Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I Love New York

Warning: Fighting Nun, for the sake of our marriage, your sanity and for the love of little green apples, you shouldn't read this post. It will cause the mother of all eye-rolls, the likes of which we might never recover from. So don't read it. Save yourself the agony.

It should come as no surprise to the people that know me that I'm watching this. Yes it's awesomely bad. Yes it's probably a total waste of time (The operative word in that sentence is probably). But yet I'm still watching it. It ain't pretty. We all know that, but it sure is cheesetastic, which is all I ask of TV that panders to the knuckle-dragging denomenation of our society (in other words, me basically). New York has lost it. Actually, given that I didn't watch Flavor of Love or Flavor of Love 2, I have no idea if she had it to begin with, but damn. Girl Crazy is what I'm saying. But that's besides the point.

The thing I want to know, the one burning question I have right now is; How in the effing hell is Mr. Boston staying in the game? No, seriously? How in God's green earth has Vanilla Ica made it this far? I'm speechless, absolutely dumbstruck. Have you seen this guy? He looks like his momma is dressing him for prep school, all he's missing are the penny loafers and a briefcase. The first time I saw him and heard him talk, I was reminded of somebody I went to elementary school with, all prim hair and stiff collared shirts and a stick up his but so far he might as well become a puppet in a ventriliquist act. Actually, and this is a very bad association, he reminds me of the kid with the tragic hair, the collared shirts and the briefcase in Max Keeble's Big Move (Yes I saw that movie... every time it was on cable. No I have no good reason why. Look, would you accept that I really liked to watch Jamie Kennedy get his just desserts over and over and over again? No? Fine. I have no good excuse. I'm a pop culture knuckle dragger. Somebody's gotta be the voice of the bottom 5%. Might as well be me. Can we move on?). You know the kid I'm talking about, big teeth, the hair parted in the way that suggests his mother parts his hair every morning? (I couldn't find a picture of this kid, both Google images and Imdb left me out to dry, but if you saw the movie, you'd get what I'm talking about, or maybe you won't. Who knows at this point.) Yeah. I think Mr. Boston and that kids are kindred spirits, siblings even.

Mr. Boston's absolutely tragic, but he's absolutely tragic on the opposite side of the spectrum in which New York and all the other contestants are absolutely tragic. I mean, they are all trainwrecks. That's a given, but everybody else is the worst parts of Blind Date, The Fifth Wheel, Love Cruise and Joe Millionare kind of tragic and Mr. Boston is Beauty and the Geek, Revenge of the Nerds kind of tragic and those two worlds can never, should never meet. And if they do meet? Well the meeting shouldn't last long, is what I'm saying. In normal reality tv show.... well reality, he would've lasted all of an episode but in the crazy la-la land of VH-1 reality, he's lasted three episodes. Three!! Somewhere in Los Angeles, the very fabric of space and time was rended open and soon, very very soon, we'll all be sucked in and life as we know it will cease to exist. Thanks alot New York. Thanks alot Mr. Boston.

And was anybody as grossed as I was to watch those two kiss? I mean, the lap dance was one thing. I could watch that through my fingers but I could laugh at the same time with a kind of dettached interest, all 'Yeah he just humped her on national TV, but he'll be gone soon so it's o.k. to point and laugh.' But then he didn't go, and he still hasn't gone, and I have no idea what to do, how to react now. I'm just utterly mortified at this point. And I really don't think he's got much of a chance from this point on, I mean unless everybody else totally screws up, he's pretty much toast the next elimination right? Right? Please God let me be right, because if those two end up together, I will actually have no context for how the world works.

Actually, I totally take that back. They should totally end up together. They should have a televised wedding involving cheetah print bridesmaid dresses, pleather tuxedo pants, a wedding dress that has little LED lights on it, Sister Patterson officiating in powder blue satin suit, smoking a cigarette, and Mr. Boston humping New York's grandmother at the reception. If anything less happens, the fabric of space and time really will be rended open and life really will end as we know it.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Bloody Munchkin's Media Consumption

Watched - Don't even get me started on this movie. I mean, I wanted to kill Madonna's character in this, just out and outright strangle her for her selfishness and utter self absorbtion. I didn't catch the first half of the movie, but the last half didn't intentionally make her out as a beholden bitch, but that's how she came across. She abandon's her friendship for Benjiman Bratt's character, blames her best friend for forcing that upon her, then he sues for custody of what he thought was his biological son, finds out, rather cruelly that it was not his son, which means she had lied to him about his involvement in the conception of what he thought was his son. There were just several moves, up to and including the trial that were just utterly mean, which made me question the point of the movie to begin with. I mean the performances were great, but story and plot itself seemed sort of sadistic and sad. Wouldn't reccomend it.

Watched - Liked it, but it was effing too long. You had the set up, the punchline and that's where it should've ended, but instead it went on for another 15-20 minutes trying to make its point, which was what, exactly? The Uma, Meryl friendship had absolutely no pay off, and the end of the relationship had no pay off either. The movie just couldn't figure itself out and I in turn couldn't figure it out. And one other thing... Bryan Greenberg was pretty cute, but, o.k., so he's the same age as me, and I'm supposed to believe he's 23 in the movie? Given, the movie was shot in 2004 and released in 2005, but still, that puts him at 26, 25 at the least... and you make him 23? Ooooookay. It's just odd is all.

Watched - Good. Really good. Hard to take at times, but utterly interesting and gripping. Del Toro holds nothing back, both visually and in the story telling and it ultimately pays off. I totally recommend it. Not much else I can say really...

Listening To - Everyone must own The Cold War Kids album Robbers and Cowards. So good, so textured, such an interesting narrative. I don't know of many bands out there that would create a song about laundry and sing said song with as much conviction as they have.

Anxiously Awaiting Release Of - I must get this album in my grubby little fingers. I must have eet now!!! I love Silent Alarm. Some of the songs on that album were so haunting that I'd keeping thinking about them after I listened to them. I can't wait for this album. The song getting radio play is really good.

Reading - I'm about halfway through and I'm hooked. The characters are very layered and lived in. The story itself is gripping, part horror, part character-based drama, part folk-tale. My only nitpick is that the author seems to rely on his little trick of only partly revealing the action in one chapter and the expositioning the same action later on in the next chapter. I get that he doesn't want to play the cards all at once as far as the action is concerned, but so far he happens to rely on telling and not showing a little too heavily. Still, a good satisfying read so far. Can I just say that I love Mrs. Laracy? I'm assuming all her backstory is going to lead to something, what I'm not sure yet, but she's gotten such an interesting, textured life that I could just immerse myself in it. It's my very limited opinion that we don't focus in on the narrative of our grandmother's and the women that came before them enough. Sure, their stories are littered throughout some literary works, but I don't think we've heard their voices, their stories enough either in books, on T.V. or in the movies.

I sometimes forget how much I love to read. Sometimes I'll read a string of books back to back, four or five at a time, and then I'll go for a long time without reading a single thing. Fighting Nun commented on this, something about TV getting in the way or something? That my affinity for bad MTV shows is deterring me from loftier pursuits? I have no idea what he's talking about.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The American Idol Debate

Let me preface what I'm sure is about to become a long winded post by saying that Fighting Nun and I are not avid fans and we only ever watch the show for the parade of dillusionment that marches in front of the judges and therefore onto our tv so there might be some things that an avid fan of the show might know off-hand that we have no clue about. So if the resulting diatribe seems as if we don't know what we're talking about in regards to American Idol, that's because... we don't.

So, remember last night, almost at the very close of the episode, they had the parade of deluded contestants 'sing' Don't Cha and it was generally very painful, but you had to give it up to some of those people because they didn't bail out. They should've, but they didn't. Even the uncomfortable-looking, collar-shirted-wearing, eyebrow-tweeze-needing, unfortunate-haircut-having, guy who lives in Utah put in the extra effort, for reasons that were inexplicable to us. So Fighting Nun raised the question if that was filmed before or after the audition of each and every one of these people, which I had no good answer for. Fighting Nun theororized that said 'singing' happened after their auditions, which had him convinced that said contestants had to have been paid to make another appearance after having been thoroughly demoralized by a pasty English guy and an over-the-hill has-been who is obviously self-medicating.

To which I countered that these poor poor souls couldn't have possbily been paid because any and all money related to contestant relations was obviously being put to Paula's ever increasing bar tab (although I heard this morning that she doesn't drink, which I want to call bullshit on but the theory that she's mixing hardcore anti-depressants into whatever happens to be in her strategically placed coca-cola cup is still viable) so they can't possibly be paying the contestants. That arguement seemed to subdue Fighting Nun enough but he wasn't swayed that the Don't Cha montage was filmed on a different day than the contestant's auditions. Which I can't refute. Apparantly the afforementioned Needs-a-Tweeze guy was wearing a different collored shirt in the musical montage than he wore for his audition. Leaving out the possible hypothesis that Needs-a-Tweeze required a costume change from one collared shirt to another collared shirt, we can only assume that the auditions and musical numbers performed by the hearing challenged were taped on different days.

But that seems odd to me because they were in the interview room, the room I once thought was only used for the sole purpose of allowing the banished contestants a place where they could vent and explain to the world how they were misunderstood and that they had true *talent* and Simon, that poor mean bastard and the other judges just didn't *see* it. So I automatically assumed they were asked to sing their little hearts out to the tune of Don't Cha once their auditions were conducted. Am I wrong about that? Does the room of a thousand shattered dreams have a duel purpose as a makeshift Kareoke room of badness? Because if so, that room just went up in my estimation.

But our question still stands. When were the contestants asked to their best Pussycat Dolls impression? Before or after their auditions? Inquiring minds want to know. We demand, you supply. If you read this blog and actually have an answer, please answer the question in the comments, or e-mail me. I'm curious. Otherwise, this'll just be an unanswered rant floating out in the eather. Also, if you can enlighten us if any of the contestants get paid for their participation or if the money does indeed go to medicating Paula, I'd appreciate that insight too.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Sock Drawer

Every year or so I feel compelled to have a come to Jesus meeting with the sock drawer. It's not that I particularly want to, but I have to in order to exert some control over the particular breed of chaos that lies therein. It is anarchy, complete and utter anarchy. I mean, the sock drawer looks like a greek orgy at the best of times and a riot in the streets at the worst of times, certain argyle socks trying to escape out the side, for fear of being strangled by the white ankle sports socks that are angry and hate all the fancy argyles. So every once and awhile I feel compelled to bring peace and order to the inhabitants of Sockville. But I hate doing it because it never ends well.

This is how it usually goes; I finish all the laundry and put everything away. In the process of putting everything away, I look down at the sock drawer and sigh in resignation. I throw all the socks in the sock drawer onto the top of the dresser and start pulling the freshly cleaned socks from the laundry basket at the same time, playing the match game to the best of my ability. I look a sock over and realize that the hole in the heel is too big to wear ever again and set it aside, realizing that I'll have to perform last rights on poor Mr. Sockersons over there and possible his mate if I can find it. I start feeling sorry for the socks whose mate I can't find, because I realize that if I can't find the other sock, I'm going to perform last rights on them too, which feels horrible. I consider a viking funeral for the socks I must say goodbye to, since they were mighty warriors who performed honorably for Fighting Nun and myself. Then I finish unloading the laundry and do a tally of the remaining socks without partners. I then go into a bout of denial all "Oh, I'm sure I'll find the sock somewhere. Maybe it's in the last load or, maybe I stuffed it in a shoe, or Fighting Nun and I got into one of our sock wars (basically, Fighting Nun rubs his smelly sock in my face at the end of the day, and then I try to do the same back and then it just degrades into us throwing socks at each other for a full five minutes. Yes, we have a very mature relationship. How could you tell?) and the sock got traumatized and decided to hide from both of us after the affair, but maybe it's still around and I can pair it with the other sock. Maybe the sock trolls will return it. I'll tell myself anything not to throw away that poor sock without a mate. So I hold the partnerless socks back, all 'Maybe I'll find the other one of these days'. But then I'm paralyzed with indecision as to what to do with the remaining mateless socks. So the viking funeral is out, what do I do next? I can't just put them back in the drawer because I'll forget about their plights and how lonely it is out there in sockville for one sock and then they'll be all alone and bitter about being isolated. They won't have a purpose in life because you can't very well just put on one sock, I mean really. And they know that and they know they'll just be left alone in the sock drawer, never warn, never used again and then they'll get violent and angry at the other partnered socks and decide to take it out on them and they're part of the reason the sock drawer devolves into anarchy in the first place, that and the militant white sports socks with the little gold stiching at the toe. They really hate their lot in life.

But I can't just leave them on top of the dresser, because that's like having their situation being put under a spotlight, all 'I'm alone up here and without my sock lover and now that message is being broadcast to the entire room' and you just know that the panties in the half-open pantie drawer are all laughing and snickering in their schoolgirl tone of theirs all 'Did you see Beige Joe without his other sock? Tee Hee, that is sooo wrong. Now he won't have anyone to go with to the Sadie Hawkins dance.", because panties are cruel that way, and let's face it, thongs are cruel in a whole series of ways, they might as well be cruel in that high school popular girl way too. So leaving them on top of the drawer is out. Making sock puppets is a consideration, but who do sock puppets entertain in this day and age anyway? Well besides me, because having my own Robot Chicken Sock Puppet theater is pretty entertaining but I have no audience for it and the dog certainly does not get my jokes. I just don't understand how my sock puppet rendition of Pulp Fiction fails to entertain my dog.

So I put them back in the drawer, defeated and sad. I perform the last rights on one Mr. Sockersons with the heel hole and I look back in on the sock drawer mornfully, hoping a riot or an orgy doesn't break out for at least a few days. The argyles need peace restored for at least a little while. Poor argyles.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Movie Review: Proof

Fighting Nun and I caught this the other night after missing most of the ending to The Ringer (I Know) and grumpily acknowledging that we'll actually have to watch The Ringer in its entirety now to watch the ending (I. Know.) I'll save you the details and just say that it is as stupid as it looks. So we watched Proof. I remember hearing about it but didn't know what to expect. It sounded simplistic but good. I have to say it was good. Infuriatingly good. I mean, you know for a big chunk of the time that they, with the exception of Jake Gylenhaal, are all playing unsympathetic characters, but they are playing the characters sympathetically, you know? I mean, everyone in the cast, from Anthony Hopkins, Gwynet to Hope Davis put the work in, made the characters what they were, instead of utterly unlikable characatures. I detested Hope Davis's character, but I could see where she was coming from, what her angle was, because Hope Davis made it obvious while still being subtle. Gwyneth, for her part, was brilliantly neurotic. I mean it was infuriating in parts, but it was endearing. The part where she and Jake are getting it on in her bedroom during her father's funeral after-party and she stops and starts kissing him and then, right as they're really getting into it, she cries? I haven't seen such a saddenly neurotic coital performance since Jane Fonda in Stanley and Iris.

I was kind of tired of the story jumping back and forth in time because at the very end it didn't really give us anything we didn't already know. If it wanted us to have a revelation through that last jumpback, well then it failed. That last bit with Anthony Hopkins just felt flat. Spoiler alert: I mean, I don't think I bought that she never wrote the proof. Somehow, I just believed from the beginning that she was capable of it and that Anthony's character was not, so the ending revelation that she did write it just didn't feel like a revelation at all.

And I've pretty much avoided this up until now, but I think it's worth noting. Well it's probably not worth noting but I'm going to note it anyway... Jake Gylenhaal in this role? Yummy. I mean Wow. Just. I mean... yeah, Wow is all I got. I have always had affections for the cute boys who go for the slightly neurotic girls and he is no exception. I loved his character (He plays drums in a band with other mathmaticians? Awesome!). He was perfect. Yeah Jake!!! More roles like this please! Thank you.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

And I'm back

Sorry for the drought of posts lately. What with the holiday craziness and such, I have had virtually no time to write. There was some vacation time (although, what with all the family and everything, I'd hardly call it a vacation), and when I got back to work, things were even more crazy, so there has been even less time to write and all that good stuff.

I had totally planned to do a Kilt/All things Scottish rock week before I left for vacation, and I couldn't even get that off the ground. I apologize. Like I said, crazy couple weeks. Just for a quick recap, my Christmas vacation/resulting weeks went something like this...

Work, work, work, greet parental units, chouffer the parental units around, Bowl Game, Bowl Game, shopping, Bowl Game, cooking, eatingmstuffing face. Watch In Good Company (which, why didn't somebody tell me about the awesomeness of this movie? I mean, really? Topher Grace was great, which is something I was convinced I would never say about Topher Grace and Dennis Quaid just rocked. Scarlett Johansen was a breath of fresh air and the other surprise in the cast ruled. David Paymer? Glorious.) Unwrap presents, another round of present unwrapping, watch my dad's eyes come out of his socket as he realizes he was given actual tickets to an actual bowl game and actually gets to go to one instead of watching yet another bowl game on TV (that was totally awesome), another bowl game, Stocking opening, driving to Brother-in-law's for another round of present openning, find out from husband that mother-in-law bought me a sewing machine, try to muster up enough enthusiam to fake being happy about getting a sewing machine, realize I'm being over enthusiastic about getting said sewing machine. Fake enthusiasm turns into actual enthusiasm, because the sewing machine turns out to be really nifty, so all and all, its not that bad. Bowl Game, listen to dad try to come up with signs he can wave whilst at actual bowl game he has actual tickets for. Explain to dad that Fighting Nun will take an extended trip to the bathroom followed by an extended trip to the nachos stand followed by an extended trip to the beer stand because Fighting Nun does not want to associate with or be directly related to anyone holding up a sign, foam finger or other signage proving a person's affiliation with a team that might get said person on TV (Not that I'd know this from personal experience or anything. I still can not talk Fighting Nun into buying me a foam finger to save my life). Watch dad think better of making said sign. Do all of this while oldest neice thinks you are walking, talking jungle gym and proceeds to treat as such. Resign yourself to being a walking, talking jungle gym for rest of night. ... ( I actually don't remember what happened on the 26th, I think I fell into a bowl game comma. Seriously people. There are way too many bowl games. When will the madness end?!?!?!) Have a girls day out where you, your mother, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law go drink wine and otherwise get into terrible mischief. Watch Charlotte's Web whilst boys go to actual bowl game instead of watching bowl game on TV. Watch in amazement while your four-year-old niece recites Charlotte's Web pretty much in its entirety from memory. Watch mother-in-law tear up when *Spoiler alert, for those of you who have never read Charlotte's Web, seen the animated version, have not yet seen this version of it, or otherwise live in a rock* Charlotte is about to die, watch niece comfort mother-in-law and tell her its just a movie. Realize you still have a slight buzz on from all the wine earlier in the day. Visit El Diablo Park for the first time and realize that it is a looooong drive. Have parents leave. Clean. Loll around in underwear and watch yet another bowl game and fall into another bowl game comma, get ready for New Years Eve, go to the city, watch the Lovemakers in concert, have an amzing time, walk down some reeeeeaaaaalllllllllyyy sketchy parts of the City to get back to hotel room, have the most digusting experience in transit ever. Loll around in underwear on new years to recuperate from the New Years Eve revelry.

Thus endeth the festivities, thankfully. I am so glad it's all over. Now I can catch up on important stuff like celebrity gossip and being grossed out by whatever Britney Spears is wearing in public now.