Bend It Like Assclown

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Yet another incident (still not by Countee Cullen)

(part of an unfortunately continuing series)

I was in the locker room at the gym yesterday
And I saw yet another guy with a Tramp Stamp.
I couldn't really tell what it was supposed to be.
It could have been a sunburst, for all I know.
From my vantage point, it just looked like
A random splattering.
I'm not sure I like where this joke appears to be heading.
Let's go with this instead:
Maybe it was a Jackson Pollock.
Yeah, Jackson Pollock. That's the ticket.



Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I am serious. And don't call me Shirley

So Monday, and a few other days, I've mentioned my mom's rescue dog, Sherlock. Back in January, he was abandoned in a nice neighborhood. Someone found him and took him to a basset owner who works for a basset rescue organization. She wanted to keep him, but apparently her husband didn't want two hounds in the house, and said Sherlock was a bit too high-maintenance for his taste (which I'll get to later). So Sherlock's foster mom put him up for adoption and apparently there was a "bidding war" for his services. My mom "won" him, as the foster mom chose hers as the most suitable home. She's very attached to Sherlock and often brings him treats and toys at my mom's house, or has him over to play with her hound, Lucy.

Anyway, as I mentioned Monday, no one knows exactly what his other half is. He has the basset face, ears, paws, and tail, but is much skinnier, a bit longer, has much longer legs, and is more energetic than a normal basset. He also has lots of spots, both light brown and black, which bassets don't. I've heard some say beagle, some say German short-haired pinscher, and some say blue-tick hound. I'm tempted to go with German short-haired pinscher, but I really don't know.

Anyway, he doesn't do well with being left alone if there's someone in the house. I tried working on Bend It Sunday night and he sat down next to me and started barking at me until I stopped. He'll also nose you until you pay attention to him, or once sat down on the newspaper I was reading so I couldn't see it. He also likes to jump on people, which isn't very awesome, especially for strangers or if you just changed clothes. By himself in the house, he's fine. My mom, on advice from the foster mom, puts a radio on to play classical music while Sherlock's home alone. I have no idea why I find that as funny as I do.

Growing up, my dad would joke that our two dogs had "contracts," and they'd receive performance bonuses for certain behaviors. For instance, Wolfy (not his real name) the Samoyed would get bonuses for, among other things, howling like a wolf and smiling. Wubba (also surprisingly not his real name) the basset would get bonuses for, among other things, curling up on the couch and letting people flap his ears. (Said flapping is not cruel; it involves scratching behind his ears and he actually enjoys it, as does Sherlock). Anyway, one of Wubba's bonuses was also for being "extra silly," which really, is what a basset hound does best. And Sherlock certainly enjoys fitting that bill. He jumped up on the couch with me a few times and licked my face (which I think is good luck). He'll collapse in your lap and roll over so you can rub his tummy. And he also likes to roll around on his back and make silly faces and noises.

Anyway, enough with the chit-chat. I promised pictures, and pictures you'll get. Now, pictures from me generally aren't that high quality since they're from my phone, but we do what we can. It should be pretty obvious, but if there's quotations, that's Sherlock's inner monologue.
Sherlock sits in his favorite chair and he sits very quiet and still. Who would have ever thought I'd use that song twice in the space of a week. And GOOD GOD, that's an ugly chair! Sherlock's definitely helping its appreciation value with his presence.

"Yeah, look at my big hound nose! Which no thanks to stupid Senor Beavis, is not covered in yellow paint! This totally belies how active I am in general."

"There's definitely someone more important to look at than Beavis."

My dad used to call this "torpedo mode." Which would also evoke a funny mental picture of a basset being shot out of a cannon with ears flapping and tongue wagging as he was propelling through the underwater.
Yes, I suppose you can send this picture to RateMyLegs.com if that's your thing but you'll probably have to photoshop out the large hound dog.
"No one could see just exactly how pointy my head is in the last picture, so I made you take it again."

Hey! Who took a bite out my picture? That was me. That doormat has my last name on it. You should not infer anything about my personality from that.

OK, Sherlock. Wave goodbye. Oh, and by the way, I was just recently talking to someone about this, I think 8yearoldsdude. The reason Elvis Presley's version of "Hound Dog" makes no sense is that it was originally written for and sung by a woman, Big Mama Thornton. Back in those days, pretty much every recording artist known to human would record his or her own version of every song that was popular at the time, and often some of those versions would become more popular than the original. From a woman's perspective, it works much better.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lion face -- RAAAHR! Lemon face -- OOOOH!

Hey! Hey! You! You! I don't like your girlfriend. No way! No way! I think you need a new one. Hey! Hey! You! You! I could be your girlfriend ... Hey! Hey! You! You! I know that you like me. No way! No way! You know it's not a secret. Hey! Hey! You! You! I want to be your girlfriend. Time for Musings!

- Oh, come on! That was fun. You know Avril Lavigne’s a little bit of a guilty pleasure around these parts, or at least Sleepless does. Although I admit the version I keep singing’s lyrics have been somehow mysteriously misappropriated into, “Hey, hey! You, you! I wanna fuck your girlfriend. No way, no way! I think you should suck me off!” (Occasionally it winds up as “I wanna hump your girlfriend). I’m not sure that even makes sense, unless two people are singing. You’d be surprised how many songs in my hands wind up with lines about sucking me off. For whatever reason, it just sounds funny in song. Fine, so it’s just me. Misappropriate your own songs however you wish.
- So happy Memorial Day all the way from Maryland, y’all. OK, I think I’ve got this straight. Memorial Day = dead soldiers (not the ones you send to someone’s wedding and by the US Mail). Veterans Day = living and dead soldiers. I don’t mean to sound glib, Tom Cruise. Regardless of whether I agree with most US foreign policy of late, I still have to respect the hell out of anyone fighting for our country. You couldn’t pay me enough. And it’s not their fault about whose pulling strings and sending them wherever. So regardless of how much I made fun of the recent edition of The Bachelor (“Women still go for that shit? What is this, the 1950’s?”), there is honor in that, so good on ya.
- If I appear even more wrongheaded than usual, it’s because it’s 90+ here and my mom’s air conditioner is busted. And the computer’s located in the hottest room in the house. Awesome. Poor Sherlock the hound is a hot dog. Actually, he does look like a hot dog. He’s really long and lean, like a giant wiener dog with floppy ears. (You’ll actually see him in a few days). He follows you everywhere you go around the house. Saturday afternoon, after I got in, I took a short nap and he curled up outside the door, either guarding me, or waiting for me to get up. Whatever his non-basset half is has long legs and he loves to walk, which is hilarious compared to Wubba the basset’s general lethargy. He also gets this look on his face when he’s walking like you just told him he’s going to Disney World. Pretty awesome.
- Speaking of, on one such walk, we happened upon guys painting the curbs in the parking lot of the local supermarket. I caught Sherlock right before his curiosity was about to lead him to dip his hound nose into a can of yellow paint. Although admittedly, if he didn’t get sick, that’s a pretty funny mental picture.
- One of the most forgotten simple pleasures – driving in the MD suburbs. Seriously, it’s like a vacation in itself compared to the demolition derby that is driving in Chicago.
- On Saturday, I made the drive up to Camden Yards to see the Baltimore Orioles play the Oakland A’s (an 8-3 Orioles win), since the Nationals were in the STL with Nelly this past weekend. But mostly because it was a significant series for Bend It. Not only do the A’s boast outfielder Nick Swisher, who totally should be the official player of Swishy’s site (you’re dropping the ball, Swish), they also have … wait for it … Bend It favorite DAN JOHNSON! For the record, Swisher hit a home run while I was there, and actually one every game of the series.
- Speaking of the A’s, I know this probably wouldn’t work in a pro stadium where there are lots of kids, but if it were a college team or something, how awesome would it be if after the announcement of A’s outfielder Jack Cust, the entire crowd yelled, “FUCK!”
- Speaking of baseball and colorful language, I was referred to this site because they have a shirt commemorating the famous Billy Ripken error baseball card (click the picture of the Oriole bird), but holy Christ. $32 plus tax and shipping for a t-shirt? Well, you know the rest of this joke. (The Bo Jackson Tecmo Bowl one is pretty awesome, but not $40 total awesome).
- Since we do have an actual official player, time for the Bend It Official Major League Baseball Player Dan Uggla Watch! Brimful of Uggla on the 45. Well, it’s a brimful of Uggla on the 45. This would work better if Uggla actually wore 45. (He’s #6). Anyway, this past week, Uggla went 7-23 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, and 3 RBIs. In fact, Wednesday night, he was only a single away from hitting for the cycle. He’s now up to .256 with 18 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homers, and 28 RBIs. Admittedly, everyone needs a bosom for a pillow. I’d have to guess that as a major leaguer, Uggla might have an easier time of it than you or I.
- Speaking of, if you’re wondering how Uggla’s Florida Marlins are playing at Wrigley today through Wednesday and I haven’t organized an Official Bend It Uggla Watching outing, well, sorry about that. I forgot to check the schedule early enough and I’m out of town today and busy the next two evenings. However, if you’d like to have one without me, which is increasingly possible since some of y’all have met, by all means. I can help swap info. Just make sure to take a picture for me.
- I know I said this a couple weeks ago, but with Duke in the NCAA men’s lacrosse final today, it’s gotten even worse. Please take your feel-good martyr stories about Duke lacrosse, turn them sideways, and stick them STRAIGHT UP YOUR CANDY ASS! (TM The Rock). Must I remind people every week that over half the team had been arrested in the past few years, legally non-rapist Collin Finnerty pled guilty to assault after baiting a guy into a fight with homophobic slurs, former Dukie Ryan McFadyen, sending public emails about killing women making him jizz in his Duke lacrosse spandex, and the undisputed fact that the players taunted the African-American strippers at their party with racial slurs. I know American likes a good black-and-white, heroes and villains story, but being probably falsely accused of rape doesn’t automatically qualify one for sainthood, even if the re-sucking off of Kobe Bryant attempts to prove otherwise. As I keep saying, not rapists, but still assholes. By the way, props to the Washington Post’s Mike Wise, whose column Saturday was the first I’ve read to echo these sentiments.
- OK, so I mentioned that Michael Vick dog fighting story a couple weeks ago, and pretty much wished grievous injury and legal repercussions on Mr. Vick. I stand by that, by the way, especially as testimonials mount. Well, this past week, Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis spoke out defending Vick, saying that it’s his property and his dogs and he can do whatever he wants behind closed doors, while offensive tackle Chris Samuels idiotically giggled. Which is not only about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, it’s also wrong. Dog fighting is, in fact, illegal in most states, which I totally support. By Portis’ logic, if I shoot a bunch of people in my apartment, I’m clear since it’s behind closed doors. As a Redskins fan, this totally sucks, since I liked Portis until now and he’s put me in the unenviable position of considering preferring Ledell Betts, who’s a fumbling piece of shit that can’t close the deal. Run and shoot, anyone?
- Update from last week’s story about Joe Paterno’s adopted son A.J. Nicholson getting arrested again, apparently he was good enough at football because the Bengals released him. And as a result of violating his probation, he’s allegedly in the slammer (or hoosegow) as I type. And he’ll presumably be there longer than Paris Hilton. Which isn’t saying anything. Seriously, anyone ready to take real bets on how long she’s in for? I’m going under 5 days.
- Vick, Portis, and Nicholson included, pretty much all the offseason news in the NFL has been arrests and players meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell about off-field conduct. That is when Goodell isn’t busy trying to sue the world for exclusive use of the sun. Anyway, of course the good stories get buried because that’s what news is, like it or not. But Cleveland Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards recently donated $1 million to fund 100 partial college scholarships for 100 Cleveland students. I have no idea whether Edwards will be successful in the NFL (probably not since he was a Michigan receiver), but I certainly hope he has a long career since he plans on expanding this scholarship plan. That’s officially awesome.
- Now for the official opposite of awesome, but time for a Bend It Social Experiment! Whatever you do, DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!!!!!!
- Speaking of the official opposite of awesome, if it wasn’t before, it’s now official that Rosie O’Donnell is actually a 14-year-old girl. Now, it’s no secret that Rosie O’Donnell is one of my least favorite people on the planet. I find her to be an obnoxious, self-righteous, self-aggrandizing phony, and can’t stand the fact that she agrees with me politically since all she ever does is make liberals look bad. Conversely, I probably haven’t agreed with anything Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s said since “I’m hungry,” when she was on Survivor, but if she and Rosie O’Donnell threw down, I’d have to root for her by default. Anyway, I haven’t seen the video of their supposedly real argument, since I’d rather have Michael Bay direct my life story than watch Rosie O’Donnell, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. From what I can discern, Rosie O’Donnell pitched a fit because Elizabeth Hasselbeck didn’t jump to her rescue when she was criticized in the conservative media for something she said. But why should she? Nobody “owes” Rosie O’Donnell their loyalty just because they work together if she’s a colossal bitch to everyone. I know there’s people I work with I wouldn’t defend from what amounts to gossip. You know, if 14-year-old Rosie stole your lunch money every day and told everyone you wet the bed, what’s your rationale for telling people that in fact, she didn’t let little Tommy Peterson go “all the way.” (Yes, I know this is a bad example. Sorry). Except perhaps battered wife syndrome. So instead of sucking it up and being a professional about it, Rosie O’Donnell just decided to leave her show forever. Which is fantastic unless she shows up on another show, but essentially the equivalent of the school bully crying once someone finally pushed back. Not content to rest on her laurels, Rosie O’Donnell’s “head writer” was caught drawing moustaches on pictures of Elizabeth Hasselbeck in The View headquarters. Seriously. In a few years, I’ll be more than happy to give Rosie O’Donnell some school counseling, but for now, I’ll just prefer that she have her tongue cut out and then do volunteer work for the rest of her natural life.
- Speaking of shows I’d rather die than watch, I’m proud to let you know that I know who won American Idol without having to watch two-plus hours of dreck. Apparently, it was Star Jones. Lemon Face – OOOOH!!!!!
- In all seriousness, I wouldn’t recognize Jordin Sparks if she walked into my Starbucks holding a big trophy, but apparently some chick on Fox News went on some rant about how she was “obese.” Was she actually serious? Was this part of that Fox News “Republican Daily Show?” Is this woman like Al Franken’s puppet to make conservatives look like soulless harpies? (Let’s be fair, many are, but at least one liberal is too). Something tells me that if I dedicated Bend It full time to attacking horribly things said about female (and male for that matter) body image in the media and society, I’d have to quit my job and drop out of school just to try to keep up. I know today is apparently broken record day here at Bend It, but that's fucking shameful.
- Speaking of American Idol, the same Best Week Ever site piece that had that picture of Jordan Sparks looking suspiciously like Star Jones also tucked in this Craigs List personal ad from one of the show’s employees. I’m gonna have to go out on a limb and say this won’t do much to help my initial impression and now running joke that Craigs List is a porn site. I would have to say, though, that one’s working for American Idol would probably be a substantial turn-off.
- Similarly, I don’t know if this escaped me or if I just forgot, but I read last week that Miss Jones’ favorite, Gabriel Garcia Bernal, has been dating Natalie Portman. Yeah, I think that’s a publicist’s way of saying you’re gay.
- Well, they’re both actors (him more so), how about time for a Bend It movie review! So after a year of searching, I finally watched “Short Cuts” last weekend. I’ve long been a fan of books and movies where characters circle throughout each others’ lives and stories (I’ll even watch B movies that run like that, like “11:14”). My senior year English teacher in high school called Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and “King Lear” “life in a box.” And I’d have to say “Short Cuts” may be the closest I’ve seen to fitting that description film-wise. Admittedly, it’s outstanding cynical, shocking, heartbreaking, and haunting, but it’s also hilarious in parts with the occasional glimpse of warmth, and the complex mix of good and bad acting. One Bend It connection, Peter Gallagher is in it, although virtually unrecognizable with much smaller eyebrows and a mini pompadour. And not in it nearly enough. Anyway, I know some have only heard of the film for Julianne Moore’s nude scene, where she delivers a monologue about her affair wearing only a shirt, and I have to say that scene was only shocking for the confusing symbolism and the story itself. The way it was shot, like much of the movie, was very shadowy and from far away, so you really couldn’t see anything. I say that not in a perv way, as in, “Dammit, I couldn’t see Julianne Moore’s vajayjay,” rather that it’s not sensationalistic, and you shouldn’t let what you’ve heard scare you away. Anyway, I’ve had two scenes completely haunting me since I saw it, and this won’t give anything away. There’s one scene where Robert Downey Jr., who plays a makeup artist, gets aroused by making up his wife, played by Lili Taylor, to look like she’s been beaten up and killed. And there’s another where Anne Archer and Julianne Moore are both wearing clown makeup and singing a clown song about a dog, and then they put clown makeup on their husbands (Fred Ward and Matthew Modine), and for whatever reason, it’s chilling. And I don’t have a fear of clowns. I haven’t been able to block that scene and especially the song from my brain for over a week now. Both scenes are outstanding disturbing, and I know the point of filmmaking isn’t always to make you happy, but often to stick with you, and this one totally has.
- Mercifully much less disturbing that clown makeup, time for Senor Beavis’ Fashion Corner! So I was just at Starbucks getting coffee and I saw a woman wearing a white tank top (I won’t use the terminology that I can’t stand others using) that looked as in a pastel yellow cloth napkin had been sewn diagonally (so it was in the form of a diamond) onto the back. I was completely confounded by this. I didn’t get a look at what the front was, since I didn’t want to look like I was staring (she looked like the kind of woman who gets stared at a lot, although I really was just fascinated by her shirt). Anyway, have any of you seen anything like this and can give any insight?
- And finally, time for Grey’s Anatomy Chat! Yeah, I know the season’s over, but from time to time, there’s stuff I’ve left out or didn’t have room for. And also, chit-chatting about Grey’s is just fun, so more often than not, I’ll probably throw an item about it. Anyway, a few weeks ago Swishy told me, and I don’t know her source, that part of the reason that Callie often seems misplaced on the show is that Shonda Rhimes didn’t hire her. That somehow, ABC gave Sara Ramirez a choice of which ABC show she wanted to be on and she picked Grey’s. Unsurprisingly, I find this fascinating. How exactly did Sara Ramirez get so much pull that she gets to call her shot at ABC. I don’t know the first thing about her personal life, but I’d have to hazard a guess that she’s nailing one of the ABC execs. I guess as far as choices go for one forcing her way onto a show, it was pretty easy, since Grey’s is pretty much ABC’s golden child. Where else would she want to go? I guess if she power-played her way onto “Lost,” they’d just kill off her off like those 2 drunk driving chicks. She’s too young to be a Desperate Housewife. (I know Eva Longoria isn’t, but she’s an overrated plastic-face). Sara Ramirez snorting coke and Tourette’s-ing into a megaphone with Ty Pennington? Sara Ramirez is The Bachelorette. Actually, considering the discussion of female body image, I think that would be pretty awesome and potentially fascinating. She could play Calista Flockhart’s personal chef on Brothers and Sisters. Maybe she could reprise her role as Callie on What About Brian and give him some experimental surgery to make him stop whining. Come on, ABC. Shonda Rhimes can’t even write the characters she picked herself.

Even if you have. Even if you need. I don't mean to stare. We don't have to breed.We could plant a house. We could build a tree. I don't even care. We could have all three. She said. She said. She said. She said. She said. She said. She said. She said …

Friday, May 25, 2007

Do you suppose that, waiting hands on eyes, Veronica has gone to hide

As many of you know, unless you’re Miss Scarlet and think those dark pink words with lines under them are just pretty Bend It window dressing (ironically, she taught me how to hyperlink), my favorite TV show, Veronica Mars, was cancelled last Thursday. In the wake of unleashing various streams of invective (for the record, the “black” in “black dildo” isn’t a racial thing at all. Rather a reference to “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels”), a couple people mentioned they were surprised I was so legitimately upset. Since I’d appeared to make peace with its cancellation when it was reported over a month earlier and had said out loud a couple times, and probably once here that it’s probably better cancelled than reformatted into an FBI show.

My response: “Wow, you actually believed me?” Admittedly I don’t tell 100% of the truth 100% of the time on Bend It, but is it really a lie if you’re lying to yourself and then say it to others? You know, you’re trying to soften the situation, like when someone dies and you say “they’re in a better place now” when what you’re really thinking is, “This sucks. They’re fucking dead.” Given that it’s my favorite show, secretly I’d kinda have to trust it a bit to do the best with a bad situation. I mean sure, this season was kinda choppy, but that’s in large part because the CW cut their budget, which means the secondary characters only show up once a week to shake hands with Veronica, and the CW kept jacking around with the format. First no overarching mystery, rather 3 separate arcs. Then they jacked the third one and asked for 5 stand-alone episodes connected only by Veronica’s love life smack in the middle of the season. That said, it was still the best thing on TV in my incredibly biased viewpoint. So while the prospect of FBI Veronica sounds like the worst idea ever, they’ve built up enough credit with me that, to quote the insipid Death Cab For Cutie song, “I will follow you into the dark.”

So now it’s been about a week since the cancellation and some of the anger has worn off. Mostly that’s just natural, although I had something else to get pissed off about. But I asked myself, because I know you didn’t ask me, how I feel about losing my favorite show one week after it went official. And the answer is that I feel betrayed. Exactly how much of that is fair, I’m not sure. But this tract comes from the heart rather than the head, so if you want to run around punching holes in it, it’s going to get tiring.

I feel betrayed by the network. This is probably my own fault. I know that radio programming, and its protégé, TV content, were invented as a bridge between commercials. (I don’t have my notes from that class on me or I’d give you the specifics). I just don’t like when I’m reminded of that. Low ratings = lower ad rates = less money for CW. Especially when they have to pay for scripts and actors and sets and shit. And good ones on all three. (NBC has already set the bar with no scripted TV at 8 Eastern, except on Thursdays). And less money for CW = panic on the streets of Los Angeles, and in this case, Rob Thomas is the proverbial hanged DJ. (Have you noticed I love any chance to reference that song? It’s just so useful).

So how could I even muster an argument to something so cut and dry? YOU’RE THE FUCKING CW!!!!!!!!! ALL YOUR SHOWS GET LOW RATINGS!!!!! Except maybe for that allegedly well-acted Top Model, which is such a career boost that it drives its “models” to marry washed-up members of the Brady Bunch instead of … say, modeling. Trying to stay on topic here, aside from that, and the now-cancelled Gilmore Girls (how many of Rory’s boyfriends do you think were really just trying to get to her mom?), can anyone name another show on the CW? If the CW thinks that shows about paying Muslim kids to be friends with yours (that’s a real show, not my usual deadpan) or Josh Schwartz resurrecting The OCk in New York is the difference between surf and turf and cocktail wieners than, in the words of Shannen Doherty in Mallrats, they’re in for some serious fucking disappointment. For christsakes, they hitched a double-decker wagon to a show about the Pussycat Dolls. Will be there even be a Pussycat Dolls by next spring when it airs? Or if it turns into a franchise, there might be 25 Pussycat Dolls knocking each other over to dry hump the stage. Do a couple ratings points really matter when you’re on the low end of the ratings anyway? To quote a very unappetizing simile from one of the Sports Junkies (DC radio) about why he shouldn’t get pissed off about missing putts when he’s a bad golfer, that’s “like the difference between green poopy and green poopy with corn in it.” I’m really sorry I had to use that, but I couldn’t remember a more apt quote.

My point is that if the CW isn’t going to draw anyway, that should actually be the perfect opportunity to give time, space, and leeway to shows that actually deserve it. Yeah, I know that the only network executive who’d ever have the balls to do that is a creation of Aaron Sorkin’s crack-fueled imagination, but imagine the good publicity and street cred they’d get. The CW is a subsidiary of CBS/Viacom, so if they actually put their minds to it, they could use the CW is a high-end resource, the way that Miramax was for Disney. Or Sony Pictures Classics. And it’s somewhat logical dreams like this that make me so disappointed when I’m reminded that for all its self-important grandeur, TV programming is just a bridge between commercials, and whatever will get just 5 more people towards those commercials is what carries the day.

I also feel betrayed by the national TV audience as a whole. I’m gonna have to walk lightly here in hopes you’ll read it the right way. I like to think of myself as a man of the people. And most of my views hopefully reflect that. Those I tend to have a gripe with are those that I feel put themselves ahead of everyone else’s common good, happiness, and pursuit of life and liberty. But when it comes to pop culture, I’m probably not, and I’m becoming increasing aware of that with every passing moment. Because the shows that treat their audiences with respect and kindness are getting cancelled for low ratings. Freaks and Geeks, Arrested Development, My So-Called Life (I’ve never actually seen that, but I’ll take people’s word for it), Friday Night Lights (I know it was miraculously saved, but just wait). And to quote Chris Rock, I’m tired of this shit! Tired, tired, tired, tired of this shit! What the fuck is people’s problem? Does smart humor, well-developed characters, complex storylines, solid acting, and (gasp) continuity between episodes and attention to detail intimidate the fuck out of people? I’d hasten to say that the fact that all these shows got cancelled while we’re up to Road Rules-Real World Challenge 60 where CT doesn’t even bother with the Boston accent he perfected as a hungry young actor, while throwing his grandkids at other “contestants,” is criminal. (I can’t really explain why smart can be successful on cable, such as “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” and “South Park,” but if you can, please help me out). I actually had someone give me the “American Idol is the top rated show, so it must be “good”” argument last summer, and I beseech y’all not to try that on me again, because it will make you look like an idiot. (Also, wait for the next paragraph because I’m going to have a few nice things to say about AI). It’s the exact argument exquisitely parodied by Mr. Show in their “More Money Means Better Than You” sketch. I mean, are you going to try to tell me that Star Wars: Revenge of George Lucas’ Script Teamed With Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman’s Inability To Act was the best movie of 2005? By that logic, Nickelback is 20,000 leagues better than the Arcade Fire. Ninja, please! And by the way, that song “Intervention” gives me chills.

Point is, I understand why stuff like American Idol is popular. At its core, a singing contest is entertaining, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. I could do without taking 2 hours to make a 5 second announcement of who’s eliminated, not to mention the institutionalized homophobia, but that’s why I don’t watch it. I get why people do, though. It usually comes across like I think everyone who watches that or The Bachelor or whatever is an idiot, and I actually don’t. I have tremendous respect for Choi and Swish and whoever else amongst y’all is a fan. I don’t like it, and I’ll have no problem telling you why I don’t, but that doesn’t mean other people can’t. I mean Miss Jones doesn’t like “Stephen Colbert’s Hip-Hopketball: A Jazzebration,” and we still talk. The key, though, is balance. It’s the people who will only watch “American Idol” or “The Bachelor” that I’d consider labeling as idiots. There’s a place in a TV watcher’s schedule for both American Idol and Friday Night Lights, as long as they’re open-minded enough. In fact, that’s probably the healthiest way to be. The couple years between college and moving here to Chicago, a group of friends and I would watch Dawson’s Creek and then The West Wing back to back on Wednesdays and we’d joke that we’d be “tearing our minds down and then building them back up.” For christsakes, I occasionally watch wrestling. That’s every bit as bad as American Idol, and I know that. But it’s the fact that the majority of TV viewers apparently won’t open their hearts and minds to shows hell-bent on engaging them that makes me feel let down. I mean, if I shouted out, “Who killed Arrested Development?” after all, it was you and me. Well, not me specifically, but the “you and me” in the general sense.

And lastly, there’s one more person I feel betrayed by. And that’s Kristen Bell. You didn’t think you’d ever hear me say that? I’m nothing if not fair. I love Kristen Bell as much as any guy who’s never met her, probably never will, and is decently grounded in reality in terms of our lack of a relationship can, but that doesn’t mean she can’t take some on Bend It just like everybody else. She’s human, and boy is she ever when it comes to her career choices ever since Veronica Mars. I admit that I think less of her because of that. The more things she signs outside of Veronica Mars, I wonder if she’s really smart and talented enough to make herself a strong career independently of the CW’s idiotic predilections, or whether she just happened upon the perfect storm in Veronica Mars. Did she just stumble upon a show written perfectly to showcase her talents and charms and we may never see that again? Unfamous, she seemed to have it together. Everwood, which I’ve never seen, but 8yearoldsdude liked it. Deadwood. Veronica Mars. But since? I actually got roped into seeing “Pulse,” and it was one of the singularly worst movies I’ve ever seen. The Showtime musical of “Reefer Madness?” Bad. I didn’t even make it halfway. “Fifty Pills” went straight to video, and the only way I’m renting it is if Kristen Bell gives me a massage throughout the entire thing. (OK, that actually sounds kinda nice right now. You wanna come back in 5 after I daydream?). And now I’ve heard from several sources that her first post-Veronica Mars project is to immediately sign on as the narrator for Josh Schwartz’s “Gossip Girl,” which is apparently The OCk with New York accents. And on the fucking CW no less. OK, first of all, why would I want to hear Kristen Bell without seeing her. Not to mention, can you name me one show whose voiceover doesn’t make you want to go joyriding with Josh Hancock? And that includes Veronica Mars. Sorry, Veronica. Most importantly, I recapped three seasons of The OCk, and Josh Schwartz wouldn’t know good television if it tied him up and sucked him off. As I took painstaking (and pretty much just painful for y’all) steps to document, The OCk was often the epitome of careless and insulting. (If you’re wondering why I’m not going to recap “Gossip Girl,” Josh Schwartz has taken 3 years of my shit; it’s someone else’s turn. Plus it’s something new for me). I mean, sure, a girl needs to work. But do you see Allison Janney (who rules) on “According to Jim?” It’s a very saddening thought that Kristen Bell might not be able to carry on the legacy of Veronica Mars without actually being in the show itself, but it’s one that perpetuates itself a little more every day. And unfortunate as it is, she needs to be held accountable for that.

So it’s been a week (from yesterday when I started this) and I feel betrayed. And once that eventually wears off, I’ll just feel sad. It sounds pathetic, and that’s probably only why I said this to Swishy because I thought she’d have the best chance of getting it, but I feel like I’ve lost a best friend. I’m rarely ever home on Tuesdays when it’s on, since I’m having dinner with Recursive Footnotes, so I’m usually in charge of when I watch it. So for the last three years, it usually has been sometime when I needed the comfort. On a Saturday night when I was feeling lonesome. On a Sunday evening when I had the “Sunday Blues” about going to work the next day. That’s what I’ve done all this year. Because I want the last thing I do on the weekend to be a positive. That’s three years of support there. I’ve dated more than one woman (not at the same time) in the three years Veronica Mars has been on. (I was gonna make a joke here, but I don’t want people taking it the wrong way and getting upset). Theoretically, this fall, when I start grad school, is a great time for TV to take another turn for the worse, but I’m not ready to lose it. I haven’t seen the finale, and won’t this weekend because I’ll be out of town. But chances are, I’ll want to do it up right. Pour a bottle of wine, light a few candles, and share a nice romantic dinner with it. The sendoff it deserves. Because chances are it will never get better than this.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cruisin' in his Pinto, he sees homies as they pass

So a few days ago I’m driving home from work and surprisingly enough not contemplating how Chicago’s gas prices are over $4/gallon, yet oil companies are turning record profits. They tell us that there’s “a problem with the refineries.” Well, how about taking some of those record profits to do something about that. But no, that’s what I was thinking about this morning, not the other day while driving home. I was simply enjoying the rare good song on the radio.

So I’m pulling up to a red light (for Chicagoans, if you care, I was on Peterson, turning right on Lincoln) and I find myself next to a white car whose make and model I can’t remember. Driver is a black guy who looks like the lovechild of the Bears’ Tank Johnson and that guy from PM Dawn. And he’s blasting a rap song that I didn’t recognize, but it was generally unimpressive. I mean it certainly wasn’t as good as this. So I’m sitting there in my dented-up Volvo with the perpetually screechy brakes (I did have them checked last summer and they said my brakes and brake pads are fine, just screechy), and I’m thinking, “Balls! Now I can’t hear that song I was listening to anymore.” So I cranked up my own radio. Yeah! You like that?

So what song was I listening to? Yeah, you’re gonna have to wait for it. Like to the next line.

It was “Second Hand News.” (Bam bam bam bam ba bam. Bam bam bam bam ba bam. Bam bam bam bam bam bam, bam bam. Do doodily do).

At that moment I realized that I was presently part of a living breathing stereotype. It was like I’d suddenly walked, or driven onto the set of Chappelle’s Show. Perhaps John Mayer was creeping up on me with an electric guitar. (By the way, he’s totally the new Zach Braff). In such moments, there’s really only one thing to say.

Bam bam bam bam ba bam. Bam bam bam bam ba bam. Bam bam bam bam bam bam, bam bam. Do it! Do it! Do it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Please stop calling me "Chief"

I certainly have many flaws. If I had to pick my most major flaws, one of the two would be that I’m very impatient. With things, people, events. Not everything. Some things I’m incredibly patient, even overly so. But on the whole I’m not. Believe it or not, I’m trying to work on it. But that’s like Jacque Jones throwing the ball 10 feet before it bounces instead of five. It’s a slow process. If you catch me in the wrong place at the wrong time, I’m certainly a candidate to bite your head off. And I can’t say that’s a particularly pleasant experience for anyone. Since I’ve only been me, I really don’t know how other people do it. Which is why I’m going to ask you while telling a not particularly interesting story to cover up what’s actually on my mind that I’m not presently at liberty to discuss.

So last Thursday, I received the news that my favorite show, Veronica Mars, had been cancelled. Unfortunately for y’all, that’s not the last you’ll hear about this even this week. Needless to say, I was not in the best possible mood when I went off to my Grey’s Anatomy party. I usually have a good time, but on days like last Thursday, sometimes it’s just easier to watch TV by yourself. You can set the volume, not have to worry about anyone talking over the show, and still make fun of the show via text. The one thing missing is the actual face-to-face contact, which is why the communal watching still wins, but I’m just saying there are some times when dealing with people seems like a lot. Even with our ceremonial tater tots and the fact that I may have been served a cosmo. Hey, I’m a guest. I’m not going to make special requests. Yes, I realize I sound like an asshole here, but I’m trying to set the mood. Plus, in this story, I kinda am an asshole. Maybe not outwardly, but still.

So anyway, the wild card in last Thursday’s Grey’s event was that my hosts, occasional Tourists Shasta and 8million$baby (who I hope will give me a pass for this post if they see where I’m trying to go with it)’s mom joined us for the finale celebration. She allegedly watches at her home and wanted the communal experience. Which is cool. I’d never met their mom and she was funny and friendly and we all had a good laugh about Shasta’s boyfriend eating Zwieback. Seriously. So we’re watching the episode and it’s going decently well, except for one problem. Mama Shasta and 8mill has no conception of the fact that there is both a Chief of Surgery and a Chief Resident. Which winds up leading to about 10 questions worth of not understanding while talking over the show. “How can Bailey be Chief is she’s a resident?” “How can Webber off it to Derek if Callie’s already Chief?” The entire show. And to be overly honest, this was annoying the hizouse out of me. I get annoyed when I have to explain things multiple times. Don’t look at me like that. I already admitted it’s a flaw. Why do you think I’m one of those guys who doesn’t get intimidated when women know as much about sports as I do? Well, aside from the fact that it’s patently ridiculous viewpoint that guys would feel emasculated by women that know sports. Honestly, it’s fucking hot.

But I’m way off course here. With each progressive clueless question that’s siphoning potential unintentional comedy gold that I can no longer hear, I can feel my nerves fraying. I’m sitting there like, “Oh my God, if she asks this one more time, I’m seriously gonna snap at my friends’ mom.” And I felt really bad. I mean, if a friend snapped at my mom, we’d be in for a discussion. I’m really not sure how I didn’t. I think I almost bit through my tongue. I channeled some of it into laughing at some of the monologues for about 2 minutes longer than I should have. At the end, I was pretty well encouraged to leave quickly because I enjoyed Burke and Cristina’s not getting married, but that’s their problem since it’s an opinion on the show.

Anyway, I ask y’all, what’s the best way to handle that situation? Is there a way to put things diplomatically that could somehow end the barrage of questions? Do you just have to take one for the team and know that the only one you usually know what to expect from is yourself? Should I put institutionalized since I obviously have no business around other human beings? Y’all obviously have enough social graces to lead you all to be “winners at life,” unlike those of us conceivably starting our lives over when we hit 30, so what’s the right move here? Oh, and of course the right answer is that it’s the show’s fault for making two similarly-titled competitions that no one rightfully gives a shit about.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Shootin' at the walls of heartache, BANG, BANG! I am the warrior

Like a gray bird in a blue sky over a blue ocean civilized men fly. BOMB! Repeat. BOMB! Repeat. BOMB! Through puffy clouds and beautiful rainbows with the power and the speed, and the will to succeed, moneyed men fly high. BOMB! Repeat. BOMB! Repeat. BOMB! No need to clomp around through the ash, the rubble, and the mud. BOMB! Repeat. BOMB! Repeat. BOMB! No need for face-to-face, or even worse to put a perfectly spit-shined brand new pair of leather boots on the dirty, dusty ground. BOMB! Repeat. BOMB! Repeat. BOMB! Time for Musings!

- Yeah! Are you feelin’ it, Evel? Is that a yes? Come on, if you’re not fired up after that, I’d have to question your level of humanity.
- OK, I realized I’ve neglected the Grey’s Anatomy Drinking Game this season, but send in your suggestions for new rules and I’ll put up the revised rules (George looking wistfully at Meredith probably isn’t applicable right now. Ironically, the “Shut up, Meredith” rule would work better as “Shut up, Izzie!”) sometime next week.
- I can’t remember how recently it showed up, maybe a few months ago, but every day on my way to work I have to pass a coffee shop in Lincoln Square whose awning reads, “Café Neo: The Pleasure Place for Coffee.” And I always wonder if I’m passing a coffee shop/brothel. Because that would be awesome.
- I think I’d be just as well if I never had to hear the word “boner” again. Except maybe only in reference to Alex P. Keaton’s friend on “Family Ties.” Same goes for the word “bone” used as a verb.
- OK, so yesterday I ordered something known as “Chiquilitas” that I thought would be like mini-breakfast burritos by its description. Instead, what I got was a little bit of eggs on a bunch of fucking tortilla chips. In the words of the real Beavis, she tricked us! Not to mention that I felt like shit the rest of the afternoon, although that could have been because I ate cilantro by accident. That’s my public service for the day. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
- Speaking of public service, time for Senor Beavis’ Fashion Corner! OK, I can’t do a review here, because I’m merely restating some manifold-stated opinions to start out our summer fashion season. Your tubetops still don’t look good. When they do, I’ll change my address again. Your giant sunglasses still make you unable to be differentiated from anyone else because you have no face. And ladies, if you wear your collars up, it’s still not cute. You wind up pulling the same judgment as your male counterparts.
- Speaking of, sure, he’s an easy target. Perhaps we all could have done this. But we didn’t, and this is really well done. Well played, Mr. “LingeringBursitis” of DeadOn. In the words of radio host Dan McNeil, touch ‘em all.
- Speaking of, I promised you my draft in the Kissing Suzy Kolber commenter Celebrity Fight Club Draft from last Friday. The rules were that it was to fight, so you might not want to pick someone who could kick your ass, guys couldn’t fight women, once someone else made a pick, they were drafted, and you had to wait 10 selections to make another. I jumped in around pick 100 or something (thanks to a Blogger technicality with this name rather than my Deadspin name) and drafted Tucker Max, prompting a resounding wave of congratulations on a fantastic selection. It was one of the proudest moments of my relatively young life. I followed with Yankees announcer John Sterling (you know, the guy who jerks off to the sound of his own voice), Pete Wentz (also prompting applause from the assembled), Linkin Park (the whole thing), Jason Schwartzman, and Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay. Then I decamped to post y’all some videos of dogs, cats, and bunnies. Yeah, no real surprises if you know me. But I’ll give myself a semi-rare congratulations on a fine draft. Mel Kiper should give me an A.
- So there’s ANOTHER Oceans 11 sequel. In the words of Garth Algar, excuse me while I hurl. I may be the only one I know that hated the first one, but it just seemed SO self-satisfied that it was really off-putting. On top of being boring and not funny. And I hear the sequel was worse. Yeah, I know it’s an easy paycheck for these guys, but hang out with your friends on your own time. Don’t waste mine.
- Speaking of, as part of a recent shakeup to afternoon and evening programming, local “alternative” station Q101, and by “alternative” I mean Chris Daughtry, Linkin Park, and Maroon 5, has installed an afternoon show whose calling card is … wait for it … prank phone calls. Sweet fancy Moses (TM Seinfeld), is this 1993? If so, could I at least have 1993’s music back with it?
- Speaking of, so this should totally be in Ask the Tourists, but since 8yearoldsdude is out of town, I’m waiting on it. So “Smashing Pumpkins” are putting out a new album this summer, but the only original members are Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlain (who ironically was kicked out of the original incarnation for being a junkie). After the Pumpkins first broke up, Billy Corgan recorded an album with “Zwan,” which also featured Jimmy Chamberlain. So what makes this album the Smashing Pumpkins and that album Zwan?
- Even though the song kinda annoys the shit out of me, it still bugs that hell out of me that they use “American Pie” in a Chevy commercial. Anyone else?
- Would Green Day’s cover of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” fall more under the description of “bad” or “epically bad?”
- Speaking of music, Washington Nationals scrub Tony Batista recently told the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg that he has no music when he steps to the plate “because I believe in Jesus Christ. So I think it's better that way. I never put on music when I'm going to hit.” There is nothing I could say here that wouldn’t detract from this.
- Speaking of the Washington Nationals, Miss Scarlet, I didn’t know you liked baseball!
- Time for the Bend It Official Major League Baseball Player Dan Uggla Watch! Tempted by the fruit of an Uggla. Tempted but the truth is discovered. Sorry for that; that hurt even me. Anyway, this past week Dan went 8-31 with 4 doubles, 2 home runs, and 4 RBIs. He’s now hitting .250 with 16 doubles, 8 homers, and 25 RBIs. Hopefully soon he’ll say to his reflection, “Let’s get closer to .300.”
- On the off chance there’s anyone reading in Miami, Yed Ped tipped me off that this Sunday’s Marlins-Mets game is Dan Uggla Youth Bat Day at whatever they’re calling Joe Robbie Stadium these days. So hire some kiddies to enter the stadium with you and then send me one of those bats.
- Speaking of people who should be hit with a bat, now-Cleveland Browns problem Brady Quinn apparently mistook his sister’s wedding dress code for “hobo.” Or “1980s Springsteen video extra.” Not that there’s really a difference.
- Speaking of Ohio NFL players, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker A.J. Nicholson, who’s brought multiple doses of reckless criminal behavior to the world around him and multiple doses of black comedy (See: 1, See: 2), and apologies if that sounds like a racial thing because it isn’t to Bend It, has been arrested yet again for domestic violence. Which is still unacceptable under any non-life threatening circumstances. What? You’re looking for me to do a joke involving his comedy team partner Joe Paterno? Oh, come on! You’ve heard it all before. No, seriously stop asking! OK, fine. Upon his learning of his most recent arrest, Penn St. head football coach Joe Paterno wrote A. J. Nicholson into his will.
- As we sashay on the classy side of the NFL today, New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress allegedly stiffed a New Jersey nightclub on a $2,000 tab when he left in a huff because “no women were paying any attention to him.” Hmm, I was about to snark on him, but by Plaxico Burress logic, I shouldn’t have paid for a drink my entire life.
- Speaking of classy, apparently former Backstreet Boy and current “actor” Nick Carter has been named a UN Special Ambassador campaigning to help save dolphins. Apparently Nick Carter was as surprised as anyone, saying, “I think the UN might not know what I meant by ‘flogging the dolphin.’” Nick’s campaign speeches will all take place while he’s pretending to punch Aaron Carter and fight with him about Paris Hilton.
- In a related story, the UN should make me a Special Ambassador in charge of banning the tubetop. I’m sure I have far more passion and commitment than Nick Carter, and from behind my computer writing to a cast of ones, I probably have more power than the UN.
- Speaking of power, time for Senor Beavis’ Fashion Corner Part Deux! So Saturday I was working at Starbucks and one of our customers was wearing a dark blue dress with well, it wasn’t a diagonal stripe as much as a swoosh, a little wave of sorts. Anyway, said wave was a stripe of light blue, a small stripe of white, then a stripe of magenta. And I told her that I really liked her dress. That our store is usually a haven of bad fashion and that that really worked. My co-workers were giving me shit about flirting, and the funny thing was that even though the customer in question was an attractive woman (dark hair), I actually wasn’t flirting. It was a straight-up sincere compliment about her dress, which was really great.
- While I’ve still never seen the US version of The Office (my being sick last week distracted me and I forgot to cash in Springydog’s free month of Netflix. Balls! Anyone have Season 2 they can loan me?), I’d hazard a guess this would bring a smile to the faces of all the Office fans around here. (And at least I know who the British Dwight is, so it makes a bit more sense now).
- So a couple weeks ago, I was chiding Tweeter Audio and Video for their clearance sale prices still being higher than their online competitors’. I went back over the weekend to see if they’d come down and they were actually getting closer, although I later learned it was for floor models only. But before learning that, I said of one of the TVs, “I can get that $200 cheaper online, including tax. What would I be getting here for the extra $200?” My implication being that if they matched that, I’d call it a deal since I wouldn’t mind avoiding the delivery itself. They said they couldn’t match prices during a clearance sale and that if I could get that rate, I should do it. How ass-backwards is that? Once again, this is why you’re going out of business.
- Speaking of sketchy practices, a bunch of Michael Jackson’s paintings of nude boys are being auctioned off at the end of the month. Is it just me or should whoever buys them just go directly to jail?
- Because Michael Jackson is a pitch-perfect segue here, time for Grey’s Anatomy Chat! Alright, y’all. Season finale. And I actually liked it for once. Said enjoyment almost led to my being thrown out of the Grey’s party (more on that later perhaps), but that’s their problem. Maybe I’m sick, but I’m a sucker for a good unhappy ending as long as it’s fair. (Hey, I’m consistent. Remember my poorly-received sarcasm at all the wedding, babies, graduations, reunions, hugging and crying on The OCk?). Yeah, Cristina and Burke shouldn’t have gotten married. Burke was a dick to keep trying to mold her in the first place, and maybe he could have handled the delivery a bit better, but he’s not a dick for breaking the engagement. You can do the right thing not necessarily the right way. But seriously, MUCH better then than once they’re already married. It sucks for Cristina that it took him that long to get full perspective on what he was doing, but in the long run, she’ll be much better off. And by the way, Sandra Oh sold the hell out of that last scene. Well done. That wedding dress actually worked for her too, and I don’t say that often for her since she usually just wears stuff that makes her look even more disgustingly skinny. Props to Meredith for being a good friend and actually putting Cristina ahead of her own drama. If you would have told me 5 months ago that since her “drowning,” Meredith would actually be the most sympathetic and least annoying character on the show, I would have spontaneously combusted from laughing, but it’s totally true. Her and The Chief are the only ones off the hit list right now. I really can’t believe Derek actually said getting flirted with by Meredith’s half-sis was the highlight of his week. That was REALLY cold. And to put the whole relationship decision on her? That’s gutless. I thought he got off on “showing her how it’s done.” The only thing Meredith’s done wrong in the past few months is get saddled with a couple really bad lines. Along with the couple weeks ago’s “I did all your favorite things,” did she actually say she was “horny for [him]?” Ewwww! Seriously, people. Don’t say that. Ever. Speaking of Meredith’s sis (who I’m guessing could be from her step-mom’s first marriage), she’s cute. Automatically the most attractive woman on the show when Addison leaves. But calling yourself “Lexie?” Fucking DOWNGRADE!!!! Not that I care about who’s Chief of Surgery, but wasn’t Webber retiring related to spending time with his wife? Are they going to have Addison leave in the first episode or just have her be gone? Surprisingly nicely-written vows by Burke, and I’m a tough crowd. Any time they want to give McHitler a plot is fine with me. Dude's got the easiest gig on TV. Did he have some contract where he could force ABC to write him in too like Sara Ramirez allegedly did? I almost died laughing at “Ava”’s speech. And the fact that Alex eventually went for it was really creepy. If she doesn’t know who she is, neither does he. I also almost died laughing at Izzie’s speech. And what’s with her obsession with saying that George is her best friend every third line? Is she really that insecure that she needs that affirmation even in her own speech? I don’t tell my best friend he’s my best friend every day. I don’t have to. That’s one of the upshots of having a best friend. I was glad to see George and Izzie not together at the end of the season. Although that’s really shady of Callie to want to have a baby just to keep George from Izzie. I mean, we saw how that worked out for Edie on Desperate Housewives. And “trying to have a baby” in the break room, or whatever it is? Seriously, I hope they change the sheets in that room hourly. To quote Mystikal, “The girl work that thing like she’s MAKIN’ A BABY!” (That song still rules). George, meet karma. To quote Jim Carrey in the surprisingly underrated “Liar Liar,” “I’m getting what I deserve. I’m reaping what I sow.” You too, Bailey. I cheered when Bailey got served. Like I said last week, I don’t remember Callie giving Izzie a pat on the ass and telling her not to kill Dr. Hahn’s patients again this month if she can help it. Bailey has better people skills, so theoretically she would be better at the job, but right now Callie’s a better doctor. And doesn’t have a sense of entitlement. By the way, despite the heavy-handedness, nice scene between her and George at the end.
- And finally, Accidental Tourists, I want you to give me a reason to stay.

I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali. I'm going back to Cali … I don't think so.
I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali. I'm going back to Cali … I don't think so. (Suck it, Biggie. This whoops your identically-titled song’s ass).

Friday, May 18, 2007

SERENITY NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As many can imagine, I appear to have developed a form of Veronica Mars inspired Tourette’s. I’ve pretty much spent the past 24 hours indiscriminately swearing. (A tiny part of that could have been related to my ill-fated decision as an 8-year-old to become a Cubs fan). I think I pissed off the entire Grey’s Anatomy watch party I was at by reveling in others’ misery. I’m even gleefully enjoying drafting celebrities to fight over at KSK – and I’m a pacifist. I’ll tell you who I drafted Monday because I’m actually trying to keep this post positive. Really. Just go to the next paragraph. You’ll see.

What’s the best antidote I can provide myself and y’all from the torment that is the cruelty of life buffeting us with no Veronica Mars, yet 17 varieties of Sex and the City rip-offs next fall? OK, the best antidote I can provide right here steeped in reality from behind my keyboard? Well, how about a Costco-sized dose of cuteness?

I’m definitely tapping the well of my favorite YouTube star, Buddy the Samoyed. As some know, growing up, and by that, I mean like 13-26, my family had a Samoyed and a Basset Hound. I was fortunate enough to have a JPEG of the hound, but no such luck with the Samoyed, thus depriving you of the fluffy smiles that make Samoyeds the awesomest ever. Enter Buddy, the cutest Samoyed on the internet. Why yes, I am exactly the kind of person who could relax with a cup and coffee watching a Samoyed chew on a bone. Or perhaps combine that adorable fluffy wolf with one of my favorite paragons of comedy, a rubber chicken. See, a dog after my own heart. It looks like Buddy wants to go outside, so he’s going to take the chicken and ring the chimes on his owners’ door. Yes, he’s sadly now smarter than everyone who likes Fall Out Boy. Samoyeds are active dogs and a nice run in the park is just what the doctor ordered. Though preferably not the doctors on Ad-Rock, Come and Rock the Sure Shot. They’re douchey. If Buddy ever makes a trip to Ireland, he could commune with all these Samoyed puppies. I don’t know about you, but I feel at least temporarily better. SERENITY NOW!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe you’re not a dog person. These next two clips have been personally approved by Zekers, who is a dog person, but an even greater authority on bunnies. Zekers says that the jumping in the air and kicking out the hind legs exhibited by these hoppers is what she refers to as “the bunny dance” when performed by her own Zeke the Bunny. And I don’t know about you, but I could watch bunnies eat all day long. Like a tiny wood-chipper. Reminds me of the end of Fargo, which is what I’d kinda like to do to Dawn Ostroff and her cronies at the CW right now. OK, I’m getting off course. SERENITY NOW!!!!!!!!!

And if you’re a cat person, who wouldn’t want to watch a fluffy Siamese (the short-hair ones are a little creepy, but the fluffy ones kick ass; I think it comes from having a Samoyed, but I’m all about the fluffy) enjoy a full day of playing with a toy in a box. No, Justin Timberlake, don’t get any ideas.

I know some of y’all are stuck with dial-up, like myself on weekends, and can’t watch any of this, so I’m going to leave you with a picture. And not just any picture. It’s Cat Jones! Meow!

"Meow, meow, meow, meow, Dawn Ostroff must die, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow!"


Yeah, you got a bonus. It's an actual basket of puppies. Huge props to Miss Jones for finding that for me. Have a great and reasonably serene weekend, everybody. And if you hear someone taking the CW's name in vain, give them a high-five and a hug.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

All you motherf***ers are gonna pay! YOU are the ones who are the ball-lickers!

In light of today's events, I hope Dawn Ostroff, head of the CW network, get violated with a 15-inch black dildo with a vibrating hot poker tip, then tied to a chair full of broken glass and forced to watch Armageddon for the rest of her natural life. I'm so mad I could ... pathetically rant to a select handful of friends and family over the Internet. Then cry. Hold me.


I hate the CW with the white-hot intensity of a thousand of these!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I'm from New Jersey and I'm proud about it. I love the Garden State

Tongue surgically planted in cheek, you can blame any faults contained within on 8yearoldsdude. I decided to hold this 2 weeks until he got back from Iceland, and believe it or not, if I have more time to think about it, I can start to poke holes in my own arguments. Ah, fuck it, Dude. Let’s go bowling.

A bit over 2 ½ years ago, I was going over the movie listings with a woman I once dated very briefly. I wanted to see “Dig!” – the documentary about the friendship/rivalry between The Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols. She wanted to see “Garden State.” If I remember correctly, my exact words were, “It looks boring and the music sucks.” Now that was pre-hype, pre-lovefest, pre-supposedly speaking for my generation, and pre-Zach Braff being what he is today (as far as I knew). So one would imagine that my resistance would only grow. And one would be correct. But after some vigilant persistence from one of our Tourists, who may wish to remain nameless, but is from New Jersey and the only one of us to sidebar Zach Braff’s site, I finally broke down and watched it. (I recorded it off cable, thus relieving it of its expectations to earn its $3.40). Said Tourist should actually take it as a huge compliment that I respect their opinion to the point that I watched something I didn’t want to, since I tend to ignore about 80% of the recommendations people give me, depending on who they are.

So it didn’t work for me. A lot. For a number of reasons. I tried to separate myself from the hype and the lovefest, the supposed speaking for my generation (I’m 2 years younger than Zach Braff) and Zach Braff’s Braffiness (he’s great in Scrubs, but he should be forced to sign some sort of contract that prohibits him from doing anything else), but I don’t think I was able to. Whose fault is that? I haven’t decided yet. Regardless, it still didn’t work for me.

I didn’t really address the speaking for a generation angle in my own viewing, which is why I wanted 8yearoldsdude to help me, since he’s written about that a handful of times on his own site. The biggest problem for me is that I couldn’t relate to Zach Braff’s character. Presumably a lot of people could, and if so and you enjoyed the movie, then I’m glad. I thought maybe I could, since I can be as disaffected as the motherfucking best of them, but I couldn’t get behind his “feel-nothing”-ness. That’s probably personal since I often tend to swing the other way and feel everything. (Undoubtedly, there are a few people lining up to dispute that, but fuck ‘em). Theoretically, I probably made an unfair value judgment of him early in the movie and that vision held. In one of the first scenes, where he goes to the party and everyone is just kinda swirling around him while he’s just sitting there and not really into it, I got that. But when he submissively took all the drugs that his friends gave him, I pegged him as weak and lost a lot of respect for him. Like I said, probably unfair given my own often too-clean-ness, but I saw it as excessive weakness given that if he wasn’t really into it, he should be able to make a stand for himself. And despite the horrendous tragedy that he went through as a kid, the fact that it took him until age 26 to make any kind of action towards his own supposed health and happiness didn’t engage me. (I fully appreciate the irony of my saying that, but that doesn’t change how I saw it). I really agreed with Dr. Cohen, the doctor he saw for the headaches, that he really needed to work through his issues in therapy and was generally dumbfounded that even living on his own in LA, away from the “evil machinations of the evil psychiatrist dad” that he hadn’t. Maybe I also just haven’t experienced the effect of antidepressants to be that great, but I didn’t really find him to be a heroic or tragic figure that he was “drugged into submission” from across the country. I just found it kinda pathetic.

I actually watched this movie in two shifts. I started late Saturday night, April 28, but had to turn it off because I wanted to strangle Natalie Portman’s character. After building up another buffer, I finished it the next evening. A couple months ago, I read this link off my Hotmail (I have a shit-ton of email addresses, usually used for different stuff. That one is “the one I don’t use”) about female characters in movies that make it impossible for real women to live up to their standards. I should have immediately mistrusted it since it was linked on Hotmail and they often link shit like Slate from there. But also because the author should know that Mary from “Something About Mary” was intentionally conceived as the perfect woman (except for being Cameron Diaz) as part of the central joke of the movie. But anyway, he listed Natalie Portman’s character from “Garden State” and when I actually watched it, I wanted to find this author and subject him or her to intense psychological testing. She was easily one of the least endearing characters I’ve ever come across, and any time she shut the fuck up for over 60 seconds, the movie usually improved. I got that they were supposed to be “quirky,” but as I’ll say in a bit, it’s like Zach Braff took about 2 characters worth of “quirks” and mashed them all together. Ok, Zach. She’s a free spirit. WE GET IT. And as far as “quirks,” they might be a bit off-base as to what’s endearing and what isn’t. I can’t say I found the repeated deaths of her pets as a result of her negligence “cute.” And while her “pathological lying” was never malicious, which is why I didn’t believe she was a pathological liar, I can’t say I found it “adorable.” I think the biggest shock of the film was when they went to a bar and she ordered a beer because I legitimately thought she was 16 up until then. And not just because Natalie Portman looks like a 15-year-old boy. She truly was a child. As was he. Should I find their childlike innocence touching? I found it cloying. Hey, if it helps, I don’t like William Blake or Belle and Sebastian either.

So the problem with movies that are intentionally “quirky” is that they walk a fine line between endearing and supremely irritating. And that line is incredibly subjective. This movie actually reminded me a lot of “Me and You and Everybody We Know” in this regard. It definitely seemed in that film like Miranda July (the writer, director, and star) was trying so hard to be “quirky,” that she managed to create a main character that was completely unrelatable and completely incapable of normal human contact and interaction. (As I said when I saw it, she’s not really doing herself any favors in terms of debunking my fear of performance artists). I felt like “Garden State” was trying way too hard to be “quirky.” I felt like instead of writing the characters and letting them develop over the course of the movie, Braff just tried to jam-pack as much contrived “quirkiness” into all of them as he could. And as a result, none of them came across as real people to me. Some, in fact many, may have connected with them and the feel, but I just didn’t. Case in point, the scene by the fireplace when Zach Braff tells her he likes her, and instead of letting an actual moment that we can all relate to whether we’re on 16 medications or wear a winter hat for a “helmet” or not, breathe, she immediate says, “Do you wanna see me tap dance?” No, I don’t. I really, really don’t. But that’s pretty much the movie in a nutshell right there.

Is it fair to hold the music against the movie? Is that really a product of hype? Don’t know. Is it fair to hold the movie accountable for that hype if Natalie Portman says The Shins “will change your life?” After all, her character is a pathological liar. But that scene and the accompanying circle-jerk of The Shins was a pretty outstanding turn-off. I don’t mind The Shins. Seriously. But their music is so generic and inoffensive that one would have to live an existence of pure Michael Bay movies and Deal or No Deal for that to be “life-changing.” Life-changing is the first time I heard Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing In the Name” and was like, “Oh my God, what in the hell is that?” I can hear versions of The Shins almost every other song on my local indie station. And pretty much the entire soundtrack is like that to me. Inoffensive to the point of being boring. Like Freddie Prinze Jr. Crap, that joke’s dated. Like a Ron Howard movie. I will admit a good usage of Sam Beam’s cover of “Such Great Heights.” I once said, “I didn’t think it was possible to make that song any wussier, but he managed” (I actually like the original regardless), but it was well placed there. I’ll admit the couple other things that did work in a paragraph or so. Actually, I’ll do it now. (By the way, for the record, the song referenced in the title is “I’m From New Jersey” by Red Mascara, also sampled in Less Than Jake’s “Never Going Back to New Jersey”).

So yeah, I try to be as fair as I can and I’ll admit to good moments or shots in movies I don’t like. Because rarely is a movie completely devoid of anything redeeming unless Jerry Bruckheimer, Vin Diesel, or Larry the Cable Guy are attached. So what else was good? As previously mentioned, the part where he was sitting on the couch at the party and everything and everyone was moving around him while he was just sitting there. Good shot. I’ve totally been there, and unless you’re one of those life-of-the-party types, and I know we have a couple here, you have too. The overhead shot of the pool where everyone swam in one direction and they swam in the other. Sure, the anvil hurts a bit, but I really liked it. I actually thought the couple living over the canyon was cool. I would have rather seen a movie about them. And speaking of said canyon, the first kiss actually worked for me. He was having such a cathartic release moment at that point, that it was the perfect time in terms of emotion swell for a character. I was like, “I don’t even like you two, but this is your moment right here.” Any time before that would have seemed forced.

OK, everyone’s gonna die laughing when I say this, and I fully appreciate the irony of it myself, but the movie totally would have benefited from less lines. You can totally kill an emotional moment by talking too much and as a screenwriter and director, Zach Braff was totally guilty. I didn’t buy his big “liberation” scene, and I’m going to get to that in a minute, but that scene between him and his dad would have been much more affecting if there had been a premium on words and he’d done a lot more reaction shots, instead of shooting it from an angle where you couldn’t see anyone’s face that well. If it’s supposed to be emotional, I wouldn’t mind seeing them experience it. Even more so, the last scene. My friend Cardinal Dogboard (I’m not sure where he is. I usually catch him on Gmail chat and I haven’t seen him in weeks) loves to talk about the final scene of The Graduate where they’ve run off and are on the bus and have looks on their faces like “Oh shit, what do we do now?” (If that’s wrong, blame Dogboard. I’ve actually never seen it). Garden State has the same ending, but Zach Braff feels the need to say what you can already see on their faces, and to be honest, it’s absolutely brutal.

So I’m wondering what’s supposed to be the big sell for all of us as a demographic. (We’re almost all approximately in the same age bracket, give or take a few years). A revolution against psychological pharmacology? Sweet. That argument was done legions better on South Park. A glorification of Peter Pan syndrome? Not really working for me either. It really felt to me like they were trying to sell me this film as “life in a bottle.” Maybe it’s because Zach Braff and Natalie Portman said, “this is real life,” a good handful of times combined. Which felt like blunt force trauma. Because for a movie that was supposedly about “real life,” it didn’t feel real to me at all.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Senior trip. Paris. THAT CAFE!

You better work. (Cover girl). You better work it, girl. (Do a twirl). Do your thing on the runway. Work. (Supermodel...). You better work it, girl. (... Of the world). Wet your lips and make love to the camera. Work. Turn to the left! Work. Now turn to the right! Work. Sashay, shante! Time for Musings!

- Yesterday was Mother's Day and it goes without to saying to anyone that knows her that my mom is a great mom. While she may not have 8yearoldsdude or I around, she's actively in contact with both of us. And maintains legions of surrogate children between her tutoring students, her nursery school students (2-year-olds), her swimming students, and even finds time to be a terrific mom to Sherlock the hound. The answer is that she doesn't sleep, and I'm not sure how she does it because I sure as hell didn't inherit that. So busy that I couldn't even get a hold of her successfully yesterday, though not for lack of effort. I believe she was at the Washington Nationals baseball game, and then having dinner with her mom. Anyway, I hope all the Accidental Tourists' moms, the ones that post and the ones that don't, all had a fantastic Mother's Day. We're handing out metaphorical pink bats at the door.
- So I’m back at work today, only because it’s probably the only way I can keep myself from getting committed. Since I’ve kinda generally screwed myself in terms of overscheduling, and I think I generally have less energy than your average person, I admit I’ve often daydreamed about a weekend where I had no commitments where I can rest up. After the past 3 days stuck home unable to really do much of anything (I even had a friend from college in town and couldn’t see her), and with little defenses against the proverbial ice weasels (TM Matt Groening) of the mind, I have to conclude that karma has a really snarky sense of humor.
- So what do you think would be the first story I’d run to cheer myself up? Richard Siegler, some dude who played on the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad and got into one game last season has been arrested in Las Vegas for … wait for it … running a prostitution ring! Well, they do always say to prepare for life after football. I am curious, though, how does one learn how to run a prostitution ring? Or what thought process leads to think of that? “Well, I could teach football camps, or work at Home Depot. Hey, I have a bunch of hookers lying around. I’ve got an idea!” Side note, call me naïve (most people have and have been correct), but I thought prostitution was legal in Vegas.
- Speaking of other people who’d like to block out the last week, time for the Official Bend It NHL Player Marcel Goc Watch! Goc is done. Gone the Goc. From the lakes, from the ponds, from the ice. All’s not well, for the Sharks. Goc is out. (Apologies to our military. I mean no disrespect adapting your lyrics). As y’all probably know, Marcel’s San Jose Sharks were eliminated last Monday night by the Detroit Red Wings 2-0, as the Wings won the series 4 games to 2. Detroit now is tied in its best-of-seven Western Conference Final series against the Anaheim (Formerly Mighty) Ducks, 1 game apiece. That’s not losing to a scrub team. Detroit was the #1 seed in the Western Conference. But it still sucks. Marcel Goc and his Watch now get to enjoy the offseason. We’ll see you in October. I don’t know what schedule Bend It will be on then, since my schedule’s going to be completely different, but as long as there’s a Bend It, Marcel Goc will be a part of it.
- Huge props go out to the one of the best-named sites on the web, the English soccer site Who Ate All the Pies. There is nothing I could say here that wouldn’t detract from this.
- Speaking of soccer, I think someone might want to teach Brady Quinn and his friends the proper way to protect themselves while forming a wall.
- A rare NBA note for Bend It, how much does the Golden State Warriors’ Baron Davis totally look like the Red Stripe “Hooray Beer” guy?
- Speaking of, how awkward sounding is the name “Golden State?” It sounds like one of those college teams you hear about every 5 years in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. They play in Oakland; why not just call them freaking Oakland? (I know they moved from Philly to San Francisco, then to Oakland, and are supposed to “accommodate” the entire Bay Area, which is why they don’t have a city-specific name. But it’s still awkward since they sure as shit don’t lay claim to the entire state. Like how there are baseball and hockey teams in Miami called “Florida,” when other teams reside in Tampa.
- OK, this whole Michael Vick dog fighting ring story really makes me sick. I can’t write about this rationally because thinking about dog fighting makes me want to cry. I won’t even watch “Amores Perros.” As I once wrote on Deadspin, and will repeat for Miss Scarlet’s benefit, anyone who participates in cruelty to animals should be kicked in the ding-ding. And often. And by someone who knows how.
- In general, I like Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, or at least his media persona, about as much as Ty Pennington. Maybe it’s because I need to lose weight (although my stomach flu is generally helping). More likely it’s because I don’t think a successful gimmick diet success story should beget 7 years of media whoring. Although I guess it’s arguable how much of that is Subway’s fault. And maybe it’s because it’s an interesting comment on our societal obsession with appearance that Jared Fogle’s personal life looks like this. Anyway, according to the Best Week Ever site, Jared Fogle ran his own porn rental business out of his dorm room when he was in school at Indiana University. He apparently had an endless collection and would rent them out to other students for $1 per. I don’t know about you, but I TOTALLY believe that.
- Speaking of, one of the Best Week Ever site commenters, who are usually idiots, mentioned that Jared Fogle’s Subway diet started because he lived upstairs from one and he was lazy. I’ll have to give him a pass on that, since how else would some sort of gimmicky diet start, other than by accident. Although I do wonder what his job was considering how much money he’d save if he bought ingredients at the grocery store and made the sandwiches himself? (Actually, that might be an interesting cost analysis, since Subway isn’t actually that expensive and you don’t have to worry about your meats and cheeses going bad and bread getting stale).
- Speaking of body image, a bunch of chicks at Framingham State College, in scenic Framingham, MA, attempted to steal 1,000 copies of the school paper that was running a photo of them with their stomachs painted to spell out the name of a women's lacrosse player. Their motive was that they thought they looked fat in the picture. OK, I've seen the picture, and so can you. What the fuck? In a related story, 8 years later, the fucking Stewards still haven't given us back our stolen copies of The Georgetown Voice.
- Oh, and speaking of Ty Pennington, I heard on the radio this morning that he's launched his own magazine (surprisingly, the title isn't "Seriously?") and its first issue includes his recipe for martinis, or as he calls them, "Ty-tinis." If there's any justice, the opposite page includes auto repair tips.
- On to a guy who said in Sports Illustrated that if he weren't a baseball player, he'd want to be a bartender (well, I guess we can't all be Dhani Jones), time for the Bend It Official Major League Baseball Player Dan Uggla Watch! Uggla, it's magic! (Beeoooowwww). When I'm with you. (Uggla, it's magic). Uggla, it's magic! (Beeoooowwww). And you know it's true. Uggla still needs to work on that average to make me happy, but this past week, he went 8-29 with 5 doubles, 1 home run, and 3 RBIs. For the season, he's now up to .240 with 13 doubles, 1 triple, 6 homers, and 21 RBIs. On a less happy note (for him, I'm cool with it), Uggla's Florida Marlins became the first team to get swept by the Washington Nationals this past weekend. As for the average, well let's hope summer ... turns it upside down.
- Apparently a library in Austria is raising money by creating its own hotline by which if you call it, you can hear an actress read erotic literature from the Victorian era and beyond. I think the most surprising thing about this story is that I beat Miss Jones to finding it. (Just so you know, I’m not slandering her; Miss Jones is my authority on all things Victorian).
- In a sorta, but not really related story, a 13-year-old kid apparently tricked the Patriots' Tedy Bruschi into doing the shocker in a photo with him. Or did he? Maybe that's just Bruschi's thing. (I mean, I certainly don't know anyone who often works a Winky the Clown gesture into photos). Perhaps a bigger story, if he really did learn it that day, how did he go 33, almost 34 years without knowing that? (For the record, best use of the shocker ever is still that it got into the season 2 premier of Veronica Mars).
- In arguably my favorite story from last week, Ben Folds' performance with the Boston Pops was interrupted when a fight broke out among the punters. (That's Aussie slang for people in attendance). Well, to be perfectly honest, Ben Folds' last album made me want to riot too. Most likely, though, some guy in a Yankees hat said the NYSO was better and that the Boston Pops were "gay."
- Speaking of people who actually are gay, I noticed in the past couple weeks that all three branches of Law and Order (the original, SVU, and Criminal Intent) featured an episode on the Ted Haggard story. (For the record, the SVU episode featured Ad-Rock, Come and Rock the Sure Shot star Tim Daly as the surrogate Haggard). Does anyone know if this was intentional, a sort of triple-FU from Dick Wolf, or if the producers forgot to meet about crossover? I know that Law and Order and Criminal Intent recently split the Anna Nicole Smith story, with the original taking her son's death and Criminal Intent taking hers (I actually think the son's story either had aired or was in production when she died, but I catch all this on reruns), but this was the same story on all three. That's a lot of male hookers.
- KJ Choi, Miss Scarlet, and 8yearoldsdude, this one's for you. Apparently as part of an extra on the forthcoming 90210 season 2 DVDs, Best Week Ever panelists Michael Coulton and Jon Aboud reenacted the 90210 credit sequence. The awesomeness really has nothing to do with them. Put any two people in there and it would still be hilarious.
- This past week's episode of Veronica Mars featured the character Dick Casablancas ghostriding. Well, if it's gonna get cancelled, at least it's given me a partial Bend It nirvana.
- Time for Grey’s Anatomy Chat Part One! So I said last week that I’d roll my “social experiment theory” on George and Izzie this week. If you’ve read my OCk recaps, or talked to me enough about television, you’ve probably heard me talk about respect for the audience in terms of what a show thinks it can sell you. For instance, The OCk’s tendency to contradict itself in terms of plot, character motivation, and even details (for instance, the story of Peter Gallagher and Carrie Wood meeting happened at least two or three different ways, and Small Wonder’s birthday in January didn’t happen in Season Four) tells its audience either that the show thinks its audience is stupid enough not to care about these inconsistencies, or flat out just doesn’t care enough about its audience to take the time to get the little things right. (This is so prevalent that the TWOP writers call extreme attention to detail “continuity porn” because it’s so satisfying when it actually does happen). Anyway, my theory is that as a means of testing the waters as to exactly how easy they can try to make their job, the writers of Grey’s decided they’d shove a storyline with absolutely no grounding in the past two and a half seasons of the show down the audience’s throat to see if they’d buy it. If they succeeded, then the writers would be invincible and could just sit down and throw monkey crap at the screen. It’s essentially a giant ego trip for the writers, just to see if they can. The fact that it’s allegedly failing speaks surprisingly well for the audience and sends a scary message to the writers that they’re actually going to have to do their job full-assed. Speaking of theories, I believe one of the TWOP commenters mentioned that a lot of these ridiculous plotlines can be traced to the success of the post Super Bowl episode that really broke the show. They said that the show used to be really grounded in the interpersonal relationships between the characters, but after that, it’s become increasingly about how much they can push the limits of surprise, shock, and awe. Essentially the message sent was that people want Coach Taylor getting BLOW’D UP every week. I don’t know if that’s completely true, but I wouldn’t put it past it being at least half true.
- And finally, time for Grey’s Anatomy Chat Part Deux! OK, believe it or not, I give credit where it’s due and that was a great scene between Meredith and The Chief near the end. And that they needed so few words. (Yes, that’s a foreshadowing to a post later this week). OK, seriously, does Thatcher know that other doctors work in the hospital? Guess I better retract my idea that maybe he was just in shock. Maybe all the pregnancies are just Addison’s dream. Like the end of Newhart. (I haven’t seen it, but I read). Hey, I can’t stand that device as resolution, but if that would explain away all that whole L.A. sequence, I’m all for it. Does anyone else just not give a flying rat’s ass who’s named Chief of Surgery or Chief Resident? I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Chief Resident. I like Callie’s nomination of herself to be Chief Resident only because it’s about time someone stands up to Bailey’s gross negligence on the whole Izzie-McDirty situation. Callie actually deserves it more. The thing I don’t like about it is that it sets up a way to keep her on the show divorced from George and set her up as a potential “villain.” Although I would dearly love to see her dad get a crack at George. That might be worth another season. Although without Addison, whom would she hang out with? Speaking of George, Izzie seems to have gotten over McDirty pretty damn quick. I seem to remember a few months ago, “I believe that McDirty is with me every day. And that you made a mistake marrying Callie.” The ass-backwards thing is that considering how fucked up that situation was, does getting over it actually show a sign of growth? Well, it might if it weren’t George. As old as this storyline has gotten, I thought it was cute that “Rebecca Pope” was helping Alex study. I still don’t buy the perpetually floated idea of his having feelings for her, but if true, it would be a psychological goldmine to explore with him. What is it with him or in his past that would make his idea woman an amnesia victim? If they actually ran with that, that’s the only way I’d accept that as a potential storyline. Is it just me, or did it seem totally out of character for Cristina to share Callie’s “intern exam” flashcards with George, Izzie, and Alex? I’m all for character growth, but when it comes to competition, she’s shown ABSOLUTELY NO BASIS for ever doing that, without it being a “very special Grey’s.” Speaking of the exam, I know they haven’t followed a traditional calendar, but when is this supposed to be? I sincerely hope it’s not after the first year, because that would totally cheapen everything that’s happened. Hey, that climber they brought in at the end! That’s what happens when you’re wearing Axe Body Spray.

Who they want? Choppa Style! CHOP, CHOP! Choppa style, Choppa style! CHOP, CHOP! She want CHOP, CHOP! She love CHOP, CHOP!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Drivin' that train ...

I can't decide whether it's fitting or just overkill that after having a genuinely shitty week, I'm now stuck with stomach flu. As far as things to be stuck home with, it's definitely near the bottom since there aren't any comfortable positions to try to rest up in. Not to mention that's the only thing I could get that would make me call off Starbucks, since calling off a shift, particularly an opening or closing shift completely fucks over anyone. OK, enough whining and on with our previous scheduled topic.

Back on Monday, I got on my soapbox about drunk driving. A devil's advocate playing friend said maybe the mentality is what do you do about your car, but seriously, how many people are like, "I'm going to the grocery store for some lettuce. Oh wait, I think I'll stop and get drunk for a while." Non-idiots tend to plan ahead, know their limits, and if they plan on going over them take alternative transportation. (I'm a little spoiled here, because for all my bitching about the CTA, and it's a lot, it's decently comprehensive). And if they don't plan on going over them, they fucking don't.

So Monday I mused that if I didn't have a bunch of wedding stuff to recap, Paris Hilton would have gotten her own post. So would I consider it a boon or a bust that the same Monday, someone else I can't stand got busted for drunk driving. Now that's a really tricky proposition when such a thing happens. Am I pissed off that some clownbag would be endangering innocent lives as well as their own, or happy because said person is getting publicly embarrassed. The answer is actually both, since I enjoy the public embarrassment, but would much prefer if it were for something that doesn't affect anyone, like soliciting a hooker. (I actually don't think prostitution should be illegal, but that's another topic for another time).

So Monday when I saw the headline go up on the local news that Extreme Makeover Home Edition's Ty Pennington was arrested for DUI, I had the previously explained double reaction. For those who've been reading Bend It all almost 2 3/4 years of its existence, while I always reserve the right to change my mind, my stance on Ty Pennington has been remarkably consistent -- I think he's a drugged-up phony. Then, as the overnight reports came in, it got better. Apparently, he was arrested for driving under the influence of both alcohol AND drugs. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to nail down anything conclusive. I've heard he was caught suspected of alcohol and drugs. I've heard he was caught with drugs and under the influence of alcohol. I've heard he was only under the influence of alcohol and someone added drugs because they think like me. I don't know.

But while we don't know, and I apologize for the long leadup to this, I'd like to play a game here on Bend It called What Was Ty Pennington On? The rules are simple. Throw in your guess as to what Ty Pennington was on. This isn't a one-drug per Tourist game. You can all guess the same thing. This is a satisfaction of winning game. As I said before, old school Bend It readers know exactly what I think it is. (Hint: He and Lindsay Lohan would get along quite well). Since it's not an exclusive entry contest, I can't offer a big prize. So I'll just promise every winner a big hug. I mean if you want to go high-risk/high-reward for bragging rights, you can guess something like Special K (which for the record is fucking cat tranquilizers. Meow). You can go back door and guess that he wasn't on drugs at all and they just thought that because he's Ty Pennington. It's really up to you. The only qualification is that you have fun.

Apropos of nothing, check out the new Interpol track heading into our weekend. Yay!

"Well I've got a hammer. And I've got a fifth. And I've got some coke to snort all over the land."