Friday, November 28, 2008

I'll take potpourri for $3,900, Alex

Happy post-Turkey day to one and all. Hope everyone ate too much, drank too much and that your teams covered the spread. On to the random musings and linkage:

Are these the "Top 10 College Football Personalities?" You gotta love the first 3 at least. Hopefully, with all the coinage ESPN has now invested in the SEC, we'll see more of Ron Franklin, who, along with Uncle Vern, is kind of the narrator of Southern Football. (And kudos for mentioning the voice of college football Emeritus, Keith Jackson).

46 year old man "learns" to become a smoker
. Welcome to da club.

Speaking of "smoking," now I know why Bella goes on and on for pages and pages about how beautiful Edward is.

Queen Amidala likes to do the dirty. A lot.

An unbelievably cool animated movie poster for Terminator: Salvation. A must see.

An Australian scientist finds out what happens when you don't buy into the global warming hysteria.

Time for Trekkies to come out of the closet
? And now that there's energy in the movement, will morons in the Mormon church fund an initiative in California to ban Trekkies from getting married?

Chinese Democracy finally came out, to mixed to decent reviews. What other long rumored and gestating projects should finally see the light of day? Good news, some of these are close to fruition, and don't even need Dr. Pepper to mock them into existence. I'm particularly excited about 1, 8, 15, 17, 18, 26 and 28. But I won't hold my breath for all of them.

Go figure. Bottled water about the same as tap. I'll buy the bottles for convenience, but often at home, I'll just take an empty bottle, fill it up with tap, and stick it back in the fridge to chill. My taste buds and health haven't suffered. At least from that.

Pop culture perfection: The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade gets Rick-Rolled!

Hey, it's a new "blacksploitation" film. And it looks kinda awesome.

If you don't have it, you MUST go purchase it: The entire Buffy "Chosen" collection (that's the whole freakin' show, folks) on sale for $81.59.

Even if you are "the man," don't let "the man" keep you down. President O fights for his right to CrackBerry.

I've done this, and it's a beautiful thing: tell your TiVo what to record straight from your cell phone.

A great new blog that's been added to my google reader: Secular Right. Good conservative thinking, without all the judgmental, supernatural mumbo-jumbo.

Everyone saw "The Naked Man" on Monday's HIMYM, right? Here's a copy of Lily's "50 reasons to have sex."

And, a perfect way to end: a giant montage of different movies' "The End."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A bold new idea!

Bookswim is a service that allows you to select books you want to read, and then have them delivered to your house. You can keep them until you're finished reading them, and then return them for more books. It's like NetFlix for books!

Uh, isn't this called a fucking LIBRARY?

Look, I hate interacting with the masses just as much, if not more, than most. And I'm a firm believer in having just about anything delivered right to the front door. But on the surface, this just seems idiotic. I can logon to my local library, select the books I want online, and then walk in right to the front desk and have them all bundled up for me and ready to go. I'm in and out in less than 2 minutes. And they have a drive up drop off when I'm done. Oh, and it's FREE. Also, if I want auidobooks, can't I just never leave the house and have them delivered straight into iTunes? Or, for those that have a Kindle and want to "read," you can do the same thing. How is this ever going to fly? Part of the workability of the NetFlix business model is that DVDs are slight, easy to handle and not postage hogs. Books are bulky and expensive to mail.

This cracks me up.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'll take potpourri for $3,800, Alex

With the (sniff) demise of Pushing Daisies, I09 wonders what genre shows you're watching. As of this morning's voting, the leaders were Heroes, Fringe and Sarah Connor.

Twilight hit the theatres this weekend, and there are vampire quizzes to be take. Here's one from Cinematical (I got 9), and here's one from USA Today (I got 7).

Did you know that "originally," Han Solo preferred his women with a hairy bush? I mean like a huge, 70s porn star kinda bush. If the setting is indeed "a long time ago," I think our favorite Corellian smuggler might have invented the "plushie" craze.

First BSG, then Burn Notice, and now Chuck. Tricia Helfer continues to pop up on my favorite shows.

Oh noes! My sugar daddy dumped me, so all that's left is fucking for money (oh wait, wasn't that what I was doing before?)

What's the area code in Columbus, GA

This makes me resent my parents for not building me one of these.

Here's some footage from the remake of Cupid
, this time starring Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson. How are they going to compare to the Piv and Paula Marshall?

EDSBS amusingly looks at the flavors of disappointment, and here we are at a solid 5.

ScarJo's Allure photo shoot. Just because.

More about the Commander in Geek. It's appointment season now, so I'll also suggest Rupert Giles for Department of Hellmouth Defense.

More thinking on how to "free the GOP." Mike Huckabee is a fucking idiot. A dead nuts on column that's getting a lot of conservative praise and criticism in the blogosphere. A good blog and cartoon about the flat-earth crowd and their chilling effect on healthcare. Does Prop 8 violate the Constitution? I think so, personally. Money quote from the article:
The Framers of the American Constitution knew that throughout human history religious self-righteousness has caused intolerance, discrimination and injustice. They understood that religious self-righteousness is dangerous, divisive and destructive, and that it has led to untold ignorance and misery. It was for that reason that they embedded in our Constitution a fundamental commitment to the separation of church and state.
Damn, those old dudes were smart, no?

Okay, back to fun and frothy. Here's a great video interview with Big Ban Theory's Jim Parsons.

A TV critic stops worrying about Dollhouse's Friday night "death slot." Hopefully, lowered expectations and a pairing with the increasingly deep and engaging Sarah Connor will be a good thing.

New Lost promo! Fuck yeah! And Damon and Carlton speak.

Interview with Fringe's Walter, John Noble. If Fringe ever gets canceled (and let's hope it doesn't), I could see a spin-off sitcom with Walter and his son just driving around the country, getting involved in wacky situations. Maybe they could move in next door to Sheldon and Leonard, and hijinx ensue.

Are these the 40 best TV Theme Songs
? Of those on the list, I particularly like:

The Rockford Files
WKRP in Cincinnati
Love Boat
Dukes of Hazzard
The X-Files
Brady Bunch
Greatest American Hero
Welcome Back Kotter
Barney Miller
Beverly Hillbillies
Addams Family
Star Trek TNG
Mission Impossible
Hawaii Five-O
Peter Gunn
Sanford and Son

But how can you possibly leave off Green Acres? Or SWAT? Or Magnum PI? Or, of course, any of the Whedon shows (Angel, Buffy and Firefly)?

And why the hell can't you find a compilation of TV theme songs, performed by the original artists, on iTunes? I'd buy that in a second.

Here's their look at the 12 best current theme songs
. (I like my list, linked below, better, though there is some overlap. Mine was focused more on the entirety of the opening credits, vs. just the pure theme song, though I do like King of the Hill and Chuck. And at the time I put my list together, I hadn't yet seen the masterpiece that is the True Blood opening, which not only sets the mood visually, but features a damned good stand-alone song that also ties thematically to the show. 100% pure awesome:

And here you can find some of my musings on TV Theme songs, including "The Canon" look at Best Modern Credit Sequences, complete with video.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My TiVo never cheated on me, for crissakes

A new study by the University of Maryland has shown that people who watch a lot of TV are more unhappy than people who do other activities, reports the NY Times.

Hmmm, I thought. I have 62 season passes on my TiVo. I have a shit-ton of TV shows on DVD. I once got in a knock down drag out with an ex because she thought all the televisions should all be "hidden" in armoires. And, of course, I'm a cynical, miserable bastard. Is there cause and effect?

In my two score and change years of existence, I can recall only two or three periods of extended "happiness." One of those was during the salad days of college, where I watched far less tube than at probably another point in my life. Conversely, another was a few years ago, when, for various circumstances, just about 95% of my time was spent watching TV with someone who shared my passions for programming (among other things). I was also, for me, blissfully happy as a child (though one consumed with neuroses and cynicism), and the family gathered around the ginormous faux-wood Zenith with personalized baskets of popcorn every evening. So can we draw any conclusions there? Probably not.

In the article, they don't specify all of the "8 to 10 activities that happy people engage in," other than "visiting others" and "going to church." So let's see how some potential non-television activities stack up against the almighty tube.

Visiting Others
Pros: Can talk to characters who talk back. Might serve you beer or chicken wings (though you can now order pizza from your TiVo). Could say something interesting, or something flattering ("hey man, great blog post last week!).

Cons: Mute button. Don't have to watch programs with kids if you don't want to. And aren't Gaius Baltar, Dexter Morgan and Greg House more interesting than the people you know in real life?

Going to Church
Pros: Ummm....hmmmmm. Not sure I can think of any, though the Southern Baptist girls at my high school did fuck like bunnies, and you usually had to punch the clock at church to get a chance to hit that. And if all the hokum turns out to be true, I seem to recall something about an eternal soul.

Cons: Even with a premium package that shows every channel known to DirecTV, NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB Extra Innings, ESPN GamePlan, and including top of the line televisions in every room in the house, it still won't cost you 10% of what make. Heroes has more believable plotlines. Television doesn't hate the gays or science.

Playing Golf
Pros: Just as many accessories to purchase. Competitive; there's a clear winner and loser, and I was usually the former. Pebble Beach, and the Inn at Spanish Bay, is much nicer than my (current) living room. People don't look at you as funny when you wear a Masters polo as they do when you wear a Sunnydale High t-shirt. Hard to gamble on Pushing Daisies.

Cons: I can get pissed off and shatter a 7 iron and it only costs me a couple of hundred bucks; if Carly gets voted off American Idol or Roslin turns out to be a Cylon, I can throw my shoe into the television screen and it's much more expensive. No DVRing tee times; I can watch when I want to. Inept programs in front of what I'm watching won't slow me down to the point of a nervous breakdown. Easy to delete a bad show, whereas leaving a round in the middle of a 10 over par on the front nine atrocity requires much more logistical effort.

Neutral: You can drink and smoke doing both. You can wear shorts doing both. Rain (if you have satellite) can affect both.

Having Sex
Pros: Duh. It's fucking, y'all. Mad Men won't lie and tell me that I'm just as fabulous and perfect as it is. 30 Rock never asked to be tied to the bedposts. Watching Burn Notice in the hot tub is still pretty much watching Burn Notice. There are millions of other people watching Doctor Who at the same time I am. Big Bang Theory, while it sounds like it would be similar, just really isn't.

Cons: A really satisfying season of Lost lasts 16 hours. You can have Joan Holloway one night, Liz Lemon the next, Juliet Burke the next and Sarah Connor another. DirecTV only costs a hundred bucks or so a month. There's no chance of Rescue Me giving birth.

Fine Dining
Pros: My TiVo is pretty fantastic, but it never brings me a filet mignon or a bottle of red. Much easier for other people to deep fry things, and the dish just doesn't work that way. Sometimes an episode of The Office doesn't quite fill me up.

Cons: TV is much cheaper per serving. No reservations required. No waiting, unless it's for the next season for BSG or Lost to finally fucking come back. Law & Order doesn't make me gain ten pounds. Very difficult to find a place that serves lobster where you can wear sweatpants. There's always a smoking section.

Having a Relationship
Pros: See "Having Sex" above. Someone might encourage you to watch a good television show you never watched, like SportsNight or Gilmore Girls. Hard to play Trivial Pursuit with fictional characters. Look like less of a loser at a dinner party or wedding with a date, versus sitting in corner watching Chuck on your iPod.

Cons: Jack Bauer and I never say "what do you want to do? I don't know, what do you want to do? It doesn't matter, what do you want to do?" (And if I did, he might toture me with a lamp). My TiVo doesn't solicit anyone else to program it. At least when Firefly was canceled and left me with a sucking chest wound, there was an explanation (and a DVD and a movie). No matter what time of time of day it is, or what kind of mood you're in, there's always something on TV. I've never had to go shoe shopping with Eureka, nor had The Closer ask me to buy tampons.

So, after careful analysis, where does that leave us? I think, all things considered, it's either close to a draw, or more likely, coming down in favor of television. It's cheaper, offers greater diversity of stimuli, screws up fewer other people's lives, provides more dependability and is always just a button or two away. Plus, I can be miserable in just about any fashion, so television offers the path of least resistance, no? And you never have to turn the TV off, do you?

Noooooo!!! Yessssssss!!!

ABC's Grim Reaper made the rounds on Thursday, swinging his scythe down on Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone.

Despite the subject matter and the occasional political preachiness, I enjoyed Stone, but the true gut-punch here is the loss of Daisies, which was the most inventive, charming, literate and laugh out loud funny show I've seen in ages. I wasn't on board from the very beginning (fuck you Comcast), but quickly got sucked into the wonderful world of the pie-maker, and watching this delightful and different show was a highlight for the week. Once the DVDs come out, Pushing Daisies will occupy a place of honor on my shelf next to another of Bryan Fuller's brilliant (and canceled too soon) creations, Wonderfalls.

The rumors around the TV watercoolor are that Fuller, if the fate of Daisies was sealed, would move back to Heroes. Lord knows that show could use his deft touch. In fact, if I was NBC, I would give Tim Kring the bum's rush out the fucking door and install Fuller as show-runner ASAP. Did anyone else read about Kring's latest idiotic statements? At a writing conference recently, he asserted that serialized shows are more difficult for people to follow in this era of DVRs. Huh? That's the most counter-intuitive and stupid thing I've ever heard. DVRs make it soooo much EASIER for people to follow Lost and BSG and Dexter and Mad Men and serialized shows now. If you can't make this week's ep in real time to follow the ongoing plotlines...HELLO!.... you can catch up because you have the episodes saved to watch at your leisure. In fact, lots of folks I know save up weeks and weeks of 24 to watch them all unfold back to back. Sheesh. And this guy is running a "flagship" show, albeit into the ground? Put Fuller in charge, like now.

RIP, Daisies. If only HBO or Showtime had the pie-maker's magic touch to bring you back. (If that was the case, and Pushing Daisies remained "alive" for more than 60 seconds, perhaps The Hills and Hannity and Colmes could die in your place to balance the cosmic equation).

But speaking of brilliant, funny shows euthanized before their time, it appears there's life for the Arrested Development movie. Yeeeeahhhh!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A pleasant surprise. But he probably could have "predicted" that.

One of the unexpected pleasures of the fall season has been The Mentalist on CBS. When I was mapping out my fall TV schedule and examining which new shows I would sample, it made the first cut of scrutiny, but I was really thinking "who needs a dramatic, procedural version of Psych?"

So I let it languish on the TiVo for a while (much like I did Simon Baker's last show, the quickly canceled Smith), but it's turned out to be one of the few big hits of the new shows (though if you look at the "demo," Fringe, another show I really like, can also be considered an unqualified success). Being a bit hit won't necessarily sway me, since I loathe 99% of reality TV and gave up on Grey's Anatomy long ago, but it did encourage me to give The Mentalist a try, since it was apparently going to be around for a while.

And guess what? It's a charming, funny, entertaining hour. Not always "funny Ha-Ha," like its obvious antecedent Psych, but more slyly amusing. The premise of the central characters is the same, in that both shows revolve around a "fake psychic" who really just has unusually good powers of observation, intuition and persuasion. (In Psych, Shawn keeps up the illusion of being a psychic; on The Mentalist, Patrick Jane is a former charlatan who gave up the gig when his wife and child were killed by a serial killer). The mysteries are standard issue procedural stuff, but with a unique spin and aided by Simon Baker's winning performance. This week's show, where Jane encountered a purported real psychic, icily played by Jack Bauer's dead wife, was a particularly good one.

The thing that I admire the most about the show is that it steadfastly avoids the usual trope where the rest of the squad, and often the team leader, disbelieves and argues about Jane's contributions to the cases. Here, the officer in charge, played by Robin Tunney (on whom I've had a crush since Empire Records and The Craft) is respectful and only occasionally skeptical. I would have groaned and rolled my eyes at the expected tension and friction, which we all would have seen coming from a mile away, but to its credit, the show has carefully subverted those expectations to make her, and the rest of the team, actively utilize their oddball compatriot's gifts. The rest of the supporting cast does a fine job, and I really look forward to watching the show each week. Check it out if you have a chance. B+

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Boldy go...

The long-awaited full trailer for J.J. Abrams new Star Trek film has hit the intertubes.  And while I'm not entirely sold on the opening snippet, the rest of the trailer is spectacular.  Everything you want, presented in a fresh, yet loving and respectful, manner. (and yes, we see that Kirk gets some alien strange)

To see the whole trailer in QuickTime, in whatever format floats your monitor boat, check it out here.

Daily geek stops I09 and TrekMovie have both done a deconstruction on the trailer, which if you're a Trekkie (I have no problems with the "ie," BTW, which some who prefer the "er" suffix seem to) you should check out.

I09's take is here.

TrekMovie's, with additional "canon" commentary, can be found here.

William Shatner's reaction (not), can be found here.  :-)

And as an added bonus, Monday's Big Bang Theory featured a more complicated extension of the "Rock Paper Scissors" game, including additional options "Lizard" and "Spock."  How to play:

Rules for Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock

1. Scissors cuts Paper
2. Paper covers Rock
3. Rock crushes Lizard
4. Lizard poisons Spock
5. Spock smashes Scissors
6. Scissors decapitates Lizard
7. Lizard eats Paper
8. Paper disproves Spock
9. Spock vaporizes Rock
10. Rock crushes Scissors

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More fingers to remain attached this holiday season

For a long time, consumers have hated Satan's packaging, the vile and evil clamshell. Now, finally, someone is doing something about it.

It started with Amazon, and now Microsoft, Sony and Best Buy are all hopping on the bandwagon to prevent their customers from inadvertently cutting off their own digits, severing an artery or winding up on top of a book depository with a high-powered rifle.

This is the biggest advancement in retail packaging since companies stopped using those on-product stickers/UPC labels that required liberal use of razor blades, steel wool and Goo Gone.


Sunday Morning Political Musings

Say what you will about our president-elect. I'm not a fan of his liberal leanings with regard to progressive taxation and income redistribution. Nor his opposition to marriage equality. Nor his flat-earthiness. And supposedly, he'll be on 60 Minutes calling for a college football playoff (which I oppose).

But on the other hand, he is a big old geek.

And he's a smoker.

And he's a CrackBerry addict.

In other political news, I like singer Melissa Etheridge's solution to protesting the ridiculous and bigoted passage of Prop 8.

And with the wreckage of the SS GOP washing up on shore, lots of column inches have been devoted to "what now?" for the elephants. Here's something from the always entertaining P.J. O'Rourke. Here's a feedback form, taking ideas on rebuilding the party. (definitely worth checking out, and I'll come back to that in a moment). Here's what the so-called "evangelicals" think about candidates. Here's a clear-headed article entitled "Free The GOP."  And here's a discussion of the "Libertarian Temptation."

Currently, the thinking about the GOP retrenchment seems to fall along two lines:
  1. Retreat further into "the base," and organize the party around supernatural underpinnings, "cultural" issues, and using government and politics to advance an intolerant, judgmental and constitution-warping theocracy.
  2. Embrace the "big-tent" theory, and move the party more toward an inclusive, small-government and Libertarian philosophy.
I don't think I need to point out which one of these I would support. And even if you support option 1, does anyone really think that stands any chance of short or long term success? Especially on a national scale? Just looking at it from a pure statistical standpoint, wouldn't that automatically strip out several huge blocks of potential voters (not to mention candidates)? The young? Women? Minorities? The agnostic? The tolerant? The Northeast? The West? The multi-cultural? How could that do anything except permanently make the GOP a small, clique-ish, nuisance?

Go back to that "Rebuild the Party" site, and look at the ideas in order of the votes:
  • Reach out to Ron Paul.
  • Make room for Libertarians.
  • Fiscal conservatism, limited government, constitutional rights.
  • "Small c" conservatives (removing the dogma).
  • Embrace the Fair Tax.
  • Be inclusive.
  • Embrace science.
How could any of those things be bad? The opposing forces in the "Right Fight" do share a couple of things in common. A desire for smaller government, and the need for government to steal less of the money that individuals earn. If you start there as an organizing central philosophy, what is going to bring more people to a movement:
  • A party that wants to give you the freedom to believe what you want to personally believe, without infringing on anyone else's rights? Or...
  • A party that will only accept you if you adhere to their dogmatic, insular, prejudiced and theological constraints?
It really does seem like a simple choice, doesn't it? But logic, I fear, as it so often does, will evade those in positions of power on the right, and doom the GOP to a generation (or more) of minority party status. And when the tax burden goes below the 50% mark (meaning, more than half of the voters wind up not paying any taxes at all, and realize they can suck off the teat of the successful by virtue of their alignment with the left), as it surely will after a couple of Democratic regimes, then all hope will be lost for conservatives. So, GOPers, wrap yourself in an ideological blanket and continue to erode your significance, or be open to larger ideas and freedoms and stand a chance at staying relevant? Proceed at your own risk.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

CrackBerry home screen wallpaper of the day

Yep, that will work, won't it?

I'll take potpourri for $3,700, Alex

I09 on why Dollhouse will be Joss's greatest work.

I'd buy an "US Magazine" covering these folks
: "Not believing in fairy tales...they're just like US!" Related: happy holiday wishes! Hee.

Should I pimp out my new CrackBerry? I can tell you one thing, there will be no orange involved.

This has been buzzing around the interwebs this week (and even made Countdown with Keith Olbermann): a supposed UGA coed, in a version of "I fought the stall, and the stall won." Turns out, she was a fucking Gator. Don't we all feel better about our diplomas now?

30 sci-fi bromances.

The new Harry Potter trailer. Even if you've already seen the trailer, click the link to watch the video from the Warner Brothers "PR Guy."

The awesome first two minutes from the next Doctor Who X-Mas special.

Thoughts on James Bond one-liners
. And a smattering of Bond double entendres. (And though she was the absolute worst Bond girl, I did enjoy the line about Denise Richards" nuclear scientist).

Auburn CB calls Stafford "best QB in the nation."

Thoughts on two wannabe pulp classics. I must admit, I've seen both of these movies, multiple times. I love the whole "pulp hero" genre (with The Phantom, The Shadow and others, like Doc Savage), and have read scores of their original novels. Of the two discussed here, Baldwin's Shadow was by far the more entertaining flick. There's a rumor that Sam Raimi also adores the property, and would like to do it justice on the big screen. I'd buy some coke and a popcorn for that, especially if the casting suggested in the AV Club article is realized: The Shadow/Lamont Cranston = Jon Motherfucking Hamm.

America's top 40 showrunners. Given how many shows are actually on TV, the list seems a little large. However, you know who is on there, as expected.

100 movie spoilers in less than 5 minutes. I knew them all, so nothing was spoiled for me, but DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! If you don't want movie endings spoiled for you, don't watch.

First look at the "new" NCC-1701. The trailer should be on the intertubes any minute now.

20 classic toys that aren't movies....yet. As always when we reference "classic" toys, yep, I had almost all of these. And a blog devoted to Major Matt Mason.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Whiskey x-mas comes early

I think everyone knows by now that I love the purple-bagged nectar of the gods. I went grocery shopping tonight after work, and not just for the usual staples of coffee, frozen pizzas, diet Coke, half and half, detergent/bleach/softener and cat food. I also swung by the liquor store to pick up a bottle of Crown in preparation for the Tigers/War Eagles/Plainsmen vs. Dawgs game tomorrow. Thanks to a helpful sales dude (thanks, rare friendly customer service person in the mid-Atlantic!), I realized that it was "gift set time," whereby you can purchase your regular bottle 'o booze and receive, at no additional cost, some type of liquor logo tchotchke. In the past, I've received high ball glasses, low ball glasses, bottle stands, bottle tops and all types of assorted accoutrement. But tonight, I think I got my new favorite gift from the fine folks at my favorite distillery:

It's a handy metal and purple bag-wrapped hip flask. Awesome, no? And while it certainly isn't utilitarian or voluminous enough for a Dawgs game (that sucker wouldn't make it through the first quarter - though taking homecoming against Vandy into account, would have probably been a wiser choice), it's certainly a nice addition to the bar ware. And will probably come in handy the next few weeks at work.

Fuck Santa. Ho, ho, ho, I'm going to the liquor store.

New Watchmen Trailer

Courtesy of Yahoo Movies, check out the awesome:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How I met your show killer

No, noted "show killers" Ted McGinley and Paula Marshall aren't joining the cast of How I Met Your Mother. But they might as well be. You see, on television -- just as in real life -- babies ruin everything.

But after Monday's HIMYM, it appears that's just where we're heading. I guess part of this is in response to Alyson Hannigan's real-life pregnancy, and there's only so much "I'm carrying a big bag" or "I'll be over here standing behind the counter" you can do on a show with 5 central characters so intrinsically involved in the plots (and lots of time-jumping to periods where Lily wouldn't be pregnant), but I hate to see one of my favorite sitcoms go down this road. Sigh. I could put up with Ted's cloying and self-absorbed need to spawn, because it was balanced with Robin's logical and Barney's narcissistic aversions to the demon seeds, but even they appeared to be overcome by the motherfucking "sock."

And if that wasn't bad enough, the guest star IQ on the show is dropping precipitously (if that was even possible after Britney's appearances last year): "reality" morons and whores will now be infecting a great half hour.

Here's a nice article on the "best show nobody is watching"
(which in my book, is still Pushing Daisies -- or depending on how you parse the expectations and rating, Battlestar Galactica or Mad Men) that obviously predates Monday's developments.

I guess my reaction is best summed up by Dexter's Debra Morgan:

Deb: "A baby? A motherfucking roly-poly chubby-cheek shit-machine; Are you kidding me?"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'll take potpourri for $3,600, Alex

Remember my post about my "days in hell?" Well, I forgot to mention this: I also got a letter from the IRS. (Sadly, not the old record label). It seems that both the state of GA and my former mortgage company made errors in reporting. So I had to waste a couple of hours getting that straight with my accountant. Fair Tax, anyone?

A handy list of the most commonly misspelled words. I always have problems with "judgment."

Featurette about the world of Terminator 4.

Good news? An awesome new Dollhouse trailer. Bad news? It appears Joss is getting shafted again by FOX, which just announced their upcoming schedule. Instead of getting a cushy spot on the Monday sched with 24, Dollhouse is now paired with Sarah Connor on Fridays, the TV graveyard. Seems I recall another Whedon show on FOX, a little thing called Firefly, airing on Fridays. We know how that worked out. Fuck. Of course, depending on the expectations and patience of the "new" FOX regime, perhaps there's a silver lining. Maybe TPTB will realize where the stabilized ratings are for T:TSCC, and that will create lowered performance expectations for Dollhouse, and they will accept a non-American Idol number on Fridays, letting both shows breathe and attract a nice geek demo. Optimism, right?

Speaking of Joss, nice interview about Fray. (And how cool has it been to revisit that world in the Buffy Season 8 comics?)

Ray Wise, the delightfully snarky Devil from Reaper, chats here.

Q&A with HIMYM creators.

Joan Holloway (and YoSaffBridge) was in an Everclear video! Yep, she was smoking hot then, with shorter hair. More on the hotness that is Christina Hendricks here.

Unexpected storylines on college football. 4 and 5 are dismaying, of course.

Why Bones is the best procedural on TV. I'm still fond of CSI: Original Recipe too, though. (Thursday's ep, with Lady Heather, didn't disappoint. And did anyone notice that Roger Sterling's new bride showed up in that one also?)

I'm trying to keep an open mind about the Big O, but his whole idea of "fair" makes me want to vomit. FAIR is that people keep what they make, period. FAIR is that nobody gets a free ride, period. FAIR is that people are NOT rewarded for sloth, idiocy or rampant spawning.

Is this where the whole "red" and "blue" designations started? Oh, and Oregon adds yet another uni debacle to their closet.

Did anyone know you're supposed to calculate the tip on the pretax bill

Why Pushing Daisies is the best show you're not watching. (and probably won't be for much longer. Rumor has it that PD won't get the "back 9" pick up, and Bryan Fuller could head back to try and resuscitate Heroes).

The women of Watchmen
. And if Carla Gugino isn't #1 on my "list", I don't know who is.

Is Best! New! Show! of the summer dead? Sigh.

Does anything good ever happen at a Days Inn? Evidently, the Bulldog hubby got pwned just like the team did.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'd hang myself. Except the noose would break.

What a fucking couple of days.

Wednesday, I go to a local lab to get a blood test, for an upcoming physical. Have all my paperwork, insurance card, everything is in order. You have to fast for 12 hours prior, so I don't eat dinner the night before, and only drink water. I wake up at the ass crack of dawn, even for me, to get to the lab before 6 AM, to be first in line (and so I can get back ASAP to my beloved smokes and java. Hmmmm. Wonder what that physical will reveal?). Wait until they open the doors, get first in line, wait another (inexplicable) 20 minutes to come up to the desk, and they tell me the Doc forgot to check the "reason" for the test on the front (all the tests to be taken were dutifully checked on the back of the form). I tell the automaton behind the desk that it's just for a regular old physical, and not any of the other exotic reasons listed. Seems logical that it would be "wellness." But no. This fucking drone says I have to come back, after getting the doc to check the form. I say let's call the doc. Of course the office isn't open at 6:20 AM. I say let's take the blood, you know what to test for (back of the form) and I'll have the doc call it in at 9 AM when his office opens. Nope, says the fucking Borg. More "debate" (me making logical points, her staring vacantly and continuing to say "no") ensues, and I leave in a thunderstorm of loud profanity that would make the cast of Scarface blush. So, I'm going to fast Sunday night, and try this bullshit all over again Monday morning. (The doc, cool dude that he is, just said in a phone call "check the 'wellness' box in black ink. And here's my cell phone, so they can call me at 6 AM if they have a problem Monday AM.")

I finally turned off the A/C in the apartment on Monday, when it got down in the 40s here. Of course, Wednesday, it got back up in the 70s, so I turn it back on. I hear it running, but I don't feel it getting cooler. I wake up at 5 AM Thursday in a pool of sweat, and it's like 78 in here. Apparently, the A/C isn't working now, and just blowing warm fucking air. When I get to work, I call the repair people, tell them of the EMERGENCY! and they say someone will come over that day. Well, no one shows up, I call to remind them again, they say someone will come over, no one does (again) and I spend the whole night boiling like a crawdad.

To top that off, last night, I have a major problem with my CrackBerry synching with my PC at home. I could recount about 12,000 words of all the troubles and travails, but needless to day, I spent 6 hours (!) on the phone (while suffocating in the sauna) with "elevated BlackBerry tech support" trying to resolve the problem, which consisted of downloading, deleting, uninstalling, reinstalling, rebooting and so much high-tech hackery I thought I was going to enter into the Matrix, free the human batteries and go on to make a really shitty third movie. I forgot to eat dinner, being on the phone until the wee hours.

This morning, I wake up (sweaty, and not for a good reason) for a cross town meeting at 5 AM. (It goes well). I come back home, and STILL NO GODDAMNED MAINTENANCE ON MY A/C. I work from home in the afternoon, call them again, and the dude finally shows up. Well, the unit is low on coolant, but something is frozen (if it's fucking frozen, then why do I feel as if I'm living in a kiln?) and they can't add the coolant until it thaws. On Monday. When they're back at work. (Oh, I'm so looking forward to Monday. Come home for the maintenance dude, AFTER fasting the night before, getting no java first thing in the morning and getting up at 5:30 to go visit my friends, the zombiefied dumbfucks at the lab. To get stuck with a needle). However, today, maintenance dude did leave a "portable A/C" unit. It's about 4 feet tall, and loud as hell (which reminds me of the humidifying units I had to have installed all over my house for two weeks, back when the white trash Jenna Jameson and clan did $70,000 worth of damage to my beautiful casa). And boy, it has the cooling power of dropping a single ice cube into a stadium cup full of whiskey. Oh, and did I mention that while all this was going on, I was on phone with crackberry support for ANOTHER 6 MOTHERFUCKING HOURS?! And I forgot to each lunch.

Well, here I am now, and the crackberry issue is finally *kinda* resolved. I ate a sandwich. I have a huge Crown and water beside me. And it's cooled down to a balmy 305 Kelvin. I think I've lost 8 pounds, so I guess that's good.

And best of all? You know what spurred all the crackberry software issues? This sweet bitch:

Yeah, baby. I'm BOLD.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yeah, but they didn't have money to redistribute in the 23rd century

Well, the election has come and gone and we have a new POTUS-elect. I enjoyed watching the election build up and coverage, from the strategic, journalistic and sporting perspectives, but I didn't really have a dog in this hunt. I'm "trapped in the middle," being a Libertarian.

Both parties, and candidates, have positions that don't exactly thrill me. However, we have what we have now, so let's look for a silver lining:

Our new president is a trekkie.

The Big O is currently evaluating candidates for top level positions, so I'll just throw out Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy for Surgeon General. However, given what happened in the White House during the Clinton years, I would suggest keeping Jim Kirk away from the interns.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My cat almost burned down the apartment complex. Again.

Okay, perhaps that's a bit of hyperbole and exaggeration.

But, as they say on Pushing Daisies, the facts are these:
  • On ball game Saturdays, particularly when we lose, I tend to over-pour my whiskey.
  • In the midst of a drunken stupor, I'll see a Dominos or Papa Johns commercial, get an instant craving, and decide that the only thing to fill the empty hole where victory used to be is a pizza So I'll log on, and order a 'za.
  • I continue to over-pour, the pie arrives, and I gobble it down while watching Granny Clampett and Mister Potato Head tell me how my alma mater sucks cock by choice.
  • In the old days, I would take the empty pizza box out to the garage and put it in the rolling dumpster and be done with it. However, I don't have a garage now. Nor a rolling dumpster.
  • Of course, all cats have different personalities and quirks. I have some dear friends who have a house full of felines, and they can set out a party platter full of fresh seafood and chicken fingers, and their cats will politely walk around on the floor, and not think once about jumping up on the table to treat themselves to a buffet full of people food.
  • However, not my guy. Mulder is obsessed with people food. If I take something out of the microwave, set it on the counter, and turn my head for 3 seconds -- he'll be face first in the plate. (And it's not only food. If I don't pay attention to beverages -- diet Coke, orange juice, coffee, whiskey, whatevs -- he'll be lapping out of the cup like a bedouin stumbling upon an oasis after five months in the desert).
  • So what to do with a bulky pizza box? The only place to put it where the cat won't knock it around the kitchen and dig into it all night is the oven. So I put the box in there, have a few more cocktails, and go to bed.
  • Sometime the next day, I get hungry, and decide to cook something. In the oven. So I turn on the oven to preheat, and go about my business. (Yesterday, I also decided to take a walk, take out the trash, drop off the rent, and catch up on some podcasts while the oven was preheating).
  • Well, I get about a quarter of a mile from the door when it dawns on me that there is still a cardboard box in the oven, which is preheating to about 450. (This being a shitty apartment with a knob, instead of a digital touchpad, to set the temp, it was plus or minus a few degrees. It could have been 451, which as we know, is not only bad for reading in a totalitarian future society, but also for pizza boxes with paper flyers glued to them).
  • I run my ass back to the apartment and manage to pull out the smoldering pizza box while it was still only smoking, and before a blaze had erupted that would have put me on the local news, hungover, cursing and being the only person in the mid-atlantic standing outside a five-alarm fire wearing a "Go Dawgs" t-shirt.
  • Believe me, nothing pleases the olfactory senses quite like a day-old smoky pizza box doused in the kitchen sink.
So, you see, it's really quite simple. If my team didn't get their ass kicked, or my cat could behave himself and not try to eat any morsel of food not locked away in a safety deposit box, I could have easily avoided almost burning my apartment complex to the ground for the second time in a year. Dammit.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Turn back time

Don't forget to set your clocks back. One of the (few) benefits of my move, is that now I have 15 fewer clocks to reset twice a year.

Additionally, given a choice, I think many of us would also like to set our clocks back to about 3:o0 PM yesterday, just before kickoff at the Cocktail Party. Then, with a few extra minutes:
  • Penn Wagers and crew could have been replaced with actual, observant, competent human beings.
  • A UGA alum group could have hired Jeff Giloolly and Shawn Eckhardt to sub-contract out to Shane Stant a "pipe to the knee" hit on Tim Tebow. Or, someone in missionary clothes could have slipped Tebow a note, telling him that there was a penis in trouble in the congo that needed his immediate attention.
  • I know UGA has changed jersey colors a few times in the past couple of years, with all this "blackout" hullabalo, but someone could have explained to Matt Stafford that we were wearing red, and the opponent was wearing white. Might be useful for targeting purposes.
  • 30 minutes is more than enough time for Willie Martinez to update his resume.
  • If the term "onside kick" comes up in pregame planning, you could just shut down that conversation.
  • Someone could remind Urban Meyer that Urban Meyer needs to save Urban Meyer's second half time-outs for the last minute.
  • I'm sure Rachel Ray has a recipe for "humble pie" as part of her "30 minute meals" collection. Ummmm, who's hungry?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I'll take potpourri for $3,500, Alex

Perhaps absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Here's an extended trailer for the upcoming season of 24.

Unhappy 40th birthday, MPAA. Nice list.

Don Draper on 30 Rock? The world might explode. (And I posted one clip from Jon Hamm's SNL appearance last week, where he was in character as Don Draper. But if you can find the "Vincent Price Halloween Special" sketch around -- it's not on Hulu -- go see it. Hamm does a fantastic James Mason).

A cornucopia of expansive and thoughtful Matt Weiner interviews. Here, Here and Here.

Dr. Horrible is one of Time's "Best Inventions of the Year." Damn straight.

Cats and dogs living together? A sign of the apocolypse, or the coming of the Stay-Puft marshmallow man? Perhaps. But damn, this story is cute enough to make even my black heart beat a little.

Some much deserved love for BSG and Sarah Connor hottie, Stephanie Jacobsen

Empire asked David Fincher to scribble down his favorite movies of all time. His list makes me appreciate him even more. What he scribbled (and my agreement on "favorites" in yellow):
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Dr. Strangelove
Godfather 2
Taxi Driver
Being There
All The Jazz
Rear Window
Paper Moon
Lawrence of Arabia
All the Presidents Men
8 1/2
Citizen Kane
Days of Heaven
Animal House
Road Warrior
Year of Living Dangerously
American Graffiti
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Exorcist
The Graduate
David Tennant is leaving Doctor Who. My Whovian experience only goes back as far as the new series, but the casting of both "new" Doctors has been spot on. I have confidence the next one will be an inspired and talented choice.

Here and here are some options for making Firefox as dark as night.

Part 1 and Part 2 of a long interview with Jon Favreau about Iron Man, The Avengers and more.

How cute is this hoodies for geeks? I need to meet someone who would wear this.

Holy Shit! MTV does music videos? Online, at least. The "channel" is still littered with reality whores, though.

A can't miss interview with Michael Taylor, BSG writer. Lots of good stuff for fans in there (and of course, as all good writers should be, he's a fan of Mad Men).

Joss talks about what the hell has been going on with Dollhouse.

The "Big O" thinks that success and keeping what you earn is "selfishness."
Sigh. Ayn Rand rolls over in her grave. Can we all go John Galt next week after the election?

I fucking hate clamshell packaging. It's a wonder anyone has fingers left after frakkin' with those things. But check this out!