Thursday, April 30, 2009


Went to see a preview of Wolverine tonight; it opens tomorrow. The movie is probably around one hour and forty-five minutes long, but it feels like half that. With a ton of action, the movie flies by. Jackman is obviously great as is Liev Schrieber as Victor Creed (later to be Sabretooth). The dialogue isn't the best, but the amount of action makes that fairly meaningless. The big star of the movie is the final battle, which is a doozy, to say the least. It is very reminiscent of -- and worthy of comparison to -- the final Darth Maul battle in Episode I. Wolverine is much more like the first two X-Men films than the third and it's definitely worth seeing this weekend. I hate to spoil it, but nobody does this in the film.

After the movie, we went to a bar and got there just in time for the end of regulation in Celtics-Bulls Game 6 and the subsequent three OTs. Game 7 on Saturday. Must-see TV.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let My Porkers Go

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • No question that Matt was going, but I like that they freaked everyone out by sticking Adam up there. The best moment of the episode was right after Taylor sang and he was speaking to the judges. I'll have to find a YouTube over the next day or two that shows Randy's face (mouth agape and confused look) and Simon's face (looking at Taylor like he was some crap on the bottom of Simon's shoe).
    • With all due respect to his immense talent, when did Jamie Foxx become such a self-serious phony? He was Wanda, the ugly chick, on In Living Color for crying out loud! I know it didn't just start, since it was definitely going on right after Ray when he would get everyone to sing at the awards ceremonies.
    • Caught up on it last night, but 24 is really killer this year. The Chloe-Garofalo snark-off was classic.
    • I just finished Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, recounting the author's ascent of Everest and the catastrophe that struck his team. Absolutely gripping. He also wrote Into The Wild, which is not as suspenseful, but also a great read. Think I'm going to hit some old Stephen King now (I have Night Shift open in front of me), but I'm looking for something new to read.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Egypt has decided to slaughter all of the pigs in the country. This should go well until one pig mother sneaks her pig baby into a little basket and sets it afloat down the Nile. That, my friends, will be the origin of Pig Moses.
  • Lost Comments/Questions of the Week:
    • That Hawking woman is cold.
    • I think the episode was a little bit overhyped as a game-changer. Did we really learn much this week? Widmore is Faraday's father. We were already pretty sure that was the case. The girl Ellie from 1954 was Eloise Hawking. Again, we were pretty sure of that.
    • I guess the one thing we learned is that the electromagnetic force underneath the Swan and kept in check by the computer is not Jughead. So is it something natural to the island?
    • Why would Faraday setting off the bomb help anything if the island is already evacuated? Who would care at that point? Maybe the Hostiles, but how easy would it be to escape a hydrogen bomb on an island that's only but so big? I wouldn't be surprised if we found out.
    • How badly will Jack screw this all up? There is a whole season left so I don't imagine that he'll be able to stop the Incident, which coincidentally happens to be the title of the season finale.
    • Of course, the biggest question? What's going to happen to get Desmond back to the island?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Idol Chatter

I started sneezing this evening. I might seriously have swine flu. Also, when I walked in my office this morning, there was a spider web in the corner that read, "Some Employee". On my way home, I was just thinking about how I want some Marvin Gaye, some Luther Vandross, a little Anita would definitely set this party off right. But, no, it's the Idol gang doing Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, and Joey. Here we go:

  • Kris Allen, singing Jerome Kern's "The Way You Look Tonight": What a wussy-ass performance this was. I understand who he is, but the phrasing just didn't work for me. Can he sing anything differently than his usual style? Arlen Specter called me to ask which party Kris belongs to so he can decide which party he wants to be in. Upon learning that Kris was an evangelical from Arkansas, Specter breathed a sigh of relief. Michael Steele then called to assure me that Anoop was going to cream Kris in the end. Also, Frank Sinatra rose from the grave to beat the crap out of Kris backstage.
  • Allison Iraheta, singing the Gershwin standard "Someone to Watch Over Me": Can we never do a sit-down with her again? Every time I hear her speak, I start going into convulsions like Michael Ironside at the end of Scanners. She switched up her usual style and killed this. Way better than Kris. Maybe they can convince her to sing any interview answers.
  • Matt Giraud, singing the Rodgers and Hart standard "My Funny Valentine": Isn't Jamie Foxx kind of slumming a bit? Idol's big and all, but Jamie Foxx big? Anyway, this dude was freaking horrible. Do you think Simon said he liked Matt so he didn't look like an idiot for saving him?
  • Danny Gokey, singing Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer's "Come Rain or Come Shine": It was pretty cool on Monday how Danny helped save his daughter Claire and then faked Sylar's death. I don't know if I'm in a mood because I had a long work day or if I'm just bored with everyone on this show at this point. You know, technically good. Nice emotion at the end. Just... Well, it's not like I've ever bought an album recorded by an Idol contestant.
  • Adam Lambert, singing Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse's "Feeling Good": Did you know that The Pussycat Dolls covered this? Awesome. I love this song with a really dirty, gritty vocal. Adam delivered something in a bit of a register. His voice was so high that Air Force One #2 flew under it. Still, I just don't get it. He can sing, he very well may win, he very well may deserve to win. I just don't get it.

Hit the road, Matt, and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more. I do agree with Simon that Allison could also go home (since Kris, Danny, and Adam are untouchable).

Monday, April 27, 2009

That'll Do

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • So the only black contestants on The Amazing Race fell way behind because they can't swim? Really? I don't mean to spoil the Survivor finale for you, but Stephen is going to lose when Jeff distracts him by throwing a quarter on the ground.
    • The Heroes finale was solid. I like that they killed off a main character and added that twist with Sylar, though it all seemed to come together rather quickly. Wish we could have seen a bit more fighting though than the none that happened on-screen.
    • It was great though when they burned the fake Sylar body at the end. Cool how they looked back to see Nikki, Linderman, and... Wait, did they really have to replace Isaac with Hayden Christensen?
    • We're totally caught up with How I Met Your Mother and while I balked at tonight's episode at first because of the better Swingers dialogue over the phone call waiting period, it was a very funny episode. One question -- when Ted was texting at the beginning, what the hell was he doing? He has an iPhone. You don't need to hit buttons a hundred times to get out a sentence.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Why is every sickness that hits twenty people a pandemic all of a sudden? Remember Avian Flu or SARS? Me neither.
  • Jokes and Jokes and Jokes and Jokes:
    • I think I do have the Swine Flu though. I keep having to blow my nose and every time, there's bacon grease on the tissue. My throat's sore and every cough sounds like an oink. My fever is so high that I had to roll in mud just to cool myself down a little. My dog insists on covering me with applesauce before he'll lick my hand. I normally don't dig on the flu, but my strain is ten times more charmin' than that Arnold strain.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

In Hiding

I stepped outside three times today -- twice with the dog, once to take out the trash. I'm fairly certain that the unseasonable heat yesterday gave me either heat exhaustion, regular exhaustion, or cerebral edema. So, I had the great opportunity to catch up on a lot of sports that I haven't been watching. Saw the Caps knock off the Rangers to force a Game 7 on Tuesday night. Watched a classic Bulls-Celtics game -- Ray Allen knocks down a three to send it to OT, Ben Gordon knocks one down to send it to double OT. Watched a significant portion of also very good games between Orlando and Philly and Houston and Portland. I've been sleeping on the NBA and NHL playoffs, but no more. I also saw Shooter, a completely unrealistic but mostly entertaining movie. I mean, it couldn't have been more absurd.

While playing shut-in, I so abhorred the thought of venturing outside that I, in an attempt to grill hot dogs, decided to start a bonfire in my living room. It went remarkably well until I got too close to the fire. I thought I was finished for sure. Until...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hot, Hot, Hot

Finally saw Frost/Nixon. What can you say? When a movie based on real-life events is able to remain tense even though you know how it ends up (think Apollo 13, another Ron Howard film), it has to be pretty good. Great writing, great directing, and great acting by Frank Langella and Michael Sheen. The DVD has a must-see bonus feature where they show clips of the actual interview and the same scenes from the movie.

Went to Maryland Day in College Park. It was 94 degrees outside, which is way too hot for April. While we there a kid got separated from his family and everything looked like it was going to get out of control. Until...

More Education, For The Kids

Went to the movies tonight (I Love You, Man -- funny; more of a chick flick than I expected; worth a DVD rental, if only for a funny sight gag involving a former president of Egypt) and when I got home I walked my dog. Some kid came up to pet Bailey and things got out of control. Until...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Never Make A Name And Bandy It About Unless You Mean It

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • It goes something like, "It would be dumb if we formed an alliance, made a name, bandied the name about, and said we were going to be like warriors, and then went against it." It was, quite possibly, the funniest thing ever said on Survivor. Thank God for DVRs, so I could rewatch that quote three or four times.
    • What a freaking fantastic blindside! What can stop JT from winning it all at this point?
    • Caught up on Heroes. The Sylar as Norman Bates stuff is freaky as hell. As freaky as Hiro saying "Baby Matt Parkman" is funny.
    • Finished up the first season of United States of Tara. Not even the best show on Showtime (Dexter) or the best half-hour show (Weeds), but good.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • You may be surprised to find out that I'm not a huge fan of Affirmative Action. It's a band-aid on a much larger societal problem. Are fewer minorities in certain positions because employers or universities discriminate? Or are there fewer minorities because they don't have the same opportunities earlier in life and, therefore, aren't as qualified? We have to work to improve earlier education, both through making sure the public schools are as equal as possible and through ensuring that the family enviroment is supportive and conducive to education. We can't just stick unqualified people in positions for the heck of it. With that, read this post by Ta-Nehisi Coates about an upcoming related SCOTUS case. He couldn't say it any better.
  • Random Educational Moment:
    • It's learning time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I'm going to ignore the Brady Kids routine that happened around 9PM on Fox tonight. Instead, enjoy a few cartoon intros.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Idol Chatter

Top 7, part deux. Two of Anoop, Lil, or Matt go home tomorrow. Plus, it's Disco Night (yay!) which means that they'll sing disco songs (aww!). This... is a lame American Idol recap:
  • Lil Rounds, singing Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman": Can I start by applauding Wikipedia for having the lineup of contestants and songs immediately? Makes it really easy to a) write this and b) prepare myself for what's coming. But nothing can prepare us for Lil at this point, right? She's progressively gotten worse as time has gone on. She's the Benjamin Button of Idol. Be gone, woman!
  • Kris Allen, singing Donna Summer's "She Works Hard for the Money": Going in, I thought Kris would have the hardest time this week. This was a nice version, but not disco in the slightest. Wasn't it Disco Night? They really need to institute Gangsta Rap Night so we can hear Kris doing his soft rock take on N.W.A.'s "F*** Tha Police". Why even bother talking about anyone who's not Lil, Anoop, or Matt though? The other four have to be totally safe. Paula thinks he may be a cross-dresser, apparently. Wasn't it Adam that we saw in drag?
  • Danny Gokey, singing Earth, Wind, and Fire's "September": This is one of my favorite songs. I'm glad he didn't try the falsetto too much. He didn't move enough, it was a little too safe, a little too boring. He's very packaged, which I like more than Adam, who's too out there. The voice is great, but I'm rambling -- he's 100% safe.
  • Allison Iraheta, singing Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff": How good was The Full Monty? One of the more underrated movies of the 1990s. I should watch that again rather than watching this crap. Could this garbage have bumped her below Anoop? The perm makes her look like Rocker Lucy. Ricky, please 'splain this nonsense performance. I refused to look at the TV. The dog ran away. Horrifying.
  • Adam Lambert, singing Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You": Wake me up when Matt goes on so I can make fun of him.
  • Matt Giraud, singing "Staying Alive" by the Bee Gees: Oh, let me wipe that drool off the pillow. Okay. Love the hat. I think it was a tremendous idea to keep wearing it. It says, "I'm totally like Justin Timberlake, even if I don't sound like it! Pay no attention to the vibrato, just look at the fly head gear!" He sings just like Paula bowls. He breaks a nail and then cries until he passes out in a drug-induced stupor? Simon may have thwarted America last week, but we're winners, damn it! We beat the Brits back in 1776 and we'll do it again. I'm going to put it on blast right here: Matt's gone.
  • Anoop Desai, singing Donna Summer's "Dim All the Lights": How did nobody do "Last Dance"? Isn't it a rule that someone has to do it? Okay, forget Matt's hat. 'Noop looked super fly with his goatee-ish thing and his pink sweater under the blazer. Totally forgettable performance, but who cares. He totally looked slick enough to hang out with Van Wilder.

Lil and Matt go bye-bye.

No Connection To Myself

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Trying to catch up on Heroes, only four episodes behind now. Pretty good. Still not as good as the first season, of course, but not bad. Enjoying Hiro with the baby.
    • 24 continues to be very strong this season. Sure, the last episode or two have been more or less filler to set up the big final battle between Jack and Tony, but they've been entertaining.
    • I'm sleeping on the NHL and NBA playoffs. Haven't watched a second of either, even the Caps. Still early, but I need to start spending more time with Kobe and LeBron soon.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • I have a lot of pet peeves. Stupid people who don't know they're stupid, people who lie to themselves, people who sport the Confederate flag for "heritage", and many more. But nothing's worse than someone without a sense of humor, right? You can't possibly even say one word to someone like that.
  • Overrated/Underrated
    • I'm all about absolute statements and I'm all about judging. So here you go, and please feel free to agree or disagree or chime in with your own thoughts. The most underrated rock song of the 1990s was "Zero" by the Smashing Pumpkins. The most overrated rock song of the 1990s was "Lightning Crashes" by Live.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Guilty Feet

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • An episode of Amazing Race where the worst team starts out three and a half hours behind and has to wait on their flight on top of that? I don't care how many fights the other teams have, that is boring.
    • Catching up on TV from last week while I was out, I was a bit confused by the Survivor episode. I don't know that it was necessarily dumb to vote Brendan out. I just don't totally understand what anyone is thinking in the game. Even Tyson and Coach are way too overconfident and trusting.
    • A lot of the rock stations are going ga-ga over Seether's cover of Wham's "Careless Whisper". Nonsense. The cover is awful. Maybe it sounds okay, because the song they're covering is great, but the treatment they give it is like remaking a Jackson Pollock with a can of spray paint. No subtlety. More below.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Back to work after a week and a half off. Means life will be getting back to normal and everything will be more normal. Also means tomorrow, this whole week, is going to be pretty rough.
  • Random Music Video:
    • You want a subtle, worthy cover of "Careless Whisper"? Ben Folds has been doing a great one for years. Here's him with Rufus Wainwright:

Sunday, April 19, 2009


East Coast traffic sucks. But at least I saw a car whose license plate was "JERKIN". That has to stand for something, right?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

An End To Northern Transgression

Okay, maybe I was a bit harsh on the South yesterday. We went to a wildlife preserve today that was beautiful. Lots of pretty land, great food, really nice people. Also, the education levels are really low and you can find any number of items, from pillows to blankets to t-shirts, that have the Confederate flag. Maybe the South is great, after all!

Anyways, early start for home tomorrow and, while today was a very full day, there was nothing that really bears comment. Well, other than the absolutely true fact that I won a contest for prank-tweeting Al Roker.

Tomorrow, we'll climb the education scale as we start out in South Carolina, make a detour to Raleigh, then end up in Bethesda. The number of post-high-school degrees will rise at the same pace as the number of Fahrenheit degrees will fall.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Awesomely Badd

  • The South Shall Rise Again:
    • We've seen the golf cart with the confederate flag a few different places around the area. The guy who drives it is a big white dude wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Weird.
    • I know I've written about this before, but I'm just flabbergasted that a bunch of people who consider themselves so patriotic would proudly sport the flag of a group of people that fought against our country.
    • What does the South bring to the table? Soul food, Waffle House, accents that make a girl ten times hotter than she actually is. And? I mean, South Carolina, with this resort and an amazing city in Charleston, was #47 in my rankings.
  • Lost Comments/Questions of the Week:
    • Miles is the son of Dr. Chang. No surprise there.
    • Does being born on the island give him his power? But there's no way that Walt was born on the island, right?
    • What did Faraday get into when he was off island? Maybe working his experiments in Oxford?
    • You may have noticed that Jack was wiping a lesson about ancient Egypt off the board in the classroom.
    • These "shadow of the statue" folks, led by Ilana and Bram. They must not be working for Ben or Widmore, which means someone else knows about the island. Are they connected to Richard? Is it possible that they are the keepers of some long lost Egyptian secret, a la that guy in the Mummy movies?
  • Random Music Video:
    • Color Me Badd wanted us to know they'd do it all for love. Meat Loaf would do anything for love, but he wouldn't do that. Clearly, when it comes to love, Color Me Badd has to be the choice.

VH1 TV Shows Music Videos Celebrity Photos News & Gossip

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Away Down South

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Not a fan of the judges' thinking tonight. I don't hate Giraud and I'd much rather they use the save on him, if they wanted to use it, than on Lil or Scott last week. However, they had to do that figuring that two of the Matt/Lil/Anoop crew was going to get booted next week anyway. If one of the clear top four goes, the judges just screwed themselves royally.
    • Missed Lost tonight because I'm in South Carolina with no DVR and more people in the room wanted to watch Idol. I'm downloading the episode as I write and it will be watched tomorrow morning, so I'll have thoughts tomorrow night.
    • Radio sucks. An eight hour drive from DC to Myrtle Beach involved flipping from crap station to crap station. It's either classic rock I've heard a billion times or Lady Ga Ga. Not much in between. I came really close to listening to evangelical programming, just for the educational value. And entertainment, okay, I admit it.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Teabagging. Teabagging? Teabagging! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha-hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha-hahahahahahahahahahaha! Teabagging? Ha! Someone needs to introduce the conservatives to a little site called Can't wait until they decide that building one protest upon another will make for more impact, so they implement "snowballing"!
  • The Land Of Cotton:
    • I have to admit that Twitter is hurting this blog a bit. With the ability to snap off a joke as soon as I think of it, I've left some off of here lately. I'll do my best to work it all together. The best use of Twitter + iPhone is to snap a quick funny picture and send it off. The prime one today was this picture. My caption was simply, "Welcome to South Carolina!"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Idol Chatter

Before a Fringe that is "so eco-friendly" (?), it's time for the top seven! With Quentin Tarantino mentoring (and probably leaving the f-words and n-words at home) and Sylvio Dante watching, here we go:
  • Allison Iraheta, singing Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing": Somehow this song didn't make Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. I'm fairly certain that nobody has ever been more sick of a song than the entire world is sick of this one. But you knew somebody would take on the challenge! She blew the lyrics a bit and her voice was a little too low in pitch, but she's solid. I always enjoy seeing her father, who looks like a Moe Howard/Herve Villechaize procreation.
  • Anoop Desai, singing Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You": Well, we knocked out the two most prominent wussy overplayed songs right away, huh? Anoop, ready to be voted off so he can start his job with the Obama administration (I know, I promised), was very good. You know, considering the source material and all. It was his best performance in a while, but we're getting down to that point where only the real contenders can stick around. He should have tried to sing it in a bad British accent though, to honor the movie from whence it came.
  • Adam Lambert, singing Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild": Because of what loose self-censoring rules I have in place, it's really hard to do true justice to my Adam commentary. This is totally going to be the big finale when they do the Easy Rider musical on Broadway. The rednecks will blow away Fonda and Hopper and the two hippies' ghosts will sing this, a la Judas at the end of Jesus Christ Superstar. It's going to be fabulous. Fabulous. I can't f***ing stand Adam's arrangements, by the way.
  • Matt Giraud, singing "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" by Bryan Adams: Are we watching Canadian Idol? I'm not saying that Matt is trying to look like Justin Timberlake, but he totally just started going out with a Britney Spears impersonator. Jessica Biel impersonators, look out! He uses so much vibrato that Chelsea Handler just made a joke about him. Weak performance. Kara said that sometimes with him it's like "two steps forward." Paula might have added that tonight was like two steps back. Matt and good go together because opposites attract.
  • Danny Gokey, singing (by himself!) "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross: Unfortunately, Doug from Flight of the Conchords was not his harp accompanist. He definitely got that emotion in there, which was good. My favorite of the night so far. I'm kind of off Gokey just like I'm off everyone this year. Yeah, they're all good, but none of them drive me crazy. If I were singing a song to them tonight, it would not have been "She Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals, from the Gross Anatomy soundtrack.
  • Kris Allen, singing "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova: I was kind of hoping Kris would do "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp" and really show a different side of himself. Instead, he decided to do a sweet, sappy song. Well, I know that's really a departure for him, but he managed to pull it off. He's so sugary that his albums will come with the first ever Surgeon General warning regarding diabetes. Is it possible that even David Archuleta had more of an edge? He's about as offensive as the Detroit Lions.
  • Lil Rounds, singing Bette Midler's "The Rose": Let me take a second to comment on Tarantino and his Hitler haircut. When did he get so nice? He spent a minute with Kris Allen and we had a total Invasion of the Body Snatchers thing going on. Anyways, we know by now that Lil is pitchy and awful. She's missing the key like it's hidden in one of those fake rocks or something. She couldn't find the pitch even if she were standing right in the middle of Wembley Stadium (a soccer joke!!). And now she starts with the talking back to Simon crap? See ya.

The bottom three have to be Anoop, Lil, and Matt. Make it so I don't have to listen to Lil any more, please.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Part-Time Model

We're very firmly into vacation time. Off until next week. As such, today was pretty much a nothing day, where I putzed around and watched the season finale of Terminator (pretty interesting finish to it).

We did go tonight to see Flight of the Conchords live, with Kristen Schaal (Mel from the TV show) opening. Very, very funny all around. The songs are funny and they have a great knack for (mostly) ad-libbing comedy in between. I'm sure there will be some bootleg video from tonight's show in DC (their Facebook page encourages it), but here's some from Saturday night in Atlanta.

I Am So Immature

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • The Masters had a great ending, but I only saw the playoff. Instead, I went to see Observe and Report. If you're a fan of Danny McBride's comedy, recognizable in Eastbound and Down, you'll enjoy it. It's written and directed by Jody Hill, who works with McBride. I happen to like that type of comedy, so I did enjoy the movie. It's not as complete a film as one by Judd Apatow, but it has its moments. There's one specific line regarding a mall food court stand-by that had everyone laughing out loud. You can definitely wait for DVD, but it's worth catching. If you're itching for a comedy and you haven't seen Role Models yet, go to Blockbuster and rent that instead. Otherwise, you could do worse.
    • Is this season "prove we're not rigged" year on reality TV? First, Idol has that potential rigging scandal and favorite Alexis gets the boot. Then, tonight marked the second time this season on The Amazing Race that the overwhelmingly worst team got saved by a non-elimination round. You know the stuntminis are going to blow through the speed bump, only to have broken some weird rule that will get them booted.
    • Jeff Probst dropped a big Survivor bomb of the off-island variety over Twitter today. If you're a fan of the show, you should sign up just to follow him (much less some greats like Ashton Kutcher or Rob Corrdry). Very interactive; he was nice enough to send me a direct message today in response to something. You know I'm a big fan, so that was pretty awesome.
    • If you haven't seen it, here's a link to the new Bruno trailer. It is gloriously and hilariously NSFW.
    • Went to the Aquarium in B-more today. It was crowded on an Easter Sunday, but I was still amazed by how many fellow tribe members were hanging out there.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • The Aquarium's great and all, but it's not better than the National Zoo in DC. The National Zoo is, of course, free. The National Aquarium costs $25. Two soda bottles and a Hershey's bar cost $8.75. Come on...
  • Random Zoo Picture:
    • At the Zoo a few days ago, I saw a cute baby gorilla and an arguably cuter squirrel. I was also very excited to get this picture. The goat is relieving himself.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ma'am, I Am Tonight

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Adventureland is the new early-twenties angst movie about a sensitive guy trying to find himself while working at an amusement park back at his home town after graduating from college. It has a cast that screams comedy with Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds, and Martin Starr. In reality, it's more of a drama. Hader is funny, but Ryan Reynolds plays a pretty serious role, if dryly funny at times. It's weird because it's the kind of movie that Michael Cera should be starring in and star Jesse Eisenberg is totally an almost-but-not-quite Michael Cera. You know how there are those movies that speak to you at the exact right time of your life? For me, Garden State is a perfect example. Well, Adventureland is probably that movie for someone, just not me.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, you have Rachel Getting Married. It's a movie about a wedding, naturally, and more specifically the bride's dysfunctional sister, who has gotten a break from rehab. We follow the family through the wedding weekend at their house in Connecticut. They dress weird, play avant-garde jazz music, have some sort of weird talent competition where they do stand-up and play various musical instruments, they have a house guest who walks around playing violin everywhere he goes, they even have a contest to see who can best load a dishwasher (seriously). This traveling troupe of Bohemian troubadours is exactly the type of rich family that has problems, too! I saw it on ABC on some afternoons during middle school! It's the kind of wedding that, if you were attending, would make you want to really think about new and interesting ways to put yourself out of your misery. It's the kind of family that makes the selfish recovering-addict Kym (Anne Hathaway) seem like the sane one. And Hathaway -- she's... transcendent? perfect? mesmerising? It's a slow and weird movie, but it's certainly worth seeing just to watch Hathaway steal it and the next three movies you watch.
    • Went to the Holocaust Museum today. There's a fantastic exhibition on propaganda there right now. Definitely worth seeing. Really nice job of using colors to make everything pop and the exhibits themselves are fascinating. Very interactive, great video, etc.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Lot of tourists in DC this time of year. Lot of school groups. Lot of pushy people.
  • Random Music Video:
    • By request, one of the greats:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Sensation Sweeping The Nation

Is there anything else more worth embedding than this? You know it. You love it. Sing along!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rocks In The Treetops

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Did Brendan dodge a bullet or what on tonight's Survivor? With the number to nine, he can get over whatever bout of stupidity he was having, go talk to Taj, and they can roll over Coach and company.
    • It's fun to draw parallels between Passover and the Egyptian stuff on Lost, especially considering Jacob, the patriarch of the Jews-to-be that settled in Egypt, died there and was miserable because of his need to travel there. His people became enslaved ("Help me!") before they were rescued by a guy who died before he was able to see the Promised Land. It's fun, but I think it's pretty much garbage.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Went to the zoo today. It's one of my favorite places. There's a new baby gorilla that was riding around on its mother's back. So cute.
  • Random Addiction:
    • I'm all about Twitter right now. It provides unparalleled access -- even more than Facebook -- between people, especially entertainers. Tonight, Shaq tweeted that the first person to find him at Graceland would get four free tickets. Someone found him pretty quickly. Jeff Probst asked for any feedback on the Survivor episode and answered some questions. Ditto Dr. Drew, who took a break from VH1 to answer a few. Ashton Kucher was chatting with former co-star Mila Kunis and took questions for her from his Twitter followers and then broadcast the answers.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Moose Out Front, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda

Closed for Passover tonight. I think I actually have to process an insane Lost episode (Widmore in handcuffs? The monster as judge? Locke and Ben essentially switching roles much like Jack and Sawyer have?) before I can really comment on it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Idol Chatter

Now, with a promise of no more Kal Penn jokes, here is your final eight:
  • Danny Gokey, singing Mickey Gilley's "Stand By Me": It's the light disco version! Definitely more Robin than "Batman". But everyone can agree on this version, even Joe Clark! He's solid, keeps putting up solid performances. Maybe he'll have to get spectacular to beat (shudder) Adam Lambert, but that time hasn't come yet.
  • Kris Allen, singing Don Henley's "All She Wants to Do Is Dance": After telling us about his love for a sixteen-year-old Jodie Foster, he decided to channel Nick Jonas in his performance. It's hard to get excited when the people around him didn't look that into the performance as they slowly clapped just off-beat. Kind of boring, but again, good enough for what he does.
  • Lil Rounds, singing Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It": Ugh. I'm turning on her big time. Horrible. You make a gutsy choice like this and then sleepwalk through it while screwing up the phrasing? This is the third awful week in a row. She needs to go.
  • Anoop Desai, singing Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors": An interesting song choice, but nice job to get away from the Usher crap he tried to pull last week. It was a little weird that he was able to drop twenty on Michigan State in the middle of the performance. Ain't nobody from Chapel Hill losing anything this week.
  • Scott MacIntyre, singing "The Search Is Over" by Survivor: He stinks. I mean, this was painfully bad. He had more pitch problems than the Nationals. He was more off-key than [joke deleted for taste's sake]. When did he become the cocky jackass who talks back to the judges? The road's over for this monster of schlock.
  • Allison Iraheta, singing Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me": She has a really good voice. I'm sure I've said that before. She would do well with a Heart ballad, not that Heart was still around when she was born. She'll be in this for a while still.
  • Matt Giraud, singing Stevie Wonder's "Part-Time Lover": With the hat and all, could he just skip wardrobe and wear a sign that says, "You should pretend I'm Justin Timberlake!" Well, here's a big old revelation for you... I actually have Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds on my iPod and this kid doesn't sound like him too much. They all thought it was brilliant. I thought there were pitch problems. Either way, he's probably not going home tonight and he's almost definitely not going to win this.
  • Adam Lambert sang "Mad World" by Tears for Fears, but the show ran over and my DVR didn't tape it. I'm going to assume I thought he screeched too much and I was confused at how much the judges liked him.

Scott has to be finally going home, right?

Tarheeled and Feathered

I was pretty excited for this championship game -- two exciting teams, both from schools that I like, both that I've rooted for throughout the season. Not to be, however, as Carolina finished off the Dean Smith Invitational NCAA Tournament in rousing fashion. Some final notes:
  • I'm fairly certain that Carolina's last three championships have now come against Michigan State, Illinois, and Michigan. Think their next may come against Purdue or Wisconsin?
  • Wayne Ellington won Most Outstanding Player with 39 points in the Final Four, but there's no question that Ty Lawson was the most unstoppable force in the Tournament this year. Who's the last guy we've seen play at such a level at all times? Corey Brewer? Deron Williams? Juan Dixon?
  • Hansbrough and Green graduate, but it's hard to imagine Lawson or Ellington going pro after this year. Possible, but I think they're marginal enough lottery picks that they'd stay. Given that, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see UNC and Michigan State be 1-2 in the first preseason polls for next year. In fact, if I had to pick one team to win it all right this second, it would be Michigan State. They lose Walton and Suton, but that's pretty much it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Play Ball

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Had some time on Saturday and wanted to shut my brain off, so I went to see Fast and Furious. I liked the first movie alright and I didn't see the other two, so I wasn't entirely burnt on it. The dialogue is awful, but that's just as well because the actors deliver it poorly. The stunts and special effects are great though, and that's really all you need. It's action porn -- you wish you could fast-forward through anything that drives the plot so you can get to the next car chase. If you're looking for something really stupid (and every so often, we all are), this movie is for you.
    • Great piece by John Feinstein in the Post this morning about what Michigan State means to Detroit. I watched the game back in the beginning of the year when Carolina destroyed the Spartans and, while I know that won't happen again in quite so horrific a fashion, it's hard to see the Tarheels not winning. But how can we know what to expect? Michigan State is on a magical run and I wouldn't be totally surprised at anything, to some extent. That extent being that nobody has been able to hang with Ty Lawson in this entire tournament. Carolina hasn't really been challenged yet. So it could happen, but I just don't see it.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Went up to Antietam to tour the battlefield. American history, beautiful surroundings, seventy degrees outside and sunny, breakfast at Waffle House, lunch at Cracker Barrel, and there was baseball on the radio on the way home. It doesn't get any better.
  • Random Baseball Preview:
    • Fearless predictions:
    • Division Winners: Boston, Cleveland, LA Angels, Philadelphia, Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers.
    • Wild Cards: Tampa, Arizona
    • Surprise Team: Kansas City
    • MVPs: Grady Sizemore, Manny Ramirez
    • Pennant Winners: Tampa, LA Dodgers
    • World Series Champs: Tampa

Under Siege

After Michigan State surprisingly tore through UConn (the Huskies looked like they were playing in slow motion), I sat down to watch Carolina obliterate Villanova. Shortly after the game began, I was forced to pause it when my wife called me upstairs. There is a deck adjacent to our living room that is maybe fifteen feet off of the ground with no way up from the outside. We keep our recycling out there and sometimes trash if a bag has filled up before trash night. My wife called me because our deck and the trash bag it held was under siege from a horrible beast.

Our house backs to woods and we often see deer, rabbits, and even foxes. However, a new kind of menace had crept out of the forest and somehow it had either flown or performed a superhuman act of ascension. It was standing on our deck, ready to unleash its evil on an unsuspecting bag. I flicked the switch to the outside lamp and the beast scurried away to the edge of the light, feeling safe in its natural habitat of darkness. It leaped to the deck next door and there it sat, staring at us, trying to figure out how to steal our leavings. Only one thing in our house could save us now.

The dog, running to see what we were looking at outside, patrolled the window, not noticing the creature lurking on the next deck. But the threat was enough! The beast saw our fearless guardian and refused to come back. Instead it sat there, trying to decide if our own personal Cerberus was safely behind glass. The creature watched.

It began to calculate if it could make the jump back over. I was a little worried that the creature would miss and crash to its sure demise on the concrete below. Look, if you've been to my house, you'll know that you have never noticed a sign that says "Dead Raccoon Storage". You know why you've never seen that sign? 'Cause it ain't there, 'cause storing dead raccoons ain't my f***ing business, that's why!

I went back to watching the game, but heard a noise. The dog had noticed the animal! He began barking and howling, ready to sink his razor-sharp teeth into Rocky's evil hide. The creature ran away into the darkness.

Did it get down? Did it ever find a meal? I don't know, but I do know that out there, in the night, there lurks a monster. Waiting... Hungering...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rock Out

Not much to write about today. Cutler has been discussed ad nauseum (the Broncos made out) and the Final Four has been touched on (UNC and UConn). Nobody reads this on Friday nights anyway. So here you go, enjoy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

You're All Dressed Up Like The Cure

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Finally caught Amazing Race from last Sunday and I'm sad to see Mel and Mike go. They made a huge mistake and rightfully paid for it, but they were fun to root for.
    • They tried everything they possibly could on Survivor tonight to make it seem like there was a question about who would be voted out. Both Survivor and Amazing Race go out of their way to edit and make it look even when, most of the time, it's just not.
    • Been reading I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley. She's a humor essayist in the line of David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell. She's understandably not quite as good as they are, but she's really good.
    • The Junkies this morning with Bob Ehrlich in studio all day? Ugh.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Obviously the supply of capable starting quarterbacks is pretty low out there, but the Broncos got a lot for Cutler, considering everyone knew they had to move him. Orton is passable as a starter or they can think about sending one of those first-rounders to Arizona to get Leinart. All in all, they should be pretty psyched.
  • Random Music Video:
    • Just 'cause...

Let Us Stop Talking Softly Now

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Finished the full run of Battlestar Galactica. The end was a bit ham-handed and somewhat worrisome culturally, but it had a nice twist and made sense for the show. Especially now that you know it's one complete series with a definite end, I'd recommend it. Edward James Olmos is masterful in it and the politics of it give an interesting view into how we felt post-9/11 and pre-Obama. Speaking of, this related article from The Onion today was pretty funny.
    • Megan, you tattooed nutcase, we hardly knew ye. I have honestly never heard of this Lady Gaga person they had on tonight. Not that I care to hear her again, but I think they made her up.
    • If you get a chance, go to and check out the Overtime from this past week's Real Time. Mos Def gets absolutely creamed by Christopher Hitchens. Mos tries some of his I-don't-listen-to-what-other-people-say sort of logic and runs into the brick wall called fact. It's painful to watch, but you can't look away.
    • I was at the gym this afternoon, shooting jumpers. On the other half, there was a youth clinic going on. As I walked out, I froze in my tracks as standing right before me and working the clinic was none other than the great Gheorghe Muresan. The funny thing is that when you're a lot shorter than a guy, you're a lot shorter than him. So maybe a 6'9" person would look short next to 7'7" Muresan, but standing by himself, Muresan didn't look much taller than anyone else I had ever seen.
  • Lost Comments/Questions of the Week:
    • Solid episode with some questions answered and some other questions widened in scope.
    • So now we know for sure that Sawyer did whisper about his daughter and that it was with his previous con. No surprises there.
    • We know that Kate gave Aaron, presumably for good, to Claire's mother. A little surprise, but not huge.
    • Kate said that Claire was still alive. Would she really know that? The only person who's seen her since she disappeared was Locke at Jacob's cabin.
    • Interesting how Jack washed his hands of everything and never thought twice about it. Shows how much he's changed and moved towards that "man of faith" role.
    • So there is something intrisically different about the Others and it's what made Ben into the person he is. Whatever that is has to do with some hidden room in the middle of the jungle, surely related to the ruins into which we saw Smokey disappear.
    • Of course, the best part was the Miles-Hurley dialogue. It's like Lindelof and Cuse wrote it specifically for the internet people. First, the Back to the Future reference is huge for anyone who reads the Dueling Analysis on the Post's website every Thursday. Second, the whole question of why Ben wouldn't recognize Sayid was perfect. Seems like they're reminding us a bit about time travel and its questions, which must mean that Faraday is soon to return.
  • Random Video of the Day:
    • I don't watch Colbert as much as I should. This video speaks for itself. Nothing I could say would add anything to the genius of it.

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