opener of these shows, I'm done with them both.
Thankfully there was Veronica Mars this year with a REAL pay-off for the fans at the finale. Otherwise, I might have just given up on television entirely.
Sweet! Thanks to terrific DVD sales, the highly entertaining Futurama may be revived in the form of direct-to-DVD movies! I loved this show, and felt that it had surpassed the later seasons of The Simpsons in quality. Originally, I had thought that it was too much to hope that the show would come back (like Family Guy did), but now there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Bender has got to be one of the funniest characters created for television. He had me at "bite my shiny metal ass"...
In other television news, I've been main-lining continuous episodes of Scrubs from the Season One DVD set all day while catching up on work. It never ceases to amaze me that a show this smart and funny has not been cancelled yet. Go buy it immediately...
Lastly, I am having to rearrange a few things here this weekend in hopes that I can conserve bandwidth. I am really close to blowing past my new limit (that didn't take long), and hope that dividing up some long, long archives by year will help out. It's just my luck that this would happen right as I am trying to get things together before I head over to Seattle next week for work.
As a part of my plan to slip into a television coma yesterday, I've started watching the first season of Alias again. And oh how far this once mighty show has fallen.
There's only one word to describe what it once was: stunning.
Compare anything from those first magical episodes to the complete shit we've got now in the third and fourth season, and the difference is staggering. It's almost like watching two completely different shows. And all of that makes me wonder... how could an amazing program that once had edge-of your seat espionage and was one of the best things on TV be allowed to degenerate into a weak X-Files parody with vampires, zombies and other such bullshit? They shouldn't even be allowed to call it Alias anymore, because it just isn't. I'm totally embarrassed for everybody involved.
Somebody needs to bitch-slap J.J. Abrams and then kick some sense into him. Alias has pretty much been flushed down the toilet... and his other creation, Lost is well on its way. Does he even care? Or is he too busy rolling around naked in huge wads of cash to give a crap?
Oooh, look... Michael Jackson is like totally innocent!
Well, I sincerely doubt he's totally innocent, but given the wonderful job the prosecution did of piling on bad evidence on top of bad witnesses, it's the verdict he gets. Why oh why didn't they just focus on a child molestation case instead of all the stupid shit that diluted everything into an un-winable mess?
I'd attempt to be shocked, but it's exactly as I predicted...
Do I think that Michael Jackson is guilty of everything he was charged with? No. Do I think he acted completely inappropriately with little boys he invited into his bed "so that he could show his love for them"? Uh, yeah. This is just not normal behavior, and the fact that the child accuser provided graphic details as to the incidents... well, something very wrong was going on there. The fact that Michael gets away with it is really sick.
The real losers are, of course, the kids. Their innocence has been taken, but whether it was by Michael Jackson or the prosecution is open to debate. I still blame the parents. Where in the f#@% were they when this crap was going on?
I think the 18-20 hour work days are finally getting to me. Just one more day left before I am caught up and can go back to a more sane schedule. Thankfully television is in reruns, or else I'd be screwed. It's bad enough I'm two weeks behind on email, I don't think I could handle being behind two weeks on TiVo.
There is something new happening on HBO though. Six Feet Under is actually getting good again (after a disastrous run last year). The fact that they brought back the utterly brilliant Illeana Douglas for a guest shot is just icing on the cake. Would somebody please give her a series?
HBO's other brilliant show, Entourage, remains highly entertaining despite the fact that the main plot for the series has kind of stalled right now. Some of this has to do with the amazing writing talent behind the show's better-than-real dialogue, but MOST of the credit has to go to Jeremy Piven, who completely rules the earth as slimy talent manager Ari Gold. I wish that they would shift the focus of the show to him since his character is anything but boring. If not, would somebody give him a series? Or better yet, bring back the best show ever to air on television, Cupid?
And last on my television hit list... why did ABC stop re-runnning Grey's Anatomy? The more I watch it, the more I like it... even when it's an episode I've seen before. I could have really used an episode last night. The good news is that TV Shows on DVD is reporting that the series will come out on DVD soon. I wonder how soon is "soon"?
Argh. I'm falling asleep while typing this. Here's hoping I can get more than 4 hours sleep before starting all over again.
I've decided to recover from three weeks of doing nothing but work... by doing nothing much at all. I fully plan to stay in bed surfing the internet most of the day. At most I'll be catching up on the tremendous backlog of blog-reading and maybe watch my News Radio DVD set. I have no plans to leave the apartment today... even for a motorcycle ride, which will tell you exactly how lazy I plan on being.
One thing that has already caught my eye (via an entry on Boing Boing) is a Japanese artist named Toru Kanamori who was an illustrator for Star Trek novels back in the day. He is retired now, and unable to take on book assignments as he once did. But, since he still needs to make a living, he is looking for some kind of licensing or publishing deal for his stunning collection of original art...
Amazing. And there are at least 400 more illustrations sitting in a cardboard box in a suburb of Tokyo just begging to be seen. I mean, holy crap! Somebody get Kanamori-san a book deal or a gallery showing A.S.A.P.!
It is rare that I just dump a news story here for linking purposes, but I had to make an exception for this. To read more about the artist and his work, there is a web site up.
I just hope the blood-sucking licensing department over at Paramount will respect the fact that Kanamori-san is responsible for selling a bunch of their books in Japan, and not hassle the guy if somebody is smart enough to want to publish his works.
I finished the last episode from my News Radio DVD set, and then turned to watching Joss Whedon's Firefly. I never saw the show past those few episodes that aired before it was cancelled. But now that the big Serenity movie is coming out, I thought it was time to take a look.
Besides, I got the entire series on sale for a ridiculous $22.
And it's probably the best $22 I've ever spent on DVDs. A real pity that FOX decided to screw Joss (not to mention the fans) and cancel it, because everything about the show is brilliant... from the writing to the special effects. I wish they hadn't moved the film all the way to September.
And then I decided to play around with putting the set together for my tooncast (a Flash animation follows, but you probably have to be in a browser to see it?)...
Look! It's going to be in widescreen! I'm so totally HDTV-ready.
Of course, I need to finish the theme song and record the introduction before I can animate the opening of the show for real, but it was fun to goof around with it for a bit. I am particularly pleased with the multi-planing that goes on between the set and the photo of Seattle in the background. But the amazing thing is that the file is only a measly 120K. No audio or anything, but there's still a lot going on for such a small size. There's a logo now too...
There's probably not much else I can do until my new microphone, pre-amp, mixing board, and compressor arrives next week. I need audio before I can really get to work.
I gave up on MTV ages ago. That's because somewhere along the way they seemed to forget that the "M" in "MTV" stood for "music" and abandoned the idea of actually playing music. Instead you have a lot of dumbass crap that has nothing to do with music at all. A simple and brilliant idea has been destroyed utterly.
But I made an exception yesterday, because I wanted to see the Live 8 concert. So I had TiVo record the entire thing... the plan being that I could sit down this morning and skip to all the bands I wanted to see.
Leave it to the insanely stupid, greedy ass-hats at MTV to totally rape a benefit show.
NOTE TO THE STUPID f#@%S IN CHARGE OF MTV "MUSIC" TELEVISION: Live 8 is a benefit concert to raise awareness of the plight of poverty-sricken countries within the African continent. And, while applaud you taking time to air educational segments to show people the horrors of what is going on there, YOUR VIEWERS TUNE IN TO A "CONCERT" FOR THE MUSIC!!! So when you continuously interrupt performances so no-talent idiots can provide useless commentary and introduce yet another commercial... RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A SONG... that makes you THE STUPIDEST f#@%ING IDIOTS ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET!!
I kept skipping forward past the endless commercials to try to actually find "music" in the broadcast, but it was a rare event. Apparently MTV could give a shit about what's going on in Africa, and saw this as nothing more than a money-making opportunity from continuous advertising revenue. "Oh look! It's Maroon 5!" But then they interrupt for a commercial and so that some dumb bitch can wander through the audience asking people "what have you learned here today?"
Well I've learned that MTV sucks ass on a level of ass-sucking I never thought was obtainable. What a bunch of moronic pricks. I eventually gave up trying to even watch... there was just no point in it.
f#@% MTV. If I lived in New York, I'd be protesting in front of your Times Square studio.
Protesting or fire-bombing... one or the other.
UPDATE: Okay then, I'm not the only one who thinks MTV sucks.
Since I am only home for a day to clear off my desk at work and grab some clean clothes, there's not much time for anything else. I pretty much had two goals outside of that: 1) Set up my "recording studio" and 2) Catch up on my TiVo.
Setting up audio recording on the computer-side of things was as simple as I had thought it would be (hey, it's a Macintosh). But since I am a complete novice at this type of stuff, the hardware was a bit more difficult. First I had to figure out how to get it all connected. Then I had to play with all the various dials and switches to try and figure out what they do (the documentation was surprisingly sparse). And then I had to learn the software and experiment with the hundreds of filters and effects to see what works. In then end, this is what I'm working with...
My initial efforts sound a hundred times better than what I was getting before I bought the proper equipment. The recorded sound is much, much warmer and pleasing to listen to (even if it is me). But all is not perfect. The microphone is very sensitive to even the slightest ambient noise... the whir of the hard drive... the click of the mouse... everything is recorded. Some of this can be filtered out, but not all of it. Adjusting the gain doesn't seem to help. Before I can get serious, I'm going to have to either find a quieter spot or figure out a way to lessen the distracting noises.
Then it's time to start animating the tooncast.
Catching up on TiVo was far easier, because there's very little new stuff on TV. About the only thing to see was INXS: Rock Star and The Family Guy. Both were fairly entertaining (though I thought Wil was more talented than some of the other INXS wannabes, and shouldn't have been voted out so quickly). But it was The Family Guy which blew me away. The show is famous for pop culture homages and quirky parody, but their use of a-ha's Take on Me video was pure genius. Chris goes to get a carton of milk when a strangely familiar hand reaches out to him...
So much left to do before I fly out again...
I am becoming more and more convinced that the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica is not only one of the best science-fiction epics ever created, but perhaps once of the best TV shows ever. It's a bizarre hybrid of smart sci-fi and character-driven drama that lapses into absurd moments of current-day-earth reality at a moment's notice. This is both exciting and frustrating at the same time, but it's hard to argue with the results.
Until the new television season starts, it's the best show you're probably not watching.
In some respects, it's a voyeuristic guilty pleasure because so many of the characters are deeply flawed. Watching them fumble through their trials is fascinating entertainment which is filled with never-ending surprises. I don't think I am alone in feeling just a little bit dirty for having pried into their lives.
Where the show stumbles is in its failure to maintain a consistent "world" in which these characters can exist. Vehicles on other planets are just every-day earth cars, complete with license plates. Characters have nick-names like "hot dog" where hot dogs don't exist. Everyday US English idioms are commonplace, even though these people have never been to earth. Sure it helps the average viewer relate better to the show, but it's poor science fiction that is otherwise so brilliant in execution. On top of all that, soldiers aboard the Galactica are killed off at alarming rate, making you wonder when they're going to run out. How many can there be?
On the other hand, the acting, stories, and special effects are shockingly good... more than making up for any shortcomings. If that weren't enough, Cylons are bad-ass (or, in the case of Number Six and Boomer, bad-ass sexy!).
And now, from the opposite end of the sexy spectrum, comes the Dell XPS laptop. I keep seeing commercials where some idiot in a coffee shop sees another guy using the XPS and keeps trying to touch it because he thinks that it's so cool and sexy. This is baffling because, to me at least, the "XPS" must stand for "eXcruciatingly ugly Piece of Shit"! Just look at it!
You know when you go to the luggage store how there are three kinds of luggage you can buy? First there's the really amazing-looking expensive stuff that you can't afford. Then there's the average-priced nice-looking stuff that you settle for. And finally there's the cheap-ass-looking crap that you'd be embarrassed to be seen with? Well, Dell went for the cheap-ass embarrassing luggage look here, and not even the MacOS-inspired background on the desktop can save it.
The aluminum shed siding alone is hysterical, but the retro-futuristic lettering and clutzy duo-tone color scheme just pushes it way over the top. It looks like something a redneck would put out on the porch along with the refrigerator and a recliner! As if using Windows wasn't painful enough, Dell expects you to lug this pile of crap around with you? Jonathan Ive must be laughing his ass off thinking "THIS is my competition?!?".
But I'm just a Mac snob, so what do I know. Perhaps this is what the kids are considering "cool" now-a-days.
(If that's really true, I weep for the future)
I swear, Rock Star: INXS keeps getting better and better every week. Tonight's episode was amazing from start to finish, with some stunning covers of classic (and not-so-classic) songs that had me wondering why anybody would ever watch that lame American Idol crap ever again. While some performances were definitely weaker than others, each one was worth a listen. Jordis, as usual, was great... with a soulful rendition of Knockin' on Heaven's Door. I also enjoyed MiG's sweet take on Baby I Love Your Ways and Marty channeling Curt Cobain singing Britney with Hit Me Baby One More Time.
It's interesting to extrapolate fan favorites by looking at the number of comments on each performer's most recent blog entry. As of this writing, the totals are as follows:
It would seem that J.D. is currently favored, which is really too bad considering he is such an ass. Then we drop to Jordis, which is not surprising, as she's amazing. After MiG and Marty, everybody else is kind of trailing, with Jessica and Deanna at the bottom of the heap. I still maintain that J.D. or MiG will take the prize. Personally, I think that MiG is their best bet because not only is he a fellow Aussie, but he actually seems like a very talented guy that works well with a band. J.D. is a loner who wants it his way or no way, and INXS would be walking away with a loaded cannon if they were to choose him. Jordis is simply too talented to win.
Regardless, both J.D. and Jordis will absolutely end up with recording contracts, so it's not like they will be suffering if MiG gets the gig. Truthfully, they are probably both better off if they don't win.
I certainly hope that whoever is in charge here is smart enough to release a "best of" CD after the show ends, featuring some of the amazing performances we've heard along the way. There are quite a few songs that I definitely wouldn't mind hearing again.
Other than guessing who will win, one question remains: what band is going to step up for season 2 of Rock Star?
Just finished watching the series finale of Six Feet Under and have to say the ending was amazing. There was so much going on in the last six minutes that I've re-watched them five times now. And with each viewing I see something new that causes me to freeze-frame and try to put the pieces together.
It could very well be one of the most beautiful and brilliant six minutes of television ever aired.
This is a bit sad for me, because I honestly think that the show has been crap for the last three seasons. The constant bouts of bitching, whining, screaming, and yelling by every single character is more than anybody should be subjected to for entertainment. Fortunately creator Alan Ball knew when to say "when" and mercifully killed it before it got any worse.
And killed it in such a cool way that it leaves you wanting more.
The ending was made all the more special by using the hauntingly beautiful song Breathe Me by Sia. I went to go buy it at the iTunes music store, but it was only available if you buy the entire album at $12.99. I went to buy it from Sia's site, but the $1.72 to get it resulted in a Windows Media file that won't play on a Mac. Once again, the RIAA is simply not getting the fact that they force people to steal, then continue to bitch about it. Congratulations, you're all dumbasses. So now I had to get my Windows machine to work, import the song, burn a copy to CD, then import a copy with inferior quality into my Mac to listen to it. Lovely.
SPOILERS! I'm making a list of the things in those last six minutes, and am putting it in an extended entry for those who don't want to have it spoiled. If you caught something that I didn't, please leave a comment so I can add it!→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
I didn't bother to watch the Emmys because the most deserving shows never seem to win.
And there was an new episode of Family Guy on.
But, now that the winners have been announced, I figure I might as well dissect the results...
Now I am even more glad I didn't bother to watch, as I would have been screaming at the television most of the time. I mean, Everybody Loves Raymond... are you f#@%ing serious??
It's time for new TV!
Supernatural. Supposed to be spooky. I figured that out when they posted a notice before the show telling you to turn out the lights. Not bad. Not great. "Alex" from Dark Angel is here, as is "Dean" from Gilmore Girls. I'll try it for a few more episodes, but every time I watch I'll be thinking one thing: "Why couldn't they have kept Miracles on the air?"
Threshold. Oooh! The aliens are going to invade not from space, but from a mathematical equation! Promising sci-fi horror show with a who's-who cast that boggles the mind. Peter Dinklage alone will keep me watching. The initial two-hour pilot was a bit covoluted, but at least it tried to keep moving. I think that when it gets cut back to its regular 1-hour running time it could be something interesting. I worry that viewers won't give it a chance.
Surface. Oooh! The aliens are going to invade not from space, but from out of the ocean! And who cares, because this show is slow. Slow. Slow. Slow. At least with Lost they started out with a bang and THEN got slow... here we're starting off boring from the very start. Lake Bell, who I loved in Boston Legal, is a gum-smacking waste of space that is annoying to the point of horror. I hope the sea monsters eat her very soon. Not that I'll ever be tuning into another episode. I predict this will be one of the first casualties of the season.
How I Met Your Mother. All the laughs seem forced, though I think there is enough promise here that it could become something worth watching if they find their "groove." The premise is certainly nifty enough. Neil Patrick Harris, who totally stole Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle is once again chewing up every scene he's in, and is easily the highlight for me. He provides one of the best lines of the night as well... "Look at you, you beautiful bastard! You suited up! This is totally going in my blog!!"
Kitchen Confidential. I always thought that Bradley Cooper was wasted on Alias, and this new show proves me right... kind of. It's hard to tell, because I don't like the supporting cast at all. Andrea Parker had a surprise appearance, but it looks as though her character is gone, leaving nobody worth watching (including a sleepwalking Frank Langella and vapid Nicholas "Xander" Brendan). The sad part about this is that Bradley Cooper delivers, and the show's concept is brilliant. Having worked in a couple of kitchens, I know there's delicious material to draw from. I will be watching to see if the cast rises to Cooper's level here, but I remain skeptical... yet hopeful.
Las Vegas. ACK! WHAT HAPPENED TO NESSA HOLT ON LAS VEGAS?!? They seem to have replaced the sweet hotness of Marsha Thomason with the skanky scariness of Laura Flynn Boyle. Now why in the heck would they go and do something as stupid as that? What a revolting development. Oh well, at least Sam is still around. As a P.S. here, I think the new design for the Montecito is stupid... both inside and out. The giant waterfall is ludicrous, and when you marry it to some really bad CGI, the casino looks like a joke. The good news is that they finally got fresh "fly-by" material of the city (including the new Wynn hotel), because I was tired of looking at the old crap over and over.
Medium. Cannot believe that Patricia Arquette won an Emmy over Kristen Bell for her work here. She is not at all bad as an actress, and I actually enjoy her character... it just seems so out of league with what's going on at Veronica Mars. Its one saving grace is the fantastic supporting cast and smart, creative writing team.
Next up... the most acclaimed new comedy of the season, My Name is Earl starring fan-favorite Jason Lee. Bitch-Queen of the Universe Martha Stewart gets an Apprentice knock-off. More alien invasion nonsense with the aptly titled Invasion. Chris Rock brings the funny with Everybody Hates Chris. And Jennifer Love Hewitt takes another stab at destroying television with The Ghost Whisperer.
Finally got around to watching My Name is Earl (which is brilliant), Invasion (which shows promise), and the season opener to Lost.
I just don't know what to make of Lost. I mean, had this been the season finale instead of the lame piece of crap show we got months ago... I might be happy. But as a season opener, it's a bit tame. Sure they gave "the hatch" an interesting twist, but when you stop and think about it... there's not much else to it. Somehow I doubt the explanation as to what was down there is going to blow me away, but I remain hopeful.
It will be interesting to see if this season works like last season, where they start off with all the cool stuff and then gradually run out of ideas and drag out the remainder of the season into mindless tedium.
And then there's J.J. Abrams' other show, Alias, which sucked so bad the last couple of seasons that I find myself wondering if I am even going to bother watching this time. I'll probably give it a try to see where they go with the "Vaughn is not Vaughn" story, but what can they do once the pregnancy hits?
Argh. How many days until Veronica Mars' new season starts??
The new television season was in full-swing as I left the country, leaving me a little despondent about not seeing all the cool stuff that was coming up. Fortunately, I have a dual-tuner TiVo to record stuff while I'm gone, so all that's left to do is catch up on all the crap I missed.
Just in case nobody cares about my TV ramblings, I've put everything into an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Alrighty then! So far as I can tell, I've just watched my last episodes of Lost and Alias!
Lost is just ridiculous. They refuse to wrap up mysteries and move on to something new. It's just the same crap over and over and over again. Locke's flashback episode from last year had one of the coolest plot twists and fascinating reveals ever to air on television. What do we get for THIS season's Locke episode? NOTHING! We learn that he had issues with his father and that he dated Katy Sagal. THAT'S IT!! And then there's all the long, drawn-out angst and drama with absolutely no substance. Locke and Jack argue about PUSHING A F#@%ING BUTTON for like, TEN MINUTES!! Who gives a crap about PUSHING A BUTTON?!?
WTF? Seriously, that's the best we're going to get? And how many f#@%ing times are we going to see flashbacks of how everybody got down the hatch? It wasn't exciting THE FIRST TIME!
And then look at next week's previews... everybody's going to be arguing and getting all dramatic over FOOD. This might have been interesting if everybody was shown to be starving for the past five episodes. But oh no... food is never mentioned. Now, next week, COMPLETELY OUT OF THE BLUE food is going to make for a lot of senseless yelling and screaming. Not because it moves the story forward, but because the writers seem to think that yelling and screaming is entertaining television...
Well, whatever... I'm done. Unless Evangeline Lilly starts walking around topless, I just don't care. If they ever bother to answer any ACTUAL F#@%ING QUESTIONS SO WE CAN MOVE ON TO SOMETHING NEW and stop milking the same old crap, somebody let me know.
Alias is almost as bad. I sit back in total amazement wondering what happened to one of my favorite shows. The first two seasons were miraculous. Mind-blowing spy intrigue that simply didn't let up. Watching an episode of Alias was like running a marathon where you were totally exhausted at the end, yet begging for more. Now, everything that made the show so cool is gone. It's just GONE.
Sydney's undercover operations in exotic locations? GONE! The Rimbaldi mystery? GONE! Competition with Anna Espinosa? GONE! A worthy bad guy? GONE! A secret double-life to hide from friends? GONE! And keep in mind here... it's not like they wrapped up all these things and then moved on to something even more interesting. Oh no. They just abandoned them and went on to stories far less entertaining (like last season's "zombie" episodes). Alias is just a run-of-the-mill, wanna-be action drama now. I keep expecting Steven Segall to guest star.
I'm not saying that the show has to stay the exact same all the time (that would make it Lost), I'm just saying that you can't expect people to stick around while the writers rest on their laurels and take the easy way out at every opportunity. I was hoping that the nifty cliffhanger would have Michael Vaughn turn out to be evil or something cool. Instead, they set up a potentially delicious new direction for the show... then dump it without consequence.
Well, whatever... I've had enough. If it ends up being Vaughn in the cryo-chamber or something interesting, somebody let me know.
I blame my impatience and dissatisfaction on Veronica Mars. If Veronica wasn't so frickin' amazing... illustrating how GOOD television can actually be... I might be content with the latest crapfest coming out of Lost and Alias. Instead, JJ Abrams can suck it. Get off your ass and FIX YOUR LAME-ASS SHOWS!!
Returning home from back-to-back travels is never a good thing. Not only has work piled up while you were gone, but your TiVo ends up so packed with television shows to watch that you have to wonder if you will ever manage to work your way free.
Fortunately, there are only two shows I can't live without, and all the rest I am pretty much skimming through, so it's not as bad as it could be. Good thing, because I don't have the time for television right now...
Sigh. When a television genius like Joss Whedon says that Veronica Mars is the best TV show ever you would think that people would want to watch it. The fact that this is a true statement makes you think that people would be dying to watch it. Every episode is so tightly written and so brilliantly acted that the show seems to redeem television all on its own. Sadly, despite all of this (or, knowing American viewing habits, IN spite of this), the show will be lucky to last out its second season.
What is wrong with you people?
Last season was excellent from start to finish, and the last few episodes had jaw-dropping moments so profound that I wanted to have Rob Thomas' baby (he's the guy who created the show). This year, Veronica has shown no signs of slowing down and the episodes have been as amazing as ever. If you think this is just another high school angst crapfest, you couldn't be more wrong. It's a brilliant detective drama/comedy that's the one of the most clever and intelligent series ever to air on network television. It's only been five episodes and already we've had a tragic bus crash, a cameo appearance by Kevin Smith, Charisma Carpenter in a bikini, Steve Guttenberg, and Veronica is being her usual self... destroying powerful people and solving mysteries that Jessica Fletcher wouldn't have the balls to face. If you are missing Veronica Mars, you are missing life. The first season is out on DVD now, so there are no excuses.
Speaking of Kevin Smith, he's got a blog running for the filming of Clerks 2 and a spoiler images he's provided shows that one of the funniest people on the planet, Wanda Sykes, will be making an appearance. This woman is so funny that I actually sat through the movie Monster-in-Law (starring, heaven help us, Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez) because Sykes was in it. I am trying really, really hard not to get overly-psyched for Clerks 2, but I absolutely cannot wait to see what crazy stuff Smith is going to do with the "Jersey Trilogy" this time.
After Veronica Mars, the best show going has to be Grey's Anatomy (Sundays at 10pm, ABC). The medical drama part is better than ER, the comedy part is sheer writing genius, the eye candy is sweet (in the form of Katherine Heigl and Sandra Oh), and it has my favorite character on television (George). This show could have failed so easily because the dialogue doesn't really impress on the page, but the cast somehow makes every line sparkle. Who could guess that a simple exchange like this could be the funniest thing on television all week...
Izzy: "Way to go George!"
George: "I have my finger in a heart."
Izzy: "Very cool!"
It's just so flat when you see it in print, but when performed by Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight it totally kills. I have no idea how they can keep things going so well for more than a couple of seasons, but I sure hope they manage it. Veronica doesn't have the ratings (a scary 2.5) to run much longer, but Grey's is a hit (a stellar 12.2) and can have a nice long run if they keep things interesting enough.
And speaking of stellar, Mr. Sulu has just come out of the closet and announced he's gay. Well, not really Mr. Sulu... he's married and has a daughter just out of Starfleet Academy... but the guy who plays him, George Takei. This got me to wondering why we haven't yet seen a gay character in Star Trek. I mean, in the Star Trek future everybody is supposed to be so advanced and tolerant of alternative lifestyles (you'd have to be with aliens walking around), yet it seems that anything not hetero has been jettisoned into space. It's all kind of bizarre when you stop and think about it. For the next Star Trek series, why not toss in a couple of hot alien lesbians and see if that affects ratings any. Nothing makes a sci-fi geek happier than hot alien lesbians.
And, since there is no better way to end a post than by talking about hot alien lesbians, I guess there's no point blathering on any further.
Tonight there's a new episode of Veronica Mars on, yet all I see is promos for somebody dying on Lost. How sad. I mean, they can kill off all the characters they want on Lost but it isn't going to change the fact that the show is spinning its wheels and nothing new is happening. It's just the same old stories and the same old mysteries and the same old plot twists being recycled for another season. Where is the payoff? How many times can they sneak Hurley's "bad numbers" into a scene and expect people to still care? I sure don't. Not anymore. I stopped watching weeks ago.
And speaking of Veronica Mars, what is going on with the Buffy The Vampire Slayer reunion there? First we get Alyson Hannigan (Willow) appearing as Logan's sister Trina Echolls...
Then Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia) shows up as Dick and Beaver's delicious step-mom (and Logan's new lover!) Kendall Casablancas...
And now Buffy creator Joss Whedon Himself is guest starring. Not as a writer or director, but as an actor...
When a talent like Joss Whedon not only writes a rave review for Veronica Mars on DVD, calls it one of the best shows ever, AND decided to try acting on the show... what more do you need to know? Veronica Mars is the shit! Take a whiff tonight at 9:00pm on UPN! Unlike Lost, STUFF ACTUALLY HAPPENS!!
And in non-Veronica news...
In yesterday's entry I was whining about wanting a Giordano's pizza and my misery over having to settle for a crappy Cheese Pizza Hot Pocket instead. Some of you were nice enough to sympathize with my sad existence, and I thank you for your pity. Then I happened upon a comment that took me by surprise...
Okay. Get this: my wife grew up on Giordano's pizza that when she met me (a guy who thought PIzza Hut Deep Dish was the best pizza ever) she had Giordano's sent us pizza halfway across the country for a special occasion. Did you know they do that? For a price, they ship them half cooked in dry ice — then you finish the job at home in the oven. Works awesome, and you get that amazing Giordano's pizza.
Mmm, can't wait till Christmas to get back to Chi-town and eat myself up some of that goodness.
Posted by Pauly D on November 09, 2005
At first I was surprised at the thought of being able to order a REAL pizza from Girodano's here in the backwaters of Washington State... for a price... but then I followed the link for "Pauly D" and got the real surprise of the evening.
Here is my response to the above comment:
Okay. Get THIS: You are THE Paul Davidson!
I'd seen your comments here and added you to my list of blogs to check out. It never registered to me that you are the "Consumer Joe" guy until I visited your web site last night.
Your book Words for My Enjoyment was passed to me when I started helping out at the local library, and I loved it. I was going through a difficult time just then, and it was nice to find something to laugh about.
And now I find out that you have a blog where you are giving away your writing for free! Sweet!
But something is puzzling to me...
What in the heck are you doing reading my crappy blog? I'd think that to REAL writers like yourself, James Bow, and Cavan Terrill, and dozens of other bloggers far more talented than I) my blog would be absolute torture. I mean, doesn't it drive you crazy pouring over my dangling participles and never-ending ellipsises? Or my making plurals out of words like "ellipsis" that are already plural in their singular form? Or talking about "dangling participles" when I don't even know what they are? Is it some kind of self-inflicted torture? I heard once that good writers are tortured writers... is this what does it for you? Reading crappy blogs I mean? And, because I am really curious, how much alcohol do you have to consume before reading Blogography doesn't make you want to gouge your eyes out?
Oh well. Here you are. I suppose I should thank you for stopping by... but I feel like I should apologize or something instead, so here it goes.
I am so very, very sorry.
And for everybody else out there, stop reading this right now and go read this instead...
It is laugh-your-ass-off funny, and a mere $10.36 at Amazon! If you can't wait for a taste of Paul Davidson, then take a look at his blog: Words for My Enjoyment, which is far more entertaining than anything I write here.
And do NOT forget to watch Buffy Mastermind Joss Whedon make his acting debut on Veronica Mars tonight on UPN!
TBS (Turner Broadcasting System) is airing a 2-hour star-studded event called "Earth to America" which is an attempt to educate people as to the dangers of global warming via a comedy standup show. It's a great idea, and a noble gesture for TBS to take time out of their busy schedule of Friends and Sex and the City reruns to air it.
Except that they're running DUMBASS ADVERTISING at the bottom of the screen during the show. I guess that makes TBS complete and total tools. It's like "Save the Planet... but be sure to watch Everybody Loves Raymond weeknights at 7:00 and 7:30! Lame!
TBS = Total Bull Shit?
Watching television is getting to be a horrible exercise in self-inflicted torture.
Let's face it, most of what's on TV is crap. And once you finally do find something to watch, it's constantly being interrupted by commercials. But even that wasn't enough for dumbass network execs, because they've also started putting advertising ON TOP OF THE SHOW YOU ARE TRYING TO WATCH! It's getting so bad and so distracting that sometimes it is hard to focus on the actual show...
You would think that it couldn't get any worse than that.
But you would be wrong.
Now networks are trying to drive traffic to their web sites by offering "exclusive scenes" of their popular shows which are only available online. For example, at the end of the last CSI Miami episode, there was a huge banner telling you to visit CBS.com to see the "extended ending" for the show. Nevermind that a good chunk of their viewers probably don't even have access to the internet... for some reason CBS is just dying to get people to their site.
So off I go.
And what I find there is something that I guess you could call it an extended ending to CSI Miami, but it's kind of hard to tell when the entire segment seems to be nothing more than Hummer beauty shots that happen to take place in front of some actors...
Seriously, it's in EVERY SHOT! They didn't even attempt to make it subtle... it's a Hummer ad.
Now we know. Apparently it's not enough that networks are whoring out their shows for product placement (accepting money to feature products IN the show)... now they are BUILDING SHOWS AROUND THE ADVERTISING! And what's so totally lame here is that they actually worked that gas-guzzling Hummer into the dialogue!! So now we have the entire cast of CSI Miami driving around in Hummers. As if David Caruso's pathetic "acting" wasn't enough to make me gag, now the show has turned into an advertisement that's interrupted with more advertising with advertising in the advertising.
Next week it will be a new CSI Miami "extended ending" sponsored by Massengil feminine hygiene products...
Det. Horatio Cane: Calleigh, do you ever have those moments where you just aren't feeling fresh?
Calleigh Dusquesne: Excuse me?
Det. Horatio Cane: You know... down there...
Calleigh Dusquesne: OH! Of course I do! There's no need to be embarrassed, everybody does! But freshness isn't a problem since I discovered Massengil's NEW Herbal Douche!
Det. Horatio Cane: Really? Calleigh, you are a life-saver! Ha ha!
Calleigh Dusquesne: Ha ha! No problem! Now go douche yourself and then we'll try to figure out how our murderer managed to feed this dead body into a food processor.
Det. Horatio Cane: Will do! Oh... and Calleigh... that's no ordinary food processor, that's a NEW Cuisinart Model 6000, with titanium blades that are able to make short work of even the toughest foods... and even tough body parts like bones!
Calleigh Dusquesne: Wow! I need one of those for my kitchen! Now hurry up with that NEW Massengil Herbal Douche, Horatio... you're not getting any fresher by just standing there!
I'm sure networks will defend themselves over this kind of blatant forced-advertising by claiming they have no choice... people with TiVo and VCRs are forcing them to work ads INTO the shows, because people aren't watching them OUTSIDE of the show. Well, whatever. All it's doing is making me not want to watch television AT ALL.
Except, of course, for the most excellent VERONICA MARS airing tonight at 9:00 on UPN!
Tonight was a bit of a bummer. I had some errands to run in Wenatchee, and decided to stop by Quizno's for a bite to eat. Despite my love of all things Quizno-Toasty, I don't eat there very often because it's so astoundingly expensive. But it was the least I could do to reward myself for having to brave the cold and crowded streets. Unfortunately, Quizno's has now crossed over the line from "merely expensive" to "total rip-off." Their bread, which used to be of fairly good size, was barely over 2-inches wide on my sandwich tonight! WTF? Was this some kind of freak bread accident, or is Quizno's shrinking the size of their sandwiches on purpose? They sure as heck didn't shrink the price.
As if that wasn't bad enough, it was a fairly mediocre episode of Veronica Mars on this evening. Of course, it's only mediocre when compared to other episodes of Veronica Mars. Compared to all the other crap on television, it's positively brilliant. My one complaint is the lame resolutions for Deputy Leo and Meg, which seems to have been a half-hearted attempt to explain their absences in future episodes.
Fortunately, there was one good thing that happened today... my DVD set for the complete first season of 80's classic Hart to Hart arrived! There's something special about a show that features a massively wealthy couple who are so bored that they travel the world solving mysteries with their dog and their butler. Heaven only knows this is exactly what I would do if I had big money.
Well, that and being able to afford to eat at Quiznos with their new and unimproved skinny bread.
CHAPTER 7: All I Want for Christmas is my Two Left Feet
LEGO ADVENT CALENDAR TOY OF THE DAY: Safe with Precious Gemstones.
A stranger named Lego Buzz has appeared on the scene and cut the dead crooked cop into itty bitty pieces...
"How is this supposed to help?" Lego Dave asked. "Now instead of one easy-to-carry body we've got a bunch of really gross chunks!"
"Bark! Bark!" added the dog helpfully.
"Chill out buddy!" Lego Buzz replied. "I've got an idea. Grab some parts and follow me!"
Gathering bloody meth-addicted chunks of policeman in their arms (and a severed hand in Barky's mouth) the motley crew runs away from the raging crack house inferno just as the fire department arrives.
"Quick, in here!" Lego Buzz says as he enters the back door of a jewelry store. "I was breaking into the safe when I saw you guys axe that bad copper across the street!"
"And what are we supposed to do with these body parts?" Lego Dave asks as he waves a left foot in the air.
"Easy!" Lego Buzz chirps happily. "We'll put the body pieces in this safe then toss it in the river!"
"Are you nuts?" Lego Dave replied cautiously. "All of this won't fit in that tiny safe!"
"WE'LL PUT THE BODY PIECES IN THE SAFE AND TOSS IT IN THE RIVER I SAY!!" Lego Buzz screamed. "AND I'M GOING TO PUT YOU AND THAT DOG IN THE SAFE TOO! BWAH HA HA HAAAAAH!.
Lego Buzz revs up his rotary saw and starts moving slowly towards our hero and his brave canine companion.
"Bark! Bark!" says the dog in alarm, the severed hand dropping from his mouth...
Whoa! How is Lego Dave going to get out of this one?
FIND OUT TOMORROW WHEN DAVE'S "A VERY LEGO HOLIDAY TALE" CONTINUES!
This afternoon I wanted to work at home so I could concentrate on my job without distraction. But, since I live in an apartment complex with a bunch of elderly people who are hearing impaired, "distraction" is a relative term. In order to compensate for slamming doors and radios being blasted at full-volume, I mask the ambient noise by cranking the volume on my television. The trick is to find some show that you are completely uninterested in so that you won't want to pay attention to it.
Since Lost wasn't playing, I settled on Little House on the Prairie.
For those who have never seen it, the show is a bundle of wholesome entertainment that's about as entertaining as head lice. It centers around a 19th century pioneer family who settle in a small frontier town in the American Old West. From what I've seen, the stories are usually folksy little anecdotes that should take ten minutes to tell, but are somehow drug out into an hour... things like one of the daughters telling a lie to their parents and feeling bad about it, but they tell the truth in the end and everybody lives happily ever after. Thrilling, I know.
Usually, I could safely ignore the show, because this kind of ridiculous pap is everything I loathe in television. But something happened today. Something different. The harder I tried to ignore it, the more riveted I became.
Today's episode revolved around the town moron (Luke) falling in love with the town bitch (Nellie), but things got complicated when the town school teacher (Miss Beadle) found out that Luke was buying a $1.05 ring for another girl... oh the humanity! During the aftermath, I was treated to some of the most compelling dialogue ever to be uttered on television...
Miss Beadle: I came out here to say that anyone who leads a young lady on and then just lets it drop is NOT a very nice person! Luke, how could you be so inconsiderate as to hurt poor Nellie Oleson like that?
Luke: Me hurt Nellie? Shucks Miss Beadle, I'd never do nuthin' to hurt Nellie. She's kinda like my girl.
Miss Beadle: Well then, would you mind explaining the ring that you bought for Mary Ingalls?
Luke: Shoot, I didn't buy that ring for Mary. She just helped me pick it out. It's for Nellie's birthday.
Luke's Dad: Yeah! He spent most of the money he was savin' for a rifle on it!
Luke: It was worth it... for Nellie.
Miss Beadle: Oh Luke, I'm sorry! I apologize. I- I can see now it was just an unfortunate misunderstanding.
Luke: That's okay. I'm gonna give her the ring tomorrow night before we go to the corn shuckin'!
But the true brilliance of the episode was not realized until Luke's dad decided to put the moves on Miss Beadle!
Luke's Dad: Eva... I reckon' you know how I feel about you. And feelin' like I do, I was hoping-- AWWWWW! I'm just a dumb, uneducated pig farmer!
Miss Beadle: Adam Simms! Don't you DARE talk like that! Now there's a lot more to education than book readin'!! Now look, you know more about pigs... more about hogs... and more about farming than I'll ever know! And what's more, you have wonderful qualities! You've got special qualities that so-called "educated people" will never have! And you're a good man. And you're a good father. And- and you're kind and considerate. And-
Luke's Dad: Eva will you STOP!
Miss Beadle: Well I will if you want me to, I was just trying to show you that--
Luke's Dad: No, no, if you don't stop... I can't ask you if you'll do me the honor of becoming my wife!
Cue the violins.
So as I am sitting there watching the pig farmer with his buck-oh-five ring planning to propose on the evening of the annual corn-shuckin' festival, I start to think... wouldn't it be wonderful to live back in those simpler times? Wouldn't life be so much better without all the complexities of modern life?
If I suddenly found myself living in the Little House on the Prairie, I'd hang myself from the barn rafters.
Well, right after I slap Mrs. Oleson and push Nellie off a cliff. The bitches.
CHAPTER 20: Holly Jolly Smashmouth.
LEGO ADVENT CALENDAR TOY OF THE DAY: Skate Board and Helmet.
Lego Dave is seeking revenge against the evil Lego Buzz for killing his canine companion, Barky the Dog, and has finally learned his location from the nasty Lego Buzz Junior...
"I TOLD YOU WHERE LEGO BUZZ IS, NOW GIVE ME MY REMOTE CONTROL CAR!" screams Lego Buzz Junior.
"It's yours... but, as I said, I need to borrow something..." replies Lego Dave while brandishing his hand-axe. "... YOUR HAND!! Bwah ha haaah!"
"Waaaaahhh!" screams the brat as Lego Dave chops his hand off.
"Oh don't be such a baby!" says Lego Dave. "I'll bring it back so the hospital can sew it back on."
Grabbing the severed hand (which is still clutching the remote control), Lego Dave is tying up Lego Buzz Junior, when he notices a skateboard leaning up against the wall.
"Oh, I'll be borrowing this skateboard too" declares Lego Dave. "And this helmet... you can't be too safe now-a-days!"
"I hope my dad saws your head off!" says Lego Buzz Junior. "You've chopped off the wrong hand, bitch!"
"He is welcome to try" snaps Lego Dave. "Because I'm ready for him this time."
Hopping on the skateboard, our hero takes off towards Main Street for the final confrontation with the evil Lego Buzz.
Will Lego Dave finally be able to avenge the death of Barky the Dog?
FIND OUT TOMORROW WHEN DAVE'S "A VERY LEGO HOLIDAY TALE" CONTINUES!
All morning I've been glued to the WE Channel, which is the Women's Entertainment Channel. Most of the time, I avoid WE like the plague because, well, it's crap isn't it?
But today is different, because it's an English Royalty Marathon!
In an effort to make Americans feel better about the heinous state of our leadership, WE Channel has decided to drag out the glamorous scandals of Great Britain, with a stellar line-up of badly-produced, faux "documentaries" on the Royals. Every hour, there is another tantalizing glimpse into the life and times of The House of Windsor, each more delicious than the last! The titles alone are exciting enough to keep you watching...
It's all very fascinating, and I've learned so much (Her Majesty The Queen prefers to take her breakfast served from Tupperware containers!). Ultimately, after my hours of research, I've come to the conclusion that I should be King...
BOW BEFORE MY MAJESTY!
And my first act as King would be to behead blog plagiarists!
I've already said my peace on the subject... and am starting to see other bloggers venting their frustrations as well (including blogging giant Om Malik). But it's reaching ridiculous heights now, because people think that there is money to be made from blogging, and are desperate to swipe content so they can start raking in the big bucks (ha ha ha). Over Thanksgiving, I was made aware of somebody who decided to rape some of the cartoons I created here... even going so far as to remove copyrights and "improve" the coloring!
I guess on some level you could claim that these alterations of my stuff are "derivative works" which are allowed by my Creative Commons license... but only if you credit the original source (which he didn't) and do not use them for commercial purposes (which he did, as he was clearly using his blog to sell crap). Adding insult to injury, that second "thanks!" cartoon is only displayed here if you leave a comment... which means that the guy actually left me a comment before swiping my stuff! Hey, he may be a thief but, on the other hand, he's got enormous balls!
I've always wanted to end an entry by saying "enormous balls".
Sigh. Another night without internet.
This is getting monotonous.
But, on the other hand, I do get to catch up with my television viewing. I'm so far behind that I don't even care that there's nothing on for the holidays... I just watch deliciously fresh episodes of shows like Grey's Anatomy and be happy (well, they're fresh to me). Sweet!
The only problem with overdosing on television is that I am starting to notice some freaky trends that would otherwise go unnoticed... such as the phrase I never meant to hurt you. I hear it over and over and over again on a variety of shows and genres, and it's so puzzling to me because it doesn't make any sense at all.
Seriously, I just have to ask... does anybody EVER buy it as an excuse?
Izzie catches her new semi-boyfriend Alex sleeping with another woman and, when they finally get around to talking about it, he runs right into the "I never meant to hurt you" excuse. And I'm sitting there like WTF? Gee Alex, when you slept with the bitch, you KNEW Izzie would be hurt if she found out so, in fact, you DID mean to hurt her! What you REALLY meant was "I never meant for you to find out."
On another show, a man murders his wife's father so that she will inherit the money so he can then kill her and have it all... when he gets caught, there it is again: "I never meant to hurt you." And again, I'm all WTF? Dude, you were going to KILL the bitch! Were you planning on using lethal injection or something? Is THAT what you meant by "hurt"? You honestly didn't think that killing your wife's father was going to hurt her?
Then I heard it again when a woman has to bail out her husband because he was arrested while trying to pick up a hooker. She's standing there in the police station with this disappointed look on her face as her hubby comes walking in and screams "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!?" The man just bows his head and says those magic words: I never meant to hurt you as if that's going to fix everything. You'd think the woman would wait until he falls asleep and cut his penis off... but, from what I can tell, they actually ended up staying together. WTF?!?
Surely this is just a television thing. A crutch TV writers use when somebody's done something bad and they just don't know what to make the character say. It couldn't possibly work in real life.
Perhaps I should try it...
Disgruntled Motorist: YOU BASTARD! YOU JUST RAN INTO MY NEW PORSCHE!!
Dave: Sorry, I never meant to hurt you.
Disgruntled Motorist: Awww, that's okay.
Checkout Person: YOU IDIOT! THIS IS THE 10 ITEMS OR LESS LANE AND YOU'VE GOT 48 ITEMS!!
Dave: Sorry, I never meant to hurt anybody.
Checkout Person: Oh... well in that case, let me ring you up.
New Wife: DAVE, HOW COULD YOU?!? YOU SLEPT WITH MY SISTER, AND ELIZABETH HURLEY, AND THE POOL BOY... ALL AT THE SAME TIME... ON OUR HONEYMOON!!
Dave: Sorry, I never meant to hurt you.
New Wife: Really? Oh, well never mind then.
If this works, I'm going to be seriously pissed off that I never knew about it until now.
The coolest thing about having a blog is the lovely death threats you get just for stating your opinion.
Well, in this case, it's not actually a "threat" per se... it's more like harsh tongue lashing without the benefits such an activity might normally involve.
And I owe it all to Tony Danza.
Not Tony Danza personally, but a Tony Danza fanatic who decided to write to me after reading my comments on his talk show. I would never have guessed that Tony was capable of having such a rabid fan base, so naturally I have come to the conclusion that Tony Danza has some kind of demonic mind-control powers. And now his evil minions are hunting down anybody who would dare speak out against their diabolical overlord.
So now I wonder... mild-mannered talk show host, or hellspawn sent to destroy us all?
Apparently the wrath I've incurred is due to The Tony Danza Show being pulled from some key markets like New York and Philadelphia. According to the email I got, horrible people like me "have poisoned people against Tony and created a negative energy to destroy a wonderful show that brings happiness to millions of people". She drives her point home by closing her email with "God bless Tony Danza and I hope you die!".
= Sob! =
Did you see that? She wants me dead! Between this wack-job and Pat Robertson, I don't think any of us are safe. If no new Blogography entries are forthcoming and I should mysteriously disappear... now you'll know why. Tony Danza finally got me.
What a way to go.
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: Dave Approved: Crest
BLOGDATE: August 28, 2004
In which Dave discovers the toothpasty goodness of Crest Whitening Expressions and comes up with a great idea for breakfast.
Click here to go back in time...
It's 8:30 and yet I have no desire to get out of bed.
I don't know why. I'm not tired... I'm not sick... I'm not feeling particularly lazy... I just don't feel like getting up. I'd just rather sit here reading blog feeds and catching up with what's going on in the world. I blame wireless networking for my Sunday malaise. If it weren't for wireless, I would have to get up. So here I am, psyching myself up to climb out of bed, when my friend Meagan calls...
Meagan: Your cartoon is freaking me out!
Meagan: The mini-you chewing with your mouth open.
Meagan: It's hypnotic. I can't stop staring at it.
Meagan: Don't do that anymore.
And so now I am thinking that hypnotic cartoons are the key to my ultimate world domination...
Come to Me. Need Me. Obey Me. Follow me. Love Me.
Now all I need to do is write a virus to infect all the computers in the world with my DaveToon, and I'm one step closer to global sovereignty. BOW DOWN BEFORE ME! KNEEL BEFORE DAVE!! Bwah ha ha ha haaaaaah!
Anyway. I'm still in bed, so I might as well check my email.
Sweet! My undying gratitude to Neil for pointing me to an interview with the ever-delicious Elizabeth Hurley in The Observer. It's all riveting, of course, but the big news is that she is the host of Sky One's Project Catwalk (the UK version of our own Project Runway, which is hosted by Heidi Klum). This is a show where up-and-coming fashion designers compete in a reality television type show. It's somewhat entertaining, but having Elizabeth Hurley hosting has suddenly made it must-see television for me...
So now I sit huddled over my PowerBook, desperately waiting for the Project Catwalk torrent to finish downloading in a mere three hour and thirty-five minutes! Oh well. Better late than never. I can only hope that BBC America picks up the show (which may confuse any Brits reading this, because Sky One and the BBC are separate over there, but here in the US "BBC America" is a catch-all for any UK shows). And, if you ARE in the UK, you can tune into fresh episodes of Project Catwalk Thursdays at 8:00pm.
Mmmmm... new Elizabeth Hurley goodness.
Okay, NOW I am ready to get out of bed.
After watching Project Catwalk six times... I can honestly say that it is the best show to ever appear on television.
Well done Sky One. Well done.
Granted, I only watched the parts which had Elizabeth Hurley in them and fast-forwarded through the rest... but that's all you really need to see anyway.
It was after my fifth time of running a frame-by-frame analysis that I managed to narrow down the 1,216 stills of Liz perfection down to the top ten seen below (just ignore the freaky-ass bitch standing next to her in photo #3)...
And the best part? EIGHT EPISODES LEFT TO GO!
Oh, and before I forget, there is a small difference in Project Catwalk from the American Project Runway version. It turns out that even if Elizabeth Hurley wasn't hosting, the British show would still be superior...
Boobies! What a pity that tight-ass American television censors faint at the sign of breasts. In the one episode I've seen of Project Runway here in the States, they felt the need to pixelate the naughty bits which is just... wrong.
Sigh. Elizabeth Hurley should host all the shows on television.
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: Meme
BLOGDATE: June 22, 2004
In which Dave answers a bunch of questions and figures out the perfect way to iron his shirts.
Click here to go back in time...
I had to work every waking minute today. No blog for you!
Well, okay... maybe a little blog for you since Veronica Mars is yet another rerun tonight.
Time for Dave's Entertainment Minute...
Scrubbed! Holy crap! Scrubs used to be one of the most brilliant shows on television. A show you could count on for smart comedy tempered with poignant moments of human drama. But then the new season happened, and all of a sudden it sucks ass... hard. Gone are the wonderful story threads that weave together beautifully every episode. Instead it's just a patchwork mess of sloppy gags that aren't even funny. The back-to-back episodes I just watched off the TiVo were a complete embarrassment to this once-great show. Please, just cancel it now while people still have good Scrubs memories.
Carter! Little Aaron Carter has just released Come Get It: The Very Best of Aaron Carter, which is a greatest hits collection for an artist who has no actual hits. Ordinarily, I wouldn't care. But I ran across the user comments on the iTunes Music Store and laughed my ass off. Over 300 reviews that include such gems as "If crap had a soundtrack, it would be this" and "A disgrace to music. William Hung is 10 times better than Aaron" and "There is no God" and "The Geneva Convention considers it a war crime to listen to this album". I wish I had the guts to actually buy it.
Oh! By some miracle, the self-congratulating Golden Globes wank-fest actually gave out an award that was deserved... the brutally hot Sandra Oh won Best Supporting Actress for her work on Grey's Anatomy. Sweet.
Super! The more information that gets released from the upcoming Superman Returns motion picture, the more anxious I am to see it. While I love the original Superman and Superman II films, the idea of seeing a Superman treatment with modern special effects is just too good. And now I have to wonder... they've finally got momentum going with DC Comics two most notable franchises... Superman and Batman. Who do I have to blow in order to make every comic book lover's dream come true: a Superman & Batman movie? And once Joss Whedon gets his Wonder Woman flick off the ground, how cool would a Superman & Wonder Woman movie be?
Underwhelm! The original Underworld movie was laughably bad. But what's even worse is that I will be lining up at the theater to see the sequel: Underworld Evolution for the sole purpose of seeing Kate Beckinsale run around in tight latex blowing shit up. High entertainment value with no actual entertainment... it's a conundrum of movie physics that compels me.
Not! Ouch. After airing only a single episode, Heather Graham's new sitcom Emily's Reasons Why Not has been canned, and all production has stopped. Given the millions of dollars that ABC pumped into advertising the show, I am experiencing a moment of perverse pleasure. This is the crappy network who cancelled the greatest show ever to air on television (Jeremy Piven's Cupid) after doing everything they could to sabotage it. Suck it ABC dumbasses! You so totally deserve it.
Back to work I go.
You just figured out Blue's Clues! You just figured out Blue's Clues! You just figured out Blue's Clues because you're really smart!
I don't think it will come as much of a shock to admit that I was a huge fan of the Nickelodeon Kids television show called Blue's Clues. Back in my pre-TiVo days, I'd set the VCR to record the show so I could have something to watch after work. A simple show that I could just sit and decompress with. There was something about the oddly-rendered, superficial world of Blue's Clues that I found calming.
For those of you who have never heard of it, Blue's Clues was about a guy named Steve and his pet dog Blue. Each episode, Blue would wander around leaving paw-prints on three different items in order to give Steve "clues" as to what she was wanting. With each new find, Steve would draw a picture of the clue in his "handy dandy notebook" and then go sit in his big red "thinking chair" to try to solve the mystery. For example, Steve might find clues of an alarm clock, a blanket, and a bed... then come to the fabulous conclusion that Blue wanted to take a nap.
It was good clean fun, and along the way Steve would play games, dance, sing songs, and do other educational activities like read a book with Julia Louis Dreyfus...
The show was awesome, and I so totally wanted to be Steve when I grew up because he was always having such cool adventures...
Well, I guess "grow up" is a kind of relative term, because I started watching when I was 30... but still. I wanted to be Steve.
Anyway, eventually Steve left the show and was replaced by this guy "Joe" who wasn't nearly as cool. Since Joe totally blew chunks, I stopped watching and went back to reruns of Teletubbies for my entertainment. The last I heard was that the reason Steve left the show was because he had a heroin problem and eventually died of an overdose.
I was kind of sad about that.
So imagine my surprise when I was goofing around the internet this morning and ran across a web site called "Steve Burns Rocks" which showed me that not only had Steve not died, but he eventually went all gold-tooth "cronk" and became an indie musician...
Did Steve fake his death so he could escape being linked to a children's television show and instead be reborn as a "serious musician"?? I just didn't know. So I did what I always do in these cases... I wander over to Snopes to find out if they've got anything on the rumor. And they did.
So Steve was never dead, though the heroin addiction would certainly explain the gold tooth.
Personally I think the new and lame Blue's Clues host "Joe" is behind the rumors. The bastard.
And now, before I go enjoy a lovely Saturday afternoon at work and see how many emails I got from people outraged by my "Bi-Curious George" cartoon yesterday... one last question...
HOW MANY F#@%ING TIMES DO WE HAVE TO F#@%ING KILL THE F#@%ING "BROADCAST FLAG" SHIT BEFORE IT WILL STAY F#@%ING DEAD AND DUMBASS POLITICIANS WILL STOP TRYING TO F#@% US OVER WITH THIS F#@%ING BULLSHIT?!?
This is an abhorrent piece of legislation that has already been killed a half-dozen times, but now I am reading over at Boing Boing that it has once again been drug to the floor by the mentally-challenged Oregon Senator Gordon Smith, who is hereby invited to lick my balls.
Seriously lick my balls.
Once this draconian shit gets started, it will never stop. Never mind that you PAY for your television cable or satellite hook-up... that you PAY for the music and shows you enjoy... politicians want to be sure that you only enjoy them when and how THEY want you to. Flying an anti-piracy flag here is ludicrous, because there will ALWAYS be a way to pirate the crap... legislation only hurts honest consumers... not the pirates they claim to be fighting. And Hollywood should KNOW better. The more you treat honest people like criminals, the more of them will actually become criminals.
If you even remotely care about your right to watch and listen to content YOU pay for in a way that YOU want, read the article on Boing Boing and visit the EFF so you can send an email to your Senator. Then go encourage others to do the same. If you don't, it may only be a matter of time before you have to kiss your TiVo and iPod goodbye (and just forget about any cool new technologies that allow you to enjoy media in a way that's convenient for you).
Once this Bill is killed off (again) can we please just shoot the next dumbass Senator who is corrupt and stupid enough to bring another piece of "Broadcast Flag" legislation to the floor? That would be great.
Heaven help me, I've been sucked into the bizarre Lynchian world of Twin Peaks. Again.
When the show first debuted back in 1990, I was instantly addicted. Not only was it quirky and entertaining, but it had a stunning cast of actors playing some of the most fully-realized characters ever seen on television. Everybody had a story. Everybody had a secret. Everybody was linked to everybody else. It was a delicious web of lies, deceit, danger, and mystery that was (and still is) unique to television. It was the best soap opera ever.
And lest we forget Laura Palmer all dead and wrapped in plastic...
Last week I was digging through a bunch of papers and found my Twin Peaks Access Guide. It's a travel book for the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington. And though the town may be fake, the exterior locations used for the show are very real. Having lived in Washington State most of my life, I've been to many of them.
Anyway, finding the book reminded me of the show, and so I've been watching the first season episodes I have on DVD. I just finished the last one (episode 7), and now I am depressed that season two hasn't been released. It was supposed to happen last year, but we're still waiting.
Good thing for Paramount that my log does not judge...
The story kind of wandered a bit near the end but, taken as a whole, Twin Peaks is still brilliant television. Hopefully I'll be able to finish watching it again one day soon.
"Through the darkness of futures past, the magician longs to see. One chants out between two worlds... fire, walk with me."
At some point in my childhood past, I had come to the conclusion that I was going to be a doctor.
But then I quickly realized that there is no way I could be a doctor because I didn't have the balls for it.
And when I say "balls" I am not trying to be all metaphorical... I am talking literal "balls". As in my testicles. Because any time I so much as hear somebody talking about blood or injuries or surgery or anything like that... my balls shrivel up and disappear. I think they're allergic to blood and gore or something. In any event, my testicles killed my medical vocation before I even got started. And you can just imagine how traumatizing it is for me to watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy, Nip/Tuck, or CSI.
But just because I abandoned my otherwise promising career as a doctor, I'm still not out of danger.
For instance, my mother had to call and drop this little bomb on me: "I sliced open my finger and had to go to the doctor to get stitches.
To understand how this simple sentence affects me... let's take a little field trip to Dyersville, Iowa, home of the Field of Dreams movie site. For the sake of this demonstration (and to avoid being tagged as a porn site), the role of my testicles will be played by these two baseballs in a GLAD brand jumbo-sized food storage bag (with the "yellow and blue make green" zipper closure, so you KNOW it's closed!)...
Once I hear the words "sliced my finger", my baseballs start shivering...
And once I hear the words "stitches", my GLAD brand jumbo-sized food storage bag starts to shrink in horror, taking my baseballs with it...
This leaves me with a pair of baseballs the size of marbles...
Obviously this affliction is a major inconvenience. Doctors have to look at blood and gore all the time, which would traumatize my balls quite badly. So badly that I would worry about them disappearing permanently. And as any guy will tell you (or, if you are a guy, you'd tell yourself) having something happen to your balls is a frightening prospect indeed.
Oh well. This is not the first time that my testicles have made a decision for me.
I'm relatively certain it won't be the last.
Anyway, speaking of balls (you just knew there was going to be a point to all this, didn't you?)...
How big of balls does it take to sell an episode of the TV show Survivor for $1.99... but then have the episode expire after 24 hours? For the answer, let's take a look at what Larry Kramer, President of CBS Digital Media, has hanging...
Yep! Those are some enormously huge balls! They'd have to be huge, considering that the $1.99 episodes you buy from Apple at the iTunes Music Store don't have an idiotic "self-destruct mechanism" that will destroy your purchases the day after you buy them. Once again, clueless people are making stupid decisions that will turn potential customers into criminals. Seriously... who is dumb enough to want to BUY a video that's only good for 24 hours when you can download the Bit Torrent off the internet for FREE that will last forever? The entire point of selling your show legally is to give honest people an alternative to illegal downloading... not ripping them off! Classic.
Congratulations Larry, my hat is off to you and your huge, huge balls!
This entry will self-destruct in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...
After weeks of despair from not being able to find a downloadable torrent of the British version of Project Runway (which they call Project Catwalk), I checked again last night and found that episodes 2-4 were finally up. How much simpler would my life be if Sky One would just put them for sale on iTunes? I'd gladly pay the $1.99. You'd think that foreign television networks would jump at the chance to expand their distribution with something like this.
The silver lining here is that Showtime has finally jumped on the iTunes bandwagon and is offering episodes of Weeds for sale. That's pretty sweet, because I dropped the network after they canceled Dead Like Me, and haven't got to see it yet. Everybody I know loves the show, so I'm looking forward to it.
Anyway, time for a bit of a delicious Elizabeth Hurley break...
If I lived in the UK just now, I'd be able to tune in to the latest episode in just 4 minutes instead of waiting for the torrent later this week. Oh well. Just like Liz says... "fashion has no mercy."
The torrent for Project Catwalk episode 5 finally hit the internet (why oh why doesn't Sky One sell the shows at the iTunes Music Store so we don't have to wait?). The incomparable Elizabeth Hurley was, in a word, breathtaking. And brutally hot. As usual. I think this is probably her best episode yet. She had more screen-time and clothing that better showcased her, umm... ample talents.
Am I the only one who sits in breathless anticipation of Liz uttering those magic words "fashion has no mercy" when she tells the loser to get their ass off the catwalk?
Anyway, I didn't really pay attention to most of the non-Elizabeth Hurley parts of the show. Though some guy ran crying from the catwalk after one of the judges trashed his dress, and I thought it was pretty funny how his model went chasing after him. The drama!! For those of you lucky enough to live in the UK, Project Catwalk airs on Sky One Thursdays at 8:00pm.
For everybody else, more delicious screen caps follow in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Just as I was finishing this catch-all Monday entry, Yellow by Coldplay hit on my iPod, and I suddenly realized that there was a freaky color-theme running through all my bullet points. Funny how that happens...
Grey: In what has to be one of the best shows currently showing on television (now that Veronica Mars has seemingly vanished), Grey's Anatomy continues to surprise me. The SuperBowl two-parter was mind-blowing. Last week's follow-up was classic. And, even though last night's show was kind of slow and boring, I still find myself completely absorbed by it. Unlike crap-fests such as Lost which drags shit on forever with no resolution, Grey's never fails to plunge forward into new territory. You may not like where it goes, but you will always be entertained. Isn't that what television is all about?
Purple, Green, & Gold: Oh how I wish I was in New Orleans right now for Mardi Gras.
Black: Balancing pain and nausea makes you pretty much useless for anything more difficult than watching television. But, other than the aforementioned Grey's Anatomy, the most interesting thing on television was a commercial for the new video game called Black, which focuses on one thing only: blowing shit up. Beautifully. That's all you do. You go from one location to another and blow... shit... up. It's got to be the most brilliant idea for a game ever, because they've cut out all the boring crap that you usually have to sit through to get to the good part. Which is, of course, to blow shit up. My copy is on pre-order, and ships tomorrow...
Brown: The current round of ads featuring Jay Mohr as a talent agent for Diet Pepsi are the most incredibly stupid ads I've seen in a long time. I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised that Jay Mohr is whoring himself out for something so outrageously asinine... what else has he got to do? But Jackie Chan and P. Diddy? Pepsi must be paying them a shit-load of bank in order for them to ignore how idiotic they look in these spots. P. Diddy's is especially embarrassing, considering he cuts a new hit single with a can of Diet Pepsi called "Brown & Bubbly". Seriously, "Brown & Bubbly". I am still trying to decide if it is more embarrassing to be starring in this crap... or to be responsible for coming up with the idea in the first place. Pepsi... it's past time for a new ad agency.
Violet: Around seven years ago, there was a brilliant British television mini series called Ultraviolet that shows what happens when a cop played by Jack Davenport ("Steve" from Coupling) accidentally gets wrapped up in the world of "Code V's" which is a clever way of saying "vampires". I keep waiting for it to be released on DVD in the US, but nothing ever comes. Instead, now we have another Ultraviolet entirely, but this time it's a movie starring Milla Jovovitch. She's playing a "Hemophage" which is yet another clever way of saying "vampires", or so I am guessing. All I do know is that Milla kicks total ass, and I can't wait to see it. Please, please be better than the ridiculous Underworld...
Blue: I just learned that Octavia E. Butler, a prominent Seattle science fiction writer who created some truly amazing works, died this weekend. If you want to give her stuff a try, I recommend the critically acclaimed Wild Seed, a tale of two immortal beings that's a magical read and hard to put down. Truly a great loss to sci-fi fans, and a reason to be blue this Monday.
Lime: Still depressed that Coke with Lime is disappearing from store shelves, but Mooselet was kind enough to pass along a tasty reminder of the greatness that once was (only in Australia, alas). It's the "Coke with Lime Girls"...
Hmmm... since kidney stones are still plaguing me, let's see how well I manage at work today while totally drugged up...
I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get the latest Project Catwalk today, because most weeks it's at least Wednesday before it shows up (ATTENTION SKY ONE... you need to sell your shows on the iTunes Music Store so we poor Americans can see them in a timely manner!!)
Anyway, I start watching and was very pleased that Liz was looking particularly hot in this episode. I like it when she wears simple outfits that flatter her kickin' body rather than the more crazy stuff that covers it up. I mean, less is always more when you look like this...
Better yet, the camera man and film editor final realized who it is they're dealing with, and have started to use appropriate shots to fully exploit the grandeur that is Elizabeth Hurley...
But then the best news ever is announced...
OMFG!! THIS WEEK'S COMPETITION IS TO DESIGN A NEW DRESS FOR ELIZABETH HURLEY!! How utterly brilliant! Why don't they do this every week? The good news is that this means we get to see a bit more of her this time... including some rather fabulous shots of Liz describing what kind of clothes she likes to wear...
I was desperately hoping that Liz would be modeling all the the dresses on the catwalk but, alas, this was not to be. It was just like a regular show with Liz in the judges seat looking hot and making notes.
And that's when IT happened.
That's when the most unfathomable, totally incomprehensible thing ever to air on television was shown in one heart-stopping, unbelievable moment.
Some dumbass said that he thought a dress was too sexy for Elizabeth Hurley to wear.
Yes, you read that right. This stupid queen actually had the balls (or lack thereof) to say that an article of clothing was not appropriate for THE Elizabeth Hurley... not because it was ugly or poorly made... but because it was TOO SEXY for her...
WHAT THE BLOODY F#@%?!?
Did he somehow FORGET what Liz looks like? She was sitting right next to him... all he had to do before opening his stupid mouth was turn his head and LOOK at her so he could realize "oh shit... I almost made a terrible mistake by saying something outrageously idiotic! How could I suggest that there could possibly be a dress that is too sexy for this brutally hot piece of eye-candy! How silly of me! What a silly little pickle I am!!"
This monkey-spanker actually said IT. I was hoping that Liz would walk over and beat the shit out of him (seriously, I would have paid money for that action) but if she did whip up on him, they edited that bit out. Or maybe she waited until after the show was over, then set his car on fire... with him in it??
Then again, at the end of the day he'll still be a pathetic little bitch that nobody cares about... and she'll still be Elizabeth Hurley.
I guess there's no worse punishment than that.
But there should be.
With tons of work to get through this weekend, I spent most of my time in front of the television with my laptop in an attempt to get caught up. I always like to work with the TV running in order to mask ambient noise, and this time I decided on a Dr. Who DVD that a friend gave me to watch, followed by a marathon of classic Star Trek episodes.
It doesn't get much geekier than that.
Until I start watching all my Buffy The Vampire Slayer DVDs.
Last night while tearing through some work I had to finish, I was watching my bitchin' DVD set for Justice Leage: Season One, which rocks SO hard. Honestly, I am more excited about watching a new episode of Justice League than I am about seeing the new X-Men film. The lame-ass "movie X-Men" fight stupid boring crap instead of the bad-ass enemies they get in the comic books, so who cares?
But the Justice League cartoons are just as exciting as the comics, if not more so. It's a comic book lover's dream come true...
And speaking of super-heroes, I was my own super-hero this morning when I totally made Kitty Spangles my bitch on my very first game of double-deck Klondike...
Kitty Spangles Solitaire was recently upgraded to 2.0, and now includes some other versions of the game (like Freecell, Spider, and Yukon). Even better, it's free to registered owners which was pretty swell.
And speaking of swell, I finally managed to watch the season finale of Project Catwalk. The best part of the show was when the final three contestants were told that their mentor "Ben" would be paying a visit to their home, but when they opened the door, it was actually a SURPRISE GUEST... Elizabeth Hurley had dropped by...
I would have shat myself right then and there, but the finalists somehow managed to hold it (somewhat) together...
Liz was brutally hot, as always. Even if she did go a little bit crazy in the end there...
Sigh. And so ends my weekly Elizabeth Hurley fix. It sure would be sweet if they bring her back for another season...
And speaking of sweet, has anybody tried "Golden Oreos Originals"??
They kick all kinds of ass, and I am on my way towards devouring my third bag in two weeks. That cannot be good for me, but I am going through a kind of "cookie renaissance" just now and can't help myself. Somebody needs to suggest another awesome cookie so I can use it to break my 3-bag Golden Oreo habit.
I am going to start carrying around one of those little "clicker counters" so I can keep track of the number of people I want to bitch-slap in a given day. I'm thinking that the number has got to be rather large... perhaps in the high thirties or low forties. It's possible that I'm just irritable, but I honestly think it's because there are a lot of people out there in need of a good bitch-slapping.
Case in point... I stopped at a shop whilst in Wenatchee yesterday. I wasn't there two minutes before some idiot came in with his demon-spawn child. His boy then proceeded to continuously blow a coaches whistle LOUDLY while the father did... nothing. The sales clerk and three other customers just stood there staring in shock. Me being, well... me, walked up and said something...
Dave: Hey... does he have to do that in here?
Idiot: It's either that or listen to him scream his head off.
Dave: You sir, are a model parent.
Idiot: Uhhhh... what?
Dave: Yeah, that's what I thought.
See? There's two slaps right there... one for the dumbass father and another for his whistle-blowing dumbass kid.
It's times like this that make me want to abandon saying "bitch-slap" and go back to saying "a punch in the face". I can see now that my attempt to come up with a less-violent way of enunciating my disproval in people is not nearly as effective, because I seriously wanted to hurt these idiots.
Most people would say "don't blame the child, he wasn't brought up right and doesn't know any better." But since he's the one with the whistle in his mouth, I don't really care. Obviously he isn't being taught proper manners at home, so it becomes the duty of society to educate the little hellion. The ideal solution is probably too harsh...
... so I guess a bitch-slap it's going to have to be.
And in other, non-slapping-related news, I see over at TV Shows on DVD that the Air America television show spin-off is being released on June 6th. Ordinarily, I wouldn't mention something like this (it was an okay show, but nothing fantastic), except Scott Plank co-starred in it with Lorenzo Lamas...
Now that Scott's tribute site seems to have disappeared, I get a lot of Google traffic from people trying to find out stuff about him (probably because I chose Scott as one of the three "Guys I Might Go Gay For" in a previous entry). Since he was one of the few decent people I met while I was involved in my "Hollywood project", I figure the least I can do is help keep his memory alive here when something like this comes up.
Oh, and before I forget... Kachina has posted a totally awesome entry on how great I am over at A Whiter Shade of Pale. As I said in the comments...
"I wished I possessed even a tiny amount of humility so that I could at least pretend to be humbled by such kind praise... but my ego simply doesn't allow for it.
As it turns out, I AM totally great.
If I weren't me, I'd be wishing I was me. But since I am me, I just have to be satisfied with wishing I was more me than I am right now. If I were three times more me than I am, I think I'd be pretty much perfect."
Now feel free to go write about how great I am in your own blogs.
Not that I need the validation or anything... I'm just suggesting a topic in case you can't think of anything better to write about today.
Though I can't imagine that there is anything better to write about than me.
So even if you THINK you have something better to write about than me, I'm here to tell you that it probably isn't, and you should just go ahead and blog about my greatness instead.
Not that I don't value your opinion, it's just that most people don't understand how truly magnificent I am, so I'm trying to point you in the right direction.
Because, admit it, you are feeling a little lost right now and could use some direction in your life, couldn't you?
Yeah, that's what I thought. Off you go then... remember to double-check the spelling of "Blogography" when you link back to here.
Not that I am accusing you of being a bad speller, I'm just saying...
My big plan to recover from a three-hour drive yesterday was to have a slice of David's Da Vinci pizza and then check into the hotel and watch the latest Veronica Mars.
But everything went wrong. David's was out of Da Vinci so I had to get cheese pizza (still good). But then the shit really did hit the fan... at 9:00 I turned to the UPN channel for Veronica and instead saw that The A-Team was playing...
Turns out that the local Spokane UPN affiliate switched to "The Retro Television Network" back in January. So no Veronica Mars for me. Comcast bastards.
Fast forward to this afternoon. Work is over, and it's time for the boring drive home. If anybody is curious, here's pretty much what the Central Washington's Columbia Basin looks like this time of year...
Later in the season the wheat will be grown up and turn a nice golden color which looks great at sunset. Today, it's just getting started, so things are a little green yet.
Usually I drive I-90 because it's the fastest way back home. But, because I love my readers, I decided to drive Highway 2 instead. This way, I could make a stop at "Dry Falls" so I could show everybody what the largest waterfall in the world looks like. Well, it was the biggest, but not anymore...
Unfortunately, the massive scale of the formation is lost in this photo. Those cliffs are 400 feet tall. If there was water still flowing over them, it would dwarf Niagara Falls by a large margin (it's 350% wider and 250% taller). Turning back the clock 13,000 years, here is what it would look like...
If you're curious about the whole Dry Falls story, I've copied the info in an extended entry.
For everybody else, see you tomorrow (and don't worry about me, David's had a fresh Da Vinci pizza ready for my lunch today, and Veronica Mars was waiting for me on the TiVo when I got home).→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
♫ With a rebel yell, she cried "more, more, more!" ♫
As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a woman totally rocking out in her car. She was thrashing around in a frenzy as she sang along with the radio, and looked like she might be going into an epileptic seizure.
I stared at her for a minute trying to figure out what song could possibly be causing her to freak out, and then tried to take a guess based on those songs that I like to thrash to...
Dave's Top-5 List of Head-Bangin' Tunes
Turns out it was none of them. It was Betty Davis Eyes by Kim Karnes. Except it sounded really, really terrible. After I was done shopping and came back the parking lot, she had started all over again, and that's when I realized that it wasn't Kim Karnes on the radio... the woman was practicing karaoke tunes off a CD. Badly.
Heaven help those poor souls she would be "entertaining" on karaoke night.
Speaking of entertainment, my TiVo has been slowly dying. The hard drive has been squealing like crazy and stuttering from time to time. Since you can't buy a new dual-tuner TiVo for DirecTV anymore (dumbasses), I had no choice but to try and repair it. After an hour of internet research, I stumbled across a company called WeaKnees. They offer brand new hard drives for TiVos that have already been pre-loaded with the TiVo software! All you have to do is open up your TiVo, rip out the old drive, then pop in a new drive with the tools and instructions provided.
The entire process took under 10 minutes, and my TiVo is good as new... in fact, it's better than new because I ordered a faster, bigger 160 GB drive to replace my crappy old 40 GB one. As a side-benefit, the new drive is whisper-quiet, which is sweet. If you are looking to upgrade your TiVo with more space, or need to replace an old hard drive in your TiVo unit, I highly recommend WeaKnees (all warnings about possibly ruining your TiVo considered).
♫ She's ferocious, and she knows just what it takes to make a pro blush.
All the boys think she's a spy, she's got Bette Davis eyes! ♫
Oh great, now I can't get that song out of me head.
TODAYS'S PRIZES: $290 worth of DVDs (and stuff)!
SORRY! THIS DRAWING IS NOW CLOSED! No new entries are being accepted.Coming up with prizes for a blogiversary celebration is a difficult task. Not only do you run the risk of picking out stuff that people don't want, but you have to make your prize world-friendly. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done. Last year I did a food entry, and found out export of food items is prohibited to many countries. Books are heavy, so shipping is expensive. And when it comes to videos... well, that's the toughest of all. DVDs are "region encoded", which mean that they don't play outside of the area you bought them. Last year, I thought I would fix this by including both a DVD and a VHS videotape for each movie. Little did I know, this was even more stupid, because video formats are different around the world too. Apparently there's no real solution.
So unfortunately, if you live outside of "Region 1" (the USA and Canada), you won't be able to watch any of today's prize-winning DVDs unless you have a "region-free" DVD player. Sorry, but there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it. Please keep all this in mind if you live outside the USA and Canada and decide to enter. Though, I must say, this collection of brilliant video may well be worth tracking down a region-free player to watch...
Sweet! And away we go...
TODAY'S $200 "WATCH WITH DAVE" GRAND PRIZE INCLUDES...
Even the best movie or television show pales in comparison to how cool you are when wearing a sweet Blogography T-shirt! Artfully silk-screened by hand on high-quality Hanes Beefy-T shirts, these Blogography-inspired masterpieces are comfortable, durable, and are guaranteed to make you the best-dressed person in the room... Dave not included! (Value: $14.95 to $16.95)
Veronica Mars: The Complete First Season
Yeah, big surprise considering I feel Veronica Mars is the best show on television. Period. The only show I've ever enjoyed more was another Rob Thomas creation, Jeremy Piven's Cupid. And to think I almost passed it up because I had thought it was going to be yet another high school drama crapfest. But NOOOOoooo! Veronica Mars is smart, funny, brilliant television with the best mysteries of any show yet seen. Veronica is a typical student at uber-posh Neptune High, until the murder of her best friend turns her world upside down. Now she helps her father run a private investigation office, all while helping her friends at school, and always trying to solve the biggest mystery of all: who killed Lilly Kane? Every episode is a piece of a bigger puzzle, with the ultimate solution so good that you'll be compelled to watch every episode all over again top spot the clues you missed. Highest possible recommendation. (Value: $49.95)
Wonderfalls: The Complete Series
As if to prove that ABC isn't the only television network that can destroy a brilliant television show with incompetent scheduling and marketing... FOX decided to screw one of the freshest, most interesting show they've ever had: Wonderfalls. Jaye Tyler is uninspired and going nowhere in life. She passes her time by working in a gift shop at Niagara Falls and avoiding meaningful interaction with people at all costs. But when inanimate objects start speaking to her, she's forced to get involved with not only her family, but complete strangers as well. Featuring funny, biting humor that's anchored by an amazing cast, Wonderfalls is must-see television that very few people got to see. (Value $39.95)
South Park: The Complete Second Season
South Park is one of those shows you either love or hate. You either appreciate it as some of the smartest, guttiest, satire of pop culture ever created... or condemn it as a crappily-animated cartoon with four foul-mouthed kids that should be banned from the air. Me? I love it for both reasons! The second season of South Park is probably one of my most favorite, mostly because it contains an episode devoted entirely to Terrance & Philip, who are probably my favorite animated characters ever. Sure this isn't a show for everybody, but if you can get past the potty humor, foul language, and sometimes disgusting antics... it remains brilliant commentary on just about everything going on in the world today. (Value: $49.95)
Cinema Paradiso: The Director's Expanded Edition
I can't stand romance movies. They're all so lame and cliched... with sappy dialogue and often totally unrealistic premises. Only rarely do I ever see a romance film that's worth a crap, and most of the time it's because they have something else to offer. And most of those films are foreign (Amelie, A Very Long Engagement, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon being excellent examples). And so we come to Cinema Paradiso. This film tells the story of Toto, a young boy growing up in a small village in war-torn Italy. With his father gone, Toto turns to the projectionist at the local theater for guidance. He quickly develops a love for movies, which become the driving passion in his life. But as Toto grows up, he finds that movies don't have all the answers when it comes to love and life. Easily one of my favorite films of all time, Cimena Paradiso is a rare movie romance that works on every possible level. The DVD contains TWO versions of the film... the original, and an extended version that has a revelation so shocking that it completely changes the meaning of the movie. I recommend watching the original (shorter) edit first, because it would be difficult to feel the same about some of the characters if you watched the extended cut first. (Value: $14.95)
Clerks, The Complete Animated Series: Uncensored
In counting the ways that ABC television has screwed brilliant television shows because of rampant stupidity, the animated Clerks series would occupy at least five spots... probably more. It is well-made, highly entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny (basically, everything you want in a cartoon). I had my doubts that a fairly vulgar movie like Clerks could ever be adequately adapted for network television, but Kevin Smith somehow managed to do it, and do it well. At the core of Clerks is two guys stuck in a dead-end job who stopped caring about it long ago... now they're just trying to make it through another day. Hilarity ensues. Watch it now as preparation for Clerks II, coming this summer! (Value: $14.95)
This movie stars the incomparable Elizabeth Hurley as the Devil. What more do you really need to know? As an added bonus, this is actually a really good film... filled with all the things that make life worth living: Liz being funny, Liz being sexy, Liz being cute, Liz being naughty, and Liz in a bikini. If that weren't enough, there's also a positive life message to wrap it all up. If you haven't seen this movie yet, then I fear for your immortal soul. (Declared Value: $9.95. Actual Value: Priceless)
And, as if that weren't enough, you've got two other chances to win if the Grand Prize eludes you...
TWO $45 "WATCH WITH DAVE" RUNNER-UP PRIZES INCLUDE...
Even the best movie or television show pales in comparison to how cool you are when wearing a sweet Blogography T-shirt! Artfully silk-screened by hand on high-quality Hanes Beefy-T shirts, these Blogography-inspired masterpieces are comfortable, durable, and are guaranteed to make you the best-dressed person in the room... Dave not included! (Value: $14.95 to $16.95)
Cinema Paradiso: The Director's Expanded Edition
I can't stand romance movies. They're all so lame and cliched... with sappy dialogue and often totally unrealistic premises. Only rarely do I ever see a romance film that's worth a crap, and most of the time it's because they have something else to offer. And most of those films are foreign (Amelie, A Very Long Engagement, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon being excellent examples). And so we come to Cinema Paradiso. This film tells the story of Toto, a young boy growing up in a small village in war-torn Italy. With his father gone, Toto turns to the projectionist at the local theater for guidance. He quickly develops a love for movies, which become the driving passion in his life. But as Toto grows up, he finds that movies don't have all the answers when it comes to love and life. Easily one of my favorite films of all time, Cimena Paradiso is a rare movie romance that works on every possible level. The DVD contains TWO versions of the film... the original, and an extended version that has a revelation so shocking that it completely changes the meaning of the movie. I recommend watching the original (shorter) edit first, because it would be difficult to feel the same about some of the characters if you watched the extended cut first. (Value: $14.95)
Clerks, The Complete Animated Series: Uncensored
In counting the ways that ABC television has screwed brilliant television shows because of rampant stupidity, the animated Clerks series would occupy at least five spots... probably more. It is well-made, highly entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny (basically, everything you want in a cartoon). I had my doubts that a fairly vulgar movie like Clerks could ever be adequately adapted for network television, but Kevin Smith somehow managed to do it, and do it well. At the core of Clerks is two guys stuck in a dead-end job who stopped caring about it long ago... now their just trying to make it through another day. Hilarity ensues. Watch it now as preparation for Clerks II, coming this summer! (Value: $14.95)
Prizes so good, I almost wish that I could enter this one myself! To see how YOU can enter, read onward...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
As great as Blogiversary III has been, I am secretly relieved that it is all over. Usually a blog entry only takes about 10 minutes for me to write up (20-25 at the most if I decided to draw a cartoon), but the past two weeks of "Lost Bloging" and "Blogiversary" antics have taken HOURS out of every day that I am very glad to have back. After all, I've got a box full of Batman Lego that's not going to put itself together.
Drawing this year's prize winners was more painful than last time. I consider many of those who entered to be my friends, and it kills me that everybody can't win something fantastic. I guess that's why I don't have the guts to draw the names myself, and have to get somebody else to do it. I am such a weenie. I need to either stop caring, or become a billionaire. Anyway, thanks to everybody for their kind words... win or lose.
And now for the thing you've all been waiting for since seeing the title of this entry. It's time for porn!
Well, kind of...
Every once in a while I get some kind of porn catalog in my mailbox. I think I owe this to Bad Robert, who signed me up for something a year ago as a joke. Its an automatic habit to toss this stuff in the garbage, because once you've seen one porn catalog you've pretty much seen them all. So this weekend while I was sorting through my mail, I ran across a Priority Mail envelope with porn stuff inside and tossed it. But after I had thrown it away, I noticed that something was different. A second look showed me that it was NOT a porn catalog.
It was a job offer.
And, before you let your mind wander off in a totally wrong direction, let me clarify that.
It was NOT an offer for me to appear in porn. Sure I have a great ass, but I don't think anybody would want to see me in anything porn-related. No, it was a job offer to do some graphic design work for a porn company. A guy I used to work with had forwarded it to me to see if I was interested.
And if I wasn't so totally backlogged, I would seriously consider it.
But even though I decided I couldn't take the job, I did decide to take a look through the promotion kit. And it was then that I noticed something entirely shocking... women are not the only ones who are practicing "nether-region landscaping". Apparently male porn stars are now enamored with the idea of shaving everything down to a 1-inch square. Like a penis soul-patch or something.
That's some bizarre shit right there.
Yet another compelling reason to stick to more "porn-efficient" all-lesbian action, I suppose.
And, in a segue I never thought I'd be making... we go from porn to Betty White erotica.
Well, kind of...
Family Guy had a brilliant appearance by Betty last night. Once again, she totally kicked ass and stole the show. Whoever thought to cast her as the "books on tape" reader for Peter's erotic novel is a genius. I maintain that Betty White should make guest appearances on ALL television shows. And can somebody tell me why Disney/Pixar hasn't cast her as the voice of a cartoon character yet? Betty rules...
Welcome to Peterotica on tape! I'm Betty White reading The Hot Chick Who Was Italian, or maybe Some Kind of Spanish by Peter Griffin. Chapter One: "Oh God you should have seen this one hot chick. She was totally Italian. Or maybe some kind of Spanish...."
Along the way, we also find out that Stewie is a Mac user, and are treated to an appearance by the pre-penis-weilding Kool-Aid man. I love that show.
As May gets into full-swing, it's time for all my favorite shows to have their season finales. My not-so-favorite shows are having their season finales as well. In fact, shows that I loathe and don't even watch seem to be having their season finales too, so I guess it must be everybody.
And speaking of shows I don't watch... I was bored and looking for background noise while working last night only to discover that there was nothing on. Finally I settled on the Jennifer Love Hewitt vehicle (and Medium imitator) The Ghost Whisperer. I've only seen this show a handful of times and thought that it was okay, but J-Love's unfortunate hair and forced emoting kept me from tuning in on a regular basis...
On the left is what the promotional poster for Ghost Whisperer promises... on the right is the freakish hair-do you actually get. Sure she's still smokin' from the neck down, but WTF?!? I'm sure that hair looks good on somebody, but it ain't her.
Anyway, I had intended for the show to be background noise, but I kept getting more and more involved in it. At the half-hour mark I had stopped working entirely, and was totally absorbed. Just like Medium, the writing is pretty inventive, which I like.
And then the end of the show came along and knocked me on my ass.
Seriously, I was amazed. I'm finding it difficult to imagine how even my most favorite shows are going to top this one. I mean, Veronica Mars has a good shot (and I hear that How I Met Your Mother is supposed to be kind of surprising)... but wow.
I guess I'm going to have to make room in my schedule for Ghost Whisperer next season. That's a shame, because I watch entirely too much television as it is.
Tonight is the season finale for the best show on television: Veronica Mars. So many questions... so little time to wrap things up...
Speaking of wrapping things up... today and tomorrow are your last days to order Blogography T-shirts from the Artificial Duck Store and have them be printed on this month's run. If you were wanting a Bad Monkey or Zombie Dave shirt of your very own, now is the time to act. I only keep a few sizes and styles in-stock, and the next print run probably won't happen until August.
Time for a Coke with Lime caffeine fix to get me through the day...
Um... yeah... what else is there to say about the season finale of Veronica Mars other than HOLY CRAP!!
I did not see that coming. But, just like last year, it all made perfect sense. I watched the episode twice in a row and am still reeling.
The funny thing is that as unbelievable as it all was... it's still perfectly plausible. And so deserving.
How badly do I want a third season now?
WARNING! There's no major spoilage in the comments yet... but I do not have time to edit them out of the comments today, so proceed at your own risk if you have not seen the show.
ALSO: The complete first season set for Veronica Mars is on sale over at Amazon for HALF OFF! Just $29.96 for some of the best television ever! For anybody not watching Veronica, go buy it or rent it now so you can be prepared when the second season set hits in August!
Oh look! It's a trio of things that bug the crap out of me!
I love getting comments on my blog. I can only assume that other bloggers like getting comments too, so I try to leave them when I can. Unfortunately, given my time constraints, it isn't as often as I'd like. For every comment I leave, that's time I could have spent reading other blogs. On top of that, it seems that comments are getting more and more time consuming to write thanks to "captchas"...
Captchas are those goofy little code blocks you have to decipher in order to leave comments on so many blogs now-a-days. They are supposed to foil spammers, but they keep getting longer and more complicated, so they are foiling me too. It sucks, but whatcha gonna do? I'm thinking of initiating my own captcha system for Blogography comments. But I'm not settling for today's technology. I've developed my own Super-Captcha of The Future...
Oh yeah! Suck on that spammer bitches!
A pity captchas bug this crap out of me, because mine is sweet.
I don't really care for Hillary Clinton. Never have. Her politics and position on issues never seems to quite mesh with mine. I'm particularly against her censorship-driven stance against all forms of violence in media... from video games to television. It's not the job of society to babysit other people's kids. If I want to run around shooting fake people in my Xbox to keep me from going out and shooting real people with a gun, it's none of your f#@%ing business.
But then she goes and drafts a brilliant bit of legislation which binds Congressional pay rates to the National minimum wage index. This means that dip-shit politicians can't keep voting themselves pay raises again and again and again, while people trying to survive on minimum wage get shafted. Any raise in Congressional pay has to be matched with an equal percentage raise in minimum wage! Sweet. I'm for anything that limits Congressional idiots from rewarding themselves with pay raises they DON'T deserve.
It bugs the crap out of me that I am actually admiring Hillary Clinton for something, but this would be it.
If there's one thing I absolutely loathe about television shows, it's repetition. Characters who do not develop or grow in-between episodes. Situations that never change. Plots that are recycled over and over and over again. Why should I bother to tune in if it's just going to be the same shit I've already seen?
The show Medium is a classic example. EVERY EPISODE Allison has a psychic vision about something in her sleep. She then tells her husband who gets cranky and tries to blow it off as "just a dream". She then tells her boss who dismisses it outright. And then she gets dismissed by the detective guy too. Never mind that her dreams are right on the money EVERY F#@%ING TIME!! Seriously, WTF?!? You've seen first-hand that the bitch is a serious psychic... like what... A HUNDRED TIMES NOW?? At what point are you going to stop dismissing her or questioning her and just ACCEPT THAT THE STUFF SHE SAYS IS FOR REAL?!? How stupid are you morons?
STUPID. STUPID. STUPID!! If it weren't for the constant disbelief by people WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER, the series would be great. Great characters, terrific stories, decent acting... get rid of the blatant stupidity, and it's actually worth watching.
The fact that I continue to watch this junk is seriously bugging the crap out of me.
Argh. I guarantee you that I'll have at least another twenty things I can add to the list by lunchtime.
I started the day with the worst breakfast in the worst restaurant with the worst service ever. I think there was something wrong with my eggs too, because I eventually got very very sick. It felt like my intestines were going to burst out of my torso, and the pain was kind of harsh. I had no idea what was going on down there, so I took a Pepto Bismol, an Immodium, a Gas-X, a Pepcid AC, and a couple of TUMS. None of that made me feel much better, but at least I didn't explode or anything.
Maybe it's salmonella poisoning.
Tomorrow I'm going to eat breakfast at McDonalds where I know it's safe.
"Safe" being a relative term, of course. But I can't risk getting sick again when I've got two more days of work ahead of me.
So what's on TV?
The last time I watched Lost, Locke and Jack were fighting over whether or not to push a button. I wrote about the sheer idiocy of it all here.
Wanting to know if anything had changed on that stupid, stupid show... I decided to buzz by tonight's season finale for a minute and see what's happening. And what did I find?
Locke and some other guy are fighting over whether or not to push a button.
Somebody please explain how a show that never changes and keeps recycling the same shit over and over and over again with NO resolution and NO answers can be so popular? Who actually gives a crap anymore? Not me. I gave up months ago, and am now thrilled that I didn't waste my time watching it with the expectation that things would change.
Hmmm... I hope the hotel doesn't fine me for borrowing a towel for Towel Day 2006 tomorrow!
I woke up in the middle of the night and ended up working for four hours. Realizing that I would need some sleep before starting my "real" work day, I decided to take a nap for a couple hours. Waking up refreshed, I was looking forward to this being a good day. I mean, it's Friday, how bad could it get?
You'd think that I would learn to stop asking those kind of questions.
Grabbing my PowerBook off the night-stand, I check my email and the very first one I open is this note from Cynical Dad...
I know you're probably in mourning right now, but in case you haven't heard, let me break the news to you gently. Liz Hurley has been fired from Project Catwalk.
But wait! It gets worse. Her replacement? Kelly Osbourne.
WHAT THE BLOODY F#@%?!?
Time for the five steps of mourning...
When you stop and think about it, it all makes perfect sense. Kelly Osborne is totally a worthy replacement for the hottest woman alive...
Because when I think of beauty and class, Kelly Osborne comes immediately to mind...
I mean, I know that Elizabeth Hurley has been a model for nearly 20 years now, so how can she possibly hold a candle to a young, fresh talent like Kelly Osbourne today?
And when one thinks of elegance and poise, is Kelly not the first thing to come to mind?
Forget the fact that Liz has her own successful swim-wear fashion company and Kelly's "Stiletto Killers" fashion line closed its doors two months ago, I'm sure Kelly knows much more about fashion...
And aren't people just sick and tired of looking at Elizabeth Hurley's flawless breasts? I know I sure am!
Trust me, I totally GET IT now...
Besides, Kelly is a famous singer now! Who cares how you look so long as you can sing!
Yep, Kelly is the perfect choice. Nobody says "fashion" quite like a foul-mouthed little bitch who talks as though she's been smacked in the head with a baseball bat...
The thing that totally baffles me here is how incredible Elizabeth Hurley was on the first season of Project Catwalk. She totally blows away Heidi Klum here on the American original series Project Runway. I can only guess that Kelly was cheaper (in every possible way) and so the execs at Sky One decided to cut costs and hire her. Forget the fact that this trashes the reputation of the show completely, so long as you can save a buck, what does it matter? I always thought that British television had higher standards than anything we get here, and having Liz host was proof of that.
Tragic that this is no longer the case. "Too wooden" indeed.
I was all excited about Betty White being on Gameshow Maraton tonight, but it was for naught. Sure she was there and was totally cool and everything... but too much time was spent on all the other lame celebrities. This was not a good thing, because D-list "star contestants" Lance Bass and Kathy Najimy were positively stupid in their answers. And Ricki Lake was no Gene Rayburn, that's for sure.
Such a pity, as I was so looking forward to the show after yet another grueling day of work.
Fortunately, good TV news was to be found: Comedy Central has ordered THIRTEEN NEW EPISODES OF FUTURAMA!!
Easily my favorite animated series of all time, Futurama is far more clever and brilliant than we deserve (which is probably why it was cancelled). About the only cartoon character I love more than Bender would be Curious George, so you know this is a seriously big deal for me.
In other news, I have a new best friend...
These little crackers are called "Crunch Master". At first I was dubious because I found it seriously hard to believe that any chip could possibly out-crunch a Doritos corn chip. Crunch MASTER? Bitch, please. But I do love me the rice cracker, so I decided to give them a try.
These people do not lie! They are indeed the Crunch F#@%ing Master!!
In fact, the only way these crackers could be any MORE crunchy would be if they were made out of GLASS. Yes, I kid you not, they are indeed that crunchy! They are so crunchy that if you listen really closely, you can probably hear me crunching on them... even if you are in a different time zone. They are so crispy that I dare say you could use shards of Crunch Master crackers to cut through steel. It would not surprise me to find out that Crunch Master crackers are prohibited on airplanes by Homeland Security for fear somebody could break one in half and take over the plane.
Crunch Master crackers kick serious ass.
I am hopelessly addicted to them now (especially the cheese variety). I eat them constantly. In fact, when I am not eating Crunch Master crackers, I am sad. I need to devise some kind of automated feeding mechanism so that I can be force-fed a constant supply to my mouth and be happy all the time. But there would have to be a "pause button" so that I could temporarily suspend feeding while talking on the phone. Because talking with your mouth full of crunchy crackers would just be rude.
The good news is that they are practically calorie-free. That's because there's nothing in them. There's so much crunch that there's not room for anything else.
I have to stop blogging now so I can eat another bag of Crunch Master BEFORE bedtime. I don't dare eat these crackers IN bed, because the crumbs would probably cut me up and cause me to bleed to death in the middle of the night. Hey, there's a cool new advertising slogan! Crunch Master: so crunchy they could kill you to death!
Now that's a totally bad-ass cracker.
Oh crap! The Broadcast Flag is back! But what is it and why should you care?
Well, if you believe the movie and recording industry people... it's a way to protect digital media from being stolen as it is broadcast to people's fancy new HD televisions. They worry that since the signal is so good, people will just steal media instead of buying it legally on DVDs or Pay-Per-View or cable or whatever.
Hey, that doesn't sound so bad does it? I mean, stealing is bad. If everybody steals movies and television shows, that means the people who make the stuff won't get paid. And if people don't get paid, then that means nobody will MAKE movies and television shows anymore. That would suck ass!
But here's the problem... protection never works out. Thieves ALWAYS find away around copy protection.
No, the people who suffer are law-abiding citizens. The Broadcast Flag completely controls what you can do with the content you pay for. You are no longer "the decider" of what you can record on your TiVo or take with you on your iPod... NETWORKS are. They control if you can record it, when you can record it, how you can record it, where you can watch it and, assuming you are able to record it at all, how long that recording will last. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Since they control EVERYTHING to do with the content, there's no telling what's going to happen. Never mind that you pay for the right to view the material, they get to decide how.
And this is why attempts to introduce Broadcast Flag legislation have always failed. It's simply not a solution that's fair to law-abiding citizens. But that doesn't keep the ass-wipes from continuing to try. They are always trying to sneak it into other law "packages" in the hopes that nobody will notice.
And that makes me very angry...
I mean, holy crap... IT'S OVER! WE DON'T WANT YOUR F#@%ING BROADCAST FLAG! How many times does it have to be defeated before it will just DIE??
I say the next ass-hat who tries to sneak it into legislation should be shot.
Maybe then the rest of the idiots will get a clue, and I won't have to read about some dumbass politician wasting time and tax dollars on this crap again.
Maybe then our lawmakers will focus on important stuff... like health care or something.
Maybe then law-abiding people will stop getting screwed over what they legally pay for.
PRAISE BE TO KRYPTON! FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY... Richard Donner is going to be given the cash to re-cut
I have written about Donner's Superman II here. And there is also a Wikipedia entry on it as well.
In other totally sweet DVD news... my copy of Pinky and The Brain: The Complete First Season arrived today!
I love this cartoon and have been waiting for YEARS for it to show up on DVD. Something about mice plotting for world domination just fills my heart with joy.
And now, since I want to watch my DVDs rather than figure out what else to write, I've filled out a meme from over at Avitable's blog in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Last night I had somebody ask me how the recent airline terrorist story coming out of the U.K. would be affecting my travel plans. The answer? It doesn't... not even a little bit. If I had the time, money, and energy, I'd hop on a flight to London right now. I refuse to live my life in fear over something that may or may not happen. I mean, what's the alternative? Am I supposed to barricade myself in my home for the rest of my life? Never go anywhere ever again? F#@% that. Sure the world is getting more scary and more dangerous every day, but that's just the way it is. If I die in a terrorist attack on a plane, then my time is up and I die on a terrorist attack on a plane. Life goes on, and I'm not going to waste time worrying about it.
What I will waste time on is a way to classify people making news. This way, whenever I am not sure what to think, I can just spin my magical "WHEEL OF LABELS" and instantly know how I should feel about the person in question...
Geraldo (who has apparently forgotten that he used to host the "Geraldo" show, which regularly had topics such as "Men in Lace Panties and the Women Who Love Them") has pulled out the hypocrite card and decided to trash Comedy Central and The Daily Show. He says: "You know, Comedy Central is now a big hit, Stewart and the Colbert guy... they make a living putting on video of old ladies slipping on ice and people laughing. That’s their life. They exist in a small little place where they count for nothing."
Say what? This is how he makes himself feel important? Trashing one of the most insightful, smart, witty, and important shows on television for political commentary? Sounds pretty stupid to me. And the fact that he insists on continuing to wear that dorky mustache that makes him look like a 1970's gay porn star just makes it all the harder to take. In any event, I have no idea what to think about this. Time to spin the wheel...
There you have it. Turns out Geraldo is a dumbass. Actually, the needle got kind of stuck between two sections so technically he's a dumbass-f#@%er. Perhaps somebody needs to hit him in the face with another chair to smarten him up.
But how does Daily Show host John Stewart rate?
Yeah, that's kind of what I thought.
And lastly we have Samuel L. Jackson, who talked about his most recent film Snakes on a Plane in an AICN interview. When asked about going back to re-shoot scenes in order to show the snakes actually biting people instead of cutting the camera away, here is what he had to say...
"You want the snake hit! You want to see it. You have two people goin' to screw in a bathroom on a plane and you know that there are some snakes in there... you know that when that tit comes out, you want to see a snake on that tit! At some point you gonna go, 'Man, I know a snake's going to show up somewhere... and hopefully that snake's going to be on that tit!'"
Brilliant. I couldn't have said it better myself! I'm assuming the sequel to Snakes on a Plane will be Snakes on a Tit. So how does Bad-Ass MoFo Samuel L. Jackson rate?
Yeah... like that's any surprise. He was about the only cool thing in those crappy Star Wars prequels. Well, him and Emperor Palpatine. Palpatine was balls-nasty evil! You gotta love that.
Dang. Now I want to watch Pulp Fiction again.
After yet another three hours driving, I'm back home. For a day.
And since I have limited time to get my act together, I am trying very hard to get caught up with work, re-pack my suitcase, read blogs, and sort through the 137 emails jamming my in-box. One of these emails was from somebody saying "mind your own business," which I thought was odd. I mean, usually when I get emails like this, people will cram in all kinds of profanity and at least tell me what it is I said that they didn't like. This one left me clueless.
So I did a little digging, matched the IP address to my server logs, then tracked the referring link.
It seems some journalist guy linked to Blogography in an article he wrote about the awesome new logo for the Milwaukee Admirals hockey team. For reasons unknown, he thinks my name is "Jersey" even though my name and photo are at the top of my sidebar on every page. Turns out both myself and Brandon (from Sports Logo Pundit) are being linked so he can show how there are some people who like the logo despite a vocal group of Milwaukeans who hate it...
Oddly enough, the journalist guy DIDN'T link to the entry I wrote about how much I love the logo... which means many people who come here from his article just turn around and leave because they aren't finding anything about the Admirals' new look. The internets are confusing that way.
But this one guy managed to track down the entry, decide that I'm full of crap, then goes to the trouble of telling me to "mind my own business" but doesn't tell me why.
And now I have no idea why I just wasted my valuable time to figure that out.
But I was happy to learn that Milwaukee Admirals merchandise sales have increased 600% (and the season doesn't even start until October). Sweet! I can't wait for my jersey to get here, and will probably buy even more logo crap when I'm back in Milwaukee later this year.
In television news... BETTY F#@%ING WHITE WILL BE ROASTING WILLIAM SHATNER ON THE NEW FRIAR'S CLUB ROAST ON COMEDY CENTRAL ON AUGUST 20th!! Holy crap! BETTY KICKS ASS!
Looks like The Shat truly will be hitting the fan on Sunday. Hopefully I'll be home again by then.
As usual, the Emmy Awards were replete with glaring omissions and poor decisions (how the heck could Shonda Rhimes not win for her brilliant two-part episode of Grey's Anatomy?). It's pretty sad when you can only really agree with one award winner choice, and found the highlight of the evening to be a tribute to the King of Schlock Television: Aaron Spelling. Dang he did a lot of bad shows that I am totally embarrassed to admit I watched.
Anyway, if anybody even cares, here's my recap of the major awards of the night...
One last thing before I go... can somebody please explain all the critical acclaim for Curb Your Enthusiasm?? I have tried more than a few times to get into it, and think it's total shit. Absolutely one of the worst f#@%ing shows I've ever seen. I would rather set my pubes on fire and jump in a barrel of gasoline than watch one minute of Larry David acting completely stupid on this awful, AWFUL, show. I see utter crap like this clogging the airwaves and drown in despair that shows like Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me were cancelled while this wretched excuse for comedy remains on the air.
Lately it seems that I am entirely out of the loop on just about everything. I don't know if it's because I'm just so incredibly busy, or I've just become indifferent to the world around me. Probably a little of both.
Never was this more vividly clear than when I got an email telling me that the fourth season of Scrubs is due to be released on October 10th... and I didn't even know that season three had been released. This may seem like a petty thing to be upset about, except I have been waiting for the third season to drop for YEARS now. All because it has one of the best episodes of comedy/drama ever seen on television. The episode is called "My Screw-Up" and features a return of guest-star Brendan Fraser as Dr. Cox's best friend and ex-brother-in-law...
Don't let the fact that Tara Reid also guest stars, fool you. That this show did not win an Emmy for best writing is what finally confirmed that the Emmy Awards are a complete sham, and I've never trusted them since. Soooooo... I know this is late, but if you have not seen My Screw-Up, you owe it to yourself to hunt it down and do so. Buy Scrubs the Complete Third Season set (it's all good), or rent Disc 2 from Netflix or Blockbuster or whatever... just see it.
In other news... let this serve as fair warning that I will be guest-posting over at Hilly's blog this weekend. Do I know what I am going to write about yet? No. I don't write my entries ahead of time, so what happens is your guess as well as mine. All I do know is that the thought of Lil' Dave meeting up with Lil' Snackie is a very, very dangerous idea that is begging to be explored...
Heaven help us. Heaven help us all.
Today I had a craving for a cheddar on sourdough sandwich and decided to run home for lunch so I could make one. Usually I am too busy to go anywhere, but I was so relieved to have my appetite back that I didn't care.
You see, I've barely been able to eat anything for the past two days because I accidentally tuned in to a TV show about plastic surgery and completely lost my appetite because I couldn't stop watching.
On the show, some mother was giving both her daughters the gift of plastic surgery for their birthdays (or whatever). The 17-year-old just wanted breast implants, which was horrifying enough. The older sister wanted a "blue-plate special" which involved getting breast implants, nipple relocation, liposuction to her neck and torso, and HUGE F#@%ING CHUNKS OF HER BODY CUT OFF OF HER STOMACH! I am not joking... they cut off these massive slabs from her stomach region, then sewed her back together. It was all pretty brutal, because they nearly had to turn her in-side-out to do the work. I nearly died.
And, if you read this entry, then you already know what happened to my testicles...
What's bizarre is that they left her arms and legs untouched, so this is what happened...
Sure she was overweight before, but now she's disproportionately weird-looking with jumbo arms and legs on a slimmed-down torso (and breasts that look like balloon animals). They never showed her ass, but I'm guessing it's the same story since they didn't liposuction it. I hope everything evens out eventually because... uhhhh... yikes! She looked better before the surgery.
And it all begs the question: WHY DO THEY PUT THIS FREAKY SHIT ON TELEVISION, AND WHY CAN'T I TURN THE CHANNEL WHEN THEY DO?!? Nothing good can come from watching it! Nothing!
My appetite may be back to normal, but I think my testicles have a few days yet before they are back to their usual massive girth.
Happy No-Labor Day, bulleted for your reading pleasure.
• MUTHERF#@%ING SNAKES ON A PLANE! I finally saw SNAKES ON A MUTHERF#@%ING PLANE today. It couldn't possibly live up to the hype, and it really didn't. The problem is that it's supposed to be a suspense thriller... but, in reality, not so much. It's like the writer/director didn't know the formula... 1) Something startling but harmless happens. 2) There's a moment of calm for the audience to catch their breath and be thrown off-guard. 3) Then something TRULY shocking happens, smacking the audience in the face and scaring the crap out of them. Sure it's formula, but it WORKS. The movie wasn't bad and turned out to be a great way to kill an afternoon... but could have been so much better in more capable hands. Like mine, for example.
• GO GO GO! Just noticed that OK Go's brilliant music video for Here It Goes Again is now available at the iTunes Music Store.
• BAD MONKEY! Yesterday I was guest-blogging over at Hilly's blog and today Jenny left a comment asking who is watching Bad Monkey while Lil' Dave is away. That's a good question! Turns out nobody is watching after him...
What?!? BAD MONKEY HAS TAKEN UP SMOKING!! BAD MONKEY! BAD, BAD MONKEY!! And they're Marlboro Reds too! Sure the cigarette companies have to spend money educating children as to the dangers of smoking... but what about the monkeys?
• STUPID-ASS ANNOYING COMMERCIALS! Television advertising is expensive and difficult to do correctly. It has to be impactful enough to get attention, clever enough to be memorable, and unique enough to be effective. But really stupid f#@%ing idiots seem to confuse impactful, clever, and memorable with ANNOYING! Screaming kids, people crunching on breakfast cereal, bad music... and now I've got "moo" to deal with. I'm sitting here working, minding my own business with the television on in the background when all of a sudden screeching at full volume is "MOO! MOO! MOO! MOO! MOO! MOO!" piercing my eardrums...
It's a commercial for the Puyallup Fair and has a little girl in a cow suit mooing. I suppose it's supposed to be cute, but it's really just ANNOYING! WTF? You think that pissing people off with your dumbass commercials is going to entice them to visit? Needless to say I won't be attending... even if Depeche Mode is having a concert and Elizabeth Hurley is appearing nude.
• RETRACTION! Obviously, that was a lie. Even if Elizabeth Hurley were appearing fully-clothed at the Puyallup Fair, I would be there. Probably for Depeche Mode too.
"I Can Forgive Her, But I Don't Have to Because She Screwed with My Chickens."
Woo hoo! Let the Fall television season begin!
Avitable has run across a meme too intriguing to resist. Unfortunately, it's a long, difficult, time consuming meme... which wouldn't be a bad thing, except I am preparing for TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY and don't have the time to spare. DANG YOU TO HECK AVITABLE!!! The idea is to come up with your 25 most favorite television characters that aren't cartoons or puppets (see, I told you it was tough).
I managed to come up with 96.
Once I weeded out the hottie chicks that had no other reason to be there, I was left with 54. Then it got really difficult. How do you narrow it down? What's the criteria? Eventually I found myself mostly picking out characters that were smart asses or quirky or otherwise oddly entertaining.
The complete list is in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
In what can only be described as "a blissful turn of events," the amount of hate-mail I've been receiving from this blog has dropped to near-zero. With the exception of the occasional nut-bag who leaves a nasty comment, I haven't seen a good piece of deranged email in months!
Until this morning, that is.
It all seems to begin with the new Aaron Sorkin television show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. In the premiere episode, Matthew Perry's character rants about Pat Robertson being a bigot and goes on to compare his "700 Club" show to a Klan rally. This, needless to say, upset a lot of people. And one of these "people" decided to go on a Google crusade, and consequently stumbled across Blogography because of a freaky combination of words found in my archives.
Now, as anybody who has read this blog for a while knows, I despise Pat Robertson. I loathe how he spreads hatred, mis-information, and violence across the globe all in the name of his freaky interpretation of Biblical verse and his personal brand of Christianity. In fact, I think that if Pat Robertson were to be judged by his actions, he is one of the least "Christian" people I have ever seen. He's not a religious leader at all... he's a douchebag with an audience that has no problem calling for the assassination of foreign leaders, condemning victims of natural disasters, and persecuting anybody who thinks differently than he does. But this is all okay, because God tells him he's right...
Apparently people like me who disagree with this dumbass are (naturally) going to hell, and this guy had a burning desire to write and tell me that. It was a fascinating discourse which says I could be forgiven for THIS... but not THIS or THIS. The good news, however, is that there's still hope for me if I can turn to The Bible and find my way to Pat Robertson's particular flavor of crazy.
Which is kind of funny, because I've read through The Bible a number of times and distinctly remember it saying how you should run away from hateful idiots like Pat Robertson.
But whatever. I actually appreciate people who send email like this because it almost makes me look sane by comparison.
Anyway... I took the trouble to draw a DaveToon for yesterday's entry, but forgot to post it...
I don't think that the "Material Boy" look is very flattering for Lil' Dave. Maybe because he hasn't got the breasts to fill out that bra?
I probably should have bypassed Madonna's "Lucky Star / Like a Virgin" eras and went for the "Erotica / Vogue" years.
A year ago today I was in China standing on The Great Wall (though I got a better view of it the next day before I headed off to the Forbidden City).
This year, I'm stuck at home in a place where Screech has a scary-ass sex tape out, Clay Aiken has another shitty album out, and a sneak peek of the brillant Veronica Mars season premiere is out... kind of.
It's a trifecta of horrors on a Friday night...
I DON'T WANT TO SEE THIS CRAP! Annoying nerd-boy Dustin "Screech" Diamond from that totally forgettable television monstrosity Saved By The Bell has a sex tape out. Apparently, he's involved in a tape trading ring with "high profile people" where you get points for doing freaky shit and videotaping it. Now, I have no problem if people are into this kind of stuff... because, until the Constitution is completely rewritten, everybody in the good ol' USA has the right to get their freak on... but why would anybody want to see a tape which features SCREECH in any kind of sexual situation?!? Fortunately for us, President Bush will soon have the power to declare scary crap like this to be an "attack against America" and have creepy sex pervs like Screech interned and tortured.
I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THIS CRAP! How in the heck does somebody like Clay Aiken sell records? To say that his "music" sucks ass is a declaration of such absurd understatement as to be laughable. His latest album of cover-tunes is everywhere and you can't turn the channel without having to listen to him totally butchering some old song in horrifying new ways. I DARE you to fire up iTunes and subject yourself to his ass-blasting renditions of once-beautiful songs like Mr. Mister's Broken Wings and Foreigner's I Want To Know What Love Is or Paul Young's Everytime You Go Away. Holy crap! The least Clay could do for his "fans" is shit all over his own songs rather than take a dump on classics.
I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS CRAP! The best show on television, Veronica Mars, will have its season premiere on October 3rd. But, in a very interesting turn of events, the entire first episode is available for free viewing on the internet right now! This is awesome news! Unless you are a Macintosh user, in which case you can go fuck yourself! That's right, boys and girls... instead of using a format everybody can enjoy, the new CW Network has handed this totally sweet deal over to MSN which means, unless you are running Windows with Internet Explorer 6 and Windows Media 10, you are out of luck! Using a Mac? Go fuck yourself! Using Linux? Go fuck yourself twice! What's totally lame is that Mac users CAN view the ass-kicking opening scene from the episode by going directly to CW TV's site. But all that will do is leave you hungry for more, which you can't have unless you are a Windows sufferer. The reason I don't want to talk about this is because the CW Network was nice enough not to cancel Veronica Mars... for which I am eternally grateful. But I find it somehow ironic that Veronica herself and most all of the other characters on the show use Macs, thus wouldn't be able to watch their own season premiere online.
Why is it that total suckage always comes in threes?
Why the f#@% do they make clothing out of linen? Can somebody tell me this?
Because I bought this really, really expensive shirt that I liked quite a lot. I didn't bother to look at what it was made out of because... well, so long as it's not made from baby kittens, what the f#@% do I care what its made of? So I get it home, wash it, iron it, then decide to wear it... AND IT GETS TOTALLY WRINKLED AFTER ONLY FIVE MINUTES! Yes, FIVE MINUTES! And all I did was walk in it! Not ON it, but IN it. Yet it looks like I wadded it up in a ball, drove over it with my car, then slept in it while hookers danced on my chest.
Well, actually, if all that happened I wouldn't care so much about the wrinkles, but WTF?!?
If linen is this magical fabric that wrinkles without provocation and looks like shit after only five minutes of wear... WHY MAKE CLOTHES OUT OF IT?!? Why? Why? Why?
F#@% it. From now on I'm checking the label to make sure my shirts are made from 100% baby kitten, because I've never seen a wrinkled kitten. Besides, I think this color would look good on me...
Anyway... thanks to the kindness of a very generous reader with mad MPEG conversion skilz, I was able to watch the Veronica Mars premiere. It was slightly below-par because they had to spend time introducing new characters and locations... but oh so delicious and satisfying. STILL the best series on television (well, I haven't seen the sweet hotness of Tina Fey in 30 Rock yet, but I feel relatively safe in standing by my statement).
In other television news so far... Studio 60 is predictably good. Heroes is mind-numbingly mediocre. Jericho is suitably boring. The Class is inexplicably bad. Help Me Help You is "kill me now" horrifyingly awful.
The biggest surprise this season? Ugly Betty was shockingly good. What I thought would be a klutzy attempt at comedic relief ended up being a fascinating, thoughtful, multi-layered show with elements of drama and mystery to keep things interesting. By the time they got to Robert Loggia's character being involved in some kind of shady dealings behind the scenes, I was hooked. Vanessa Williams as a back-stabbing psychotic bitch editor is just the icing on the cake. Thank you Selma Hayek!
Here kitty kitty kitty...
In addition to migraines, vision problems, and the inability to sleep... I've also come down with some kind of cold/flu hybrid that has necessitated that I take a sick day. Usually I go to work when I am sick because I've always got so much going on. I even went to work with kidney stones because I had a project due (it's amazing what you can accomplish in-between screams). But today I feel so terrible that I simply could not get out the door.
I've always romanticized sick days, thinking that it's a great way to get paid while watching television and playing video games. But the only television I even attempted was trying to find the current episode of Martha because Tracy told me my Elizabeth Hurley was going to be on (which is about the ONLY way I would ever watch Martha Stewart in anything). Unfortunately, the show was already over by the time I managed to get out of bed. I was going to try a game of Lego Star Wars, but I ached so bad that all I could mange was to crawl back into bed with the hopes of getting some sleep.
It was a good plan for about fifteen minutes, but then my downstairs neighbor decided to make fifty trips between his car and apartment... slamming the door so hard each time that my teeth came loose. So here I am checking my email, writing in my blog, and praying for death's sweet embrace to take me from my misery...
... but not before I watch VERONICA MARS tonight on the CW Network at 9:00pm (8:00pm central)!!
All bow before the best show on television!!
Fortunately, I have a dual-tuner TiVo so I can watch Veronica Mars while recording The Unit which I became addicted to while watching the first season on DVD. I don't normally go for war movies and combat TV, but The Unit is astoundingly good television, and you should check it out if you have a chance.
And, on that note, my neighbor just drove off (squealing brakes and all) so I am going to make one final attempt at sleep before dragging my disease-infested corpse into work so I can at least grab some work to bring back home with me.
Bah... I can't even do a sick day right. Who else but me would want to work on a sick day??
Ooh look! I'm all better now. Well, mostly. I still have vision troubles, but at least the headaches and cold/flu symptoms have faded.
Until I open my email and find a lovely note from somebody with "I'M GOING TO SUE YOUR ASS" as the subject line. This is absolutely my favorite way to start the day, because being threatened with legal action is always such a great motivator first thing in the morning. "Hmmm..." I think to myself, "I wonder what I did this time?" Since I don't recognize the name, I'm guessing something in my blog has upset somebody. Having a blog is such a great way to meet new and interesting people!
HOW NOT TO START A LAWSUIT...
1) Have somebody who doesn't like you sneak a photo of you wearing a Bluetooth mobile phone headset.
2) Have this blood-enemy search the internet for a cartoon which makes fun of people who wear Bluetooth mobile phone headsets in public.
3) Have this same person cut out part of the cartoon so they can insert a picture of YOU...
4) Then have this person email everybody in the office with a cartoon which likens you to a large penis.
5) Find out about the cartoon, see that it was copyrighted by blogography.com, then decide to fire off a nasty email threatening a lawsuit because this person you've never even met decided to humiliate you.
6) Get an email back from blogography.com telling you that they have no idea what you are talking about, have no idea who you are, and have never even been to your city to take your picture.
7) After another furious exchange of emails, discover that people who post cartoons on the internet have no control over what other people do with them, then realize you'll have to find somebody else to sue.
8) Cry silently to yourself because you have nothing better to do than threaten complete strangers with baseless lawsuits.
Somebody remind me why I have a blog again?
Oh yeah! It's so I have a place to bitch about things that bother me!
Now that I'm feeling better, I finally managed to watch the second episode of Heroes, and boy does that show suck ass. It puzzles me greatly how so many critics are going ape-shit in love over this show when it pretty much blows. Just like "Odo," the shape-changing alien on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that rarely changed shape... here we have super-powered people who rarely use their super powers. I guess special effects are still not cheap enough to do shows like this properly. I can only hope that they eventually get a budget and can have people with flying powers ACTUALLY BE FLYING AROUND AND SHIT. So far we've gotten one lame, SUPER-LAME "flying" shot in the first episode which looked so bad I could have filmed it in my back yard... then a "flying" shot in the second episode which wasn't even flying... it was more like floating. LOOK DUDE, I CAN FLOAT!! Bitch, please. Until you are willing to put the money into decent special effects to do the super-hero show right, don't waste my frickin' time...
I also love how everybody else in the show conveniently has "powers" which don't require special effects. Notice that there isn't a "hero" who can shoot lightning bolts out of their ass... or a "hero" who can walk through walls... or a "hero" who can do ANYTHING even remotely interesting, because that would require actual visual effects, and we can't have that!
What I want to know is how come an episode of Bewitched which was made FORTY F#@%ING YEARS AGO... BEFORE THEY EVEN HAD COMPUTERS has more special effects shots than an episode of this lame-ass show. Screw this stupid crap. I'm done with "Heroes"... so somebody please let me know if they ever get the balls to actually SHOW super-powers instead of just talk about them for an hour.
Thank heavens for Veronica Mars, a detective who ACTUALLY DOES DETECTIVE STUFF in every episode!! Imagine that!
I am writing this at 2:30am because of a gross error in judgement while self-medicating.
I have a lingering cough from being sick, so I took some cough syrup. But the cough syrup gives me heartburn, so I took an acid reducer. In order to stop the drainage that's causing the cough I took an antihistamine but, since that keeps me awake, I also took a sleeping pill. I was then worried that the sleeping pill wouldn't be enough to counteract the antihistamine so I also took a couple Excedrin PM which is a pain reliever plus sleep aid (which should also help with my headache). I figured all of those things could battle it out while I sleep, and went to bed at the shockingly early hour of 9:30.
I don't like to take pills but, when I'm sick enough, I apparently have no problem shoving the entire medicine cabinet down my throat.
Anyway, it turns out that the sleeping pills win the battle, but the antihistamines win the war. So here I am wide awake at 2:30am watching the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica on my TiVo while eating a chocolate bar, drinking a glass of milk, and writing in my blog...
What an amazing show. I am dumbfounded how Battlestar keeps changing so radically each year. More stuff happens in 15 minutes on this program than happens in 15 episodes of Lost. But almost nobody I know watches it because they're "not into science fiction." What a shame, because it's highly entertaining. Educational too, because it's added "frak" to my vocabulary (it's the "profanity of the future!"). Ordinarily this would be a good thing but, because so few people I know are watching, I end up sounding pretty ridiculous whenever I use it. Oh well. It's their loss, because the evil Cylon robots who kill everybody and have now enslaved humanity are so frakin' hot...
Speaking of frak... it would appear that IKEA, the bestest furniture store ever, has discontinued the shelving units I use for my DVDs. I couldn't find it online, and it doesn't help matters that I can't remember the name of the thing. For all I know, it could be called FRAK. But it's probably FITBO or FLARG or FLOOGBANGER or something like that. I once studied a bit of the Swedish language for a trip to Stockholm (only to find out that everybody there speaks better English than I do). You'd think that this would give me an edge in remembering the names of my furniture, but it does not.
Oog. Is it sad that I've been blogging so long that I am able to provide a link to trip I took three years ago?
UPDATE: It's all good. I passed out around 4:00am, then slept until 9:00am. And now I am up and watching the awesome season premiere episode of South Park for the third time, all because Anthony mentioned it in the comments. I think this is now my favorite episode of the show ever, which is amazing considering this is their tenth season!
Holy crap! Is it just me, or is this season of Saturday Night Live just painfully bad? The show last night with Jamie Pressly has to be the worst episode I can ever recall seeing, and horribly embarrassing for everybody involved. Losing Tina Fey as head writer (and Weekend Update anchor) has killed what little was left of a once great show. I never thought I'd be longing for the insanely stupid "Goat Boy" to come back to SNL, but ANYTHING would be better than this. Who in their right mind will want to host a show that can make even the usually-funny Dane Cook suck ass?
It's a lazy Sunday and so it must be time for bullet points...
• Tower: Sad news this weekend, Tower Records is closing its doors around the globe. Back in high school and college I would look forward to trips to Seattle with my friends because we would often stop at Tower and browse their collection of imports and 12-inch singles. Many times, we'd hit all three locations in Bellevue, Seattle Center, and the U-District to be sure nothing was missed. Of course now-a-days eBay and online specialty shops are a far more reliable and efficient way of finding music, but Tower is responsible for filling many holes in my collection in those early years. Since the store has fond memories for me, I've always stopped at other locations I find in my travels, including shops in London, Dublin, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur... plus some shops throughout Japan, and several here across the US.
• CBGB: As if that wasn't enough, CBGB is closing its doors as well. I've only been once, but still consider it to be an essential NYC experience and am sad to see it go. Rumor has it that a new CBGB is to be opened in Vegas, which seems wrong in so many ways. If this is actually true, I don't feel so bad that my CBGB T-shirt was ruined years ago.
• Quake: Washington's own Mt. Rainier, which I fly past frequently when inbound to SeaTac Airport, was hit by a minor earthquake last night which I could feel almost a hundred miles away. It is a bit worrisome to think that volcanic activity might be in its future. If such a beautiful landmark were to become another crater (like Mt. St. Helens), it would really put a dent in Seattle's southern view...
• The Departed: As somebody who thinks that Martin Scorsese hasn't made a great film since Goodfellas, I was most pleased with The Departed which may be his best work to date. This is kind of mixed praise though, because this film is essentially a remake of the brilliant trilogy of Infernal Affairs films out of Hong Kong. In many ways, I'd say the original works are superior (and well worth renting), but it's hard to deny that Scorsese did a remarkable job with his interpretation (cops with moles battle organized crime with moles in modern-day Boston). The violence, while harsh, is nowhere near the ridiculous levels of Gangs of New York (which I loathed) and the performances by Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio are fantastic. Jack Nicholson is also great, as expected, but it's difficult to see him as his character instead of "Jack Nicholson" on the screen. About the only negative is the wholly implausible love triangle that develops unnecessarily, but it's a minor quibble. If incidents of blood and violence don't bother you, The Departed well-worth checking out.
Streaming: How is it that YouTube can serve up millions of streaming videos every day, and yet just about everybody else fails miserably at it? Every site I try to watch video on from Sony to Fox to E Online all end up re-buffering every 5 seconds which is just stupid. Why even offer video if it's going to be completely unwatchable? Just put your shit up on YouTube and let somebody who actually knows what they're doing deal with it.
Back before I was in High School, my favorite show on television was WKRP in Cincinnati. Mostly because Loni Anderson's magnificent breasts were a star attraction (though, oddly enough, I was always much more attracted to the dorky Bailey Quarters who I thought was much cuter). The primary premise of the show was that each character was an oddball who would never fit in at another radio station, but seemed right at home with the WKRP family. The main radio DJ on the show was "Dr. Johnny Fever" who was fired from his previous job because he had said "booger" on the air.
Now-a-days, of course, "booger" is so inoffensive that children's books use it in their titles but, back in 1978 when WKRP hit the air, I suppose saying it was a plausible offense for getting fired.
The point here (if you can actually call it that) is this... today, after having Adobe Illustrator crash a record 22 times (I'm keeping count) from Apple's latest 10.4.8 Mac OS upgrade patch, I was about to scream "F#@%!" at the top of my lungs... but realized I was in an office full of people, so I bit my tongue and screamed "BOOGER!" instead.
I have no idea why it was that particular word which popped into my head to scream.
I can only guess that I was having some kind of Loni Anderson breasts-induced flashback or something.
And now I get to pack up and go home, praying to the internet gods that Verizon is through dicking around with my DSL. I need to catch up on the hundreds of emails and thousands of blog entries that have undoubtedly piled up since I lost my connection Sunday afternoon. I swear, my DSL goes down more often than Monica Lewinsky in the White House.
Lastly... color me shocked.
First of all, to anybody watching How I Met Your Mother last night, you should know that the idea of putting a skyscraper in Spokane is laughable. The tallest building there now is like twenty stories or so, which means a skyscraper dropped in the city would be kind of ridiculous. Secondly, for anybody who watched The Class after How I Met Your Mother had aired... WHY?!? OH LORD, WHY?? I've seen bad television before, but this is borderline tragic. I cannot fathom how The Class was ever greenlit (it makes the awful Help Me Help You look brilliant). I am worried that HIMYM ratings are going to suffer because of its crappy lead-out, and hope that they cancel this steaming pile and put on something funny.
For my own amusement, Spokane's new skyline with a skyscraper inserted...
Pre-altered photo © Rob Niebrugge and stolen from his cool Niebrugge Images site.
Wow. That's actually pretty cool. I never realized how badly Spokane needs a skyscraper.
For years now my deepest most secret fantasy has been to see Veronica Mars performing a faux-lesbian 3-way dance with two hot blondes at a drunken frat party. Now that fantasy has become a reality thanks to last night's episode... well, I honestly don't know what to do with myself. Just die happy, I guess.
Which goes to prove... just when you think that Veronica Mars can't get any better, something like this comes along to change your mind...
More sweet Veronica screencap hotness can be found at vm-caps.
I like to think that the cast wrap-party for each episode of Veronica Mars is much like this... but with a hot-tub full of lime
Wow. As far as wacky Google searches go, this entry may actually surpass the time I talked about having drunken sex with coked-up hookers while a pizza delivery boy spread peanut butter on my ass!
It's apple harvest season in the valley, which means that it must be time for the annual gnat plague which descends on us like the wrath of Lindsay Lohan's crotch.
The tiny bastards only live for a few days, but they make the most of what little time they have by being as annoying as possible. Just walking out to your car results in your being covered with bugs that can't be brushed off without smooshing their little carcasses into your clothing. Don't even get me started about the perils of breathing... having a gnat fly in your mouth or up your nose causes a major freak-out that'll ruin your day in a hurry.
I spend most of my time screaming like a little bitch and waving my arms around whenever I go outside...
Gnats suck ass!
Much like the television show Lost, but without the benefit of a short life span. Quite the opposite really... the shit just drags on and on and on. After giving up on the show, my friends kept insisting that things were different this third season and it's totally great now.
I believed them and watched the current episode.
My friends are lying bastards.
RULE TO GOOD TELEVISION #1: When you come up with a plot twist, the final result had damn well be better than the red herring you discarded. Back when I was watching, there were polar bears on the tropical island. It was strongly alluded to that the strangely misplaced bears were created by the mental powers of creepy little Walt. That would have been cool. But it turns out that the bears escaped from an old zoo on the other side of the island. Yeah, that's kind of lame.
Just like everything else on the show.
Two years later and nothing has really been wrapped up (except the polar bears, of course). They've just added more crap to an already convoluted mess. At its core, Lost is still the same mix of boring flashbacks (Sun and Jun had a terrible marriage... WE GET IT!!) and plot points (Dharma Project, The Others, Will Kate Choose Jack or Sawyer?) and stuff they've forgotten (smoke monsters, giant tree-crushing monsters, and just about everything else).
Want to impress me? WRAP IT UP! Answer ALL the questions and tie up ALL the loose ends... then come up with something that's MORE bad-ass and mysterious to keep the show interesting. Because hey, it works for Veronica Mars. Of course, with Veronica Mars, even THAT isn't good enough... they have to go back into already solved mysteries and make it so that everything you thought you knew was wrong! Genius!
But since that doesn't seem to be an option for this hideously bad show, I won't be tuning in to Lost again (nor any of the lamer next-gen imitators like Heroes, The Nine, Six Degrees, and whatnot). Large casts of inexplicably-connected people trying to solve mysteries that are never actually solved is not good television, it's just annoying.
Like the gnats.
I'd scream like a little bitch and wave my arms around if I thought it would help, but blogging about it is so much easier.
It would seem that bullet-points on Sunday is getting to be a tradition. Rather than fight it, I've chosen to embrace it. From now on, I'll save up all my bullet point crap during the week for Sunday. Easy.
• There's a nifty (but too short) interview with god Steve Jobs over at Newsweek. His assessment of Microsoft's incredibly fugly media player is priceless. When asked if he was concerned about the "wireless connectivity" functionality of Zune, Jobs replies: "I've seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left! You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable." — I think I laughed for ten solid minutes after reading that.
• My favorite comic book series of all time is Superboy and The Legion of Super-Heroes. I still remember the first time I discovered it, which was in a series of Whitman/Gold Key reprint 3-Packs at the local SafeWay. The issues that hooked me were the first I read, #255-257. I then spent years filling in my collection all the way back to Superboy #197 which was when "Legion" got added to the title (not a mean feat for a kid on a fixed allowance in middle-school!). Anyway, WB Kids has created a Legion cartoon, which is surprisingly good...
Superboy is called Superman for some kind of stupid legal reason, but is portrayed perfectly. My favorite character in the cartoon is Brainiac 5, which they have changed into a full-fledged robot. I should hate that (he's humanoid in the comic), but he's just so cool that I can't manage it! If you like cartoons, you should check it out Saturday mornings.
• I watched a great show on The Science Channel called "Building the Ultimate... A Giant Out of Water" which was about the construction of Hong Kong's New International Airport. One of my regrets in life was that I never got to fly into Hong Kong's old Kai-Tak Airport on the infamous "13 Approach" (which you can read about on Wikipedia). Once they moved to the new airport, that thrill-ride was closed forever. I think that this show is actually a series, but The Science Channel's website sucks so much ass that I couldn't find out for sure. I searched for several minutes, but the site kept popping up empty windows (via Flash, because I have pop-up blocking on) and giving me errors. Why bother to have a site at all if it's totally useless?
• I love standup comedy, and am totally addicted to Comedy Central Presents. I've discovered so many talented comics on this show, including Mike Birbiglia, Nick Swardson, Kyle Cease, Stephen Lynch, and many others. Great, great shows. So where the f#@% are the DVDs?? You can get a few of the shows at the iTunes Store, but where are the DVD sets? This is a completely missed opportunity, because if they were priced fairly, they'd sell huge.
• In other "I wish it were on DVD news" I just saw Richard Grieco's If Looks Could Kill for the hundredth time on television. How can such a funny movie which has memorable characters by Linda Hunt, Roger Rees, and Gabrielle Anwar not be released? I want a Special Edition Director's Cut double-DVD set loaded with extras and complete cast/director commentary... yesterday.
• Betty White made a welcome (if unexpected) cameo in last week's Boston Legal that was pretty cool. I wish I could find a screen cap to post, because she totally steals the show without even saying a word! I've said it many times, but Betty White kicks ass. UPDATE: Got em'!
• Even NBC must be realizing how much the current season of Saturday Night Live is sucking ass, because they didn't even show a new episode last night. Instead, they repeated a sweet episode with Kate Hudson and Radiohead that had Will Ferrell's flawless impersonation of James Lipton from Inside the Actor's Studio. And, as an apology for just how bad SNL is sucking, they are also starting to release complete seasons of the show on DVD (with musical guests!!). I am so going bankrupt buying all these sets.
• Lastly, if you want your mind blown, here's a cool presentation in Flash of "Imagining the Tenth Dimension."
Well that was relatively painless. Look for all new bullets next Sunday.
My day started with a trip to the dentist for my 6-month cleaning, and only went downhill from there. By the time I finished work at 8:00pm, I was so sick and tired of life that I was seriously contemplating taking a handful of sleeping pills and crawling into bed. But that seemed kind of stupid... how much worse could the day get at 8:00pm? Because, hey, Ugly Betty, My Name is Earl, The Office, Grey's Anatomy, and CSI are on tonight!
So I plop myself down in front of the television in anticipation of good TV.
Instead I am inundated with stupid-ass political advertising for an hour. I'm guessing it's the same everywhere but, here in Washington State, it's particularly nasty because of the senatorial race. Heaven only knows I'm not a big fan of incumbent Maria Cantwell... but Mike McGavick and his never-ending attack ads is no better. Politicians don't inspire anymore. They just sling mud. They're not interested in solving problems. They're only interested in getting elected.
It just makes me want to bitch-slap them both.
But what's the point? They're doing far worse to each other...
Who wins in these things? No matter which one gets the office, I'm mortally embarrassed to have them as our senator.
I'm too depressed to blog anymore, so I'm stealing a meme from Kentucky Girl which you can find in an extended entry after this really cute picture of me as a tyke...
→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
My hairstyle hasn't changed in decades... there's just less of it!
I've just been abducted by aliens.
And by aliens, of course, I mean the bitches on The View.
I recorded the show a few days ago because Bill O'Reilly was a guest. Not that I like Bill O'Reilly or anything... actually, I think the dumbass is a perfect "10" on the "Are You a Dick?" scale...
No, the reason I recorded it was because the idea of Bill O'Reilly being in the same room with Rosie O'Donnell was guaranteed fun. Talk about two people on the opposite end of the political nut-job spectrum! I fully expected that I would witness Rosie putting her fist through Bill's head, and that was worth the space on my TiVo.
Holy crap. How do people watch this show? You can't understand a frickin' word, because Rosie, Babwa, Joy, and Elisabeth are screeching at the top of their lungs... ALL AT THE SAME TIME! Nobody shuts the f#@% up for five seconds so you can hear what is being said. I actually ended up feeling sorry for Bill O'Reilly, and I never thought I'd be saying that.
Still. I must admit to being mildly entertained and unable to turn away from this car wreck of a show. Elizabeth (isn't she that chick from Survivor?) is even more annoying than Debbie Matenopoulos!
Fortunately I was able to escape The View with a minimum of anal probing and my sanity in tact.
Did anybody teach these bitches not to interrupt when somebody else is speaking? Sheesh.
I finally got around to watching last night's Studio 60 and... wow... things are finally getting good. Every episode just gets better and better, which is ironic because they're pre-empting it next week and probably canceling the week after that. Typical. Shows never get a chance to find their footing anymore. It's either a hit out of the gate or it's cancelled.
Today I had a meeting in Seattle, but first I had to scrape ice off my windshield. It was a moment of profound depression, because it means that summer is officially over, fall has come, and winter is just around the corner. Things didn't get any better as it dumped rain all the way over the pass and all the way back.
The only thing that's kept me going was knowing that there's a fresh episode of Veronica Mars on tonight.
Which begins in a scant seven minutes, so I'll be signing off now.
But what do I do tomorrow when my windshield is freshly iced and I have to wait a week for new Veronica?
Something tells me cookies* will be involved.
* And by cookies, I mean porn.**
** Okay, that's not true. It's going to be actual cookies.***
*** But I wouldn't be surprised if porn shows up somewhere along the way.
Time for your bullet-proof vest... SUNDAY IS HERE!!
• Cars! I never managed to catch Pixar's latest film Cars while it was in the theater. Now that I see how beautiful it is on DVD, I'm really regretting it. Because, while I had a hard time buying into a world populated entirely by automobiles, it was just so amazing to look at that I didn't care. Every detail was painstakingly represented and, if you've ever seen a NASCAR race, the track action was superb. The icing on the cake was the top-notch voice acting by Owen Wilson, who convincingly conveys a surprising emotional range as race car "Lightning McQueen"...
Awww... cute! It's an adorable talking race car!
I still don't think that the Pixar cars are as clever as the Aardmann cars for those Chevron commercials (is it just me, or do the Pixar cars all look cross-eyed?)... but this film does have the benefit of being the only funny thing I have ever seen "Larry The Cable Guy" associated with. It's no Toy Story or Monster's Inc. but still a lot of fun (unlike John Tucker Must Die, which was a boatload of crap and one of the worst movies I've seen in recent memory).
• Stats! Last month my "unique visitor counts had dropped for the first time in years. Now they've jumped by 36,000 for late October/early November... I guess people just love a monkey eating urinal cakes.
• The Office! For a while there I was getting really tired of Steve Carell's constant idiocy in the Americanized version of The Office but, after seeing his brilliant performance in Little Miss Sunshine, I decided to start watching again. Now I'm like a teenage girl, because I find myself saying things like "OMG! Isn't Jim and Pam going to be like the cutest couple ever?!" And who thought I would ever feel sorry for Roy? Oh well... I am so totally in love with Jenna Fischer now! She was great on Letterman, and looked brutally hot compared to her frumpy character on the show.
Now I'm mad that I stopped watching! They sell episodes at the iTunes Music Store, so I'm going to have to shell out some coin and get caught up.
Awww... cute! It's an adorable talking girl!
• Lost! And on the other end of the television spectrum... I've been complaining for months about what a suck-fest Lost has become after that brilliant first season. Unlike excellent shows like Veronica Mars which wrap shit up and move on to something better... Lost just lingers on, never providing a payoff. Now I notice that more and more people are feeling the same way, including this article at New York Magazine. I don't know if it is the writers, producers, or network that are insisting on being so frakkin' stupid, but if things keep going like this the show will be cancelled before they ever bother to answer anything. What a waste of time. But that seems to be typical for television lately.
• Veteran's Day! It was my intention yesterday to write a Veteran's Day entry but, given the drama of my dying PowerBook, I didn't get around to it. Even so, there's never a wrong time to be grateful to those who have served...
Bad Monkey's new best friend: Buddy Poppy
• Sucks Less! Several people have brought to my attention that Sucks Less with Kevin Smith is now being streamed via Flash for Mac users. You can check it out right here. The Smith intros are pretty funny, though some of the actual clips in the show are kind of lame. Something that is NOT lame is Clerks 2 which is finally dropping on DVD in a mere 16 days. Time to start watching all of my Kevin Smith DVDs so I am ready to go.
And on that note, I'm off to work. Monday deadlines blow.
I very nearly just died. I think I turned blue and everything.
All because I was stupid enough to attempt drinking a Coke with Lime while watching How I Met Your Mother when Robin's dirty secret was revealed. Seriously, for everybody who has ever wanted me dead, your wish nearly came true as I choked to death watching Robin Sparkles GOING TO THE MALL! Best. Video. Ever. My apologies to our Canadian neighbors, but this is about the funniest thing I've seen all year. Could this show be any funnier? This second season is even better than the first, but I will absolutely be buying the DVD set when it hits tomorrow. Suit up!
The good news here is that if I had died, I would have done so wearing my totally awesome Milwaukee Admirals Limited Edition Custom Hockey Jersey which arrived today!
I used to think that my red leather thong was my favorite piece of clothing... but this is SO much cooler than that! If it didn't smell like toxic fumes and need to be washed, I'd wear it to bed.
Now that I know I'm not going to die tonight, can I just say how disappointed I am that the only thing that went through my mind as I was laying on the floor gasping for breath was "holy shit... if I die, I won't get to see Veronica Mars tomorrow night!" — how sad is that? Though, I suppose if you turn it around, you could say that my desire to see the next episode of Veronica is what got me through this.
I'll bet that's not the first time Kristen Bell has been responsible for giving a guy the will to live.
Crappy weather continues to pummel the Pacific Northwest. Seattle is particularly scary, as the news is showing people abandoning their cars on the highway rather than attempting to drive on the icy, snow-covered roads there. A fly-over shows dozens of cars spun off the road and others that have been trapped in traffic for hours. This is not encouraging news given that I'm flying out this weekend.
My TiVo is still grabbing The View every day, and every once in a while I am desperate enough to watch.
Today on the show they had Amy Holmes guest-hosting. She is the former speechwriter for outgoing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and was also a strategist for his office, despite her not being a Republican (she's a registered Independent).
As if all that weren't impressive enough, she's cute as hell...
On the Elizabeth Hurley Scale of Hotness... where 0 is depressingly not at all Liz-like and 10 is the sublime perfection that is Elizabeth Hurley... she's a solid 9. And it's not just looks. When Joy Behr attacked her almost immediately, she responded with a grace, poise, and warmth that had a beauty all its own. If they don't make her a permanent host on The View, there's something terribly wrong.
But, then again, we're talking about ABC. This is the same dumbass network that cancelled Jeremy Piven's Cupid. So it's not like I haven't already been conditioned for disappointment.
Bleh. Now it's starting to snow here again too.
Every once in a while I get an email asking me questions about the DaveToons I draw for Blogography. Usually it's asking which program I use to draw them (Adobe Illustrator) or how long it takes to make one (about 5-15 minutes depending on difficulty) or how I animate them (Toon Boom Studio) or how I learned to draw them (I'm self-taught). A more extensive explanation of the awful, semi-fictional PG-13 truth is here.
But today's email asked a question I've never received before... what cartoons do I like, and where do I get my inspiration for the Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey toons I draw?
Hmmmm... where to start? I have loved cartooning and animation for as long as I can remember. Disney, Looney Tunes, and Peanuts were an obsession in my formative years, and led to a life-long love which has expanded to include new favorites, like Katsuhiro Otomo and Hayao Miyazaki.
But when trying to trace what inspires Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey specifically, I can narrow it down to three sources (that I am consciously aware of, there are many more I'm sure)...
Calvin learns why Dave is afraid of cauliflower...
CALVIN AND HOBBES
Bill Watterson's master work Calvin and Hobbes is simply the best comic ever created. It's all at once riotously funny, touchingly poignant, and wonderfully life-affirming. How Watterson managed to pack all that into a strip about a little boy and his stuffed tiger is nothing short of miraculous. I wouldn't presume to think that Lil' Dave is on a level even approaching Calvin's brilliance, but I do like to think that he shares the innocence and imagination that made Calvin's world so much fun. If I was stranded on a desert island and could have only one book to take with me, it would be The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. There's a part of me that will always be hoping that Watterson will one day release a new Calvin project, because reading it is an experience you never want to end.
Bad Monkey meets GIR from Invader Zim
It is always a source of great sadness that the wacky and wonderful world of Jhonen Vasquez's Invader Zim was cancelled way before its time. It was a cartoon series that actually seemed to be heading somewhere, and the sheer insanity of it all made me fall in love with the show from the first time I saw it. But, as great as the character of Invader Zim is, it's his malfunctioning robot sidekick GIR that I liked best. He's an irritating, bungling, inept, and totally insane little companion... but Zim loves him anyway. Much like Bad Monkey's naughty, drunken, and totally inappropriate behavior is likewise irritating to Lil' Dave, but he loves him just the same. If you've never experienced Invader Zim, it's kind of hard to explain... but you can buy the show at the iTunes music store (or rent the DVD) and see for yourself. Most people are probably not going to dig it, but it's one of my favorite cartoon series of all time (followed by Batman: The Animated Series, Pinky and The Brain, Family Guy, and Top Cat).
DaveToon homages to South Park pop up from time to time. Here there are FOUR!
If there is one show that has forever changed the landscape of cartoons as a medium for adult entertainment, it would be South Park. Sure The Simpsons revived the genre of more mature-oriented cartoons that hadn't been seen since The Flintstones, yet it was South Park that shattered the genre completely. But, to me, even more important than what the show does is how it does it. The first incarnation of the show was crudely animated by hand as a school project for Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They didn't have a studio, massive funding, or anybody telling them what they could (and couldn't!) do... yet look what came of it. This is inspiring to anybody who dreams of creating animation of their own, and has certainly inspired me to goof around with it.
Argh. I have the sudden urge to watch Invader Zim and South Park while reading Calvin and Hobbes. I'm never going to get caught up with my work now.
How can I be so exhausted yet not be able to sleep?
I went to bed at 9:30 and was relieved that I might actually catch up on some much-needed shuteye. But then I woke up at midnight, and haven't been able to get back to sleep all night. Insomnia sucks ass, but it did give me time to write the final Bullet Sunday of 2006... BLOGOGRAPHY'S BEST OF THE YEAR LIST!
• Best New Television Show... For nine glorious weeks, Project Catwalk featured Elizabeth Hurley being Elizabeth Hurley which makes it one of the greatest shows ever. At least it was, until this tragic event occurred.
• Best Returning Television Show... How does one choose between Veronica Mars and Battlestar Galactica? (if you are a guy, trust me... you want to follow those links!).
• Best Guest Appearance on a Television Show...
Betty White in "Peterotica" from The Family Guy.
• Best Movie... This is a tough call, but I was taken completely by surprise at how much I loved Little Miss Sunshine. A close second is The Prestige, which haunted me for weeks.
• Best Bad Movie Hype... I went to Brokeback Mountain because of all the hype and was so bored that I consider this to be one of the worst films ever. I prefer my remake, Bareback Monkey. "I wish I could quit you, Captain Crunch!"
• Best Video Game... Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy. I only wish I had time to play it.
• Best Funny... I never claimed that Blogography was a humor blog but, when I set my mind to it, this can be the funniest blog ever.
• Best Poetry... I hate to be tooting my own horn here, but my Seven Odes From My Day-Trip To Chicago kick ass! I should totally write a book of poetry!
• Best Charitable Cause... There is nothing more important right now than immortalizing my greatness. Give generously to the Dave Monument Fund.
• Best Explanation of Why I Am The Way I Am...
Yes, the world really does revolve around me.
• Best Reason to Have a Blog... Davecago was one of the year's biggest highlights for me.
• Best Shock... Randomly running into fellow blogger Timothy while in New York City just before he's off to Uganda. What are the odds? Considering he previously lived in American Samoa before moving to Africa, he would be voted the Blogger I'm Least Likely To Ever Meet, yet there he was in the middle of one of the biggest cities on earth.
• Best Non-Government Holiday... Yeah, it would be pretty hard to top Day of Slayer! (and getting to meet Mistress Eve and Dave3 a month later was icing on the cake).
• Best Garfield Strip in 25 Years... Well, it's not like Jim Davis was ever going to get around to doing it. You may think I'm joking here, but I'm totally not.
• Best Bad Influence... Bad Monkey really is bad... he's teaching kids to smoke cigarettes and then getting them into trouble at school.
• Best Blog Fan... Turns out that I'm not good-looking, not funny, and not nice, and somebody was kind enough to point it out to me.
• Best Identity Theft... And here I only thought I was joking about people wanting to be me...
Who could possibly want to be me with hair like this?
• Best Bad Robert Story... Well, of those stories I was actually able to share without getting sued, I guess it would have to be Bad Robert's Blue Balls.
• Best Advice... How to make your blog be like every other blog (though some people hated me for this one).
• Best Way To Hide a Fart... Who knew a pack of gum would make the best odor eliminator ever?
• Best Lie... Bob is a psychopath.
• Best Lesson Learned... One thing at a time.
• Best Blogography Entry... How can I choose when they're all so good? I've narrowed it down to these ten...
• Best Reader... It's totally you! How could it be anybody but you? Thanks for stopping by, and we'll see you next year.
All I ever ask of my loyal readers is their abject love and devotion. You can keep your money. You can keep your politics. You can keep your religion. You can even keep your souls. For I am a kind and benevolent blogger, and loathe to ask of anything from somebody who would do me the honor of reading Blogography.
Except this once.
I have made continuous reference to Jeremy Piven's Cupid as the best show ever to air on television. In the seven years since it was foolishly canceled (thanks to the raging morons in charge of ABC scheduling), I have not changed my mind. This show will make you laugh, cry, and everything in-between. It is all that television strives to be, with brilliant casting and writing that is unparalleled in the medium.
Yet it has not been given a DVD release.
Now Sony Pictures is asking people to vote for a series they would most like to see on DVD.
And Cupid is on the list.
I am asking... begging... pleading... threatening... petitioning... praying... that you will do me this one favor and go vote for Cupid to be released on DVD.
You can't vote for Cupid three times (believe me, I tried) so you'll have to pick two other crappy shows to vote for after Cupid, (except Bette which is stealing too many votes!) but the important thing is that Cupid be one of your choices. And, if the fact that it's the best show ever to air on television is not reason enough to make you vote, here's a few more...
Do you like "Veronica Mars?" Then you should know that Cupid was written and created by über-genius Rob Thomas, who also created Veronica Mars, and he's every bit as brilliant (if not more so). So go vote!
Do you love Jeremy Piven in "Entourage?" Then you should know that the same insane energy that make Entourage's Ari Gold so much fun to watch is nothing compared to the performance Jeremy Piven turns in on each and every episode of Cupid. So go vote!
Do you guys think Paula Marshall is a total babe? Well who doesn't? You should know that Paula Marshall is in every single episode of Cupid (and looking much hotter than this photo I found). So go vote!
Do you ladies think Lt. Colonel John Sheppard on "Stargate Atlantis" is hot? Then you should know that the actor who plays him, Joe Flanigan, appears in a chunk of Cupid episodes as Paula Marshall's boyfriend. So go vote!
Are you a Lisa Loeb fan? Then you should know that she makes a stellar guest appearance in one of the best Cupid episodes, "First Loves". So go vote!
Are you a "Dead Like Me" fan? Then you should know that before he directed and produced the show, Scott Winant directed episodes for Cupid. So go vote!
Did you enjoy the musical scores for "The West Wing," "Sports Night," and "Studio 60?" Then you should know that the very talented W.G. "Snuffy" Walden who composed for those shows (and dozens of others) produced some wonderful musical interludes for Cupid. So go vote!
Are you a fan of Chrissy Hynde and The Pretenders? Then you should know that the theme for Cupid was their beautiful song "Human." So go vote!
Are you a fan of brilliant guest-star casting? Then you should know that Cupid had an amazing roster of guest spots by such actors as Sherilyn Fenn, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Kim Fields, David Johansen, Anna Chlumsky, Matt Roth, Daphne Ashbrook, George Newbern, Laura Leighton, and more! So go vote!
And after you've voted... get the word out. Tell your friends. Write about it on your blog. Let people know Cupid's day on DVD is at hand!
Who knows... if the Cupid DVD ever comes to pass, I might go crazy and start holding drawings to give copies away! I'm insane like that! So what are you doing reading this crap, when you should be voting?
Gah! I guess that the other crap I was going to write about today will have to wait...
The bitches over at Bette Midler Online have retaliated against Cupid being in 1st place on the Sony DVD poll! What I find funny is that these people are voting for Bette! simply because Bette Midler is in it... not because it was a great show or anything. Personally, I don't even remember the show... but when I research it, I find out that it was not well-liked, even by Bette Midler fans. so WTF? Cupid, on the other hand, was critically acclaimed, and could have built an audience had ABC not totally f#@%ed up the scheduling so people couldn't find it. Case in point... out of a possible 10 stars on the Internet Movie Database, Bette! garners 3.6 stars, whereas Cupid has twice as many... 7.3 stars.
I maintain that Cupid is the best show ever to air on television, and explain why in this entry.
In any event, If you love me... heck, even if you hate me, you'll please take ten seconds and go to Sony's NEW & IMRPROVED poll for DVD releases, where you now only have to vote for ONE show instead of choosing two other crappy shows to go with it... IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT'S GOOD IN THE WORLD, GO VOTE FOR CUPID RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW!!!
Did you vote? YOU DIDN'T?!? DO IT! DO IT NOW!!!
There. That's much better. Cupid got to the top once, it can be there again with your help.
Good news on the AppleCare front... despite the fact that I called on a Saturday afternoon with my MacBook Pro hard drive problem, my return-box from Apple Support arrived today. Amazing. If nothing goes sideways, I'll have my laptop back before I leave. Loves me the Apple. It makes the fact that Hewlett Packard couldn't get me a freakin' return-label after THREE calls over TWO months (and untold hours on hold) all the more pathetic. HP sucks ass.
Today I got lambasted by a friend because I am not watching Lost and Heroes.
"HOW CAN YOU NOT BE WATCHING THE TWO COOLEST SHOWS ON TELEVISION?!? she screamed at me. "OMG! THEY ARE BOTH GETTING SOOOOOOOO GOOD JUST NOW!"
Yeah, well I had fallen for that before, and swore never again, so I decided to ask a few questions about Lost...
Uh huh. No thanks. If this were truly a GOOD show (like Veronica Mars) then most of the questions would have been answered by now, and they would be moving on to newer, more interesting mysteries. I have no desire to be strung along by lazy writers who can't figure this out. We're half-way through Season 3 and monkeys are more likely to fly out of my ass than anything getting resolved on Lost any time soon...
And for Heroes, it's even easier...
Well there you go. Heroes is just plodding along with boring-ass "B-characters" like "Mirror Girl" and "Mind-Reader Guy" while everybody with interesting powers just sit around talking about boring shit. Forget it. Until somebody gets the money to make a REAL super-hero show where people who can fly ACTUALLY F#@%ING FLY and shit... it's just not worth my time. I'll read a comic book WHERE STUFF ACTUALLY HAPPENS if I want to see heroes.
Anyway... I've taken an alphabet meme from 511 and slapped it in an extended entry, because it's probably more interesting than watching an episode of non-Heroes tonight...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
• Lost is Lost... This morning I awoke to find a couple of emails from people pointing me to a story in The Washington Post about how Lost has plummeted in the television ratings and may be facing cancelation. I could try to act surprised, but what's the point? The show sucks ass. It was a brilliant concept that started out as a lot of fun, then disintegrated into boredom when the writers were either too stupid or too lazy to try and come up with cool new mysteries, choosing instead to drag out the same old shit... FOREVER. I mean, holy crap... I was pointing out this problem ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO, and I'm not even in television! Are the people running the show on crack? It's like a lesson in what NOT to do, where everybody sees the wreck coming except the people driving the bus. Next up... Heroes! Or will they learn from Lost's mistakes in time?
• Best Breakfast Ever... Snack-Pack Chocolate Pudding, five Golden Oreo cookies, and a glass of chocolate milk.
• Spirit of Vengeance... One of the cooler comic book creations, Ghost Rider, has finally been given the movie treatment starring long-time comic fan Nicholas Cage. And here's the thing... despite the shitty reviews, I enjoyed this film. Cage totally had a handle on the character, injecting humor where appropriate and not taking the role too seriously. The special effects were kick-ass. The story was entertaining. But, most importantly, there was enough action to keep things moving and the film was fairly faithful to the comics. What's not to love? It amazes me that reviewers are going to a movie about a flaming skeleton riding a motorcycle thinking it will be about something else, then are disappointed to find out it actually IS about a flaming skeleton riding a motorcycle. Well, duh. It's not supposed to be Shakespeare, it's just a cheesy popcorn flick. Taking it for what it is, I found it brilliant, and will be buying it on DVD.
• Not-So-Daily Show... Whilst clearing old shows off my TiVo, I ran across the October 26th, 2006 episode of The Daily Show which I've saved because it is one of my all-time favorites. Remembering that The Daily Show can be purchased at the iTunes Music Store, I thought I would just buy the episode so I could free up some space on my TiVo box. Well, it was a good plan, except that you can only purchase the last 8 episodes and nothing before that. WHY? I would think that one of the benefits of selling shows online is that you have a library of archived shows to offer for sale. Both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have segments and guests that demand future exploration... why not offer them? Once again I am put in a position where my only option is to acquire the show "unofficially" — not by choice, but by stupid circumstance.
• Un-Trekable... Speaking of the iTunes Music Store... I was thrilled that the new "re-mastered" episodes of the original (i.e. "real") Star Trek were being offered for sale. Now, for reasons unknown, Paramount has withdrawn them. Which means last week's brilliant update of The Doomsday Machine and this week's beautiful tweaks to the classic Amok Time are nowhere to be found. WTF?!? So here I am, again, perfectly willing to pay money to get something I want, yet my only option is to hope somebody has uploaded it to BitTorrent. Oh well, T'Pring is a total bitch hottie at $1.99 or $0.00, so it's all the same to me. The only loser here is Paramount. Dumbasses. They will, of course, blame internet piracy for lost profits when it's their own stupid asses who are refusing to take my money.
• Six Meme... After avoiding the "Six Weird Things About You Meme" like the plague, Kyle descended like the Black Death and infected me with it. So here goes... 1) I don't like coffee or coffee-flavored products, which I don't think is weird, but others sure do. 2) I am perfectly happy watching the same movies over and over again... I've seen such films as EuroTrip, The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Fifth Element, and Bedazzled dozens of times. 3) I have written exactly one fan letter in my entire life... it was to 80's Atari Computer game programmer Tom Hudson, and I still have his kind reply stuffed in a box somewhere. 4) My love of all things Betty White is not a joke... I really do think she kicks ass, and am a huge fan. 5) I am a total comic book geek, and own over 12,000 of them. 6) Weirdest of all? I write in my blog every day and this is the one-thousand-six-hundred-and-thirty-fifth time I've done so. FINI) I'm breaking the rules by not tagging six people now, but I don't tag.
Three weeks until TequilaCon...
Continuing on with TequilaCon Week here at Blogography...
On this penultimate day of TequilaCon Week, I had thought I would sit down tonight and blog about the host city to this year's event... Portland, Oregon. Given that one of my best friends had lived there for eight years, I have a number of interesting adventures from my visits to the "City of Roses."
But my beloved Veronica Mars (the best show on television) looks to be cancelled now, so I just don't feel like it.
CW Network fuckers. I'm just dying to know what pile of shit you're going to get to replace Veronica, and will laugh my ass off when it turns out to be yet another CW turd that gets cancelled after three episodes.
If no other television disasters happen between now and tomorrow, I'll finish off TequilaCon Week and start getting ready for Blogography's Blogiversary 4 Celebration next month. Wheee.
As I was pouring through the hundreds of emails piled in my inbox, Hilly emailed me to ask if I had watched The Simpsons last night, which I had not. After she mentions that Betty White had a cameo, I became obsessed with seeing it. A quick trip to the iTunes Store reveals that episodes aren't sold there, so BitTorrent it is. I remain dumbfounded as to why television studios are this fraking stupid. Here I am gladly willing to pay money for something that they have, and yet there's no way to buy it. I will, of course, buy the Season 18 DVD set when it becomes available (I buy all The Simpsons DVDs) but this is ridiculous. I cannot help but wonder if the execs at FOX Studios get together with Matt Groening at the end of each week and burn a big pile of money, since they obviously have no interest in maximizing their acquisition of it.
In any event, Betty has done it once again. Her brief appearance on the show after Homer has become one of the paparazzi was priceless...
Speaking of priceless, my beloved Elizabeth Hurley is making waves because of her stunning appearance at Elton John's birthday party...
And photos of her Indian wedding ceremony have finally surfaced...
Elizabeth Hurley... delicious on any continent!
Speaking of delicious, is it wrong that I actually want to see the latest Will Ferrell comedy, Blades of Glory?
Every time I see the previews, I laugh. And tonight I watched the Comedy Central "inside look" on the movie and want to see it even more. This is quite disturbing to me, because I'm pretty sure that I would normally avoid this kind of crap like the plague.
Last night was worse than most in that I didn't get ANY sleep. I had taken a quick 45-minute nap before The Daily Show & Colbert Report, and that was enough to totally f#@% up my sleep schedule. Since my poop schedule had already been messed up by my flaming diarrhea farts from two days ago, I can only assume that all my bodily functions are now attempting to sync-up again... badly.
After having "woken up" (ha ha ha) I had a raging headache and decided to take an aspirin. I stumbled to the kitchen medicine cupboard and downed a couple Excedrin, then went to the bathroom so I could put in my contact lenses. Once I could see again, I went back to the kitchen and noticed something very, very wrong. The Excedrin bottle I had left on the counter was not actually Excedrin... it was Excedrin PM, which is a combination pain reliever/sleeping pill.
Great. So now, on top of being exhausted from lack of sleep, I had just taken some sleeping pills...
Red pill? Blue pill? Whatever. Am I in the f#@%ing Matrix or something? Holy shit, Morpheus... I just took the blue pill! Now I won't get to have sex with Trinity in the sequel!
The day was getting off to a really interesting start.
On the way to work I had a panic attack thinking that I would fall asleep at my desk, so I decided to stop at the mini-mart and buy a 4-Pack of Red Bull. Perhaps drinking a bunch of energy drinks would counteract the sleeping pills? It was worth a shot. As I was paying for my Red Bull, I was exactly $2 over the total, so I decided to do something I never do... buy a Lotto ticket.
It may be the combination of the Excedrin PM and Red Bull talking, but I am feeling very, very lucky.
I have decided to win the Lotto.
I'M GOING TO WIN THE F#@%ING LOTTO!!
Maybe if I win the 2.7 MILLION DOLLARS, I won't have to worry about my poop and sleep schedule being all f#@%ed up. With 2.7 MILLION DOLLARS, I can poop and sleep whenever I want! And I certainly won't have to worry about people making fun of my new Sanjaya haircut...
Bleh. My head is feeling all mooshy. I wonder if it was a lethal combination of Excedrin PM and Red Bull that killed Anna Nicole Smith? I had better take some Pepto Bismol so I can get this all sorted out.
Because is there anything that Pepto Bismol can't fix?
There's so much going on since I'm back from vacation that I guess I need another round of bullet points to catch up? It's Blogography's first ever "Bullet Monday!"
• Viagra. People stealing from my blog is nothing new. Usually I just let it go, because there's no point in getting all freaked out about it. Where I draw the line is when people use my stuff to BE me. The first time this happened, somebody stole dozens of my travel photos and created a blog devoted to "travel adventures" that they never actually had. The second time somebody had stolen photos of me off Flickr and wrote an entirely fictitious life around them. Now there's something entirely new going on... somebody has stolen a bunch of old entries in their entirety, but changed all the links to point to sites selling "Generic Viagra" and stupid crap like that. Needless to say, I'm not happy. Stuff like this is just going to keep getting worse and worse.
• Outfoxed. In checking my stats, I noticed something totally great...
For the first time ever, Firefox has surpassed busted-ass Internet Explorer in browser use. People are finally waking up! In other stats news... Germans love Dave. Turns out that Germany is close to overtaking Canada for the #2 spot in my visitor location stats.
• Veronica. I received many, many emails last week that went something like this: "sorry to ruin your vacation, but Veronica Mars has been cancelled" and so on. While not entirely unexpected, it does suck ass that the best show on television has just been gutted in favor of stupid-ass reality shit like Search For A New Pussycat Doll. What this says about television role-models for young girls today fills me with dread. Much love to the CW Network for doing their part to ruin society as we know it.
• w00t! There have been only a handful of computer games over the years that I have loved enough to deem "life-changing." Certainly Zork would be on the list. I'd think Dungeon Master and
More info and luscious screenshots can be found at Blizzard's site for the game. I, for one, will be counting the days.
• w00t! w00t! As if that's not enough, a team is porting Warlords II to the Nintendo DS!
• Barf. I've been catching up on work all evening with the TV running for background noise. I ignored most of what was going on... though Heroes caught my eye a couple of times because =gasp!= the SUPER-heroes were actually USING F#@%ING SUPER-POWERS!! WHAT A CONCEPT!! A pity they didn't bother to think of that sooner, because I might have actually kept watching the show. But it's what was on after Heroes that made me want to crap my pants, barf, then die. Tonight was the season finale of The Bachelor. I've never seen this show before, and now I wish I hadn't seen it at all. I was laughing my ass off as this guy kicks his reject to the curb, telling her how he loves her and will never forget her... but then slams the limo door in her face as she is driven off into the sunset crying. Naturally, the gal is heartbroken and, naturally, the cameras are there to record each humiliating moment because THIS is what passes as entertainment now-a-days. Thank heavens that Veronica Mars has been canceled to make room in the television schedule for more steaming piles like this.
Bah! There's another dozen bullet points I could write up, but I'm too tired to type them just now.
I guess that story about the hole in my lucky boxer shorts will have to wait...
As I mentioned a while back, I tune-in to The View from time to time. Much like a car wreck (or Jay Leno) it's one of those things that you just can't help watching even though the entertainment value is questionable. What keeps me coming back is the outlandish political commentary that permeates the show's "Hot Topics" every day. Representing The Left, you have Rosie O'Donnell and Joy Behar. Representing The Right, you have Elizabeth Hasselbeck. And representing People Who Can't Form a Coherent Sentence, you have Barbara Walters.
Not surprisingly The View leans quite a bit to The Left because The Right is so woefully under-represented. This is kind of a bummer for a show that is supposed to feature different viewpoints, but Elizabeth's never-ending regurgitation of Conservative propaganda has me looking for George Bush's hand shoved up her ass, because I'm convinced she's got to be some kind of puppet. Rosie may be crazy and Joy may reduce everything to a punch-line, but at least they can form an original thought.
I don't know what the heck Barbara is for. Fortunately, she's gone half the time.
Anyway, there was a nasty fight between Rosie and Elizabeth today that was pretty messed up. It's not that I give a crap about any of the pre-programmed rhetoric Elizabeth says, but Rosie is just plain dangerous. Much like dumb-fuck Bill O'Reilly on the opposite side of the political nut-job spectrum, her unyielding black and white view of the world is part of the horrible wedge that is dividing and destroying this country...
I put Jesus in the middle because he's supposed to love everybody.
Without any measure of compromise or an attempt to understand one another, people like this are doing far more harm than good, and nothing is ever going to get better for us. There's nothing wrong with having strong opinions or being Left or Right, but to go to such an extreme that there is no room for anything else in your thinking is sad. For a public figure to incite others to do the same is reckless and irresponsible. I respect people with strong convictions who are brave enough to speak their beliefs, but a closed mind should have a closed mouth.
Naturally this goes double for the politicians who are betraying their duty to serve all the people they have pledged to represent.
Which is why, when it comes to politics, I shun the dumbfuckery and choose to listen to a speaker of order amongst the chaos. A beacon of hope in a world of darkness. A voice of reason in a time of insanity.
I am talking, of course, about SpongeBob Squarepants...
Words to live by: Good people don't rip other people's arms off. — SpongeBob Squarepants.
Today some crazy bitch started screaming at me in the parking lot of the mini-mart as I was running in to buy a bag of Sun Chips and a King-Size Reeses for breakfast. I have no idea why, and didn't really care enough to find out. She was gone when I left, and that's all that mattered.
Now I'm kind of regretting that she didn't wait for me to come out and attack me or something, because then I would have had something to blog about tonight. As it is, I've got nothing. Just work. And maybe a few television shows off the TiVo to catch up on.
And speaking of television... now that Veronica Mars has been cancelled, it's tough for me to decide what my favorite show on television should be. Since I haven't seen any of the new shows they'll be running this Fall, I'm beginning to think it might be Ugly Betty. The show never stops surprising me...
Holy shit! It's Fugly Davy!
Seriously, just when you think they've run out of ways to keep the series interesting, they hit you with another shock. And, unlike shows like Lost, the mysteries on Betty are wrapped up before they become boring, and they then move on to something even more interesting. The season finale dropped more than a couple of bombshells that have me more interested in the show than ever.
Don't ask me how they've managed to trap me into liking it, because I have no idea. Usually I run away from crap like this... RUN LIKE THE WIND!
Okay, maybe not "run"... but I definitely would change the channel with my remote.
UPDATE: TV Shows On DVD is reporting that the complete first season of Ugly Betty will be released on August 21.
It's 11:45, I just finished with work for the night, and the only thing I have to blog about is how worried I am about Paris Hilton.
It's been hours since I have read anything about her in the news or seen anything about her on television. This kind of withdrawal from the daily exploits of her life is very disconcerting, and I'm not sure what to do with myself. I think it's grossly unfair that she doesn't at least get a weekly video address to her fans from prison. Sure she did something bad, and I suppose it's only fair she be punished... but should all of us be punished along with her? What did I do to deserve this kind of treatment?
I so totally (heart) Paris! FREE PARIS!
The good news is that Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie finally made up and are all totally BFFs again, so they filmed another season of The Simple Life. Unfortunately, I have to wait until Monday to see the latest episode...
It's not as good as being able to open up the current issue of People and seeing what Paris has been up to lately... but I guess it's all I'm going to get until the grave miscarriage of justice that is her imprisonment has been reversed and Paris is free to party again.
I haven't been this upset since they took Michael Jackson from us during his imprisonment back in 2003.
My afternoon was pleasantly interrupted when Bad Robert's Super Deluxe Girlfriend dropped by to return my Batman DVDs.
"Because of you, I've been stuck watching Batman cartoons for the past week... thanks a heap!" she says as she throws the boxes for seasons one and two at my head.
Ordinarily I would launch into a diatribe about how animation is an artform, and how Batman: The Animated Series is one of the best representations of the character outside of the original comics. But any woman who can hold her own against the crazy stuff Bad Robert does is nobody to be trifled with, so I hold my peace...
"Thanks!" I say cheerily.
At this point, Super Deluxe Girlfriend scrunches her face a bit and says "Ooh, is somebody in a bad mood today?"
"Wha-? No, I'm good. Why would you say that?" I ask.
"Well, when somebody as notoriously white as you wears black in the summer, it makes you look like you're either going to a funeral or are in a cranky mood."
Err... really? I say, my voice rising at the end in disbelief. "I was going for evil, not cranky."
After an uncomfortably long pause, Super Deluxe Girlfriend says: "Yes, well, maybe if you had an eye patch or something... but I'm not feeling 'evil' here..."
"Fine," I say. "Tell Robert I'll be dropping off Batman seasons 3 & 4 this weekend."
"Ah, now I'm feeling it," she says as she turns to walk out the door.
Hah! THAT aught to teach her to question my evil nature!
"He who is bent on doing evil can never want occasion." — Publilius Syrus
In other news, I saw where fellow blogger Laurence made herself into a Simpsons character, and decided to try it myself. I had to make some slight modifications, but here we are...
Sunday, Bullet Sunday... here I come!
Unfortunately, I have to go to work today, so it's a short one...
• Guest Appearance! I'm filling in for Hilly over at Snackie's World on today's Snackie Sunday...
Of course, since everybody who is anybody already reads Hilly, I guess you already knew that. But just in case you are one of those people who read their blogroll in alphabetical order, I thought I'd let you know so you can skip from the "B's" to the "S's" and answer my super-snoopy questions right away.
• Super TV! Man, is there ever some good television happening in the off-season...
Rescue Me is as amazing and shocking in its fourth season as it ever was. Burn Notice features Bruce Campbell and Gabrielle Anwar in a supporting roles, which is reason enough to watch, but it is an incredibly well-written and acted show as well. The Closer is probably one of the best dramas to hit television in years. Top Chef is drastically more watchable than last season's really bad run. Traveler just keeps getting better and better with each episode (but is on ABC, and so it will probably be canceled). Psych is back, and hasn't lost any of the magic that made it so much fun last year. And let's not forget that Sci-Fi has a new Flash Gordon series dropping on August 10th! I am such a TV whore.
• Gay TV! And speaking of good television shows for summer, I was gifted an episode of Rick & Steve, World's Happiest Gay Couple from the iTunes Music Store and laughed my ass off. The show is not even close to politically correct, and SO wrong in many ways that I actually felt bad about laughing in parts. But it's a cute cartoon, so it's not like you can feel too bad...
Think of it like milking a cow. Men are just smellier, stupider cows.
What's amusing here is that if the show had been created by straights, it would undoubtedly be considered homophobic, offensive, and be accused of propagating gay stereotypes. GLAAD would be calling for a boycott, and people would die. But, since the show-runners are gay and it's airing on a gay television network, it suddenly becomes okay. I'm not exactly sure how to feel about that, but you can watch a funny trailer for the show here and, for the braver of you, the first five minutes of episode 1 is here.
• Emergency! Friday I got to make a midnight run to the emergency room as a chauffeur. Again. As it was a Friday night in the middle of summer, there was a wild assortment of party-related emergencies, including underage alcohol poisoning, and a girl in the room next door that tried to O.D. (who didn't want to provide her last name, because she didn't want her parents called). After they were forced to take a urine sample so they could treat her, the conversation went something like this...
NURSE: Okay... what are you on? What did you take?
MOANING GIRL: Nothing.
NURSE: What. Drugs. Did. You. Take?
MOANING GIRL: No drugs.
NURSE: NO drugs?!?
MOANING GIRL: NO DRUGS!! I'M NOT TAKING DRUGS!!
And fifteen minutes later the nurse finds the doctor in the hall...
NURSE: Here's the test results.
DOCTOR: Well there's a big surprise...
Yes, big surprise, IT WAS DRUGS!! Who lies about doing drugs after they've had urine sample taken? Oh, I don't know... A DRUG ADDICT MAYBE? For big stupid fun entertainment, nothing beats an E.R. on the weekend.
But I'm in no hurry to go back any time soon.
Because I love Mocha Momma more than life itself, I'm joining in on her BlogMe Ten Second Intro meme!
But before I start... the best new reality show ever has just started airing: Victoria Beckham: Coming to America! The one-time Spice Girl is moving to the USA after her super-star soccer player husband, David Beckham, was awarded a gazillion-dollar contract to play for the L.A. Galaxy. I've always loved Posh Spice, but now my infatuation has escalated to an entirely new level...
Scorching hot Victoria Beckham photo taken from Just Jared.
There's just something about seeing Posh take her drivers license exam at the DMV that's totally compelling television to me. I think I actually squealed a little when she passed. By the time we got to the Victoria Beckham dress-up sex doll, I was hooked.
And now on to the introduction (which might be 10 seconds if you read really fast)...
I am a graphic designer, which is a career I fell into entirely by accident. I've designed or worked on just about anything you can think of over the past 20 years... catalogs, advertising, packaging, video games, architecture, clothing, book covers, album art, movie storyboards, posters, magazines, logos, web sites, software, user interfaces, children's toys, comic books, DVD menus, airplane graphics, board games, instruction manuals, maps, and much, much more.
I love to travel in my spare time, and enjoy visiting Hard Rock Cafes around the world.
I am a vegetarian, and have been since a girlfriend dragged me into it back on Earth Day, 1986. After becoming a vegetarian, the relationship lasted four more weeks. The diet stuck, and has lasted over 20 years. I can't give up dairy though, because I love cheese and chocolate pudding.
I am not religious, but study Buddhism and try to live my live according to Buddhist precepts. My friends and family mean more to me than anything else. I still think Elizabeth Hurley is the most beautiful woman on earth, even though she went and got herself married.
I'm Dave. Nice to meet you, and goodnight!
♫ Ahhh AHHHHHHH! He'll save every one of us! ♫
I finally got around to watching the Sci-Fi Channel's Flash Gordon show. I was really stoked for the series, which is why I was devastated to find out that it sucks ass. This is probably one of the worst television shows ever, and that's saying a lot. Not only is the writing complete and total shite, but the acting is horrendously bad and the special effects (what few of them they use) are laughable. I can't find a single thing worth praising on this trainwreck of a series, and am dumbfounded that Sci-Fi... who are supposed to be fans of good science fiction... would screw things up this badly.
Which begs the question... how could you possibly fuck up Flash Gordon? There's so much source material to work from.
I mean, come on, the crazy-cheesey 27-year-old movie staring Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, and Max von Sydow was sheer genius by comparison. I love that flick! Not only have I see the film dozens of times and purchased all iterations released that I could find (VHS, LaserDisc, DVD, Import Special Edition DVD, and Saviour of the Universe Edition DVD), I've also got the movie poster framed and hanging on my wall...
And here's the puzzler... the writing on this film was over-the-top, the acting was far from great, and the special effects weren't anything to write home about (though there was a musical score by Queen!). So why did the movie work, while the television show fails so miserably?
BECAUSE IT WAS ENTERTAINING!! Hell, I'd argue that the FIFTY year-old Black & White Buster Crabbe serials were more fun to watch that this shitty television atrocity!
In the movie, Flash was trying to save the entire earth. In the TV show, Flash was trying to find an iMac (or whatever). In the movie, Ming was a sadistically evil egomaniac. In the TV show, Ming is a whiny little bitch. In the movie, Dr. Zarkov is a brilliantly mad scientist. In the TV show, Dr. Zarkov is a bumbling idiot. In the movie, Aura is a brutally hot psychotic bitch. In the TV show, Aura is just plain boring. Much like the show itself... totally boring.
Flash Gordon fans deserve so much better.
With even a little effort and creativity, a new Flash Gordon show could have been brilliant. I was counting on it being brilliant. Instead I was only setting myself up for disappointment.
Stupid Sci-Fi Channel bastards.
On top of having the ebola virus (or whatever), I find myself to be in a really cranky mood. I was forced to leave work early because my eyes would not stop watering, and so now I'm even farther behind than ever. Just writing this blog entry is a huge effort that's probably going to take forever. Since I am mostly incoherent, I should probably just lay down some bullet-points full of whining and be done with it.
• Desktritus... Avitable has picked up on a meme whereas you share a photo of your desk. Of course, anything Avitable does seems to propagate through the blogosphere like a wildfire, meaning that if I don't participate there must be something wrong with me (even RW is doing it!). The problem is that there IS something wrong with me and I'm at home sick. This means I can't snap a photo of my nicely-organized work desk... oh no! I have to use a photo of my home desk, which is pretty much a disaster area that should be condemned...
Here you go Avitable, you bastard!
0) Business cards from people I will never contact, 1) A stack of books to read (probably recommended by Vahid), 2) A bottle of melatonin, 3) A pencil cup with my Maui shark keychain and assorted pens, 4) A plastic bag with a defective camera lens in it, 5) Two tarot card decks (I'm making my own Bad Monkey Tarot, and need them for reference), 6) An unused plastic rain poncho I got from Disney World, 7) A shot glass from my trip to the Hard Rock Lisbon, 8) Coin cups from the Hard Rock Casino Las Vegas with loose change inside, 9) My Rosetta Stone French course, 10) My Mac G4 Cube that I can't bear to get rid of, 11) A container full of Lego pieces, 12) A spare blanket from my car, 13) A container with Farscape trading cards and autographed photos of the cast, 14) A bag of rejected shirts from the Artificial Duck Store, 15) A box of souvenir crap from my trip to China, 16) A bag with an original Chris Ware print from a trip to Chicago needing to be framed, 17) A container filled with Japanese manga comics, 18) A tube with a poster from my trip to The Vatican Museum, 19) A hardcopy of my book, 20) A stack of comics I've read and need to file away, 21) A mess of cables and a LiveStrong bracelet, 22) A voodoo doll from my trip to New Orleans that really works, 23) My Sully plush from Monsters Inc., 24) My old Nintendo DS, 25) My Batman alarm clock that Karl gave me at TequilaCon, 26) My iPhone and glasses, 27) My MacBook Pro, 28) Old film negatives that I need to send in for scanning, 29) Comics to read, 30) Buttons left over from Davecago2, 31) Comics to read after I have a few more issues.
Yeah, that's pretty bad. But, in my defense, I've been traveling and working a lot and haven't had much time to clean it up around my home.
• Theft... I am constantly getting emails from people telling me of dumbasses who steal stuff from Blogography and try to pass it off as their own. Whenever I confront these idiots, it's always the same story... "I just wanted to share it with my readers!" Well, if that's all you wanted, then why not link to the original source? Or, if you simply must post it on your site, why not at least credit where you took it from? Otherwise, you're nothing more than a douchebag thief, passing off somebody else's work as your own.
My Creative Commons license is very generous. As long as you aren't a commercial site making money off my stuff, go ahead and take anything you want... as long as you credit me as the creator with a link to the source material. If you don't credit the source, you're breaking my copyright and the law. If you post my material on a site whose primary function is selling advertising, that's a commercial site and your're breaking my copyright and the law (even if you credit the source). It's not rocket science, it's the difference between right and wrong, and I'm tired of it. If you are totally incapable of saying anything original and have to steal all your content, then just give it up you thieving hack.
• NBC... I pay for DirecTV, so I don't buy many television shows online. I prefer to wait for the DVD. The only exception are those times I miss an episode, or I'll buy shows just to have something to watch when I'm stuck somewhere without entertainment. This is why Apple's iTunes Store is so great... it's so easy to buy a shows whenever you want. The $1.99 price tag is a bit steep for what you get, but I'm willing to pay the money for the convenience of it all. Except now NBC Television has decided to pull out of the iTunes Store because they want $4.99 per episode, and Apple (quite rightly) said no. IS NBC OUT OF THEIR FUCKING MINDS? Let's take a look at current options for obtaining television programs. As an example, I am using the first season of NBC's hit program Heroes...
Who in their right mind would pay $4.99 for a television show that's of low quality, has DRM crap encoded in it, is more expensive than a DVD set loaded with extras, comes without any storage media, and is more expensive than even HD-DVD? NOBODY! That's who! Digital delivery of files is the cheapest possible method of distribution with practically no benefits (except convenience) yet the legal options for buying it always cost the most. That is totally fucked up. Fuck NBC. Fuck them up their stupid, greedy asses. And bravo to Apple for not caving to idiocy, and being willing to lose money rather than compromise to a no-win situation.
• Adobe... After having had to get my MacBook repaired because of a TSA agent dropping my battery on it and denting the case, something was wacky with the hard drive and I had to reformat it. This is no big deal, I keep full backups of my data, and I don't mind reinstalling my software. Unless that software comes from Adobe. Because of their new online activation bullshit, I ended up having to call in to get technical assistance so I could access software I PURCHASED DIRECTLY FROM ADOBE. This idiocy is meant to stop software piracy, but all it does is piss me off (meanwhile, cracked versions of the software are available on BitTorrent, which means that it doesn't stop piracy in the first place). What kind of company purposefully initiates a scheme whose only effect is making their loyal customers hate them? Why do I pay these idiots to treat me like a criminal?
• Finale... Eh, that's enough bitching for one day. I'm going to see if a couple of tubs of chocolate pudding will make me feel any better.
Apple released a really nifty iPhone upgrade last night. One of the coolest new features is being able to buy music directly from your iPhone over wireless networks. It's really easy to use, and iPhone transfers your purchases back to your computer the next time you sync... sweet! They've also made some other improvements, like increasing the speaker volume (which was badly needed) and adding some shortcuts to make using iPhone easier. I love that iPhone can be improved and upgraded like this, and can't wait to see what Apple comes up with next!
In celebration of iPhone's new upgrade, I'm releasing some of the wallpapers I've been using on my own iPhone. A few people have been asking about them for a while now, and so I've put them in an extended entry (scroll to the bottom and click "continue reading"). As if there wasn't already enough reasons to own an iPhone, here are twelve more...
But before we get to the wallpapers... here is a wrap-up of the new shows I've seen for this new season, ranked from best to worst...
And now for iPhone wallpapers...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Saturdays are usually spent working, but I've got two week's worth of dirty clothes piling up, so I took the morning off to wash them. Since I was already caught up on my television shows, I turned on the TV to see what might be playing on a Saturday morning. Much to my surprise, the first show to pop up was Strawberry Shortcake and Friends on CBS TV's "Kewlopolis" slate of girl's programming.
Strawberry Shortcake started out in the late 70's as a kind of rag-doll type character which was used to whore greeting cards and wrapping paper and such. Then, in the early 80's, Strawberry Shortcake and her friends were made into a series of creepy dolls that were supposed to smell like strawberries, blueberries, and such... but actually stank like toxic waste. Now Strawberry Shortcake is back, but she's been updated to a smart-n-sassy, no-nonsense kind of girl with her own cartoon show...
This is cool kewl and all, but there's a much-needed member of the Strawberry Shortcake family who's been missing. Until now. I am proud to introduce the berry latest inhabitant of Strawberryland... the Pimp-Daddy of deserts... Bran Muffin!
Bran Muffin is a boy with a heart of gold who helps out the bitches girls of Strawberryland when they need to make some quick cash. Bran lives in a swingin' rent-controlled bachelor pad in Sugartits Tower in the middle of Chocolate Pudding City. When he's not counting his money, Bran likes to spread a little of his sugar around Strawberryland, bringing joy and happiness to everybody he meets! Like most inhabitants of this magical place, Bran Muffin has an animal companion... his pet iguana named Colon Blow.
Sigh. I really should have a job in children's television programming development. I'm so totally suited for it.
This morning I wake up to my Variety newsfeed and see something so shocking that I very nearly pee myself while squealing like a little girl and crying at the same time... ABC to give 'Cupid' another shot.
My first thought is that ABC is bringing back the best show ever to air on television.
My second thought is that this is wishful thinking, and they have bought the rights to CBS's crappy dating reality show of the same name.
But then I click through to the story, and there it is...
"Rob Thomas to resurrect Jeremy Piven series."
At this point I'm in complete shock. This kind of thing never happens. Television networks rarely (if ever) admit that they've made a massive f#@%ing mistake and set about correcting it. I've written about my love of Jeremy Piven's Cupid many, many times, and the thought of it coming back is almost too much to handle. What's next? They bring back Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me and Arrested Development?
And then I read the story...
Thomas said he was "shocked" by the request -- in a good way. "I'm getting a chance to do what writers never get the chance to do, which is to go back and try to improve a work," he added.
— Wow. Is Rob Thomas high? How can you improve upon perfection? This does not bode well.
Scribe said that while he'll write a completely new pilot, "I'm not going to reinvent it. What they're buying is the show."
— Thank heavens for that! Maybe he hasn't gone insane after all.
There will be changes, of course.
For one thing, Piven, busy on "Entourage," won't be reprising his role. Thomas also wants to come up with a main title sequence that captures the show's conceit so he doesn't have to explain it every week.
— WHAT THE FUCK?!? CUPID IS JEREMY
New "Cupid" will also relocate from Chicago to Los Angeles, allowing for more high-profile stunt casting.
— Yes, well, if you're destroying the show by not bringing back the lead character, what difference does it make where you put it? Chicago was critical to the grounding of the show, and one of the many, many things I loved about Cupid was the constant location shoots in The Windy City, but whatever.
"The plan is to try to hook some really good guest stars every week," Thomas said.
— I think I want to die...
So ABC isn't bringing back Cupid after all. Not really. My only hope is that we will at least get the original series out on DVD so they can use it to promote the butchered remake.
The hardest thing for me is that I totally trust Rob Thomas, and the new version of the show is undoubtedly going to be brilliant (the guy did create Veronica Mars and the original Cupid after all). But will that be any consolation to me? Probably not. The original series is the best television show ever, and having a new success on what could have been a stunning comeback just makes me sad.
Which brings me to the best show currently airing on television (TONIGHT 8/7c)...
I've only seen the first episode of Pushing Daisies, but it's so brilliant that the rest of the episodes could be crap and the show would still be genius. Of course, I wouldn't expect anything less from Bryan Fuller (the guy behind the aforementioned Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me), and I am very interested in seeing where he takes this one.
But the show is on ABC... the network that fucked up Cupid, the best show ever to air on television, so I'm not holding my breath. The morons will probably preempt Pushing Daisies a half-dozen times... change the time-slot again and again... demand changes to the show... then blame viewers for not tuning in before ultimately canceling it after five episodes.
It's what they do.
I wish I didn't love television so much.
Variety has just released the news that the one and only Simon Pegg has signed on to play "Scotty" in J.J. Abram's forthcoming Star Trek film. I didn't think that they could top Zachary Quinto playing "Spock," but this is an absolute genius move. Of course, a terrific cast doesn't guarantee that the movie isn't going to suck ass, but it's certainly looking good so far.
And speaking of good things...
The second episode of Pushing Daisies was absolutely incredible. The show is like a work of art that sucks you into a beautiful, quirky world from which you don't want to escape. I can't think of another show on TV that keeps me smiling from beginning to end like this, and leaves me feeling happy for no reason at all...
Of course, this most certainly means that ABC will cancel it, so I have no idea why I'm getting so attached.
Bastard television networks.
Today I was looking through some old papers in a futile attempt to find an important document I've lost. Never saw it, but I found all kinds of crazy stuff that I didn't even know I kept... my favorite discovery being a photocopy of a cartoon I drew years ago. The Sam & Max video game had finally been released for Macintosh, and I was so happy that I drew my own Sam & Max adventure so that I could attach my personal check to it for payment...
But that's only half as entertaining as my most favorite spam ever...
To: Abby U. Shaver
From: Mia X. Randle
Subject: Does your penis size ruin your life? Our product will stop that!
Have they ever told you this, "Damn it! Your penis is so small!"?
Didn't you just wanna run away?
Don't let women choose sexual toys but not you! Megadik will make you a real man! You must believe in this wonderful preparation!
"Gush! Your penis is impressive!" Isn't that what you just love to hear?
Soon you'll be the only one ladies will want! Megadik is your magic weapon!
The check is in the mail, baby... the check is in the mail...
w00t! This wraps up one year of Bullet Sunday here at Blogography! I started it as a way to post about all the little things that happen during my week that aren't big enough to merit an entry of their own. It was a good plan, but rather than keeping track of little things throughout the week, I always end up waiting until the last minute where I have to struggle to think up something. Oh well. I've grown to like Bullet Sunday, so I guess it will be sticking around.
• Sauce! While I was shopping for ingredients to make burritos last night, I was in the Mexican food aisle listening to a woman yell at her kid for picking up a bottle of hot sauce. "Put that back! We can get that for free at Taco Bell!" she says. I can't help but wonder if she gets her ketchup from McDonalds.
• Aquaman! A TV show I've always wanted to see but never got around to was the Aquaman pilot (made by the same people responsible for Smallville.) Last night I couldn't sleep and finally got around to seeing it. Much to my surprise, it was actually pretty good! Now I'm sad that the show was never picked up for a series... it may not have been entirely faithful to the comic book, but was pretty entertaining and had real potential.
The cool thing about the show is that Aquaman doesn't take things too seriously. He's your average slacker beach-bum that just happens to be able to breath underwater, swim fast, and talk to fish. But when when the shit hits the fan, he's kind of a bad-ass too... like stabbing evil harpy bitches in the head! Sweet! I also like that there are subtle nods to the source material... like Aquaman wearing Orange and Green like in the comic book. If you want to check it out, you can buy it at iTunes for $1.99 or watch it on Joost for free.
• Alpha Flight! Speaking of comics... when I was in Spokane last week, I picked up the two trade paperbacks collecting the "all new, all different" Alpha Flight series that Marvel released in 2004. Despite the fact that it was widely criticized and cancelled after only 12 issues, I really liked the series, and am glad to have the trades to read again. Compared to some of the crappy books that are being released today, the imagination and clever dialogue shown in Alpha Flight is a breath of fresh air... even though it's three years old...
• Spam of the Day! "Start a new life with beautiful large and firm breasts!" — Hmmm... while that most certainly would be the start of a new life for me, I think I'll pass. And while it might be funny when a guy gets sent an email for breast enlargement, I can't help but wonder if these spamming assholes even give a shit when their unsolicited, unwanted crap lands in the inbox of a woman who has had to undergo a mastectomy or other breast-related trauma? I long for the day that spammers are held accountable for their abhorrent actions, and finally have to face the consequences for the evil that they do.
• Quiz! Yesterday's "How well do you know Dave?" quiz is still open. I hope to dish out the answers tomorrow, but may have to wait until Tuesday if my Monday gets too crazy.
And just like that, one year of Bullet Sunday comes to a close.
And just when I think it can't get any worse than crap like Flavor of Love and Temptation Island, along comes Kid Nation...
From the non-stop commercials that CBS has been subjecting me to, I can see that this obviously-staged "reality" show features a load of "unsupervised" kids going crazy in a Lord of the Flies type society of their own making (yeah, right). Well whatever. If I wanted to watch kids screaming and being idiots, I'd go to the mall. THIS is what passes for entertainment now-a-days?
Which brings us to...
The top five things I would rather do than watch an episode of Kid Nation.
Thank heavens that Pushing Daisies has been given a full-season order instead of being canceled for a new reality show called "Bitches Do Stupid Shit For Money" or whatever (wasn't that the original title for The Bachelor?). At least I know that there will be something worth watching later this season.
It seems strange that I've attended several blogger meets around the country but have somehow managed to overlook the major metropolitan city right here in my back yard... SEATTLE!
Well, last night that was finally rectified as the very first Daveattle Blogger Meet-Up was held. Unfortunately, it was kind of last-minute and had to happen on a Sunday, but people were kind enough to show up anyway...
It was a great group of bloggers and a fun meet...
Dinner was most excellent at Capitol Hill's Elysian Brewing Company...
Sizzle, Me, Rick, Kristin, Rick's wife Julie, Tracy, and Tracy's friend Holly
Thanks again to everybody who took time out of their weekend to hang-out with me, and I hope we can do it again next summer!
Meanwhile, on the television front...
This was my last episode of Chuck. How in the hell could such a brilliant concept be so utterly and totally ruined so quickly? I am so f#@%ing tired of Chuck being such a whiny little bitch ALL THE TIME. He has two modes...
Back to work...
I'M BILLY MAYS, HERE TO DRIVE YOU INSANE WITH YET ANOTHER ONE OF MY HORRENDOUSLY ANNOYING COMMERCIALS!
NOBODY MAKES YOU WANT TO KILL YOURSELF MORE THAN BILLY MAYS!! LISTEN TO ME AS I SCREAM NON-STOP WHILE REMOVING STAINS USING THE AMAZING POWER OF OXYGEN IN OXYCLEAN!! AND THAT'S NOT ALL! I'LL BE BACK IN FIFTEEN MINUTES YELLING MY HEAD OFF WHILE I SHARPEN KNIVES USING THE INCREDIBLE SAMURAI SHARK KNIFE SHARPENING SYSTEM! STILL NOT ENOUGH?? THEN TUNE IN TWENTY MINUTES AFTER THAT WHEN I'LL BE SHOUTING ABOUT ORANGE GLO WOOD CARE PRODUCTS!!
PHOTO TAKEN FROM BILLY MAYS MAYHEM!
YOU CAN'T AVOID ME!! I'M BILLY MAYS! I'M ON EVERY FUCKING CHANNEL EVERY FUCKING HOUR OF EVERY FUCKING DAY ADVERTISING EVERY FUCKING PRODUCT EVER MADE!! BECAUSE I'M BILLY FUCKING MAYS, DAMMIT!!!
Where did this day go? Seriously, it's coming up on dinner-time and it feels like I just woke up a couple of hours ago. I know I went to work, but I didn't get nearly enough done. Must be a Bullet Sunday.
• Pole! What is it with the latest fitness trends that keep popping up, disappearing, then popping up again? I'm seeing ads (once again) for POLE DANCING as exercise. I could make a number of smart-ass comments here, but instead I decided to buy a pole and get into shape! Off I went to Amazon to get an instructional video... and imagine my surprise when I found out there's a whole world of slutty exercise programs to choose from!
And now I can't decide if I want to learn exotic dancing, pole dancing, lap dancing, or bump n' grind strip-dancing. My gut instinct is to stick with pole dancing, but I'm thinking there's more money to be made in lap dancing. At least that's always been the case when I'm paying for it. Because, hey, there's nothing to say a guy can't earn a little cash while getting into shape.
• South Park! Last night I finally had a chance to pull out my South Park: The Complete 10th Season DVD set and watch my second favorite episode of the series ever: Make Love, Not Warcraft (my all-time favorite being Christian Rock Hard). In addition to being hysterically funny, the episode is just so incredibly well made. I'd go so far as to say that it's practically flawless. Anybody who hasn't seen it should definitely take a look...
• WOW! Included with my new South Park DVD set, there was a free 14-day trial for World of Warcraft. This is a really brilliant idea, because after having watched that South Park episode, I was in the mood to give it a try. I had played the original WarCraft games but, since I am not so much into the whole "online massive multi-player" thing, I never tried WOW. And now that I have, I know what all the fuss is about. It's pretty sweet!
This is me! I'm a Tauren Shamen, which I picked because he looks badass cool.
I use my mace to unleash my righteous fury on giant turkeys.
Then I figure out that I can shoot lightning, which I use to fry green pigs.
Oh shit! I'm dead!! I got my ass handed to me by a giant super-pig!
Oooh! The moon is all pretty and stuff.
For a while there, I was having me some fun... being all kick-ass by running around and killing giant turkeys and pigs and stuff. But then people started asking me to join their group every 15 minutes, and I didn't want to play anymore. I don't want to join a group. I'm busy all the time, and can't commit to playing with a group... I just want people to leave me alone. But I couldn't find a way to hang a big "DON'T ASK ME TO BE IN YOUR GROUP" sign around my neck, so I gave up and stopped playing. Oh well. Hopefully Blizzard will release Warcraft IV soon, so I can play alone. Of course, right now I'm more interested in Starcraft II, which is the sequel to my favorite Blizzard game of all time.
&bull Starbucks! I have written about the song I Love N.Y.E. by Badly Drawn Boy (from the amazing About A Boy movie soundtrack) a couple of times now (here and here). It's beautiful, magical, and I've always been puzzled as to why it was never nabbed for a television commercial. Well, somebody really smart in Starbucks' marketing department finally found it, and it's playing on a really cool animated ad for their calorie-laden holiday drinks (it's got penguins in it!). Beutifully done, Starbucks! If you're curious about this wonderful piece of music, you can take a listen at iTunes here.
• Ghost Rider! After goofing off with WOW, I capped off my evening by watching my Blu-Ray copy of Nicholas Cage in Ghost Rider. It's not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a fun movie to watch and has nifty special effects. The critics, of course, savaged the movie in their reviews (it mustered only 28% on Rotten Tomatoes), which is probably justified, but kind of lame since this was such an easy target. I mean, come on, it's got a flaming skeleton riding a motorcycle and Nicholas Cage in a hairpiece for crying out loud! At some point you have to just let go...
Besides, any movie that's got Sam Elliott and Peter Fonda in it can't be too bad!
And thus ends Bullet Sunday (though I've got a iTunes meme in an extended entry which was tagged me by James). Tomorrow I'm traveling cross-country, so my entry for Monday will be posted pretty late. For anybody interested, I'll be updating my journey throughout the day via DaveStalker™, so feel free to travel along with me if you've got nothing better to do.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
This morning as I was walking through town, I spotted a man and a woman in the middle of a bitter argument. I could hear them yelling a block away, and there was much hand-waving and stomping of feet while they screamed. As I got closer, the reason for the ruckus was soon apparent.
It was over their mobile phone bill.
Apparently they went over their minutes allotment, and she was being blamed for it all.
"WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS ON THE PHONE? WHO ARE YOU CALLING?" "YOU'RE THE ONE CALLING ME EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY! EVER THINK THIS MIGHT BE YOUR FAULT??"
"WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS ON THE PHONE? WHO ARE YOU CALLING?"
"YOU'RE THE ONE CALLING ME EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY! EVER THINK THIS MIGHT BE YOUR FAULT??"
I wanted to stop and ask why they didn't have a plan that allowed unlimited calling on a shared plan, but decided against it. Getting involved in a domestic dispute where roaming charges are involved can be fatal.
Who'da thunk that a phone bill could be so entertaining?
Last night there was yet another brilliant cameo by Betty White... this time on Ugly Betty. What made it so cool was that Betty was playing herself (or, to be more accurate, and exaggerated version of herself) which was sweet...
Betty White: "I'll be fine. I did lose a lot of blood, but it was my own fault. I stopped to sign a few autographs and almost bled out on the sidewalk."
Wilhelmina Slater: "Well, that's why you're beloved... you're loyal to your fans."
Betty White: "Oh, well, I adore them. Except for the few sickos who write lesbian fan fiction about me and Bea Arthur."
And my personal favorite...
Betty White: "Oh terrific, I'm going on TV with whore eyes!"
I maintain that Betty White should guest-star on all television programs. Her appearing on Heroes and Lost would be about the only thing that could get me to start watching those shows again.
Besides, Betty could use the work since all her Golden Girls money was wasted away on nickel slots.
It's very strange being in the land of Green Bay Packers when the big Seattle game is coming up this Saturday. I am hardly a Seahawks fan, but the never-ending smack-talk being aimed at my home-state team is still kind of surreal to me. But not surprising. In all my travels, it's hard to think of a state more devoted to to their football team than Wisconsin. They LOVE the Packers, and their devotion is hard to miss. Everywhere you go, everything's green and gold and team logos are plastered on every available surface. Brett Favre is worshipped as some kind of demi-god (though his three-time MVP status and amazing record probably justifies it).
To balance things out, I feel obligated to give a shout-out to the Seahawks, and wish them luck on Saturday...
Oooh, look! I'm one of THOSE people now.
With nothing good on television lately, I've been distracting myself with DVDs of old television shows. On this trip, I brought Kitchen Confidential: The Complete Series with me...
The douchebags at FOX cancelled the show after only four episodes, but the DVD set gives you all thirteen episodes that were produced. Loosely based on Anthony Bourdain's scandalous tell-all novel of the same name, Kitchen Confidential was a truly funny show with a remarkable cast of actors. I remain mystified as to why this wasn't a massive, massive hit. Oh well, it was cancelled at the same time as the brilliant Arrested Development, so at least it was in good company.
The Writer's Strike has me not only revisiting old television shows, but also watching stuff that I never in a million years thought I'd ever be watching. My latest addiction? Disney's Hannah Montana...
Starring the father-daughter team of Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus, this series is about an average school-girl who lives a secret double life as the massively famous pop-star "Hannah Montana." Yes, it's a kids show that's meant for the teen-girl demographic, but it's also kind of clever as far as crap television goes.
Either that, or I'm just a big girl.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I'm also addicted to Fight Quest!! The show follows two bad-ass fighters, Jimmy and Doug, as they travel the world to study different styles of fighting and martial arts...
It sounds like mindless violence, but it's actually pretty smart. While there is fighting, the show focuses on fighting as an art, not as moronic fisticuffs. Surprisingly fun to watch.
Either that, or I'm really needing to balance out my Hannah Montana habit.
Anyway... now that I'm done with work, I'm flying off for a vacation all my own. Sure it's only a day-and-a-half, but it's better than nothing. I just hope I'm not too tired to enjoy it.
I have precious little time to blog because I leave on Friday and there's a lot to do before then. Luckily, something pissed me off badly enough that I at least had a topic for today's entry.
It all started when I saw that My Boys: The Complete First Season is finally coming to DVD in March. This is a very good thing, because I love the show, and am glad that I'll finally be able to sit down and watch everything from start to finish. For some reason, TBS busted the season in half, inserting an agonizing SEVEN MONTHS between episodes 13 and 14 (maybe it was a partial initial order or something?). It really killed the momentum of the show, and it will be nice to see everything put back together again...
Awww... P.J. is almost painfully cute on that DVD cover.
Anyway, I mentioned this to a friend of mine who also likes the show, and she told me that I didn't have to wait for the DVD... I could go to the TBS.com website and watch the show online! Sweet! So off I went, only to see this...
I am so sick of this bullshit.
There is no reason to keep clinging to Windows Media crap when there are alternatives available that allow non-Windows sufferers to enjoy media content as well. Most every other television network uses Flash (available for Windows, Mac, and Unix) or some kind of custom cross-platform solution (ABC's media player comes to mind). Why is TBS so stupid about how they serve their media? I decided to poke around a bit and found this...
What a load of shit.
"...despite its lack of support on Mac systems, Windows Media Player is more widely used than other platforms like Quicktime and Flash Video for distributing protected content."
This is so laughable as to be stupid. Windows Media Player is more widely used alright... but ONLY ON WINDOWS PCs. Don't make this about "DRM" or "media player popularity" because this only makes you look like idiots. The truth is that you have abandoned your non-Windows viewers, and it's as simple as that. There are alternatives available, but you choose to be lazy idiots who would rather blame Microsoft than finding something that works.
But the best part is the closing...
"Again, we apologize for the inconvenience associated with using Windows Media DRM and hope you will continue watching TBS."
Yes, that's right... keep passing the blame to Microsoft instead of blaming yourself for not using a better solution.
So long as moronic crap like this keeps going on, I find myself wondering why I don't just download everything I like off of BitTorrent when it airs and archive it. I mean, what other choice is TBS giving me here? I guess I wait until March.
And now I'm off to buy episodes of Burn Notice from the iTunes Music Store so I have something to watch on the flight. It's nice to know that some networks understand how to serve their customers without being complete dumbasses.
Rumor has it (from ex Disney-CEO Michael Eisner, no less) that the Hollywood writer's strike is all but over, and this Saturday will pretty much seal the deal once the writers themselves sign on.
I sure hope this is true, because I miss my television.
As I sit here typing this, the first episode of Survivor Season 16 has just ended (the only non-Bravo reality show I watch), and I am caught in the 9:00 void until Eli Stone starts at 10:00. And before everybody starts screaming "OH MY GAWD... YOU DON'T WATCH LOST?!?" The answer is no, I do not watch Lost. After a brilliant first season the show degenerated into total shit, where the writer's idea of being clever is to just keep piling on more "mysterious" crap while resolving nothing. Every time somebody tells me "But it's so much better now!" - I tune in and find out it's just more of the same... introduce even more new mysterious characters, pile on even more mysterious mysteries, and leave me even more mysteriously mystified at just how the fuck this show continues to be popular. Maybe once the whole thing is over and people tell me that the writers did, in fact, manage to wrap everything up in a satisfactory manner... I'll revisit the show on DVD or something. In the meanwhile, I'd rather watch reruns of Hannah Montanna.
In other entertainment news...
Today I got a brilliant email because of an entry where I posted this cartoon:
With a twist of my ring, I flame-broil the Burger King!
The email was not from a concerned parent about the excessive violence depicted at my flame-broiling Burger King (which is what usually happens)... it was from a fan of the restaurant chain who didn't like that I would publicize a bad experience I had there. "Millions of people enjoy eating at Burger King and it would be a shame if your complaining were to keep people from trying it for themselves."
So there you have it. Don't take my word for it... go to your local Burger King for breakfast and see for yourself just how bad it sucks!
Though, I have to add a disclaimer here: My problem with BK is only with their shitty breakfasts. I am compelled to give them credit for having the sack to put a veggie burger on their menu, which I actually quite enjoy. Until McDonalds sees fit to roll out their awesome McVeggie Deluxe burger nation-wide, the BK Veggie is about the only burger I can find most anywhere in the US that I can actually eat.
Sigh. I should have wrote more. There's still forty-five minutes until Eli Stone is on...
I've started referring to the TiVo remote control as the "BeBoop BeBoop Thingy" which is disturbing on entirely too many levels. Once I start calling my car the "Vroom Vroom Machine," it's probably time to enroll in kindergarten.
Which would probably be a lot more fun than how I spend my time now. It's hard to beat a day of coloring, playing games, taking naps, and acting like an idiot (which is why a career in politics sounds so appealing to me).
Speaking of acting like an idiot, apparently Pat O'Brien has gone back into rehab. Normally I don't like speaking ill of people who are trying to get their lives together, but when it's a total douchebag pervert (NSFW link) like Pat O'Brien who makes his living dishing on other people going back into rehab, it's easy to make an exception...
Please Pat, take all the time you need. The longer you spend in rehab, the less risk I have of accidentally seeing your whiny bitch ass while channel surfing. Though, I must admit, your predilection for booze, cocaine, whores, and freaky sex, is far more interesting than your "work" on any of those Hollywood "news" shows. Getting sober is probably paramount towards killing your career.
At least one would hope.
Nobody is going to forget how you were such an asshole to the sweet hotness that is your former co-host Nancy O'Dell...
Hey! There's a new episode of Psych on tonight! I love that show!
DirecTV sent me a notice that my television channel package price was going to increase. Again.
It seems like they raise their prices every year. Or more. Tired of paying such a huge amount of money every month for something I find less and less entertaining, I was trying to figure out how I could switch to a smaller package and yet still get those few channels I really want.
But it's all terribly confusing, because the package I have now doesn't exist anymore, and I don't know how it compares to what they currently offer. And then there's my local channels which were not included in my old package, but seems to be included with the new packages? And my TiVo charge, which is for a device that's no longer really supported now that DirecTV has their own much shittier DVR service.
I have no frickin' clue how to make sense of DirecTV, and am pretty sure they do that intentionally.
Not knowing what else to do, I decided to cancel HBO so I could save money.
I made the cancellation online while, ironically, I was watching HBO. Much to my surprise, the television went to a black screen almost immediately after I had made the change. DirecTV doesn't mess around.
Here in Washington State, it's time for our presidential caucuses. I voted by mail a week ago, but it's only today that the results are starting to come in. Right now, it looks like Obama is going to take the Democratic slot easily, winning over twice the votes Hillary got.
But it's the Cupcake Caucus at Cupcake Royale that interests me most...
Though MY vote would go to my beloved Kate, the best cupcake ever...
Oh great. Now I want a Kate but I can't have one because Cupcake Royale is closed.
And it's not like I can go get one even if they were open, because the mountain passes are also closed.
And I don't have the money for a plane ticket to Seattle because DirecTV is taking it all.
Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know it's actually Monday... but it's a holiday Monday, which means it's almost like a Sunday. Kind of.
• Hoff... Managed to watch the new Knight Rider made-for-TV-movie last night. As one of my favorite shows from the 80's, I was both nervous and excited to see how they were going to handle the material. What they got right was not starting over from scratch, but instead making this show a continuation of the original series. I also enjoyed the cast, the cameo by David Hasselhoff, the new and improved abilities of K.I.T.T., and the overall storyline. What they got wrong... very, very, very wrong... was the voice of the car. The original K.I.T.T. (masterfully voiced by William Daniels) was a sarcastic bastard, who let his self-perceived superiority complex drip off of every word. Val Kilmer as the new K.I.T.T. just sounded bored. In all fairness, this might not be his fault... the guy is a talented actor who is probably just reading his lines as directed... but it really killed the show for me. Why the fuck didn't they just bring back Daniels? Oh well. The entire show was just a giant Ford commercial with Ford commercials inside the Ford commercials... so maybe product placement and ad revenue was what the showrunners really cared about...
• XP... I've run across more than a couple grassroots movements attempting to save Windows XP from being dropped by Microsoft. Given how badly XP's successor, Windows Vista, COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY SUCKS ASS... I am 100% behind this effort. XP may not be pretty, but at least it actually works for those times I need a Windows machine. Here's hoping that Microsoft bothers to listen.
• Heaven... While my friend Perry and I were mucking about in Poland a couple weeks ago, we took a taxi driven by an 80-year-old driver who didn't speak much English. As he was barreling down the streets of Warsaw, a song came blasting on the radio that sounded familiar, but neither Perry or I could place it. Thinking I could look it up later, I jotted down some of the lyrics in my iPhone and promptly forgot about it. Eventually I happened upon my notes and Googled to discover that the song was "(Feels Like) Heaven" by Fiction Factory. Not finding anything on the iTunes Music Store (FOR SHAME!) I downloaded some tracks off BitTorrent and liked what I heard. This led me to order their CD, Throw The Warped Wheel Out, which finally arrived today. Oh how I love rediscovering great 80's music from my past! Just when I think there's no more to be found, something like this happens...
• Terminated. Despite myself, I am completely addicted to "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." The quality of the show on almost every level has been surpassing my expectations more and more with each new episode. The abject despair of the future-humans under domination of SkyNet is almost painful to watch... just as it should be. The clever dance the writers are weaving around the continuity of the first two films is really impressive, and I can't wait to see where they take the story next...
• Chicken... Today on the drive back home over the mountains, I stopped off for tacos and did my usual bit of requesting that the beef be replaced with rice. This caused the guy taking my order to ask if this was because I was concerned about the massive meat recall out of California. When I told him no, that I make the substitution because I am a vegetarian, he said that he was thinking of becoming a vegetarian too. The only problem was that he thought he'd get tired of eating chicken all the time. I was going to ask him exactly what kind of vegetable a chicken was, but ultimately decided against it. Maybe he'll get it all figured out when we get an outbreak of Mad Chicken Disease.
And there's my Bullet Sunday on Monday. I hope my brain can shut down tonight so I can get some real sleep. I'm entirely too tired of being tired to keep going without it.
Bullet Sunday already? Where did that weekend go?
• Radio. Today at 4:00pm Pacific (7:00pm Eastern) I will be a guest host on BlogTalk Radio for the incomparable Mr. Fab's Pointless Drivel LIVE show! Heaven only knows what we'll talk about, but it's sure to be a lot of fun! To listen in, just point your web browser here and you're good to go! Once the show begins you'll be able to view a live chat with other listeners but, to join-in the chat yourself, you'll need to pre-register for an account (it's free!). Please note that the show is usually NSFW and probably not appropriate for children, small animals, The Radical Christian Right, or those not possessing a sense of humor...
• Talk. While I'm talking up the big fun that's BlogTalk Radio, I would be remiss to mention that half the blogosphere has radio shows there on Sunday. It starts off with Karl from Secondhand Triptophan at 2:00pm (that's Pacific Time), followed by Hilly-Sue from Snackie's World at 3:00pm, Fab at 4:00pm, Turnbaby from And The World Turns at 5:00pm, and Kyra from The Kyra Sutra at 6:00pm! Quite a line-up! Usually Sundays are travel days for me and I miss the shows, then have to listen to the archives. But today I'm excited because I'll be able to listen to everybody LIVE! Though I have to say that I'm feeling a bit left out that I don't have a radio show of my own. Maybe I'll just beg everybody to guest-star on their show and it will be almost the same? Probably not, but I guess I'll find out.
• Misrepresented. While State Legislator Sally Kern (Oklahoma House of Representatives) was making disgusting homophobic remarks to a small group of people, somebody recorded her dumbass ramblings and posted them on the internets. Now the dumbass bigot is having to deal with the fallout of being a "representative" who is very selective about which of her constituates she "represents" (gays need not apply!). After listening to her bullshit, I came away with a sense that she doth protest too much. What is she compensating for I wondered? And then it hit me... she's not afraid of the "gay agenda" she's afraid of being exposed! A classic case of denial...
• Lesbionic. I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on Representative Kern... but I'm lashing out from fear. Fear that she and her homophobic nut-job comrades might actually be able to make good on their Nazi-esque fantasies of cleansing the nation of homosexuals. A nightmare! WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO LESBIAN PORN?!? Because right now I'm trying to decide which video I need most, and that's a struggle I'm not wanting to give up...
I'm leaning towards "The Trouble with Girls" because it sounds naughty! But then I see "Girls Do It Best: Volume 2" and think perhaps that's the way to go... obviously these babes are really good at making lesbian porn if they've got a SEQUEL going on! Except further down the shelf there's "Girls on Girls: VOLUME FOUR" yes, VOLUME FOUR, which sounds great, yet I can't help but wonder if they're just running the series into the ground like the Star Wars prequels did? But then... THEN... I spot "Bitch Banging Bitch" and think this video must be the one to beat... it's got bitches in it! And they appear to be experienced bitches, unlike the amateurs to be found in "Bitches in Training." And there's always "100% Strap-On," which could be interesting and educational... or just very, very scary. What's a boy to do? Well, if people like Sally Kern get their way, there won't be anything TO do. The lesbian porn industry will be shut down. THIS is AMERICA?!? Nay, I say! Hmmm... I wonder where Obama stands on lesbian porn?
• Trek I have been really enjoying the new remastered versions of Star Trek lately. It's amazing how a fresh batch of special effects can totally refresh the show. It's just as relevant today as it ever was, and looks absolutely beautiful. ..
More gorgeous images can be found here, and where you can watch the remastered episodes can be found here. If all else fails, and you're wanting to know what the fuss is about, you can always buy episodes from the iTunes Music Store.
And that's a wrap for Bullet Sunday! Be sure to tune in to Pointless Drivel LIVE on BlogTalk Radio today at 4:00pm Pacific Time (or 3:00pm if you haven't set your clock ahead yet). Your life might just depend on it!
Well, maybe not yours, but definitely mine. I hear Fabby sends out assassins to kill you if his ratings drop when you guest-host.
MY BUNS ARRIVED TODAY!
As I reported two days ago, the evil Tracy Kaply had blogged about top-loader hotdog buns that I remembered fondly and was compelled to order. But these buns were extra-special because they had grillable sides. After work I rushed home so I could fire up the frying pan, microwave the Smart Dogs, and chop the tomatoes & onions so I could add guacamole to serve 'em up Pink's Patt Morrison Baja style...
I'd almost say that they taste better than the Pink's original, because the top-loader buns makes allllll the difference. First of all, they don't split apart when you try to eat them. Second of all, those toasty grilled sides add a new level of texture to hotdogs that should have been there all along. If it didn't cost $20 to order these buns, I'd never buy anything else again.
THANKS A LOT TRACY!!!
In other news, I have been working my way through the "new & improved" Star Trek: Remastered episodes and came across "The Corbomite Maneuver" (if you've never seen it, I have to warn you that there are spoilers ahead). In the episode, the Enterprise comes across a glowing cube that they have to blow up. Then a giant ship comes to spank Kirk's ass for busting their shit, but Kirk bluffs them into backing down. After some boring crap I don't remember, the alien ends up being Opie's younger brother... complete with freaky pasted-on eyebrows and an equally freaky-ass adult voice dubbed onto him. He says his name is "Balok" which is one of those vaguely alien names that humans can still pronounce.
In the end, the entire confrontation was all some kind of test, because the alien is lonely and looking for companionship. After getting Kirk drunk on an orgasm-inducing punch called "tranya," Kirk decides that Lt. Bailey (the whiniest moron ever to serve aboard the Enterprise) should stay behind to keep Balok company...
... AND HE IS NEVER SEEN AGAIN!!
My guess is that Balok got Bailey drunk on tranya one night, then bit his head off and ate him. That's what I would do if stuck with the whiny bitch for more than fifteen minutes.
I just find it odd that there was never any mention of Lt. Bailey again... at least not that I could find. Perhaps Balok brought him back to the Enterprise in one of the Star Trek novels or something, but I don't think so. Of course, there's always the possibility that Balok and Bailey hooked up and are now happily exploring the universe together. Who knows?
Hmmm... I've already had two hotdogs... dare I eat another? I'm not hungry, but they taste sooooo good.
THANKS A LOT TRACY!!!→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
This morning I climbed out of the shower after entirely not-enough sleep and thought I was hearing things. But oh no... running to the window I confirmed my worst fears... THE KILLER GEESE HAVE RETURNED!
After getting dressed and arming myself with a squirt bottle, I cautiously made my way downstairs and into the parking lot. But they had gone. Probably off attacking some elderly neighbor or eating a cat or something. If all of a sudden you stop seeing blog entries from me, that probably means the evil geese finally got me. The bastards.
I always dread looking through the new Comic Previews Catalog when it arrives, because there's usually something geeky and super-cool I want that I don't need. And more often than not, it's stupidly expensive too. This time it's stupider than usual, but I can't help myself! I want it so bad!
They blew up a little Kubrick Alien 400% and are releasing him as an 11-inch action figure. He's beautiful... and he'd better be for $60.00 WITH DISCOUNT! It should cost like $40.00 tops, but with the US Dollar practically worthless on the international market, anything imported is insanely expensive.
Speaking of cool toys I can't afford, my Apple Time Capsule finally arrived! Luckily the box wasn't empty this time, because I don't think I could handle the crushing disappointment twice. It's an amazing device. Within 30 seconds of plugging it in, I was creating my first backup. 30 seconds after that I was messing around with my wirelessly shared volume, creating a media depository. It's brilliant in every way...
But before I go... Amy Sherman-Palladino (of Gilmore Girls fame) has a new show called The Return of Jezebel James which I have really been looking forward to. Until I actually watched it. For anybody who doesn't follow me on Twitter, here was my reaction...
The clever rapid-fire dialogue and quirky characters are there... but A F#@%ING LAUGH TRACK?!? Totally ruins the show. Horribly distracting. FAIL!!
As a certified pack-rat, I've kept every cable from every piece of electronics I've ever owned. Even those I got rid of years ago. This has resulted in my having a closet with four large boxes of wire crap that just takes up valuable space. Today I finally decided to sort through everything in an attempt to simplify my life.
And make room for my Batman Legos.
It took three hours. THREE HOURS!! Because, of course, they were all tangled up. Wires tend to do that for some reason...
Then I decided to go through all my laserdiscs and videotapes to see if there was enough material to justify ordering a video capture card for my Mac. Turns out there is. So I did. This way I can digitize all my stuff and toss out my old video equipment.
More room for Legos!
What convinced me to take the plunge was my Hi-8 video tapes of two of my favorite shows.
First there is Rob Thomas' masterpiece... Jeremy Piven's Cupid (which is going to be a remake that has disaster written all over it)...
And then there's Alan Ball's masterpiece... Oh Grow Up! He created this hysterical show before his American Beauty and Six Feet Under became famous. It was sadly overlooked, and quickly canceled...
Almost as cool as the shows themselves are the commercials between the shows. In watching a few tapes I got to see the first iMac and iTunes commercials. Oh! And an anti-drug commercial from President Clinton!
It sure will be cool to be able to have all these old shows on my Mac.
And some space for my Legos.
My day was pretty much this: "No... I didn't watch the season finale of Lost. Thanks for asking."
I dropped the insanity of Lost after the "PUSH THE BUTTON" stupidity of 2005. Big questions were never getting answered, and the entire show consists of adding even more questions that probably won't be answered either. What's the point of watching if there's no pay-off? Hopefully, for the sake of those still devoted to the show, they wrap it up at the end. As for me? I'm done.
But not done with television. Because even though many shows have just ended their seasons, there are some most excellent shows coming up with fresh material this summer...
SUNDAY, JUNE 1st: Code Monkeys 2nd season premiere on the G4 Network (official site).
This animated show is lovingly rendered in faux old-school 8-bit graphics, and tells the story of coders working at an 80's video game company. Always entertaining, Code Monkeys is, at it's best, hysterically funny and even raunchier than South Park. If you are even remotely attuned to 80's geek culture, this is a must-see.
SUNDAY, JUNE 1st: In Plain Site series premiere on USA Network (official site).
I fell in love with Mary McCormack when she joined the cast of The West Wing as National Security Advisor to President Bartlet. When that gig ended, I always wondered where she'd turn up next. Turns out she's a US Marshal for the Federal Witness Protection Program. Cool enough. My hopes are running high, and I'll definitely be tuning in.
FRIDAY, JUNE 6th: Meerkat Manor, The Next Generation 4th season premiere on Animal Planet (official site).
Some of the hottest soap opera action ever to air on television just happens to star little fuzzy animals. Life, death, sex, loyalty, romance, betrayal, jealousy... and a never-ending struggle for survival... it's all here on Meerkat Manor. Shockingly addictive television that will ensnare you like few shows can, the third season replaces Sean Astin with Stockard Channing as narrator. Hopefully the drama is one thing that won't be changing.
THURSDAY, JUNE 12th: My Boys 2nd season premiere on TBS Network (official site).
A show that took me completely by surprise, My Boys is a comedy about a female professional sportswriter named PJ and the "boys" she's friends with. It's really well-written as far as comedies go, but the reason I love it so much is because the show is completely ingrained in its Chicago setting. The city is practically an 8th character. The first season ended in a massive cliffhanger that has had fans agonizing for months, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
MONDAY, JUNE 16th: Weeds 4th season premiere on Showtime (official site).
The show about pot-dealing widow Nancy Botwin just keeps getting better and better. What started as a fairly simple and straight-forward series has rapidly evolved to an intricate and complex drama with some of the darkest humor found to date. Showtime is promising that the 4th season will head in an entirely new direction, which both worries and excites me at the same time.
THURSDAY, JULY 10th: Burn Notice 2nd season premiere on USA Network (official site).
Another series that grabbed me from the first episode, Burn Notice is a clever reinterpretation of MacGyver, this time as a spy who is abandoned in Miami and has to put his skills to use in a new line of work. As if that wasn't cool enough, Bruce Campbell and Gabrielle Anwar round out the cast.
MONDAY, JULY 14th: The Closer 4th season premiere on TNT Network (official site).
Kyra Sedgwick is riveting as LAPD Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson, heading one of the best ensemble casts on television. I worry about the cases getting a bit repetitive, but they always seem to have enough interesting stuff going on in the periphery to keep the show from getting boring. As an added bonus, the lead out for this show is Saving Grace, the Holly Hunter vehicle that adds a new kind of bizarre to crime television.
FRIDAY, JULY 18th: Psych 3rd season premiere on USA Network (official site).
By all rights, this show about a fake Psychic detective should be worn out and buried by now (much like I consider Monk to be)... but somehow they manage to keep things fresh. This season, they cast Cybill Shepherd as Shawn's mom, so there's new season freshness right there.
There's something good on television!
Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there... especially mine... on this fine Bullet Sunday!
• Snackiepoo! This afternoon at 3:00pm (Pacific Time) I will be a VERY SPECIAL GUEST STAR on Snackie Radio. Today's topic? How much is too much? Hilly and I have radically different blogging styles... I avoid anything personal and draw monkey cartoons in lieu of actual substance... Hilly wears her heart on her blog and bares her soul for all to see... what are the consequences to these very different approaches to blogging? How much information on your blog is too much? Is there such a thing as too little information when it comes to the internet? Will Dave ever get his tiara back? Tune in today and find out! (show contains language and situations which may be unsuitable for childre or small animals).
• Radio! And for other BlogTalk Radio goodness, I'd be remiss not to mention the entire BTR's Rocking Sunday Schedule... first up, Karl from Secondhand Radio will have his daughter and the Alive Campaign as his guest at 2:00pm Pacific, 5:00pm Eastern. Next up is the afore-mentioned Snackie Radio show with VERY SPECIAL GUEST STAR me! at 3:00pm Pacific, 6:00pm Eastern. And, lastly, Turnbaby is back on Turnbaby Talks with her special guest Mr. Shiny at 5:00pm Pacific, 8:00pm Eastern. It should be a very interesting night.
• iPhone! As expected, Apple released their new iPhone at the World Wide Developer's Conference this past Monday. It has the faster 3G internet access everybody has been clamoring for, but all I cared about is that it FINALLY has a frickin' GPS unit. I still feel it was profoundly stupid that the original model didn't have a hardware GPS, but better late than never, I suppose. Of course I simply must own one... even though the data plan is a total ripoff that now costs $10 more per month with NO TXT messages and still has NO MMS capabilities. The more things change...
• Shopper! What happens when you find out that a business you really like is owned by a complete and total asshole? How do you shop there anymore knowing what you now know? Does it matter that you've patronized the place for decades and love their stuff? Or is it just over once you discover it's run by a horribly wretched excuse of a human being? I've been wrestling with this dilemma for a week, and have come to the realization that my ethical beliefs simply won't allow me to step foot in this establishment ever again... much as I would like to shop there. Wouldn't the world be a much better place if we could just stay ignorant to the nastiness that plagues it?
• Televised! I had this idea of picking my favorite 100 television shows of all time and then listing ten of them each day with an explanation of why I liked them so much. For a television whore like me, it seemed a perfect fit for Blogography. Then common sense settled in, and I realized how much work it would be to actually do it. But I already had the list made up, so I decided to go ahead and post it in an extended entry.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Catching up with all the television I missed while on vacation has been tough because I've got loads of work piled up as well. So far, the only "must-see" series for me is Jay Mohr & Paula Marshall in Gary Unmarried. I had -zero- expectations for the show, but watched it anyway because I loved Paula Marshall on Cupid and think Jay Mohr is seriously underrated (I can't think of a single thing he's done that I haven't liked). Imagine my shock in finding out that the show is great... really funny stuff. I also kind of enjoyed Worst Week, but don't know how they are going to keep the premise going week after week. The biggest disappointment so far was Knight Rider which sucked so much ass that I expected my television to implode.
Which would be okay by me because after installing iTunes version 8, I've been spending most of my time being mesmerized by the beautiful new Visualizer they've included. It was formerly an iTunes plugin called "Magnetosphere," but it was so sweet that Apple bought it and made it their new default look. Here's just a small sampling of the jaw-dropping images that spring to life...
Of course, static images do nothing to show how incredible the visualizer looks when in motion, but you can at least get an idea of what's going on. Check it out for yourself by downloading iTunes 8 for free!
UPDATE: Here's a video of the old Magnetosphere plug-in in action, which I found in a nifty LifeHacker article with undocumented keyboard shortcuts for the new iTunes Visualizer...
Moving quickly here because it's almost 8:00...
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As somebody with both family and friends affected by breast cancer, I'm happy to be promoting awareness and pleading for the ladies to get mammograms...
Dave & Bad Monkey love healthy boobies! Schedule your mammogram today!
And now, it IS 8:00, so I must take my leave of you to watch my favorite show currently on television...
It's Pushing Daisies Season TWO!
As a television whore, one of my biggest failings is not jumping on new shows.Too many times I've read about a new show, decided I wasn't interested, then didn't watch it...
...only to find out later that it's a totally awesome show and I've been missing out for months.
Or, in the case of Life a full year.
A police officer is wrongly convicted of a triple-murder, sentenced to life in prison, then serves twelve years before being exonerated. At which point he wins a 50 million dollar settlement and gets to rejoin the police force as a detective. Such a show didn't appeal to me... at first.
It wasn't until I heard that Donal Logue was joining the cast in this second season that I suddenly became interested in Life. It was only then that I downloaded a free episode from iTunes, watched some free episodes from NBC.com, and realized that I had made a huge mistake. This is one of those totally awesome shows I've been missing! So now I've bought the first season DVD and am grabbing new episodes with TiVo. Better late than never, I guess...
I will not be making the same mistake by passing on ABC's new show Life on Mars.
It's an Americanized take on a British television series I love about a cop who gets hit by a car in 2006 and wakes up in 1973. You don't really know if he's insane or actually time-travelling, but it's a fascinating ride. Hopefully the US version will be worth watching (it's got Harvey Keitel and Gretchen Mol in it!)...
Part of the appeal of the original BBC show is the pains they took to get the 1970's setting done right. From the look of things, the people running ABC's Life on Mars get that.
Life on Mars premieres this Thursday, at 10:00pm (9:00pm Central).
In other news...
I wish I was back in Maui eating French Toast with bananas and macadamia nuts...
Crap. Now I'm hungry.
I can't take it anymore. It's to the point where I don't even care who wins... just make the stupid-ass political ads stop. There is no way that any of the candidates out there deserve to be rewarded with a vote after the way their campaigns have behaved. Particularly for Washington State Governor... both of these ass-hats need to be beaten... severely. They all do.
And Washington isn't even a swing-state! I can't imagine how annoying the ads must be in Florida, Pennsylvania, or Ohio right now.
Politics in this country suck ass.
Whenever I have to go to the FOX News website, I imagine for a moment that my DaveGuard Internet Protection System is going to pop up with a warning...
Of course, it's not like I don't know that already.
So here we are at FOX News, which claims to be fair and balanced... which claims to be unbiased... which claims to adhere to a higher standard of journalism. They put themselves up on a pedestal and label people "unpatriotic" for criticizing and attacking the Office of The President during wartime ("Pinheads & Patriots," O'Reilly calls it). Yep, everybody in America just hates America except FOX News and the people who watch FOX News.
Except when the president is going to be a Democrat.
Then it's totally patriotic to criticize and attack the Office of The President Elect. Especially in a time of war... even if it's in the most stupid and asinine way possible...
I've always thought that Bill O'Reilly was a complete and total fucking dumbass, but his latest "Talking Points Memo" shows that I was low-balling it.
O'Reilly, as usual, starts out with some valid, interesting, and thought-provoking questions about Barack Obama's plan to eliminate torture and close down Guantanamo Bay (Where will all those prisoners go? How does Obama define torture?). But then, as usual, he goes off the rails and surmises that terrorists around the globe are smiling today because Obama is somehow helping their cause.
Well, why not? The Bush-era policies have served us so well.
Ummm... no... not really. You are wrong, Bill O'Reilly.
The truth is that the terrorists must love to see things like the Abu Ghraib torture incident splashed across the headlines of the world press because that's what helps their cause. It enrages their countrymen and increases their numbers. It turns the world against the United States and serves to make us more hated. Never mind that it doesn't adequately represent the vast majority of those in our military who serve their country with honor, it hurts us. From all sides... internal and external... it hurts us as a country.
So what Barrack Obama is saying is most definitely not making the terrorists smile today.
What it is doing is taking a stand and telling the whole world that we are better than our enemies. It's reversing a course of total destruction that has the world hating our guts and questioning our sanity. It's setting an example that will make it more and more difficult for terrorists to garner sympathy for their "cause." It's helping to make our troops safer when they're captured. It's getting rid of a system that experienced U.S. military officers argue doesn't work, and is not a good way to get information. It's a step towards healing past wounds and moving this country forward.
It's the right thing to do.
But "fair and balanced" Bill O'Reilly would rather undermine President Elect Obama's attempt for positive progress in our "war on terror" by saying he makes terrorists happy. Apparently, he feels that is the unbiased and patriotic thing to do.
If people want to watch FOX News to get their look at world news and events, I'm fine with that.
But don't anybody tell me that this organization is any more unbiased and accountable than any other piece-of-shit "news" source out there, because they prove this to be untrue time and time again. Heck, I'd argue that by claiming to be otherwise, it actually makes them worse.
And that's my fair and balanced opinion.
The "First Lady of Star Trek," Majel Barrett-Roddenberry died on December 18th, and I'm only just now able to sit down and write about it.
The first time I met her was at a Star Trek convention in Seattle when "The Next Generation" was in full-swing, and she was making guest appearances as the brilliant Lwaxana Troi. Majel was signing autographs next to "Mr. Homm" (Carel Struycken), when my friend had asked him if he would be making another appearance on the show soon. When he answered in the affirmative, Majel started freaking out a bit... "They asked you back?!? Nobody has asked me back!" Carel Struycken then had to explain that he was speaking generally, not specifically, because the fan reaction to Lwaxana was so positive and he felt certain they would be back. Then Majel said (jokingly) "Well they'd better have us back... I know people!"
As if I didn't already have enough reason to fall in love with Majel Barrett, she's funny too...
The second time I met Majel at a press event, I was actually able to speak with her for a bit, and got a real sense of just how dedicated she was to Star Trek fandom. She loved the fans, and was happy to be a part of the continuing Trek phenomena, no matter what capacity that might be. Whether it was being the voice of the computers... appearing as a guest star... attending conventions... or even talking about her husband (and Star Trek creator) Gene Roddenberry in interviews... she was always there. Always doing everything she could to keep Star Trek alive for the fans... for Gene... and for herself.
The last time I saw her was at another convention. The line was so long to get an autograph that I didn't have time to wait and say "hi." I was sad about that, but only for a minute. Majel was surrounded by the adoring fans she loved, more popular than ever, and still doing her best to keep Star Trek alive. Seeing all that, it was impossible for me to be sad for very long.
Woke up at 3:30am New York time to pack and get ready to catch my ride to the airport. Made amazing time to Newark and end up waiting. A lot. Fly Newark to Seattle with a medical emergency onboard that wasn't me (as luck would have it). Eat Qdoba. Wait more. Fly home. Where I proceed to get so enraged that my head very nearly exploded.
The entire time I was in New York, I was inundated with fucked up FOX News advertising. I have no idea why New York is so overrun with their crap, but I guess you spend your ad dollars where you've got the most to gain. This raised my estimation of the intelligence of New Yorkers to new heights. Apparently they aren't falling for the "FAIR AND BALANCED" bullshit, and FOX is attempting to brainwashing them into believing their lie...
Annoying, yes, but easy to ignore (despite being 200-feet long).
But then I watch The Daily Show when I get home and see the latest stupid-ass salvos being lobbed in the name of being "fair and balanced," and lost my shit. As usual, John Stewart... A COMEDIAN ON A COMEDY NETWORK... is the voice of sanity in a world of FOX News gone mad...
Words out of my mouth.
Thank you Mr. Stewart... watching FOX News so I don't have to!
To those who celebrate (or just like bunnies and chocolate) Happy Easter on this fine Bullet Sunday!
• Eggo. For Boiled Egg Day this year, I'm guest-blogging over at Hilly-Sue's place. I'd go there immediately, because it's far more interesting than anything you'll find here (though I've now archived the post in an extended entry).
• Apples. Knowing that Apple can be so good at so many things, it always shocks me at the regularity of their massive failures. Today I wanted to buy a couple of iPhone apps at their iTunes Music Store. But no matter which of my FOUR credit cards I tried, it always tells me that the "Security Code is Incorrect." And, of course, I can't find a phone number to call and get it straightened out. Instead I have to root around their website for twenty minutes until I find an email form. Epic Fail...
• Dolls. After waiting through a half-dozen shitastically horrible and altogether boring episodes of Dollhouse I prepared myself for "good" episodes that everybody said would follow. Well, here we are at episode #9 and it's still a boring pile of crap. And that's being generous, because it's also one of the most annoying shows on television... all because of tech-nerd dumbass "Topher" who has to be one of the worst characters ever unleashed on television...
Seriously... I never thought anything could top David Caruso's gag-inducing "Horatio Cane" on CSI: Miami, but here we are. "Topher" has convinced me that genius show-runner Joss Whedon has either A) Completely lost his mind, or B) Is actually a total genius who is intentionally making Topher a whiny, annoying, bumbling tool so he can add a major twist to the show by ultimately revealing that Topher's character is a complete sham, and "Topher" is actually the man behind the entire Dollhouse organization (or something equally shocking). In any case, I spend every minute Topher is on screen wishing that he would die and take this awful excuse for a television show with him. Joss Whedon's speciality is writing deep, fully-realized and complex characters that interact in utterly fascinating group dynamics. Dollhouse features none of these strengths, giving us erasable, shallow, interchangeable characters that don't interact in any way that's even remotely interesting. Perhaps he's planning on eventually getting this show to a place where it's worth watching, but he's taking way to long to get there and I don't feel like being tortured anymore. BRING BACK SERENITY!!!
• Cupid. It is well documented here that my favorite show ever to air on television was Cupid, starring Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall. Thanks to gross mishandling by ABC, the show was never given a chance to find an audience, and it was brutally and unfairly canceled. Sad, yes, but show creator Rob Thomas went on to create Veronica Mars, the second greatest show ever to air on television, so I eventually managed to grieve and move on. Except when it was announced that Rob Thomas was being given a second shot at launching Cupid, but this time without Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall. Going in, I knew it wouldn't approach the greatness of the original, but I held faith it would at least be good television. It's Rob Thomas, after all. Unfortunately, after suffering through two episodes, I find that the re-imagined copy falls flat. The two leads never even come close to the energetic interplay and chemistry that Paula and Jeremy had. Furthermore, Jeremy Piven infused Trevor with a sense of wonder that made it seem as if he might really BE Roman god of love, Cupid, newly stranded on earth... whereas Bobby Cannavale just seems like a slightly creepy scammer who is pretending to be imagining to be Cupid for some unknown purpose. Sarah Paulson (who was great on Studio 60) seems to be playing Claire completely passionless and emotionally void, which defeats the purpose of her character. Please, please, please, PLEASE won't somebody release the brilliant original series on DVD?!? Or, even if you don't want to go to that kind of expense, could you at LEAST release in on iTunes so people can buy it digitally? The show is entirely too important to be left sitting on a shelf somewhere...
• Cougar. And since I'm on a television kick here... JUST when I think that television can't get any more stupid, here comes a new piece of reality show shit called The Cougar where an older woman gets to weed through a bunch of younger guys "Bachelor-style" until she finds her "true love." I wonder how much these people get paid to whore their lovelife out for television entertainment? And I definitely use the word "entertainment" loosely...
And now I should really do something about my taxes. I think they're due soon.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
I just don't "get" American Idol. I have never watched an episode, but every singer I can think of who has come from the show is total shit. Clay Aiken? Absolutely horrendously awful in every way. Crappy voice, heinous stage presence. Kelly Clarkson? BORING! She retreads through territory that we've seen a hundred times before, and her songs are gag-inducing. Taylor Hicks? I know he won because I heard about it when he was on Chelsea Lately... but I've never seen or heard him perform anywhere on anything. Ever. Big clue that he must suck ass. Jordin Sparks? The only thing I've heard from her was the complete destruction of Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer. After that travesty, I have no desire to hear anything else she does. And that pretty much goes for anyone coming off American Idol.
And yet, everybody I know is just enraptured by the show. It's massively popular. So what am I missing?!? Since there was nothing on TV last night as I was flipping through channels, I decided to see what's up.
When I first dropped by, it was a bunch of horrendous singers butchering Santana's "Smooth"... WITH SANTANA!! It was positively mind-boggling. None of these people can sing!! None of them had any harmony with each other! It was borderline tragic how terrible they sounded. I was horrified that Santana was forced to endure such torture, and was hoping that he had somebody to watch over him that night because I worried he might try and hurt himself.
THEN, after escaping, I flipped back to see Steve Martin playing a freakin' BANJO while two truly bad singers were wailing over it with voices so grating that paint started peeling off my walls. The guy sounded like his vocal cords were being attacked by a feral badger, and the gal sounded like she was gargling a tone deaf rodent. AWFUL!!!
I couldn't take anymore and had to turn the channel to something with entertainment value... like Rush Limbaugh... but then my friend Meagan called and was squealing "OMG! YOU HAVE TO TURN BACK TO IDOL!! IT'S AMAZING!!!"
So I did, and there were a bunch of hideously untalented dudes "singing" Rod Stewart's Do You Think I'm Sexy in a "performance" that was so terribly off-key and badly harmonized that I was searching for a pencil to gouge my ears out. THEN... just as I was praying for death... an undead mummified corpse was rolled out with horrible hair and an embarrassing wardrobe to sing with them. Once I snapped out of my trauma-induce shock, I realized it was ROD STEWART HIMSELF and was scrambling for the remote so I could turn off the television before I went into a coma from the distress of watching poor Rod be humiliated anymore.
So, yeah... that was enough American Idol suckage for me. Any more, and I would have tried to saw my own head off.
And speaking of saws...
Poor PC... he really should have tried installing Linux before going to such extreme measures! Though Windows Vista makes me insane every time I use it, so I guess this shouldn't be too surprising.
To see all of the Lil' Dave Mac vs. Lil' Wayne PC ads, click here!
And before I go... knowing my love for all things Betty White, and my total man-crush on Ryan Reynolds, about twenty people forwarded me a link to this Funny or Die bit which features BOTH of them...
Even though I have zero interest in yet another Sandra Bullock romantic comedy, there is no way I can resist a movie which has both the incomparable Betty White and the hysterically funny Ryan Reynolds. Talk about can't-miss casting! And, much to my surprise, the trailer actually looks pretty good... I am SO there.
And now... it's off to a very full day of work. And drinking. Drinking to forget the horrors I witnessed on American Idol.
There's nothing quite like being trapped in a room where the television "entertainment" is Live With Regis and Kelly. I had never seen it before, and was shocked... absolutely shocked... at how stupid it is. I have no idea if Kelly Ripa is just acting crazy, or if she's a raging crazy person in real life, but I'm dumbfounded as to why anybody would want to watch this show. After just five minutes I was hoping a fire would break out so I could escape. Unfortunately, I wasn't that lucky.
I managed to write a plea for help on the back of an envelope with a purple crayon, then tried to convince a cat to carry it to the outside world...
Alas, the cat would have none of it*, and so I had to sit there until my name was called.
I don't think I suffered any permanent damage, but I have experienced a few trauma-induced hallucinations where I see Regis Philbin standing over me with a bowl of red Jell-O. I'm not sure what to make of that.
But don't worry about me. Eventually I will be able to put the horror of Live With Regis and Kelly behind me and move on with my life.
Until then, I'm avoiding morning television. And Jell-O.
*The cat, having been exposed to Live With Regis and Kelly every weekday for years, seemed to be afflicted with a kind of psychosis. He wouldn't stop licking himself the entire time I was there... and was still doing so when I passed back through 20 minutes later. "Unclean! Unclean! Unclean! Unclean!"
Given my genius-level intelligence, it should come as no surprise that I like the mental workout provided by the game show Jeopardy. The questions are always fairly tough at the higher dollar amounts, and I only manage to answer Final Jeopardy correctly half the time. This kind of challenge is what makes the show so much fun.
It is my understanding that every contestant on the show has been tested for a good knowledge of trivia and overall smarts. This is wise, because the competition wouldn't be much fun if the contestants were all idiots.
Unfortunately, the "smarts" they test for must not include basic math skills.
I am beginning to lose track of the number of times I've watched an otherwise smart person fuck up and lose everything during their Final Jeopardy wager because they couldn't add properly. They'll write down the wrong number for some dumb reason, answer the question correctly, LOSE, and then poor Alex Trebek has to explain to them that they're a moron.
Even worse are the "Daily Double" questions, where a contestant can double their wager if they answer correctly. You regularly see people who bet some pathetic amount when they are in last place, even though they should have risked it all so they could stay in the game.
It's sad, really.
If it were ME running Jeopardy, and some dumbass decided to wager $100 when they're so far behind that their only chance is to wager everything they have... well, my reaction would be a lot different from Alex Trebek's kindly smile and condescending banter...
Because, seriously, nobody that frackin' stupid deserves to be on Jeopardy... they spoil it for everybody.
And by "everybody" I mean "me."
Oh well. New episodes of Burn Notice start tomorrow! So very soon now I won't have to rely on game shows to see something new on TV.
I can't wait.
Ooh! It's time for vacation!
I'm departing sunny Seattle for the rain-soaked shores of Glacier Bay, Alaska. At least I'm assuming they're rain-soaked shores, because that's what everybody has been telling me. Whenever people hear where I'm going, it seems to be all they can talk about... "Those Alaska cruises are fantastic... if you like rain" or "You'll love it... if you don't mind getting wet" or "Yeah, I did that Alaska cruise... AND I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MUCH RAIN IN ALL MY LIFE!" Since rain doesn't bother me much, I'm not worried about getting wet. I am, however, a little concerned that it seems to be the most memorable part of the trip for people who have done it before.
Interestingly enough, Seattle had positively flawless weather today...
But the minute we headed out into Puget Sound, the clouds started rolling in...
Which made for a nice sunset...
After the sun had gone, mist drifted in and covered the shoreline...
And now it's getting dark. That must mean it's time for ice cream.
I don't know that anybody cares what television I'm watching, but it comes up from time to time so I thought I might as well get a post out of the way.
It's only fair to preface this list with my disgust and loathing of television in general now-a-days. Too many great shows get cancelled (=ahem= PUSHING DAISIES =ahem=) only to be replaced with complete and total crap (usually reality television dumbassery) and networks never even care about the people watching these shows. If they did, they wouldn't leave viewers hanging, and allow shows to wrap-up stories and plots in a satisfactory manor.
But oh well. Such is the risk of a television junkie.
"How I Met Your Mother" - "Big Bang Theory" - "House" - "Grey's Anatomy" - "Survivor: Samoa" - "Parks and Recreation" - "Family Guy" - "American Dad" - "The Simpsons" - "CSI: New York" - "SNL" - "30 Rock" - "Psych" - "Burn Notice" - "Top Chef" - "Project Runway"
"Dancing With The Stars" - "Two and a Half Men" - "One Tree Hill" - "Gossip Girl" - "Lie To Me" - "Shark Tank" - "The Good Wife" - "90210" - "Melrose Place" - "So You Think You Can Dance" - "Biggest Loser" - "Hank" - "The Middle" - "Eastwick" - "New Adventures of Old Christine" - "Criminal Minds" - "America's Next Top Model" - "Better Off Ted" - "Law & Order: SVU" - "Private Practice" - "CSI" - "The Mentalist" - "Supernatural" - "Bones" - "Fringe" - "Super Nanny" - "Ugly Betty" - "Ghost Whisperer" - "Medium" "Numbers" - "Smallville" - "Brothers" - "'Til Death" - "Desperate Housewives" - "Brothers & Sisters" - "Cold Case" - "The Amazing Race" - "Three Rivers" - "Southland" - "Mercy" - "The Beautiful Life"
Here's hoping that most of the new shows I'm trying out will suck horribly so I won't waste too much time watching television!
But no worries. From past experience, I can pretty much count on it.
The reason I try to avoid saying anything negative about people, places, and things is because no matter which person, place, or thing you badmouth, it's going to be somebody's favorite. The reason I know this is because people badmouth my favorite things all the time.
There are exceptions, of course. Even a cursory review of my past blog entries would reveal that I fail miserably when it comes to not saying negative things. Here's just a few of my failures...
• Internet Explorer
• Ann Coulter
• Nancy Grace
• Bill O'Reilly
• Rosie O'Donnell
• David Caruso
• Stride Gum
• Spelling Bees
• Jared the Subway Sandwich Whore
• President Bush
• Dick Cheney
• Pat Robertson
• President Obama
• Hillary Clinton
• Orly Taitz
• 12 Grain Bread
• FOX News
• John McCain
• Tony Danza
• Kelly Osbourne
• Dr. Phil
• Judge Judy
• Martha Stewart
• Pat O'Brien
• Paul Marx
• Mayor Greg Nickels
• And many others...
But here's the thing. I don't apologize for any of it. I feel what I feel then I write what I write. If I offend somebody because I've badmouthed their favorite thing, well... it's my blog and that's really too bad. They don't have to read it. Because unless I've gotten the facts wrong or said something that was interpreted wrong, I'm not going to apologize for how I feel about something.
Which presents a problem when somebody emails me saying I should apologize for hating on the television series Dollhouse because it was their favorite show and now it's been cancelled.
Um, yeah... while I do feel bad because my favorite shows seem to get cancelled all the time... am I sorry enough to apologize for saying I think Dollhouse is (was) a steaming pile of crap?
Not really, no.
I will apologize for not trying harder to avoid saying anything negative about people, places, and things though.
I'll work on that right after I dump out this Ronzoni Bistro "Rotini with Tomato Basil Pasta" which is probably the worst pasta I have ever eaten in my entire life. Seriously, if you want to know just how bad pasta can taste, by all means go try a bag of this heinous stuff.
Oh boy! It's Bullet Sunday once again! This will have to be a quick one, because I have got a lot to do before I fly out again on Friday.
• iTunez! I have a laundry list of things I hate about Apple's "iTunes Music Store" (particularly after the last shitty upgrade they forced on us)... but dealing with App Store update insanity is currently the thing pissing me off most. It's just so damn irritating the way that the process never... NEVER... makes things easy on you. You're constantly being interrupted with bullshit alert messages that are so astoundingly stupid that you have to wonder if Apple is being staffed by morons. Take, for example, the "You Are Downloading Age-Restricted Materials" alert...
Yes, I know. And the reason I know is that I get this dumbass alert EVERY TIME I UPDATE MY APPS! Can't iTunes REMEMBER that I'm an adult so I don't have to go through this shit each time? And what's truly asinine is that the apps themselves are not adult-oriented... it's just that they access the internet where adult-oriented stuff might pop up. And it's not like underage kids are going to see this and go "Oh, I'm only 16, so I guess I'd better stop the update" either. I feel safer already!
And what about mystical crap like the "You Have Already Purchased This Item" alert...
Yes, you stupid pile of FAIL!, I want to download the shit I've purchased! Why WOULDN'T I want to download it. ESPECIALLY IF IT'S AN UPDATE TO SOMETHING I ALREADY PURCHASED?!?! I mean, SERIOUSLY?
And then there's my FAVORITE message. It's the "The Item You Tried to Download is No Longer Available" alert...
If it's no longer available, then why try to download it? But the biggest problem? THEY DON'T TELL YOU WHICH FUCKING APP IS THE CULPRIT! The error appears again and again and again until you manually download each app until you figure out which one is no longer available so you can manually delete it from the session. It's about the stupidest damn thing I've ever seen out of Apple. IF IT'S NOT AVAILABLE, THEN STOP TRYING TO DOWNLOAD IT YOU WORTHLESS PILE OF CRAP!! Can't you just eliminate it from the update session AND STOP BOTHERING ME?!? Completely stupid. BEYOND completely stupid. This is a bug of epic Microsoft proportions, and a total embarrassment to Apple.
The iTunes Music Store is so hopelessly idiotic now that it begs the question... DOES APPLE EVEN BOTHER BETA-TESTING SHIT ANYMORE? EVER?!? This is amateur hour stuff, and it's starting to really piss me off.
• Gleek! After listening to the non-stop raves from practically everybody, I finally broke down and watched the latest episode of Glee on Hulu entitled Wheels. Before I get into the horrors I was subjected to, I should preface this review(?) by saying that I can't stand musicals. It freaks me out when people suddenly break into song and dance for no particular reason, and the ... unreality... of it all drives me bat-shit insane. From what I understood, Glee was different because it was about kids in glee club, so there's context for all the singing and dancing crap. Except... the first thing I see? Some guy in a wheelchair starts mangling Billy Idol's Dancing With Myself then, you guessed it, starts wheeling around his school where nobody seems to notice that he's singing his guts out the whole time. Nobody says a damn thing...
It's not at all freaky that nobody notices I'm singing!
Guy in the wheelchair kind of set the tone for the "Breakfast Club" theory of random casting, except they took it to the next level. Handicapped Kid, CHECK... Jock Kid, CHECK... Gay Kid, CHECK... Bad Boy Outsider Kid, CHECK... Black Kid, CHECK... Asian Kid, CHECK... Spoiled Jewish Princess Kid, CHECK... Stupid Blonde Kid, CHECK... Pregnant Kid, CHECK... Down Syndrome Kid, CHECK... it goes on and on and on. It's as if they told the casting director "Give me one of everything!" so it would make the writing as easy as possible. Which makes sense when you start noticing that everybody gets double-duty BONUS FEATURES!! Pregnant Kid, for example, is also Slutty Bitch Popular Christian Kid, who is terrorizing her current boyfriend to pay her for pregnancy support when she knows that the real father is actually (drumroll of un-shock) Bad Boy Outsider Kid! And don't forget the teachers! Lawful-Good Glee Club Teacher simply must have his stereotypical nemesis with Chaotic-Evil P.E. Teacher...
We're the stereotypical bitches of Glee!
The only part of the show that was remotely interesting to me was Down Syndrome Girl, which may seem a little too "Corky" from Life Goes On, but actually kind of works. Too bad they had to go and spoil it by building a hokey mystery as to why Chaotic-Evil P.E. Teacher could possibly want to put her on the cheerleading squad (especially when the predictable answer is a retread plot device that has been used in a billion other television shows for faux-drama heartstring pulling)...
ZOMFG! Why is the Chaotic-Evil P.E. Teacher being so nice? Yep! Exactly why you'd think she is.
And, of course, what would the show be without the big musical number finale? We'll never know, because the writers are just that predictable. But to be EXTRA tacky and manipulative, lets take the Featured-Kid-Of-The-Week cliche (Wheelchair Boy) and build a musical number of love and acceptance... by making everybody sing Proud Mary in... you guessed it... WHEELCHAIRS! Wheee...
Uhhh... yeah. Really, really, didn't like Glee. Didn't "get" it at all. Though, to be fair, I am not a part of its target audience of musical-lovers. Except... even without the musical numbers... the stereotypes, cliches, predictability, and gag-inducingly obvious emotional manipulation would kill it for me. Oh well. It's perfectly okay that everybody doesn't like the same things. On the contrary, in this case it's critical for maintaining my sanity.
And that will have to do it until next week...
If there is anybody on earth whom I think needs to write a book as a life guru, it's Tim Gunn from Project Runway.
As is usual when I'm a day from flying off to parts unknown, chaos reigns. I've got a dozen projects all going at once, a million things to do, and very little time to get everything done. Complicating matters are new challenges that are being added right up until I board the plane. It would be nice if the world could just stop and let me catch my breath for a minute, but that hasn't happened in decades. Such is life.
Which is where Tim Gunn comes in...
For those who don't know who he is, Tim Gunn plays "mentor" to the contestants on the fashion design competition reality show Project Runway. While the designers are assembling their clothes, Tim comes rushing into the room and offers his pithy advice and criticism in an effort to "help." This usually consists of him remarking that a piece of clothing looks "matronly" or it looks "messy" or it looks "fabulous."
But the best part is when the designer is freaking because time is running out and they're struggling to meet their deadline. That's when Tim gets to offer his best advice. It's all at once brilliant, simple, yet necessarily detached...
"This worries me!"
"You've got a lot of work to do!"
"GO GO GO!"
And his most famous catch-phrase, "Make it work!"
Which is exactly the type of stuff I need to hear as my world is crashing down around me and I'm close to thermonuclear meltdown. But... once Tim gets in your head, he tends to stick there...
So now I'm ready to go to bed in a feeble attempt at sleep, except Tim is still running through my mind cheering me on.
How am I supposed to lapse into sweet slumber with "GO GO GO!" on infinite repeat?
I worked most of the day, trying to solve a very perplexing assignment in every way I could think of. By the time dinner rolled around, I was mentally exhausted and looking for a diversion. While cleaning off a bookshelf, I happened across my DVD copy of Death on the Nile... the movie version of the brilliant Agatha Christie novel of the same name (albeit with a number of characters having been changed or eliminated). It's one of those movies I can watch a hundred times and still enjoy it, so my diversion had been found...
Equal in brilliance to the story is the cast.
Peter Ustinov! David Niven! Mia Farrow! George Kennedy! Angela Lansbury! Maggie Smith! Jack Warden! And a crazy-ass BETTE DAVIS! But that's not all, it also had MANIMAL in it!
Manimal is one of those shows that I vaguely remember enjoying the heck out of during my youth. It featured a guy who could turn into animals to solve mysteries and fight crime and stuff. He had his pick of any animal under the sun, but always ended up changing into a black panther for some reason. Probably to save money on special effects.
Those were heady days for cheesy TV, because Manimal ran at the same time as another sweet program from my youth... Automan! Though what I remember most about that show was that the character drove a Lamborghini that could make 90-degree turns at high speeds, and had a sidekick named "Cursor" that could build stuff out of thin air. Sure it was pretty much a rip-off of TRON, but it gave me something to watch after my homework was done.
Speaking of TRON, am I the only one who's excited about the long-awaited sequel, TRON Legacy, finally hitting theaters in 2010?
Of course, it's DECEMBER 17th, 2010... which kind of sucks. Especially when all we have to hold us over until then is this.
Oh well, something to look forward to, I guess.
I've had an HD-ready television for years, but haven't gotten a lot of use out of it because I can't get HD content with DirecTV. Apparently, the trees around here block the satellites or something like that. I didn't want to switch away from DirecTV, because I couldn't bear the thought of parting with my beloved TiVo.
But over the last year or so I've been freaking out while watching television because channels are starting to go widescreen HD-only. Then, to make the picture fit on older non-HD equipment, they slice off the sides of the picture. Needless to say, this sucks ass, so ultimately I decided to trade in my satellite dish for HD Cable. To get package deal pricing, I also switched over my phone and internet.
Overall, I have to say I'm impressed with the HD picture. It looks really fantastic, and most of the channels I watch are broadcast in the HD format. The phone line is okay, but kind of spotty over long calls. The internet, however, is total shit. It's blazing fast one minute, then taking EIGHT MINUTES to download a frickin' Google page the next. Contacting the really nice people at tech support has resulted in a house-call next week to investigate the problem. If they fix it, I will be a very happy camper. If they don't... well... this will not go well for anybody.
But the biggest piece of the puzzle was always going to be my new DVR. For the most part, everything I've tried blows when compared to TiVo, but the Motorola Moxi model they gave me isn't that bad. The interface is not as good as TiVo for sure, but it's speedy and gets the job done. The only problem I've found so far is that only a small number of channels are able to be programmed for recording over the internet (NONE of the HD channels are). This is an EPIC FAIL! because being able program my DVR while traveling is kind of important.
Oooh... speaking of important... do you think they have porn channels in HD??
So televangelist and so-called "Man of God" Pat Robertson has gone and said something bat-shit insane.Again.
Apparently he feels that the Haitian people made a pact with the devil in order to end French colonization. He doesn't mention anything about who the Haitians made a pact with to end the United States occupation in 1934, but I'm assuming it's somebody pretty high up on the Evil Scale. Perhaps Bert from Sesame Street, myself, or Dick Cheney...
Never mind that none of us existed back in 1934, when you're talking about Pat Robertson, words like "logic" and "sanity" go right out the window. This is nothing new. I put Pat at the top of the Insanity Scale back in 2006...
Because here's the thing... when it comes to crazy shit, Pat Robertson is top of the heap. It doesn't get more crazy than this. He's so nuts that Wikipedia has to keep a separate page devoted to all the insanity.
Don't get me wrong, the fruitcake has the right to say whatever fucked up shit he wants to say (this being America and all), but the problem I have is that people buy into the stuff he puts out there. People actually give their hard-earned money to Pat Robertson so he can keep his crazy on the air. I understand that there are individuals out there who are just looking for a way to keep faith in their lives, and think that Pat Robertson fills this need... but how much ridiculous bullshit does it take before you go shopping for a new religious leader? Anyone? Anyone?
It's not just that Pat Robertson is a stupid, hypocritical, uncaring, opportunistic, lying piece of shit, it's that he's just plain evil. It doesn't matter if he actually believes that God is such an asshole that He would slaughter innocent children and animals who get in the way of His divine vengeance... it's that Pat is so lacking in compassion that he would actually SAY that to a devastated people. Couldn't he just say "I'm so sorry to hear about the tragedy in Haiti. It's sometimes difficult to see God's plan for us when things like this happen, but we have to trust in His wisdom. I pray that the people of Haiti let the Lord into their hearts so that He can help get them through this. God bless you all." — SEE?!? That's a COMPASSIONATE and TACTFUL way to tell people that you think God hates them and it's their fault that God had to smite their asses. But Pat Robertson doesn't have a compassionate or tactful bone in his body because he's just fucking evil. Tragedy strikes, and there's Pat to pass judgement (which is supposed to be God's territory, but maybe Pat Robertson has never read The Bible to know this). Just like Nancy Grace and Ann Coulter, "Reverend" Pat is a whore who just loves to turn other people's tragedies into a money-making opportunity. It's the very definition of evil...
If there is any justice, Pat Robertson's god will judge him using the same compassion and logic that Pat Robertson uses to judge everybody else.
Which basically means he's fucked.
And it couldn't happen to a nicer person.
More crazy Pat Robertson crap on Blogography...
August 23, 2005. I try to figure out why Pat Robertson is such a fucking moron.
January 6, 2006. I tell Pat Robertson to shut the fuck up.
June 25, 2007. I surmise that it's actually Pat Robertson who is a tool of the devil.
And now, on a more serious note...
I've written many times about my love, admiration, and respect for Doctors Without Borders and the incredible work they do. Often going where angels fear to tread, DWB is an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe. They are in Haiti right now, doing everything they can to tend to the victims of the earthquake. If you can help them to help others, please visit their website and make a donation...
I love how ABC Television is promoting their new show The Deep End by saying "FROM THE NETWORK THAT BROUGHT YOU GREYS ANATOMY"... like that's some kind of ringing endorsement. ABC is also the network that brought us such steaming turds as Viva Laughlin and Cop Rock, as well as cancelling such brilliant shows as Pushing Daisies and Cupid (the Jeremy Piven Original... not the shitty remake). Hardly a track record that inspires confidence.
I should adopt this ridiculous qualification system for myself.
From now on, whenever I write a new blog post, I think I'll preface it with "FROM THE BLOGGER WHO BROUGHT YOU PENIS SALAD"...
Because about the only thing more disturbing than this blog would be finding a severed penis in your salad.
Or maybe finding Lindsay Lohan's abused crotch in your chocolate pudding...
Though right now I'd have to say NOTHING is worse than finding David Caruso on your television...
Except perhaps finding your airplane in the Hudson River...
Can you believe that happened a year ago? Seems like it was only yesterday.
Time sure flies when the world is in a tail-spin.
"Tonight's the night!"
"Tonight's the night! LOST is finally on again!"
"Oh. Sorry, I don't watch that show."
"WHAT?!?? ARE YOU CRAZY? THAT SHOW IS AWESOME! YOU GOTTA WATCH LOST!! These people are trapped on this island where weird stuff happens, but then they got OFF the island and then went BACK to the island but the island is in the PAST and tonight we find out if the BOMB can stop the ISLAND from --- hey... HEY! What are you... AAAAHHHHHH!"
Look, I am happy that everybody loves LOST, honestly, I am. I know what it's like to have a passion for a television show and have it consume your life (though any show I love that much usually ends up getting cancelled). But, seriously, it's okay that some people don't like the show and don't really give a crap what happens. It's not necessary to try and convert the non-believers.
We are perfectly happy just as we are, thanks.
So... for the first time in a very long time, those of us living on the West Coast of these United States of America are in the SAME TIME ZONE as the Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. Finally, we get to watch events LIVE and see competition outcomes AS THEY HAPPEN. How cool that we won't have medal results spoiled on the internet hours... or even days... before we get to actually see them taking place! Sweet!
So tonight I sit down in front of the television at 7:30 when NBC is set to start their coverage, expecting that I'll be watching the opening ceremonies LIVE from Vancouver.
But no... it's downhill skiing.
This is odd. Why would they start the opening ceremonies later than 7:30?
And then I notice on Twitter that people are talking about the opening ceremonies as if they're watching them.
So I look for the official schedule online and see that the opening ceremonies started an hour-and-a-half ago at 6:00pm. So now I'm thinking that I got the time wrong, NBC actually started broadcasting at 6:00, and I've completely missed the opening ceremonies altogether.
And so I look at my television channel guide and see that I haven't missed anything. The opening ceremonies won't be televised until 9:00pm. For reasons I can't even begin to fathom, NBC is TAPE-DELAYING these PRIMETIME events that are happening IN THE SAME TIME ZONE
FUCK YOU, NBC! FUUUUUUUUUUCK YOU!
FUCK YOU UP YOUR STUPID ASSES, YOU DONKEY-RAPING SHIT-EATERS!
And, since I'm sure that the reasons for this ASTOUNDING DISPLAY OF ABSOLUTE FUCKING IDIOCY somehow comes down to money in one way or another... FUCK YOU SIDEWAYS YOU GREEDY PIECES OF FUCKING SHIT!
I am beyond speechless as to why NBC is Just This Stupid. What incentive do Pacific Time Zone people have to watch their Olympics "coverage"? Sure if the event is being held in Asia or Europe or some other place that's fifty time-zones away, there's no choice, and we have to accept a tape-delay because nobody wants to watch TV at 2:00am (or whatever). BUT WHEN THEY'RE HAPPENING IN THE SAME FUCKING TIME ZONE?!?
And here I thought that NBC couldn't get more brain-dead than the whole Conan/Leno late-night fiasco.
It turns out that was just a warm-up for TAPE-DELAYING A PRIMETIME EVENT IN THE SAME TIME ZONE AS THE VIEWERS!
You would think that NBC shareholders would TAKE CARE OF FUCKING BUSINESS and like... I dunno... EXECUTE THE GROSSLY INCOMPETENT FUCKERS RUNNING THE NETWORK for being INEXCUSABLY STUPID. But maybe these particular shareholders are so heinously wealthy that they just don't care when the DUMBFUCKS looking out for their interests make bad decisions.
Gee... and here I thought I wouldn't have anything to blog about tonight!
YOU STUPID FUCKERS!!
People are stupid.
This will come as a surprise to nobody (except perhaps stupid people, but that's to be expected).
But even so, there's got to be a limit as to just how much you have to dumb something down in order to be understood by even the lowest of the lowest common denominator when it comes to intelligence. Some things are so bloody obvious that pointing them out only serves to makes you the stupid one.
This morning on the TODAY show, Al Roker was yucking it up with some guy who wrote a book about choosing healthier alternatives when eating. Basically, it boiled down to looking at labels when deciding what foods to eat. Excess calories, empty sugars, and fat is bad. BAD!
Some comparisons actually had a little merit... showing how the self-proclaimed "healthy" cereal actually had more sugar than other cereals on the market, for example. But other comparisons where just pathetic in their obviousness.
And here I was actually becoming an Al Roker fan after he took on Spencer and Heidi.
Well all that went out the window when Al didn't puch this guy in the face just on principle...
And why? Because the douche felt the need to point out that it's healthier to eat dried prunes than it is to eat Mike and Ike's candies...
My first reaction upon hearing the news was...
"ZOMFG! Really? REALLY? It's healthier to eat DRIED FRUIT than it is to eat fucking CANDY?!? That's astounding! Somebody should alert the media! Fruit is healthier than candy! This is a revelation that transcends the entirety of accumulated human knowledge. I mean, imagine it! Fruit is healthier than candy! Can you believe it?"
I lie. My actual reaction was in fact...
Could this radical piece of advice BE any more obvious? IT'S FUCKING CANDY, MUTHAFUCKER!! I mean, this is right up there with ""Fire is hot!" and "Rocks can't swim!" and "Cutting off your penis is bad for your sex life!" You would have to be so astoundingly stupid to not already realize this that I doubt you'd know how to turn on a television, let alone open a box of candy.
And it pisses me off.
"Mike and Ike" is an awesome candy. There's no need to disparage such a delicious treat for the sake of making a bowl of prunes look good. Everybody knows that eating lots of candy is not very good for you. When eaten in moderation, however, there is nothing wrong with candy. And anybody trying to villainize "Mike and Ike" is trying to sell you something.
Something like... oh... I dunno... A BOOK CALLED "EAT THIS, NOT THAT!"
Next up, are fried potato chips healthier than freeze-dried wasabi peas?
ALERT THE MEDIA!
FRIED FOODS AREN'T AS HEALTHY AS FREEZE-DRIED FOODS!
As I write this, I'm watching a series of disastrous runs in the Women's Downhill competition at the Olympic Games. The ladies are biting it hard on the mountain, sliding out of control for what seems like an eternity before they finally come to a stop... their Olympic dreams having come to a bitter end.
There's nothing to say that they won't shake it off and come back victorious in 2014.
Everybody has disasters, but very few of us have them broadcast around the globe with the entire world watching. Forget the pain of crashing into a mountain at 80 miles per hour, the psychological trauma would be enough to drive a person insane.
But that's part of the game. The victory is so much the sweeter because the defeat can be so brutal.
What's NOT part of the game is douchebag television commentators being complete and total assholes as they cut the athletes to shreds during their run. I already loathe sports commentary with a passion because it's so ridiculously banal and distracting... but listening to these turds tonight has elevated my hatred to an entirely new level.
My favorite commentary was when Anja Pärson from Sweden was starting her run and the male commentator was compelled to say she "was a big failure in last year's world championships." Well, screw you, asshole... she's earned her place as an Olympiad in the Twenty-First Winter Games. She deserves more respect than some idiot diminishing such an accomplishment by daring to saddle her as a "big failure" in a past competition. What the hell have you done lately?
Sadly, Anja wiped out later down the track, which makes such a disgusting comment even more hurtful.
I cannot for the life of me understand why sports fans don't insist that commentators take the "less is more" approach and SHUT THE HELL UP unless they have something meaningful and constructive to add to the event. Non-stop chatter is just stupid, unnecessary, and leads to dumbass commentators doing idiotic shit like branding an Olympic athlete "a big failure" to avoid a moment of blissful silence.
As the Olympic Winter Games come to a close, Bullet Sunday comes to the rescue!
• Gold. Congratulations Canada! The final hockey game was well-played on both sides, and I'm happy the local boys (and girls!) were able to keep the Olympic gold at home. Of course, since Canada is a part of North America, I guess that means the gold actually belongs to all of us here in America. America is awesome!
I suppose it's too much to hope that all the excitement from the fantastic hockey matches during the Olympics will make the sport more popular here in the USA. As a long-time hockey fan, it would be nice to get more enthusiasm for the sport outside The Great White North.
• Cubed. The design for the new USA Embassy in Britain was unveiled this week and I have just one question...
...when did Steve Jobs start designing our embassies?
Except I dare say that the Apple Store on New York City's Fifth Avenue is a heck of a lot better-looking than the "fuzzy" glass cube that they came up with for the new embassy. Blech.
• Lisa. It seems impossible that Lisa has been gone an entire year. It feels like only yesterday she was reminding us about what's important in life. You are very much missed.
• Coverage. I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating... NBC's coverage of the Olympic Games sucked ass. It was downright embarrassing to sit back and watch how they managed to screw up at every opportunity (The Olympics are about the SPORTS COMPETITION, dumbasses!). I simply don't understand why you would sign up to cover the Olympic Games and then NOT ACTUALLY COVER THE OLYMPIC GAMES! And don't get me started on the astoundingly fucking stupid idea of running coverage on tape-delay FOR THOSE OF US IN THE SAME TIME ZONE AS THE ACTUAL EVENTS! It would be nice if whomever wins the broadcast rights bid for the next Olympics is actually held to some semblance of competency and quality standards. Like telling your commentators to SHUT THE FUCK UP while the names at the awards ceremonies are read (Chris Drury fans didn't even get to hear his name because of the inane dumbfuck commentary). Or how about telling the commentators to SHUT THE FUCK UP period. 98% of the time, the banal chatter was more distracting then helpful, and made watching the Olympics almost unbearable. Here's a brilliant idea... why not put somebody in charge of broadcasting the Olympics who actually likes sports instead of letting suits in a boardroom dictate this reprehensible bullshit as coverage policy?
• Support. If you're looking for a way to support relief efforts in Chile, or the continuing efforts in Haiti, or help out wherever disaster may strike... my favorite charity, Doctors Without Borders, is doing remarkable work to provide aid "where angels fear to tread," and could use donations. If you've got some spare cash, why not check out their website and then toss a few bucks their way?
And that brings us to the end of another Bullet Sunday!
I have a blog entry I'm working on, but my "Betty White" Google News Alert* brought some most excellent news to my attention, so I'll post it tomorrow.
TV Land PRIME's new original production of Hot in Cleveland starring BETTY WHITE will start airing in June on TV Land!
Frickin' amazing as always.
First she gets a Saturday Night Live hosting gig on May 8th, then a guest-spot on the season finale of The Middle, and now she's in a new television series. Sweet!
So glad Ms. White is showing no signs of slowing down, because everything's better with Betty!
I sure wish Chelsea Lately would book Betty as a guest. Now THAT... would be an awesome interview.
UPDATE: In even more Betty news... Betty White will be a guest on Larry King Live tomorrow night on CNN (6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern). I positively loathe Larry King. I think he's about the shittiest "professional" interviewer working in television (yes, that includes Tyra Banks)... but you can bet I'll be tuning in for this one!
* For those curious about "Google News Alerts"... any time you do a search for something at Google News you can scroll to the bottom of the page and sign up for "email alerts" for whatever you just searched for (or anything else, for that matter). Then, at intervals you determine, Google will email you a report of things that show up in their news feed. Easy! And customizable...
I have alerts for people like Betty White, Elizabeth Hurley, and Steve Jobs... and things like ACTA, Macintosh, and Chocolate Pudding. Very handy... and free!
It's Bullet Sunday and, if I remember to hit "publish" instead of "draft," then maybe it will actually appear on Sunday.
• Hostess. One of my favorite childhood treats was Ding Dongs snack cakes. But since I became a vegetarian in 1988, I haven't been able to eat them because Hostess fills them with DISGUSTING LARD!! I still miss them though, because nothing quite compared to peeling off that foil wrapper to get to the chocolatey creamy goodness inside. Anyway, yesterday when I was shopping, I noticed that Ding Dongs are no longer wrapped in foil. They're wrapped in DISGUSTING PLASTIC!
I refuse to eat DISGUSTING LARD, so I can't say for sure... but I bet they don't taste as good without the foil wrapper.
• Dixie. I was very sad to learn that Dixie Carter passed away. As Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women, she had some of the funniest moments on television, and provided some clever insight on events of the day. They don't write them like that anymore, and now that Dixie Carter is gone, they won't play them like that anymore either...
She will be missed.
• Lust. And in other sad news, Seattle's "Lusty Lady" is closing! I've only been once, but it was a peep-show experience that lasts a lifetime. Believe it or not, many consider the most entertaining part of the place not to be the naked women on the inside, but the clever puns on the marquee outside...
Photo by PhotoCoyote from the Lusty Lady Flickr Pool.
Ah, if only I could make it to Seattle with a roll of quarters just once more for old-time's sake! The Lusty Lady... she will also be missed.
• Palinesque. About the ONLY benefit of Sarah Palin's never-ending stupidity still bein