Friday, March 30, 2007
And now—allow me to dispense with a painful admission re: this most recent episode. I SOOO dug Carisa’s air-inspired hotel suite. That divider was killer and the whole room had a really retro sensibility that I appreciate*. Now it pains me to concede that because I think Carisa is an insufferable bitch (that, I reiterate, in case you were not already aware of my Top Design stance…in case you’d not done the required reading, y’know) And its not just my own indiscriminate cattiness that makes me hate her, it appears on the show that she is universally disliked. In fact, it would not shock me if carpenter Carl nail gunned her down. But (in all fairness) let us not lose sight of the fact that I loved her work this episode. I liked it so much, in fact, that if she had won this challenge, I would not have been pissed off.
But that’s not how it played out…MATT won and of course that didn’t piss me off. Matt’s mah boy and his suite was terrific too. If you are in need of a visual aide...you can check out all four rooms here. (my picture posting skills are inexplicably lacking as of late)
And the bottom 2 – Goil & Andrea--were justly on the chopping block. Overall,I thought Andrea’s suite was worse, but Goil’s was pretty offputting too, mostly on account of his choice in statuary. AAAAGH!! Maybe it’s just me, but I thought that bronze statue was just creepy. I would never stay in a suite that housed that. I’ll bet you could feel its eyes on you when you’re in bed, and the thing looks too heavy to turn around to face the wall.
And so it was buh-bye Goil… which seemingly negates my theory that he is the judges' pet. But I think that I was right but maybe G just fell out of favor when they saw him devolving into this whiny-arse Jan Brady person. Well, he's still a fave of Todd Oldham, anyhow. I took a glance at Todd's blog on the Bravo site and saw where he was gushing about how "magical" Goil is. Too bad for G that Todd's just this non-threatening sensai type figure / bland host on the show and not a judge. They could never let him be a judge...he is too thoroughly benevolent...like the design world's Mr Rogers. "Hello Neighbor! Tell me about this paint color you've chosen!!"
OOOHH the melodrama of Goil's exit!! I am a big proponent of the graceful defeat, and I like to see on these shows...be it Top Design or Project Runway or what have you**...losers who display a little spine and keep their chin up. Well NOT Goil. He was a weepy mess --no shocker there. But what of that remark of his, something to the effect of, "I feel like I was the only designer here who consistently put my heart into EVERY challenge!!" Say whaaa? Oh, no you didn't hyper little goiter-boil! I imagine some of your competitors might take umbrage*** at that statement!!
You know who left very gracefully?? Erik. He showed MUCHO poise. I wish he'd get a second chance (y'know- like they gave to that no talent nutjob Vincent on the last season of Project Runway) because I liked his work (especially on that yard sale challenge) I would've liked to have seen him in the final 3 w/ Matty. Ultimately, I want Matt to win, although I do hope victory doesn't make him go all Sebelia and ditch his darling young family.
*I am so fond of a li'l retro flava, that I actually like some of the rooms featured on this web page. No joke!!! Some of that stuff is terrif!!
**I wanted to say "Star Search" at this juncture, but that's not quite au courant now, is it? I only WISH that was still on the air!
***Umbrage, umbrage, umbrage...just pointing out another vocab coup!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I had better make up my mind and make my purchase ASAP because this maybe a short-lived revival, since the Vermont based publisher that is re-issuing these seems to be pretty hard up for moolah, as evidenced by their ridiculous efforts to sue Daimler-Chrysler.
Well first off, lemme say that words cannot express how tremendous this swell of pride is that overtakes me when I think that CYOA is being resurrected right here in my home state. YAAAAAY, VT!! Buuuuut, that said, this lawsuit is pretty tacky. I am no professional legal counsel (though I am a DAMNED good amateur fake lawyer) but I say they should totally take Jeep up on the offer to give them a link on their website.
..Accept Jeep's offer to link to your website on their insanely high traffic website...go to page 32
..Persist in following through with a totally futile and mildly absurd lawsuit...go to page 45
..drop the lawsuit reluctantly and--crushed by failure-- take a mini-sabbatical from publishing in order to stay home, eat lots of Mrs T Perogis, not change out of your pajamas, watch all 3 seasons of Just the Ten of Us on DVD and write a dozen or so creepy fan letters to Rick Springfield....go to page 54
HAAA , HA HAAA I know what you're thinking, jerkies, but I WOULD SO turn to pg 32!!
**This is just to say that I ADORE the word "ostensibly"
Now you may have noticed Ms. Robin being conspicuously absent from that conversation. It is most assuredly NOT because I didn't want her to know. Actually, she is quite high up on my list of people to inform whenever I hear of ANY amusingly icky occurrence such as that. But she took off early today. I know what yer thinkin'-- that luckyass sleestack!! I knooow, riiight?
Well I made sure I gave her a hard time about it though...
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
So, I have a strong distaste for trite talk, then. I was a bit irked by this exchange from Monday, so irked, that I pretty much remember verbatim. It went down like so---
SETTING: Late morning on Monday. I am walking past the cafeteria and Scott is in the cafeteria, perusing the vending machine offerings. I am hoping to slink quietly past the cafeteria and into the ladies room without being seen in order to avoid the obligatory small talk exchange. This is not to be the case. I am spotted.
Scott (boisterously loud, shouting): HOW’S SANDRA TODAY??
Me/Sandra: Eehhh. Not too bad for a Monday, I guess.
Scott (still very boisterous, not so shouty): Well, you never know!!
Me/Sandra (near-shout,with fake boisterousness): YEP!!!
Now, was that not insipid repartee? It only marginally made sense. "Well you never know" I think is meant to mean he's presuming that I lack psychic powers (I do...so, he would be right..) and therefore any unexpected turn of events could come to pass that would , at the very least, turn my frown upside down. Sort of a feeble, sound-bite-sized pep talk? Whatev. I should have left it at "Well, you never know" but at that point, Scott's chipper amiability was making me feel like I should make some sort of effort at cheer, as I was coming off like a real slug (Well I AM very sluggish in the mornings...especially so on a Monday morning. So yeah, I was already aware of my own sluggishness, but I was cool with it as long as I was solitarily sluggish but now I was being pulled into conversation, and imposing my sluggishness on others. I don't wanna bring anybody down!!) So I was trying to impart an enthusiasm that I did not feel and I'm never very good at that. Hence the awkward wrap up.
I don't know what the whole point of sharing that anti-anecdote was. It was a bit similar to those idiotic spreads in US Weekly that proclaim "Stars--They're Just Like Us!!!" (accompanying photos of celebs buying groceries or, on a banner week, picking their nose in traffic). So, perhaps my post title should read "Charming Gorgeous Genius Sandras-- They're Socially Awkward Too!" Naaah. Too wordy.
I suppose it's terribly dysfunctional for me to wish that people would just NOT talk to me in the morning?
Monday, March 26, 2007
Timeline, let me forewarn you, is a pungent turd of a movie. I am very glad that I bought a used copy for pequeno dinero ($2.99 to be specific) . I bought it expressly for a Gerard Butler fix and in that capacity, it was worth 3 bucks. But Ger was the ONLY redeeming thing in that flick. And it was Ger in medieval threads for much of the movie, which I found especially redeeming. But other than that-- bah. Definitely skippable. I don't wanna say Paul Walker CAN'T act...being present-tensed, that judgement may be unfair of me. I do try to give the benefit of the doubt, you know. It's quite possible that the chap's improved since 2003. But watching him in Timeline...even a big benefit-of-the-doubt proponent like myself couldn't help but pan his performance. He made me feel like I was watching a sci-fi prequel to Meet The Deedles , it was like he was playing the exact same guy. Which is to say it was, uhhh, less than nuanced, fairly amateurish work.**
One action flick that I should definitely invest in--used or new-- is Reign of Fire. Now I'm usually not an action movie buff, but I do make exceptions when I find one or more of the leads exceptionally alluring. Now you'll recall, a while back , that I prophesied that a movie starring Christian Bale, Clive Owen & Gerard Butler would be THE GREATEST CINEMATIC ENDEAVOR OF ALL TIME. Well, I don't think I used that exact phrase, but I did get all schmoopy over the hypothetical notion of it. Ideally, that movie would be a musical (old hat for Bale & Butler, Clive is the only one who would require training) but with such casting I could never be obstinate about genre. Minor quibble. Anyhow, Reign of Fire is 1 fox shy of being the greatest cinematic endeavor of all time.
...with both Christian Bale & Gerard Butler starring. And everybody all handsomely gritty and in post apocolyptic future threads which, in this film's vision, do not differ greatly from medieval threads. So, bonus there. Oh, and Matthew McConaughey is in there too, and he ain't too shabby. File him under "bonus" also. But the pisser of it is , Gerard Butler has only a minor presence in the flick, actually if I recall correctly ( I have seen it, I rented it 4 or 5 years ago when it first came out ) he gets bumped off fairly early on in the story. Damned flying dragons!!
**I was just going to leave my criticism at the Deedles comparison, but then thought better of it. I mean, if anybody were to read that, and hadn't seen Meet The Deedles, and couldn't ascertain exactly what I meant by that jab, if they grew so curious that they had to rent or, god forbid, BUY Meet The Deedles in order to compare, well, I couldn't live with the guilt. I would feel personally responsible for 2 hours of that poor schmoes life gone irretrievably to waste. Hence the quickie descriptive addendum.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
What I do know is that Q'Orianka Kilcher (who played Pocahontas/Rebecca) is definitely in the running for the title "Luckiest 14 Yr old Girl of all Time". Not that she's 14 anymore, but she was when she filmed this and on this shoot, her first really notable acting gig, she got to kiss Colin Farrell and CHRISTIAN BALE. Q'Orianka must be Esperanto for "INSANELY good karma" or something along those lines. I'm not usually much of a Colin Farrell fan either, but he looked pretty damn good in The New World. He should play Capt John Smith in EVERY movie....as opposed to like, doing more movies where he's shut up in a phone booth with greasy hair.
March 21st I noticed today, is the birthdate of quite a lot of composers--
Hermann Finck-- German composer-- born 3/21/1527: I confess--never heard of him & I've no idea what he's composed. That said, I have great respect for the guy just the same. I mean, he was a composer in 1527-- immediately that makes him a sort of pioneer in my mind. It couldn't have been easy to pursue creative endeavors in the 16th century, there were lots of chamber pots to empty, and you know, mundane duties like that and certainly people had to be focused on not coming down with a fatal plague or something like that. Life spans were about 50% shorter than today's, so that puts some pretty sucky time constraints on your genius right there.
Johann Sebastian Bach - German composer-- born 3/21/1685: One of the big names... of course I've heard of him. I'd like to think he owes part of his success to Mr. Finck's pioneering in Germanic musicology over a century prior (I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. You know this by now, right??)
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky--Russian composer--born 3/21/1839: In homage to Mussorgsky, I downloaded his terrific Night on Bald Mountain today. You can too, if you go here (it's free!)
Kevin Federline-- American "composer", world renowned skeez, mooch extraordinaire--born 3/21/1978: I realize it seems absurd to class K-Fed with these great men, with a man, for instance, "whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity" (wikipedia's take on Bach, there). But let us give credit where credit is due, okay? If it weren't for Federline, then I wouldn't know any Portugese....
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Not sure why I keep posting IMs... I suppose it's because I enjoy the chats and hate to think of them dissipating into the ether forever come 5pm. Yeah, sometimes it seems the departmental rapport is the chief benefit to having this particular job...that and the occasional free tee shirt. It sure as hell ain't the pay...
ANY WHOOO... a few key points that will make this chat clearer--
1. it all started because Mags sent out an email to all of us about something Lisa did wrong. Her subject line for the thing was "Here's Why We need to Tell it like it is" And that bothered me on a few different levels. The most vexing thing was that arbitrary and grammatically whack capitalization in the subject line. Grammatic carelessness always irks me but I find it particularly bothersome when a supervisor, who gets more $$$ than I do, displays the writing savvy of a 7th grader. AAArgh!! I would much rather have people "shout" at me in all caps than To have them Type like This.
Also the concept of us "telling it like it is" is just plain ridiculous. We are encouraged on a daily basis to NOT tell it like it is. Robin and I were laughing about this " telling it like it is" notion and talking about all the chaos that would ensue if we simply stopped lying to customers.
2. I had boiled dinner leftovers for lunch.. . my sister's this time not the stuff I got from Lisa. Lisa's set better with me than Laura's did. Probably you can surmise from some of my yuckily graphic remarks (sorry...'tis just how I roll, amigos) that today's leftovers uhhh..disagreed with me.
3. Laurel/ L-dub has an amazing talent for these tremendous "valley rattler" belches. Which is interesting, because she's just a wisp of a gal..oh well, that's understating things. .L-dub makes Nicole Richie look like a heifer. It's been my experience that skinny girls will often surprise you with the most promising belching skills. I tell Laurel her belches are endearing. And honestly they do not gross me out like they would if erupting from somebody else's gullet. And usually after each belch, (while 9/10 of the office recoils in horror) I will respond "Awwwww.."
4. Robin is presently doing this 3day diet thingie that J-Beau did a while back. He printed the "plan" out for her and this is the 2nd time she's done it. She lost 5lbs when she did it before, but I can't see how such a thing would play out in the long-run. I mean, you can't do it forever, y'know? Such a horrid exercise in self-denial too...
5. We are going out to Margarita's on Friday night. This Mexican restaurant has you fill out your name, address, phone# & b-day on a card, and every month they do a drawing of customers w/ b-days for that month and whomever's slip they pick gets a coupon for a free entree. Well, Robin got picked, which inspired her to propose the field trip. But I'm arguing against her construing it as her birthday celebration. Now I am all for extending holidays (yeah, it's cool w/ birthdays as well as national holidays) but her birthday was on MARCH 7. I'm sorry, kidd-o, but there's got to be a statute of limitations on this shit. I gave you a card & gift back on 3/7 AND you're getting a free meal. I ain't buying you no damn mango-rita. Also, let us not forget that **I** am the center of the universe.
6. Although I do adore Lisa (and she is so kind to me...nicer than I deserve, I'm sure) it's a well-established fact that she is a big dork. This is not a secret I'm hiding from her. I have let her know on numerous occasions. It is also well-established that I consider her dorkiness one of her unique charms. In short , it only serves to further endear her to me (similar to a colossal L-dub belch) However, this fondness for dorkery does NOT necessarily extend to friends of my friends. Savvy? I met this Penny chick once and she nearly bored me into a coma. Plus, if just one out of the office clicque brings an "outsider" , well, I'm sorry to be pessimistic but that WILL f*** up our energy. I will try and be open minded...we shall see...
Oh, and one particular facet of Lisa's dorkery is this hobby of hers of making novelty cakes and cookies and, most famously, gingerbread houses. That hobby, in & of itself , is not dorky, but she is so apt to drone on and on and on about that stuff that it can wear on you. Most definitely! Robin & I will privately lay wagers, when Lisa makes a new friend, on how long it will take her to bring the conversation around to gingerbread houses and/or kooky cakes and then promptly dazzle aforementioned new comrade with a slide show of her masterworks (a Microsoft Office Picture Viewer file she has on her PC. Yep, that's right. I WISH I was kidding) She usually will fit this in within the 1st 2 hours of acquaintance... I think her best time is like, 30 min.
I feel like she needs her own public access TV show.
Anyways, her friend Penny is very much like that, except I don't think it will be cute when she does it. Sorry, Penny.
6. At the end of the chat there, where I'm placing a pretend order, it's because Laurel was on the phone w/ someone named Sandra. She kept saying Sandra over and over (probably she hadn't jotted her name down & it was her way to remember it) so I was answering her.
I was shopping in Kmart last night (I seem to gravitate towards the K on Mon nights, don't I? it seems to me that I do) and was greatly tempted to buy this Coty Airspun loose powder. I was, as usual, heavily influenced by the fact that it was on sale. One thing I like about Kmart sales (or Walmart sales, for that matter) if I may briefly digress, is that unlike values you find while grocery shopping, K/Walmart sales are open to EVERYONE and not just people who carry a particular store card. That always galls me, in the grocery store, where signage will read: " SALE! $2.50 " but then if you're looking closely, you'll see below it, "with AdvatEdge card reg price $2.99" And I don't have any cards. I don't believe in it. I feel like the mere fact of my patronizing their grocery store should render me eligible for ANY and ALL bargains therein. What do you want ,Price Chopper, my blood-scrawled pledge of loyalty, avowing that I don't 2 time you with Shaws? Well, I DO, and I'm certain I would still two-time you if I had a Price Chopper card, only in that scenario I would have a Shaws card coexisting in my purse with my AdvantEdge card. My acceptance of a card would never insure my loyalty (and is that not the point, from the corporate viewpoint?) it would only draw me into the wicked card-ocracy and I would start accruing cards all over town. Maybe I would have an ounce of store-loyalty, however, if you consistently had great bargains that were OPEN TO EVERYBODY and and you didn’t coerce me into cluttering my purse with extraneous plastic. So, you’d think not having a store card anywhere, I'd lose out on a lot of savings. But I don't think I do, because 9 times outta 10 the cashier will end up swiping that card they keep at every register for just such a case as mine. It's like the "goodwill" card. Half the time they look VERY put out for you making them dig out the goodwill card. But I figure, if I aggravate enough cashiers ,and cause them to grumble "why the (*&%$ do we even bother issuing these cards??" I might start some sort of grass roots revolution in the supermarket industry that will topple cardocracy once and for all.
Speaking of toppling and revolutions and the like, has it ever occurred to anyone else that Vladimir Lenin looked an awful lot like Kurtwood "Red Foreman" Smith? Or rather, I should say, Kurtwood Smith looks like Lenin. He just guest starred on the show House (Smith...obviously) and in that role he sported these li'l frameless specs and a goatee and that's when it occurred to me. Consequently I was amused by the notion of Red Foreman as Vladimir Lenin. Imagine that one.. he'd always be all "Tolstoy, you DUMBASS!!" and stuff.
Well, it made me chortle anyhow.
Wow...that was the tangent that WOULD NOT DIE. Back to the powder.... I was also dazzled by the display.. the signage was very deco and featured a drawing of this 30s era beauty applying with this oversized powder puff. And that was the clincher--the powder puff. I did not want this Coty airspun powder without the ideal applicator. I have large powder brushes , also these coaster sized velour lily pad-esque dealies that are for powder. But neither of those are adequate, in my mind. I need to have the foofy, poofy, oversized powder puff (an item which is NOT to be found anywhere in Kmart). The bigger the better...maybe one of thems that you'd see in like a clown routine that will cover your entire face with one pat. To make matters worse, those are powder puffs all over the powder container--and just the sort that I require. Yeah, it's not patterned with exotic albino pears, like I'd thought at first glance. Wow,that's really anticlimactic after being waylaid for a 3000 word tangent on Lenin & my dissatisfaction with grocery stores. Not worth mentioning , really, but seeing as I've committed to this line of rambling, I may as well summate -- I want to buy Coty Airspun Powder but find myself unable to do so until after I have obtained a large-ish and sufficiently poofy powder puff. And once I've got that, I will acquire the powder (and I feel sure the Kmart sale will be over by that time).
So...BLAH...there you have it. Fin.
Monday, March 19, 2007
I think we oughtta get the entire month of March designated "Irish Appreciation Month" Or would "Ireland Appreciation Month" be a more proper phrasing? I will have to get that point nailed down before I fire off my letter to Congress.
My sister sent me home last night with a buttload of boiled dinner leftovers that I brought in for lunch today. And then I get in here this a.m. and mi amiga/ officemate Lisa had brought me in a plate of her boiled dinner leftovers PLUS a St Patty's cupcake PLUS a hunk of homemade Irish soda bread (incidentally, I picked up some Irish soda bread @ Price Chopper for Sat's party...didn't want to be bothered w/ making anything. It was VERY good..I heartily recommend. At least I can recommend the white variety with raisins... Laura made Brown Irish Soda Bread for yesterday's dinner and it was very heavy and kinda plain) They so good to me. Although I think Lisa more so because she is not bound by the laws of nature to take care of me. Methinks I may have to by extra Mother's Day gifts this year.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Nothing much to post, I only wanted to share my severe disappointment with the Precipitation Gods. I thought we had commenced the lamby part of March already!!! Grrr..
Thursday, March 15, 2007
But, curious cat that I am, I like to know the backstory behind the catchphrase. So I've read up on the execution of Caesar. So should you. Check out this schpiel on the ides of March.
The most interesting new bit of info I gleaned from this was---
I took yesterday off for a doctor's appointment. It was just a standard physical (complete with dreaded cooter check up) but due to a raging case of doctor-phobia on my part it was loooooong overdue. Last time I had gone to the doc's was 2001. I know, I know! It's awful. It's deplorable! Look, I've already given myself a stern lecture on the subject (followed up by a stern pep talk that resulted in this recent appointment) so don't look at me like that. As of yesterday, I am back on the medical diligence wagon, okay?
Gawd, I HATE being responsible. On to more pleasant subjects...
Very glad that Matt won this past Top Design challenge. I was glad because Matt has emerged as my numero uno fave and so obviously I like to see him win one. But I was also stoked for Matt's win, because Carisa so COMPLETELY tried to hog all of the glory, and seemed to really think she deserved it. Take THAT, beeeeyotch.
So what does Matty get?? One whole extra hour of time for his next project-- yippy freakin' skippy! I realize probably every extra second helps, but still...WHY are they being so stingy with the rewards on this show?? I don't even think they gave Matty immunity with this win. What the hell??? He should've gotten his extra hour, immunity, and a check for 10k...and that last one just as reward for his working with Carisa and Michael and not maiming or killing either. Better yet-- a 20k check if he had killed off one of 'em. Just kidding. But truly, I find both Carisa and Michael INSANELY irksome, so I was incapable of taking sides during their many squabbles. And yet, squabbles aside, they did manage to put together the better room. Yeah, I saw how the other team's room was all conceptual, & clever, jam packed with ideas and all that happy horseyshit, but bottom line is that I would rather have partied in the Carisa-Matt-Michael room. Damn your lofty ideas Goil & Andrea, it's all about what's condusive to the WANG CHUNG. Knowwhatimean, baby?
Tues night I was unhappy with the offerings on the telly, so I watched a BBC miniseries I 'd recently bought. It's North & South ( do note that I am referring to a 2004 BBC mini and NOT the one that was big in the 80s with Patrick "Johnny Castle" Swayze as a Confederate soldier. NOT that one. Nooo, nooo nooo!!) and it's a 4 part miniseries based on an Elizabeth Gaskell novel. Thing is, watching only one installment of a BBC miniseries is like eating just 1 chip...utterly unthinkable!! For me anyways. So I watched the whole damn miniseries. It was muy muy bueno. Excellent if you like that sort of 19th ce. Brit romance kind of thing (surely y'all have ascertained by now--I DO).
And I was a total shameless sap when I watched the thing, too. I shouldn't confess that, but there you have it. Like, I rewatched the final scene in the train station 3 or 4 times. And there's this other scene, where Margaret is leaving town, presumably FOREVER, and John goes out to the stoop and watches her carriage as it goes off and he's all emotional, but not all tears & snot about it, (ick!) rather , he's trying to stifle it but not concealing it all that well. You know the way-- all manly-like. And he's watching the carriage depart, and he says quietly-"Look back! Look back at me" And--JINKIES-- I was insta-goo. It reduced me to joining in with the movie's dialogue , which I know is terribly dumb but sometimes I just can't help it, like in this case when I hollered "LOOK BACK AT HIM DAMN IT!!"
Anyways, in summation: SUCH a good flick. (siiiiiigh )
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
While the verdict is still pending for the 2 movies, I can attest that Altoid Mango Sours are utterly stupendous. If you like mango, you will like Altoid Mango Sours. I know that sounds trite and somewhat idiotic, but that is the chief asset of these little candies--they taste exactly like the fruit they are supposed to (after a initial shock of sourness). I mean, I like cherry flavored candies, or strawberry flavored, but not much of it really tastes like the real thing does it? I would say that's true about most fruit flavored candy.... banana Runts for instance..I don't know what they taste like but it's not banana. But the Altoids folks (Callard & Bowser, if my Altoids tin is to be believed) have really nailed the mango flavor. Phenomenal.
I watched the premier of The Riches last night. I've always liked Minnie Driver so I kinda watched it in support of her getting work, FINALLY. Of course, she has had work, but she hasn't had a starring film role that I can think of since 2000 or thereabouts. This is not counting straight-to-video fare (which, in terms of career indicators, does not count for all that much). So a lead role on an FX (especially with FX putting out notably higher qual stuff for the past 5yrs) drama is a big score for her. The whole conning their way into the upper crust premise is the basis of the show, but I find myself more intrigued by the unexpected "refugees- from-a-bizarro-Irish-gypsy-cult" subplot. I guess they're Irish Travelers, I should say. I had used "gypsy" generally speaking, not to be confused with Gypsy gypsies, as in Esmerelda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I guess "gypsy " is considered an offensive term....although when I hear the word it just immediately evokes thoughts of Stevie Nicks & that Fleetwood Mac song...and I cannot conceive of how being associated with Stevie Nicks would upset anybody. But anyhow... back to The Riches ....one of my first impressions (upon hearing the cast list...before viewing the pilot) was that Minnie Driver & Eddie Izzard would be a weird couple. I was wondering how that would play out, and was thinking it would be interesting to see Eddie play a straight guy. Well, y'know , come to find out (I did a spot of IMDB digging this a.m.) and according to all reports, he IS straight. No wondering he portrayed it with such surprising conviction. Hey, y'know, I'm a chick that casually tosses off uncouth terms like "gypsy" so I guess it logically follows that I would presume that ALL tranvestites are gay. Rather, narrow-minded of me in retrospect, I think. But you've got to cut me some slack...I didn't grow up in the most metropolitan / diverse region of the world...and I do aspire to be more open-minded than I naturally am...
I kind of dug The Riches -- thought Minnie & Eddie were individually compelling as well as poignant as a couple. I don't know if I liked it so much that will fully fill the Monday night void destined to be in my heart until April 23rd, but I did like it. I will tune in next Monday.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Here's one of the promotional posters...it's not my cropping that cut the ladies' heads off, that's how the photo really is. Henry is saying here, "I am not concerned with your countenances, wenches. It is solely your bodice-smooshed bosoms I require...encircling me....as I ponder critical matters of state." Y'see he's doing the thinking steeple with his fingers...that means he's not just doing an idle sultry stare, he's really got something on his mind. Something about the bosom wench at far left's body language suggests that she may not be 100% keen on being exploited for her rack...looks like she may want a shawl or somethin'...
But don't despair wenches!! The fine king is not above flaunting his own wares...
Now I wonder if this one (below )was JRM's shot with which to say "This may be a drama, folks, but that sure as hell don't mean that I've slacked off in my gym regiment!!"
It's kind of a silly picture. I won't begrudge him those nice biceps, but still, it's silly. Who is he mad at??
Well I did not bring up "The Tudors" just as an excuse to post some kinda JRM collage (dude, I find his name waaay too cumbersome to bother to type out) Rather, I wanted to kvetch about this being totally the kind of show that I could get into but airing on SHOWTIME. Drat, damn , and dang it all!! Not sure when it premieres--just sometime in '07. I'd just as soon not know, because getting Showtime is not an option for me. Even if I did pay for cable and could add channels to my line-up, I suppose it wouldn't be prudent to add a new channel purely because of one show.
I'm actually reading a book about English kings & queens. It spans from Alfred the Great (871 A.D.--899 A.D.) through present day. I'm not really up to the Tudor dynasty yet... I'm still in the Middle Ages. I think that, more than any biographical info, I am most thrilled by these kooky Old English names. Alfred had older bros named Ethelbald and Ethelbert and he married a lady named Ealhswith.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Let me gripe chronologically, and begin with Heroes.
My big gripe is that they're taking a month long break when I don't want them to even take a smallish break. That's not okay with me (not that anyone checked with me first). It might be excusable if they were planning to do an entire summer of new episodes, but that would never happen.
But anyways, about this past episode.... I suppose Malcolm McDowell made an alright Linderman. It's really not his fault that I was disappointed. It's just that when I was pondering who they could possibly cast as Linderman, and more specifically, who they could find who could possibly be as awesomely badass as Eric Roberts...Malcolm McDowell did not make that very short list. I tossed off Christopher Walken --half-jokingly-- as a contender. I knew there was no way, but how fucking AWESOME would that have been? I don't know that he'd ever do TV work, but I think that's more due to his schedule preferences than him being at all choosy. This is the man, after all, who will next be seen in theatres in a comedy called Balls of Fury. Oh, but let's not forget his turn as the nefarious nemesis of THE COUNTRY BEARS in their feature film debut. Oh, but I do wish the Heroes people had made a pitch to him. They could've given Linderman super powers...super tap dancing powers. That mighta snared Walken. Dude loves to dance.
Or imagine this equally awesome, equally implausible scenario: GARY BUSEY. Mix Roberts' supercool badass flava with Busey's bat guano loco brand of bad ass and ...KAPOW! What a cocktail that coulda been, eh? Not that I believe Busey could ever pull his shit together to do a weekly series...
Michael Madsen is a fantastic badass. He hasn't been in anything exceptional lately has he???
But WHATEV. They've done cast the durn role and Malcolm MacDowell, while not meeting my unrealistically lofty expectations, is still a good actor.
After Mr. "H.R.G." Bennett totally endeared himself to me in the "Company Man" episode, I am really worried about his fate now. Eric Roberts is on to him!! EEEk! Not to be all EricRobertscentric, but does Eric Roberts' character have a name?? It mentally takes me out of the narrative to have to refer to him as Eric Roberts. I suppose if no actual name is given for him, there's probably some code name (like HRG) issued for him. HRG Boss? I guess HRGB would be even more concise wouldn't it? But back to the plot (it seems I can't STOP myself from dwelling on Eri--um, I mean from dwelling on HRGB) I worry for poor HRG, even if rationally I doubt the company would actually kill him off.
As for others whose fate looks scarily precarious...
I am not all that put out by the apparent imminent demise of Mohinder. I was momentarily impressed with him--his surprising bit of slyness --how he didn't let on he'd figured out who Sylar was and then drugged his tea. I was all "Wooohoo! I guess this dude is not as dim as he seems" But shortly thereafter I changed my mind on that point. Maybe Mohinder was also thinking "Woohooo! Looks like I'm not as dim as I'd thought.." thereby rendering him vulnerable via his cockiness. Of course I don't like to see anybody telekinetically impaled to a ceiling, but Mohinder is a pretty ho-hum character, so if it had to happen to somebody...
Conversely I do NOT want to see sweet Pete roughed up by Sylar. Now even though I remember that he retained a bit of Claire's powers (as evidenced by his speedy recovery from plummeting umpteen stories onto a taxi) my visceral reaction to somebody getting their skull sliced into is that it is a highly disagreeable experience. My poor,poor Peter Petrelli...
And now for my Top Design rant…GRRRRR! I am just pissed about Ryan’s elimination. As you may have guessed, I like the artsy rebel. I did expect him to get the boot, but it shouldn’t have happened on this challenge. It was NO FAIR, I tells ya!!
A quick aside before I address that injustice…
I just want to say—Kelly Werstler is kind of endearing herself to me. Initially I had dismissed her as merely bringing “the pretty” to the judge’s panel (y’know as the Klum stand-in) but she distinguished herself in Ep 4. Mags & Adler are sooo indignant, and huffy and (most of all) wounded by Ryan’s uncensored (&tactless) opinions he tosses off that neither of them even bothered to try to get what he’s trying to say. But Werstler gets him. She likes him too, I think. When she spoke up & defended him in Ep 4, that’s when it first occurred to me that she might be half- worthwhile. And of course, in this last episode, that bitch Margaret Russell had to throw that back in her face. And while Kel did not verbally retaliate, she shot back this glance that just screamed “Kiss my skinny ass, you miserable hag!” The unspoken animosity was palpable. It was great.
But back to Ryan's wrongful elimination... I do agree that this kooky kid's ampitheater garage would've benefitted from some waaay out wall graphics. HOWEVER, that was not Ryan's only job!! HE WAS SUPERVISING ALL THE CARPENTRY!! He was working his artsyfartsy arse off, actually but NOBODY saw fit to mention that fact!!
I would've like to have seen Carissa eliminated, but she was the red herring again. OR, I definitely would've been fine with Michael getting booted too. I mean, putrid color choice was the entire basis for Elizabeth's dismissal, so it's certainly enough reason to axe Michael. But really, it should've been Carissa. I seriously don't get why the show is so resistant to booting her...probably it's on account of her being a real in-yer-face bitch and that always makes for good TV. This show's particular format--doing just one room and having one final product vs. the usual format of multiple rooms vying for the win--was kind of dullsville. Obviously, one of the main goals of doing it that way was to test the designer's teamwork skills. Now if your team pretty much unanimously brands you as a unhelpful & self-involved that's a fair indication that you're not a good team player....CARISSA. I swear, if that rotten shrew wins this competition, I want Bravo to GUARANTEE me a 2nd season (so that they can redeem themselves) It still feels early to say, but I think that Goil has a good shot. But Matt & Erick are my two faves (Matt a smidge more so) .
Speaking of Matt, I felt like he sort of got the shaft this episode too. Not only did he have to team with lousy Carissa, but he got the hugely foul task of having to sort through this family's accumulated CRAP and organize it all. (and by the way, how lucky is this Bell family to get some TV show to do that for them?? Who are these people that they snagged that sweet deal?? Might they be chummy with some network execs??) And Matt organized the HELL out of that garage!! But that bastard guest judge would not give poor Matt ONE SHRED of credit! Noooo...instead he was criticized for not "composing"! WTF?? This is a buttload of JUNK (& assorted paraphenalia) not the bloody London Philharmonic Orchestra!! I am very glad this judge was appearing in one episode only. Lousy bum.
I feel like I'm slighting poor Goil by not including him amongst my faves, because he's a decent chap and is certainly not without talent. But I just can't shake the irksome feeling that he's the "golden boy" the teacher's pet of this show. Very much in the tradition of Daniel Vosovic and Kara Saun before him. See, I simply cannot stop myself from looking at this show in a Project Runway context!! What is UP with that?? Anyways, I am quite intrigued by previews for next week's eppy, namely the bit where Goil has a hissy fit. "I thought you'd be so cool to work with" he snivels "but it's been A NIGHTMARE!" (or something to that effect...I can't get the Bravo site's clip to play so's I could quote verbatim) But of course, you can't see whom he's talking to. I wanna know!! I'd hate to think he's coming down on Matty. If there was a Goil-Matt tiff, I think y'all know whose side I would take up, but I really don't think either fellow is made to withstand a brawl very well. Actually, now that Ryan's out, the only fight-ready contender in this bunch is Carissa. (But who would dare challenge her?? Well, besides yours truly...)
So anyways, here's what PBS stuff has caught my fancy as of late...
Best of Masterpiece Theatre-- watched this while at my folks' house on Sunday night. Of all the nutty, unconventional stuff to tease for... during this program I kept trying to get my mom to front me some $$ to donate to PBS. She didn't. Not that it woulda mattered. If she had given me the money, I would've given it back immediately, as my mom-manipulation guilt would WAY trump my compulsion to donate to PBS.
Anyways the Masterpiece Theatre crew took a break last Sunday, presumably to scour the massive stacks of the Masterpiece Theatre Library and ferret out the next literary classic to adapt to film. ( If I could make a recommendation, Days with Frog & Toad would be a good pick, as would Are You there God? It's me Margaret) So last Sunday they did a "best of"show. PBS viewers voted on the 12 best Masterpiece Theatre productions and Sir Derek Jacobi hosted the retrospective. Maaan, it's like part of the tenure benefits when you take on the acting gig over in the U.K....hit your late 50s and they knight you. Or dame you..whatever that verb is .
Anyways, about the best of MPT... the ones they counted down that I must now see :
*Jeeves & Wooster- I don't know really know what the plotline here is other than "the comic misadventures of a British gent & his butler" and that's real vague. But Brit comedy + Hugh Laurie is all I need to know. Sounds like my cup o' tea.
*Wives & Daughters-- This is actually at the top of my Netflix queue, though I'm still not sure that I won't just cancel it offa there and buy it. I'm about 3/4 through the Elizabeth Gaskell novel.
*I, Claudius-- This was like , #3 on the countdown, and very highly acclaimed, but I don't know if I'd be able to get past what looks like some severely cheap-arse production values. Still, this title is also in my infamous "Books-to-Read" queue. If I ever do get to it, I suppose I'll be curious to see the PBS adaptation afterwards.
Documentary on the Lovin' Spoonful-- this was on Tuesday night when I got home from work. Basically it was John Sebastian chatting about his time in the Lovin' Spoonful with clips from the 60s of them performing live.
I must confess, I inherited an appreciation of The Lovin' Spoonful from my Dad. I think that fact speaks volumes about just how much I like them. My natural inclination, I do believe, is to have my tastes run contrary to my father's whenever possible. But it was not possible in this case, as the Spoonful are so unavoidably likeable.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Although, speaking of Gerard Butler...
I just bought "Beowulf & Grendel" at Walmart for the INSANELY LOW PRICE of like, 9 bucks (well to be totally accurate, it was one of those oddball Walmart prices..$8.84 I think it was. I don't know why they have such weird prices, but probably it's something to do with that disembodied floating smiley face that haunts the stores and fiddles around w/ their signage) I watched it last Friday night. It was pretty decent... they definitely used the ol' "artistic license" on the original epic, but I'm cool with that. Basically it was Gerard Butler (hot) being a 5th century Geat warrior ROCK STAR (super hot) . There was a troll in there too. Also it seemed to me they said the word "fuck" a bit more than I suspect anyone did in the 5th century. I mean, I haven't done extensive etymological research on "fuck" but I sense that it probably didn't come into use until...ohhh, I would guess the Elizabethan era at the very earliest.
I think Beowulf would be a good name for a dog. You would have to have the right kind of dog of course, it's not a name I would saddle a Yorkshire terrier (for instance) with. And maybe if I had a pair of dogs I'd use "Beowulf" & "Breca" (name of Beowulf's good friend). I like the idea of naming a pet something really experimental. These days, a lot of truly asinine people (and many asinine celebrities) will get too experimental with their kid's names. And of course, the classic argument against that unfortunate trend is "Imagine how they'll get teased in school.." But see if you name a pet "Beowulf" or "Breca" or "Hrothgar" or "Lazlo" you can get your experimental naming kicks, with absolutely no tragic ramifications. 'Cause hey...the gang down at the dog park ain't gonna care if you've got a whackjob name, they judge you purely by your stank. This way you'd also avoid the offense of naming your dog a too human-ish name, which isn't atrocious, necessarily, I think it's just trite and overdone.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I disagree with the inclusion of Crank Yankers (uggggh) but otherwise..good list.
Y'all know what a dork I am about Sesame Street/ the Muppet Show. I actually own Greg the Bunny on DVD and Peewee's Playhouse and MST3K (oh and those are ROBOTS, on MST3K not puppets..you fool!) . So yeah, the dorkiness runs deeper than you'd realized.
I particularly like Count Blah. BLAAH.
The other thing about it....
...has a very interesting smell. Not a bad smell but this very strong pleasant smell that is tricky to define. It has florally fruity top notes and then this underlying base scent that I could not quite identify. I kept sniffing handfuls of lather, trying to figure it out.. I think it might've smelled like gin. I can't decide if it was gin or just a very pungent lime smell that, I Pavlovianly interpret as the scent of gin. I mean, I don't encounter limes outside of a gin & tonic context, so it could just be a conditioned response in me: lime smell = GIN. That could be the case. But I rather fancy the notion of my hair smelling like gin. Like maybe I've been making gin in my bathtub...except I don't have a bathtub, but you don't know that.
The conditioner has the same smell, but sort of muted. Like someone poured milk in my gin & tonic. Ewwww. Well, I should not scoff. After all, wiser women than I drink Pepsi & milk (namely, Laverne DeFazio). So although it sounds severely unpleasant, I would probably try at last a sip of a gin & milk & tonic, because I generally subscribe to a don't-knock-it-'til-you-try-it philosophy. Now, was it Kant or Schopenhauer that authored that " don't-knock-it-'til-you-try-it" treatise?? Damned, if I can't remember....ugh..
Monday, March 05, 2007
Anyways I was just reading the latest today... basically an update on how Bobby is reneging on his agreement with the radio station that paid his bail. The radio station is being very diplomatic about what went down, and of course Bobby's reps are putting a pretty spin on it, but bottom line is- he's reneging.
But whatever...I had not held Mr Brown up as any paragon of trustworthiness, so this news item neither shocks nor disillusions me. I am, however, disappointed with THIS bit of shoddy reporting---
"Don't Be Cruel"?? "Don't Be Cruel"?? What the hell ails you people? Are you even from this country? Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" is CLASSIC and I also recognize the greatness of the Cheap Trick cover of "Don't Be Cruel" but Bobby Brown's? PUH! Bobby Brown is BEST known for that watershed homage to self-centered amoralism "My Prerogative" (which I do love). I would have also accepted the equally terrific "Humping Around". But "Don't Be Cruel"?? Don't be RIDICULOUS!
Friday, March 02, 2007
TV last night was all icky reruns (I hate reruns. BLAH) and so I chose instead to finally watch "The Prestige" I will not give anything away (as I sense that generally pisses people off) but I must say that I thought Alfred's BIG SECRET was pretty damned obvious right from the start. But I did have the unfair advantage of having read the book. So I suppose my perception on that point is not to be trusted. But still, it wasn't just in my head"Oh yeah, well I know this because I read the book" but I saw instantly that something--well someone -- was glaringly obvious. I can't put it any less vaguely than that or else... the spoiler gestappo will put out a hit on me!!
Still, I really enjoyed the movie. A dark period piece is right up my alley. But I suppose, ultimately, the #1 top reason I bought this movie because of Christian Bale. I mean, I would probably sit through 3hrs of Christian Bale reading the phone book, but Christian Bale+ dark period piece = CAN'T MISS.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
I got onion rings instead of fries...an absolutely inspired pick. I always forget that you can do that. BK's rings are soooo vastly superior to their fries. They are very unique onion rings...I don't think anyone has similar ones. (I fancy that they're a secret court recipe passed on for centuries since the reign of the very first Burger King c. 1326 AD ) I had eaten 1/3 of the rings in traffic before I noticed that they had thrown in zesty dipping sauce without my even asking for it. I hadn't even realized that zesty dipping sauce was an option! Oh frabjous day! CALLOOO! CALLAY! I chortled in my joy!
I was also inordinately delighted by the fact that instead of giving me the standard-issue stripey fast food drinking straw, I got a fat red straw. I wasn't, like, ZESTY DIPPING SAUCE ECSTATIC about it, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The modern drinking straw was patented by Marvin Stone in 1888. Now, granted they didn't start awarding people Nobel Prizes until 1901.. but I still think it a sad oversight that a posthumous Nobel hasn't been awarded to poor Marv. A drinking straw is a terrific thing, don't you think? I sure like them!
It truly is the little things in life that make it worth all the hassle...
Am listening right now to a mix of my own makeing--all 1966 tuneage. I made it (and a couple other mixes) for my parent's 40th wedding anniversary party last May. I scoured the '66 Billboard charts and picked out the creme de la creme.
on the 1966 mix--
1. When a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge)
2. Sweet Pea (Tommy Roe) -I sort of included this one on there for Sadie (though it IS from 1966) I call her "Sweet Pea" all the time
3. Winchester Cathedral (New Vaudeville Band) -good song, but about 9/10 of it is whistling, makes me think the NVB lyricist was being damned lazy
4. Mellow Yellow (Donovan)
5. You Didn't Have to Be So Nice (the Lovin' Spoonful)
6. Along Comes Mary (the Association)
7. Little Red Riding Hood (Sam the Sham& the Pharoahs) -Sam the Sham's Texas drawl makes me think of Matthew McConaughey everytime I hear it--especially the spoken part at the very start of the song. Pay attention next time you hear this...
8. Last Train to Clarksville (the Monkees)
9. You Don't Have to Say you Love Me (Dusty Springfield)
10. Groovy Kind of Love (the Mindbenders)
11. Sunny (Bobby Hebb)
12. Georgy Girl (the Seekers)
13. Flowers on the Wall (Statler Bros)
14. Hanky Panky (Tommy James & the Shondells)
15. Cool Jerk (the Capitols)
Where the HELL was Top Design last night? I had my li'l heart set on a new episode and the Bravo gang let me down!! So I was left to channel surf aimlessly and the pickin's were damned SLIM!! I watched...
Medium- I used to be a loyal viewer of this one, but I'd inadvertantly weened myself of it. And I was sorta relieved about that, not because I don't like the show (to be completely honest, I have a weird thang for Jake Weber, who plays the hubby ) but simply 'cause it was just one less thing to hafta cram in my weekly TV itinerary. This eppy I could NOT pass up...Eric Stoltz as an imprisoned serial killer with a real ugly & greeeeeazy coiffure. I mean, I've not been jailed for multiple murders, personally , but I imagine you are permitted to shampoo your hair. Perhaps he has very valid reasons for avoiding the shower...
some Lifetime movie-- I watched a brief snippet of a Lifetime TV movie... this one looked to be circa 1994 or 1995 (lots of extras in flannel & Doc Martens) where Fred Savage was this bastard of a high school jock who roughs up his girlfriend, played by Candace Cameron (at the time of this flick, she had yet to acquire the Bure) I generally avoid watching movies when I've missed the start of them, (actually I'm a bit fanatical about it...even if I've seen the movie in question, I have to see it right from the opening creds or I won't bother) but I was transfixed by the surreal casting in this one and tuned in for about 10 or 15 min. Now generally, I'd not be all that upset by watching a character played by Candace Cameron get roughed up (sorry..I know that's callous and wicked. But it's true) but it did bother me to see Fred Savage be an abusive bastard. That's not the Freddy Savage I know & adore. The real Fred Savage has cheezy Sound of Music lyrics inscribed on the inside of his wedding band. Did you know that? Yeah, he said so on Ellen one time. Anyways, how can he play such a MONSTER?? In retrospect, I'm surprised I could make it through 10 minutes of this...
Growing Pains-- I watched what is probably now considered a great classic in the Growing Pains canon. This is when Brad Pitt played a new kid in town who got Carol so twitterpated that she told Bobby they should see other people just so she could go to the movies with Brad Pitt. And of course, once Brad Pitt gets Carol in the dark theater, he sheds his beguiling and erudite facade and gets gropey-grabby with Ms Seaver. She, in turn, gets all indignant and huffy and ditches him (wha??). Anyways it was pretty standard sitcom fare, but I was just riveted by how alarmingly BAD Brad Pitt was early on in his career. Yeah, it was only Growing Pains, but Leo never phoned it in when he was doing that gig. Brad was just terrible, very shitty acting. He made the lummox that played Bobby look like Olivier.
Laws of Attraction-- Yep, I caught it right at the very beginning. If you're ever in the mood for a formulaic little rom-com this is a good fix for such a jones. Y'know usually I'm rather indifferent to Julianne Moore (although I could never totally blacklist an honored alumnus of The Big Lebowski ) as she often comes off kind of stiff and /or frosty. But not so in this movie. She is charmingly quirky and kind of poignant in Laws of Attraction. And she looks just LOVELY.. . .as does Pierce Brosnan .