Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday's Pretty Picture

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Rick Astley would a Video Flashback!

Love this chart! (Click on it to see it more clearly...unless someone knows how to get the larger version to show up on the page...)

And here's the video, with VH1's pop-ups:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A moment of pimpage, if you don't mind

For all you SF/Fantasy fans out there (and yes, I know you're there -- I can hear you breathing heavily over the kissing scene from Torchwood's second season opener) I've decided to run an experiment and have some of my electronically printed short fiction available for purchase from Their contract is reasonable, they have a damn good selection of short fiction from all genres (not just SF/Fantasy/Horror), and hey, I may actually make some money on the pieces, which is always good.

So if you've ever wanted "Bartok and the Unicorn", "That Time of the Month" or "The Padre, the Rabbi and the Devil His Own Self" in printed format, you now know where to go.

No, don't thank me -- I'm the giving kind, you know.

Coming soon: the new Madonna album!

Entertainment Weekly reports on its website that Madonna's next album (and her last album for Warner Bros., excluding hits compilations) will be out April 29th and will be called Hard Candy. Justin Timberlake and Timbaland have worked on it. I can't wait!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Are awards shows dying?

Preliminary ratings indicate that last night's Oscar show was the lowest-rated ever -- down 21 percent from last year and down 14 percent from the previous lowest-rated show in 2003.

The Golden Globes and People's Choice were basically wiped out by the writers' strike, but the Grammys and Oscars both had writers and no picket lines to keep stars from showing up, and both tanked in the ratings. Are people tired of awards shows? Are there too many awards shows? It is just that the nominated movies, songs, etc. weren't that popular this year? Was this just a bad year?

As much as I love music I never watch the Grammys or American Music Awards any more. Other than the occasional Emmy telecast I have basically never watched any other awards shows -- Golden Globes, SAG awards, Tonys, People's Choice, etc. So maybe I'm not the viewer they need to talk to if they want to figure out why the ratings are dropping.

I still watch the Oscars, although this year I saw for the first time the Independent Spirit awards on IFC, and that show was much more fun (even though Jon Stewart did a good job last night). If other shows were more like the indie awards show, I might watch them.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Porcupine 1; Pitbull 0

From a Craigslist post:

A pitbull was in his backyard in southern California, minding his own business....until this porcupine invaded his territory. The brave, but stupid pitbull immediately challenged the porcupine! Bad decision...the porcupine won this short contest.

A vet sedated the dog, and then removed a total of 1,347 quills. The dog survived, and hopefully learned a valuable lesson.

Now, tell me you had a bad day!!

Sunday's Pretty Picture

Thanks to Glitter Queen for the inspiration.

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Putting the Queen in Glitter Queen

This is my first attempt at embedding. Be kind.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday's Pretty Picture

Spring comes to my garden.

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Feeling Optimistic?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pure Joy!

Today's Dirty Dozen iTunes shuffle

It's been over 2 weeks. I think we can safely trot one out here...

Walk Away From Love - David Ruffin
Behind The Wheel - Depeche Mode
No One Is To Blame - Howard Jones
Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley
Da Da Da - Trio
Revolution - Nina Simone
Waterfront - Simple Minds
Trick Of The Night (The Number One Mix) - Bananarama
Pale Shelter - Tears For Fears
Come Inside - The Chemical Brothers
So Much To Say - Dave Matthews Band
Strange Way - Jody Watley

Friday's Pretty Picture

Hot from the dryer.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

LCM's Video Vlashbacks


I'm just now catching up on some contracting work I'd been putting off and on top of the pile is a request to review the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest. (putting on enormous moviestar sunglasses and looking at the video) Well let's see what the latest trends are, sweeties...hmmm?

It was held in Harrowgate? I'm glad they included a map, I wouldn't have known it was in England - but having seen it now I'm thinking it's probably near where Heather Mills lives. I just adore her - she's good people.

Oh dear. The hostess. She sounds like Julie Andrews, but she looks like Barbara Bush. Well, a slim Barbara Bush. Which is even more infuriating. Oh I can't stand it - I'm fast-forwarding.

Well the first song up is "Bem Bom" by Doce - from Portugal. Oh, and they apparently finished in 13th place - how unlucky. But I can't see why - the song is fabulous - in fact I think Mumsey had this as the first waltz at her ill-conceived wedding to Klaus Von Bulow that year. She inadvertently nearly OD'd on insulin and he threw her out of the house. Tsk. And I love the gowns - so ultra-modern! The culottes in the background are a bit how-you-say though - all slits and crotchless - but with tights underneath, so it defeats the whole purpose, really.

Oh here comes Svetlana from Luxembourg with "Cours Apres le Temps" - which I think is French for "I Was Drunk When I Put These Drapes On And Walked Out Of The House." The hair - the hair - too much hair - or not enough - I'm undecided. The only thing I like is the blue eyeshadow and the male backup singers - but then I've always have a thing for men in white ties and blue slacks, I guess. Oh and she came 6th. I expect the judges were dazzled by the slacks as well.

Oh dear. I need a drink for this next one. It's "Adieu" by Jahn Teigen and Anita Skorgan from Norway. I mean the song is fine, I suppose, if you like that sort of thing - music, I mean - but the two have about as much chemistry as, well, something with not very much chemistry. The People's Choice Awards, perhaps. But I suppose that's why they're singing "Adieu." Now I'm no judge of piano-banging sluts and poorly coiffed gays, but I'm looking AND seeing, darlings - really I am. They came 12th.

Oh hooray! It's something in English! And the boy is cute! She's a bit like Toni Tennille in a miniskirt. But glancing at him again, oh I can tell they're entirely talented. It's "One Step Further" by Bardo. But somehow they only came 7th. I bet it was because Toni just walked up and couldn't keep her ankle off cutie's shoulder. I mean, I've done that move, darlings, and it takes practice to be able to do it with an appropriate measure of demureness. Oh how disappointing.

Oh I love it! LOVE IT! It's "Hani" by Neco from Turkey, darlings, and it's the gayest gay thing since that time everything was gay! Oh the tuxedo - the hair - the swish of those luscious hips! I'm sorry, darlings, but I'm declaring this my favourite so far. It's artistic AND arousing - which is a sign of true artistry, I find. They came 15th, but then swishing gay hips have made a lot of progress since the show aired - I expect these days they'd win.

Hmmm. It's Kojo from Finland with "Nuku Pemmiin" and they came 18th. Hmmm.
No, I don't like this one. Sure, it sounds like he's telling people to sex him up, but really - the backup band is a nightmare of Charlie Chaplin look-alikes and those red pants are far too loose. I mean, why wear red pants if you make them loose? It's like wearing your thong backwards, darlings - you might attract attention at first, but then once people get a good look, they hardly ever do a follow-up. Let's move on...

Oh. Hmmm. It's "Amour On t'Aime" by Arlette Zola from Switzerland and they came third. THIRD. Well now I'm angry. She's awful - the song is rotten - and those backup singers are ALL wearing underwear, I can just tell. NEXT!

Oooh. OOOOH! That gown is FABULOUS! It's Anna Vissi from Cyprus singing "Mono i Agapi" and she came 5th. Oh and I love the song! It's like Edith Piaf in an off-the-shoulder Halston, darling - I mean, it's really REALLY good! Oh I put her at #1 - she's the sort of singer I like - emotionally damaged, career in free-fall, but looking just absolutely great. I must have that gown. I'm calling Cyprus immediately after this review.

AAAK! Girls in pantsuits! AAAK! Excuse me, darlings - I'll need another drink. (slugs a double back with wild, yet elegant abandon) AAAK! AAAK! It's music to iron your clothes - oh I want to take an iron to those singers - AAAAK! (slugs back another one) Ugh. Okay. I'm getting it together, darlings. Yes. Okay - it's a duo called Chips from Sweden with a song called "Dag Efter Dag" which I can only take to mean "Kill me - kill me now." Oh I can't stand it - I'm turning the volume off til it's over. (LCM begins to hum) Oh now I'm humming that Arlette Zola song again. (hums and hums) Well I don't understand why I'm humming like this. (drinks another drink) Let's get the hell away from those pantsuits - it's messing me up, darlings.

Oh good lord! It's insanity! Oh wait. No. It's "Sonntag" by Mess from Austria. Well it's the perfect name for the group - they're clearly freaking out on speed! They came 9th, but they both probably died of heart attacks before they found out. How strange.

Oh here comes Belgium with "Si Tu Aimes Ma Musique" by Stella. Well Stella, you're dressed in a doiley, that belt belongs in the engine of a 747, and if your hair were any more feathered it would lay an egg. Be thankful for your 4th placing and let's never speak of this again.

Oh my god - it's Catherine Zeta Jones before she started lying about her age. HAHAHAH! Actually, it's Lucia from Spain with "El." She came 10th. Now the interesting thing is the man dancing behind her. I think if you look the term "Eurotrash" up in the dictionary they've got his picture there. Enough - I'm moving on.

You know, I always liked Denmark. They gave us Lego. But then THIS. It's Brixx with "Video Video." They finished 17th, 17th. (LCM sits with a blank, lifeless expression until the song ends)

Hmmm. Oh, I don't know what to think. It's "Halo Halo" by Aska from Yugoslavia. Remember Yugoslavia, darlings? Well if not, this is why. Part of me wants to buy these girls a drink and talk about the outfits, the hair and the "choreography." Yes, especially the choreography. I think we know now where the Church Lady got her dance. So part of me wants to ask and ask - but then part of me now wants to fling myself down an elevator shaft instead, so I guess I'll compromise and just see who's next.

Ooh - I like this next guy - he's from Israel - a country I love and plan to visit one day when they change that law that says I can't. He came 2nd and I guess he's Avi Toledano - he's singing "Hora" - which, in an unrelated aside, I must admit to having been called more than a few times at the Boom Boom Rooms, darlings. Oh he's cute. The backup singers are very - well I don't care about them. He's cute. After I call Cyprus for that gown, I'm getting Tel Aviv on the blower. Yum!

Well it's Bill Van Dijk from the Netherlands with "Jij en Ik" - and that's what I'm saying too - IK! AWFUL! No. Wait. Awful. Awful. Wonderful. No - wait - oh my god, that drummer lady winked at me twice - I'm so irretreviably gay now, darlings, I can't begin to tell you. They came 16th, but - well - you have to see them dance, darlings - they all dance - even the musicians - and it's so charmingly abysmal, I hate to give them a bad review, so I won't. It's really, really, really, super, ummm, okay. Blink. Blink. Oh I just shuddered. God forgive me, but they should have been the lounge act on the Love Boat, sweeties - it would have been magic.

Oh no. Poor Ireland. This was before the peace and prosperity, darlings. It's The Duskeys with "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" - and let's hope today is tomorrow, because they're absolute crap. They came 11th.

Oh. It's over. Oh. OH! WHAT? This last girl won?! WHAT?!?! (checking notes) Oh. (looking again) Well then. (blank stare) Ummm. Hmmm. Okay, it's Nicole from Germany - I assume it would have been West Germany at the time - and she's trilling "Ein Bisschen Frieden" - which I think is German for "I slept with all the judges." Well I just don't know how to express my feelings right now, darlings. Eich Bein Une Swindled Reviewer, if this is the pot of gold at the end. I mean god - she's got really, really, REALLY bad hair. I can't even even call it hair. It's a couch throw. It's a plant hanger. It's a hammock. But it is NOT a hairdo. Oh this stands as the greatest injustice of modern times, darlings - she beat that cute boy from Israel! GOD!

Storming Off In Complete Outrage


I sat back on the seat, enjoying the suppleness of the limo's Corinthian leather. Across from me, Fabulanna's academician of all things theatrical smirked at me. Next to him was Cheryl, Frank's lawyer and the fiercest of legal eagles. She didn't look nearly as comfortable as her client; I had to wonder if Frank knew that Cheryl and I had gotten loaded one night and she told me all about his weekend habit of dressing up like Gloria Swanson and shooting at his manservant Ted with a BB gun. It was just a mercy that Frank's mansion didn't have a pool.

"So there was something you wanted to say to me?" I quipped.

"I did," Frank said, toying with a chestnut curl.

"And that is?"

"Drop your investigation. Now."

I chuckled. "Oh, come on, Frank -- you'll have to do better than that."

The professor's already arched eyebrow approached his hairline. "As you wish. Drop your investigation now, or I will be slapping you with a lawsuit for slander that will take every dime you have and put a lien on your income for the foreseeable future. You'll be doing training manuals for Motel 6 again before you can say, "We'll leave the light on for you."

Cheryl gave me a "what can I do?" shrug. Now this was more like it. "I'm curious," I said, buffing my nails on my trenchcoat. "When exactly did I slander you?"

"When you started nosing around the Lone Star Gym, intimating that it has some nefarious connection to the missing mimes. You do know that I'm part owner, of course."

"Of course," I said, lying baldly. "I didn't think it would take you this long to get in touch with me, however."

Frank glared at me like Britney Spears facing down a psychiatric nurse. "You try mounting a production of Antigone with an all-dwarf cast and see how much spare time you have," he snapped. "Which is beside the point -- I want you to stop interfering with my place of business. The Lone Star Gym is a fixture of Fabulanna and provides a necessary service to anyone who wishes to maintain a lean, trim figure."

"Or wishes to hook up with anonymous gymrats in its fabled locker room," I added. "By the way, is the Sling of Outrageous Fortune still set up?"

Frank's nostrils flared to an impressive width. "More slander."

Cheryl sighed. "As your attorney, I must advise you that proving slander on this particular point will be very difficult, considering the pictorial spread you authorized last year for Fabulanna Living," she said. "In which the Sling was prominently featured. Against my advice, if you remember."

Frank's mouth pursed tighter than Betty Bower's hoo-hoo. "It was supposed to be described as a chiropractic device," he muttered. "I had no idea they were going to photograph Manuel in the Arrow position."

"We were saying something about slander?" I chirped brightly.

With a visible effort, Frank got his emotions under control. "This is your final warning, ZanZan," he gritted. "Go do something useful for a change, and forget about those ridiculous mimes. No one will miss them, I assure you."

Somehow, I doubted that. The silent little devils in their striped tunics and jaunty berets were as much a fixture of the Fabulanna landscape as the Boom Boom Room and the Rose Chateau. "What about Carrot Top?"

An odd look crossed Frank's face, a mélange of fear and hopefulness. "I'd advise giving him a wide berth," he said, his voice dropping. "Of course, if he disappeared from the face of the island I wouldn't exactly cry, especially if he took his little buddy Joe with him."

That was strange. While they weren't bosom buddies, I didn't know of any problems between the professor and Fabulanna's sports expert. "A lot of people seem to have an issue with Joe these days," I mused. "Did he screw up a point spread for you or what?"

Both Frank and Cheryl looked confused. "What are you talking about?"

"Well, you're talking smack about Joe, so I just wondered--"

A light dawned, and it wasn't the rosy glow in the east. "Oh, dear God. You really don't know whom you're dealing with, do you?" Frank muttered, turning a pasty white. "I'm talking about--"

A metallic BOOM threw me forward into my seat belt as my hosts lurched back in their seats, grasping for the Jesus bars. "What in the name of Harold Pinter!" Frank screeched. "Cheryl, get ready to sue the ass off whoever hit my limo!"

I leaned forward, peering past the dazed Milo at the starred windshield. Beyond, a large shape waited patiently. This really wasn't turning out to be my night.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Give Ellen Page something nice, dammit!

A Best Actress Oscar, an island somewhere in the Caribbean, her own talk show, I don't care. All I know is that I would gladly go through multiple rounds of in vitro fertilization, including the special joy that is having a cold metallic duckbill shoved up my hoo-hoo, if it meant I would eventually spawn a daughter as witty, verbal and eminently together as Page's Juno MacGuff.

Better yet, she's in an upcoming movie with Dennis "Not nearly as much of an asshole as Randy" Quaid and the gruffly divine Thomas Haden Church, something about an uptight academician father with a Young Republican daughter and an adopted brother who drives him up the wall by breathing. I don't care about the plot, to be honest -- I just want more Ellen Page. She's the berries!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday's Pretty Picture

Sunny weather & nursery shopping were the
highlights of my day today.
What a lovely winter we're having!
I love Seattle!

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A Very Special Playlist

Since the gala for Princess I've been toying with the idea of creating a playlist incorporating some of the songs from the musical program (I really can take only so much ALW) plus songs that have always made me think of her or have come to make me think of her (for any number of reasons). It's taken a while, but I've finally come up with a first draft (more will be added, undoubtedly). So, without further ado, here it is:

Ride of the Valkyries - Adrian Boult

Princess - Jennifer Hale (The Powerpuff Girls)

A Whole New World - Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle

Vissi d'arte - Leontyne Price

Pure Imagination - Jane Monheit

Just An Old Fashioned Girl - Eartha Kitt

Practically Perfect - Laura-Michelle Kelly

O Mio Babbino Caro - Sissel

Personality - Pearl Bailey

One Day More - Matthew Morrison

Whatever Lola Wants - Sarah Vaughan

Nessun Dorma - Luciano Pavarotti

Why Do The Wrong People Travel? - Elaine Stritch

I Love Being Here With You - Peggy Lee

In These Shoes (Q Mix) - Kirsty MacColl

Music Of The Night - Barbra Streisand & Michael Crawford

Lime Jell-O Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise - Joan Morris & William Bolcom

To Keep My Love Alive, Parts 1 & 2 - Vivienne Segal

For Good - Idina Menzel & Kristen Chenoweth

Der Holle Rache - Donna Robin

Don't Touch My Tomatoes - Joséphine Baker

Weekend in the Country - Original London Cast

In This Life - Bette Midler

She (Tous les visages de l'amour) - Don Sheppard

This Is Heaven To Me - Madeleine Peyroux

Bumble Boogie - B Bumble & The Stingers

Hard-Hearted Hannah - Ella Fitzgerald

Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again - Claire Moore

Coffee, Chocolate & Men - Jen Rathbun

Judi Dench - Forbidden Broadway: 2001 A Spoof Odyssey

A Little Brains, a Little Talent - Andrea Burns

Summertime - Leontyne Price

Diamonds Are Forever (Mantronik 007 Mix) - Shirley Bassey

Daddy - Kristin Chenoweth

You're The First, The Last, My Everything - Barry White

Caro mio ben - Cecilia Bartoli

A Spoonful of Julie - Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back

Paree - Beatrice Lillie

She's Got A Way [live] - Billy Joel

There Will Never Be Another You - Count Basie & Joe Williams

Aquarius - The Actors' Fund of America Benefit Recording

You're Just In Love - Ethel Merman & Donald O'Connor

It's Today - Angela Lansbury

My Heart Belongs To Daddy - Eartha Kitt

Kept Boy - Marc Almond

Time to Say Goodbye - Sarah Brightman

Anyone care to dance?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday's Pretty Picture

I love art. I love shopping.

Visit this website & buy something.

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Video Flashback

It's Jermaine Stewart with "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off." Yeah, but I'm sure it helps nonetheless.

I mean, "Just slow down if you want me/A man wants to be approached cool & romantically" -- really? In Bizarro World?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday's Pretty Picture

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why so many courtroom shows on TV?

When a friend told me he might be appearing on the Judge Alex show, my first thought was, "Judge Who?" Then he told me he thinks Judge Alex is hot. So I thought I'd set the DVR and record one of his shows. Sure, it would've been easier to search for a picture online, but I'm not that smart. So I checked the daytime TV listings and discover a whole cornucopia of these shows on the local Fox and CW stations.

From 10 am to 2 pm the CW has nonstop episodes of Judge Mathis, Judge Maria Lopez, Judge David Young (he's gay, by the way -- and his tag line is "Justice With A Snap!"), and The People's Court, which is also on from 5 to 6 pm.

Fox, meanwhile, counters with a five-hour court block, including one or more episodes of Judge Hatchett, Divorce Court, Cristina's Court (Huh? Not Judge Cristina?), Judge Joe Brown and Judge Judy. If that's not enough, Judge Hatchett gets a re-air at the wonderful time of 4 am.

Clearly, this is why our judicial system is such a mess. All the best, brightest judges head for TV Land.

Oddly, the local station that used to be the WB affiliate and is now a MyNetwork station (did MyNetwork come before MySpace? And why is the local Fox station's website known as Shouldn't someone have copyrighted the use of the word "My" by now?) has no court TV shows. They just have to make do with multpile episodes of Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, Montel Williams, Steve Wilkos (who used to be "Director of Security" for Springer, which obviously qualifies one to become a host), and Cheaters.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Our Dangerous World

No Place is Safe Any More!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

'The Hottie' is nottie

Paris Hilton's "The Hottie and the Nottie" hit the multiplexes this weekend. Well, a few multiplexes. According to Box Offfice Mojo, it was only on 111 screens and earned a grand total of $27,696 -- or $249 per screen. That's an average of $83 per screen per day -- if you assume 4 showings per day on each screen, that would mean about $21 per showing, or an average of two to three people in the theater each time, depending on the price of the ticket. I'm no expert, but that's not very good.

It's just less of me to love

Back on November 12th I started a diet. Because of a discount I was able to get through the federal employees union I was in when I worked for the government, I signed up for NutriSystem. The way I figured it, having all foods pre-packaged (except for fruit/vegetable/dairy items you're supposed to add yourself) would be easiest since I'm not exactly one for cooking. I can microwave with the best of them, though. :P

I actually only bought two months' worth of NutriSystem -- the minimum number I needed to get in order to get my discount as well as the extra meals they included each month with two months' worth of orders. (And for the record, overall their food is adequate at best. Some items are decent, some are not very good, and for the love of all that is holy, if you're going to try NutriSystem customize your order and avoid the so-called "beef" patties!) So I'm not eating their food anymore. I'm sort of following their plan, though, eating breakfast/lunch/dinner entrees and morning, afternoon and evening snacks, with my own modifications of having a salad with lunch and dinner and two bananas a day, one with breakfast and one later in the day.

I really never needed NutriSystem, though. What I've learned is something that I pretty much always knew but never applied: if you want to lose weight, don't eat so much. Smaller portions. Don't eat all fatty foods and fast food and such. Drink lots of water. If you drink milk drink nonfat milk. Don't drink lots of soda, especially if it's not diet soda. This is something I never thought I could handle. I've always hated diet soda and anything less than 2 percent milk. But since I started this I've had nothing but nonfat milk and have no soda at all at home -- and if I'm out, it's been almost always diet soda.

It's not like I'm denying myself completely. For Christmas my mom made me a ceramic Santa Claus boot. Inside the boot was a bag of Hershey's Kisses and a bag of M&M's. I just followed the label and ate a few at a time as one of my daily snacks. And if you saw me at Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner or, more recently, my niece's birthday party, you'd never know I was dieting by the way I ate those days. ;-)

Okay, so by now you're probably wondering about my weight. When I started, I weighed 261 lbs., which surprised me because for years I've been pretty much in a range between 265 and 280 or so. As of today, I'm down to 230.8 (it's a digital scale) -- a loss of slightly over 30 lbs. in three months. And I've been dropping at a slow and steady rate. I weigh myself every Monday and my weekly loss has always fallen between 1.4 and 3.4 lbs., except for one week where I gained 0.8 -- that Saturday night I was watching a football game at a sports bar with a friend from out of town, and had a big dinner and a Long Island iced tea. I'm guessing the drink contained a lot of calories. After the first week I only lost 2.8 lbs., and I was a bit let down, actually. I thought I'd lose a lot more in the first week. But it adds up.

I wish I had taken a picture before I started, for a before-and-after comparison. I should try to find and scan a picture of me that was taken many years ago at Disney World...yikes. I used to joke that the baby was due any day now.

I still need to get more exercise, though. I try to get out and walk a bit, and I've hopped on my exercise bike a few times recently (first time in years), but I can do better in that department. Still, I'm happy. I feel like I can lose more -- I don't really have a set target weight, which I think goes against what the experts advise, but I figure the closer I get to 200 the happier I'll be -- and I feel that I can keep it off.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Looks like writers' strike over

The tentative agreement between the union and studios will be voted on by the full membership on Tuesday at meetings in New York and Los Angeles. The leadership of the writers' guild is recommending the agreement be approved.

This is good news for the Oscar telecast, of course. And it might be good if the networks can get a few more new episodes of their hits before the season ends -- there's some speculation that at least some shows might just hold off until the fall. But it seems to me that it's not going to stem the "reality" TV tide any time soon. Those shows are cheaper to make and enough people watch them to make them profitable. So in the future we can look forward to more shows like "Are You Smarter Than A 5th-Grade Bachelorette Hooked Up To A Lie Detector While Dancing With Stars And Being Made A Supermodel?"

Sunday's Pretty Picture

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Saturday's Pretty Picture

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Helpful Tips

Attend the Tale of Sweeney Floyd, the Dimwit Barber of Mayberry

Survivor: Fans vs. Faves

So, I finally caught up with the latest Survivor's premiere, and I wanted some feedback:

Who has the hottest body? James? Jason? Matthew McConnaughey (I had to watch an ad for "Fools Gold" at every commercial break).

Who's cutest?

Are we really supposed to believe that Kathy's never had a gay friend or seen implants before when she looks that much like a transexual?

Which fave are you in the biggest hurry to say godbye to?

Which fan stands the best chanced of outwitting, outplaying and whatever else it is that they have to be out about?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday's Pretty Picture

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Academy Awards Marathon

We've decided to see all the films that are nominated for best picture. I've already discussed No Country for Old Men and gave it two thumbs and great toes way up. However, my second film, There Will Be Blood doesn't even get a pinky mention.

Personally, I could have taken that script and made a better film. They didn't connect dots or develop conflicts. It was so @ing tedious, and not even static in a good way like My Dinner With Andre. I keep reading that Daniel Day Lewis's perfomance has been cited as the best performance in the history of cinema. NOT!! Don't give me that lame "character study" excuse. When he had worked that for all he could wring out of it, he just started gnawing on the scenery for effect. The evangelist was a watered-down Elmer Gantry. Nothing new, no progress. The cinematography was quite good though.

On a ten point scale, I give No Country for Old Men a 12 and There Will Be Blood a 2.

So today, we took in Atonement. It's not quite in No Country territory, but it's much better than There Will Be Blood. It was a hard watch because I'd read the book. There were no surpises until the last fifteen minutes because it was slavishly loyal to the book until the end, and there lies the rub. El wrongo. The book's ending was vastly superior. I wouldn't have minded it being less loyal to the book throughout, but why change the ending to something less satisfactory? Keira Knightley looked like a bag of bones in the film. She needs to keep to period pieces where she wears a bunch of petticoats. All in all, though, I'd give it an 8.

We're catching Juno next week. I heard it's "quirky", which isn't exactly my cup of tea. I've also heard, "charming," which is the label I might give America Ferrerra in Ugly Betty, but I don't pay to see that. Our final film is Michael Clayton. That's coming out on DVD next week, and we'll probably rent it.

Personally, I've enjoyed the TCM Oscar nominated films that they've been showing on their annual marathon better than most of the stuff I've seen this year. Something that's even more dispiriting is that, except for Juno, the majority of nominated films aren't making much money. Pretty soon, we'll be choosing between Rambo 9 and Porky's 12 since the more moronic the film, the more money it makes.

Today's lesson

Be sure to win the race before you actually celebrate.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Eli Stone

Why, sweet Jesus of life, why! My three hour bout with dentistry earlier this week was less painful.

And Johnny Lee Miller isn't even taking off his shirt this week!

Winehouse allowed in USA? No, no, no!

The representatives for Amy Winehouse now say she won't attend the Grammys because she was denied a visa by the U.S. Embassy. Does this mean our government frowns upon being caught on video smoking crack? I'm shocked.

Update: She will perform on the Grammy telecast, but via satellite. There's some good news, at least.

He's gay! I mean, blind!

Stick to the teleprompter, sweetie...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We're Trying

After prolonged discussions with DH, we've decided to adopt.

A puppy, I mean.

I stumbled across a breeder of Standard Poodles in Fraser Valley, BC, Canada, that's breeding them as real working dogs instead of those frail show critters, and not line breeding, either, but actually crossing unrelated Standard Poodles. These are the pooches I remember from my childhood (we had five, total); thick, sturdy dogs with brains and personality.
Such a face:

We're hoping for a boy, of course, but we want to be surprised.
Wish us luck!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

iTunes Q

How many songs total: 29,945
How many hours or days of music: 78.8 days

Most recently played: "Half A Heart" by Jill Sobule
Most played: "Watching Without Words" by Alexander Schultz
Most recently added: "Emotional Rescue"

Sort by song title
First Song: "A-Hunting We Will Go" by Hem
Last Song: "99.9 F°" by Suzanne Vega

Sort by time
Shortest Song: "Interlude: Let's Dance" by Janet Jackson :04
Longest Song: "I'm Sorry That I Got Fat" by the Wesley Willis Fiasco 32:15

Sort by album
First album: "ABBA" by ABBA
Last album: "99.9 F°" by Suzanne Vega

First song that comes up on Shuffle: "Somebody Stand By Me" by Stevie Nicks

Search the following and state how many songs come up:
Death - 19
Life - 448
Love - 2,658
Hate – 84
You - 3,944
Sex – 117

An iTunes shuffle Dirty Dozen

I know it's been less than a week since I last posted a shuffle list but what the hey. At least it's the first one in February. And when song number twelve came on I decided to expand the list past ten. ;-)

The Wings (from Brokeback Mountain) (dance mix) - Gustavo Santaolalla
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman - Aretha Franklin
Hang On - Alexander O'Neal
I'm Still In Love With You - Al Green
Nobody's Perfect - Madonna
Spring Love - Stevie B.
Heaven Must Have Sent You - Bonnie Pointer
The Other Side - Scissor Sisters
Latest Fashion - Prince and The Time
Our House - Madness
One Better World (Pickering-Park Mix) - ABC
The Walk - Eurythmics

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl commercials

Is it just me or are the ads getting dumber and less entertaining each year? The "funny" ones aren't funny and the rest are just dull. I got a brief laugh at the Bud Light ad where the guy was flying and then got sucked into the jet engine. Then, at the very end, there he was in an airport alive and reasonably well instead of hacked into pieces like Shary Bobbins on "The Simpsons." That ruined it for me. I'm not sure the ad agencies are even trying any more.

College football player naked!

Riley Skinner's a quarterback for the football team at Wake Forest University. Silly boy photographed himself naked and now it's on the Internet. Perhaps that was his plan all along?

Here's a link!

Strictly as a public service, of course.

Well, maybe they don't need them, but don't you think that some fish might like a bicycle?


Sunday's Pretty Picture

Rice A Roni is not the San Francisco treat.

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Good news for Oscars?

Entertainment Weekly reports on its website that a deal may have been reached to end the writers' strike. That would allow the Oscar show to go on with the stars not having to cross a picket line, and with all of that scripted banter intact.

On second thought, I don't know if this is good news or not.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Saturday's Pretty Picture

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Gosh, Celebrities Are Just Like Us!

They have feelings, just like we do. They even cry.

During his performance at the Paris Hilton hosted, pre-Super Bowl party for 944 magazine last night, 50 Cent gave a shout out to Paris, who then started singing in the front row.When the princess decided to get onstage and dance, the hip-hopper quickly instructed her to "Get the f**k off the stage." She started to cry and tried to plead with the party's production staff to let her dance, whining, "But it's my party!"

Friday's Pretty Picture

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please contact the poster.