Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hump Day banter

Just more IMing that I saved because it amused me exceedingly. I think it is almost all self-explanatory except..let's see...
*Julie is the plant's Safety Coordinator (hence that joke I cracked myself up with)
*Among other props that clutter my cubicle I have a small plastic glow-in-the-dark man in a business suit that is named Senor Mysterioso (1st name Ronaldo) also there is a smallish stuffed goat...which Laurel did not know about until I threw it at her during this chat...





























Loooove, exciting and new...



Today is Gavin MacLeod's birthday. He is 77 today!! Hard to believe..he really doesn't look any older than he did in his Capt. Stubing days. I suspect that he and Florence Henderson have made pacts with Satan to prevent them from aesthetically aging. Or maybe it's a sort of "Picture of Dorian Gray" kind of scenario, where, in some secret sector of the MacLeod manse, there's a framed 8X10 publicity glossy of an inexplicably hoary & decrepit Capt Stubing. Anyways, whatever the reason,the guy looks good for 77, does he not? The only noticeable change is that he's grown a smidge puffier. But y'know he probably packed on those LBs right after Love Boat was cancelled-- he'd made his fortune and was SOOO damn relieved that he no longer had to wear head to toe white all tucked in & belted. And who can blame him for that? That is a tricky look to pull off, and he managed it for nearly 10 years!!

And oh yes-- I shall make with the celeb b-day trivia goodness...

Gavin MacLeod is a pseudonym...the gentleman was born "Allan See" (in Mount Kisco NY, 2/28/1930) Allan/Gavin's father was a Chippewa Indian who owned a gas station.

All this Love Boat chatter has got me thinking.....

It's established: at this point in history we seem to be in the process of running out of ideas ---evidenced by the abundance TV shows remade into movies this past decade (Starsky & Hutch, Dukes of Hazzard, Charlie's Angels, Bewitched, etc etc etc) .

WHY hasn't there been a Love Boat movie or WHY is there not one in the works?? Seems to me to have a lot of potential...you'd have the interweaving of multiple romantic subplots--a la Love Actually -- with a shot of cheesy 70s camp thrown in the mix. Sell me a ticket RIGHT NOW, per favor!!

Hmmm...let's see...some perfunctory/ preliminary casting....

I see Jimmy Fallon as Gopher...

Amanda Bynes plays Vicki?

Ewan MacGregor as Doc --he's not quite old enough I don't think but I'm thinking of him in Down With Love where he charmed me as this goofy ladies man type, while also rocking a faux nerd look.

The good Captain would be tough to cast...the bewildered straight man is very crucial to the overall formula. I'm kinda stuck on this one...maybe David Morse, although I can't see him taking a role like that.

No one particular is springing to mind for the Julie role, but I do have my mind made up for who should be Isaac--Deon Richmond. Yeah, name doesn't ring a bell for me either (had to dig it up on IMDB). But he's is Kenny from the Cosby Show--'cept all grown up. Yep, Rudy's Kenny! I'd like to see that dude get more work, because it makes me grin every time I see him onscreen. He doesn't even have to act, or do anything... it's just innately amusing, that flash of recognition I get. I chuckle and I think "Hey! It's Buuuuud!" Heh heh heh..I love that guy.

The Ugly Princess



This is the new pic on my PC desktop. It is by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale (1871-1945) and called "The Ugly Princess" She doesn't seem to be exceptionally ugly (although her face is mostly obscured) maybe the backstory here is that this princess is painfully self-conscious with no good reason. I wonder if maybe there's some sort of novel or epic poem about an ugly princess, as a lot of Pre-Raphealite paintings have some sort of basis in literature. Or folklore...maybe there is an "ugly princess " legend.

I will have to investigate further (gawd...ANYTHING to divert me from actual work!!)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Heroes...


Let us first establish what a dork I am about Heroes. Last night I had to pick up some essentials and got detained at Kmart and got home just in time for the start of Heroes. By "detained" I don't mean to say forcibly detained, or arrested for shoplifting or anything so major, I simply got carried away browsing. At 8:45pm I realized (with mucho horror) that I would miss the start of Heroes if I didn't check out immediately, and simultaneously realized I had to pee. Well, I couldn't let trifling bladder demands force me to break my TV-imposed curfew, so I hastened to the checkouts. I was just walking into the apartment at 8:58pm and switched on Heroes poste haste. I actually stood in front of the telly, doing a little urine restraint jig (surely, you too are familiar with this dance..) until the show's 1st commercial break because I didn't want to miss anything. Hey, I did cop to being a dork...it's not like I'm oblivious to how whack that is...
Anyways, I was stoked for a new episode of Heroes, elated to have made it home on time, and then-- then!-- when I saw ERIC ROBERTS I was absolutely over the f-ing moon!!! Sweeet! Eric Roberts is the cat's jammies!!! Seems he will be playing an evil bastard but I wouldn't have it any other way. I just love that guy. It just makes me wonder ... who could they possibly cast as Linderman?? I mean, as the TOP dog, it follows that Linderman will have to be more awesomely badass than Eric Roberts. Who is more awesomely badass than Eric Roberts?? It boggles the mind!! Well, there's got to be somebody, but the only possibilities that presently spring to mind are God or Christopher Walken.


And speaking of the "Primatech Paper" crew...what the hell is Hiro's dad doing working for them?? I thought he ran a totally unrelated corporation in Japan?? He must head up the Japanese division of the bureau and his company must be an elaborate front (a' la Primatech Paper) He seemed to be absolutely in the dark about Hiro's special talents, but now I've gotta wonder...


The ending of the episode got me weepy. I simply don't care if HRG has done tons & tons of shady stuff, the dude has TOTALLY redeemed himself. I hope the Haitian shot him exactly where instructed & he's not a goner... and what is with that bridge?? It seems to be a main road, so I wonder why the hell there's absolutely NO traffic on it...


I worry about Parkman...it looks like they will recruit him and possibly they might wipe out all his memory of his pregnant wife. His wife is kind of annoying (but I don't dislike her nearly as much as I do Simone, whom I was distressed to see in previews for next week looking NOT dead--AAaargh!!) so I don't feel bad for her but it is kind of a sucky turn of events for Parkman.

Monday, February 26, 2007

And the Oscar goes to...

I tried to faithfully attend to the Oscars last night, but you have to be a really DIEHARD Oscar viewer to sit through stuff like the "Achievement in Sound Editing" award without flipping channels. Basically, with banal awards like that, I just see who presents it, check what they're wearing, see if they have good banter, and then flip as soon as they announce the winner. I mean, I am ever so happy for whomever the hell it was that won the "Best Makeup " Oscar but I don't really care to hear them gush their thank-yous. Oh, but I did enjoy what they did when presenting the award for Best Costume Design-- the whole live mannequin thing. That was neat. And I actually listened to the winner's (that would be Milena Canonero) speech...I stopped myself, a milisecond before flipping, when I saw Canonero heading toward the stage. I was intrigued--who is this woman who dreams up such GORGEOUS costumes (in fact, after they showed all the nominee "mannequins" I was rooting for her Marie Antoinette costumes to win it) and yet dresses herself like Johnny Depp?? WTF?
Overall I did a lot of flipping during the telecast, and although I think I caught all of the key stuff, I still feel like I did a really half-arse job of watching, and am therefore ill-equipped to do a big synopsis. In fact I wouldn't have brought up the Oscars at all if I weren't strongly compelled to say this one thing. . .
I LOVE FOREST WHITAKER!!! I wanted him to win, but didn't expect that he would. First off, lemme say I have not seen ANY of the Oscar nominated movies (how sad is that? I NEVER go out to the movies anymore...) so I was just rooting for the acting awards based on whom I like as an actor /actress. And I've always liked Forest Whitaker... although I can't quite articulate why I like him. My regard for him increased immensely after his recent SNL hosting stint. Although the SNL writers didn't produce anything exceptional for him (speaking of which, they also sadly misused the great Rainn Wilson this past weekend) he did very well with what they did give him and proved himself quite willing to belt out a tune and unafraid to look like a jackass (both characteristics are HUGE assets in my book). But I did like him previously, before I knew the singing jackass side of him.
It was a pleasant surprise that he won-it was my #1 favorite thing about the Oscars. I thought my rooting for him was apt to jinx him (and I didn't try to aid him by deliberately NOT rooting for him, as such a cheap ruse would never fool the Jinx Gods) Also I'd heard some Oscar prognosticator on the telly saying how the Academy was very unlikely to grant the Best Actor nod to someone nominated for a villainous role. Cripes, I can't remember who said that, on what show or even on what network, but the dude must've said it very authoritatively because I had it ingrained in my head that the odds were totally stacked against Forest winning.
I think his acceptance speech was just great... got me a smidgeon verklempt actually. I guess in that speech he illustrated why I like him-- he just exuded sincerity, honor, sweetness. I suppose the sentimental favorite shoulda been Peter O'Toole , what with his 900 (approx)
nominations and never a win..but Forest seems like SUCH a great guy that I was even glad he beat out poor sad, Methuseluh.
My #2 favorite thing at this year's Oscars was Jerry Seinfeld. I know that was the briefest, most fleeting little bit of the Oscars but he really made me chortle. I think they should have cut out some (if not all) of those stupid shadow gymnastics performances and given Jer some more air time.
I was glad to see Jennifer Hudson win too. Not because I liked her performance (I might...I just haven't seen Dreamgirls...but I do want to) but simply 'cause it's fun to see a total novice win. What can I say? I'm a chronic champion of the underdog, I guess. Oh, but speaking of that underdog ...sweet girl that she is...I thought she was going to have one of "the twins" pop out during her musical performance! Holy guacamole! There was some very precarious jiggle action going on in the neighborhood of her decolletage... I was having panicky Superbowl XXXVIII flashbacks. As for her other get up...her brown dress was OK (nothing spectacular) and I was mucho-relieved that she'd ditched her bizarro sci-fi bolero before she accepted her Oscar.
Speaking of Oscar fashions, y'know who I thought was uncontestedly the most gorgeous chick at the whole fete? Helen Mirren. I'll bet she really suspected a win and made sure she looked her absolute BEST. Mission accomplished (on the Oscar & the look!) Dame!
Some other standouts --
Jennifer Lopez : Now, I'm not much of a J-Lo fan but I must concede she looked beautiful. My only quibble is that with all that neckline glitz on her terrific gown, she mighta been better off going totally sans jewelry
Reese Witherspoon: I dug her dress when I watched last night, but at that time, it looked black. In pics I've seen today, it's obviously purple, and I love it so much more. She also had a lot of pressure to nail her Oscar look...not only was she presenting one of the most crucial awards, but this would be her first single Oscars too. Oh, I don't suppose she's legally single just yet, but why not start advertising the goods in advance, eh?
Emily Blunt: I haven't seen this chick in anything, but hey kudos for rockin' that dress. It's sort of an unconventional color choice and I think that's why it caught my eye.

And there were a few notable flops...Naomi Watts also picked an eye-catching color...when the color is great--and this one is-- I am wanting to like the dress but this one I could not like as it felt like another waldrobe malfunction in the offing. Another precarious decolletage but this time without the fun Jello-esque kinetics.
I actually liked Gwyneth Paltrow's unique dress...and you cannot possibly fathom how it pains me to confess that. My disdain for Gwynnie runs deep. Fortunately, I can, in all honesty , give a thumbs-down to her overall look because her severely bland Pocohantas hair ruined the whole thing. How long has she had that blah 'do? Seems like ages. But it was particularly vexing me last night, I think because I did like her gown (does that make sense?).

Some things (non fashion related things)that puzzled me--
Clint Eastwood: He did say he left his glasses at home. But he came off really addled and foggy-brained -- that can't just be missing specs.
Why is Jack Nicholson totally bald? Is this for a role? I don't think Jack has any trouble with the ladies, so I can't imagine this is just a ploy to snag bald fetishists (oh, and yes there are such chicks...I KNOW ONE OF 'EM) Well my official guess is this-- instead of introducing yet another hue of lapel ribbon (y'know the ol' stand by ribbon loop pins long -used in H'wood to signify your fervent social activism-- pink for breast cancer, yellow for troop support, peuce for genital herpes and all that) Jack is using his radical new 'do (or lack thereof) to silently express his Britney solidarity.

The presentation of the Best Pic award puzzled me too. Y'see I had thought, for the Best Picture win, that a big chunk of the cast joined the producers & director on stage, but there were very few people, just producers (maybe just one, now that I think back actually) accepting last night for The Departed. Maybe that's not the usual case, (a big crowd on stage for Best Pic) but I remember it that way when Crash won, and also back when Shakespeare in Love got Best Picture honors. It's weird, I realize, that I'm reaching back a whole decade for that particular Oscar memory, but that one has always stuck out in my mind..as a freakish anomaly...that shoulda NEVER have won Best Picture. And -honestly- I am NOT just saying that due to the Paltrow factor. It was a good movie...but certainly not GREAT or Oscar-worthy.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The other night on my way home I was at the lights @ the end of Benning St and noticed that the car ahead of me had a vanity plate on it that read "AIKEN"

It's possible, of course, that these people relocated to VT from Aiken SC...I'm hoping to God that's the case. I shudder to think that there are Clay Aiken fans out there so devoted that they're willing to shill out the extra moolah for vanity plates just so they can wear their devotion to that uber-DWEEB on their bumpers...
As if the mere existence of Clay Aiken fans isn't shudder-inducing enough in the 1st place...

I Love Ewe York

I cannot bring myself to watch a whole episode of VH1's morass of sleaze "I Love New York" but it's hard to be totally oblivious to it, as VH1 likes to run it at least thrice daily. So occasionally, I'll be channel surfing and catch sight of this show and I'm always struck by Tiffany Pollard's (aka New York) unique looks. And I'm not being critical... not trying to say she's ugly...but the chick is ALL EYELIDS. And lashes. In fact, I believe her visage is --quite literally-- what they call "heavy-lidded" as the weight of her eyelashes physically prohibits her from opening her eyes all the way.
Also, she tends to highlight her big bulbous lids (well she highlights everything bulbous on her, doesn't she?) by painting them like Electric Scarab Teal or some insanely loud hue...see below--


and really she reminds me of no one so much as...

LAMBCHOP!!! (shown here with Kermit)

Now obviously, New York is darker complexioned, more buxom. Aside from that, they could be twins I tell ya...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

TV blatherings....

I'm dying to rant about last night's Top Design-

First off, I LOOOVED the premise of this episode. Have the designers go yard saling? BRILLIANT! I like the whole salvage-chic school of design, giving new life to old stuff (making doors into table tops & all that). Although if they wanted to make this truly challenging, they woulda flied them out to New England for some of our yard sales. But I suppose, with some of these guys being total yard sale rookies, it’s best to start them out in a remedial environment.
Yup, you read right- total yard sale rookies. This Andrea chick is nearly 40 years old and NEVER been to a yard sale! That just astounds me.

Well it seems that Top Design is going to borrowing Project Runways “red herring convention”—this is where the show will really zero in on the troubles of one particular designer, seemingly saying this is OBVIOUSLY the designer that’ll be cut. But it’s just their means of manufacturing a “shocking twist” ending when it’s always a different designer that’s ousted. Such a clever ploy, the only problem being that if you’re even moderately astute you’ll be expecting it.

Anyways, this episode’s red herring was Carisa. They might’ve touched on the other designer’s rough spots briefly, but they really put the spotlight on Carisa’s carpenter-drama/ desk-debacle. But I sensed she was the red herring and wouldn’t really get the axe, and then I saw her room, saw it was OK, definitely passable, and knew for sure she was safe. Yep that’s right, my highest praise for her room was that it was “definitely passable” and she WON. That win was absolute BULLSHIT!! I didn’t hate her room by any means, it was pleasant enough, but it didn’t display any exceptional talent or "vision" I don't think. Judge for yourself though...

It makes me think "Ehhh, I could do that my damn self!!" I mean her whole win is based on nice throw pillows and having the good yard sale luck to snag that chair...that's it. Not very innovative. I'll allow that I could be a smidge biased because I think Carisa is a horrid bitch and they cannot axe her soon enough but, no, no ,no, I'm making myself evaluate objectively and CLEARLY the winner shoulda been...
MATT!!! MATT!! MATT!!


He made this space--full of yard sale finds-- look chic and high-end. How neat-o is the half drafting table/half desk unit on the wall? And let's not forget his client was 100% satisfied (the same could not be said for Carisa's client who actually sounded a bit annoyed that her insistence on storage was ignored) I think they were just penalizing him for using the color green which is BULLSHIT! Ok, I hate to be redundant, with my all caps "BULLSHIT"s, but I'm a little indignant on Matt's behalf. He's shaping up to be one of my faves..(though I've not yet settled on a #1 fave) I thought his wall lights in the little girl's room were so neat, and I feel certain that when he teamed with Felicia in episode 1 that all the really cool architectural elements of that room were his doing. And ok--YES--I'm still charmed about what he said about pumpkin-picking with his family.

Goil-- I liked his room pretty well. If they had let them shop at the Design Center, he probably would've included one trademark peppers. I didn't think that his weird sawed up chairs were as totally BRILLIANT like Margaret Russell did...perhaps I'm just too "provincial" to get the underlying message there. I also disagreed with the judges about that recessed bed-- I don't think that would be that difficult to get onto. These judges don't give people credit for being at all coordinated whatsoever. Overall I like Goil, I think he's talented, but I think he's shaping up to be the "teacher's pet" designer, and it's hard for me to root for that. I'm much more drawn to rooting for the dark horse and/or underdog figure.

Andrea-- For a total yard sale rookie she did great. Her room was a little sparse but I think that suited her client.

Felicia-- I won't miss her. It was her kid's room (Ep#2) that prejudiced me against her. I just cannot shake how horribly drab that room was. Again she presented a drab, drab, dreary-ass room. I didn't really zero in on the afghan as singularly offensive, rather I was repelled by that makeshift wallpaper of ties that everybody else seemed to love.

Micheal-- I thought he did a decent job, although I would really like to see a big decline in his work so that he'll get the boot. Simply because he ANNOYS THE PISS OUTTA ME.


Erik-- Not wild about the ART and not sure I get the mini chair on a pedestal thing, but otherwise, I think his room is terrific. I like his industrialish metal accents and how he partitioned the bed off from the study area. I think he's shaping up to be another favorite of mine.

Ryan-- Here we have Top Design's answer to Jeffrey Sebelia/Santino. And I like him (As I did with Santino...but NOT Jeffrey) I like his total disregard for interior design convention, the way he approaches every room like a big art project. Unfortunately, unless he reigns in his overt kiss-my-ass attitude he is GOING to get the axe. Crikey, I thought Margaret Russell was going to launch herself 'cross The White Room & sink her claws into him!! (speaking of Mags...is being a raging uber-bitch a prerequisite for working for Elle ? I wonder--if she and Nina Garcia had a bitch showdown, who would win? I cannot decide, but I am certain the clash would be utterly terrifying) As for this challenge..that baffling partition detracted from his really cool walls.

I saw that they've got a Top Designer "marathon" coming up. I don't think you can call running all 4 episodes a marathon. To me, a marathon consists of a minimum of 5 episodes.

In other TV news...word is that a Grey's Anatomy spin-off is in the works...centered around Addison. Now Addison IS probably my favorite Grey's character but still this strikes me as a bad idea. Will Ads be pulled from Grey's Anatomy? Will the spin-off's supporting cast be culled from Grey's or be all new characters? And --most importantly--where will that stud Sloane wind up???
Aw, who knows, maybe it would be great...maybe it is only my innate aversion to change that makes me hate this idea....

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

someone will fly, someone will die (your dog will call the FBI)

I was quite satisfied with the outcome of Mon night's "Heroes" episode. The flying was just AWESOME, the deaths-nothing too tragic. Well of course, it's unfortunate that the mechanic chick w/ super hearing was beheaded but, I had yet to grow too terribly attached to her. And Simone getting shot...well I was kind of rooting for that. I never did figure out exactly what about her was so offputting to me (not that it matters now) but I'm presuming someone with pull on the writing staff was in agreement with on me on her being an unnecessary drain on the show.
Now next episode looks like a real "corker" (to borrow a phrase my Dad would employ) the only downside being that if it IS so explosive and there are so many big questions answered than that surely indicates that this'll be the last new episode before a lengthy break. Oh shitake...is that why NBC has been hyping this new "Black Donnellys" show 50 times an hour, 24 hrs a day? Is THAT their mid-season replacement offering?? BLAH. I am SO not enticed.

So I know my "Heroes " reactions come a day late but, I still consider it relevant to today because when browsing Feb 21 celeb b-days today (as is my daily custom) I noticed that Jack "Papa Bennett" Coleman turns 49 yrs old today. Of course I remembered him being on Dynasty back in the day (he played Steven--Blake Carrington's gay son) but I was astounded by how much, much more TV work he's done besides.

I opted for the photo of Jack in his Dynasty days as that is when he was at peak foxiness, and he gets so much attention for "Heroes" these days anyways...

So yeah, it is, I confess, terribly LAZY to build a post around a celebrity birthday. I try not to fall back on that gimmick too often, but sometimes I can't resist. Usually the case is that when reading up on said b-day celeb I will discover a surprising trivia nugget that I just cannot keep to myself. LeVar Burton being in that music video, for instance. If I hadn't been celebrating LeVar's birthday last Fri then tell me, WHEN would I have had the opportunity to link to Cameo's "Word Up" video?? Maybe when I did my "Salute to Nasty Codpieces" post...but that's a massive undertaking that I'm not yet prepared to tackle...

Well you might've surmised that I've dug up an intriguing factoid about Mr Bennett...and you'd be correct. ... Jack Coleman is a 6th generation grandchild of Benjamin Franklin!! How wild is that?? Personally, I find it uncannily coincidental that TV's Steven Carrington would in real life be a decendant of Ben Franklin because who is BLAKE CARRINGTON if not a latter day fictional Ben Franklin?? Well I can't quite picture him out in the rain flying a kite (getting his luxurius Nolan Miller threads all soggy) but they're both larger-than-life, white-haired philandering entrepeneurs. Y'see the parallels?? I find it SO illuminating to consider American History as if it were an Aaron Spelling cheese-stravaganza from the 80s. Makes it more REAL, more relatable. Imagine, for instance, the Civil War transpiring on the Love Boat... interfering Yankee tourists are encamped on the lido deck and they've decided to liberate Isaac from his humble drink lackey duties...will Captain Stubing tolerate such insolent mutiny? Will the Pacific Princess secede from the fleet of more progressive cruise ships??

This pic on my MSN homepage surprised me:


Why is this dude splashed all over the internet when I have yet to hear one of his little ditties on the radio?? Why is spawn of Thicke such big news? What is UP with that?? What the hell, no fresh Anna Nicole news today?
I did see a Robin Thicke video this summer that moved me to post , not because I was like "Awww-YEAH! That's my jam right there!" But because I was astonished by what a young Jason Seaver this guy was. Looks JUST like dear ol' Dad, don'tcha think? His song, if I remember correctly, was pretty crappy, though not memorably so.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

if music be the food of love play on, Player..

Don't ask me how yammering about food got me thinking about music... possibly because "Food, Glorious, food" is a title from the Oliver! soundtrack. Absolutely LOVE that musical. Speaking of Olivers...Oliver Reed was in that flick...therefore this is as good a time as any to own up to having a bizarre retroactive crush on Oliver Reed (this is late 60s Oliver Reed, mind you, and NOT this fellow). Sure he mighta been a womanizin' drunk, but uniquely attractive nonetheless. Same thing with late 60s/early 70s era Alan Bates...another oddball retroactive celeb crush of mine.

Is that weird? Perhaps mildly so...

But back on the topic of music-- here are some tunes I want to download--

**"Dashboard" by Modest Mouse [check out the song here]
**"O Valencia!" by the Decemberists [I love this song and it's been ricocheting around in my skull lately because one of my TX colleagues is named Valencia and she was supposed to come for a visit this week. It's probably just as well that she couldn't cough up the dinero for her ticket, because I'm apt to have driven her LOCO with continual serenades of this tune...]it's featured on their webpage jukebox if you care to get the song stuck in YOUR head too...
**"In the Air Tonight"by Phil Collins [When Ryan Starr covered it this summer on Rock Star Supernova, it reminded me how much I adore the song-- it's muy intense, so POWERFUL. The original (& greatest) version came on the radio the other night when I was cruising around in my car...I turned it up to window-rattling decibels..also risked going off the road so's I could give my all air drumming along to those couple of awesome explosive percussion parts]
**"I Don't Want to Know" by Mario Winans [I have wanted to download this one for a looong time, but everytime I download I forget it. That would seem to imply that I don't really care too much about acquiring this song. But that is not the case!! I truly DO like it!!]
**"I Thank You" & "La Grange" by ZZ Top [ heard both these songs on Q106 tonight as they were doing Two-for-Tuesdays...come to think of it, 99Rock also does the Two-for-Tuesday thing (2 songs in a row by the same group/artist) I'm curious as to how many radio stations, nation-wide, think they've got a unique gimmick going w/ their Two-for-Tuesday Tuesdays. That would be quite the little research project, that is, if you were of the inclination to undertake sundry research projects in your leisure time. Anyhow, I'm not usually real big on the "classic rock" genre (you know the real blue collar crap of the .38 Special ilk) but there are always exceptions, and a few of these are exceptions are by ZZ Top. "Legs" I like, but as it is the ubiquitous ZZTop hit, it's a trifle played out. I'm fond of "Sharp Dressed Man" partly because it's a decent song but mostly because I totally concur with the message they're puttin' out there... I'm not certain that * every * girl is crazy about a sharp dressed man (but this one is!) But "La Grange" & "I Thank You" both these songs amuse the hell out of me. I don't know which member of ZZ is doing the vocals on "La Grange" but they have this hilarious froggy sort of voice. And that"Aw HAW HAW HAW"--that MAKES the song. They should've made a special Grammy that year for Best Crazy Laugh in a Pop Song just so they coulda given the prize to ZZTop. I don't know how many years (many many years) I just referred to that song as 'The "AWW HAW HAW HAWW Song' I think I only recently learned the proper title of it. But, sadly, like most catchy vocal bits there's not nearly enough of the "AW HAWW HAW HAW" This is similar to there not being enough of the "Go Shawty-ish yo' Birfday" refrain in 50Cent's "In the Club" and probably the Oakridge Boys' "Elvira" could do with a few extra "OW-OOM BOPPA OOOM BOPPA MOW MOW"s in that insanely low bass. Now "I Thank You" is an odd mix of funny and repulsive. The words of the song are all quite intelligible, w/ no overwhelming instrumentals so there is no choice but to listen to the dirty lyrics (title links to lyrics,btw). I have no problem with smut in general, and initially the song gives me fits of juvenile, junior high giggles... but then I think of the ZZTop guys being smutty and I STOP mid chortle... to heave. Almost as violent as my bald-Britney dry heaves. Now, I think the whole ZZTop aesthetic is well known, but in case you're a TOTAL pop culture neophyte, I will provide a visual:


Yeeeeeeeah...pretty ucky, ain't it?

Food, glorious food!



I cooked dinner tonight...wanted to try out one of the recipes in my foxy new cookbook (above) So I made Swiss steak--




Not sure why I was particularly compelled to make "Swiss Steak" I think I heard my Dad waxing nostalgic about how my mum used to make it and how grrrreat it was. Also, I like to dabble in ethnically diverse cuisines and Swiss food was a new challenge. Although, even after making this, I can't quite pinpoint what's all that Swiss about it---seems more Italianate than anything else. I think maybe it's the coating of the steak cubies in flour that's Swiss. Perhaps I shoulda done a whole theme night--Swiss Miss to drink, Swiss Cheese appetizers, imported Swiss chocolate for dessert.... Nawwww, that would be too class projecty. Anyways let me assure you, the steak did NOT look like the steak pictured. It's sort of a kitschy novelty cook book so any food pics in it are the kind of horrific food photography that prevailed in popular cookbooks from the 40s-70s. Anyways it looked good, smelled AMAZING, and tasted pretty yummy too. Of course my Dad had to be 100% candid in his appraisal-- "It's got a really good flavor even if it is a liiiittle bit tough.." And, of course I hafta zero right in on the latter part of this sentence. UGGH. "Constructive criticism" is damned overrated if you ask me. Give me flattery anyday!! Oh, and he went on to say "When your mother used to make this--Ohh!!-- you could cut it with a fork! So tender!" Well, shit, Pa, maybe you used to have sharper forks back in the early 70s. ORRR, maybe you just don't weild them utensils as forcibly as you did in your heyday.
OK sorry, that was brutal, I guess I am a smidge hypersensitive when it comes to my culinary masterworks being slighted. Honestly, the difference in texture is probably on account of my Mom using top round and my recipe calling for cubed chuck steak. CHUCK STEAK. Not sure what part of the moo-moo that comes from, but it just doesn't sound like a cut of meat that can be fork sliced.

In other food news, our office had started a Fat Tuesday tradition in Feb 2006 of having a king cake on Fat Tues. Well this year nobody realized that today was Fat Tues until late morning when Lisa said something. Actually, y'know it was LISA who initiated the king cake tradition last year...she shoulda had her shit together. Anyways it was fun last year, Kevin found the plastic baby in the cake and even though I TOLD him that it was a good luck talisman plastic baby, he pawned it off on me. I guess (according to my wikipedia crash course on king cakes) you can put any sort of trinket you like (the whole king cake tradition seems a little unstructured and too open to interpretation for my liking) but we had the muy pequeno bambino de plastico. I think that's the most popular trinket. The cake Lisa purchased last year was pretty decent-- this ring all iced in Mardi Gras colors WITH WEE PLASTIC BABE INCLUDED AT NO EXTRA COST!! If I recollect clearly, it tasted fairly shitty, but that is NOT what it's all about,folks. So anyways today I was grabbing some groceries on my lunch hour (Swiss Steak ingredients) and asked Lisa where she bought last year's cake and she told me Price Chopper. Now, I was intending to go to Shaw's (just down the road from work) and Price Chopper is across town. I figured, well, if it's something they sell in the Price Chopper store bakery, they probably offer them at the Shaw's bakery too. TRAGICALLY NOT SO!! But I was going to be bummed knowing it was Fat Tuesday and we let our fledgling king cake tradition just DIE. So I decided to "make do". I bought cream puffs and shoved a gummy bear into one of 'em. Pretty damned pathetic. But, just the same, I was very earnest about the whole ridiculous ritual-- I offered the cream puffs at my desk, so that I could supervise the puff selection and ensure that people were not checking them over for gummy bear insertion points and then choosing (or avoiding- depending on their attitude) the special puff. They had to be just grabbed without calculation or preinspection. I was insistent that thing be left entirely up to serendipity...

And so it was. Laurel wound up with the "baby"--she sure could use the good luck. She ate the "baby" and I told her this was not a good thing... I don't know how much of that good luck she'll be able to absorb, after all, stomach acid is pretty tough on good luck, also she will poop much of the good luck out. I have a half a bag of gummies left at my desk so I may give her a replacement. I don't know if she will be able to hang onto it as a Fat Tues souvenir though, that Laurel LOVES gummie bears...

Monday, February 19, 2007

cueball nutball


I know all the world is a-buzzing about this new and not-really-improved look on Britney Spears, and I hate to be trite but...I just had to voice my "Bleeccccch" over this. So..."bleccch!" There you have the one-word vocalization of my dry-heaving over this putrid atrocity. "Blecch" doesn't seem sufficient, but in lieu of a web-cam, it's all I got. It's soo much more effective if you can see the accompanying body language...the lurching and the shuddering and the keeling over and all of that. But you'll just have to trust me...I am dry heaving.

Y'know, generally, I don't think it's necessarily a bad look for a woman to shave her head. When Natalie Portman did it, sure it was for a role (I fear Brit does not have such a good excuse) but she still remained quite lovely. And Sinead O'Conner still rocks a buzzcut like no other. But Britney...Holy Mother of Pete's Dragon, who the hell knew you had so much SKULL under all those extensions? Ew. Eww. EWWW!
This picture immediately brought to my mind's eye this montage of cartoon and comic book villains whose tremendous evil genius is tangibly indicated by a freakishly huge skull. In other words, Britney would do well to eschew Paris Hilton's company and start hanging out with --



BRAINIAC (from Superman)




MOJO JO-JO (from The Powerpuff Girls)



MYRON REDUCTO
(rival counsel on Harvey Birdman)


I know there are more examples out there that I'm forgetting...I feel certain that there's at least one Marvel villain in the evil-genius-personified-by-colossal-cranium club. Anyways, I think she will fit in well with this crew now. She will be able to get them into clubs and VIP rooms heretofore verboten for them, and in turn their gaggle of ginormo-bulbous skulls will slightly detract attention from her own. Lots of smart guys (albeit evil) in this clique...maybe she can get some worthwhile career advice out of them. Maybe she will marry one of 'em!!! (And if they were to procreate--daaaaaaamn! Better have a C-section, girl)
I don't think Brit is harboring genius of any variety in that melon so I really cannot fathom why it is so gigantic and misshapen. The only extraneous skull filling that seems plausible is that it is a big buffer of hot air...in which orange Cheeto dust is ricocheting about.
Anyways, if you can think of any of the cranially-overendowed supervillains that I forgot, let me know tout de suite, s'il vous plaƮt ....

notes on fried rice

Here's a random opinion for you to chaw on--

PEAS in your fried rice are a good indication that you need to start ordering from a better place. Not like sno-peas or pea pods or anything exotic, I'm talking your average, spherical Green Giant ("ho ho ho") style peas. That, right there, is the mark of mall- caliber Chinese food. Ewww.

Conversely, your premium quality fried rice will have eggy bits in it. Extra onions& green onions - also a nice touch. I think I would eat green onions in anything (that is not a desert).


Maybe it's all the ruminating I'm doing about Chinese New Year, but I've been jonesing lately for Chinese/ Japanese eats. Which is not to say that I'm disappointed in my lunch (braised cabbage w/ onions) because it is delish. But I have been wanting asian grub nonetheless and trying to give in to this yen (ha haaa ha ha ha) only sparingly.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Butterfly in the skyyyy-- I can go twice as hiiiigh!




Today is LeVar Burton's 50th birthday!! Makes me want to cut work to watch Reading Rainbow. You don't know what a tremendous exertion of self-restraint is keeping me in this desk chair. I wouldn't be surprised if I SWOONED from the strain of it.

I suppose LeVar is better known for his role in the miniseries "Roots" and amongst the nerd populace as the kooky shades guy on Star Trek the Next Generation. But I appreciate him for hosting Reading Rainbow. I was talking w/ my sis the other day about how kids today have 100s of TV programs and characters targeted towards them-- all the Playhouse Disney stuff, Nick Jr, etc etc ad infinitum. But when we were kids there was not such an overwhelming abundance. When I stayed home sick from school, it was PBS all day. Slim Goodbody, Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, and all that ... I must have, over the years, watched quite a lot of Reading Rainbow, because I am utterly incapable of hearing the word "butterfly" without internally launching into the Reading Rainbow theme song.



Here's something new & intriguing I learned about Burton today... he is in the video for Cameo's "Word Up". He plays this 40s noir type detective who is after the lead singer of Cameo for some unspecified offense. Well, they don't explicitly say what the lead singer's crime is, but if you watch the video you'll see it's fairly apparent that LeVar is representing the Fashion Police and is hauling Mr Cameo away for the ATROCITY of wearing a gleaming red codpiece (rightfully so!!)



Also, LeVar was born in Germany. And his Chinese zodiac sign is The Rooster.



Actually that last bit was not in LeVar's (I keep typing LeBar and it makes me chuckle...LEBAR BURTON..huh huh haaa haa) wikipedia bio. Because Chinese New Year is coming up on Feb 18, there's these news items online reporting on how we are about to commence The Year of the Pig. Actually, MSN Astrology proclaims "Welcome to the year of the Fire Pig!" It might amuse me to call someone at midnight Sunday a.m. and yell that and hang up. We'll see....

So, anyways, I was wanting to see if I knew any piggies (well I know several PIGS and I know a lotta hoggers, but that's not in a Chinese zodiacal sense of the term) I tracked down this chart--


because if I knew anyone born in 1911,1923,1935,1947,1959,1971,1983, or 1995 I was going to alert them to 2007 being their year (as of Feb 18) Y'know the last year of the Snake was in 2001 and I remember being somewhat stoked about it. I find it greatly distressing that I have to wait until 2013 to see another Year of the Snake. Do you know how old I will be then?? AAAAAGH! I do not want to will my fingers to type the figure and I don't want to look it on my screen...it's pretty simple math, I'll let you do the calculatin'.

Anyways LeVar is not a Pig, he is a Rooster. A fire Rooster? Beats me. I only have basic, restaurant placemat training when it comes to the Chinese zodiac. For all I know he's a Water Rooster, or a Silly Putty Rooster.

Thurs night TV was compelling as always. The Office was particularly good. I've had a bat home invasion before (multiple times), so all the bat scenes really struck a chord with me. Uggh...just seeing those vile little f-ers on TV makes me criiinge. I thought the scene where Michael showed up at Pam's "art show" was surprisingly sweet, touching, really. I wonder why Jimbo was a no show...did Pam not tell him? Is he being a douchebag just because she's having herself a li'l Roy relapse? Or maybe he's just being your basic oblivious guy...

On Grey's Anatomy, although I was in awe of Izzy's skull-drilling prowess, I was rather irritated with her at the end of the episode. They're all distraught, Meredith on the verge of death, and she makes this lengthy, quasi-inspirational speech about eating butter out of the tub and how George shouldn't have married Callie (and I beg to differ, BTW) That was awful. I prefer Christina's "Welcome to the dead dads club" pep talk to that rambling excerpt from Chicken Soup for the Trite Soul. Now I DID have a real cockle-warming "Awwww" moment, when Sloane came and sat vigil w/ Shephard in the hall. Foxy fellahs in severe emotional distress....Mmmmm.

Well, OBVIOUSLY they're not going to kill off Meredith. I say this not because of the show being named for her, but just because they're making death look so inevitable that her death would consequently be rendered a non shocker. Since all signs are pointing to her kicking the bucket, I feel sure that they're going to bust out the "shocking twist" of her just barely missing said bucket with this proverbial kick. See what I mean, Vern? Personally, I'm indifferent to whether Meredith dies or not. She is so not one of my fave characters. Being new to the show (a viewer only since the Season 2 finale) I didn't know who the guy hanging around with Denny in the afterlife sequence was. Well, I know he was Kyle Chandler in real life, but I didn't know who he was representing in the afterlife/ dream sequence. I just thought "Wow, if that's the Grim Reaper...maybe the whole death deal is not as unpleasant as it's made out to be..." But today one of the guys here filled me in that Chandler was a beau of Mer's in a prev season. Yeah, we were dishing on Grey's Anatomy this a.m. and I find out that this meathead, gym junkie, guy I work with watches the entire ABC Thurs night line up. That's -Grey's, Men In Trees, and Ugly Betty. We were all kind of giving him odd looks, and he's all "What??" And I had to break the news to him that he has a thing for chick shows. He really didn't know. Or he put up a very good facade of not knowing...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

EBP & PTB

I actually went to work for most of the day yesterday. The damn snow was as high as a brontosaurus’s eye but I came in anyway. How INSANELY dedicated am I ?? I just felt like I’d used up my snow day back in January…plus my St Christopher’s medal stayed intact when I slipped it on , therefore I really had no reason to not come in. But then at about 11:30 my boss said that people were free to go early if they wanted because of the icky weather. Boy, for them to liberate the workers early...not unprecedented, but highly irregular. Perhaps a mandate was handed down from the governor? So anyways, I left at 2pm, caught a ride home w/ my bro-in-law, crashed at their casa and got a ride in this a.m. It was convenient up until I had to dig my car out this a.m. (I didn't hafta go anywhere, but Greg got me here early and I figured digging out before work would be better than doing so in the dark @ 5:30pm)
Tues night I flipped back and forth between the Westminster Kennel Club dog show (part II) and Gary Gulman on Comedy Central. Gary was my pick to win season 2 of Last Comic Standing...but he didn't win, and I kinda feel responsible. He's a g-d RIOT, and it was probably just my rooting for him that caused his defeat...my hearty support was somehow infected by my inherent shitty luck...and it jinxed the whole thing for him. Poor Gary. I just love him (and that's not the guilt talking). The guy had an hour long stand up special, and I think he spent about 3/4 of the time raving about cookies. What's not to love, right?? As if that wasn't sufficiently magnificent, he closed his set by publicly defending the song "Ice Ice Baby". So y'see it's more than just laughs for me, it's the profound contentment of finding a kindred soul. And laughs.

Ok .. speaking of guilty pleasure tuneage...I'm right this minute listening to Color Me Badd ("I Adore Mi Amor" to be specific). I never realized before this listen today that there is like a whole verse in Spanish. Hmm. Perhaps it was unfair of me to dismiss these gents as illiterate clods simply because they cannot spell "bad". They're kinda bending the rules by playing this one on the 80s Love Song station, though. Came out in '91 (as I'm sure you well know...)

Jumping back to the topic of Tues night TV though... I was very pleased that James, the English Springer Spaniel took home the Best-in-Show prize at the WKC dog show. There were several contenders I was not too keen on. First off the Dandie Dinmont Terrior--- Harry-Ethel Huxtable. Even worse than that ugly, there were TWO poodles (1 Toy, 1 Standard) up for Best in Show. I hear poodles are supposed to be extremely smart dogs... whatev, I don't care if they're MENSA smart, I hate poodles. They're like topiary-wearing rats. Ugh. James was cute though. Check it out, homes...





At lunch, on my way to the cafeteria to procure a meatloaf sammich from the vending machine (it was better than you're presuming it was!) I passed by our interim IT guy, and I reflected that it's too damn bad he's leaving us soon now that I've devised a great code name for him. We had an IT dude for years that I christened "Beans"...well originally, the nickname was "Greenbeans" but that became too syllabically cumbersome for me so I shortened it to "Beans" or the occasional "Beansie". Well, he left in...November, I think it was. Which bummed me out, 'cause I liked Beans, he let me mock & pester him and for me that is very crucial coworker criterion. Then they hired on a temp, and after a suitable mourning period for Beans, I realized that the IT Temp was commendably open to jest. But the pisser was, they were just keeping him on until they found a permanent hire. He applied for the job and was told he wasn't "qualified enough" for the gig (long term). Well they hired some bland (but sufficiently qualified) dude back in Jan, but the temp is still here. I presume they're in a transition period and he's just showing the permanent hire the ropes. Ideally, though the vacuous ninnies over at corporate finally realized that the IT post here really requires 2 people and they're coughing up the moolah to employ both of 'em. I highly doubt that though.

Anyways, about that code name... I don't say nickname, because while I always called Beans "Beans" I would never call this guy EBP to his face (just while IMing Robin & Laurel) because then I would have to explain it and that would embarrass me and/or him. He came around one day to do something to our PCs and I went around loitering while he sat at my desk and did his thing. He was there only briefly--less than 5minutes-- but when I reclaimed my chair it was inordinately warm. I mean, it was not your natural "Huh. Someone was just sitting in my chair." warm, it was a lot like sitting on a large hand warmer. Although that's now how I described it to Robin at the time. Because of course, I IMed her immediately. I was taken aback y'see -- I felt like I was witness to some new scientific phenomena. Anyways , (short story LONG) I was trying to convey the experience and I wrote to her "IT'S LIKE THE MAN WEARS ELECTRIC BLANKET PANTS!!" And a code name was born. Well, "Electric-Blanket-Pants" is obviously too damn long, so it was originally "EB Pants" (which, if I didn't know the backstory myself, I would take to mean Easter Bunny Pants. Which is cute. Although puzzling...) But that soon grew too unweildy, so we acronymized it--EBP. I wish they'd keep EBP on...his successor really seems like a snooze. I will probably have to refer to him by his actual name.

While on the topic of my juvenile code-naming of people... I saw the acronym PTB on a fax last week and it was an amusing blast-from-the-past por moi. Instantly I was taken back to junior year at CSC, where in our dorm lived the nefarious Psycho Tent Boy...well he sometimes lived in the dorm...sometimes in a tent outside the dorm...sometimes the tent was moved inside....in either setting, the psycho part applied. I used to refer to him as PTB ...not to his face...I think I generally avoided saying anything to his face if I recollect correctly...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

handicrafts



I crafted one of these this weekend. From this actual kit (pictured left) which I bought for 50% off at the Dartmouth Book Store a coupla weekends back.

My first ever sock dude is seriously screwed up... stomach all bowed out with his arms coming out of his back...sort of the same bearing as Fred Sanford. (I think I shall name him Sanford, actually) But he has his adorable features-- lovely button eyes and a well stitched tongue. I'm now working on my sophomore sock monster effort. It's handy to be doing a sock monster rather than the more traditional sock monkey....because if it comes out all f-ed up & deformed you can plausibly insist ,"Oh that was completely intentional. I was trying to make him MONSTROUS"

Kibbles & Bits & JELLO PUDDING POPS

THIS DOG won the terrier group at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. He is a 6yr old Dandie Dinmont Terrier named Harry. It's generally not my custom to report on the latest scintillating dog show results, but this particular winner got his own headline on the MSN homepage...due to his celebrity ownership (he is Bill Cosby's doggy). OOOhh the unjust preferential treatment! Just kidding...I didn't watch the WKC show, but I'm sure ol' Harry performed commendably. But geez..leave it to the Coz to pick out a dog that looks like an old lady fresh from the hairdresser's. He doesn't look one bit like a "Harry" he looks like an "Ethel". Nope..does not surprise me in the least that Coz would own such an UNpulchritudinous pooch...I mean, look at those hideous sweaters.


If ever anyone wanted to spend some beaucoup bucks on me and get me a doggy (perhaps that sounds improbable..but suppose you won the Powerball... surely you would be in a most generous frame of mind...possibly compelled to gift to me an "I'm-s0rry-I-won-Powerball-and-you-didn't" consolation prize) you could get me one of these breeds-


Irish Wolfhound

Otterhound
Newfoundland

Honestly, I would be happy with a mutt, but c'mon, you just won POWERBALL, I think you can cough up the moolah for a purebred. Oh, and, additionally, I will require new lodgings. Something rent free for me with lots of acreage for the pooch to run wild on.

Monday, February 12, 2007

autopsies, paternity tests, political scandal...oh my


This is not your run-of-the-mill celeb demise. Instead it's all playing out like a choice Jerry Springer episode. I read today that not only is Anna Nicole posthumously disgracing Bahaman housing officials but in a truly surreal development, it seems she is busting up Zsa Zsa Gabor's marriage. Say WHA?? Why is this Prince Freddy just now coming forward to say this baby is apt to be his? I believe it to be public knowledge that said baby was born like ,5 MONTHS AGO. I can only guess that Prince Freddy has been very wistfully observing the Anna Nicole media circus and sighed as he thought to himself:"I remember when Zsa Zsa used to be in the news. How I miss her crazy bitch diva days of DUI and cop slapping..life has been so dull since she got tame & senile..." and then inspiration struck "Heeeey...I met Anna Nicole at an Arby's opening back in 1995... I bet I can parlay that into a fictitious decade long secret affair...they'll all believe me...that nutjob banged anything!!"


Ok that was mean... maybe the affair is not entirely fictitious. I'm just reeling from the BIZARR-O-NESS of it all. I was also rather charmed by the "prince" saying "I am going to make the DNA test." or at least, that's how the AP quoted him. How long has this guy been speaking English?? At least 5 years, right? Apparently if you are faux German royalty, nobody dares contradict your f***ed up grammar. But he's a pretty dashing gent , is he not? In kind of a Ricardo Montalban way?? Hmm?


HELLO! Is it me you're looking for???

I've been listening today to Yahoo Radio's 80s Love Songs channel. Usually I tune into their Showtunes channel but I felt like a switch today. Maybe I was inspired by Valentine's Day bein' just around the corner. I do tend to get into the spirit of Valentine's Day, though I can't fathom why. I fully realize that Valentine's Day is going to be just another Wednesday (and Hump Day in name only). But for some inexplicable reason, I like Valentine's Day. I can't decide whether I'm a sick masochist or an insane romantic. I'm sure it could be both.
Anyways, I am rather enjoying this station and hope it is not a seasonal dealie like Shamrock shakes (except not at McDonalds...and for Valentine's Day not St Patty's Day...but you catch my drift) Here are some fabulous songs I've heard since tuning in...
*Father Figure/ George Michael
*Hello / Lionel Richie (MAGNIFICENTLY cheesy...stuck in my head since about 9am)
*Eternal Flame/ the Bangles (I like singing along to this one...especially belting out the "Say my name..sun shines through the rain!" bit. I have a feeling, that if I were patronizing a place where karaoke was happening (that rarely ever happens, praise the Lord) and "Eternal Flame" was a karaoke menu choice, and I had imbibed sufficiently, then I could embarrass myself in a SPECTACULAR fashion)
* Glory of Love /Peter Ceterra (y'know, before today I had not realized that this song was solo-Ceterra...I had thought it was one of numerous schmaltzy offerings in Chicago's schmaltzy period)
*Love Song & Pictures of You /The Cure ( I love me some Cure...good for what ails ya. HA HAHAAAA pun intended there..)
*The Promise/When In Rome
*Careless Whisper /Wham!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Exotic num-nums!!!


I had Chicken Pad Thai & Veggie Gyozas for lunch today. Mmmm mmm yummers. Everything was quite satisfactory (even if the leftovers are stinkin' up my cubicle)

Gotta jet now... will try to post more later. Ciao!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

"Hi, I'm uhhh.. calling to cancel my TrimSpa order.."


..'cause it's probably not going to mix well with all that methadone I've been taking.


Just like the crazy astronaut story, I heard the chattering about this one before spotting the MSN.com headline. I get off the phone, and I hear J-Beau, my cubicle neighbor to the north, saying, "HOLY SHIT, and she just had a son die, didn't she?? And now she's DEAD?" I knew right off what the news was. Seems like Anna Nicole had been in the headlines all the time lately --and not much in the way of good news either-- paternity tests, law suits...oy vey. I wonder if perhaps this was intentional...
Well...yeah...uhh, HOLY SHIT is right. J-Beau voiced my own sentiments precisely. It reminds me of when I read about the split up of the Federline marriage. Well, obviously this is a WAAAY more tragic occurance. But it does remind me of that because it's another completely unsurprising thing that shocked the hell out of me.

Top Design

From 9pm-11pm, I took time out from my all-night Dickens homage, to catch myself up on the latest greatest Bravo reality TV offering-- Top Design. I was peeved that I missed its premiere last week, but Bravo very kindly re-ran the previous eppy before this week's (as is the Bravo custom...I LOVE them for that, btw). So I am all caught up...and HERE be my thoughts on the show. Every last, minute, trivial one of 'em...

The Designers--
check here for bios and pics of the rooms ...

Heather- First axed, along with Lisa "mother of Storm" ... I didn't really get a sense of her design style, because it really seemed like she let Lisa dominate their first & last project. Her bio on the Bravo site though, says she has a "historical & progressive" design style. That might've been interesting... too bad she's out of the game. Incidentally, I really liked the dress she wore on her last episode. Great pattern there.

Goil- Such an unfortunate, unfortunate name. Not sure what it means in Thailand, but it sure sounds to me like the unsightly hybrid of a goiter and a boil. Ewww. But what's in a name, eh? Because this guy's really clever. (although, enough with the peppers, eh?) I think he's truly creative and will go far. Let's hope so, because he's such a sweet little goiter-boil and seems to really want this.

Ryan- What was wrong with his oceanside feline-centric bedroom?? I REALLY liked it!! These judges are whack for putting it down. I will concede that the bed was probably dangerous, but she probably LOVED it. Besides, there's only about a million or so kids who slumber dangerously every night on the top bunk of a bunk bed. I'm not sure, at this early stage, who my singular numero uno favorite is, but right now Ryan's in my group of favorites. I think he eschews the tried & true (and SAFE) interior design conventions, and I dig that.

Elizabeth- I like her too...her soccer room was pretty cool. And y'know just 'cause that dim-witted jock boy didn't immediately know what those buckets were for doesn't mean it was a bad idea. I liked the buckets. And probably that stupid kid woulda too if someone had explained them to him.
Also, I also must gripe about how lame-o I think it is that the winners of the inaugural challenge (that'd be Liz & Goiter-Boil) won a measly $100. addition to their budget. C'mon Bravo...you guys ain't hurting for dinero...how about an extra thou each??

Carisa- I wasn't crazy about her first room, but her jungle bedroom was pretty rad. From the season preview reel, it looks like she may prove to be a Type A spazz in future eps.

John- Gee... after his bummer of an admission at the start of Episode 2, I kinda felt bad for thinking he was such a tremendous douchebag in episode 1. For about 3 minutes. And then he proceeded to be more of a douchebag. I thought it was funny, in episode 1, how he was soooo aggravated with having a bunch of "queens" for roomies, and groused that he might as well have been living with the girls. But then when the mystery client was revealed to be Alexis Arquette...he was just absolutely delighted. "She just ROCKS!" he gushed (or something like that). Anybody else note a paradox here, or is just moi??
Anyways, repugnant personality aside, I was actually disappointed by his Episode 2 elimination. Yeah, his floor was unfinished, but you could see where he was going with his design and it wasn't heinous. It certainly wasn't my favorite design, but it was NOT as putrid as Michael's.
Andrea- Her collaberation room (Ep1) was good, but how much of that was Ryan's vision? I dunno. I wasn't crazy about her kid's bedroom though. I mean it wasn't ugly, but just looking at the room, I would never think a kid slept there. Wowie wow--a working Murphy bed. Big deal. And why is she needing to push her bed up into the wall? This isn't supposed to be a studio apartment for a 10 year old is it?
And thus far, I am soooo not getting the punk rock vibe from this chick. (Her bio sez "Andrea is a self-proclaimed punk rocker, and she prefers to live by the fringe and often dyes her hair pink" Surrrrre. If you say so..)
Matt- I like this guy. Maybe it's only due to my sentimentality & being charmed about his comment about picking out jack-o-lantern pumpkins with his daughter. But I did love his Ep 2 offering. I didn't really think the black cloth was the big deal that the judges made it out to be. I thought Felicia's room was way more dour. And how awesome was that wall lighting?? Plus that girl seemed to absolutely love her room...
Felicia- Her 1st episode room was very good I thought. I liked the bench and the round table and the art work. But that 2nd room? Bleeccch! One of the judge's comments was right on the mark--- that it looked like a nice hotel room. Very sober. It was posh, but too blah & drab to be a kid's room. For some reason, the judges glossed over this point, I guess because they were SOOO delightedly in awe of her brilliant, innovative, turn-the-bed-around-sideways move (Holy sh**..pure GENIUS!!).
Michael- I could not take sides in the brief but explosive Michael-John war, because they are both SUPERHUMANLY ANNOYING. Oh, Michael has got his own distinct brand of annoying but annoying (as hell) he is. And I couldn't agree more with the judges' assessment of his room. It did look like a room in a nursing home. Although the pillow didn't singularly offend me (the wall color + the art pieces really made the geriatric effect for me) like it did everyone else. However, I was sorta offended, when they asked Mikey where he acquired the item, he goes "It's a department store pillow!!" with such bravado...as if it is some kind of tremendous feat of resourcefulness that he found anything of merit in (*shudder*) a department store. Not all that miraculous-- you guys were shopping in TARGET after all (wonder if anybody picked up pieces from the Oldham line??)
Lisa- Distracting hair. Reminded me of Storm from the X-Men...except middle aged (hence my earlier "mother of Storm" crack)
I think I would've liked that "Chinese wedding bed" if it had different bedding on it. I am no a fan of Oriental decor (overall, I hated their room) but I liked that piece. I like that it was ornate & old fashioned looking. I would like to see more of that... I would love to see some design with an art nouveau feel about it, but with this crew I don't think that will happen unless it's a specific challenge they're assigned. Everybody seems to be pretty contemporary no matter how diverse a group the Bravo write-up claims they recruited.
Erik- Yo-HO , Yo ho, a pirate's life for me! There was no doubt that that room was over the top, but who cares? His client was craaaazy about it...and the attention to detail, vision, and sheer effort he displayed on that challenge....well, I think his win was justified (obviously)

Thoughts on the show in general--
Todd Oldham-- I didn't think there could exist a host that would make me yearn for that wench Heidi Klum but...ZZZzzzzzz. Todd Oldham may be a terrific designer, but he's the TV personality equivalent of a rice cake. I think, if they want to keep the bloke on as host, y'know, for his design cred, then it would behoove them to invest in the creation of an animatronic Todd Oldham cyborg that will be able to deliver a more life-like performance. I do so enjoy the word "behoove" by the way.
THE WHITE ROOM-- now, I don't go looking for black curtains in every room that happens to be white, but when I encounter a white room that is pointedly called "the white room" that is my immediate inclination. In fact, here at work , there is a place out in the shop called "The White Room". It's where all the loose parts go to be packaged in their clamshells, or baggies, or whatever. Anyways, my customer service crew went there once when we were getting a tour of the Shipping Dept and related areas, and the first thing I said when we walked in was "Ahh..no black curtains, I see" Nobody got the joke. So it seemed I had just made an utterly puzzling statement and so then I had to explain myself. And consequently, the whole jocular effect I was aiming for was spoilt. I shouldn't have wasted a choice one like that on a bunch of my cultural inferiors. (Ahh, well if you're puzzled now too, just click here for enlightenment) Anywho..
in the Top Design white room I didn't spot any curtains whatsoever...no windows either...but if they did have black curtains, they would match quite well with the ultra-glossy black floor.
"See you later decorator"-- I kept comparing this show to Project Runway, which might be unfair of me. After all, they did not name the show Project Design. The Top Design name seems to imply that instead, they're trying to replicate a Top Chef kinda vibe. Although, you know,I've never ever seen Top Chef, and maybe that show apes Project Runway, and if that be the case, strike everything I just said.
Anyways in the premiere, when they dismissed Lisa & Heather, and Johnathan Adler goes, "See you later decorators" the hokey li'l rhyme struck me immediately and I rolled my eyes and thought "Blimey! That is going to be their 'Auf wiedersehen'" (yes, I DO think with a Cockney accent sometimes!) Well, at least it's easier to pronounce. The repetition of S.Y.L.D. at the episode 2 elimination cemented it-- they ARE trying to establish a catch phrase! Irritating. I know the philosophy at work here--if it ain't broke... But being formulaic is sometimes just being LAZY.
The judges-- Comparing this crew to the Runway judges (and I don't have any compunctions about that now, since apparently the producers want me to) the Top Design folks seem to have better poker faces. They are super calm and all stoic when they tour the rooms (of course, they do let fly the venom later...in THE WHITE ROOM) which is a switch from Garcia, Kors &co. who could barely conceal their repulsion sometimes when they watched a runway show. They were frequently making this face like somebody just waved a particularly pungent turd under their schnozzes. Sometimes they'd nod and smile as they jotted something down....but usually it was the turd face.

And that about covers it all... oh wait...one thing more. I found the theme song mildly irritating. I intend to keep tuning in on Wednesday nights, so I'll keep y'all posted as to whether it grows on me or just grows to be MAJORLY irritating....

I was only half joking about my Dickens homage. By way of homage, I watched Our Mutual Friend again. Well my intent was to rewatch it over the course of a few nights and just do 1, maybe 2 episodes last night. But apparently the miniseries is just as addictive on its 2nd viewing, because I could not stop watching until the whole thing was over (which resulted in my staying up until nearly 3am). Oh, and my repeat viewing of this thing reminds me... y'know my schpiel from yesterday about Dickens' wacky character names?? Two more good examples from Our Mutual Friend :one of the main baddies is named Bradley Headstone (and, fittingly enough, he has a scene where he has a mental breakdown/hulk-out in a cemetary) and another of the villains is Rogue Riderhood.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Martin Barnaby Rudge Chuzzlewit


Happy, happy, happiest of 195th birthdays to Charles John Huffman Dickens!!


Y'know just Monday I was scouring the internet, really digging for an interesting celeb birthday. I was going to call my sis to wish her a happy birthday (she just turned 34..HA HA!) and , additionally, I was going to regale her with some fascinating also-born-on-your-birthday trivia. But alas, the only interesting person born on Feb 5th -EVER-- is my own sister. But Feb 7th... now that has terrific famous biday pickin's!! Charlie Dickens , for one. Also you've got James Spader and LAURA INGALLS WILDER. Y'know I never actually read any of the Little House books, but still I feel like I grew up with Laura Ingalls reincarnated in a syndicated Melissa Gilbert. So, yeah, understandably, I feel very close to her. And she gets major cool points for marrying a dude named Almonzo. Even if Mary's blind hubby was cuter...

But back to Mr Dickens... I did pick him as the birthday celeb du jour after all. What I like about him is the crazy ass names he gives his characters...Martin Chuzzlewit, Mr Muddlebrains, Nicodemus Boffin, and the like. That last one (Boffin) is from Our Mutual Friend a tale that I recently became smitten with. Granted, I became smitten with the BBC miniseries of it, but I did buy the actual novel on a Dartmouth Book store spending spree a coupla weekends ago. So I shall read that soon and hopefully that will please me &inspire me to procure & read even MORE Dickens, after which I'll be able to say something more substantially praiseworthy about the good gentleman, besides just " I dig them kooky names he comes up with". Maybe I will revisit my Dickens birthday salute after I finish reading Our Mutual Friend. You know I DID read A Tale of Two Cities once, but that was waaaaay back in high school and that's all a hazy blur.

Because I'm not overly enthused about Tuesday night TV, I watched one of my recently purchased DVDs last night. I don't know what compelled me to buy "The French Lieutenant's Woman", but I did, and after my 1st viewing, I find that I'm kind of ambivalent about it. Probably shoulda just been a rental, but I've been withholding the same 3 Netflix movies since October...so obviously not making the most of that membership. (I hope to remedy that by the way...I was just on the Netflix site actually, adding new movies, re-ordering the queue. And if I can find all 3 DVDs I'll mail 'em back tomorrow--keep your fingies crossed, eh?)
Anyways, "The French Lieutenant's Woman"-- it was good in that it definitely gave me that period piece romance fix that I occasionally get tah jonesin' for. But on the other hand, you know how I'm all about the ending, and the ending of this one was a rather inconclusive conclusion. Grrr...frustrating. Word is that the novel is drastically different...I think I will have to seek it out at Borders or Encore in the not-too-distant future. What's one more addition to the already ginormous books-to-read queue??



Another thing about the movie, is that I found myself oddly attracted to Jeremy Irons, circa 1981. Yeah, he's not looking exceedingly hot at left here, which perhaps proves the theory that if even a mange-ridden warthog spoke with a British accent it would (in my eyes)up their attractiveness factor by 20% or more (depends on the dialect). Which is not to say I'm a sucker for just any accent. Fred Tuttle did nothing for me.


I forgot to mention in my MEGA post from yesterday (was compensating for a brief lapse, I suppose) that I got me hair did over the weekend. I had a $60 gift certificate-- a Christmas gift from my sis. I was kinda thinking I'd have some change left over, but the cut & color came to exactly $60. Come to think of it, probably Laura inquired on the cost of a cut+color before deciding on the gift cert amount. But anyways, I felt like dung because I had very little cash on me for a tip. And from my brief glimpse in the mirror I loved what she did. Of course, I was SOOO hagged out, that anything --and I mean anything-- woulda been an upgrade. Anyways, I gave her my gift cert + the six bucks I had on me--and pretty sheepishly, 'cause although I've not done the math (math is NOT my bag-- I avoid it whenever possible) I think a decent tip for a hairdresser is at least ten... Anyways, I dashed out very hastily in my embarrassment. But then I get down in my car and I open up my visor mirror to futz around with the new 'do and...I notice that my HEAD IS STAINED. All guilt about my pathetic tipping vanished instantly. I could see, now that I was getting an extreme close-up view of my 'do, that all along my hairline was all purpley splotchy. Yeah, the cut and color were terrif, but also I looked like DAUGHTER OF GORBACHEV. Well, all's well that ends well, and that all did turn out well...because it enabled me to rid myself of my crappy tip guilt and after some vigorous scrubbing with a moist towelette, I lost the forehead stains anyway. But seriously, how sloppy is that?? Even when I color my own hair I don't stain my forehead. And I'm pretty sloppy (in that & every other endeavor)...usually I do stain my neck. Another minor quibble...I found a pic of bangs that I really liked (it was actually a pic of Rose McGowan... because, y'know, I do so want a look that might lure a certain anti-Christ poser my way now that he's soon to be officially on the market again..woo hoo) She had these wispy , piecey bangs..like in the below pic...actually this might be the exact same pic as in that hairstyle mag...

maybe not...I dunno.. but I showed her a similar pic and said I just wanted wispy, piecey bangs. Like I wanted bangs, but not a big thick swath of bangs that made me look like Play-doh Pete...


However, I warned her that I had a minor forehead cowlick over toward the right side of my forehead. I've had countless hairdressers alert me to this hazard...I feel like I should maybe have some Medic-Alert type bracelet made up... Anyways , I notified her of aforementioned cowlick and she's like "OK , No problem" like she can work around it. But then, mid-haircut, it's like she's reconsidered the issue and she says " You know, with your cowlick, I think a side bang will really work best" And I said "OK, fine" because, yeah, I mighta had my heart set on wispy bangs, but I would rather have another bang type (anything except the Play-Doh Pete style) than have her try to do wispies and f*ck it up (this is why I gave her the whole cowlick disclaimer to begin with). And it really seemed like she razored me some side bangs but afterward...no bangs. I definitely do not have bangs. Whatever she did when it seemed she was sculpting me a side bang came out as just another layer. Don't get me wrong, I think my hair looks great (the color is especially lovely) but I feel like there was some...I dunno...misrepresentation there vis a vis my having bangs. I've surveyed several people in the aftermath of my haircut and NOBODY thinks I have bangs. So, here we have another reason I DON'T regret tipping a mere $6. But, all my bitching aside, I actually would go back to the Locksmythe salon...I just have to be sure of who answers the phone when I call for my next appointment ('cause when they say "who did you want to do your cut?" I'm going to have to say "Hmm ...oh,no one in particular , just anyone but Amanda")

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

books & movies



I watched The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie this weekend. I did enjoy it, although I cannot pinpoint exactly why. I'm sure some of my enjoyment is derived from this film being set in Edinburgh, thereby a delightful brogue was spoken throughout. The word Brodie has a particular euphony about it when said in a Scottish accent: BrrrrOOOE deee.

I went to Encore Books last night to pick up the Muriel Sparks novel that the flick is based on but no luck. Instead I bought Tom Jones (by Henry Fielding) & The Moonstone (Wilkie Collins) and then for the muffins I got this edition of Snow White (lovely illustrations!) and Pirate Bob.

My books to read queue has probably DOUBLED in size since I posted about it back in Dec. I think I need a 12step program (for several of my vices!!)

holding out for a HERO

I was all intrigued by the teaser /previews for this week's Heroes. WHO would they bring in to play Claire's father?? I'd pondered for a week... They were making such a giant fat stink about it, I couldn't even imagine who they might hire on to live up to the hype. Yeah..."hire on"...so you know I was barking up the proverbial wrong tree in my speculations. I thought perhaps they might re-animate the corpse of Orson Welles (Orville Redenbacher-style) and have him be the superpowered pater familias. But when we were discussing this Sat night, my sister's pal Nicki insisted it would be somebody already on the show (smart chick). But I continued to hope that they'd bring on some new talent (speaking of new talent, Christopher Eccleston's character is a hoot..I dig him) . And then mid-way through the show I thought...what a clever twist it would be to have Claire's adoptive father really be her biological dad? And I thought, for about 20 min., that that might be what they were gonna do... The only other possibility (already on cast)that dawned on me was Eccleston's character (I think his name is Claude) but I quickly shot that notion down as I'm sure that guy is just too ornery to procreate.
Well, anyways , if you tuned in last night, you know that NATHAN PETRELLI is most likely Firestarter's babydaddy. Is this dude schtupping EVERYBODY? No freakin' fair!! He's got (or had ) a wife (who is either comatose or dead...I can't recall her exact fate after that vehicular assault) and I'm sure he tapped that, and I caught part of some episode (prior to when I became a dedicated viewer) where he trysted with Nick-sica. Nathan Petrelli gets all the action! It must be the allure of power, because the dude has a head shaped exactly like the Muppet Show newsman's...



...so it can't be a looks thing. I take that back. It is quite similar to the Muppet Newsman. If Newsman's was a bit wider up top, they'd match up exactly because Adrian Pasdar has the most PERFECTLY RECTANGULAR head in show business. It's a natural wonder, that noggin.
Anyways, the real reason that I'm vexed to learn that Claire is spawn of Petrelli..... I had hoped she might hook up with Peter eventually. Now I confess I'm a Janie-come-lately to this show and haven't seen the eps establishing the Peter-Simone bond. Maybe they have some mad chemistry, I dunno. But...from what little I've seen of this Simone chick I wish she would just am-scray. I don't like her one bit. Don't ask me why. There's some aura, some irksome je ne sais quoi she exudes that makes me dislike her. If she MUST exist (in my ideal version of the show, she is offed by Seiler) then she'd be fine paired off with that sad painter. She must leave sweet Pete alone though! Even if he's not going to hook up with Claire, somebody else, anybody else for Peter...please. What about the butch blonde from the FBI?? Gee, I suppose if I want to be considered a serious fan, I should figure out ALL the characters' names huh?