Sunday, May 31, 2009

'Til All Are One!

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Went to the National Zoo today, which is one of my favorite places. In the reptile house, there was an anaconda. I snapped a picture and tweeted about how J-Lo and Ice Cube better watch out. It was my mistake. The species was a "Green Anaconda", not a "Fake-Ass Anaconda".
    • The Warriors is, as I said last night, the greatest bad movie of all time. Anaconda is way up there though. Okay, I can't resist...
    • Watched a French film tonight called A Very Long Engagement. It's about World War I (which apparently really sucked) and stars Audrey Tautou and, among others, Marian Cotillard. And Jodie Foster. Wait, what? Yep, Jodie Foster plays a French woman and, as far as I could tell, her French was flawless. It's a pretty good movie, very Atonement-esque.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • People on every side of an issue are so quick to generalize about their opponents. There is a big outcry about the murder of George Tiller and how anti-choice activists can call themselves pro-life but kill people. Obviously, it's a very few extremists who do this. There are extremists on both sides. Of course, Fred Phelps and his crew's media visibility don't make anything any easier.
  • Random Music Video:
    • On the Guitar Hero games, you have the option of downloading new playable songs. Most cost two dollars, but some are free. Today, I noticed that they had uploaded, for free, Stan Bush's "classic", "The Touch". I immediately downloaded it and rocked out. Bush remade the video recently using footage from Michael Bay's Transformers, but that's BS. Here's the original video from the original movie. 'Til all are one!:

Touch by Stan Bush from the Transformers The Movie - Click here for this week’s top video clips

Unlucky Charms

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • You may know that while the greatest bad movie of all time is The Warriors (there can be no argument on this), one of the other greats is Leprechaun 4: Leprechaun in Space. Indeed, I have a sick fascination with the Leprechaun movies because of how delightfully bad they all are. Well, until I watched Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood tonight. That one's just bad. The camera cuts are weird, you only see the aftermath of any gore with none of the actual acts, the acting is beyond atrocious. I'd love to recommend it as a good bad movie, but it's just bad bad.
    • After that was over, I turned on Sphere, the Michael Crichton movie starring Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, and Samuel L. Jackson. I know it's famous for being bad, but I forgot just how bad it was. I may have to re-read the book to get the taste out of my mouth.
    • Does anybody care about Lakers vs. Magic? Dwight Howard is so overrated.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • There's a huge spider that lives outside of my sliding door. I keep knocking its web down during the day and it keeps building it up by night and just hanging out there. I hate to kill it if it's not really bothering me. I may need to call in John Goodman for help.
  • Random Music Video:
    • I'm on a kick with the MTV video library. The Leprechaun movie I watched tonight co-starred Sticky Fingaz from Onyx. So here's their big hit:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

He's Got Summer Madness

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Ended up going to Camden Yards and seeing Matt Wieters, the top prospect in baseball, make his debut. He went 0-4, but he did catch the best game that an Orioles starter pitched all year. Plus, Oriole DH Luke Scott hit a grand slam and a solo homer -- his second consecutive multi-homer game -- in a Baltimore rout of Detroit. The crowd was lively and the stadium was full. 42,000 tickets were sold, 15,000 of them after it was announced that Wieters would be called up. Plus, it was fireworks night. Maybe I had to pay a bit more for tickets than I'm used to because of the size of the crowd, but it was well worth it.
    • You have to get Spaced on Netflix. Simon Pegg's and Nick Frost's two great movies, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, basically riff off of the comedy created in the show. You know how the pop culture references in Family Guy are such non-sequitirs? In Spaced, the references are relatively seamless in the show. There's a killer Scooby-Doo joke in the first episode.
    • You have to check out's video library. They have a great collection of music videos to watch.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • I'm going to have to insist that if North Korea and South Korea go to war it's referred to as "The War of Northern Aggression". It's dumb that people who live in the American South call the Civil War that (so you'd rather the U.S. had let you be and you'd not be part of our country?) and I like the idea that their euphemism would be forever ruined.
    • Also, I hope that the North Koreans wear blue uniforms and the South Koreans wear grey ones. It would just be cool.
  • Random Music Video:
    • I'm very disappointed that in the "text a vote for your song" contest tonight, "Enter Sandman" beat out "Summertime". I love Metallica and all, but that's a travesty. So here is Will Smith dancing badly:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pardon Me As I ZZZ

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • At an event tonight, I saw Jonathan Safran Foer speak. It was very interesting to hear his thoughts on why he writes and how he feels about books in general. He's one of the leading young authors in the world, having written one of the great books of the last decade, Everything is Illuminated. The book follows the narrator's search for the Righteous Gentile who saved his grandfather from the Nazis, going farther back in time as he scours the Ukranian countryside; at the same time, it tells the story of the small village his grandfather grew up in, starting with its founding and moving forwards. Both stories collide on the day that the Nazis attack the village. The movie only tells half the story, so you have to read the book to get the full effect. It takes some patience because of some quirky language and some slight stream of consciousness, but it's a must-read if you like modern literature and will go down as a classic.
    • Have the day off for a Jewish holiday tomorrow and I'm pondering either going to the movies (Up or The Brothers Bloom) or to Camden Yards for the big Wieters debut.
    • I've never been a big fan of the Bible. Always thought it was a bit overrated because it's flawed in a lot of ways and because people interpret it with such laziness and thick-headedness. I'm coming around though. Hard to knock a book that has existed, in one form or another, for 3,500 years. Thinking about incorporating a commentary on a weekly basis, but in a really non-religious way.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • I don't understand people who don't like to learn. I love learning. Their lives must be really boring.
  • Random Question:
    • I was listening to a band tonight for a little bit and then, on the way home, Incubus came on the radio. It made me think about the fact that I've fallen asleep during three bands' sets ever, all at festivals: Incubus, Garbage, and Primus. Each of the groups' songs all sound alike. Anyone else have any?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Night Off

I'm still doing this every day, though I have to admit that the motivation has been fleeting as of late. Enjoy this classic music video:

And They Are Indisputable

These are the facts:
  • With Orlando taking a 3-1 lead tonight over Cleveland (how good have all these games been?), the NBA has to be distraught over a potential non-LeBron, non-Kobe finals. I'm betting the officiating in Cleveland on Thursday will be very kind to the home team.
  • Mike Huckabee released a statement today to attack the Supreme Court nominee. The first draft of the statement referred to her as Maria Sotomayor. He went on to complain about White House Chief of Staff Shlomo Emanuel and President Tyrone Obama.
  • This piece is near unreadable, but if you can get to the soft, chewy center of it, you'll find hilarity. It's an argument for why gay marriage would destroy regular marriage by freeing up women to be independent and by, inexplicably, promoting incest. The guy mentions incest a little too much for comfort.
  • MLB Network's early highlights show with Sean Casey and Bill Ripken is one of the best things on TV.
  • The new EA Active for Wii is highly recommended. Definitely the best exercise game I've "played" yet.
  • Have you seen the trailer for the movie, Away We Go? It's a Mendes film which is a plus, but I can't tell whether it's going to be Little Miss Sunshine-esque or if they just want us to think it will be.
  • Next TV show for viewing on DVD is going to be Spaced, the British comedy starring Simon Pegg. After that, most likely season two of Mad Men.
  • I fell way behind on CSI: and just caught up. I thought it would drop off in quality with William Peterson gone, but there were some very good episodes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

All Lists Suck

DC101, a local rock station in (duh) DC, came up with a list of their top 500 "modern rock" songs, whatever that means. It was supposedly voted on by the fans, though I imagine the suits at the radio station had something to do with it. Their top five ended up being "Creep" by Radiohead, "Come As You Are" by Nirvana, "Under The Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam, and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana. With the caveat that I'm focusing on influence as much as quality, here is my own top five:
5. "Freedom" by Rage Against The Machine -- DC101 probably put "Killing in the Name" on the countdown, but that's absurd. The radio edit is horrible and this song was the initial hit off the band's eponymous debut. The Judgment Night soundtrack is probably what revolutionized the rap-metal genre that went on to spawn Limp Bizkit, P.O.D., and other such crappy bands, but Rage was the first huge band that brought it to the mainstream. Sorry, Biohazard.

4. "Head Like a Hole" by Nine Inch Nails -- Don't give me this "Closer" crap. Maybe the most overrated song ever? It's not even the best song on The Downward Spiral ("March of the Pigs" or "Hurt") and it's certainly not the best NIN song. Electronic rock has been a huge genre for the last decade or two and Trent Reznor stands as an obvious forerunner in that.

3. "Longview" by Green Day -- Don't sleep. Maybe Green Day was derivative of the Ramones, but their popularity turned pop punk into the monster it is today. Everyone from Blink 182 to Fallout Boy has Green Day to thank for that.

2. "Alive" by Pearl Jam -- It's the song that made the band. While "Jeremy" had the popular video, "Alive" was the real basis for what probably still remains as my favorite album ever.

1. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana -- I remember where I was when I first heard this, one of the few songs for which that is the case. I was listening to Casey Kasem and he played it as a song that hadn't hit the Top 40 yet, but was bound to soon. I remember thinking immediately that everything I thought about music had changed.

The Action Is Hot

After a nice visit to historic Harpers's Ferry today, we stopped by the much-advertised Charles Town Races & Slots to check it out. First of all, they advertise video poker but there's very little of it. To make it worse, the video poker they do have has awful pays (jacks or better and two pair are equal) and they dumb it down by having the machine automatically tell you which cards they recommend holding. I couldn't play more than a couple of credits. But that's not nearly the worst part. You know how in Vegas and Atlantic City, the slots are the domain of the old and disabled? Imagine a place that only has slots and therefore only has those people. You walk around there and, besides concern about cancer from the oppressive cigarette smoke, you start to worry that the loss of a limb is contagious. Indeed, everyone was either smoking, ninety years old, or using some sort of wheelchair/cane/crutches/thing-you-rest-your-bad-leg-on-and-roll-around. What a great place.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Not With A Bang But A Yawn

My life is complete. Perez Hilton responded to one of my tweets tonight. Here's how it happened.

We went at 4:45PM today to see Terminator: Back For More Cash because I'm a sucker for a) Terminator, b) summer movies, and c) movie franchises. The movie follows a convicted killer, played by Sam Worthington, who is executed in 2003, donates his body to the Cyberdyne Corporation, and wakes up fifteen years later to find himself in the middle of the man/machine war. Over the next two hours or so, you basically see nothing but explosions and gunfire. There's little discernible plot and I only remember two lines of dialogue from the film. One was, "Come with me if you want to live," the other was, of course, "I'll be back." When the latter was said, most people laughed and one person in the audience said out loud, "Oh my God, that is so stupid." So essentially you have an action film that has nothing but action and killer robots and big explosions and brand new types of machines. Can't go wrong with that at least, right? Wrong. It is unexpectedly boring. You don't care about one character in the whole damn movie (remember, because they've discounted T3, we essentially haven't seen John Connor in something in a meaningful way in over fifteen years) and the fighting all seems to blend together. Plus, because it all happens in the future, there's not much real need for the cyborgs (with a couple of exceptions), so it's all just metal fighting humans. It's directed by a guy named McG, who apparently made the Charlie's Angels suckfests, and has a really stupid name (Fun Fact: McG was the rapper name for Scrooge McDuck in a Duck Tales episode). It could be any movie with crappy dialogue and CGI that looks like I did it on an Apple IIe. California Games had better graphics. Okay, that's not true, but the roller skating game on that made more sense than this piece of crap film.

There are two and only two good parts in the entire film. First, there's a scene that lasts all of five seconds where Christian "I Talk In A Gravelly Voice And Scream For Gravitas" Bale is fighting these water-based terminators and the camera work is really nice. Second, the end battle involves whichever Terminator model looks like Arnold and it's a pretty classic Terminator-style battle. Otherwise, the thing sucks and I gave a tiny thought to walking out.

Back to Perez Hilton. I had said earlier today to someone that I feel dirty for following Perez on Twitter. I don't really care about celebrity news and I don't need to hear about Lady GaGa every thirty seconds. But it all paid off tonight when he tweeted that he thought the movie was okay, but that Sam Worthington was "AMAZING!" Problem: Worthington speaks with an American accent for the first half of the movie and then, at some point, he clearly begins speaking with an Australian accent. It's a Costner-esque breakdown. So I replied to Perez, asking him if that accent inconsistency was what was amazing. When a guy has a million followers, you mostly just reply to be snarky. But! He replied back admitting that the accent was a problem, but he still thought Worthington acted well. I've been noticed by a person on the very bottom rung of Hollywood. Now, I can die in peace.

I just wish I could have figured that out at about 4:44 this afternoon.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Where WTF Happens

Went to Nationals Park tonight to see the Orioles defeat their red-clad stepchildren. I think I like the park more than I did the first time I was there. Must be an expectations game. Had I been home, I would have tried to catch as much of Magic-Cavs Game 2 as I could. This is what I missed.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

All Grownsed Up

So I had an idea for a Monster Matchup for tonight but realized many readers might not get what I was talking about. Instead, my matchup ("Takeover" by Jay-Z vs. "Dre Day" by Dr. Dre) illustrates a change in my musical taste. Back in '93, The Chronic was the truth. Before Dr. Dre's solo debut, white suburban kids like me hadn't yet caught on to gangsta rap because N.W.A. was a little too hardcore in name and song titles for us to feel comfortable. We were listening to Hammer and Vanilla Ice and Fresh Prince. Yeah, I wish I could go back seventeen years and slap the s*** out of myself. Then, "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang" started getting play on MTV and we were hooked. It had the driving horns (we had little idea who Parliament was, so it sounded new), the lyrics that made us feel like we were from the streets, the video with its sex and forties and bouncing cars. We were sold and Dre revolutionized rap by selling to us. Real rap hit the mainstream and our entire culture was transformed. The Chronic was the truth, a mainstay on any list of best albums my friends and I would make. I had no doubt at the time, and for years after, that it would be the best rap album I would ever hear.

But, times inevitably change. On September 11, 2001 (no, I'm not going to talk about that), Jay-Z released The Blueprint. None of us follow-whatever-MTV-says-is-the-mainstream white kids had really paid attention to east coast rap outside of the Notorious B.I.G., so we missed out on the classics; we were only nominally familiar with Wu-Tang Clan and we hadn't listened to Nas' Illmatic at all. All of a sudden, hip-hop would totally change for us. I had heard Jay-Z on Jermaine Dupri's "Money Ain't A Thang" and his own "Hard Knock Life", but I recall driving down the street and hearing, for the first time, "Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the eighth wonder of the world, the flow of the century...," and then that Kanye-produced sample from "I Want You Back". I had to get that album immediately. That was the year I started grad school and I listened to that CD a billion times as I drove myself back and forth from work to school and got pumped up for exams. I still had The Chronic, but it was "U Don't Know" and "Izzo" and "Takeover" that I listened to over and over and over again.

That change has continued to the point that, as I look back, I much prefer The Blueprint to The Chronic. It's a more mature album, cleaner production, a more varied sound. It makes me reflect on how my tastes have changed so much as I've grown older. There was a time when I vowed that I would watch Saturday morning cartoons forever, but now -- my Duck Tales spree last weekend notwithstanding -- I much prefer History Channel. I've been to a number of punk concerts in a wide variety of venues, but now I'd take the masterfully produced Viva La Vida over anything new from Rancid. I still love watching cheesy bad movies, but not as much as Woody Allen ones (Vicky Cristina Barcelona is fantastic) or even certain foreign films (like Walk On Water, Paradise Now, or Y Tu Mama Tambien). I'm older, I have more responsibility. Times change and while we often romanticize our childhood, we also have to admit that we are significantly different people than we once were. Not a bad thing.

As for the matchup (how can I not)? The sample on "Takeover" is so much better than the music on "Dre Day", thanks to Kanye's producing abilities and newer technology, but you have to give Dre credit for not using samples. Dre is way nastier towards Eazy-E in his song, but Jay-Z is more scathing without being as vulgar by attacking Nas' talent directly. As I mentioned before, I like The Blueprint more than The Chronic. But then you think about the fact that "Dre Day" had Snoop's famous "Bow-wow-wow-yipee-yo-yipee-yay" lines... I was going to make a point of calling it a tie and say that young me would like Dre and Snoop better while older me likes Jay-Z better. But older me is writing this. So screw you, young me, I'm going with "Takeover" after all.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

DVRBlogging The Idol Finale

There's no way in hell I'd watch this thing live. Here we go:
  • 8:00: It's time to rock and roll. One of these two guys will win it all and be the next to disappoint in album sales. Nice white clothes, guys! Adam's jeans look like he was painting a room and it went badly. Do I hear "Ford Music Video outtakes"?
  • Fast forward through the title sequence.
  • Fast forward through the judge intro and "tribute".
  • Fast forward through the look at the hometowns, especially with that annoying Mikaella chick with the spray tan and the collagen implant.
  • 8:08: When I heard they were doing a song called "So What?" I was really hoping it would be the Metallica cover of the horribly filthy Anti-Nowhere League song. But, alas, it's that crappy Pink song. Fast forward.
  • 8:14: Remember how much we loved David Cook last year? I'll give him a minute or so until the hook.
  • 8:15: Bored. Wife insists on listening to him.
  • 8:16: Fast forward.
  • 8:19: It's Justin Guarini. Awesome. And now on to the awards portion. Yay! I always kind of like this part because they show the crappy performances. No, not Lil Rounds and Scott McIntyre! The ones from the beginning of the season.
  • 8:23: Don't we all kind of wish that Norman Gentile was in the finals? Not that he's really all that funny in the grand scheme of funny, but it would have been nice.
  • 8:25: Lil Rounds and Queen Latifah! I've been waiting my whole life for this moment! When else could I get the chance to fast forward through a Lil Rounds/Queen Latifah performance?
  • 8:32: Just went through the first thirty-two minutes in like fifteen minutes of real time. Might be going too fast... We'll listen to Jason Mraz for a sec.
  • 8:33: Sort of funny how Mraz's mic is clearly louder than everyone else's. Funny, but life-saving.
  • 8:36: Journey time! Oh, not "Separate Ways"? Time to move forward at a quicker-than-normal rate!
  • 8:38: Oh, it's Keith Urban! Awesome! Only thing better than country is pop country! Wife likes Keith Urban. Time to look at baseball scores.
  • 8:40: Justin Upton is just killing the ball right now. Great late round draft pick for me. Oh, and my wife points out that Paula has tassels on her breasts.
  • 8:45: All of the girls performing! All of the girls were so good this year. Good for Kris, Adam, and Danny to poop on! Here's my song for them and Fergie: F-A-S-T-F-O-R-W-A-R-D.
  • 8:47: Stopped because that guy who acted badly in Wolverine is on the TV. Fergie looks really haggard.
  • 8:51: More awards. I smell Bikini Girl about to come on stage. That's not a metaphor. I seriously smell her. It smells like desperation. She just told Justin Guarini, Blake Lewis, and/or David Archuleta that they could have their ways with her. Archuleta: "Aw, shucks."
  • 8:53: She totally got a boob job. And Ryan just knocked that line the hell out of the park. "I was going to ask what's new, but I think I know." I give him all the credit in the world for that.
  • 8:55: Bikini Girl looks a little upset about how Kara stole her thunder and then Kara flashed us. Nice.
  • 9:00: Cyndi Lauper! I may actually watch this. I thought only blind people played the guitar like that. No, that wasn't a Scott joke.
  • 9:01: Goes to show that no matter how good Allison's voice sounds, she doesn't sound so good next to a real pro. Bikini Girl:Bikini Judge::Red Helmet Hair:Cyndi Lauper.
  • Nobody cares what the parents have to say. Fast forward.
  • 9:05: Gokey is doing "Hello". That's David Cook territory. Onward.
  • 9:08: Moment of the night! As Lionel Ritchie came out, they showed Kara clapping and Paula dancing. Then you can see Kara look to see Paula and start dancing herself after freezing for a second. And it's obvious she was about to dance badly. Classic. I had to rewind and rewatch a couple of times.
  • 9:09: Kara obviously gave up on dancing as she's now sitting. This is a passable version of "All Night Long". Ruben Studdard singing along, too.
  • 9:15: Adam's journey. Still no Steve Perry. He was in San Diego to interview the crowd of Glambert fans. Oh, that was Carly Smithson, sorry! Fast forward.
  • 9:17: Adam came out dressed like the Starlight Express. Of course he's singing "Beth", the lamest KISS song ever. But... KISS doing "Detroit Rock City"!!!!!!!!!!!! Rock!
  • 9:19: Now Adam's clothes seem a bit more fitting. This is actually pretty cool. I'm glad I voted for him. It's nice to see that Gene Simmons has become a parody of his action figures.
  • 9:21: Maybe the Gokey scream from Adam wasn't necessary there.
  • 9:25: Carlos Santana doing "Black Magic Woman". I can dig it. Oh, just realized Yahoo is streaming the Cavs game. Sweet. Alt-Tab time.
  • 9:26: Oh, Matt Giraud came on to sing and look uncomfortable. And now the rest of the cast? Time to move on.
  • 9:29: Who the hell was that chick that made that weird face? Now on to the Ford Music Video where the two guys are apparently memorializing their dead comrades.
  • 9:30: Yay, Adam and Kris win cars! Get your Fords fast before Chapter 11!
  • 9:31: Is Steve Martin, Michael Sarver, and Megan Joy the weirdest trio in history? Michael and Megan live in a pitch-free zone. Sorry, Steve, love you dude, but gots to go.
  • 9:39: And now all the guys are singing disco? I'm sorry I even went to "play" for a second.
  • 9:40: Okay, I can deal with Rod Stewart singing "Maggie May".
  • 9:44: As they do the "Outstanding Female" award, my wife calls that it will be Tatiana. I had seriously forgotten that she existed. Honestly. The reminder depressed the s*** out of me.
  • 9:47: Aw, crap. That was great acting by the security people. This is what the look on Ruben's face said: "What is that crazy bitch doing?!?" At least it was blessedly short.
  • 9:52: Adam and Kris sing the most overrated Queen song. Brian May and company appear. Guys, why? If I weren't so sure that Freddie Mercury would have been a big Adam fan (honestly, not a joke), I'd say he'd be turning in his grave right now.
  • 9:54: They actually sound okay, but all the hand-shaking is phonier than even Kara and Paula dancing arm-in-arm.
  • 10:00: It's time for the big moment, when we can recharge and forget how cheesy we think the show is so we can get excited again in nine months when we hear the first bad audition.
  • 10:01: The winner is Kris. I guess my six or seven Adam votes weren't enough. Never underestimate how much America hates gay people. Is that fair? Don't know, but I'm sure I'm not the only person thinking that.
  • 10:04: And with the stupid microphone trophy and the crappy song playing: Random Babbles... Out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Idol Chatter

First, if you didn't watch this season of 90210, you really missed out. There was so much drama tonight, so many inexplicable character actions, and a principal who got high on a pot brownie! I love the show. The big cliffhanger at the end was interesting, since it wasn't treated like one, but -- if the spoiler I read is correct; yes, I read 90210 spoilers -- will be a huge bombshell in the season premiere. But that's for another time and it's on with the show. So, while mourning the cancellation of My Name Is Earl (though it may get picked up by Fox or ABC), this... is the show we watched before the 90210 finale:

  • Adam Lambert, singing Tears for Fears' "Mad World": Remember when Adam kept seeing that rabbit with its eye shot out and then a jet engine fell on him? That s*** was whack! Anyways, I don't love the long coat if you're not walking outside along some tree-lined road with leaves blowing around. This was the song that got cut off from everyone's DVRs when the show ran over. Not a bad performance, I like him when he's more subdued like this, but it's still a little too high in pitch for my liking. I'm sort of tempted to vote for Adam because I think his album sales will be horrible. He will be great on Broadway though.
  • Kris Allen, singing Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine": Forget the pitch problems on the first note, he immediately gets knocked down for not doing the Kanye song again. Round one to Adam, easy. Meanwhile, who made out worse tonight: the Wizards or Randy Jackson's stylist? The Wizards, at #5, are deep into Hasheem Thabeet territory (it's fate!) and Randy Jackson's clothes clashed with each other like William Wallace and the English. You may take Tim Gunn's words out of his mouth, but you will never take our freedom!
  • Adam Lambert, singing Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come": I thought he did a great job, especially the beginning. That beginning is probably the most I liked him this year. When he started screaming and got that hysterical look on his face, I thought he was trying to tell everyone that the studio was on fire. Randy, duck! Your suit will burst into flames at any temperature higher than 70 degrees!
  • Kris Allen, singing Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On": Not nearly as good as when Cuba Gooding sang it in Jerry Maguire. To be honest, this was really nice, but I question whether Kris (who should sell more albums than Adam) has enough stage presence to be a real star. His sound was sort of small. I swear I wrote that before Randy and Simon said the same thing. Can I take a second to say that I really liked Kara at the beginning of the season and now I'm really hoping that she disappears like Patrick Swayze at the end of Ghost? You've done your job, Kara, you've written a crappy song and you've annoyed the crap out of us and the three good judges. Step into the light, Kara.
  • The original songs always suck. Of course, Kara liked it because she wrote the snoozer, but even Simon sort of knocked it. So who can judge the two of them when they're singing crap, especially Kris who had to sing it second when we were already sick of it?

Adam's taking this thing down. I voted for him.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Beep Beep Beep Beep

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • It's indisputable that this was a great season of 24. The question is whether it was a great season on its own right or if it was great because the last season was so bad. I'm not sure that the answer matters.
    • Notice their nod to the crappiness of last season? No, this guy was behind Palmer's assassination! Not Jack's father, it was this guy all along! We swear!
    • How I Met Your Mother was funny, but it's sort of fluff. The jokes are great, but I just don't really care about who the mother is going to be. In the grand scheme of TV mysteries, I'll take "What the f*** is going on with that island?" over "Who is going to marry the guy who somehow grows up to be Bob Saget even though he's already thirty-one?"
    • Going to re-watch The Stand. I could re-read it, and might, but I've been itching to go through it after the obvious Lost tribute to it.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • The other night, I posted those great videos about Cleveland, but I neglected to mention that the weirdest experience I've ever had regarding an urban area was in that city. There for a trip to Jacobs Field, Steve and I left the game a bit early to get to our car. It happened to be fireworks night and the post-game extravaganza was going on as we walked out of the ballpark. The streets were empty. Emptier than you've ever seen any city. So empty that there was no sound but the fireworks echoing off the buildings until it sounded like the city was being bombed. It's an eerie city, if you'll excuse the pun.
  • Random Haiku:
    • Two season finales left to go:

Adrianna's kid,
Will she keep it? Who might die?

Adam versus Kris:
Would I buy either album?
Not a chance in hell.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What Band Sang "Eye Of The Tiger"?

Not much worth comment on tonight's Survivor finale. JT was one of the best, most likable players in the history of the show and it was a no-brainer that he would win (once he eked by Erinn on the second-to-last immunity challenge, of course). Stephen was good, but while he had the mind to do well, his temperament was not so good. He was a little too paranoid all the time and I hated the fact that he was happy that he didn't have control in the end. You have to want the ball in your hands!

In fact though, everyone on this season was extremely likable, except for Coach, who was likable in his own way. Great personalities, some nice blindsides, underdogs who change the game in their favor. It's all you ask for in a season of my favorite show and it this season was a great one, indeed.

Three season finales left: 24, Idol, and 90210. Then it's on to the last few episodes of Pushing Daisies and...? I have the second season of Mad Men to get through before the new one starts and Entourage will be starting up in the next month or two. Other than that, I'm looking for shows on DVD that aren't on the air any longer. I don't want to add anything new to watch before I see what new shows are on (ABC's Flash Forward looks to be the early keeper for next year). Probably going to rewatch Twin Peaks, maybe Spaced, the British comedy with Simon Pegg? Any other suggestions are welcome.

The Lonely Orphan Ducklings

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Angels and Demons is way better as a film than The DaVinci Code, just as it was as a book. It's not a great movie, but it's pretty good. It moves very quickly and the visuals are very good, especially when you consider that all of the Vatican scenes are sets or CGI.
    • Caught Religulous on DVD tonight. As you might expect, it's Michael Moore-ish film-making at its Michael Moore-est. Maher talks about religion as a whole, but only interviews the most extreme people. It's mostly a diatribe against evangelical Christianity, but there is a little bit about Judaism and a good bit about Islam. It's funny and it makes some good points. I think, though, that you could make a very interesting film by interviewing people who aren't super observant and asking them why they identify as a certain religion. I fall in that category and I guarantee I'd have a really hard time answering that question without using the cop-out phrase, "culturally Jewish".
    • On the good hand, the movie has a little bit at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. I've been dying to go there since I read about it in The Year of Living Biblically (and, for Pete's sake, if you haven't read that yet, you need to do it right this second), but my wife wasn't sold. Until she saw it in the movie. We'll now be taking a weekend road trip to the Cincinnati area at some point this summer. If they have cell service in the building, I will break the record for most snarky tweets per second.
    • Speaking of Maher, his panel this weekend included two conservatives -- a rarity for his show -- and Dan Savage. You can throw any two conservatives at my side, I'll be happy to have Dan Savage blister them by himself.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Yesterday, I mowed our back yard and then had to bring the mower and the fifty-foot extension cord up a hill to come around to the front. Rather than dragging the cord, I decided to throw it up to my wife, who was on the deck, so she could bring it out front. After failing a few times, I found a soda can, tied the coard around it to make an impromptu grappling hook, and proceeded to get the cord up. It probably took ten minutes or so of trying to get the cord up, but I was really proud of myself when it finally worked. I brought the mower up, plugged it in, and promptly mowed the extension cord in half.
  • A Random And Very Important Question:
    • I spent a couple of hours today watching Duck Tales episodes on YouTube. You can find at least the entire first season on there and I watched six episodes, including the five-part pilot. Here's my question: Huey, Dewey, and Louie lived with their Uncle Donald and then went to live with their Great Uncle Scrooge. Webigail lived with her grandmother, Mrs. Beakley. So was their some sort of weird illness in Duckburg that killed every parent? Ma Beagle is the only parent on the show.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Don't Tell Drew Carey

A friend showed these to me and they are awesome! NSFW, but it's the weekend anyway. On a side note, I'm going to Cleveland for a couple of days next month.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Shades of Grey

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • So what's the best shocking reveal of the week? Was it the fact that John Locke is dead and the implications of that or was it "007" on tonight's Grey's Anatomy? Sure, I was half-rooting for the cancer to take Izzie and I was ready for some sappy ending where she's reunited with Denny forever. But we didn't get a sappy ending. We didn't get a good ending. We got a great ending to the season.
    • At some point during tonight's Survivor episode, I realized that Coach is more than just a douchebag. He's completely insane. He's not lying to himself, he's delusional. Part of me hopes it's an act, but I know it's not.
    • Down to the no-brainer final four (could have predicted this easily four weeks ago), but there are some cracks. J.T. did not look happy when he realized that Stephen voted for Coach behind his back. Basically, if J.T. gets into the finals, he wins going away. Stephen wins against Erinn or Taj. Stephen has to get J.T. out of there if he wants to win. Maybe tonight was the first move in that flip.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • I'm a little confused about Obama being so secretive with the torture stuff. I understand it could lead to backlash, but he's just perpetuating the policy we all hated. Okay, we stopped torture now, but we need to face the facts of what our country did for the past seven or so years. It's the only way we move on. Still no pictures of coffins returning from Iraq. I don't want to be voyeuristic or morbid, I just want us all to be able to confront the truth. I want answers, I want the truth, I can handle it.
  • A Little More Lost:
    • Can't promise this will be the last bit, but it should dry up soon enough. I can't stop thinking about the episode; in its own way, it was more shocking than the "We have to go back, Kate!" ending two seasons ago. Jeff Jensen from wrote about the characteristics of the Jacob/adversary relationship that show up in Stephen King's writings since the show is so clearly influenced by King). I may not be the most versed in Lost canon (I can hold my own), but I have the King stuff down pat. Jensen looked at the two obvious King works, The Dark Tower and The Stand. His theory was that Jacob is Roland Deschain and his adversary is Randall Flagg. Problem is that Flagg plays only a fairly small role in The Dark Tower; the Man in Black was actually Walter, one of Flagg's minions as talked about in The Eyes of the Dragon. Jacob's adversary seems to be a certain comparison to Randy Flagg, the shapeshifting Walking Dude, but that would make Jacob more of the Mother Abigail type. In The Stand, which as I've pointed out -- and the producers have admitted -- was the source material for Jughead, Mother Abigail is the force that draws the good survivors together to battle Flagg and the evil survivors. She appears to the heroes in their dreams and brings them to Nebraska to organize them, but she dies before the heroes leave for Flagg's Vegas. She sets them up to do what they will on their own. Similarly, Jacob has touched the castaways in their lives and has seemingly brought them to the island to help him in his battle with his adversary. It's why I firmly believe that the "they" in "they're coming" is Jack, Sawyer, and Kate. It's why I think the white flash at the end is from a jump in time and not the bomb. Jacob has (literally) touched our heroes and then dies, leaving them to fight in his place. Of course, this is assuming that a) Jacob is dead and b) Jacob is good. 50/50 odds on either one of those.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Free Will Lost

The Caps got killed, Gokey's out, etc. Tonight is all about the season finale of Lost. I'll break it down by the four main entities/groups in the episode and then, with the producers saying that with this episode you can finally start to understand what's going on, take some overall guesses.

The Shadow of the Statue folks:
  • Now we know the answer to their question is something along the lines of "the one who will save all of us" and we know who it refers to. We also know that Elana and company are indeed with Jacob. So maybe they are the good guys, after all. Their big revelation (definitely the most shocking of the show) in the "Lockebox" very well might lead Richard to take some action to help Jacob's cause.

The Castaways:

  • Will the bomb set it all back? Probably not, because that wouldn't make sense for the sixth season. I wouldn't be surprised if it did mean that the season six opener mirrored the pilot episode.
  • It did end like The Stand! Ha! Juliet, the cast-off, never a true member of their group, was the one who set the bomb up to detonate. She was their Trashcan Man. Notice she was the only one that we didn't see Jacob visit.
  • We saw Pierre Chang's arm crushed, leading to his disability in the Swan orientation film.
  • I don't think we ever found out what was in the guitar case that Jacob gave to Hurley.
  • I guess Sawyer really did love Juliet after all. We don't know for sure that she's dead. She was laying next to a hydrogen bomb as it (probably) exploded, but it's not like Jack and company could have survived where they were. And we know they did, in some way.
  • Could they really go back to, in some way, when 815 first landed? I have to say no, since they wouldn't be able to have Walt, at the very least.
  • Bernard and Rose were awesome. They got the whole point of what Jacob was trying to do (more on Jacob later).

The Others:

  • I was a little surprised to hear Richard speak in Latin and be called by a Latin- or Greek-sounding name. Maybe we don't know what ancient Egyptian sounded like?
  • Very interesting that Ben was being used so badly the whole time, especially since we now know that Locke has been used his whole time on the island as well.
  • Think about it -- Locke is healed and is open to mysticism. The smoke monster appears to him and shows him things about the island. Ditto his vision in the sweat lodge. Locke decides he has a special destiny to lead and to save the island. So, at the behest of yet another apparition, Christian, he rounds the gang up and allows himself to die for the good of the island. All so Jacob's opponent can assume Locke's identity as the loophole to kill Jacob. I'll leave more for later.
  • Where does this leave Ben and Richard? I imagine they are the good guys, assuming Jacob is a good guy. Which he might not be.


  • By far, the most interesting character and part of the episode. At first glance, Jacob clearly represents free will. He calls the Black Rock to the island to see if they can overcome human nature and not kill each other. A forced Lord of the Flies-ish experiment. In the flashbacks, the word "promise" was very prominent and Jacob had to know that promises are made to be broken. In talking to Hurley in the cab and then Ben at the end, Jacob keeps insisting that the person has the choice to do whatever they want. However, in the beginning, Jacob is weaving, which is pretty reminiscent of the Fates in Greek mythology. Also, he seems to be responsible for Nadia's death, which forced Sayid to kill and eventually return to the island. So Jacob seemed to be a power of good and a power of free will except for a few occasions, which means he's a bit more complicated.
  • I'm not going to jump into saying that Jacob's opponent is Esau. That just doesn't seem to fit if you're at all familiar with the story in the bible. It's possible, but it's not a conclusion to which I'm willing to jump.
  • I think that the apparitions on the island, the smoke monster, the whispers, etc., work for Jacob's opponent. Notice that we have still yet to see the temple, but we know that Jacob doesn't live in it.
  • Did Jacob visit Sawyer, Kate, and Jack because they were going to come to the island? Or did they come to the island because he visited them? Was it all a test from the beginning and he brought them together to see if they had learned anything? They were, of course, the people on his "list".
  • Jacob lived in the statue of Sobek, the crocodile god. Sobek was the god of water, but, according to Wikipedia, people also thought he was the god in charge of putting right things that went wrong. Like the Ancient Egyptian Sam Beckett. But, as a crocodile, he was sometimes a bit nefarious in how he made things right. That describes a lot of people on this show, Ben (the original agent of Jacob, as advised by Richard) quite possibly being foremost.
  • My biggest question from the show, even more than will everyone survive the bomb (because they will, in some way): Who was Jacob referring to when he said that "they were coming"? Was it Elana, there to expose the fact that Locke was dead? Was it Jack, Sawyer, and Kate, the people on his list? With Locke toast, I think those three have a big part to play in how this war shakes out.


  • I'm sure I missed a bunch, so I'll check back in as I read analyses on-line and listen to the official podcast (this week with Michael Emerson instead of the producers).
  • In short, I think the island is a testing ground for an embodiment of the eternal fight between destiny and free will. As enticing as free will sounds, it's actually destiny that usually stands on the side of good. It comes from a higher power watching over us to make sure that everything goes well. Think the good (Order) versus the evil (Chaos) in Stephen King's Dark Tower series (which Lindelof and Abrams are adapting for the big screen when Lost is finished). In this case, I think Jacob is free will, specifically people's free will to overcome the usual evils of human nature, and he is good. Well, sort of. He's good in the way that he's hopeful that people will choose the right path. He's obviously willing to screw with people quite a bit to get there. Our castaway heroes just happened to get caught in the middle of this fight. Maybe like a Job sort of thing. While Locke trusted in his destiny so much that he was used by Jacob's opponent and killed, Jack and the rest are fighters. They haven't overcome their human nature, but they also haven't given in to destiny. Yet. Bernard and Rose, of course, are the examples of what Jacob wants and what Jack and company can achieve if Jacob is to win.
  • In closing, maybe Jacob's opponent is only limited to the island, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if next year's season premiere dealt with flashbacks where Jacob's opponent went to the castaways and led them to make bad decisions.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Idol Chatter

It's the top three. Yay! Get ready for some shrieking, some mugging for the camera, and some wussy music! This... is a dumb American Idol recap:
  • Danny Gokey, singing Terence Trent D'Arby's "Dance Little Sister": Yeah, I've totally lost it for him. Great story at the beginning, but he's pretty uneven. He hasn't improved up to this point like Lil Rounds has! True, that's because I don't have to hear her sing anymore, which is an improvement. This was alright.
  • Kris Allen, singing OneRepublic's "Apologize": A great wussy song for a great wussy singer! I'm so pumped for this that I can barely stop my thumb from spasming and hitting the fast-forward button. The problem with a contestant doing a song that is big on the pop charts right now is that it's really easy to compare to the original. Nine times out of ten that's going to be a loss for the contestant. This one wasn't the one flattering time. This may be the first time that I didn't think his voice sounded so good. How about Simon calling Kara out?
  • Adam Lambert, singing U2's "One": The chick on calls Adam "Glambert", which I love. So Simon gives Adam a slow, heartfelt song, something he hasn't necessarily sung along the way. This was maybe the most Broadway performance he's thrown out yet. He took a big glam crap all over this song. Horrible. But the judges loved it, of course! The most surprising turn of events since this news came out involving OJ Mayo. I'll agree with Kara, this performance was, indeed, unbelievable. I'm going to make a song my own, right now. I'm going to attempt to perform Beethoven's 5th using only armpit farts. It'll be brilliant!
  • The Gokester, singing Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful": I really felt his heart in this. I mean, I wouldn't really describe myself as beautiful, but if you see it in me, I appreciate it. This was a pretty nice performance from Gokey Smurf. He could be going home, but I feel like he's still got enough good will to sneak past Kris and into the big show next week.
  • Kris "Adult Contemporary" Allen, singing Kanye West's "Heartless": Dude, where did that come from?!? By far, hands down, my favorite performance of the year. He killed that song. Here it is, in crappy quality via YouTube (my first link to a performance this year). Maybe he has a shot. That was really, really good.
  • Glambert, singing Aerosmith's classic tune from their very, very early days, "Cryin'": I do not have high hopes for this. An overdone song being sung by a guy who overdoes even subtle songs. Maybe they'll meet in the middle? Nope. Also, the background singer sucked. So, instead of this crap, let's look at this article. Best... Headline... Ever...

I don't know. I think the Goker will be laughing his way into the finals with Adam, but Kris could get there with that great performance. I'm not going to hold my breath regarding Adam not being there. Still can't believe how good Kris' Kanye cover was.

No Cougars or Johnny Drama... Yet...

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Great 24 as the season closes next week. They even went old school with the Kim kidnapping. Those few seconds of Jack beating on Tony were among the most brutal I can remember seeing on broadcast TV.
    • The House season finale was also very good. They dropped a couple of hints with a weird cut at the beginning where the lipstick disappeared from his face and with the surreal camera work throughout. Very well done -- as soon as he realized everything was an addiction-fueled hallucination, the camera went from the unusual hand-cam shakiness to the usual steadiness.
    • Big ups to CBS! Our DVR messed up during How I Met Your Mother (which is weird, because House taped fine), but they had the episode up on-line later this evening.
    • If my DVR messes up on Wednesday? Bad, bad times. Pens-Caps Game 7, Idol, and the Lost season finale.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Piercings outside of the ear area are icky. I could be on an island with this one, but I don't think I am.
  • Random Music Video:
    • In case you, like me, missed it on Saturday, here is the latest from Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Maybe I'm Amazed

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • So Tammy and Victor did win The Amazing Race, but in quite an unexpected matter. Luke and Margie -- Margie may be the most valuable player in the show's history -- were well ahead, but when Victor got to the last Roadblock, Luke panicked and choked. Sort of feel bad for him, but it's the nature of the game.
    • Speaking of feeling bad and reality shows, should we pity Coach on Survivor? Yes, he's the biggest douchebag in the history of the earth. Someday, alien visitors will read the volumes of earth history and learn about this pinnacle of douchebaggery. But, he's clearly lying to himself. He honestly thinks everyone likes him and that every move has been of his design. It's most likely how he lives his life on a day-to-day basis as well. You have to pity someone who is so delusional. It should make the reunion show next week interesting, but I bet it will be enfuriating to some extent, as well.
    • I watched a movie tonight called Gummo. I hope you haven't seen it. If you have, I'm sorry. That's all.
  • Random Questions:
    • Can you imagine what it must be like to work at an Olive Garden on Mother's Day?
    • What do same-sex parents do for Mother's Day/Father's Day? I assume they doubly celebrate the appropriate day, but I don't know.
    • Am I the only one who wonders if Hair Cuttery should offer a "happy ending" with their haircut and shampoo?
  • Random Music Video:
    • There are only 5,700 hits on this right now, so we're getting in on the ground floor. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you John Tesh rapping!

Stardate: 2009.5.9

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • There's something lately about re-imagining or restarting older series (think Batman Begins and Casino Royale) and the new Star Trek is no different. Using a plot device that may be a little cheesy, but gives J.J. Abrams and his writers poetic license, the back story is changed somewhat to give a compelling -- and more modern -- look at the beginnings of the Enterprise's crew. The action is fantastic and other technical aspects of the movie are very well done. Abrams deadens the sound effects during some of the space scenes to let the great score take over or sometimes to give a vacant feel to the infinite cosmos. It's a trick that Lucas used to great effect in the opening of Revenge of the Sith and it was perfected in Battlestar Galactica. The acting is solid, most notably Zachary Quinto who is perfect as Spock. It's a very good movie, but it feels more like a setup for a new franchise than a standalone movie in and of itself. Hard to explain that, but you'll know what I mean if/when you see it. Go see it in the theaters, the effects are too pretty to waste on a small screen.
    • Funny that Damon Lindelof produces this film that deals with time travel in a fairly straightforward way when his TV show is screwing up everybody with its weird, as-of-yet unexplained time travel theory.
    • There were a number of people in the audience who were men with long hair. No barbers in the basement of the science building? Also, the whole audience was white. It's possible that Star Trek is perfect for a white person... but not for a black person. It doesn't pass the Red House test.
    • New trailers for G.I. Joe (not sure about it) and Transformers (looks the same as the first, so think what you will) along with a new Mike Judge film that stars Jason Bateman, Extract. I'll be looking forward to that one.
    • What qualifies as the most anticipated movie of the summer. Is it Star Trek, Transformers, or G.I. Joe? Is it Harry Potter? Not sure.
    • Who you got in The Amazing Race? I have Tammy and Victor.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • The lack of hand-washing is horrifying, especially given how regularly we are being reminded as of late. It's very noticeable in cinemas because the bathrooms get so crowded. Best/worst thing I've seen lately: a guy standing at a urinal with his popcorn on top of it, eating popcorn while he went to the bathroom. Sorry, I know it's disgusting, but how do you not share that?
  • Random Music Video:
    • Tomorrow's Mother's Day. Who better to say "thanks for popping me out" than a sweaty, shirtless Glenn Danzig?

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Not much to speak of... Going tomorrow morning to see Star Trek, so we'll have that for you. Should we actually feel sorry for Coach? Thoughts on that coming this week. Also, I'm beginning work on a large project -- a list of my 100 favorite movies. I welcome anyone to play along at home and send me your list, or wait for mine and comment.

In the meantime, you know the deal. Pandora, quick mix, first song up.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Best Coach Since Hayden Fox

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • The vote on Survivor was a no-brainer, but the real joy was in the quotes. Sure, J.T. used the word "strategical" twice, but it's all about Coach. Which was the best: when he said that the Warrior Alliance needed to get together because "why else would we have a name," when he told his assistant coach that "they call me the dragonslayer" even though nobody has called him that except for Coach, or when he said to Debbie, "Two words: Taj and Erinn need to go because [blah blah blah]". He's awesome. I'm glad he's sticking around for one more week.
    • I'm shocked that Ray Lewis didn't run through the Brazilian desert to slap Eddie George just because he could, but I did like that Eddie talked about Ray for a quick second.
    • A Parker Lewis reference on Earl?!? Also, the whole "The Central shall rise again!" bit was great.
    • Sappy Grey's, although they also had an extraordinarily high death toll in the episode. I hope that Meredith and Derek get married really soon, since all of their guests apparently came into town and had to sit through a surprise other wedding.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • I dig when public figures take advantage of various points of access to get messages out to their constituents. I'm following both the White House and Maryland's Comptroller on Twitter and it's really cool to get that kind of info that quickly (although, granted, the potential for propaganda is really high).
    • What can you say about Manny? Who could get shocked at this point, but it is surprising that a superstar finally got suspended for this long. After all that hoopla around Bonds and A-Rod and Giambi, Manny is only the second real star to get suspended after Rafael Palmeiro. Palmeiro only got a ten-gamer, because the really harsh penalties hadn't yet gone into effect. Fifty games, for a sure-fire (until today) HOFer and a perennial MVP candidate.
  • Random TV Time:
    • No Parker Lewis on Hulu and the opening isn't generic enough (or available enough on YouTube) to be worth showing. Whilst searching, however, I did come upon this. Man, what a great theme song.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Man of Certainty, Man of Impulse

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Nobody can possibly be surprised at Allison's exit. She never had the backing of the top three guys. Four or five weeks ago, at least, we would have pegged Adam, Danny, and Kris as the top three.
    • I love Allison's dad. He's a dead ringer for Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber.
    • Did we really need to see Paula lip sync badly and have Ryan play up her being on the stage when it seemed to so obviously be pre-recorded? I didn't think No Doubt was so great, but Stefani at least sang for real.
    • As impossible as it seems, the Red House Furniture ad continues to grow on me.
    • Star Trek is getting fantastic reviews from what I've seen, but my other really big expectations right now are on a comedy called The Hangover. The trailer is killer.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Okay, the Grisham I'm reading right now, The Broker, is crap. Total crap. Not all that well-written, meandering, no worthwhile character development. Have to finish it because I hate dropping books that I've started, but I hope it gets better (unlikely).
  • Lost Comments/Questions of the Week
    • Not much worth talking about other than the big shocking beginning. "Of course I remember them. I watched them all die." They could have ended an episode with that.
    • Richard isn't as prescient as we all thought. I think we've known Ben wasn't for a while.
    • John is, though. The part that called back to earlier in the season during the time flashes was very cool. What I loved about it was that we thought at the time that Richard was all-knowing, when that was obviously far from the case.
    • Heiroglyphics in the tunnels -- don't know if that was the same place where Ben went to be judged by Smokey, but it was related. On a related note, we now know that the bomb does not lie "in the shadow of the statue." I'm sure we'll be finding out what does next week.
    • Jack's going crazy and that will obviously hurt them all. Think "freighter".
    • After this episode, not likely that the season finale will end with the beginning of the first season, as some have theorized.
    • What's John's end game in wanting to kill Jacob? It can't be as easy as him wanting to be the sole spiritual leader.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Idol Chatter

You knew this show made a ton of money because it's relatively cheap to put on, but now they're apparently making the stage out of papier mache? It's collapsing like Taylor Hicks' career. Twenty years ago, did we ever think we'd see Slash on any TV show, much less a version of Star Search? Yikes. Anyways, here we go:
  • Adam Lambert, singing Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love": I can see Adam as a Broadway meets Robert Plant-type, so I was sort of psyched to hear this. Problem: as usual, more Broadway than Robert Plant. Can't explain exactly, just that his voice is missing some edge. Plant is obviously flamboyant, but he's sort of gritty flamboyant. Adam doesn't have the grit. And the end... Ugh. I'm starting to see why people like him, but he's pulling one over on them -- Randy says nobody's thinking about Broadway? I'm thinking about a Mama Mia/Movin' Out-style Zeppelin Broadway show. It would, of course, be entitled Stairway!
  • Allison Iraheta, singing Janis Joplin's "Cry Baby": Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please never interview her again. Let's pretend she has some weird disability where she's mute, but can somehow sing. But sing, she can. Her voice is like Joplin's in the same way that Lambert's is like Plant's. Allison can sing the blues pretty well for a 17-year-old, but she's missing some sort of edge. She sort of looked like Punk Miley tonight and maybe she sounded a little like Bluesy Miley. So Muddy Miley Ramone was pretty good. I don't think anyone would qualify as my favorite anymore, because I don't really like any of them, but she's good.
  • Kris Allen & Danny Gokey, singing Styx's "Renegade": I freaking hate Styx. Isn't "Come Sail Away" the worst rock song of all time? This one isn't any good either -- it doesn't go anywhere. The two guys were a bit rough at the beginning, but the harmonizing at the end was solid. I suppose they forced Kris to do something up tempo and it was passable, but I can't believe him as a rock singer. I'm starting to think that Danny looks like what would come from a Robert Downey and David Faustino procreation. What a child that would be!
  • Kris Allen, singing "Come Together" by The Beatles: I suppose he couldn't sing anything with any tempo on his own. Huge surprise that he'd do something this soft. He's just way too happy. Lennon's ashes just formed into a body, just so it could turn in its grave. Actually, Lennon would probably be too stoned to care. Eh, kind of boring. Probably Kris' last performance.
  • Danny Gokey, singing Aerosmith's "Dream On": Can he hit the notes? Wow, what was that? I was really digging the beginning. When we got to the high part, he almost got there and then... Good God, that's Howard Dean's music! Pyahhhh!
  • Kara said that "Cryin'" and "Crazy" were early Aerosmith as opposed to "Dream On". Girl needs to get fired. Now. That's inexcusable.
  • Allison and Adam sang Foghat's "Slow Ride", which is a Guitar Hero III song, but otherwise boring. What's with the duos picking songs with weak hooks? They couldn't have done something like "Paradise City" with Slash mentoring them? Was this our final two? Maybe, don't know if I actually care.
  • Kara really did say that "Cryin'" and "Crazy" were "early Aerosmith". She actually said that. Maybe, since she's coming back next year for sure, she can actually learn something about music history if she's going to be on a show that has people singing old songs. It could help. She needs to be ready for when people sing early U2 songs like "Get On Your Boots".

Has to be Kris. Gokey wasn't too good, but he carries over a lot of good will.

My Name Is Jonas

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • I refuse to believe that Aaron Pierce killed Hodges, though it's likely. Why would the hitman go ahead with it after Chelsea/Jenna/Barbara/Malia/Sacha/whatever-her-name-is cancelled the payment. Don't you think the guy would make sure the two hundred and fifty large was in his PayPal account before doing anything? I mean, my wedding DJ complained a little because we hadn't payed him yet.
    • Sometimes there are jokes that fall flat on How I Met Your Mother and then sometimes they make Jim Abbott references. Awesome.
    • In other news: Sky blue. Swine flu blown out of proportion. Ovechkin good.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Was reading a blog today and some idiot (I won't even link to it) was spouting off about how he's sick of the Holocaust because Israel is bad to the Palestinians and he's made to feel guilty about being against them. He, on multiple ocassions, referred to "the Jews". Irony.
    • Look, it's okay to be sick of Holocaust talk to some extent. It's a post that I want to write, but I haven't yet found the right words to avoid sounding dismissive. You just have to approach it from a certain angle
  • Your List Sucks!: Top 5 Favorite Athletes From My Lifetime
    • 5. Magic Johnson
    • 4. Bo Jackson
    • 3. John Starks
    • 2. Derrick Thomas
    • 1. Cal Ripken

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Today's post, brought to you in stunning haiku by the good people at the Red House (where black people and white people buy furniture).

Race down to last three.
Have to pee but want million?
Come on, wet yourself.

The Heat and the Hawks:
Most boring game seven yet?
Who cares? Cavs win next.

Dixon is Kansas.
Dixon is baking soda.

Oh, Pushing Daisies,
Three shows left and that is all.
Brilliant but cancelled.

Want to see bad films?
Check out On Demand free ones.
Many with Nic Cage.

Yes, a hack, somewhat,
But sells a lot, entertains.
Reading Grisham book.

Will Lost end like Stand?
Good v. Evil, nuclear bomb.
Wouldn't be surprised.

Will Star Trek be good?
Expectation level high,
but faith in Abrams.

Ha ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha ha!

Yeah, There's A First For Everything

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Four episodes behind on 90210 and began catching up. The show is so awesome. You don't know what you're missing if you're not watching it. Silver going totally wacko and terrorizing Dixon and Matthews. The overacting and overdramatization is fantastic!
    • Saw a couple of movies today. One was War, a crappy action flick with Jason Statham and Jet Li. The big twist is guessable and Li doesn't even do much karate. The other was Ghost Town, a romantic comedy starring Ricky Gervais, Tea Leoni, and Greg Kinnear. If you like Ricky Gervais, you should see this. It's a bit cutesy towards the end, but it's very funny.
    • Game 7 was a bit anticlimactic, huh?
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • I'm no expert on the worthy judges in the country and I read about this woman elsewhere, but I now throw my hat in as a cheerleader at the very least. Kathleen Sullivan needs to be Obama's pick to replace David Souter for more reasons than just the obvious, though that reason is sufficiently earth-shattering. She seems to be well-qualified and a confirmation hearing and the potential outcry from certain quarters would be fascinating.
  • Random Music Video:
    • Went to Pandora, clicked on Quick Mix, here's the first song that came up:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Caught up on a fantastic Earl from last night as well as a Survivor that had some weird voting in the end. Also, the season finale of Private Practice was so absurd in its story that it made Battlestar Galactica seem like a documentary. Anyways, here (and thanks to the Mike O'Meara Show for the tip), is the next greatest YouTube video. Now, excuse me as I watch it a million times.