Wednesday, September 30, 2009


  • The Monologue:
    • Tufts University instituted a new rule that a dorm resident is not allowed to have sex if their roommate is present. Each student has been issued a free necktie to make sure the rule is carried out.
    • A man attempting to assassinate a Saudi leader hid the bomb in his underwear. The crime could have stopped earlier when the man confessed to a woman he met that he had a "stick of dynamite" in his pants. She slapped him and he was able to escape.
    • A man attempting to assassinate a Saudi leader hid the bomb in his underwear. In other news, a Taco Bell in Riyadh was mysteriously destroyed by a man eating a chalupa.
    • One more. A man attempting to assassinate a Saudi leader hid the bomb in his underwear. He was trying out a new brand called "Fruit of the Boom".
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • You have to see the scene in this week's Entourage when Jamie-Lynn Sigler said good-bye to Turtle at the airport. It is a master class of horrendous overacting. Chuck Heston awoke from his grave to see if they could tone it down a little.
    • Dexter's back! Last year, the show took the step from good to "best drama on premium cable" through a mixture of improved acting (Doakes gone, Jimmy Smits pumping out some of his best work) and, to be fair, the absence of The Wire and The Sopranos. This year, Keith Carradine is back as FBI Agent Lundy and John Lithgow plays a master serial killer. Can't go wrong there. Few people play the psycho better than Lithgow. Should be another very good year.
    • Atlanta, still holding on in the Wild Card race, was down 5-4 tonight with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. A ball got away from the catcher and the runner on third ran halfway down the line and just stopped. Easy throw to third to nail him. Ballgame. Season. How the heck does that happen?
  • Random Music Video:
    • Fromage! Carly Smithson look-a-like Steve Perry goes solo for this song. Key moment: the 5:00 mark when he says, "I kind of like you, babe." An '80s rock star's '80s rock star.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Go and Tell Your Master That We Have Been Charged by God With a Sacred Quest

  • The Monologue:
    • TLC announced that Jon Gosselin is going to be gone from his TV show and it will be renamed Kate Plus Eight, short for the full title of Kate Plus Eight Minus One Douchebag Equals Dear God Why Is This Show Still On The Air And How Will The Kids Possibly Not Grow Up To Have Decaying Corpses In Their Crawlspaces.
    • A number of Hollywood directors have signed a petition asking for the release of Roman Pulanski who was arrested for the decades-old rape of a 13-year-old girl. When asked why he was part of the protest, Woody Allen said, "Geez, it's not like it was his daughter or something."
    • Maggie Gyllenhaal and her brother tried to sign the petition while in a meeting on Canal Street in Manhattan. She was allowed, but when her brother tried, the clipboard was rudely pulled back and he was told, "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
    • Too much of a stretch on that one?
    • Police in Illinois broke up a dogfighting ring that was being run out of a daycare facility. We reached one of the kids for comment but he seemed to be distraught and could only say, "Meemeemeemeemeemeemeemee." He gave the phone to a friend, who moaned, "Poor Rowlf," and hung up.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • "Survivor" is the best episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, but this week's episode might be second. It is so funny that I laughed out loud from start to finish, so funny that I kept laughing through the credits and for five minutes after the show was over. I got the giggles and couldn't stop. Classic Larry, classic Leon, classic Lewis, classic Jeff, and so on. I am going to re-watch it a number of times and laugh just as hard every time. The best dialogue is probably Leon's "Lego" rant, but there are a number of other contenders like, "It could be the throwing up signal! I could have been eating corn on the cob!," or the simple, yet perfect, "I think you blew him." And who hasn't been unable to open a vacuum-sealed pack and gone completely apes*** over it? Painful, tear-inducing, banging-your-hand-on-the-side-of-the-couch funny.
    • Have a lot of catching up to do because of the holiday, but last night's How I Met Your Mother was, surprisingly, not quite as funny. Still pretty good at times, though. Cheesy ending, which I know is a big shock from that show. It was funny enough that it was a nice come-down after watching Curb so that I could keep from not being able to sleep because I was still laughing.
    • This may be one of the great Amazing Race seasons. Sucks for the folks who didn't make it past the starting line, but the field seems deeper than ever before as a whole. Usually, you have the older team who's just happy to be there, but it looks like every team is out for blood and almost every team is capable of pulling it off. Most hateable: the poker chicks (yes, even over Unfrozen Douchebag Lawyer). Favorites to win: the So. Cal blonde couple.
    • I usually don't worry about the Vegas NFL lines until later in the week, but Dallas getting 3 at Denver??? This is the same Dallas who couldn't defend Tampa, right? The same Denver who held a Bengals team that poured points on Green Bay and Pittsburgh to seven? Wow.
  • The New Quest:
    • I've seen 54 of the AFI's Top 100 and I have the rest on my Netflix queue, but there are other lists out there as well. Rotten Tomatoes released a list of the 100 worst movies of the decade. I studied it and I've only seen three of them: The Adventures of Pluto Nash (so bad that I've seen it multiple times just to make sure it was as bad as I thought it was), Rollerball (it seriously had a long scene filmed entirely in night vision), and Epic Movie (I watched it just to see if it could even make me smile, much less laugh; it did not). Three? I'm ashamed. I consider myself a connoisseur of awful movies! This calls for a quest! Starting this week, I'm on a four-day work week indefinitely, so I have three-day weekends and more time to wear out Netflix. Therefore, I will vow to watch one new movie on the Worst Movies list every week and review it in this space. It's on.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Nothing tonight, long day. A woman actually answered her cell phone in services today. It didn't just ring, she actually picked it up to tell the person she was in services. That's close to the worst thing you can do.


Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Time to look at yourself and come to grips with everything you do or don't do.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Semana Tres

Two good things today: Helen Mirren in a play in downtown DC (amazing to see what a great actor can do with the emotion in their voice) and The Informant! (really, really funny and a nice plot twist).

NFL Week 3 (7-9 last week; 18-14 overall):
  • Washington (-6.5) at Detroit: I don't get all of the Detroit love. They really, really suck. I don't care how underachieving the Skins are. Detroit is really bad.
  • Green Bay (-6.5) at St. Louis: Yes, they knocked me out of my Survivor league last week, but they're playing St. Louis.
  • Minnesota (-7) vs. San Francisco: I'm going with a push on this one. Or maybe the 49ers are scrappy enough to keep going? It's not like Minnesota has played anyone good (Cleveland, Detroit).
  • New England (-4) vs. Atlanta: I'm not picking against the Pats at home after a loss until I'm 100% sure that they're finished. Which, honestly, could be tomorrow evening.
  • Tennessee (+2.5) at New York Jets: In a tight game like this, I'll take the desperate team over the team that's prime for a letdown.
  • Philadelphia (-9.5) vs. Kansas City: This has no spread on Yahoo, which means it's the lock of locks.
  • New York Giants (-6.5) vs. Tampa Bay: Tampa is way worse than you think they are.
  • Baltimore (-13.5) vs. Cleveland: I have a feeling that if the Ravens can score more than 13.5 then they'll cover.
  • Houston (-4) vs. Jacksonville: I spent my first-round pick on Steve Slaton. I'm hoping he breaks out finally against an awful and awfully-coached team.
  • New Orleans (-6) at Buffalo: And I spent my second-round pick on Drew Brees. Jackpot!
  • Chicago (-2) at Seattle: The team that beat the Super Bowl Champs last week is getting two points against a team without their starting QB and half of the rest of their team injured?
  • Cincinnati (+4) vs. Pittsburgh: I'm not ready to pick Cincy outright, but I'm also not ready to say that the Steelers will win by more than a field goal.
  • Denver (-1.5) at Oakland: You want to bet on JaMarcus Russell and his 32% completion percentage? Please, by all means.
  • San Diego (-6) vs. Miami: Both teams should be fired up after close losses. Problem 1 for Miami: they're on the road after a short week. Problem 2: they're not nearly as good as the Chargers.
  • Arizona (-2.5) vs. Indianapolis: Hard to bet against Manning, but the two teams actually have a common opponent this year. Indy beat the Jaguars by 2 at home. The Cardinals beat the Jags by 24 on the road.
  • Carolina (+9) vs. Dallas: I am not giving close to double digits with Tony Romo.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Douche-Ray Vision

My last work Friday indefinitely; four-day work week starts next week. It's going to be weird. Nothing much else to say except you really should be watching Community. I caught the second episode of the season and it may be funnier than the first. Plenty of laugh-out-loud lines throughout.

I totally forgot to mark Springsteen's 60th birthday earlier this week. Making up for it. Enjoy:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prime Time

We've had some season and series premieres here or there, but the fall season is back in full force tonight with the return of the most jam-packed night of the TV week. How packed? My DVR can record two things at once. There is a point on Thursdays when four shows watched by me and/or my wife are on at the same time. Good thing we have Hulu, huh?

Tonight the DVR went to ABC and CBS with the series premiere of Flash Forward, the season premieres of Grey's Anatomy and C.S.I.:, and the second episode of Survivor. Couldn't get to Community, which will have to be on the web. Most likely the same thing will go for 30 Rock. The fourth network is the CW with The Vampire Diaries (no, I don't watch it; the CW portion of my heart belongs to West Beverly High alone).

Only got to three of the shows tonight:
  • We may very well be headed for one of the best seasons in Survivor history. If you haven't seen this season yet and you like the show, you're only two episodes behind and you need to catch up. Tonight's episode featured the greatest villain in show history -- it was a lock after only the first episode -- making a brilliant forward-thinking play and then continuing to psychologically abuse his tribemates. In fact, Russell and his tribe are so interesting that you almost forget the other tribe exists. We found out tonight that even the craziest person on the purple tribe didn't go completely nuts until she visited the yellow tribe and went on an inane (I meant to leave the 's' out) tirade. The winner of the night goes to Ben, who not only got kicked out of an immunity challenge for sweeping the leg, but also dropped one of the most overtly racist lines in show history by calling Yasmin "ghetto trash" and insisting she go back to "eating ketchup sandwiches and drinking Kool-Aid." And he didn't get voted out. This season rocks.
  • Grey's Anatomy is Grey's Anatomy. What do you want? They followed up their surprisingly great Twilight Zone-ish season finale with two hours of pure misery and depression. For some reason, they've decided to make Derek into a big dick this season. The saving grace is that it looks like maybe Miranda feels the same way I do: why did George have to die and Izzy live?!?
  • Brings us to the awaited series premiere of Flash Forward, the Lost-esque sci-fi drama starring Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, and Sonya Walger (Penny) among others (Dominic Monaghan is going to be the bad guy in future episodes). It shows a lot of promise. The special effects were more than a little fake, but luckily they got those over with quickly and focused on the psychological aspects of the entire world blacking out at the same time for 137 seconds and seeing six months into the future. Dark, well-acted, and intriguing. Looks like this may be the keeper of the new shows.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One More Day

  • The Monologue:
    • Big trouble in Bedford, NY, as Moamar Qadafi rented Donald Trump's house and put up a big tent in the backyard. Turns out he was holding auditions for Terrorist Apprentice.
    • Sarah Palin is touring Asia and gave a big speech. She made a quick stop in Siberia and was heard to say, "Hey, is that my house? I can see my house!"
    • A high school QB set a record by scoring nine touchdowns in a single game. Or, as the official rulebook calls it, a two-and-a-quarter Bundy.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Speaking of Ed O'Neill, I tuned into the new show Modern Family tonight. The last twenty-eight minutes of the show may have been the best in the history of TV. But I wouldn't know because I shut it off after the first two interminably boring ones.
    • Started the third season of 30 Rock on DVD. It's even better than the first two, which is saying a lot.
    • One can expect a lot out of the new incarnation of 90210: cheesy dialogue, unbelievable situations, costumes that can't decide in which decade the show takes place. What one might not expect is a Nolan Reimold reference. Reimold, the stud rookie left fielder for the Baltimore Orioles, and teammate Adam Jones both got name checks on 90210. Not clear? I'll say it again. Dialogue on 90210 referenced both Adam Jones and Nolan Reimold.
    • Plus, the third episode of the season included a third straight Spence Montgomery reference! I'm going to be crushed if he ever actually shows up as a character. The name is bigger than the person at this point.
    • Catching up on TV -- great Entourage this week with some actual strong Drama stuff and the new Bored to Death, starring Jason Schwartzman as a self-loathing, pot-smoking writer and wannabe private detective, is also pretty good.
  • Random Music Video:
    • In light of the disturbing news regarding Mackenzie Phillips, I thought it appropriate to focus more on her half-sister, Chynna, and Chynna's band-mates Carnie and Wendy Wilson, who presumably did not lie in bed just like Brian Wilson did. I don't know that I'll ever hear "California Dreamin'" the same way again, so kick it Wilson Phillips!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NBC Gets The Gas Face

  • The Monologue:
    • You may have heard about the cops who were caught on video playing Wii Sports bowling at a drug dealer's house. We've come a long way from Rodney King, huh?
    • Wide receiver Plaxico Burress spent his first day in jail today. Our correspondent on the scene, Butthead, says, "Wide receiver. Huh huh huh."
    • With Obama seemingly trying to drive him out, New York governor David Paterson may not run. Some may say that he can't see his next move clearly.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Notice how I didn't say anything about Heroes yesterday? Didn't DVR it. I'll catch it at some point either online or on that cable network with the stupid f***ing name. Not so excited for it. The ratings for it were apparently pretty weak, so I guess I'm not the only feeling this way. Ditto for Leno, which crashed once there was actual TV up against it.
    • Began Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, in advance of Peter Jackson's adaptation. The first chapter deals with the rape and murder of a young girl, told from her perspective. Pleasant start.
  • Random Music Video:
    • It's time look around the world and see what's going on and we're going to get some help from special guest stars Flava Flav, Play, DOOM, and some other folks. They're here to tell you about Honduras, where the police used tear gas on protestors supporting the country's ousted leader. What reaction did the protestors have? Well, check it out:

In The House

  • The Monologue:
    • As soon as Elizabeth Edwards dies, I'm going to tell John what a douche he is. Nah, no use waiting.
    • The Colts run defense is as bad as ever. I haven't seen a defense this bad against runs since that Pepto Bismol I took the last time I was in Mexico.
    • Lamar Odom is going to marry Khloe Kardashian on Sunday. Lamar Odom has most recently become famous for his obsession with candy. Obviously his marriage to Khloe, the least attractive Kardashian sister, is a total case of the Charleston Chew goggles.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • I don't know what to say about the season premiere of House. This wasn't just different from the usual formula; it might as well have been an entirely different show that guest-starred Greg House. I imagine there will be some "jump the shark" reviews, but I think I get why they did it. Going into its sixth season, if you want to significantly change House's demeanor, you can't just do it with five minutes of explanation. He's faked too many changes for them to do that. Instead, they devote a full two hours to essentially a House movie and they can build off of that in the coming season.
    • I do know what to say about the season premiere of How I Met Your Mother. Ugh. Suspension of disbelief is one thing, but I shouldn't have to keep asking questions aloud regarding why certain things (the professor not showing up, Barney going to the Rangers game when he was hanging out with Ted and Marshall) were happening.
    • Jon Gruden's great. He said tonight that the goal of Miami's wildcat offense is to "not get negative yards". Great insight, coach!
    • I need to watch Curb again. That episode was freaking hilarious.
  • Random Music Video:
    • In light of House's roommate in tonight's episode, here's his performance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade last year. Good stuff.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

He'll Never Golf Again

  • NFL Week 2:
    • The Ravens squeaked out of San Diego with a win. The secondary was suspect, but the offense was very strong again. The big question of the day has to be what the Chargers were thinking in running the ball on 4th and short at the end.
    • I saw the whole St. Louis-Washington game and I actually thought Jason Campbell played very well. He made some plays out of nothing and was generally accurate and under control. Not his fault that the play-calling was so bad. Up two and you go for it on 4th down inside the opponent's 5? And run to the outside?
    • The Saints' offense is absurd, just totally absurd. Second-most points in the first two games of a season in NFL history.
    • Did Brady miss Wes Welker that much or are the Patriots just not as good as they've been? Looks to me like we have a blueprint on how to beat them.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Curb Your Enthusiasm returned with a great episode. Some good Leon at the beginning and he even made me laugh at the end when he was just standing there drinking from his big plastic cup. And Catherine O'Hara was incredible.
    • In the morning you're on top of the world and in the afternoon you're being run over by a lawnmower. Wow...
    • The Kanye jokes have now run their course, but I enjoyed the one I broke off in synagogue this morning about how Isaac made Rebekah laugh by saying, "I'll let you get back to what you were saying in a second, but I just need to say that Sarah was the best matriarch of all time." Bible fun!
  • Random Video:
    • Speaking of Kanye, I think this begs to be played. Remember when we thought he was just being real? Turns out he was completely bats*** crazy the whole time. But that face!!!!!!!!!!! One of the great TV moments of our lives.

Moving On

I was at a get-together tonight where, for a time, conservatives outnumbered liberals. A conversation broke out about illegal immigration (my thought: illegal immigration is only a problem when it's your people who are trying to illegally move to another country to get out of yours) and then the Obama bashing began. I tried to hold my tongue and did a pretty good job of it until one of the people mentioned that they thought, if nothing else, that Bush was our most moral president ever. The next thirty seconds went like this. Me: "Torture." Them: "At least he kept us safe." Me: silence. I got up and walked away. The moral: if you ever want me to decide that it's not even worth talking to you, defend torture.

NFL Picks (11-5 last week and for the season, I had the number wrong on Sunday because I thought the Giants covered; they didn't):
  • Tennessee (-7) vs. Houston: The Titans beat Houston in Tennessee 31-12 last year.
  • New Orleans (-1) at Philadelphia: Kevin Kolb vs. Drew Brees. Right.
  • New York Jets (+3) vs. New England: This line moved from +5.5 to +3 in two days. The Pats' relatively weak defense is without their middle linebacker and their O-Line struggled against a Buffalo blitz that will pale in comparison to New York's.
  • Green Bay (-9) vs. Cincinnati: Next.
  • Kansas City (-3) vs. Oakland: Who knows? Who cares?
  • Jacksonville (-3) vs. Arizona: A west coast team coming east for a 1P.M. game is as easy as easy money gets.
  • Detroit (+10) vs. Minnesota: Detroit played Minnesota really close both times last year (12-10 and 20-16).
  • Atlanta (-6) vs. Carolina: I understand Jake Delhomme isn't as bad as he's looked in his last two games. I just need him to prove it to me.
  • Washington (-9.5) vs. St. Louis: St. Louis is really bad. Like worst team in football really bad. At least Detroit has the makings of a Big Three with Stafford, Smith, and Megatron (I'll use that as often as I can).
  • Buffalo (-4.5) vs. Tampa Bay: Let's see if the Bills are as relatively good as they looked on Monday.
  • Seattle (+1.5) vs. San Francisco: Shrug.
  • Baltimore (+3) at San Diego: Remember how bad that defense looked against a horrendous Raiders offense? Jamal Williams, the Chargers' most important defensive player, was placed on Injured Reserve today.
  • Denver (-3) vs. Cleveland: Orton vs. Quinn, feel the excitement.
  • Pittsburgh (-3) vs. Chicago: Nothing would surprise me in this game. Therefore, can't bet against the champs.
  • Dallas (-3) vs. New York Giants: Scoreboard (-5) vs. fair catches.
  • Indianapolis (-3) vs. Miami: I feel like we're in some sort of arbitrage period where Vegas hasn't quite caught up to how bad Miami is this year versus how mediocre they were last year.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shanah Tovah

It's 5770, folks. So stop reading and go out and celebrate. You know, let's tip our cups. It's mazel tov.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Say It With Me: 39 Days, 20 People, One Survivor

  • The Monologue:
    • Wide reciever Hank Baskett was released by the Eagles and signed with the Colts, which means his wife, Kendra Wilkinson, is moving to Indy with him. With McNabb hurt, going from catching passes from Kevin Kolb to passes from Peyton Manning is a solid move. Which is great for Kendra, seeing as how her last significant other hadn't had a solid movement in decades.
    • George Takei and his husband are going on The Newlywed Game. I think that is a perfect reason to link to this. It's bleeped, but if you don't know what she said then a) welcome to Planet Earth and b) google The Newlywed Game and you'll find out.
    • The president spoke in College Park this morning to a group of students, half of whom were probably drunk. Still a better percentage than Congress.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Survivor is back!!! More than anything else, the show relies on its casting department, which has done a fantastic job the last few seasons and again in this one. Up to this point, the most notorious villain in show history was Johnny Fairplay, who lied about his grandmother dying in order to gain sympathy. Almost as bad was Natalie from Fans vs. Favorites, who used the men viciously one after another. Can't forget the great dragonslayer, Coach, of course. None of them hold a candle to the villain in this season, Russell. He's a multi-millionaire oil company owner from Texas. Only, he told everyone that he's a fireman in New Orleans who barely escaped Katrina and lost his dog in the flooding after the levee broke. Yes, he lied about Katrina to gain sympathy. He also made alliances with all of the women he thought were stupid and called it his "dumbass-girl alliance". It's fun as hell to watch, but I don't think I respect his putridity the way I have for other villains. He's scrambling too much and trying too hard. He'll make it interesting for a bit, but he's not a serious threat to win the game.
    • Who is? Still learning the names, but I love the older woman cop, whose intuition about the other players has so far proved dead on. I also like the rocket scientist (yes, literally a rocket scientist) from the other tribe who looks like he could fly under the radar and busted out the best line of the night with "You can't come in over budget. Our budget is coconuts!"
    • Can you tell I'm excited for Survivor to be back? To say it again, this is my favorite -- not the best, my favorite -- show on TV. Not only is it as compelling as anything else, but it completely revolutionized the medium when it was introduced nine or so years ago. Probst is the quintessential reality host and the mix-and-match group dynamics just never get old.
    • Also caught Community, the new show starring Joel McHale, among other people like Chevy Chase and the actress that plays Campbell's wife on Mad Men (kudos to my wife for catching that). It definitely had some laugh-out-loud moments. It's not as even as, oh, I don't know, My Name is Earl was, but it has potential. I'll tune in next week.
    • Man, Thursdays are freaking loaded. Don't know how I'll be able to watch everything once it all gets going, considering my DVR can only record two things at once. At this point, I'm on Survivor, Community, 30 Rock, C.S.I.:, and Grey's Anatomy. I'm excited that the new season is starting and, with the exception of a few shows here and there, the daily pop culture dregs of summer will soon be gone.
    • Have I mentioned how little I like the new Yahoo page? Way too much pop-up crap.
  • Random Music Video:
    • NSFW and audio only. Ben Folds has a new album coming out for which he wrote the music and Nick Hornby wrote the lyrics. Heaven? Here's the demo for the first song. "So I come to find out we're against abortion and premarital sex is against our religion." Pretty funny stuff:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mad 'Cause I'm Flagrant

  • The Monologue:
    • A scenario: The news of Patrick Swayze's death broke on Monday night. Let's say that after the Patriots came back against the Bills, Suzy Kolber had stopped Tom Brady and he had said, "Well, I thought we were finished there, but my man, the Swayz, came down from heaven and caused that fumble and we were able to win the game." Would Tom Brady immediately become the greatest person ever to walk the earth in the 6,000-year-less-six-day history of people?
    • Chris Brown started his community service today and was photographed picking up trash in Virginia. Damn, I knew Tila Tequila was over Shawne Merriman, but did she have to let Chris holler at her so soon?
    • They keep doing movies of TV shows. They should totally make an A-Team movie with an esteemed actor as Hannibal, a smarmy good-looking actor as Faceman, and some bad-ass fighter as Mr. T. That would be awesome. Oh, this isn't a joke. It's happening.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • I enjoy that 90210 decided to take a page out of the Saved by the Bell book and make the stoners and geeks as stereotypically stoned and geeky as possible. It almost makes up for how lame the new opening theme is.
    • Also, they mentioned "Spence Montgomery" again in the episode. I wonder how people in my everyday life would react if I decided to just start dropping that name every so often. "So I was talking to my friend, Spence Montgomery..."
    • I'm not really sure why I watch Hung. It's okay, at times, but not all that good. The first season is over, so I don't need to mull it over too much, but I can't figure it out.
    • Entourage may be falling back into bad habits. This episode was not horribly compelling and there was too much Drama. Except... The Ari/Lloyd feud has major promise. Hopefully, they'll focus on that to the exclusion of many other things. And Eric's girlfriend still looks weird.
  • Random Music Video:
    • Had to after that first joke, right? For as cheesily classic the beginning is and as great as Biggie's part is, this video sucks so much:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hollis and -- Mr. Campbell

  • The Monologue:
    • Universal in Orlando is opening a new Harry Potter-themed amusement park. It'll all go well until some kid gets the actual hog warts from the other kids in the wave pool.
    • Congress rebuked Joe Wilson, which is all well and good, but did they have to hire Tom Hanks to come in and scream at him?
    • Not only is Donovan McNabb hurt, but now one of the Eagles' starting tackles is out for the season. No truth to the rumor that the injuries happened when an unnamed teammate convinced the players to fight each other.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • After all this time, Mad Men finally made the jump from dealing exclusively with sexism to tackling racism. Still plenty of sexism in the episode, with everything having to do with the birth and with Peggy's plea for equal pay, but we can look at two specific scenes that introduced race as a major topic on the show by calling back to previous scenes. One was when the Admiral executive responded to Campbell's suggestion of "integrated" ads targeted to blacks and whites by asking it maybe blacks only want to buy things because they think whites want them. Almost the exact same thing was said in the past (can't remember if it was this season or last) regarding women only buying things because they think men want them to. The first and considerably bigger scene was the one between Campbell and Hollis in the elevator. Campbell's total lack of ignorance of how Hollis might be thinking, his use of "American dream" in the whitest possible sense of the phrase, and Hollis' interjection of "Mr. Campbell" when Pete tries to say they are friends. Putting aside Sal's dalliance in the season premiere, that was about as shocking a scene as the season has had so far. It's June, 1963 (Evers was assasinated on the 12th); "I Have A Dream" was delivered on August 28th. I'm assuming they'll hit that in the show, which will bring race further towards the forefront, though I think the safe guess is that the season will actually end sometime around or after November 22.
    • David Brooks of the Times on why things are so much worse now than they were in 1945. Give me a damn break. It's so lame and stupid that I can't work up the fervor to go after him. Because nobody was ever egotistical until the '60s.
    • Didn't get a chance to see 90210 tonight. I'm waiting for a football game so that I can watch it instead. Seriously though, the title of tonight's episode was "To Sext or Not To Sext". How awesome does that sound?
  • Random Video:
    • I love the president. I don't care if you hate his health care plan or disagree with his politics. One listen to this and you'll love him too. Because he said it perfectly:

I'll Let You Get Back To The Blog Post In A Minute, But...

  • The Monologue:
    • Tweet of the night comes from the account for Texts from Last Night. Regarding Patrick Swayze's death, they imagined Kanye West breaking into the funeral and saying something along the lines of, "I'll let you get back to your funeral in a second, but I just have something to say, y'all. Michael Jackson had the best celebrity death this year."
    • We'd all be happy if Serena Williams shoved a ball down Kanye's throat while Joe Wilson sat by heckling them, and then they were all hit by a meteor, right?
    • I'm not saying that Tom Brady looked rusty at the beginning of the game, but Jack Haley offered him a can of oil. Stop me folks, I'm on fire!
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • I don't have enough time to explain how god-awful the announcing team of Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic, and Steve Young were in the late game tonight. I can start by saying that none of them knew the rules regarding a catch in the end zone when a receiver hits the ground.
    • Thanks to football, I'm woefully behind on Entourage and Mad Men. Hopefully tomorrow. I am psyched for the return of Survivor this week and the return of a lot more shows next week.
    • I started watching the TNT show Leverage on Netflix's Watch Instantly yesterday morning when I had some free time. Pretty good and I've heard it got a lot better in the second season.
  • Random Video:
    • I found this very amusing:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week 1

Holy crap, I was 12-2 against the spread for Thursday and Sunday. No chance I've ever done that well my whole life. I didn't get to watch a ton of games because I was actually at the Ravens one, but here are my notes on an exciting first week:
  • The Ravens rolled up 500 yards of offense, a franchise record, and look to be the #1 offense after the first week. Not likely that they will stay that way, but Flacco was extremely impressive, as was the three-headed running back tandem.
  • Of course, the big story of the Ravens game was the crazy back-door cover. They were favored by 13 and tied with five minutes left. They scored on a perfect pass from Flacco to Clayton, then kicked the ball off to the Chiefs. The Chiefs' returner should have knelt in the end zone, but instead ran it out and got tackled around the 15. A couple of sacks and a turnover-on-downs later and the Ravens had the ball inside the Chiefs 5. KC had two timeouts, so the Ravens had to run plays, which led to them scoring a TD for a 14-point victory. It must have been wild in Vegas.
  • Drew Brees is on pace to throw 96 TD passes for the year. I like having him on my fantasy team. He's good.
  • The Stokley catch. Wow. Gus Johnson on the call, no less. Both the Broncos and the Bengals really stink.
  • The Giants don't -- they dismantled the Redskins. Ditto Seattle, even if they were only playing St. Louis. A healthy Hasselbeck is big for them.
  • The Sunday night game was really good, if ugly at first. Cutler not only threw three picks early, but he kept throwing it to Packers defenders, who kept dropping the ball. He could have thrown more than he did. The Green Bay call on 3rd and 1 for the long bomb to Jennings for the game-winner was pretty, but not that gutsy. They would have gone, and much more conservatively, on 4th. Cutler with four picks, though. That last one was totally on the wide receiver. Maybe Cutler misses Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal just the tiniest bit?
  • I'm down 35 points in one of my fantasy leagues, but I have Brady and LT going tomorrow night. Root for Tom Brady? I guess it's just against Buffalo. Nobody wants to see T.O. win.


I was tipped off to a site that you have to try: Sporcle. It's a quiz site that is very, very addicting.

Anyways, it's been a long (but fun) day of birthday celebrations and a great production of Taming of the Shrew, so I'll leave off with my NFL picks for tomorrow. On Thursday, I had Tennessee (+6) and won, so I'm 1-0. The rest:
  • Atlanta (-4) vs. Miami: Has anyone ever been less excited by a matchup of two playoff teams from the previous season?
  • Denver (+4) at Cincinnati: I don't know what to think about either of these teams.
  • Minnesota (-4) at Cleveland: How many yards will Peterson get in the first half before the Vikings rest him in the second? 190?
  • Indianapolis (-7) vs. Jacksonville: Can I pick a push?
  • New Orleans (-13) vs. Detroit: Fantasy football game of the day.
  • Dallas (-6) at Tampa: Yawn.
  • Philadelphia (-1.5) at Carolina: I have little clue on this one and it could go a bit towards telling us how the NFC will shake out this year.
  • Baltimore (-13) vs. Kansas City: The question is more if Kansas City will accumulate 13 total yards in the game.
  • New York Jets (+4) at Houston: I like Houston to win with Sanchez starting on the road, but it could be a good game.
  • New York Giants (-6.5) vs. Washington: Brandon Jacobs has a big day here.
  • Arizona (-6.5) vs. San Francisco: Will the Arizona fans actually come out to celebrate their NFC champions?
  • Seattle (-8.5) vs. St. Louis: Hasselbeck to Houshmandzadeh. Remember that phrase.
  • Green Bay (-3.5) vs. Chicago: Do I think too highly of a Packer team that won six games last year?
  • New England (-11) vs. Buffalo: Go to Vegas and bet your life on this one.
  • San Diego (-9.5) at Oakland: How badly does San Diego always beat Oakland on the first Monday of the season?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Late Night

Late night, so not much but football stuff coming tomorrow, among other things. In the meantime, here's the audio only of Alice In Chains' return single, "Check My Brain". I like it, though the guitar is a little annoying.

Friday, September 11, 2009


  • The Monologue:
    • I just got back in from taking my dog out. I'm a good neighbor though; I totally brought a bag to clean up the Steeler O-line play that he left in the yard.
    • It's kind of nice to see Hines Ward not smiling for once, huh?
    • After the way the Steelers ran the ball tonight, combined with Polamalu's injury, I didn't appreciate Joe Wilson heckling me for picking the Steelers #1 last night.
    • Joe Wilson's opponent raised $400,000 today. $400,000. I have a feeling that if we want to find Joe Wilson next December, he'll be out in the sandbox, wondering where the hell all his career has gone.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • I have something to admit. I watched the game on delay, though basically caught up to real time at the end, so I could get together with friends to watch the 90210 season premiere. It was wonderfully cheesy, though a bit uneven. You have to love any show that starts with a character realizing they had killed a guy in a hit and run and then ends with the same character getting raped.
    • Better random 90210 character name from this week: Spence Montgomery or Bitzi Epstein?
    • I thought Collinsworth was pretty good tonight, though the stand-up shots of him and Michaels were way awkward. Moment of the night was when Michaels said something about LenDale White losing weight by dropping tequila, followed me thinking: "Shawne Merriman joke!!!!!," followed by Michaels saying, "That makes me think of Tila Tequila and Shawne Merriman, but I'll leave that alone." Michaels' sardonic wit remains underrated.
  • Random Music Video:
    • Check out Penn and Teller. Nice bangs.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

32 Questions

It's NFL ranking time! Thirty-two teams, one question per team. Let's go:

32. Detroit Lions: Calvin Johnson has the coolest nickname in the NFL, Megatron. Why is the rest of his team made up of guys named Bumblebee and Cliffjumper?

31. Cleveland Browns: Why does Eric Mangini think we even care who starts at QB?

30. St. Louis Rams: Am I the only one who sometimes forgets that this team exists?

29. Oakland Raiders: Why does Al Davis keep calling me and offering me a draft pick for some tapioca pudding?

28. Kansas City Chiefs: Will I literally die laughing when I see them in person this weekend?

27. Buffalo Bills: If T.O. complains about Trent Edwards but he's playing in Buffalo, does it make a sound?

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Doesn't Byron Leftwich handing the ball to Cadillac Williams sound like a great idea for a UFL team?

25. Cincinnati Bengals: Has there ever been a bigger disparity between how good a coach looks on Hard Knocks and how well his team is actually going to play?

24. Denver Broncos: Is Knowshon Moreno secretly the most confusing name in the league?

23. San Francisco 49ers: Will Mike Singletary finally take the next step and poop on one of his players after a bad game?

22. Houston Texans: Is there a more overrated team in the NFL this year?

21. Jacksonville Jaguars: If you're a sleeper team for more than four years, doesn't that just mean that you actually stink?

20. New York Jets: How badly does Joe Namath want to kiss Suzy Kolber right now?

19. Seattle Seahawks: After years of picking them to be in the Super Bowl, does this low ranking mean they're actually going to do it?

18. Miami Dolphins: Does the fact that more than ten teams will run the Wildcat this year mean that the whole league has gone freaking bonkers?

17. Washington Redskins: Aren't they sort of flying under the radar?

16. Chicago Bears: Doesn't this mean that Houston isn't actually the most overrated team in the NFL?

15. Carolina Panthers: Who else wants them to make the playoffs to see if Jake Delhomme can take a shot at ten interceptions?

14. Dallas Cowboys: Why is Ashton Kutcher waiting so long to let Dallas know that the Wade Phillips era has been a big prank?

13. New Orleans Saints: Can Drew Brees actually walk on water or is it just a rumor?

12. Atlanta Falcons: Is any division as fantastically mediocre as the NFC South?

11. San Diego Chargers: Am I wrong that the Wade Phillips era makes Norv Turner look like a legit coach by comparison?

10. Arizona Cardinals: Are reports true that they clinched the NFC West last Tuesday?

9. Minnesota Vikings: It's not just a saying -- karma actually is a bitch, right?

8. Green Bay Packers: Vanilla Ice aside, has anyone gone from zero to hero faster than Aaron Rodgers?

7. Philadelphia Eagles: Is there a more underrated "most exciting player" than DeSean Jackson?

6. Tennessee Titans: They're bound to come back to earth, right?

5. Indianapolis Colts: Am I the only one who just isn't feeling it this year (not that #5 is so bad)?

4. New York Giants: Don't you just get the feeling that this team is going to breeze to the Super Bowl?

3. Baltimore Ravens: Am I a total blind homer or is this squad really, really good?

2. New England Patriots: Did I just put them here because I actually have no goddamn clue how good they're going to be, considering how much they've lost on defense?

1. Pittsburgh Steelers: Do I have any reason to bump them from #1 even though they never feel like they're as good as they are?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

And God Saw That Teen Wolf Was Good

Okay, I'm back. Need to work back up to the full stuff, so just a short post tonight after a long day. If you haven't read it already -- and why the hell not -- here's the travel blog and here's the specific post on the Creation Museum. My zonkey wounds have still yet to fully heal.

You know there was another creature that was a cross between two animals. It didn't end well for anyone...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wheel In The Sky

Going on a road trip to Ohio. I may post a little here, but most of the stuff will be on this blog: Wanted something totally separate from this blog to post pictures and thoughts. Hopefully things will be up there during the trip. If not, it will be soon after we return.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Murder Most Sanctioned

The internets are abuzz with talk about David Grann's feature story in the September 7 edition of The New Yorker. If you read one story this year, this one has to be it. It is devastating. Devastating to the point that, no exaggeration, I felt like I was sick to my stomach and about to cry when I finished it.

In the story, Grann looks at Cameron Todd Willingham, a man convicted and executed for the murder of his three daughters by arson. The story walks through witnesses' accounts of the fire, through the police's investigation, through Willingham's trial, through his conviction, through his time on Death Row, through his execution. And the story talks about how, right before his execution, evidence was presented to the appeals board and to Governor Rick Perry that showed that Willingham was innocent of his crime, evidence that was ignored so that the execution could be carried out.

I wrote briefly back in March about the death penalty in light of a bill to repeal it in Maryland and the book An Innocent Man, by John Grisham. The book, non-fiction, looked at the trial, conviction, appeal, and eventual exoneration, of a Death Row inmate. After reading it, I became thoroughly against the death penalty. Even though I have seen the statistics that a death sentence costs more to the state than a life one (primarily because of the long appeals process) and that the death penalty is not a successful deterrent, I have always been for the death penalty in theory. How do you not kill someone like Timothy McVeigh? However, realizing that there are a number of Death Row inmates that have been cleared of charges, I adapted my beliefs. You just can't execute people if there's even the slightest chance that one of those people is innocent. You can't be 90% sure, you can't be 99.999999999% sure, you have to be 100% sure that the person is guilty. Can you ever be 100% sure?

But even with this, the inmate in An Innocent Man was cleared of the charges. Justice was served, no matter how long it took. But not for Cameron Todd Willingham. Evidence was presented to the appeals board and to Governor Rick Perry that Willingham was innocent. Willingham was still executed. Texas executed an innocent man. Texas murdered an innocent man.

Because, if you kill someone who did not deserve to be killed, what else could you call it? A mistake? An error? An oversight? A man who should not have been killed was killed. Texas murdered Cameron Todd Willingham. We can be for the death penalty in theory, but with the knowledge that an innocent man was executed, how can anyone be for it in practice? How can anyone sanction murder?

Into My Little World

  • The Monologue:
    • A woman was fired for writing an e-mail all in caps, thereby being confrontational. She sued and won. But, hey, she was a total bitch anyway. ;)
    • Brett Favre got in trouble for throwing an illegal block in Monday night's game. He didn't mean to; he just couldn't decide if he wanted to get out of the way of the defender or not.
    • Adam "Pacman" Jones has signed with a CFL team. He's being paid a lot less then when he was in the NFL, but the strip clubs in Montreal are better than the ones in the U.S. He's totally going to faites-lui la pluie.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • I'm working my way through the feature piece from the next issue of The New Yorker and it is a doozy, a story about an innocent man and the death penalty in Texas. I'll finish it tomorrow and report back.
    • As far as network sit-coms go, I loved My Name is Earl and now I watch and mostly enjoy How I Met Your Mother. But 30 Rock is so far above any of these others; I suppose there's a reason it keeps winning Emmy after Emmy.
    • Had my second fantasy football draft tonight and I ended up drafting Tom Brady. I'm finding from my conflicting feelings that I don't particularly like Tom Brady. He puts up the points, though.
  • Random Music Video
    • A little Depeche Mode, perhaps?