Finally, a day off after three consecutive brutal days at work. But I'm going in today for a few minutes (thank you, first of the month, for falling on a Sunday). It never ends.
I watched all of Lost season three this week. If I saw visions of the future (a la Desmond), I think I'd see my purchasing season 4 sometime today. I am officially re-hooked.
I need to get a tv, an entertainment center, some prints framed, a new tail light, and then a long overdue state inspection for my car. Pay day can't get here soon enough.
I think there's a football game on today, too.
And there's the usual laundry, cleaning, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Just kidding...but what better way to highlight how atrocious my TV options are tonight?
Remember when the underside of a bottle cap told you right away if you were a winner or a loser? These days you look under a bottlecap and it's like reading an eye chart or a barcode. If ever there were any "good ol' days" in our past, then surely such a time included messages like "You Are A Winner" for the lucky ones or "Please Try Again" for the rest of us. At any rate, I plan on spending the foreseeable chunk of the afternoon sipping an otherwise delicious Dr. Pepper, popping Peanut M&Ms by the handful, and flipping channels in my brand new hotel room.
I really do live the life of a rock star, minus the concerts at the end of the day.
So yeah, channel-flipping and I see VH-1 is airing Ghostbusters for the second day in a row. Around here, we love Bill Murray and we're coming up on one of my favorite scenes where Murray as "Dr." Peter Vankman delivers his "human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together...MASS HYSTERIA" speech in the mayor's office. I consider sticking around long enough to see the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but VH-1 has a pop-up heart graphic with a ticking clock in the corner of the screen and it's distracting me. Apparently the premiere of Rock of Love 2 is THAT big a deal to the people of America.
Ok, I know that railing against "reality" tv is in no way a new concept. There's a market for it and it's a money maker for the networks when they do it right............but.......still.....in the words of Dennis Miller, "I don't mean to go on a rant, but..." So in the interest of time and my own sanity, I'll limit my remarks to the "celebreality" shows on VH-1 and the attention-hungry stars who gladly trade what little scraps of dignity and self-respect they might have left in order to keep a few rays of fame's limelight shining their way. Flavor Flav, Bret Michaels, that Tequila chick, "New York", the list goes on. Oh, and don't get me started on Scott Baio's new show: Scott Baio is 46...and Pregnant. I spend 15 minutes watching one of these shows, and I feel dumber for the time I've wasted. Well, a mixture of "dumb" and wonderment at why anyone who wasn't compulsively addicted to the public attention would willingly put themselves in such contrived situations, all in the name of vapid, lowest common denominator entertainment. Is anyone able to watch this schlock and not feel humiliated for all participants involved, not to mention a desperate need for a long, hot shower?
Ahem, moving on..
(it was at this point in the afternoon that I had to put the laptop aside and answer several phone calls. Then there was a mixup at the front desk with my traveling partner's reservation. So now it's an hour and a half later, dinner plans are being made, and I need to wrap this up.)
Someone remind me later to look online and see if I won anything with that Dr. Pepper.
I would like to wish a happy belated 18th birthday to The Simpsons, whose first episode aired December 17, 1989. Aye Carumba, that's a long time to be on the air! I remember watching those first season episodes, back in the day, with Simpsons-mania sweeping the nation shortly thereafter.
Kudos to Matt Groening and everyone else that brings Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and the entire town of Springfield into our living rooms.
And in other news....I still have a hotel room to pack! But I've got the perfect suitcase-filling music cued up on itunes, so wish me luck because I'm pushing myself away from the laptop....right...now....
Random notes from the week behind and the week ahead:
(why did Typepad remove the bullet points from its toolbar?)
- Josh Ritter was FANTASTIC Tuesday night in Chicago. If you've never heard of him, please check out his stuff...you can't go wrong with any of it, but I really dig The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter and his live disc In The Dark.
- Alicia and Doug were great to hang out with while hanging in Chi-town.
- For my first trip to Chicago, where did I eat my first meal? Burger King. Drive-thru. So watch out, second trip to Chicago, things can only go up from there.
- Oh! Drove past Wrigley Field! Saw the statue of Harry Caray! Now I just have to catch a game sometime.
- 9 days left in Mishawaka, then I return to Ohio and check out the Toledo / Bowling Green area for four weeks.
- To the surprise of absolutely no one, both When Harry Met Sally AND Turner and Hooch are on basic cable at 9 AM on a Sunday morning. At the risk of losing my man card, I have to admit that WHMS is one of my ten favorite movies of all-time. (Ha! We're coming up on the "And baby-fish-mouth is sweeping the nation?" part.)
- Here's hoping the Red Sox win Game 7 tonight at Fenway Park.
- I have to believe that if God watches the baseball playoffs on Fox, he mutes his tv so he doesn't have to listen to Tim McCarver.
- Dear sports media, enough with the Joe Torre story...sincerely, anyone with eyes and ears. The saturation point was reached for all the angles to this story LONG ago...we get it.
- The branch manager at my branch is grilling out tonight, so this particular Sunday has more of a normal feel to it than most.
- Now that it's 10 AM, I've got just enough time to grab some coffee before going to work. For the 28th straight day. Yes, there were some short work days (like Sundays) in there, but there were just as many 12 to 16 hour days along the way. I...am looking forward to some time off, hopefully during the first week or two of November.
Again with the week's lag time between posts. Sorry 'bout that. I've been in mourning over the death of Barbaro. Ok, not really. I couldn't even type that with a straight face. But what was with all the media saturation of that story? Did the press beat that horse to death or what? (Heh. I might regret that one when I start getting hatemail from the PETA folks. Maybe.)
So with a week off from blogging you'd think I would have lived a more exciting kind of life. Well, you might think that if you didn't know me that well. When I wasn't arguing with Typepad re: wholly uninteresting technical matters (billing address this and server updates that), I was really living it up. More often than not that included being stretched out on the couch with a book in my hands.
But hey, at least I finally got through that Dylan bio. And I raced through Love Is A Mixed Tape in one sitting. Great books in their own ways. I also enjoyed photographer Peter Ellenby's Everyday Is Saturday. Who wouldn't include Band Photographer on their list of Top 5 Dream Jobs? As good as the photos were though, I think I'll end up sending it to Michael as a barter payment "thank you" for giving me the rockstar treatment with his own camera. But he doesn't know that yet, so let's try to keep that on the downlow. Plus it might take me a week to get it from my apartment to the post office.
Speaking of uber-talented photographers that I went to college with, my friend (and Guitar Hero II enthusiast) Amy just started a photoblog. Hopefully she won't get mad at me for pimping her site without asking permission first.
The last of my Christmas gift card money went back into the economy with a trip to Best Buy last weekend. I got an old classic (Good Will Hunting), a new classic (Little Miss Sunshine), an I-think-I'm-the-only-person-that-liked-this (Elizabethtown), a haven't-seen-it-but-it's-from-Scorsese-and-only-$10 (The Aviator), and Season Two of the best drama currently airing on TV (HBO's The Wire).
Speaking of tv dramas, are you guys watching 24 this season? I haven't seen the most recent episode yet, but so far this season is stretching my suspension of disbelief to its outermost limits. Even by 24's own standards, this year's twist-a-minute plot is getting a bit far-fetched. However, it's still very entertaining. And if you can get past some clunky dialog, the show consistently raises some great questions re: national security and civil liberties.
Lastly, here's a little mix in honor of our dear departed Barbaro:
Here's a few quick hits on where my tv dial will be set for the next few months. We'll start with the returning shows first.
New shows that look good:
I usually pick up on shows a season or two late, so I'm adding THE OC to a long list of shows I've had to catch up on (hello there, West Wing, 24, and Lost). After LOVING My So-Called Life and then Freaks & Geeks years earlier, I just wasn't up for a new teen drama in 2003. So I ignored all the buzz and went about my life, blissfully ignorant of all the sudsy soap opera glory that was going down in Newport Beach. (Hey Michael, is that even a real town in Orange County?)
But there I was in Best Buy last week, gift card rich, and looking through the aisles of television shows on dvd. And a fateful purchase was made. Over the last 10 days I've squeezed in all 27 first season episodes, a birthday, and
Christmas Chrismukkah. New Guilty Pleasure, thy name is OC.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting this show in the same category as MSCL or Freaks. Apples and oranges. But also hear me when I say this: I love me some first season OC. Adam Brody brings the funny, Rachel Bilson brings the HOTTT, and Peter Gallagher brings the hairy eyebrows. It's magic, really. And believe me, I could pick the show apart if I wanted to. Contrived plots, wardrobe casualties, any scene requiring Mischa Barton to convincingly express human emotion...the list goes on. But I choose to enjoy the show for its
eye candy, er, many strengths. (Those strengths being, in no particular order, Rachel Bilson, Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody, Rachel Bilson, Peter Gallagher, and a little bit more Rachel Bilson IN A WONDERWOMAN COSTUME.)
Sing with me now, "Cal-i-for-nyuuuuuuuuuuhhhh.....here we coooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeee"
Yesterday I heard "So Happy Together" by the Turtles on the radio. It reminded me of (what I think is) an awesome story from my college days. So travel back in time with me now, to the 1996-1997 school year. I was a freshman Telecommunications major and life was just starting to get good.
While most of my new friends were taking freshman-level Theology classes, I had classes with projects that required me to run around campus with a school-owned video camera. I also worked on a student-run tv show called "Take One" that aired on a local access channel. I did the sound for the show, which was done "live to tape" so we didn't really have room for screw-ups. Now keep in mind that God and I talked on a regular basis anyway, but the Almighty never heard an 18 year-old pray harder than I would in those five minutes before we started taping. I confessed to stuff I hadn't even tried yet; all in hopes that I would be rewarded with flawless pushing of all those volume knobs for the next thirty minutes. Plus I had a crush on one of the show's hosts, who was also a freshman. Imagine how hard it is to score points with a girl when your mistakes make it sound like she's screaming into her lapel mic. AND THOSE MISTAKES ARE THEN BROADCAST THREE TIMES A WEEK, FOR (what felt like) THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE! But I digress...
There's something to be said for the bonding that takes place in an editing booth. Especially in the pre-digital days of the late 20th century. The rule of thumb was that a minute of tape was worth an hour in the editing bay. Plus we were perfectionist freshman, new to the ins and outs of all this video editing stuff. So we helped each other out with various class projects requiring five or ten minute video packages. We hashed out ideas, worked out schedules of checking out the equipment, and from time to time we agreed to do stuff on camera for each other. Enter my telecom friends Kelly and Kristie - two of the nicest people I ever met at school.
The way I remember it, Kelly had what sounded like a cool idea for her video final. It was some variation on the "boy meets cute girl, boy somethingsomethingsomething, boy gets cute girl" story. Now this was the final, so it required some voiceover work, a few different pieces of music, and other video stuff we should've mastered by then. But the editing stuff was for Kelly to worry about...and perhaps the pressure of such a project led her to make The.Worst.Casting.Decision.Ever. Yep, she asked me to play the part of "the boy" alongside Kristie as "the girl." So I said yes, possibly still basking in the false glory of the A I got in high school theatre. We spent an afternoon location scouting, in search of a city park that still had a see-saw. I forget the exact plot, but I remember shooting various scenes at the park: Us swinging, see-sawing (with me falling off the see-saw at one point), then talking / fighting / making up while sitting at a park bench, and then walking off hand-in-hand into the sunset. The video ended with this long, steady shot of us from behind, walking towards the sunset with "So Happy Together" playing in the background. Ahhhh...Holly(Brown)wood Movie Magic at it's finest. I think of that shot every time I hear
Imagine me and you
And you and me
No matter how they tossed the dice
It had to be
The only one for me is you
And you for me
So happy together
So happy together
How is the weather
So happy together
We're happy together
So happy together...
On paper it was a chick-flick tearjerker. And it was a tearjerker; but mostly in the vein of My Gawd, How Awful Is The Male Lead In This??!!! Get Me A Kleenex 'Cause I Can't Laugh Any Harder. The worst part is that we had to show the final cut to the entire class. I cringed so much that day they thought I was having a seizure. Looking back, and ignoring my Depression-era poor man's Keanu Reeves performance, I can appreciate how fun an experience that really was. Nine years later, thanks again Kelly H. And if you didn't make an A in that class, you can blame it on me.