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.