Monday, November 10, 2008

Tell me why oh why are my genetics such a bitch

I have a playlist that i constantly change with whatever my favorite songs are at the moment.

Right now it's about 90% Repo! The Genetic Opera, Rock of Ages and High School Musical 3.

What does that say about me as a person?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Seriously?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Other People Say Things Better Than I Do

DVR Break-Up: Heroes

I'm not quite at the break-up stage yet, but I couldn't have said it better myself.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Word. Dope, even.

More 90210 memories, from The Ben Stiller Show. Jeanine Garafolo's Doherty is beyond genius.



Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sort Of Live-Blogging 90210: I Have Questions

The original Beverly Hills 90210 is weirdly important to me. It wasn't just the beginning of my ever-more-inappropriate-as-I-get-older obsession with teen soaps. I'm the same age as the characters (after they did a year twice), and during my senior year every major high school event in my real life synced up with the show. The prom episode aired the week of my prom; Donna Martin graduated the week of my graduation. It's not like 90210 had any relation to reality, but in my memory we all watched it. Teachers watched it. We were strangely invested. So while I only watched sporadically after that season (and what I did see pretty much sucked), I will always have a deep and bizarre affection for the show.

So I was both nervous and excited for the new version. The genre has been done so much better since 90210 invented it, I couldn't imagine how a remake could be anything other than either stale or a Gossip Girl rip-off. And I was sort of right, but I got totally sucked in and strangely enjoyed it anyway. I also had lots of questions, so I found myself live-blogging it. Unfortunately, real life kept me from watching the 2-hour premiere in one shot, so "live" is a relative term. But here it is!



I love the reference, but how can Andrea Zuckerman's daughter possibly be in high school? I didn't watch much of the college years, but I figure the earliest that child could have been born was 1995, right? Maybe she skipped a grade? Just weird. And why would a teacher say "How old is that girl, 30?" Poor Gabrielle Carteras.

I know they're trying to shock us, but who gets a blowjob in their car in the parking lot in FRONT of the school at the beginning of the day? There are people EVERYWHERE. Even Chuck Bass wouldn't go there. Well, unless he wanted to get caught.

Why does a public school have a board? Like I don't think it's the school board, it sounds like a board of directors.

Theme song! FINALLY! Oh, this kind of blows.

How did I not know Rob Thomas is behind this? No wonder it doesn't completely suck. Yet. Let's hope a future plot involves a sassy girl detective.

Okay, I'm relieved to see that blowjob boy is in fact kind of a moron. At least it's a consistent character trait.

Oh, duh, "Silver." David and Kelly's half-each-sister. Aw.

Has Joe E. Tata done ANYTHING in the last 10 years? For that matter, has Nat? At least with Kelly (and from what I've read, Brenda) the actors have done some stuff and they've also made an effort to write some mostly believable growing up and moving on with their lives into the characters. Nat, apparently, is completely unchanged. I suppose that should be a comfort but instead it's just kind of sad. He's like the Mr. Belding of Beverly Hills.

Oh I'm so glad the "cool" teacher who's also the lacrosse coach (presumably he's the only teacher we'll ever see) just made a homophobic comment during practice. That's classy, guys.

"Why don't I drive you home and we can swap stories about his penis?" Heh.

Um, yeah, there is no chorus in Spring Awakening. There's so much disbelief to suspend here, but this is what I'm choosing to be bothered by. Also, what the fuck are they doing with their arms?

Does anyone thing naming the lead mean girl Naomi and casting an Elizabeth Berkley look-alike is a reference to Showgirls? I hope Naomi stays mean and doesn't go the way of Kelly in the original first season. I don't have high hopes.

Hey, Not-Brenda's parents are ungrounding her. I wonder if she's already snuck out to go to the party. Unlike the Not-Walshes, I've watched TV before.

So we've got a clear Not-Brenda, Not-Kelly, Black-Brandon and Silver-Sister. I guess Ethan is the Not-Steve. Where are the Donna and Dylan equivalents?

I didn't watch the original show at the end - am I supposed to know who Kelly's baby-daddy is?

Why is there not a single homo on this show? It's Los Angeles in 2008, people.

I like how the outside of West Bev looks exactly like it did 15 years ago but they've apparently completely gutted and renovated the inside.

Hour two is slightly trashier than hour one, and therefore better.

Brenda! As weirdly forced and tacky as these original cast cameos are, I hope they bring back everyone eventually. And give them all awkwardly high-school-aged relatives.

Do people still say dope?

Next week: Kelly's mom! Dope!

Monday, September 01, 2008

When Animal Planet Meets Logo

A month ago, Radish was diagnosed with a bladder infection, which was causing a urinary obstruction. This freaked us out (and was no fun for him either) but it's quite common in cats, and we and our vet were confident that after a couple of days of in-patient care followed by a course of medication, he'd be fine.

Not so much. He was better, but "better" involved mild incontinence, which required him to be locked in the kitchen, and a damaging amount of licking himself (apparently a cat's response to basically any problem), which required him to wear a cone on his head.

Then today he got worse, and was clearly blocked again. And because it's a holiday, this meant taking him to Kitteh and Puppeh ER (Vetrinarian's Hospital, the continuing story of a quack who's gone to the dogs). In spite of the traumatic subway ride into Manhattan, and as much as we like our local vet, there was actually something very comforting about the shiny, well-staffed, open-on-a-holiday hospital.

Long story short, at the recommendation of both our regular vet and those at the hospital, we left Radish there to have surgery to enlarge his urethra, thus making it easier for him to pass future blockages. Y'know how they enlarge a male cat's urethra? They remove his penis!! Sure, he's neutered and doesn't really have any use for it, but OWIE!

So I guess it's a good thing we gave him a unisex name. Please leave your suggestions for his drag name in the comments.

And because a cat in a cone is usually as funny as it is sad, here are some photos:

We tried this neck-brace-like collar for a day. It's supposed to provide more mobility and vision (he kept bumping the cone into things) but still keep him from bending enough to hurt himself. He got out of it in a matter of hours.
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So we went traditional:
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I'm looking forward to 2 more weeks of post-op cone hi-jinks!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Clumsy Kitten

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gym Fail

Apparently, fixing an elliptical machine involves hitting it repeatedly with a hammer.

This, it turns out, is the most annoying thing ever in the world. Especially if you're back at the gym after a 2-week hiatus and are looking for excuses to leave.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm endlessly fascinated and completely horrified by How Clean Is Your House on BBC America. As you'd imagine from the title, the show is about these two wacky women who go into people's homes and clean them. What I also imagined from the title, before I ever watched it, was that they went into homes like mine - homes that are fairly clean in a normal, lived-in, I-don't-have-a-maid sort of way - and horrified viewers with lab tests of surfaces and peeks under sofas.

That would be horrifying and would make me want to spend all my free time cleaning, I'm sure. But that's not actually what the show is. Instead, they have found the most repulsive houses in Britain. It is quite remarkable to see them cleaned up, and the show is full of tips, but what I don't understand is how anyone who's not completely batshit crazy can live like that. I understand people who don't clean. I can see grimy sinks and dusty shelves and the like, but how does one function when the floor is covered with debris? How do you manage going to the toilet? These people have children and pets, they seem to bathe and eat, they know enough to know they need to go on the show, but they're not bothered by the smell? Do they keep buying new dishes and clothes instead of doing the washing?

And there's a marathon on and I can't stop watching. But I may get up and do some vacuuming now.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Why is the American olympic team dressed like Ryan from High School Musical?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Facts of Life

Okay, I know I've reverted to just posting links and videos again, but this is too amazing not to share. I heart Bea Arthur!!



Also, completely unrelated, except that it also made me laugh today, there's this.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whoa, homo, whoa.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gimme Gimme Gimme

Okay, it's possible that the audience at Sweeney Todd who applauded the Mamma Mia! trailer was just full of musical theater fans, not necessarily flaming homosexuals.

The crowd tonight at Mamma Mia! who applauded for the High School Musical 3 trailer, however, is another story.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

1, 2, 3, 4

Amazing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Car Alarm, Car Alarm

Great piece from the New York Times about changes in New York over the last decade, as viewed through the lens of Rent - and why there's no such thing as a "realistic" musical:
Bohemia Takes Its Final Bows
“Rent” is closing at the end of the summer, but its ragtag New York left the stage many years ago, elbowed out by fusion cuisine and designer labels.


I especially like the part about how "Cyberland" is the enemy of the piece, when today all the characters would be blogging.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ayuh

So I've been traveling a little for work (oh, right, new job, blog about it), and mostly I haven't been bringing my camera because they're brief business trips without much sightseeing so I don't want to bother with one more thing to carry. But last month I was in Maine and found myself taking lots of pictures with my phone - though more of the kitchy safety card on my tiny, fairly ancient-seeming plane than of the scenery. I think I was somewhat inspired by Glark and Tara's "Atomic Tour" podcast and photo blogs, which are far more entertaining than they have any right to be. (Not that Glark and Tara aren't entertaining – they helped found and write for TWoP before NBC went and fucked it all up – but I've essentially been avidly watching the vacation slides of people I've never met. Which I guess is no different from any blog, but all the other podcasts I listen to are a little more presentational than a married couple chatting about their day of driving. But I'm totally hooked.)

Aaaanyway, speaking of other people's vacation slides, here's my dispatch from Maine.
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Do you think when Rent closes next month this person will drive her car off a cliff?

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This gelato? Not a fiasco at all! Unless you consider all the weight I would gain if I lived in Brunswick and could go here every day. Why would you name your business establishment this? Seems like tempting fate in a bad way. I wonder if a husband and wife fought over spending their life savings on an ice cream joint, and the one who didn't want to said, "Well this will be a fiasco." Curious. Anyway, I'm told they do quite well.

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Next door, though... not so interested in this "experience."

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It's Maine! We're folksy! I love that these rocking chairs litter the Portland airport, but no other attempt was made to make the building look like anything other than a modern (and quite nice) airport. I did spend quite a bit of time in one though, as my flight was delayed and it was near an outlet for my laptop.

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Hey, where's the plane?

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Dodging sniper fire.

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I'm not much of a flier. It doesn't freak me out but I just don't enjoy it, and I don't do it very often. This plane, despite having my own "row" made me very claustrophobic. Also, when it was on the ground, there was this horrible squeaking noise that made me think of the cartoon landing gear from Amazing Stories

I was slightly obsessed with the old-school safety card on the tiny plane.
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In case of heat vision, please locate the emergency exit closest to your seat.

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Telekinesis!

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Aquaman!

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Who would pull out a remote controlled car on a plane?

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In the event of a water landing, this aircraft is equipped with a floating light bulb to distract your infant from his imminent death.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Skynet cooks and cleans for me

Lots of blogging in my head lately, very little of it making it through my fingers to the keyboard. Life is good and fairly dull overall. Good dull! Lots of domesticity.

Speaking of which, the dishwasher has been successfully installed! I'm quite proud of it, actually. The various tasks were exactly the opposite levels of difficulty I'd anticipated. I was very nervous about wiring the thing, but that turned out to be the easiest part. The few carpentry skills I have (plus some borrowed tools and the stock pieces we bought) served me well for building the counter, as did my improvisational approach from a decade of fixing props on the fly in low-budget theater (no hot glue was involved, but shelf brackets are my friends!).

We're not crazy about our existing countertops, and were also amazed to discover how many variations on that brown-ish speckled pattern there are at Home Depot, so rather than try to match something we don't like anyway, we went in the direction we'll ultimately head in if we ever decide to redo the whole kitchen properly. Instead of looking like Frankencounter like I thought it would, the new section feels of a piece with the dishwasher, making it look like a "normal" (in my worldview) appliance with its own skin.

Which leaves us with the plumbing, which I foolishly thought would be the easy part. Even the simple task of attaching the water line became stressful when I discovered that the hot water valve to our kitchen sink doesn't close completely and had to race to finish before the small container I had catching the drip filled up, while trying not to burn my fingers too badly. Then it turned out our drain pipe was extremely bendy, made up of many pieces of copper pipe, at many different angles. The first piece out of the sink was only a couple of inches long, and was followed by a curved piece. Dishwasher "tailpiece" attachments only come in one size that I could find. You can trim the bottom easily enough, but the piece where the dishwasher's hose attaches was already too far down from the top for my drain to accommodate in its odd configuration. So off came the second piece of pipe. And then the third. Much sweating and frustration and mild panic under the sink ensued, and in the end, I cobbled together out of bendy-straw-like PVC pipe and duct tape a contraption that looks like something the A-Team would use to shoot non-lethal projectiles at bad guys. It's on the list to replace eventually, but it works for now.

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(The crooked outlet, for the record, was like that when we moved in - not my doing at all!)

I'm really pleased with how it turned out. The entrance to the kitchen is a little tight now, but that had been almost totally unused space before, so opening up the actual working part of the room is a worthwhile trade-off to have made. I love having the extra counter space, and shelf/hanging space above, and everything feels a little brighter. Oh, and it washes dishes too! I'm never satisfied, of course, and I want the dishwasher to basically be magical. I don't understand why some things dry nicely and others (made of the same material and just inches away) don't, and I'd really like it if it could teleport the clean dishes away to the cabinet when it finished with them. Is that so much to ask? But no, I love it, and I can never live without one ever again.

The weekend of the dishwasher turned out to be a big one for our kitchen all around, as it was also Boy's birthday. I'd made bread a few weeks earlier, which prompted him to declare that we should get a bread machine. I was skeptical for no logical reason, and said I could just make bread more often. But then it got really hot and every time I thought about doing it I didn't want to take the time or run the oven, and he hadn't really talked about wanting anything else, so it seemed like the perfect birthday present. And it's really kind of awesome. It still takes hours for dough to rise and what-not, but it's all automatic. You dump in the ingredients and walk away. I've used it once, but mostly it's Boy's toy and he keeps trying new recipes and I keep getting to eat them. It's a win-win! The machine has a Cylon-esque look about it, so in keeping with the theme of Colonel Tigh, Boy named it Number Six. Because it has a bun in the oven.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Me and Hello Kitty Down by the Schoolyard

Trying to blog more, even if it's just silly little things. I have a bunch of photos on my phone I'd nearly forgotten about. Here they are!

Car full of puppies!
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Saw this mural in a Northern Blvd. schoolyard the other day and thought it was awesome in its strangeness. I'm not sure what the benefit of a flying 7 train would be, especially if it had to stay near the tracks like that. But if it's faster, I'm all for it.
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For any non-New Yorkers out there, it's grammatically correct; that's the borough/county of Queens, and it is confusingly singular. If it said "Queens are the future," it would mean something totally different - but no less awesome!

Walking down Park Avenue last week, I passed these metal Hello Kitty statues in an office building plaza. These would be strange and out of place enough on their own, but they're also fountains. Yes, that's not a trick of the light: Hello Kitty is weeping. And the one that's not projectile-crying looks like it's about to attack Manhattan.
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The hell?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Things that disturb me:

The way they've started dressing all the girls on MTV's Legally Blonde casting show in matching grey hoodies, as if they're in some sort of cult.

Though I suppose a mass suicide would make the show more interesting.

Best Blonde Maria


High School Tony Awards Honor Nation's Biggest Drama Club Nerds

Sunday, June 15, 2008

With great appliances comes great responsibility

Boy and I are the proud new owners of a beautiful dishwasher. Except for a few weeks each of the summers I worked at Undisclosed Location Summer Theater, I have never lived anywhere with a dishwasher, and I'm extremely excited. But why the fuck is it so complicated? At this point, I feel kind of like an old hand at purchasing appliances, and the dishwasher is like no other.

I suppose even if I'd had one before I wouldn't have realized that dishwashers come naked. Unlike every other major appliance I can think of, they do not come with any sort of shell around the top and sides. You have to have a spot under your kitchen counter for it. I just don't get this. In case this is all news to you too, here is the naked dishwasher:
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You'd never buy a refrigerator that way, and have to put it in a closet. (Okay, as someone has pointed out in the comments, you MIGHT do this - there are such things as built-in fridges - but the point is you'd still have options!) Even clothes washers, seemingly the dishwasher's closest relatives, come fully self-contained, with a plug that sticks in a wall outlet. Oh yeah, that's the other thing: There's no plug. It has to be wired. What the fuck? AND, Home Depot will only install a dishwasher if they're replacing your existing one. So you pay them 60 bucks to remove the hoses from one and attach them to the other. If it were that simple, I'd have no problems! (And yes, I knew all this before we bought it, it wasn't like a scary shock when it arrived in the apartment, but that makes it no less annoying.)

I'll spare you the details of this bizarre DIY project, but I'll definitely post more pics when it's finished. If today's trip to Home Depot for supplies is any indication, it may be a while. In the meantime, if anyone can explain to me why dishwashers are retarded, I'd love to know!

Oh, and on the same day we bought the dishwasher, Boy and I went to Queens Borough Hall and got officially domestic partnered. Since neither of us is a City employee or a fishmonger, this doesn't really do a whole lot for us, but it has a few legal perks, and there's something nice about making it a little bit official after almost 7 years. Now if that piece of paper could wash our dishes for us, I'd've led with it.

This photo nicely sums up the wedding at city hall experience:
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Friday, June 13, 2008

What a twist!

Dear M. Night Shamalayan,

Don't call your movie The Happening if nothing really happens in it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dear Steve Jobs,

Please call the new version of OS X "Tabby."

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The more things change...

At my 10th high school reunion, dinner was held out on the athletic field, and it rained all day. There were tents, of course, but the ground was very muddy, and most of the girls had worn cute little shoes and were quite pissed off.

So I'm convinced that, as revenge, the ladies of the class of '93 chipped in for a weather dominator to make it obscenely hot for our 15th reunion yesterday, so they could parade around in their little sundresses while the boys sweat like we were in hell – actual hell, not just high school.

Heat wave aside, the event made me nostalgic. Not for high school, but for my 10th reunion. I guess I was trying to manufacture some nostalgia for the early 90s by making a playlist of songs that made me think of school, and what I actually thought was, "Wow, five years ago I didn't have an iPod." This got my brain going on a stream of consciousness about the many ways my life was different just a short five years ago. And isn't that why blogs were invented?

In June, 2003...
...I didn't own an iPod.
...my cell phone, a Motorola StarTac, had a black and white, text-only screen, and no camera or text messaging.
...my camera, for that matter, used film.
...my computer was a purple clamshell iBook.
...I lived alone.
...I rented.
...I had never had a pet.
...I was 2 years away from going to Undisclosed Location Summer Theater, and 4 months away from meeting the man who would take me there.
...I was working at an Off-Broadway theater that has since been torn down.
...I believed my stage management career was starting to take off.
...I was a stage manager. (Oh yeah, I still haven't blogged about that whole new job thing, have I?)
...I had blonde highlights.
...I couldn't conceive of the American people being stupid enough to re-elect George W. Bush.
...Buffy and Dawson's Creek had only been off the air for a month.
...the WB was still a network.
...Logo was not.
...Facebook and YouTube didn't exist.
...I didn't have a DVR.
...I wore glasses
...I didn't have a blog.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Note to self: Don't be passive-aggressive with the person using sharp objects on your head

After work today, I had an appointment to get my hair cut at the salon I've been going to for years, by Janet, a woman who's cut my hair at least two or three times before. After a series of transit mishaps that included my just-purchased new kitchen toy from Williams-Sonoma falling onto the tracks, I miraculously arrived 2 minutes early for my scheduled slot. I checked in at the desk and was told that Janice would be with me in about 10 minutes. Uh, but my appointment is in 2 minutes, isn't it?

A few minutes later, my appointment time now passed, Janet walked in from outside carrying a bag that clearly contained food, and disappeared into the back of the salon. A few moments later, it was 10 minutes past my appointment, and I walked up to the front desk and said, "My appointment was at 6:45, right?" Now, this was deliberately passive-aggressive. I cop to that. But I was also fully prepared for the answer to be, "No, it was at 6:30 and when you were 15 minutes late she gave up on you and went to get dinner since you're her last client before break," or "No, it's at 7:00, so sit your impatient ass back down." But the receptionist confirmed, and said someone would be out to wash my hair in a minute.

That "someone" was Janet, obviously pulled away from her meal, still with onion breath. As she briskly shampooed me, she asked me if I had another appointment. "No," I said calmly, knowing full well why she was asking. "Why?"

"Oh, I thought you were in a hurry," she said. I'm not the only one who studied abroad in the mystical land of Passive-Aggressiva.

"No," I said, really annoyed now for the first time, "it's just that I had an appointment here and you were eating a sandwich." My point made, I added helpfully, "Did you get backed up with clients earlier?" I wanted to give her an out, a chance to say, "Yeah it was crazy and I missed my break, I'm so sorry." But she didn't reply at all, and I'd swear the water got a little bit hotter.

It's worth mentioning at this point in the story that I have a history with this woman. And she is not, in fact, a woman. She revealed this fact to me after I mentioned "my partner" in conversation the first time she cut my hair. She was new at the salon at the time, and told me no one there knew she was trans and she was nervous about it. Given this, it's not clear why she told me – she's petite and on hormones and passes extremely well, and I really wouldn't have guessed – except that I guess she needed to share with someone and decided she could trust me. (I realize a hair salon seems like it would be the gayest place on earth, but I'd say 99% of the people who work in this one are women... women with vaginas.) It was very sweet and sort of fun and also kinda inappropriate. It also put me in the awkward position of feeling like I had to see her again, regardless of how well she cut my hair, lest she think I was avoiding her because of her confession, or become paranoid that I had "told on her." I've consistently liked the staff at this place, so I generally just go whenever it suits my schedule and see whomever is available, but Janet has cut my hair a few more times since then, and her chattiness has decreased while her skill has increased, and I feel like I'm supporting a fellow person of queerness, so it's all good.

Anyway, over in the chair Janet had moved from passive-aggressive to just plain aggressive. On the bright side, I've never had my hair cut so quickly. On the down side, I'm not sure that's a good thing. Scissors. Moving very quickly. Very close to my face. I repeatedly asked her to slow down, said I wasn't in a rush, attempted small talk, tried to be kind and soothing. No luck. A couple of times, I got genuinely nervous and imagined a scenario in which I'd have to ask her to stop and have someone else finish my haircut. As if there was any doubt after our first meeting, this person is far too high-maintenance for me. I don't want to have to be responsible for calming down the person wielding scissors near my face.

There's no clever ending to this story. The haircut is okay, no blood was drawn, and Janet and her penis remained angry throughout. On my way out, I complained to the woman at the desk about the experience, but I tipped Janet as usual anyway, just in case our schedules dictate that I get her again even though I'd rather not. Lesson learned: There are some things you don't complain about. I will keep this in mind next time I'm at the dentist or proctologist.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weird praise for MTV

I don't watch much MTV these days, but I'm sort of obsessed with The Paper. More on that later (y'know, maybe), but I like how MTV has basically acknowledged that the only music on the channel now plays in the background of its reality shows, and puts up video-style credits whenever a scene is underscored. What I really admire is their commitment to this device: Tonight's episode of The Paper featured a song from Annie Get Your Gun, and the little widget popped up and said "Artist: Ethel Merman." I think it might have been spelled wrong, but I appreciate it anyway.

Sad Kitty

I know I hardly ever write "real" posts anymore. Uh, sorry?

Anyway, in the meantime enjoy this genius film, via Cute Overload. (No reflection intended on my own mental state, nor that of my cat.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thank you, America!

And thank you, American Idol, for not giving the line "I was every little hungry schoolgirl's pride and joy" to Archuletta.

My Civic Duty

As I write this, the American Idol finale is starting (I can't bear to watch all 2 hours so I'm DVR-delaying), so by the time you read it the whole awful thing will probably be all over. But I just want to say now to the pop culture gods, please please please don't let David Archuletta win.

I've haven't felt this strongly about the outcome of American Idol since... ever. Last night I voted - multiple times - for the first time since season one. Given my usual affection for the skinny, baby-faced, gay or gay-acting Idolers (those season one votes were for Jim Verarros - don't judge me!), you'd think i'd be an Archuletta fan. But Jim was an underdog and the standards were lower in those early days. And also, I HATE the way David sings.

I hate the way his voice seems to come from the back of his throat as if he's doing a bad Kermit the Frog impression. I hate the way he can't sing a song straight. What was all that Mariah Carey shit he did last night during "Imagine?" I hate his complete and total lack of stage presence. I hate the way his performances put me to sleep with the stunning blandness. I hate the way the judges inexplicably fawn all over him. Maybe there's something they see live that doesn't make it through the cameras?

Look, I'm sure he's a nice kid. And he's cute in a slightly creepy neutered jailbait way. He has a decent range and usually remembers his lyrics. I can't imagine what all this attention from the likes of Ryan Seacrest and Paula Abdul and 10-year-old girls must do to a shy 17-year-old who probably got the crap beat out of him on a daily basis in school until a few months ago. So let him come back in 5 years when his voice (and the rest of him) has matured a little. But please, if you care about truth, justice and pop music (and David Cook, a contestant who's actually very talented), don't let the Muppet win.

And if it's already happened, consider this my angry rant, and hope that we've all forgotten all about it by next week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Street Scenes

This afternoon I saw two things on the street that struck me as odd, even by Midtown Manhattan standards.

Outside Macy's, a woman dropped the cigarette she was smoking onto the sidewalk, picked it up, and put it back in her mouth. I guess if you're already a smoker it doesn't really matter what other nasty shit you put in your body, but EW. I tend not to be squeamish about living in New York. I know that when I touch a stairway railing, or hold a subway pole, or, frankly, walk into my gym's locker room, I'm taking my life in my hands. I can't live in a bubble, and germs are, as Dan Savage would say, the price of admission. But dude, you don't pick up things off the streets of New York and put them in your mouth! No! Bad tourist!

A few hours later I saw a man wearing a belt that said "JESUS IS MY BOSS." I suppose it's a fine sentiment if you like that sort of thing, but it seemed a strange thing to emblazon above one's ass. I couldn't help thinking that "Jesus holds my pants up" would have been more appropriate. Then again, the belt was upside down, so maybe Jesus needs to hire some smarter employees.

Pluck all night

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Really?

I think I can handle a lot. I try to accept that other people have beliefs that differ from mine, and to be open to those beliefs even when they're stupid. I can have an open mind and a conversation about intelligent design, Jesus, Iraq, or The Hills. But...

Florida Teacher Accused of Wizardry

...seriously?? In the United States of America, in the 21st Century, the most basic of slight of hand illusions gets a man fired? I have nothing witty to say about this, I'm just too baffled.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

And another thing...

Last night's Idol makes me sad for musical theater in general. Here was a chance to expose kids all over the country to a style of music they'd maybe never heard before, or had heard and dismissed, sung by people they admire, possibly in a more accessible way, and like it. I personally never liked Andrew Lloyd Webber (though I was already into musical theater by other composers) until I heard a re-orchestrated version of Jesus Christ Superstar (which now sounds as hopelessly dated by the grunge era as the original album sounds stuck in the 70s, but that's not the point). I'll never be his biggest fan, but it was enough to open my mind a bit and get me listening to other things, some of which I like very much, including those 70s-tastic recordings of Superstar.

Idol has blown pretty much every chance at this this season. The Beatles episodes are another prime example. There are great songs out there that these kids could all sing well. So why do they do bad songs, or worse, sing good songs badly?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Do you think you're what they say you are?

We're barely 5 minutes into this week's sure-to-be-tragic episode of American Idol, and Ryan Seacrest just said, "[Andrew Lloyd Webber has] composed most of the important musicals of our time."

I'm sorry, what?? Look, I like Andrew Lloyd Webber. He's composed some very, very popular musicals. Some of them are even good. Some might even be considered important, if not artistically then for the way they changed the landscape of Broadway.

But most? Look, I know this is a world where "too Broadway" is a common criticism. If Ryan's ever even seen a musical he wouldn't admit it lest he look gayer. And for the love of god, there should never ever be a Stephen Sondheim or Jason Robert Brown night on American Idol. But really? Surely there's a homo or two on the writing staff there who could've written a less off-putting voiceover.

Oh my god now Dreadlock Boy is singing "Memory." This is the worst idea ever. It's nowhere near in his range and he seems to have forgotten the words. I totally get that most of these kids are out of their elements here, but why not ask someone which songs were written for boys?

I have to stop blogging while I watch this or I'll throw my laptop at the TV.



Okay, one last thing, and it's actually a compliment to Lord Lloyd Webber. It's apparently actually impossible to sing "You Must Love Me" without sounding like you're on your deathbed. It's a surprisingly great example of music telling a story and conveying a character's emotional place in that story. Unfortunately, that makes it one of the worst possible choices for karaoke, and Brooke, a good singer, sounded like she was dying of cancer.

Suicide Watch

Late this afternoon I discovered a typo in a letter I'd written. A letter that had already been proofed, mail merged, proofed again, and printed 150 times on letterhead.

If I don't blog for a while, it's probably because I've killed myself.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nope, it was the Pope.

Earlier this afternoon I was walking up Lexington Avenue, headed for the F train station on 63rd Street, and I found my route completely blocked by cop cars and barricades. "Fuck," I thought. "The goddamn Pope."

I was about to turn around and take a different train when I saw some motorcycles approaching - clearly the beginning of a motorcade. If he was just passing by then presumably the street would open as soon as he was through, so I decided to wait. It might be kind of neat to see the Popemobile anyway.

But there was no funny bubble car, just the usual array of black cars, cops and ambulances. People cheered when a car with some flags on it went by, at which point I doubted that this was the Pope at all, and wondered if it was some other dignitary on the way to Yankee Stadium to see the Pope. But someone in the crowd confirmed my original guess.

And also as I'd guessed, as soon as the motorcade passed, which only took a few seconds, the crowd dispersed and the barricades were moved, no big inconvenience to me (how rare!). But I was sort of amazed that all these people had stood there waiting. To see what? Many of them seemed very pleased with themselves afterwards. Why? Anyone could have been in that car. Does a papal drive-by make you closer to god somehow? I just completely missed the point. Not of the Pope, or of seeing him, but of seeing his car. Religion aside it's like a certain level of celebrity-worship that I just don't get at all. There are people I'd love to meet, or see perform (deliver mass, same thing), or sit near at a restaurant, but "Oooh, there goes his cab?" I don't get it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spending too much time thinking about Rich Little

Some of the guest stars on The Muppet Show are dated, a few I've never even heard of, but as I make my way though season two on DVD, there's only one so far who I simply don't get. The funny thing is I remember liking Rich Little when I was a kid. But I can't imagine why I did, or why anyone would, or why it seemed like a good idea to put him on a children's show. Little, in case you don't remember, did impressions. Based on the Muppet Show appearance, that's all he did. There aren't really any jokes that might make a mediocre impression funny or political. On the Muppets he impersonates WC Fields, Humphrey Bogart and John Wayne. Not exactly cutting edge stuff. Even 30 years ago those guys weren't raking in the under-12 demographic. But I guess they've all endured as famous personalities, so the bigger problem is really that none of his impressions are actually good. And yet somehow, I remember this guy being kind of a big deal!

The biggest misstep with the Muppets is when Little actually does impressions of the Muppets. And they are bad. And in case you might think they're good, he has conversations, in "character," with the person (um, bear, frog) he's impersonating. This is the opposite of a good strategy. I mean, my only real sense of what WC Fields sounds like is what a WC Fields impression sounds like. But the surest way to point out how two people sound nothing alike is to listen to them talking to each other! Here, see for yourself. The segment is about 5 minutes in.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Flat-ulence

I'd never heard of this until a few weeks ago, but there's apparently a very popular series of children's books called Flat Stanley, about a boy who's crushed in a horrible accident but makes the best of it and uses his new, highly desirable, Calvin Klein model waistline to slide under doors and things and spy for the government. Um, or something like that.

Anyway, the books have inspired school children to make their own Flat Stanleys and mail them places, pen-pal style. The Stanley recipient then shows Stanley around his hometown, or puts him to work in his sweatshop or whatever, takes photos, and sends them back to the child. I'm not really sure what the kid has to do besides color. I don't think she even addressed the envelope. It's kind of a scam, actually.

Anyway again, we got Boy's niece's Flat Stanley this year. I guess last year Boy's aunt set the bar high with farm animals or something, so we were basically challenged to top her. Fortunately, we live in New York City. Also fortunately, the weather finally got nice last week. Also also fortunately, while I'm not a hugely competitive person, this is the sort of challenge that I love. I definitely got some funny looks wandering around with my camera and a paper cut-out dude (some of which were even captured in the photos), but it was really fun. And I don't even like children!

So for some fun NYC pics (that happen to have a small, flat person blocking half the scenery), here are my Flat Stanley photos on Flickr.
Flat Stanley meets Wax Samuel L Jackson

Friday, April 11, 2008

Commas Are Good Sarah Marshall

There are these teaser posters all over town for Forgetting Sarah Marshall, with large black magic markery text on a white background. Given the stark design aesthetic, I can almost forgive the complete lack of punctuation, except that for a while I didn't fully understand them. It wasn't clear if they were mean statements to Sarah Marshall, mean statements from Sarah Marshall, or in one case, statements about what the reader does to Sarah Marshall ("YOU SUCK SARAH MARSHALL").

When I saw a commercial for the movie I figured out that they're statements to Veronica Mars Sarah Marshall, as if Jason Segel (who, confusingly, plays Marshall on How I Met Your Mother) had scrawled them on walls. I guess. Since I don't really give ads in the subway much thought (I've already given these more than they deserve), when I see them now I unconsciously correct them (meaning from context and all that) and move on.

Apparently, someone else in my neighborhood couldn't let go so easily:
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I must find this kindred spirit and commend him on his worthy vandalism! Maybe I'll buy him a Sharpie.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Something wicked this way comes

Last night I attended the opening night of a play whose name I can't say.

There's an old theatrical superstition that this play is cursed. As I understand it, there are two basic schools of thought on how this came about. One is that the play is actually cursed. With all the grisly murders, witches, ghosts, and general bad karma in the play, I find this completely plausible. The other version of the story I heard is that the play was actually a surefire success back in the days of real repertory companies, so if a producer had a flop he could close it down and throw this show up in its place to save his ass. So while there's nothing wrong with the play itself (quite the opposite), it became associated with disaster and failure.

There are other versions of how "the curse" came to be, but the end result is that it's quite common to run across someone who won't say the name of the play (or, by extension, its eponymous lead character) in a theater, and will yell at you if you do (the one exception to this rule is that you can say it if you're actually working on the play – though even this is less obvious than it sounds and can be up for debate). Some people will go so far as to never say "the M-word" at all.

This is exactly the sort of affectation - like quoting Mame, or correcting someone who calls a cast album a "soundtrack," or titling a blog post "Something wicked this way comes" - that makes even theater people hate theater people sometimes. Personally, I cringe whenever someone says "The Scottish Play," or refers to the main character's wife as "Lady M." Unfortunately, I'm often cringing at myself.

During my junior year, my high school put on a production of The Crucible. It wasn't the first play I worked on, but it was pretty close, and it was when I was starting to really get into it. Somehow, the subject of that play came up backstage before a performance. Maybe someone was reading it in English class. Anyway, a couple of my friends on the crew freaked out and insisted that whoever had said it run around the theater three times and spit. Right, it's that annoying. I had never heard anything so ridiculous. Now, I was hardly one of the cool kids in high school (or in college, or, y'know, now), but as I'm sure anyone reading this blog knows, there are levels of nerd-dom, and I definitely considered myself above my M-word-averse friends. Which is my This American Life way of saying: I was an asshole. I didn't just tell my friends I didn't believe them, or even make fun of them, I said the word over and over and over again backstage. I don't remember but I wouldn't be surprised if I did a little dance.

You're probably thinking something terrible happened to me during the performance. That would've been too simple, and it would've made me believe in karma, not the curse. No, terrible things happened to everyone else. Even by high school standards the performance was a mess. Whole pages of text out of order. Dropped props and missed cues. Two things stick out above the rest. At the end of the play the main character, John Proctor, has a big impassioned speech about how he can't make a false confession even if it might save his life, because it would tarnish his name, which is the only thing he has left. "How can I give away my name," he asks. "I am no Rebecca Nurse, I am no Sarah Goode, I am John Proctor!" Or something along those lines. So the big moment comes, and our leading actor yells, "How can I give away my name? I am no Rebecca Nurse, I am no Sarah Goode, I am John Goode! Um. I am...John...Proctor."

A few minutes later, John What's-His-Name is hanged. This is written to happen offstage, but (and this tells you almost everything you need to know about my high school) we questioned both the wisdom of Arthur Miller, and most schools' ideas of student safety, and hanged him onstage. There was a harness involved, of course, and a fake noose designed to pop open if any real pressure were placed on it, but on this night the rope was just a little too tight. Not enough to kill anyone (or to fall apart safely, as it was supposed to if it became dangerous), but enough to be really uncomfortable and probably more than a little terrifying. Did I mention that he had to swing there for a good two minutes while sad music played and the lights slowly faded to black? (This tells you the rest of what you need to know about my high school.)

The thing that still gets me about this is that none of the people who screwed up that night had anything to do with the Macbeth (there, I said it!) conversation. They weren't anywhere near it, and had no idea it had happened. If they did, I would've chalked it up to subconscious self-sabotage. If they'd heard me say it and were superstitious themselves, it could've caused them to slip up. But they didn't. And too many things went wrong to be coincidence. I fully believe to this day that I cursed that performance. It was only a play, and no one got hurt, so it's not like some secret pain I carry around, but I've hardly ever said that word since. Being a superstitious douchebag is a small price to pay for, well, being a non-believing douchebag. Making fun of theater nerds actually turned me into a bigger theater nerd. There's karma for you.

And Ben, if you're reading this: Sorry about your neck, dude.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Nine More Months

This is one of the most depressing and upsetting things I've ever heard.

I do not think it means what you think it means.

Okay, so it's not the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, but Playbill.com is still a reasonably respectable news source, at least within the theater industry. So I am fascinated and baffled by this introductory sentence:

___ ____, the young actor recently seen as the vascular college-age son in the Off-Broadway musical ____ __ _____, has jumped into the Broadway production of _______....*


Vascular?? I saw the last show he was in, and he was in his underwear for a while and certainly didn't strike me as particularly veiny. I looked it up, in case there was a meaning I didn't know about. Nope. "Pertaining to, composed of, or provided with vessels or ducts that convey fluids," says Dictionary.com. I mean, yes, I suppose every human being is composed of and provided with vessels that convey fluids, but... huh? It's just such an odd mistake, in that I can't even begin to figure out what the writer meant to say. I think that's why I'm so fascinated with it. I keep reloading the page to see if it changes. I'll let you know.



*In keeping with my loose policy of not (really) blogging about theater, I decided to keep this quote un-Googleable...and anyone searching for the terms I blanked out would be disappointed anyway since this post really has nothing to do with any of them. Here's a link to the original article for the curious.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

C is for...

Seriously, I couldn't have found a less fattening hobby?? The rest of my Amazon order arrived today – a bunch of inexpensive kitchen stuff to go with the KitchenAid mixer (and, totally unrelated, the Sweeney Todd DVD). I often find I like making Martha Stewart recipes less than I like watching her make them – they can be just a little too fussy – but I couldn't resist buying her new cookie book anyway, and it looks spectacular. It's divided into sections by texture, which is maybe the most brilliant thing ever. So there's a "Soft and Chewy" chapter, "Crisp and Crunchy," "Rich and Dense," and so on. All with gorgeous photos that just make me want to bake all day long. She really is an evil genius.

Meanwhile, I decided that the mixer needed a name. Martha was too obvious, of course. I tried out Alice, after the Brady's maid, but it didn't stick. Sydney, after Sydney Bristow, 'cause she kicks ass and Jennifer Garner is a big Martha fan? Julia, as in Child? No, it had to be something that made sense in our household. I realized that with its imposing, metal, oblong head, the mixer looks a little like a Cylon centurion from the new BSG. (PS, KitchenAid, if you ever made a model with that red light going back and forth I would SO buy it!) Okay, so Number Six? Boomer? Deanna? Starbuck? Nope, nope, nope.

Then it struck me: Why is the mixer a woman? I mean, sure, there's the whole tradition of naming boats and guitars and cars after women, but there was also something unappealingly sexist about deciding that a kitchen appliance had to be female. And then it hit me.

Our stand mixer's name is Colonel Tigh. And the other appliances had better not frak around.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The power of editing

This commercial actually kinda makes me want to watch Episodes 1-3 again this weekend. They make Natalie Portman talking to the Senate in a strangely-accented monotone look exciting!


Of course, this begins opposite the return of Battlestar Galactica, and my priorities are clear!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I have no words

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

McWealthy

Also, why is Patrick Dempsey the voice of at least three different companies' ad campaigns? Like he needs more money?

Dear American Idol Studio Audience,

Stop with the waving your arms from side to side over your head whenever someone sings anything remotely ballady! Seriously, who the fuck does that? Especially if you can't manage to all move in the same direction and at the same tempo.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Muffin Man

During my many recent months of under-employment, I developed a habit which is quite dangerous to my health: Baking. Really, in light of my last post, couldn't I be addicted to exercising? I've always enjoyed working in the kitchen, but all those days sitting at home and watching Martha and needing projects to fill my time stepped it up a notch. The gadget at the top of my wish list right now isn't an iPod Touch (though it's on there too), it's a KitchenAid stand mixer.

It's the perfect hobby for me – just time-consuming enough, not very expensive, and able to buy the affection of others. I thought about putting it on my resume: "If you hire me, I will bring treats to work often."

One week I spontaneously decided to make cookies, but was repeatedly thwarted by my missing just one ingredient, and being too stupid to do a full inventory before going to the store. This inspired me to turn my kitchen cabinet, after several visits to church The Container Store, from this...

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...to this...

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I am now prepared to bake on a moment's notice. After I obsessively tracked its price on Amazon (which changed oddly frequently), my KitchenAid is on its way. It's black and chrome, so it will match my future iPod Touch. But maybe I should leave it in the box and mix everything by hand to try to get in some cardio.

You know it's time to get back on your diet when...

...you get a new office chair and you're within 10 pounds of its rated weight limit.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter

This has been on Cute Overload and I Can Has Cheezburger already, so you've probably seen it already, but just in case...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tori Spelling needs the work

While watching TV this morning I got this brilliant idea: Lifetime, home of trashy yet fun "Lifetime Originals" movies for women, and the Sci Fi Channel, home of trashy yet fun "Sci Fi Originals" movies for nerds, should totally team up and make a "Sci Fi Lifetime Original."

Boy suggested Not Without My Clone Baby, but I'm partial to Mother May I Sleep With Frankenfish.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hookers

Look, we get it: Governor Spitzer fucked some whores, got caught, and is resigning. When I'm stuck on a plane for six hours with only Martha Stewart, her lovely guest Patricia Clarkson, and the absolutely amazing-looking chocolate-mint sandwich cookies they're making for company, is it really necessary for you to break in for yet another press conference from yet another person with nothing to say except, "Gee, that sucks, but it's not like we're going to close the state or anything?"

Also on the TV on the plane (god bless JetBlue!) - The Faculty. Why is this movie not more of a classic? Kevin Williamson script, brilliant performances from Bebe Neuwirth, Piper Laurie and Robert Patrick, really-good-for-teenagers-running-from-aliens work by Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett and Clea Duvall. Oh yeah, and Jon Stewart:

(Skip to about 2:00 for Stewart. Though at 1:20 you get the brilliant, "Fuck you, Titbags!" Joey Potter never said that!)

What would you do if I sang out of tune?

I had to pick this week to really start watching American Idol?

Whether it was the rights-holders or Fox who were reluctant, after last night I totally understand why it took them so long to do "Lennon/McCartney Night" on Idol. A lot of people have this totally irrational attachment to The Beatles, and consider them and their body of work to be infallible. I'm one of those people, even though I wasn't born until six years after their last album of original material came out. I'm not the type of purist who considers covers of those songs sacrilege, though. Songs so deeply embedded in the cultural canon should be covered. The thing is, though, they have to be covered well. The Across the Universe soundtrack is brilliant, despite its failings as a film (the gospel version of "Let It Be" makes me cry, though during the movie I had no idea what was going on). There's Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Dear Prudence," Little Junior Parker's "Tomorrow Never Knows," anything by Joe Cocker, some of the Beatles' own later solo covers of themselves, etc.

With a couple of exceptions (most notably "Come Together," which was pretty much the arrangement from Across the Universe), the performances that were "good" last night were just boring. Which I guess is better than being bad (I'm talking to you, David "I'm 12 and cute so who cares if I learn the words" Archuletta). One thing I'll never understand about Idol is the way the judges like to blame the singer for the arrangement. Like they're all orchestrators now. Sure, I guess they pick them, but are we really meant to believe there isn't an army of producers and musical directors pulling the strings? And where do these arrangements, like the country "8 Days A Week" (which I actually thought was a pretty cool idea, if not entirely successful), come from anyway?

But I digress. If you're going to do a song that's so well-known and well-loved, you'd damn well better "put your own spin on it," as Paula would say, or do it spectacularly. Based on those criteria, I'm currently rooting for David Cook and Amanda Overmyer, who, in spite of their ridiculous hair and seeming one-trick-pony-ness, were pretty damn good last night and in the couple of YouTube clips I've watched. I also liked the girl who did "Come Together," but she seems like she might lose her voice in a couple of weeks.

On a totally non-Beatles-related note, how nice is it that the gay stripper is still on the show (even if he's terrible), and at least two more of the final 24 were gay-hay-hay, when only 6 years ago, Fox made Jim Verarros take down his Livejournal because (shocking!) it talked about boys? Sure, Ryan and Simon's weird homophobic banter is still baffling and a little gross, but that says more about them than about America and the viewing public, which has clearly come at least a short way!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

When I'm 64

Boy came home last night a few minutes after I'd gotten into bed, and we had the following conversation.

Boy: You smell good.
Me: It's Tiger Balm and Gold Bond. I smell like an old person.
Boy: I like it. You're my old person.

Now normally I steer clear of the nauseatingly cute on this blog, but it seemed like a good moment to point out how awesome and adorable my boyfriend is.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Then and Now

2004:
radish-ibook1

2008:
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I don't think the cat has hung out behind my computer since that first pic was taken, but when I saw him doing it again I knew I had to do a comparison shot. I like how the laptop has gotten bigger too.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Happy Days

Today is National Grammar Day.

It is also the day I start my new job, and really, my new career. That seems auspicious, doesn't it?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Wide collars and puppies

I'm ripping my DVDs of season two of The Muppet Show to my iPod, and I was struck by how 70s-tastic the entire first disc's guest stars are: Don Knotts, Zero Mostel, Milton Berle, Rich Little, Judy Collins and Nancy Walker. It's sort of hard to fathom a kids' show today being hosted by the likes of Nancy Walker (I bet George Clooney would've been great though). Most of the hosts from later in the season have stood the test of time a little better, at least for my generation: Steve Martin, Madeline Kahn, George Burns, Bernadette Peters, Elton John, Julie Andrews, John Cleese. Not that any of them are huge, relevant modern stars (maybe Steve Martin and Elton), but they're names most people would recognize and if they're not dead they're still working.

I guess it's not super-common to re-watch things from your childhood, especially not with the level of adult enjoyment I get from The Muppet Show, so I'm constantly surprised by how many things from the show were permanently burned into my brain without my realizing it. In the Don Knotts episode alone, within 2 seconds of almost every sketch I knew exactly what was coming and thought "Oh yeah, I loved this one!"

This, however, the very first sketch of season two, I did not remember, and it might be the creepiest thing I've ever seen. (No embedding, sadly.)

Fortunately, the same episode contains one of the cutest things I've ever seen:

I especially like how he changes "babies" to "puppies."

One of these things is not like the other

Amazon.com confirms that I am weird:

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday Videos

This may seem boring at first, but stick with it - the payoff is brilliant.



For West Wing fans.



If I didn't sometimes watch live TV, I'd miss out on things like this (embedding disabled, sadly). The hell?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

...goes unpunished!

So that cabbie I blogged about the other day? Yeah, he's under arrest.

Turns out the whole thing was an elaborate and stupid hoax to get rid of an unwanted baby. The driver is the father's sister's boyfriend. I don't quite understand a) why they bothered, and b) why they're in trouble, since New York has a safe haven policy whereby babies can be left at hospitals (and, I think, firehouses) with no questions asked. But I guess there's a whole fraud element here too.

Anyway, awesome. I mean, terrible, but... you know what I mean.

Dirty Bird

I generally find these DirecTV ads sort of awful and creepy, but this one makes me really really happy:



I don't know why the Aliens one makes me sad for Siguorney Weaver, but this one makes me love Kathy Bates even more. Inexplicable but true.

Friday, February 29, 2008

No good deed

One of the big stories in today's local news was about a man who got into a cab with a baby, then asked the driver to stop and fled the car, leaving the baby behind. The driver took the baby to the nearest firehouse.

The driver is getting a $300 reward for his "good deed." (I can't find a link to the radio story that mentioned that today, and the above link doesn't talk about it.)

I'm sorry, what? What else could he have done? Toss the kid out on the sidewalk? Stolen it? Why are we giving someone a monetary reward for doing something "good" when his only other options were, in fact, criminal?

Maybe I'll find a baby on the street later. That's better than finding a lost dollar bill! I mean, as long as I don't kill it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yes, actually, I mind very much

The people I'm working with are lovely, but they're consistently stepping on one of my biggest temp pet peeves. Here's a typical conversation:
Co-worker: "Hey are you doing anything right now?"
Me: "Nope." (Translation: "Yes, but nothing you're paying me for.")
Co-worker: "Would you mind making 3 copies of this for me?"
Me: "Uh, of course not."

Just once I'd like to say, "Yes, actually, I mind very much. My Google Reader is very full today."

I'm all for being polite, but making copies for you is my job. It's the entire reason I'm here and not home in bed. By all means say "please" and "thank you," and sure, hedge a little bit if you're asking me to do something not really in my job description like pick up your dry cleaning, but don't waste my time and yours by asking my permission to put me to work. And stop with the disproportionate gratitude while you're at it. I know that my presence here is helpful to you, but after all you are paying me. I'm not doing you a favor out of the goodness of my heart. I am motivated purely by a paycheck, and I'd feel much more comfortable if your attitude were as mercenary as mine.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A bee montage?!

Cintra Wilson perfectly sums up the Oscars.

In short: This year, Oscar honored the heart-touching magic of the film industry's celebration of life by sucking every possible ounce of spontaneous life, marrow and energy out of the event by waterboarding it to the point of gag-reflex failure with canned montages.


My favorite quote:
To karmically rebalance these mortal offenses, Bob Fosse must rise and vengefully return from his grave to fan-kick down the door of Robert Iger's summer home and terrorize him with zombie jazz hands.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Phone Pics

I was transferring photos off my phone today to email a couple and I found some I forgot I had taken.

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I've walked by this door many times (it's on 41st Street, between the two terminals of Port Authority) but never noticed it before - maybe the lettering is new. The spelling mistake is just so ODD.
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At first I just read it as ACTIVE, 'cause I knew what it was supposed to say. Then I thought it said ATIVE, because my brain really couldn't process ATVIE. How did one letter go missing and three go completely out of order in a six-letter word? It stands out even more because the rest of it looks so good (I mean, for what it is).


These are from a slightly drunk walk through midtown after an opening night party on a cloudy January night. I just had one of those "I never get tired of this city" moments (well, two of them, I guess).

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

President Bush is a Douchebag

As if we needed more proof...

I just read that 2007 is the last tax year for which people can deduct tuition expenses, educator expenses (teachers' out-of-pocket costs), and home energy improvement purchases.

The Bush Administration: Not giving a shit about education or the environment since 2000.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

;-)

Awesome article sent to me by MF today.

what a way to make a living

It's been a strange few months for me work-wise, marked by that most lucrative of theatrical ventures, the off-off-Broadway show, a couple of odd short-term gigs, some subbing, an ongoing attempt to reboot my career (more on that if and when I actually have something to show for it) and a whole lot of Law & Order reruns on TNT. Time to blog? Tons. Anything worth blogging about? Not so much. It wasn't a bad time, really. I was actually making ends meet, and enjoying fantasies of being a househusband who could keep the apartment clean, get to the gym every day, and try out all the recipes I saw on Martha Stewart. Sadly, I lack the savings, independent wealth or rich husband to make that lifestyle a reality, and my unemployment ran out. So I headed to yet another temp agency (my 6th or 7th in the 10 years since college - how messed up is that?), since the one I'd registered with in the fall had so far only managed to get me one day of reception work back in November.

So long story short (too late), I'm a corporate temp again, for the first time in over a year (longer if you don't count the extremely cushy time I spent with the Foreign Lawyers). I went to this particular agency because my friend who works for them routinely gets assigned to major media companies. She's currently working for a television network and has a TV at her desk.

So, naturally, I'm working at the corporate headquarters of an American sports institution. I don't mean a cable channel, or even a team; I mean the people who run the professional sport. I won't say I know nothing about sports, because I live in America and I listen to news radio almost every morning – it's not like I turn it off when the sports report comes on – but I not only have no interest, I have a pretty healthy disdain for professional sports. Aaaawkwaaard!

Normally when you're a temp, everyone expects you to be kind of an idiot. A temp who shows the slightest glimmer of intelligence and initiative is heaped with praise. If I worked for a real estate company, no one would assume I knew anything about real estate. But it's positively un-American to not know anything about, er, cricket. I'm actually surprised at some of the hidden knowledge deep within my brain for reasons unknown, but it doesn't seem to be very useful. They can't seem to decide how to sort anything - sometimes it's by team, sometimes by city, and sometimes by league – so even when I think I know something I never know where to look for it. Last week I was updating an old contact list by calling offices on a new contact list to confirm names, and I asked someone why I couldn't find the [City] [Team] on any of the new lists. "Um, because they don't exist anymore." But... but I'd heard of them! I saw the name of the city and magically knew the name of the team! How can they not exist? I have just proven to you how little I follow this sport, and how in your eyes that makes me less of a man.

Fortunately, the work is pretty typical temp stuff – copying, filing, data-entry, phones – and the people are far less frat-boy-ish than I expected, so it's not too bad. However, I live every moment in fear that someone will offer me tickets to a game and I'll have to go.

Monday, February 04, 2008

A highly intelligent post about politics

I was chatting with a friend about not knowing who to vote for tomorrow since Edwards dropped out. She sent me this article a friend of hers wrote, which got us on the topic of Obama's qualifications. "I don't mind his lack of experience," I said, "because I think he'll surround himself with good people and inspire them to do good work. And he's not a douchebag."

What does it say about the state of our country, our political system, and the times we live in, that "not a douchebag" is so much of what it comes down to? I care about a lot of issues, but "not a douchebag" is pretty much on the top of my list. From my close, personal relationship with President Bartlett, I gather that to be a good President, you need to keep an open mind, listen to your advisors, and, I dunno, maybe consider the wishes and needs of the people who elected you from time to time. These are not things a douchebag is good at.

And so, Barak Obama is not a douchebag. I think Hillary Clinton might be a bit of a douchebag, but only a little and I like her policies. I certainly don't see myself voting Republican, but I think John McCain is probably not a douchebag, and Mitt Romney probably is. Rudy Guiliani is most definitely an enormous douchebag. And obviously, George W. Bush is gigantic fucking douchebag.

So may the best man or woman win tomorrow, and free us from President Douchebag.


For the record, this conversation really happened, and this was posted 3 days before The Daily Show did an extended douchebag riff on Romney. Not that I'm suggesting they stole it from me, I'm just clarifying that I didn't steal it from them! Clearly, theirs was much funnier.