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.
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.