Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas to ME!

Posting's light this week since there are no new shows on. But I got one hell of a TV present last night.

I love The Daily Show and Colbert Report, but don't get to watch them very often. For some reason, I recorded them last night and was treated to a smorgasbord of hilarity that was:

Stephen Colbert's Rock and Awe: Countdown to Guitarmageddon!!!

Holy crap was it funny! I thought Colbert's "Pop Culture, it's Crumbelievable!" show was good, but last night's blew it out of the water in scope, ambition, and execution. I never heard about the ongoing "feud" between Stephen and The Decemberists, but it came to a laugh out loud conclusion with the help of several celebrity guests including Rick Nielsen (of Cheap Trick fame) and Peter Frampton, Elliot Spitzer (yes, the soon to be Governor of New York), and Henry Fucking Kissinger!!!

My only complaint was that the guitarist for the Decemberists, Chris Funk, did a really lame guitar solo. Not that he's a shredder by trade, but it helps to use minor scales, dude. Go back to rock school with Yo La Tengo.

If you have the time and bandwith, find the episode online. Brilliant!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Must be a higher power at work

You know that fate, the stars, or the Gods of Blogging are looking at for you when they lead you to an article about adult male circumcision containing a quote from an expert named Dr. Kevin de Cock.

It can't just be an accident! But even considering the benefits of such a procedure, that's not really something I want to think about these days, given my recent work down there. Ouch!

As far as the rest of my life, things are good. Getting ready for the big holiday, if not entirely in the spirit of it all. But I'm no Scrooge. I enjoy it, but I'm not feeling overwhelmed. The real excitement will be when I see my boys open their presents on Christmas morning, and when I do all my gift certificate shopping the week after! Whoohoo!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

OK, I'll give some props

Tonight's Office was great! Michael's "ho" monologue was hilarious. Marking the waitress' arm was classic. Oscar's cameo was a nice touch. And Pam still breaks/melts my heart.

Let's hope they keep it up.

And leave a comment about who you think Michael was on the phone with at the end. If you don't want any spoiler-ish info, then don't read the comments. :-)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Assorted Crap

1. You know those Duracell commercials where they say something like, "If you think it doesn't matter what battery you're using, think about Bon Jovi, who only uses Duracell in his wireless mics. If it's that important to Jon, then shouldn't you use Duracell in your flashlight?" Anyway, I heard a radio commercial yesterday along the lines of, "If you think it doesn't matter what battery you're using, think about the North Pole, where Santa only uses Duracell in all those toys so that they work on Christmas morning." WTF? I understand keeping up the Santa Conceit. Quite honestly, as a parent, I support it. [Which makes the Brady Bunch's almost overt rejection of Santa Claus in the episode when Carol loses her voice before the big church performance all the more disappointing. I mean, most 80s sitcoms I saw as a kid had episodes that made it seem like Santa was real, but not the pure, idealistic Bradys. That's about the only chip in the monolith of my childhood development that was The Brady Bunch. Sigh.] Anyway, what irks me is how does a corporation score the Santa endorsement? Coca Cola has shown Santa swigging a Coke for years, and now Duracell is claiming that He only puts Duracell into electronic toys (which, presumably, his elves make under a license agreement from Tiger and various other Japanese companies). But what happens when a kid hears the ad, opens his robot dog on Christmas morning, and it's got Energizer batteries in it? What's to stop Rayovac from making a TV ad showing Santa putting their batteries in Rudolph's snout before taking off? Are there any boundaries to using Santa as a shill for your products? Can direct competitors both do it, or is there some kind of First-Come, First-Exploit rule in place?

Just something I was thinking about.

2. I don't listen to a lot of artists, but I can get kind of obsessive about the artists I do like. I made a CD of one such band's hard-to-get first album and a bunch of B-side songs, which I found on a now defunct file-sharing service. But yesterday I did some research and found out that the band has TWENTY NINE!!! more B-sides available out there in the world, most likely in UK used record stores. How am I supposed to complete my collection? It's not at all fair! Why not just put these songs on the albums, or better yet, release a double album of unreleased tracks like Pearl Jam's "Lost Dogs" CD? Do a fan a solid, guys!

3. I'm a New England Patriots fan, and man did they suck ass on Sunday! I know that the Dolphins have a good defense, but come on! Make some passes, Tom! You can't just blame losing your favorite receivers in the off-season any more. And not having Maroney isn't an excuse, either. It's so frustrating seeing the offense sputter most of the time when you see flashes of how well it can work. Lock it up, Patriots!

4. Recovering from a vasectomy is more unsightly, painful, and slow-going than you'd think. Ouch!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Seems pretty meta, doesn't it?

How's this for a dilemma?

Reading a blog that makes you want to burst out laughing, but trying to hold it in so that your coworker who knows you write a blog , but doesn't know you know she knows, won't hear you and then know you're reading a blog and not working.

Anyway, for some really stupid reason I never checked out the new site made by one of my favorite bloggers when he moved abroad. Now I'm reading all of the archives and laughing myself silly. If you haven't been reading the Kiwi adventures of the blogger formerly known as Moobert, then you're totally missing out.

Much love to all the blogs I read, but Moobert and Mil Millington of "Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About" fame are the things online that have made me laugh like that. Oh, and the first time I found it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Making up for my neglectful behavior

If this is going to turn into a TV blog, then I have to give some time and love to this season's awesomest new show: Heroes!

It's awesome. Last night's Fall Finale was really good, although the Hero that dies wasn't that big of a deal. It was shocking and sad, but not as much as they tried to build up. Sorry if I semi-spoiled anything for you. Plenty of questions left up in the air for January, and to stretch over the season, and that's fine. The nature of Claire's father and his job, and who's giving the "marching orders" is my biggest question.

So all of that said, I'd like to segue into a discussion of Lost. There's a lot of hating on that show lately, hating which began last season. The show's too slow. They don't give enough answers. Things get brought up for no reason and go nowhere (Hey, look, there are some Tailies! Now they're all dead!). I'm not inclined to buy all of these criticisms, but I'm not a fanboy that will blindly defend the show, either. I was forced to reflect on my feelings for the show when I stumbled upon this interesting article today: IGN's Top 50 Loose Ends on Lost. It's a good, thorough article (although they've overlooked one point about the two islands and the polar bears: if the cages where Sawyer and Kate are being held are for the polar bears and are on a different island, how'd the bears get to the main island? That's may be a continuity problem the writers can't resolve without a ridiculous, after-thought explanation). Anyway, the article is not overly critical, but it does provoke thought.

What I got out of the article is: Holy crap, there legitimately ARE at least 50 things introduced on the show that need further explanation! I'm a pretty devoted Lost fan. I watch the episodes closely. I followed along with The Lost Experience over the summer pretty regularly (although I didn't participate to the level of some nutso wack-jobs out there. Get a LIFE, people!) I feel I know what's going on and have my desires for discovering what's going to happen. But the show is so intricate, there are several things I've missed or forgotten about. And reading over that list of 50 loose ends, it's obvious the show will not have time to resolve all of them. Either the producers will have to let them drop to introduce new story lines, or they'll get bogged down trying to explain them all and get cancelled.

Frankly, it seems that the Lost team are trying to do too much. Maybe they don't care about the explanations for things like the Black Rock ship, or the cable leading from the ocean to the inner island, and feel that they just add spooky atmosphere. But real fans of the show do care, and will want to know the story behind such strange things. Even if those things are throw-away items, the plotlines that do matter are still complex without the extra stuff, and mysteries abound on several fronts. So you've got two sources of frustration: from the ardent fans when not enough explication of details in the background/ mythology of the island is given, and from the more casual fan when no storyline is satisfyingly resolved to allow for characters to move on.

The creators of Lost are asking for a lot of patience and attention from its audience, and it's starting to seem that the wonderful world they created didn't have enough boundaries at the outset. Like our Administration and its adventure in Iraq, they needed to have a clear understanding of the scope of how the story would play out before starting, and have an exit plan for when it would end. And that ending has to be on their own terms, not on someone else's. They should have it scripted already. And maybe they do, but so far it seems that the way they are getting there is a bit masturbatory. Anyone who ever read any of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series of fantasy novels knows what I'm talking about. Sadly, I am one of those people, and I hope to begin reading Volume 11 this winter. *sigh*

Having laid out my own criticisms of the show, I still love it and have faith that it will intrigue and entertain. But counting on the endurance and optimism/naivety of devotee's like me who have nothing better to do with their lives is a dangerous thing to do in the network TV world. You won't last long on that fanbase.

P.S. - I just proofread this post and man, is it rambling! Sorry, but I don't have time to rewrite it.

P.P.S. - If you're looking for talk of last week's Office episode: I didn't like it. "Prison Mike", and just about everything else except Ed Helms, fell flat. Pretty disappointing.