Thursday, December 2, 2010

Out of touch with reality

It's been awhile. I'm going to blame holiday-related lethargy. It radiated into the entire month of November.

Anyway, I spent all last night preparing to post about ANTM, but it occurred to me that regardless of the winner, I didn't care that much. Ann can't do commercial work, and even at her best has a weird walk. Chelsey is probably  too old to really take off, and I keep calling her "Celia" in my head, so obviously I don't have some great love of her work either. I haven't really cared about a finale since Annaleigh (completely illogically) lost to "McKee" a million seasons ago. But that left me with nothing to write about.

And then I watched the premiere of Top Chef: All-Stars. (Warning: There are spoilers ahead. But season premiere spoilers, so they barely count).

The episode itself was pretty good - the All-Stars are pretty well-selected (though I wish Nice Voltaggio or Future Santa Claus Kevin signed on instead of Mike), and the producers can be happy that most of the people known for being a-holes seem largely unchanged and unapologetic (looking at you, Marcel). Everything was exactly as it should be, including the first challenge - revamp the dish that got you booted from your season. Even better, while half of the chefs cooked, the other half ate their competitions dishes with the judges. And the chefs who cooked watched the diners on closed circuit TV from the kitchen. All good stuff. Then Anthony Bourdain called Fabio's pasta dish one of the worst things he'd ever eaten. Only, you know, in a Bourdanier (let's agree that that's a word) way. Fabio was pissed, which is fair.

Here's what isn't: at judging Fabio went off on this whole thing about how he came here to be criticized in a constructive way, not to be made fun of (question: how do you rephrase that to move the preposition? I mean, without sounding like a douche). He even implies that, if they weren't in a judge/contestant situation, he might even actually fight Bourdain.

That's where I got kind of annoyed - it's not just that I'm pretty sure Bourdain is a scrapper who could totally take Fabio. Nor is it just that I'm of that camp that thinks getting in the judges faces is petty and unprofessional. No, my main problem is that being made fun of is EXACTLY WHAT YOU CAME HERE FOR. Because, before anything else, this is a reality show. So when Tyra calls your walk goofy, Michael Kors says you made your model look like a slutty disco ball or Tom Colicchio says your food was so bad it actually offended him on a personal level, yes it sucks, but no one made you audition.

If you're looking for a bunch of people to taste your food, then focus on helping you improve it using really constructive and ego-bolstering language, you should take cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. These are judges. Their job is to judge. Preferably in a way that's entertaining. And using language strong enough that it helps the audience get really committed to the idea that this  person deserves to win, and this person should be banned from ever cooking again ever.

Not knowing this going into a competition-based reality show is naive (the format is hardly new); not knowing this going into your SECOND competition-based reality show is just plain dumb. But that's okay. Given the competition, I'm sure Fabio will only have to deal with it for a few weeks.

Friday, November 19, 2010

La Croix, sweetie, La Croix!

Ok, so this is far from a certainty, but I'm opting to get really excited now even though it may mean being horribly disappointed later : AbFab may come back! 

Jennifer Saunders isn't currently working, because she's in treatment for breast cancer, but it seems like she's been kicking the idea around with Joanna Lumley. BUT she's not making any statements about it at this point (which is understandable- she got bigger things to deal with), so she may never opt to advance it past the "kicking the idea around" stage. Plus, who knows if June Whitfield, Julia Sawalha and Jane Horrocks would necessarily be interested in coming back.

But who needs a measured and reasonable perspective on the situation? AbFab may come back!


While we're on the subject of fashion comedies, on this week's ANTM Tyra (who is basically a parody of a parody of a parody of herself at this point) aired her directorial debut. And it is...so many things. Mostly it's like a really bad student-level art film. But there's a wonderful segment around the 1:15 mark where Tyra seemed to ask herself "What if that girl from The Ring had been FIERCE and SMIZED?"

It's one of my new favorite things.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Best thing ever

I haven't seen The Social Network yet. I know I need to, but on the weekends I always go back and forth between absurdly busy and embarrassingly lazy.

But that's not the point. The point is that apparently, the guy who plays the Winklevoss twins is named "Armie Hammer." Armie Hammer. When I read that, I thought "No way," because that has to be a typo, right? Or a stage name like "Ethan Tremblay"?

So I wikipediaed him (is there a good way to past tense "Wikipedia" as a verb?), and his real name isn't Armie.

It's Armand.

Armand.

Armand Hammer.

HIS NAME IS ARM AND HAMMER. That is AMAZING. It's like that time that Bart prank called Moe's and there was an actual guy there named "Hugh Jass."

It's like the example line on a form. It would say, Mr. Armand Hammer of 12301 Deodorizer Way, Anytown USA.

It is one of the most awesome names I've ever heard. I sit in awe of it.


Though I bet, when he was a kid, his parents would say thing like "with a name like Armand Hammer, you think your room would be a little cleaner." And then they'd laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

That probably got old fast.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fear and logic don't really mix

I've been meaning to talk about The Walking Dead. Mostly to say that it's a really good show.

Well. Point of clarification: the pilot is fantastic. Apparently the second episode is as well, but since I haven't yet watched it (and may not ever), I wouldn't really know.

You see, me and horror? Not so much. My husband and horror movies/books/shows are BFFs who would gladly wile away a weekend French braiding each others entrails, but I just can't handle it. But I watched the pilot for The Walking Dead, because I read the comic and - as my husband repeatedly pointed out - it's more character-driven than scare-driven. So I watched it. And here's the thing about a character driven zombie story: instead of sudden moments that make you scream, you instead have sort of a looming sense of panic and danger that just never goes away.

But I made it through, even in spite of some very realistic-looking zombies. I was super proud of myself. Until after the show was over. Because it was then that, walking by the bathroom,  I saw that the shower curtain was pulled shut.

I looked at it and thought to myself "I'd better pull that curtain back, so I can make sure that a zombie didn't come up the drain."

And then I thought about the fact that for that to be possible:
1) Zombies would have to BE AN ACTUAL THING.
and
2) A full-sized (albeit slightly decomposed) human being would have to be able to fit through our bathtub drain.

I gave both of these things some thought and decided that yes, that seems entirely plausible, and actually checked my tub for hiding zombies. Because if I didn't, and a zombie later ambushed me when I was trying to use the restroom, I'd have no one to blame but myself.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Why I don't watch game shows

Sometimes, I watch Jeopardy and someone misses an answer that I know. Then, of course, I point and laugh because "ha,ha - you rage against the dying of the light, not fight against it! Look at how stupid you are, with your stupid face!"

And then I remember that these people are making thousands of dollars by correctly answering questions that I not only don't know, but occasionally don't understand. Then I go back to rotating between Snapped and A-list New York so that I can get all cozy with my inflated sense of superiority.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Obligatory Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Reference

It's November first, which means that it's Rabbit, Rabbit Day.

Rabbit, Rabbit Day, according to something I saw on Nickelodeon when I was about 10, occurs on the first day of every month. The idea is that if the first thing you say when you wake up on the first day of the month is "Rabbit, Rabbit" you'll have good luck all month.

Rabbit, Rabbit Day has been the bane of my existence for sixteen years. It's not even that I believe in it, it's just that I want to say it just once, just for the sake knowing I did it. But on Rabbit, Rabbit Day, I always fail. Always. 70% of the time it's because I completely forget it even exists, but the other 30% it's...more of a personal failing.

Apparently, it's impossible for me to go more than five minutes in the morning without announcing "I'm going to watch Scooby Doo until breakfast is ready," or "wouldn't it be cool if Alan Tudyk was on Supernatural?" or "man, I wish I still had a Popple." This happens without fail. Even if no one's listening.

For sixteen years, I've been unable to achieve the (relatively) simple goal of saying "Rabbit, Rabbit" on Rabbit, Rabbit day just once because I am physically incapable of keeping my mouth shut.

Which, I guess, is why I have a blog.

Friday, October 29, 2010

For the Stylish Risk-taker in All of Us.

I bought a butane refill for a candle lighter this week, and saw this:





There are butane curling irons? Is this a common thing? Because I think filling something with flammable liquid and then using it on my head sounds like a terrible idea. However, when I mentioned it to my mom (who I'd previously thought to be under some sort of biological imperative to think really highly of me), she said that she used one for years when she was young and that I was just "being a punk."

I say that when she was young they still put lead in paint, so I'll just stick with my initial assessment about what does and doesn't sound like it could kill me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A dubious honor, but still...

I've created a new game; it's called "Businessman Chicken."

Which, technically, in the name of equality, should probably be "Businessperson Chicken," but whatever.

It works as follows: First you initiate a handshake. Then you continue the handshake way past any reasonable point. Then you start saying vaguely businesslike things to the other person. But businesslike in a 60-year-old on an 80's sitcom sort of way. Examples:

"I'll have Johnson fax you those reports in the morning."

"You just don't have what it takes to get ahead in this game, son."

"How are your quarterlies coming along?"

"I won't stand for you whipper-snappers running around like you own the place."

"You've got the steely-eyed glint of a true negotiator."

This continues until the other person either laughs or disengages the handshake and walks away, shaking their head at your inability to carry on a normal, adult conversation.

I am the queen of Businessman Chicken.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Constant Reminder

This is the Ikea TV stand we have in our bedroom.
Though it's worth noting that our TV isn't near as schmancy as that one.
The TV stand in 22 inches tall.

Sometimes, on the days that I think to myself, "I'm a perfectly reasonable height for a person to be," I look at my short little TV stand. Then I look at the scar it left a good three inches above my knee when I scraped my leg across one of the corners last month.

This make me feel short and sad.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dance the dance of the Jess-man

You know that thing where I get kind of lazy on Friday's, but I try to make up for it by sharing something cool? It's happening again.

So you remember John "Uncle Jesse" Stamos' stirring ballad, "Forever," right? Of course you do. It set the romantic course of a generation, and has been scientifically proven to guarantee twins to any woman who listens to it within the first six weeks of pregnancy. Surely you're here only as a palate cleanser to fill the time between one journey through this musical masterpiece and the next.

The real question is, do you remember when it was a rap song with a cartoonishly Arabian-themed video?


Have a good weekend.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bee Learns a Lesson

There is a mail mountain on the dining room table of my parents' house. It is where unwanted junk mail goes to die. But today, in that mountain of forgotten Valu-Pak envelopes, I found magic.

I found an American Girl catalog.

I'm fifteen years past being young enough to justifiably order an American Girl catalog (and eight years past the last time I ordered one anyway), and I'm the youngest girl in my family, so I have no clue how it ended up at my mom's house. But it doesn't matter how it got there. All that matters is that it was there.

And that I took it.

I spent a solid eight years of my life staring at the pages of that catalog thinking about how mystical and magical my life would be if only my parents realized that I needed, that I deserved Samantha's paint set and flower press. I'm mentally conditioned to grab that catalog as soon as I see it. In fact, I'm pretty proud that I managed to stop myself short of circling the things I want for Christmas. Besides, if I hadn't taken the catalog, I wouldn't have learned an important piece of information.

Take a good look everyone:




Because Felicity Merriman is headed for the big American Girl Place in the sky. Like Samantha before her, the Felicity doll will be no more by the end of the year.Which means that 8-year-old me has to come to terms with the fact her super-awesome table, tea set and blue holiday dress will never be a part of my life.





Note: This is not a sponsored post. American Girl is not paying me to help them clear out the Felicity warehouse by preying on your sense of nostalgia. Promise.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Down on the farm

Yesterday I was talking with a friend who is way more outdoorsy than me. By which I mean she is outdoorsy at all, and if I see more than eight trees in one place I assume that they are hiding a bear. Despite this fundamental difference, we do share one future goal: we want to own chickens. I've been giving it some thought, and chickens are, in fact, the best pet a person can have.
Check it out:
  • You can name a chicken "Edna" or "Eunice" or some other name that hasn't been used since aught-three.
  • Chickens, unlike dogs, do not have teeth with which they can rip your face off.
  • Chickens, unlike cats, do not have claws with which they can rip your face off.
  • Unlike dogs and cats, I do not have an all-encompassing fear of chickens.
  • What other pet periodically gives you breakfast?
  • When you have to muck out the coop, you can make it slightly better by playing the farm music from Looney Tunes cartoons in your head.
  • Asking someone to take care of your dog while you're away means feeding them, giving them water, walking them, scooping the poop from that walk, throwing it out somewhere other than in your house, cleaning up the revenge poop the dog left on you dining room chair, cleaning up the fear-of-abandonment poop the dog left in the kitchen, looking at the dog's sad face when he realizes you're leaving.
  • Asking someone to take care of your chickens means filling a water bowl and tossing some feed in the coop, then grabbing a few eggs to take home.
  • In what other pet-sitting job does the pet pay you?
The only slight problem is that I cannot kill a chicken. Or eat anything I've named. I have a solution though: I'll somehow magically find some friendly, small-scale poultry farmer who will let me trade Old Edna for two new chicks.

And then I'll perform an interpretive dance to "Circle of Life" and start the whole process over.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Oh weekend, I love you.

I tried to write a post. I did. But I'm more than a little wiped out this week, so it was veering very close to "you know when things happen and you say words at people? Don't you hate and/or love that?" So instead, I bring you...

THREE COOL THINGS TO CHECK OUT

First is Jim's Pancakes. He makes stuff for his daughter. Out of pancakes. Everyday. I showed my husband, and he was so impressed by the things this guy can make that it actually made him angry.
 

Second is Hyperbole and a Half. Specifically, her latest entry, "God of Cake". Read it, bask in its awesomeness, then read every other entry.


Finally, watch this Sesame Street Video.



Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The sort of person I am

My glasses have been too big since basically the day after I got them, and EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND since I've said "we need to stop in on Saturday to get these sized." But I never do. Because even though my glasses are absurdly loose, I always forget that they need to be sized until the very second that I lower my head (either sleepily or melodramatically) and they immediately fall right off my face. Then I tell myself to get them fixed, put them own and forget again.

I've done this three times in the past hour.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fickle as ever

Remember when I said I was trying to teach myself French? Yeah, that got shelved. Mostly because French pronunciation is basically impossible, and I lack the attention span for the BBC Languages audio course (which I do actually recommend if you, unlike me, have the attention span to focus on one thing at at time).

But I still needed a project. So I started crocheting blanket. And found a bunch of recipes to try. And I started knitting a blanket.

Oh, and a I bought a flute.

Which isn't really as random as it sounds, since I actually used to play flute. A decade ago. And, as it turns out, it's not really how I remember. For one, it really hurts your face. I would have imagine my tendency toward judgmental frowning would have kept the muscles toned, but apparently not. I was also surprised to find that when you pick up an instrument for the first time in ten years, you sound awful. Truly awful. Playing "Yankee Doodle Dandy" six times in a row in the vain hope of doing it correctly is....humbling. But the biggest thing I forgot was that flutes? Get spit in them. Not as much as brass instruments do, but enough to offend my delicate, ladylike sensibilities.


I should have just bought a violin. I could have figured it out eventually.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm not really good with temptation

So I made my latest nerd confession earlier this week - I'm finally entering the (much lauded) world of Battlestar Galactica. And I'm entering said world in the way I tend to prefer - with DVD mini-marathons, after the show is already over. Seriously, if I don't start watching a show by the second season, I'll usually just wait five seasons or so, then start watching it all on DVD. Then either I catch up and rejoin the weekly audience, or the show is already over and I burn through seven years of someone's career in three months.


The  problem with that is that the ENTIRE INTERNET already knows all of the answers, and you're 20 episodes from even knowing the questions. I don't really mind spoilers in articles - as far as I'm concerned it you're two years or more behind, enter the internet at your own risk. The real issue is that it's all on Wikipedia, and I know it's all on Wikipedia. So, inevitably, the day will come (usually after the second episode) that I wonder "when will this character JUST DIE?", and I'll look it up.  Then I'll find out that the character in question becomes a super-powered ninja space-doctor shortly after killing my favorite character for the magic diamond hidden in her stomach. In season five. So I spend the next 80-some episodes thinking things like "Man, you are really going to brood over this emotional moment when that guy turns on you in a couple of years". Which kind of screws up the shows dramatic arc for me.

For Battlestar I'm really trying not to look. Not really succeeding, but definitely trying. My method of choice: going to TV Tropes instead. Here's how it works: when I find myself about to Google enough information about Battlestar to make watching it completely redundant, I go to TV Tropes and start reading entries and opening tabs for any other entries that sound interesting. Then, by the time I've finished reading most of the tabs I've opened, it's three days later and I'm too weak from exhaustion/dehydration to seek out spoilers.

If you don't believe me check out a couple of tropes, and say goodbye to your weekend.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The land of Nerdom is full of slippery slopes

I just started watching Battlestar Galactica.

Though it's the new one, which I understand is considered way less nerdy that watching the 70s one.

But still, it's Battlestar Galactica. You can't say that without feeling nerdy. They're not even real words. But, the fact remains that everything I've heard - and the little bit I've seen of it so far - suggests that it's a damn good show, so I'm fine with it.

The real danger is in the trailers on the DVDs. Like, for example, the complete series of Cleopatra 2525. Everything about it, starting with the name, sounds awful. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't think twice about it. But thanks to Battlestar Galactica, I've now seen the trailer. And now I know it has Gina Torres.

I love Gina Torres. "It has Gina Torres" is generally all it takes to get me to watch something. But we're talking about a show whose central concept is a cryogenically frozen stripper who wakes up in 2525 (as I'm sure you guessed) to FIGHT ROBOTS. That's not just a thing that happens in the show, that's the whole show. And actually I'm considering watching this. But the question is - where does it go from there? Am I ready to take myself one step closer to being a person who clears out an entire room in their apartment for a giant to-scale model of the Starship Enterprise cardboard cutouts of all 11 Doctors surrounding it?

Because, as much as I don't want to be that person (for one, I don't have the space), there's a part of that's thinking "well, just having the new  Doctors could be kind of cool."

Though of course, there are people who have no idea what mean by the "11 Doctors," who hence kind of think I already am that person.

See? Slippery slope.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Also, they have pencil-thin mustaches

Two men are sitting at a table in an outdoor cafĂ©. Both are wearing turtlenecks and smoking. The Eiffel Tower is visible somewhere in the background of the shot. They say things like, “Jean-Pierre, it is vital that we stick to the plan!” But it sounds like “Zhon-Pierre, eet eez vital that we steeck to zee plahn!” A mime mimes by on the sidewalk

Later as the argument becomes more heated, Jacques (the speaker from earlier) will gesture with a glass of red wine, a cigarette, and a large piece of cheese, simultaneously.
Jean-Pierre will jab at Jacques angrily with a baguette, or emphasize a point by donning a beret.

All of this is so that you, the viewer, will understand – it may sound like they’re speaking English, but they’re actually speaking Movie French.

Movie French is a unique language with its own unique culture (though it sounds very similar to Movie Italian, Movie Russian, and Movie Arabic). You can recognize Movie French by its similarity to English, its random nods to a cartoonish French accent, and the fact that why the hell would these people be speaking English right now?

Movie French helps when your audience is too young to read subtitles, or when you’re worried they could distract from your cool explosions. But I think the main reason for movie French is that you can’t just take an English script, pop it into Babel Fish (do the kids today still use Babel Fish?) and get a French script. You have to hire people to make sure that it actually makes sense, and that you’re not using phrases that don’t even exist in the other language. Then you need actors who speak the language. With Movie French all you need is a vague understanding of French pronunciation and a can-do spirit. As someone who just barely has either of those things, I can accept that sometimes, Movie French is the way to go.

The thing about Movie French that drives me crazy is that at some point in all off this, Jean-Pierre will remember that before they can carry out their big plan, he needs to take little Colette and Nannette to ballet. Then as he and his friend part, Jacques will say “Au revoir, my friend.”

What the hell?

If we were supposed to pretend that that entire conversation already took place in French, then what are we supposed to think they’re speaking when they speak actual real-ass French? Are we meant to assume they're now speaking some arcane, long-forgotten Mega-French? Or maybe if the English was French, then the French is English?

Or maybe, like that one a-hole in your college dorm, they figured it would class up the joint to pepper in the five to ten French words that everyone knows?

Also, do they do this in other countries? If they do, what are the English words that pop up in the middle of a ten minute conversation in like, Russian or Cantonese? I have a sneaking suspicion that either "Buddy" or "Dude" is on the list when the characters are American.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Come back, Jack.

We are now officially living in a world without Law & Order. Well, except for Law & Orders: Perv, D'Onofrio, and LA (it's too new for a nickname). But, look deep within an ask yourself: is Law & Order still Law & Order without Sam Waterston? I don't think so.

And sure, since I've only watched twice since Jerry Orbach died (once for Jesse L. Martin's final episode, and once just to shake my head in mild dismay at Dennis Farina), I'm in the "part of the problem" camp as it relates to the shows cancellation. And of course, the epic level at which the show is syndicated means that at any given time, I can probably find the dream team of McCoy, Briscoe and Green on anywhere from one to eight channels. But what about Sam Waterston? What will he do now? Now that no one needs him to swing by and inform an improbably attractive A.D.A. that you "can't un-ring the bell"? And what's the point of watching a new Law & Order if it has zero chance of reminding me of that SNL informercial sketch about robot insurance for old people?

All the new one is going to remind me of is the existence of Skeet Ulrich.


(Seriously, though - I'm not being mean. I completely forgot that Skeet Ulrich ever was.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Poor, Scary Mark.

I've been thinking about Mark Strong, lately.
For those of you who don't think you know who he is (but you probably actually do), here he is:



Remember him now? Basically if you've been to a movie with a bad guy in the past few year, it may well have been him. If you went to a movie in the past few years and found yourself thinking of the bad guy "damn, when did Andy Garcia get so scary?" then it was almost definitely him. Mark Strong is, as near as I can tell, always a bad guy. You know why? Because he has mean-face.

And he's not the only one. You know those actors that you know are the killer the second they appear on screen? They've got it, too. And suddenly (despite the fact that he probably makes more per movie then I make per decade) I feel weirdly bad about it.  I mean, the guy is great, and he certainly gets work, but there will never, ever, ever be a pitch meeting in which someone says "It's a story of a loving father who loses his wife, but slowly learns to love again with the help of his daughter's second grade teacher. We're thinking Elle Fanning for the daughter, Kate Hudson for the art teacher if you want it light - Winslet for dramatic - and Mark Strong will be the kindly, gentle, open-hearted, completely non-sociopathic father." Unless, half way through the movie it turns out that the hole thing was just a set-up arranged Kate's corrupt government official/crime boss ex-husband - from whom she's been running for years - to get in close enough to her to discreetly poison her in small doses over several weeks. And then she would realize what was going on and then everything gets all harrowing and the music cues get way more intense, and she'd have to rescue Elle Fanning who is actually someone else's daughter, or is Mark Strong's daughter but is scared of him, or was just a hallucination the entire time, or is actually Kate Winsson's (Hudslet's?) own daughter with a dye job or colored contacts or something.

Actually, I would totally watch that movie.

Never mind, Mark Strong - you keep on doing what you do.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Farewell, Premiere Week

At some point in the middle of the summer, my husband stated his intent to watch Shit My Dad Says.


"Why?" I asked.

"Shatner." he responded.

Then they started airing promos. Then they switched leads. Then they aired more promos. I told him "this show is going to be awful."

"Shatner." he responded.

"Will Sasso." I argued.

But no matter how awful the promo, he insisted that Shatner alone was enough for him to watch the first few episodes, at least.

Last night, Shit My Dad Says premiered. And my husband, who insisted for months that we should at least watch it for the first couple of weeks, made it all of three minutes before putting a pillow over his head and begging me to make the show go away forever.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The best night in television

Some times in life, there is a sentence that simply must begin with a "y'all".

Example: Y'all, it's makeover night on America's Next Top Model. I love makeover night. I love it in a way that I would express with capital letters and extra o's, but I've already y'alled today, and I try to only publicize one of my shameful speech tendencies per post.

Makeover night has the power to be one of the best episodes the Top Model season, because it's the one where the girls cry and you don't have to feel even sort of bad about it. I'm sure having to change your hair and having no choice in the matter sucks, but at this point, it's Cycle 83.7 or something; if your hair is "just such a huge part of who (you) are", then DON'T AUDITION. Because Tyra, it seems, created this entire show as an excuse to shave girl's heads, dip them in bleach, or boldly explore new territory in the world of weaves. In fact, as the cycles have gone on, it's basically divided into three makeover choices: Super-short/shaved head; world's longest weave, or as blonde as they can get your before your scalp bleeds enough that EMTs are called. Oh, and eyebrow bleaching. And yet, even when they get one of these obvious categories, these girls freak out because somehow, they thought they'd be the exception, and Tyra would deem their hair perfect just the way it is. It's not going to happen, darlings.

Except for last season (or was it the one before that?) where the girl LOST IT when she thought they were cutting her hair, and then the Jays said "J/K, we think you're the Queen of Magic Modelland!", which pissed me off, because seriously? Any other girl threw a fit like that and she would of been on the first bus home.


Anyway, the three rotating makeover options have gotten crazy dull, but there are always exceptions, and that's gives makeover night it's potential. It's the hope that somewhere in between finding different reference points for "it'll be a crap load of (potentially busted-looking) weave" Tyra will pop out with "I'm going to give you hair like a glittering horse's mane."

And, in case that happens, don't you want to be there?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Under-appreciated Genius

My husband is incapable of trimming his facial evenly. Mostly because he doesn't care. And a little because I'm pretty sure he's hoping that there will come a day when I stop saying "please trim your mustache, before it gets so long that you swallow it in your sleep" and he can grow a Sam Elliott. But as it stands, there's always one hair somewhere on his cheek that's at least twice as long as the ones around it. This doesn't bother my husband at all, but it drives me completely crazy. To the the point that it can distract me mid-sentence. So, enterprising young upstart that I am, this week I came up with a solution: a miniature face-Flowbee. And it could be made at home with just a funnel, the blades from a portable hand fan, some razors and a rubber band. Then we could just tape the whole thing to the end of the hose or our vacuum and we'd be all set.

Despite being offered this ENTIRELY AWESOME solution to a problem that has long plagued him/us/mostly me, my husband rejected my idea out of hand, just because of the high likelihood that it would fail and slice off pieces of his face.

It wasn't very supportive of him.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It would also make a gross gum flavor

This week we bought lemons, and at some point those lemons became...corrupted. Which is an exceedingly melodramatic way of saying that (possibly due to ill-advised fruit bowl combination) every single one of them tastes of bananas. At first when, halfway through a pitcher of iced tea, I tasted banana I assumed I was imagining it. Or, more truthfully, I thought what I always think when something tastes or smells weird - that maybe I had had a teeny-tiny stroke, and should maybe get checked out just in case. Then I completely forgot about that, which bodes super-well for my future health, until other people noticed it. And it's everywhere. And you know what? Lemon/Banana isn't really a flavor combination that works all that well for me.
Here are the things I've spent the last week being vaguely grossed out by:
  • Water, with a twist of banana
  • Lemon-Banana Tea
  • Shrimp and Avocado with banana and lemon
  • Banana-Lemon Sandwich cookies
 I feel worse for my mom. See, the cookies were my brother's birthday gift, but both of us tasted one. The difference between she and I is that she has a hatred for bananas that burns hot and constant, like the sun.

I can only attribute her not immediately spitting the accidentally-banana cookie directly into the trash can to her love for me as her daughter.

Recommended Internettings

Project Runway comes on tonight. And tomorrow? Tomorrow you find a reason to love Facebook again/even more (depending on your current feelings on Mafia Wars and whether Facebook Places has caused your house to get robbed yet).

Tim Gunn has a Facebook page, and he is all up in Lifetime's face. It's amazing. It ranks among the best things I've seen online lately (only slightly below that baby that does the Samba, because that's freaking amazing). It's transcendent. He's so polished and put together and well-mannered, except he's telling everything. And he's taken to calling Heidi, Michael and Nina "the crack-smoking judges". Did you know Tim Gunn was even aware that crack existed? I didn't even think he used that word. Even if a dish broke, I assumed he'd say "Oh dear! There seems to be something of a fissure in my dinnerware" (the word plate is also beneath the Tim who lives in my mind). And he repeatedly acknowledges that Lifetime has asked him not to call them that, but he does it anyway.

More than that, he spells out all of the behind-the-scenes clusterfucks that viewers have no idea ever even occurred. Somewhere in New York, I'm sure there's a Project Runway PR person who pours themselves a  whiskey for every page view it gets but, when it isn't your job to make the show look like sunny good times, these videos are amazing.

I think at this point we're about ten episodes in to the season, so it's possible that everyone but me has long since been aware of his recaps, but I just found out about them a few days ago, so I felt compelled to share.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Carrot/Stick

I have a problem with the gimmick for this season of The Apprentice. For those of you who haven't spent the last couple of days watching fall TV previews, the gimmick is that all of the new contestants have been laid off from their jobs and have been searching for work for quite awhile. I think the tag line for the season is something like "Everyone deserves a second chance".

On the surface: great idea - you get all of the on-camera interviews where they talk about feeling like they couldn't support their families, and the emotional struggles that spending a long time out of work can bring up. It makes it easy for the audience to connect with the contestants. Plus, I'm fairly sure that they get some money just for being on the show, which is obviously a plus.

The problem? You spend all this time saying "these people have been hurt by the job losses that have affected so many of us, but fear not! For The Donald can save them." You let them tell you how being unable to find work for months has really damaged their sense of self-worth. About the things they and their families have had to give up. And then, one by one, you fire them.

I will admit, I haven't ever seen the show, so I can't really speak to what sort of benefits and opportunities are made available to the contestants over the course of the season's run - maybe there's enough  to make just going on the show worthwhile, even if you don't win. Barring that, you're just taking a bunch of stressed out people, dangling a job in front of them, and then snatching it away on national television. Which doesn't sound nearly as heartwarming as the promos make it out to be.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Compulsive is ...actually probably a fair description

This requires a bit of set-up (most of my stories do).

On Blogger, you can add blogs to your reader just by typing in the URL. Every time one of these blogs has an update, it shows up on your blogger main page. Then you just click through.

At some point, probably a few weeks ago, Blogger added all of the blogs I've been following (of which there are several) to my Google Reader. So when I discovered Google Reader today it said that I had 340 updated entries that I'd yet to read.

At this point I need to clarify a few things.

1. I've already read all of those blog posts through my reader on the Blogger home page.
2. I'll probably never use Google Reader again because it puts the entire entry right in front of you, whereas on the Blogger page you just get the opening paragraph, and then you click through to the person's website. I like clicking through. It makes me feel like I'm contributing to...I don't know what. Something, though.
3. And, on a less crazy note, you get to see the actual set-up of the person's blog. On the reader, it's just a plain white background.

I say all this so that you'll understand that when I spent half an hour (the internet here is slow. Like, your dial-up modem from tenth grade, slow) trying to scroll through Every Single One of the entries it claimed I hadn't read, the only reason was that the thought that big, bold number of "new" entries would have haunted me all day.

And then, when I'd gotten through 280 of the 340 entries I noticed the "mark all as read" button.
So now that will haunt me instead.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just when I think I'm out....

Last season, I quit watching America's Next Top Model. Or maybe it was the cycle before that. I have no idea. But it doesn't matter because the show airs so continuously that it's all starting to bleed together. And because it didn't last. By the end of the cycle, I was back in front of the TV, shouting that the girl with the shitty runway walk should have been cut weeks ago, and accepting "smize" as a word.

This cycle, though, was going to be different. We'd moved, so we had a new DVR which meant ANTM we no longer set to record. So I could just not record it, and that would be that. And that's exactly what I did.

Until 7:30 last night, when I decided I had to check it out. After all, this season's prizes include a spread in Vogue Italia, plus the cover of the beauty supplement (is that prestigious? I never pay much attention to supplemental sections - to me it sounds like the equivalent of saying "the cover of the fall catalog for Italian JC Penney"). Plus I think that Cover Girl isn't on the prize list anymore. Which could mean the end of the super-awkward Cover Girl product placement. So I watched it. And, to be honest, I was kind of dissapointed.

It wasn't the models - there was one girl who seems really talented, and one who really seems to know the industry. Plus they cut the two girls who brought major drama (the "counter-culture" girl that everyone called fake and the girl said she was glad not to have a black roommate. Seriously. She said this. She said it was just poor word choice but...damn, girl). Everyone knows that big stupid drama will come into to play pretty early anyway - when they put in girls who already have enemies by the end of day one, it feels too forced. Anyway, other than that they filled all of their other categories: the manipulator, the sweetheart, the struggling single mom, the girl who's socially awkward. Plus, almost everyone seemed to have long hair, so there's sure to be some tears come makeover time, when Tyra shaves all of them bald and dips their heads in bleach (as she is wont to do).

The problem was, whither the crazy? Suddenly, the show is trying to skew high-fashion, and the casting episode - usually the height of Tyra's Tyra-centric craziness - was largely gimmick free. No Tyra-bot from the future. No Tyra's School For Girls. No random Greek Goddess theme. No Tyra's ridiculously bad French accent for her Mean Model character. Nothing. There was a moment of lip service to it, when Tyra dressed in a private school uniform to introduce a montage about modeling.By which I mean, a montage about Tyra. Photos of Tyra as a kid. Photos of Tyra modeling. Video of Tyra - a full-grown woman - dressed like an eleven-year-old, and acting out her own childhood experiences.

This was a good start, right? Maybe the theme would be "Tyra through the years", and the girls would be forced to turn Tyra's baby pictures into fierce model poses. But no. Just "this year we've grouped you. Into groups. Of people that agents might group you with." Look, I get it. You can't be a crazy CW carnival and a respectable high-fashion gauntlet at the same time. But couldn't you try? Because it's not like one week of (relative) austerity is enough to make everyone forget the year Ms. Jay added a new giant ruffle to his collar for every girl eliminated. Just own your crazy, people.

But it was only one week, so I'm still holding out hope.. Maybe by the time we get to makeover week, Tyra will explain everything in a high voice while wearing a tiara and a big ball gown.

Oh wait, I think she already did that.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Full Day of Crazy

What did you do over Labor Day weekend? Grill? Visit family?

Me? I watched Snapped. For like, a day. With some Daria (I love you, Logo - you give us Daria, Buffy, and RuPaul) and a little really inept yoga thrown it. But yeah, mostly Snapped.

Have you ever seen Snapped? It's amazing. Every single episode is about some woman who snaps (I love an informative title, don't you?) and kills her husband, or boyfriend or...actually it's usually one of those. Oxygen airs it in basically day-long marathons every Sunday, and it's completely genius because once you start they have you for the entire day. You're barely done hearing about the verdict that left a community reeling when a 15-year-old killed her parents and they've already moved on to telling you that this quaint home in small-town Texas might seem like a dream...but for the Hall family, it was about to turn into a suburban nightmare. It's like Dateline without the gravitas. I don't know that I've ever come across Snapped without watching at least three episodes. Sunday I watched four. And DVRed 3. I watched part of one while getting ready for work this morning.

I kind of have a problem.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

For your Consideration

Something to contemplate over the long weekend:
 
+ = ?


Am I totally imagining this, or do you see it?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My current obsession

I don't play ukulele, but I would totally learn, if it'd be on one of these:
Both of these completely awesome ukulele's are from Etsy seller Celentano Woodworks.
I want them sooo badly. But, as I barely (read: never) play my $30 bongos, a ukulele that costs the same as 2 months of grocery money is probably out of the question for now.

But man, if it weren't, this would be the coolest thing that I ever bought with good intentions and then gradually grew distracted from. And that's a pretty competitive category in my life. 



Just as a note: this is not a sponsored post. I have no affiliation with  Celentano Woodworks, and I'm not being given anything to plug their shop.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Disproportional Excitement!

People who are way more observant than I've ever been may have noticed that now there's a subscription button in the sidebar. So now I can lurk about in the blog reader of your choice, ready to ponder how Buffy was able to fight vampires in leather pants at a moment's notice! Yay!


Seriously, though. Leather pants just seem awfully restrictive for that sort of thing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Shame Spiral

So it's been somewhere around 12 days since I last posted. The most I can say for myself is that around the 8-day mark I stopped thinking "I'm not being that great about this blogging thing," and started thinking "I am a bad person."

It's been almost half of a month. And in that time, I have done nothing. Seriously. Over the weekend, I was sick, so I barely got out of bed. I just sat around, drinking tea and watching AbFab. 

Though, and I'm just being real with you here, I'm not sorry about that part. Not even sort of. Because I think, if you search your heart, you'll find that you wish you'd spent the weekend drinking tea and watching AbFab, too. Though if we all search are hearts again (I've become very introspective in my time away) I think we'll all find that it would be even better if some of that tea had been replaced with gin, but I ran out in July and haven't been able to spare the grocery money to replace it yet.

But the point is, now I'm back. Because the fall TV season is starting soon and this blog is the only place where I can over-analyze TV shows and feel productive afterward.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Je suis confused

I've decided to teach myself French. My entirely logical and practical reasons for this decision are:
 
1) I'm tired of staring blankly whenever a French word crops up, completely unsure of how to pronounce it.
2) I'd love to actually go to France some day. So it'd be nice if I could, you know, communicate.
3)  I'd understand the last 20 minutes of Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill.
4) There's something really appealing about the idea of being at a party (though I don't go to parties), shaking my hair out (which, given that it's about ear-length, never really looks as suave as I intend) and saying "Oh, I taught myself French. Just for funsies." It would be like winning pretension bingo.
5) At some point, I'm going to have kids and if I don't know French, it'll make no sense to teach them French. And if they don't know French, their little berets will seem awfully superfluous.

So, using the combined powers of BBC Languages, the library, and Half.com, I'm trying to teach myself French. If I make it beyond horribly mangling and mispronouncing thought provoking statements like "Where is the red tomato?" and "Years ago, I was in school", then I'll be both surprised and deeply impressed with myself. Then I'll relearn Spanish, then....I don't know. Learning Japanese seems cool in theory, but my handwriting is so bad that it actually shames my family (my mother cannot see it without involuntarily scoffing) so I feel like my attempting to write in Japanese would just immediately turn into some sort of bad 80s-style sitcom-y farce. Though it's putting the cart before the ....French word for horse...to try to pick my fourth language when I still keep shouting "You don't need that many accents!" at my library books.

Though seriously, some of them don't even change the pronunciation of the letter. Isn't that the entire point of an accent?

Speaking of things relating to other countries (yay! labored segue!), TLo posted photos from the "National Costumes" part of Miss Universe. It's amazing. Miss USA looks like she stopped by in the middle of rehearsals for the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, and Miss Switzerland has a sword. It's just part one, so keep an eye out for even more pictures later. Like Miss France.

See what I did there?

I brought it full circle. Sort of.

Humor me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Can we talk about Top Chef for a minute?

I really like Top Chef. Last season? AMAZING. The entire season, you got to watch four great chefs battle it out and lay waste to their competitors. And, yes, looking back Angry Voltaggio's win was almost assured (though I was really hoping the Young Santa or Friendly Voltaggio would pull off the win) but the others were amazing competition. And the season before that had Carla! And Stefan! And Fabio! And...okay, I don't even want to talk about the winner, but still - good, good, lively stuff.

This season, not so much. This week was Restaurant Wars, which should be an exciting, drama-filled hour. It is the only time that the average person might see someone almost get decked because they think a Gastro-pub is too "done". But last night had nothing remotely approaching that. The whole struggle of one concept over another, or how much the budget should go to dishes? Nope. It was just "Oh, Restaurant Wars? Ok. Here is our menu. (Commercial Break) And now we have shopped." And then the team with all the normal hallmarks of a loser (awful name, bad front of house) won. And seriously, "EVOO"? Not only does it sound dumb, but I can't be the only one who looked at it written down and immediately heard Rachel Ray's voice in my head.

What struck me most, though, is that by Restaurant Wars the show should be a battle between a bunch of fantastic chefs, whereas this week the judges didn't seem super-impressed with anyone. There's no one you really root for. Maybe Tiffany, who's awesome as a person, and one of the stronger chefs in the season, but I can't help but wonder how far she would have made it in last season's culinary Thunderdome. It's Angelo's game to win at this point, but he's so...off-putting. He's not bad enough to be their actual villain, but he's just sort of pesky. My favorite is Kelly, but she's sooooo low key. And not reality show "generally affable but dropping the occasional wit-bomb" low-key, actual low-key. Every interview seems like they shook her awake at 4 A.M. and started asking questions. And, I mean, I still think she's great, but she's not exactly the sort of person you make a fan page about.

It was just a bit shocking realizing that the show has made it this far with two pieces of dead weight still holding on and no clear top three.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I say this with love. Nitpicky, judgmental love.

Over the weekend, after spending an afternoon picking raspberries (which is an awfully WASPy activity for someone who meets none of the criteria) my husband and I settled in for our own personal four-episode Buffy mini-marathon. Now we're in the middle of season three (which is an amazing season) and um...isn't Angel's cemetery-adjacent, semi-derelict death mansion awfully...well-appointed? In episode three the place had nothing but some manacles on a sconce (which, P.S., seriously? You've been locking up a werewolf for half a year, and you thought some decorative iron work was a good place to tether your feral ex?), and an Angel-shaped char mark on the ground.

I let it slide when, in the next episode, he suddenly had pants. Maybe Buffy got them for him. Maybe a crisp pair of trousers is the first step on the path to civilization. Maybe you just can't have David Boreanaz running around ass-out on network television. Whatever the reason, I was okay with the clothes. But then, three episodes after he got dropped out of some mysterious hell-place, the guy has a freaking sectional sofa. And it's nice! It's all nice, and modern, and crisp, with beige cushions that you would think might not be the best idea in a graveyard, but whatever, it's a really nice sofa. My sofa is a hand-me-down from my husband's grandmother, and it looks like a hand-me-down from someone's grandmother. Even friends of mine who have notably nicer furniture than mine don't have a sofa that nice - where did Mr. Broody No-Job get the money for that?

For an evil vampire, I get it. You steal from the people you kill, then invest in companies that rip off old ladies or make cosmetics out of baby seal tears. But when you turn over a new leaf aren't you supposed to give all of your ill-gotten gains to under-privileged school children, leaving you to glance sadly about your spartan hovel and contemplate the torment you've visited on those around you? It kind of harms your broody emo street cred when you're mourning all the terrible deeds lurking in your past on some freshly delivered fine home furnishings.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

(Semi-) Shameless Self-Promotion! Yay!

I just wanted to, very quickly, mention that I started an Etsy shop today. Well, last night, but I was too lazy to wander the internet promoting it so basically, today. This won't be turning into a craft blog, and it won't become the sort of thing where every three days I post some "Oh My God, go to my store" shakedown entry. I promise. Mostly because, to be honest, self-promotion makes me queasy.

Anyway, please check out the shop - for now it's just tote bags, but I may branch out down the road.
Click the photo to link to the shop, and experience the nerdiness.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You're pushing it, Affleck (with bonus sadness)

Over the weekend I caught up with the rest of the world and saw Inception and, along with it, the trailer for Ben Affleck's new movie, The Town. It looks good, it's just...

Look, I've nearly trained myself to suspend my disbelief enough to accept the idea that all good cops and federal agents are well-coiffed, attractive and stylish ("I may have a murderer to catch, but not before I get my roots done"), and I rest just this side of finding the whole "I traumatized her/I love her" thing kind of ridiculous. The casting is mainly what saves it for me - Jon Hamm as the federal agent and Jeremy Renner as the friend who won't let Affleck leave his life crime is enough to make me forgive the more melodramatic stuff. Plus, Renner's character name is Jem, which makes me wish I could get drunk at a party and ask him if the script was "truly outgeous...truly, truly, truly outrageous." Which is why I shouldn't meet famous people.

Anyway, I've done some major digressing. The point is, I can more or less accept all of these components of The Town, and I was ready to give it a shot but...Blake Lively? Seriously?

I have nothing against her as an actress. I don't. But no quantity of cheap tank tops, heavy eye makeup, bad lighting, and really long fake nails can change the fact that that is Serena Van Der Woodsen. Maybe in the movie itself she'll totally surprise me and really embody the role, but so far...no. I can't look at her and say "yes, this is clearly Ben Affleck's hard living, wrong-side-of-the-tracks ex-girlfriend or possibly hard-living, wrong-side-of-the-tracks younger sister. Well, hopefully younger sister because she's like half his age which is kind of gross." 

Oh -as I was trying to figure out how to close this out, I came across this unrelated A.V. Club article.

Fox, please just stop it. The Jersey Shore is very popular and funny, in a tragic sort of way, but that doesn't mean you need to get yourself a piece of the action. Or even if you must, does The Situation actually have to be there? Why not just do a show about the whole "Guido culture" without the awkward cameo? Just...stop with all the crossovers. Bones is a really fun show, when no one's consulting The Dog Whisperer, or camping out for Avatar tickets, or solving Constantine's murder. In their new Sienna minivan. While Motley Crue performs in the background.

You don't make Hugh Laurie do this crap.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Diary of a Winner

I threw my tennis shoes away in May.

It wasn't some huge symbolic stand against the perpetual onslaught of diet plans and workout tips aimed at women or anything. I had to throw them away because I'm an idiot. I dropped a Pyrex bowl and my kitchen floor and it shattered (which I didn't even realize was possible. I kind of believe Pyrex to be magically unbreakable), and I - reasonable person that I am - immediately ran to put on shoes so that I wouldn't step in glass as I stood there scowling and crying out to the heavens about the glass-infested chicken that would now have to be thrown out. And, you know, also cleaning up said glass/poultry debacle. The problem is that it didn't occur to me to first check if I'd ALREADY stepped in glass. Which I had. I know this to be the case because, when it occurred to me to take off a shoe and check, I shook out a tiny shard of what once was a medium-sized Pyrex storage bowl. Also, because I was bleeding. So, rather than clean the glass off in the kitchen sink, I risked further injury and put my glass-filled shoes sneakers back on, grabbed a pair of flip-flops, ran to the bathroom, and washed my feet off in the bathtub (because if feet ever go where my dishes go I will never eat or drink anything in my apartment again ever), put on the flip-flops, trashed the sneakers, and cleaned up the chicken.

This is not the part of the story that makes me feel super-dumb (though it ranks).

After this, because I am cheap/broke/lazy/broke, I didn't replace the sneakers and just spent the next 2 months wearing flats all the time. Apparently that's a terrible idea, because the human foot, which is designed to allow you to stand flat on the ground, isn't designed to stand flat on the ground. It's designed to be lifted at the heel and snugly embraced at the ankle by overpriced running shoes. But, since I didn't know that, I scoffed at all manner of air-cushion technologies and walked around wearing what amounts to fabric on balsa wood. And so I ended up hobbling around due to problems involving stressed tendons and anterior Achilles something-or-other and lots of other words that basically amount to "hey, you seem to be hobbling" and end with me being under doctor's orders to immediately buy some super-snazzy running shoes and wear them all day, every day for a month. Seriously all day. His words were "You know when you get home from work and you're ready to unwind, so you slip your shoes off and relax on the couch? Don't do that."

So trying to duck paying $40 for some Shoe Carnival (don't judge me) sneakers, cost me a co-pay, plus running shoes, plus fancy runners' socks since I wore flip-flops to the doctor. That put me down about $90 from where I would have been if I just replaced the stupid shoes in the first place.

That's also not the part that makes me feel dumb.

What makes me feel like a complete moron is this: since I have to wear the running shoes non-stop for the next month, I'm doomed to four work weeks of office wear from the ankle up and big-ass, puffy sneakers from the ankle down. I'm one giant set of shoulder pads away from looking like some long-forgotten extra from Working Girl.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A follow-up

Last week I was talking to a couple of friends about my new-found issues with Beauty and the Beast's "Be Our Guest" and a lot of other issues were pointed out. Like the tea comes out of Mrs. Pott's nose (that almost made me vomit) and to eat you're sticking a person's whole head in your mouth. Then, one of my friends made the absolute best point in the whole discussion:

What happened to all of the regular dishes?

Because before the people were dishes, they had to serve off of something, right? I mean, I know that they don't have thumbs (except maybe the wardrobe), but couldn't the people just get down their own plates? Just to save them some dignity?

It's the principle. And my own cheapness. But mostly the principle

In my head, I imagine this blog to be a really positive thing. I'm coming to realize that that simply isn't the case. I mean, I'm not some bile-spewing attack-blogger (which is, let's be honest, a patently silly phrase) but I'm...peevish by nature so, amidst high-fives to Wonder Woman and Friday-improving playlists, things tend to get a bit peevish here.

I just wanted to acknowledge that now, before I dive into this.

I don't understand paying for autographs. I know that for some people, especially when meeting someone they really idolize, it's totally worth it, but to me paying for an autograph kind of seems to defeat the purpose.

Appearance fees make more sense to me (though the fact that Snooki can probably make more in a few nights of club appearances than I can in a year of working full time does chafe a bit). Sure, the still seem crazy high to me, but you charge what the venues will pay, and then they recoup that increased ticket and door prices, which people are willing to pay because you're there. It's a how market analysis - /supply and demand - /other words I learned in Senior Econ and immediately forgot - thing. Plus, it's not like you really want your free time priced to move. Otherwise you end up contractually obligated to karaoke "Endless Love" at some wedding in Minnetonka.

Charging for autographs, though, seems less like getting a cut of the profits you're helping to bring in and more like actually charging people money for liking you. And it's not like I'm anti-autograph, or like there aren't autographs that I want; for example, Sir Patrick Stewart the king of all things awesome, but for forty plus dollars I'm going to need more than his name on a piece of paper, ten seconds of eye contact and some innocuously charming banter. For forty dollars I need an actual story. We need to split some cheese fries, or talk about who we like on Top Chef this season, or something. Because if that forty dollars gets me no interaction, and a souvenir of the moment where a famous person asked my name and then wrote it down, wouldn't it be just as good to take a quick picture of them signing other people's stuff, and drop the forty bucks some Star Trek:TNG DVDs? Because then, I still get to tell a story about sort-of meeting Patrick Stewart, but I get to do it while watching the episode where the girl had the creepy-ass imaginary friend who was actually a totally non-imaginary Borg.

And, I'm sorry Patrick, but that episode is pretty hard to compete with.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

And here we are, again

Sorry for my absence the past few days. We moved over the weekend, so I spent last week packing, and I've spent this week studiously avoiding unpacking. I fully expect to have my butt in gear by this weekend and to be shamelessly promoting my soon-to-launch Etsy shop by Monday.

But from now until Friday, I'm mostly going to loll about, read the new Scott Pilgrim (!), make French flashcards, and re-watch Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and seasons 1&2 of Veronica Mars.

Saturday I'll be productive. Right up until the Doctor Who season finale, which has potential to be awesome.

But Sunday, I'll definitely be a useful part of society.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On personal failings

I'm not a vegetarian. I'm not really likely to become one. However, for budgetary/health/environmental reasons I try to cook about half of my meals vegetarian.

But I'm really, really bad at it.

Part of it is just the lack on an adventuresome spirit. I have this massive vegetarian cookbook with a million recipes marked but I don't trust it. It doesn't help that I won't eat zucchini, because it looks like a spoiled cucumber. And if you slice an eggplant, it basically looks like purple-skinned zucchini. And broccoli makes me ill.

You get the point.

But beans are where I reign supreme. With a bag of black beans, a slow cooker and some spices, I can Change. Your. Life. Or at least Make. You. Tacos.

Which is close enough.

But there's a limit to how often one can eat black bean tacos. Mine is probably two-three times a week, but my husband doesn't feel quite as committed as I do. So I figured I would venture into the realm of lentils. I mean, they're cheap, there are multiple kinds, and they pop up in multiple cuisines, so it seemed genius. Except that I'd never had them. I don't know that I'd ever actually seen them. They were just something that Cinderella had to pick out of a fire.

At this point I've made lentil tacos once, lentil soup twice, and one god-forsaken mistake of a red lentil curry. And I can't tell if I'm doing it wrong, or if I just really hate lentils. I almost found out with the last soup, which followed a very promising sounding recipe. And then it went kind of wrong.

See, you know how toasting whole spices makes them more fragrant and delicious? I only knew that in theory. This recipe, which called for toasting cumin seeds, was the first time I'd actually tried to put it into practice. I'm pretty sure I burned them. Or, given that I'm pretty sure used too much oil, the problem may simply be that I deep-fried them. Having no basis of comparison, I can't say for certain but the seeds went in tan and came out black. I doubt that's how it was supposed to go. The other problem was I didn't feel like measuring the cumin - I just eyed it. And I like cumin, so I used an amount that I felt reflected that. This was not the correct choice. Every bite made you feel like you'd been sealed into a giant envelope of low-sodium taco seasoning, which I used to think would be a perfectly lovely way to pass an evening, but no longer. By the time things got this far, I realized I'd also forgotten to blend some of the soup. Then I stood there and I thought about all the work that would go in to setting up the immersion blender (i.e. taking it out or the pantry, plugging it in, and pressing a button), and just gave up, walked away, and watched some Buffy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I still love you, though

I am, as I previously whined, in the middle of packing my apartment. It's not that big of an apartment and I don't feel like I have that much stuff, but I spent all weekend working on it, and have more yet to do after work today.

It's making me whiny.

And lazy.

So lazy that I was going to just post a list of things that made packing semi-enjoyable over the weekend. Then I couldn't remember anything except making faces at my husband, doing the Pulp Fiction dance in the kitchen, and watching Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill.

So then I was just going to post a list of quotes from Dress to Kill. Which would be SUPER lazy. So instead I'm just posting to tell you all of the lazy things that I felt too ashamed to do.
Which is probably the laziest option of all.

I'll return later this week - hale, hearty and full of...words...to...write. I started that sentence without a good ending lined up.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy Friday!

It's Friday, which is normally a magic day where impending freedom makes everything a little brighter. This week, however, all that's impending is 60 hours of non-stop packing, followed by a week of fretting about the likelihood of every single one of our dishes getting broken in our impending move.

I hate packing. The fretting, in all honesty, is an everyday thing for me; I've grown accustomed to it.

The point is that I have the one cure for a crappy Friday (other than alcohol), and have decided to share it.

Simply put on any of the following songs - and, if possible, a pair of light-up L.A. Gears - and running-man your troubles away.

4) Bobby Brown, "On Our Own"
3) Digital Underground, "The Humpty Dance"
2) Salt N Pepa, "Push It"
1) Bell Biv DeVoe, "Poison"

You're welcome.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'd say it "get's my goat," except I would NEVER say "get's my goat"

I've developed a new pet peeve. Developing pet peeves is really something of a hobby of mine, and this one strikes the perfect balance of being fairly reasonable and kind of nit-picky at the same time.

I'm currently really annoyed with TV/Movie fashion. I've long since accepted the fact that the leads on any given TV show aimed at young people will dress in an improbably cool/hip/of-the-moment way, even if they're supposed to be drunken slobs. Further, I've had to embrace the fact that (in order to be fully make-over ready) nerds will often be beautiful people with their super-flattering haircuts artfully mussed to imitate a severe need for conditioner. Fine. I get that. That's just the reality of the situation.

But I've inexplicably decided to draw the line at all of these people dressing in $70 button-downs under $120 sweaters. I mean, if the person in question has a great job? Fine, I'll take it. But when it's a random high school student in the middle of Kansas (I'm looking at you, Lana Lang) it gets a little absurd.

Now it's possible that my parents were just wildly under-investing in my wardrobe, but back in my day if I wanted a $22 t-shirt from PacSun (shut up, we all have our phases), I was paying for that shit myself. If I had wanted the 60-some-odd-dollar t-shirt that the blonde girl of Secret Life of the American Teenager (the one who's always in the clips on The Soup) apparently wore last week, my mom would have laughed in my face. That's not even hyperbole. She would have looked at me, laughed, and walked away. And that would have been her WHOLE ANSWER.

Plus, though I'm loathe to even suggest this, isn't it kind of a missed opportunity on the part of the networks? As prevalent as product placement has become, why not outfit the cast of Glee in Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, then air ads every episode offering the chance to dress just like Quinn Fabray for $20 per piece? Sure, it smacks of old 1950s television, where shows would have a full-on commercial as part of the plot, but that's basically come back anyway. Spending the first 30-seconds of a commercial break hearing about how Rachel put some pep in her step with Piper Lime ballet flats is no worse that Angela and Hodgins taking a fresh-off-the-lot Sienna Mini-Van to a crime scene, or Chuck Bartowski eating a $5-footlong while under fire from rogue spies. And it would have some pretty solid logic behind it.

I'm not suggesting that Blair Waldorf start wearing clothes from Kohl's (please, CW, don't make Blair Waldorf wear clothes from Kohl's), just that maybe characters' clothes should actually reflect things about the characters. Like age. Or employment level. Or income. Or whether they even care about their clothes.

Oh, and also? I wear the same jeans twice in a week so maybe shirts could pop up more that once per season.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Reasonably Related Title

There's a TV... thing that bothers me. I can't really call it a trope, because my extensive research (2 hours on tvtropes.org, most or which was spent clicking links from the Supernatural page) only turned up two actual examples, though I know I've seen it more than that. I cannot stand it when people in shows/movies/books/what have you demonstrate what a social pariah they are by eating their lunch in the bathroom. My issue with it is threefold:
1) I've been the new kid. Unless you smell, making at least one friend by lunchtime isn't really that hard.
2) You know what's not a good way to make new friends? Becoming the girl who eats on the toilet. "Does she have some sort of intestinal issues?" your new peers will wonder.
3) People. Poop. In. There. I don't bring open containers of food into the bathroom. Seriously. If I buy a soda, take one sip and have to pee then that soda is over. Because there are some things you just don't come back from, and drinking toilet soda is right up there getting vomited on by an adult.

Additionally (and I recognize that I should have counted this as one of my issues, but I couldn't pass up a chance to say "threefold"), how small does a school have to be for there to be no viable empty table, or floorspace, or anywhere where someone isn't peeing within two feet of your snack pack?

I could go farther with this, but not without veering directly into "crazed germaphobe" territory. Instead I'll just close out by saying, if you've never been to tvtropes.org, go now. search for any show of movie, start clicking links and watch the day slip away.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Excitement!

I'm not a DC Comics person. I mean, I've seen all of the Batman movies, and until this season I watched Smallville (for some reason, about 5 episodes in, I just couldn't take it), but I was raised as a Marvel Comics girl. Which sounds kind of...intense, but for me, at age 10, that shit was serious. I had no patience for multi-verses and numbered Earths and super-alien boy scouts. I was too busy with alternate realities (but it was only one at a time, which is different), race- and/or sexuality-based allegory, and wanting to be Jubilee when I grew up.

Seriously. She was awesome. And underrated. And despite what a friend of mine asserted in college, she didn't "just shoot pretty lights out of her hands." She shot dangerous explosions out of her hands. Dangerous explosions that also happened to be pretty. But were also dangerous.

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is, though I spent my youth preaching the Evils of DC (except Batman, who I always thought seemed kind of awesome), I can acknowledge when they do something cool.

This is cool.

Wonder Woman's new costume kind of rocks. TLo pointed out that this is less iconic than her previous costumes, which (as far as I know) were all variations and updates on her orginal Star-Spangled look, but they were also essentially strapless bathing suits. You can't stem the tide of evil surging over your city/town/municipality in a strapless bathing suit. I'm fairly certain you can't even swim in a strapless bathing suit.

I think it's bad-ass. And the answer to "how does she keep her boobs for literally flying in the face of evil?" is "straps." Instead of "prayer." Or "decency laws."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Oh- and the thing with the hairspray? Fantastic!

My deep and abiding love for Buffy the Vampire Slayer is well documented, by which I mean "is on my Facebook page." I love the show, I love the comics, and at some point I'll probably start a semi-tragic collection of Buffy-related memorabilia and novelty items. Last night, that love was tested like never before.

Last night, I watched the Buffy movie for the first time in seven years.

Oh y'all. Have you watched this movie lately? It's ridiculous. Like super-ridiculous. Paul Rubens spends like, 30 minutes dying. Someone apparently decided that really slow front walkovers were totally practical moves when fighting for your life. Oh, and the vampires fly. Well, more accurately, the float. Not in fights. Mostly just to freak people out. Or help with awesome jump-shots.

I just want to make sure you caught that last part: a vampire uses his super-powers to play varsity basketball. Against Ben Affleck. Which is neither here nor there, but it seemed worth mentioning.

You need to go watch this movie. Right now.

If you won't do it for me, do it for Kristy Swanson.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Just...why?

Ok, this is officially TOO MUCH Project Runway. Season 8, which is premeiring on Lifetime on July 29, is the show's third season in the last year (season 6 premiered August 20, 2009 - I checked). That's a lot of dresses.

And not only is Lifetime throwing as many seasons at you as they can, but they're upping the show to 90 minutes. Ninety.

Look, I love Tim Gunn. I do. Deeply. And Nina Garcia is Captain Fantastico-Amazing. But that's a lot of time. I could do a lot with 90 minutes a week. Like cook. Or clean. Or write. Or watch an episode-and-a-half of Snapped.

If the show maintained its previous levels of awesome I might not mind as much. I mean, I still enjoy the show, and some of the season 7 designers were fun to watch, but they were leaving out all kinds of drama. For example, did you know that Tim and Emilio (he of the ridiculous initial print) got in fights like ALL THE TIME. Why cut that? Shit like that is the whole point of the show. I mean yes, the clothes are important too, but if that was all that mattered people would just skip to the runway show. The catty interpersonal stuff is what makes the middle 40 ( well, 70 now) minutes watchable.

My biggest issue is the show's "celebrity guests". Last season, they repeatedly fell on this crutch of having a super-special celebrity, and it’s ...HEIDI! Or, the designers are going to meet a fabulous and famous American designer and it’s MICHAEL! And you know what, Project Runway? That’s some sad, sad shit. For god’s sake even The Fashion Show (which was kind of painful) got Lady Gaga- couldn’t you manage Ke$ha (I mean, don't actually try and get Ke$ha. Please. Seriously.)? Or some CW actresses? Though even when they had Jessica Alba as a judge, they still had everyone design a dress for Heidi. When you get famous people in there, use them.

Or, even better, embrace your inherent Lifetime-ness. Call upon the networks existing stable of actress - they could dress Tori Spelling in modern re-imaginings of the costumes from Mother, May I Sleep With Danger. There could be a whole challenge inspired by the works of Kellie Martin. Some one could make a milk carton-shaped dress. I'd watch the hell out of that. Come on, Lifetime – make it happen.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sometimes it's just best not to think about it

Something just occurred to me.

You know, in "Be Our Guest" (from Beauty and the Beast) when Lumiere says the food is delicious, and if you don't believe him you should "ask the dishes?"

That's actually super gross.

And then, of course, there's the whole "servant who's not serving" bridge, which is disconcerting for entirely different, more social justice-y, reasons.

Monday, June 21, 2010

There's something missing in my life

I've realized that there's a shortage of giant, ridiculous/amazing hats in my life. Royal Ascot just ended on Saturday, and the collection of giant British hats was... look, one of these things had a FACE. In the hat. One was a cheese plate. One seemed to be a LEGO Big Ben. It's freaking awesome. If you haven't seen photos, this GFY post and these TLo posts have some great rundowns.

I need an occasion to wear a giant (preferably LEGO) hat. But the thing is, I really have no interest in going to a horse race (since the only horse races I know anything about are Royal Ascot and the Kentucky Derby, in my mind all horse races feature people in giant hats. I know this is probably not true, but I like my way better). I mean, I can barely get myself to go to the freaking farmer's market. Giant events are not in my future. And I can't exactly mix myself a gin & tonic and put on a crazy hat to watch AbFab DVDs in my living room.

Actually, that sounds kind of awesome.

Except instead of gin & tonic I should probably do wine. Because then, if I just toss some goat cheese on a cracker, suddenly it's not getting smashed on my couch; it's being classy.

All I'll need is a big-ass piece of tulle, some ribbon, and a dream.


And the wine. Mustn't forget the wine.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Can this please be a thing?

So, over the past few weeks, I've been seeing this ad on BBC America:



Fables is a completely fantastic comic, and unlike almost so many other comics that I've seen lately that attempt to bring back fairy tale characters, it's not just about drawing the characters so as to make it seem like their suddenly ginormous boobs are going to leap free at any second. It's just about people trying to manage a city. And the people include Snow White. And the city is kind of magic. And there's a war. And a possible rebellion. Look, a lot goes on. You should just read it. And then fall in love with it. And then make everyone you know read it.

Here's my question, though: could this be about testing the waters for an adaptation? I have absolutely zero in the realm of insider knowledge, so this is just speculation fueled by hope, but it would kind of make sense. Comic book adaptations are becoming more and more widespread, and with the upcoming (hopefully awesome) Scott Pilgrim vs. World and the recent (supposedly terrible) Jonah Hex they're spreading past superheroes more and more. AMC is making zombie-comic extraordinaire The Walking Dead in to a TV show right now, so why not Fables? Because I would watch that. I would watch that twice, and then force other people to watch it. I guess even if it's just to sell more comics, I'm happy to see it get more promotion. But maybe if a lot of people buy copies, and then wish, or clap hard or whatever they'll turn it into a super-awesome TV show.

If not, then I guess I can just Netflix 10th Kingdom.


I'm sure this goes without saying, but neither Netflix nor anyone involved with Fables paid me anything to write this. Because they have no idea who I am. And paying off someone who's blog has like, 10 readers isn't exactly a good investment.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Never gonna give you up, etc., etc.

My cable box is turning into a giant, glowing beacon of shame. At least once a month, I think "man, we've got to figure out a way to cut our expenses," and the same idea crosses my mind every time: we should totally ditch our cable.

I mean cable is a complete luxury item, and between Hulu and Netflix Watch Instantly (which is magic) we could keep up on a bunch of shows. Of the ones not available online, most are available on DVD within months after. Plus tons of people don't have cable, and the absence of Real Housewives and Ninja Warriors actually makes them better people. It's been scientifically proven that people without cable plant 73% more daisies and shovel 47% more old people driveways then those of us who gave up their entire last Saturday cherry-picking their favorite episodes out of Logo's Buffy marathon (don't judge me). Getting rid of cable is obviously a good choice.

But I can't do it. Every time I consider it for more than a few minutes, I look at the list series set to record in my DVR. I don't know exactly how many shows are on that list, but I know it's a big enough number that I always feel a little embarrassed about it. And that's exactly the problem. Because sure, I could watch most of the shows I really love on DVD (though if their ratings fell and they got cancelled, I'd have no one to blame but myself). I already do that with things like True Blood, because I'm way too cheap/broke for HBO. But what, I ask you, of the garbage?
They don't put things like Tool Academy on DVD. And even if they do, I couldn't Netflix it. Watching it casually is one thing, but to have permanent proof that you wanted it enough to have it mailed to your home? And then I would get DVDs recommended to be based on the fact that I enjoyed Tool Academy. And I can only just manage to survive America's Next Top Model on a week-to-week basis. A full disc of Tyra conducting eliminations whilst lounging across the judge's table in a velvet catsuit and 6-foot-long blonde weave is just Too. Much. Tyra.

Besides, I don't just watch garbage. I watch a good quantity of genuinely good shows, and I like being caught up, and getting to read what other people think about them. And even if I didn't have cable, I would still read reviews. And wikipedia entries. And...third thing that would spoil surprises for me.

So, the cable stays. And yes, it means I'll never learn to hand-carve wooden songbirds like the people without cable. But, on the other hand, they don't get to spend their Christmas season making gifts while watching hours of terrible Lifetime Christmas movies, so who's the real winner here?

Ok, them. But seriously - have you ever seen the movies Lifetime shows at Christmas? They're fantastic. There was one in which Steve Guttenberg was about to take over the family business of being Santa, but first he had to get Helen from Wings to marry him. That is an actual movie. And it has a sequel. And if it becomes a trilogy, damn it, I'm going to be there.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Does this really need to be a thing?

I'm stodgy. I will readily admit that. Whenever a new piece of in-home technology (smart phones, HD TVs, blu-ray players, etc.) comes out, I tend to start muttering things about the under-appreciated simplicity of the rotary phone and the forgotten joys of taping shows using a VCR. Before long I'm eating Shredded Wheat in a ratty bathrobe demanding that neighborhood kids stay off my lawn.

I don't have a lawn.

I'm not entirely stuck in the past: I think wi-fi is the most wonderfully magical thing ever, I text (very slowly), and I consider my DVR an island of hope and stability in the sort of chaotic world where two awesome shows would be cruelly scheduled against each other in some sort of twisted ratings death match.

It's just...do we really need 3D TV? I just genuinely don't get it. I can agree that some movies benefit from the depth that 3D adds, but if a movie isn't still good on a regular-ass TV than it wasn't that great to start with. Plus, there aren't that many TV shows that I feel wildly compelled to see in rendered in three dimensions either. I've never found myself watching an episode of Bones and thinking "man, the only thing that could make this increasingly blatant Toyota product placement better is if it felt like the cars were driving right at me."

But the main reason I just really do not understand the joy of 3-D TV is this:Image from Samsung's website


The Samsung 3D Active Glasses. Your $2000 TV will come with two pairs. Additional pairs are $200 each. So if your kid stomps on them? $200 bucks. If you friend drops them in a beer? $200.

So if you want to invite a bunch of friends over to actually watch your snazzy new TV, you could easily tack on another $1000.

Ok, I know that to some people it might be worth it, but with $200 I could buy new actual glasses. Like, ones I can use the see. And even if I were to buy a party-sized set of 3D glasses, when a single pair = a month's worth of groceries, I would require security deposit before I even let anyone near them.

I'm sure that 8 years from now (when they're cheap) I'll totally have a 3D tv, and I'll have moved on to bitching about some other new and exciting advancement (unless it's a car that drives itself, because I'm so down for that). For now, though, I'm good with my TV being flat.