Thursday, November 30, 2006


Does anyone remember Joey Potter's two singing episodes on Dawson's Creek? You know, the one where she sang "On My Own" from Les Miserables and Dawson discovered, like, how hot she was? And then the other brief period where she was in Chad Michael Murray's band during season 5? And she tried to sing rock songs? And she sucked? Yeah, well, fans of Joey Potter's vocal stylings will really like this.

Triple booking my Tivo

Tonight is gonna be bad. Very bad.

Let me show you how:
8pm - Ugly Betty
8:30pm - OFFICE!
9pm - Scrubs
9pm - Grey's Anatomy
9pm - The OC

I have an elaborate scheme worked out that should be okay, but which will, in all likelihood, stress me out so much that I'll be thankful when the OC finally just bites the dust (in, what, 9 episodes?).

Scheme is: Tivo the Office, obvi. Watch Ugly Betty online (as well as, um, the last two episodes that I totally have not watched yet). Tivo Scrubs (we have roommate agreements. We share Tivo). Tivo Grey's on Friday night (because it doesn't steal enough of the nation's audience just on Thursday). Tivo The OC on my computer. Which makes liveblogging difficult.

Anyway, there is not much reason to blog this except that I am mentally organizing my life right now and figured I'd share with you how complicated life really is when you only have a single-tuner Tivo and a serious addiction to seriously bad television.
Memorizing 100 poems in a year... which would you pick?

Maybe I wouldn't memorize them, but I would like to read a poem a day. I feel like it would be good for me.

(via Bookninja)
Oh yeah, I've been meaning to post about this for at least a week.



Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I refuse.
Wacky Public Service Announcement!

It's like spraypaint, for your penis!

Now something new and fun for sexually active high schoolers to mess around with (just like that glittery body spray)!

body count

Hours: 6
Episodes of TV: 6
Episodes of Top Chef: 1
Members of Top Chef cast I don't hate yet: 3 (out of 10)
Members of Top Chef cast I'm preparing to hate: 2 (in addition to 7 already hated)
Times I use the word "douchebag" in reference to Top Chef: countless
Times I say "I love Tom Calicchio, even though he is a douchebag": ditto above
Episodes of Friday Night Lights: 1
Lines of blog entry I would devote to Friday Night Lights if I wasn't committed to this format of numbering: lots
Lines of future blog entry detailing why I love Friday Night Lights: unknown
Episodes of 24 (1st season, 1st DVD): 4
Moments Kelly had to avert her eyes from gory 24 scenes: at least 2.
Attempts/wishes to go to Blockbuster to rent 2nd 24 DVD: 1 (encompassing 1 hour)
Potential hours of sleep lost should Blockbuster plan not given way to sense: 4
References to those times I loved/obsessed over Alias: countless
References to time I watched Alias for 10 hours straight with Xtina: 1
References to how I can't trust anyone on 24 because of something I saw on Alias once: at least 2 per episode
Jack Bauer's body count: Lost count already.
Jack Bauer's resemblance to my friend Santiago: Lost count already.
Bottle of wine: 3/4 finished.

In other words, I am a wine wimp but a TV stud.
I'm primarily posting this for Dad's benefit, but it is pretty hilarious.

(Via TVgasm)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

And, oh yeah, rage.

Bill O'Reilly revived the "war" on Christmas and declared that "[m]aybe the imams who got thrown off the plane [would] shop" at the home furnishings retailer Crate & Barrel because it has a policy of saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." O'Reilly also declared that Christmas is "a secular holiday" that "honors the birth of Jesus. ... And the reason it does is because Jesus was a philosopher," but "you can have a religious connotation to the holiday if you choose to."

You really don't need to read the whole article.

I shouldn't bother reading anything about O'Reilly or getting mad because I keep telling myself he is just one person who happens to be on national TV and really do I need to waste my time being that angry at one idiot who wants to be inflammatory? No, I don't.
Ugh, can we talk briefly about Heroes?

It's awesome. It's not as awesome as The Office but it's definitely the second best show on TV... or, it was, until 8 days ago when they aired the "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World" episode.

I don't know why people keep saying that episode was good because, well, it wasn't. Nothing really happened and half of the good characters weren't in it, and it ended really anticlimactically. Sylar is totally easily done in by Eden's SuperPersuasionPower, which makes me wonder why we were worried about him in the first place. Was it all a ploy on the part of Horn-Rimmed Glasses (Mr. Bennett to those non-TVgasm readers) to sapture Sylar to use him for his own sneaky plot? Why does HRG surround himself with evil(ish) mutant/heroes and freak out about his daughter? Anyway, suffice it to say that last week I was not impressed. Not worth the hype. (First of all, which cheerleader were they supposed to save? Claire, or her bitchy friend who died against the locker? I don't see this as so much saving.)

But then I decided, well, NBC's promotions are always letdowns. I remember when I used to watch ER and they would always have these promos -






with words appearing on thes creen, scary Law&Order type music emphases in the background, and then you tune in on Thursday at 10 and someone gets shot in like, the foot, and no one dies. Come on! So I was hoping that this week's Heroes would make up for last week's lackluster.

No such luck. There were some good juicy bits - namely all the flashbacks, the 6-months-earlier things, where we get to see people's backgrounds. Unlike Lost's flashbacks, these were pretty explanatory - they really did cover almost all the bases (although Niki/Jessica's storyline is not only confusing me but also pissing me off and I want it to end) and they kind of cleared up a lot of little mysteries while adding more and showing how the heroes' powers all began, plus the whole Sylar thing is creepy the way all psychopathic killer origin stories should be. But the rest of the episode was basically a recap of last week! And it told us absolutely nothing new to move the story forward in the present. I appreciate the exposition, but come on, give us something to chew on until next week - the shot at DL, Peter's arrest, Claire's confession to her dad that she's maybe just a little bit capable of spontaneous regeneration, something.

Seriously - NBC is already on the rocks as a network. Why gamble with their best show by overhyping it? Just let it be that cool show that rips off the X-men, only not quite enough for anyone to care. No more shitty commercials promoting






Just give me the show and get over yourself.

And thus I end my blogging hiatus.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Apologies for the non-postage this past couple of days. I was at work, and busy, and then driving, and then yesterday I was at Casey's with Cristina watching 90210. Yes! It is truly brilliant and I finally know how much of a debt The OC and its brethren owe to the OG from 1990 - plus the fashion is killer - literally. So many bike shorts. I'm happy to say that Cristina has loaned me the DVDs so I can report on further episodes (more than 20 of them!) as I watch. In the meantime check out the liveblog on her site, which will be up sooner or later.

Anyway, it is Thanksgiving and I have to clean up and shower and hopefully help cook, so I will be signing off now, although I may be posting more later should I feel inspired. I actually have been building up a list of draft topics but just haven't had the time to post! For shame, I know.

Happy Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Oh. My. God.

No pun intended. Dad, sorry, here's more about religion. :)

(Via the Sinner's Guide to the Evangelical Right)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Is it wrong that I get really excited about things like this?

I love sleep, really, I do, but I would be so excited if I could control both its effects and the effects of its absence. A pill that makes you feel like you got 8 hours, when you really got 4? I'd pay for that.



Some of my friends are obsessed with this scene/song. Does it ruin it for you?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Great Success!

So I am cheating a leetle on NaBloPoMo or whatever because I wrote the OC liveblog after midnight but not after waking up on the Saturday. Yes, I cheated, but nothing that interesting is happening today in the news unless you care about sports, and I am just sitting around watching le TV. I think we are going to make sushi tonight, so cross your fingers for me and hope it turns out. I may be back a little later on for another post, but who knows. Consider yourself cheated.

OC LiveBlog - The Metamorphosis!

This is going to be an interesting liveblog as I am watching the OC on my computer at the same time I use the computer to type the liveblog. I get the feeling I’m italicizing in the wrong places, but the point is, it’s a juggling act and thank god Windows Media Center has a small, “keep on top always” window so I can keep my Word goin’ at the same time as the OC is rollin’.

Yeah, I just clipped the G off of two words in a row. I’m that cool.

I’m quite excited about this episode as I read online that Summer is going to really come into her own on this episode. Go Sum, we always knew you were better than Marissa, even though she stuck you with that shitty nickname.

We begin with Summer sitting down in some kind of counselor’s office and confessing that she has changed since she got to college. “What’s happening to my body?” This turns into a little montage showing the five stages of grief. Which is way cool, I have to confess. The classical music in the background only makes it that much better, except that I seem to recall seeing this same kind of montage on another TV show before (what is it?). She wears an I <3 Trees shirt while she says she is going to go back to celeb gossip and adds, “Crutches, ew.” She says she has to go back to her old shallow self to be good with Seth again. Good to know.

Cut to Seth standing in the airport at 8:30 am east coast time saying Summer’s gonna dump him. He wears a yucky mustard colored sweater which I’m oddly drawn to, and wakes up Ryan to tell him this extremely important information. Apparently he took some bizarre red-eye flight otherwise why is he waiting at the airport at 8:30 am? Summer enters all made up and looking hot again and kisses Seth right away. She is wearing a super cute tunic number and possibly leggings again. Why! I will not complain as Seth in cute moment says “My baby’s back!”

We shall see, eh?

Ooh, a new intro… Was this here last week? Willa (Caitlin) is in it and Taylor too! Good.

Ryan is running like hell on the beach and looks like he’s in some major pain. Maybe if he spent less time fighting people in cages he would not have so much trouble running and would have arms that were less beefcakey. HE and Sandy are doing the surfer dude thing and no one has mentioned the fact that he still isn’t in college, because that is never a problem in teen sitcoms.

Oh sweet, they finally bring it up. Sandy says he’s glad Ryan is back to his old self with a new job and being home. His job is being a waiter I think. I feel like he could find something better like all that construction he used to be good at.

Cut to Seth and Summer post-coital and all Summer’s enviroposters. She confesses that the old Summer is back with the artificial tanning

In a moment of plug, Seth has bought her The Valley season 3, which is another way of saying “Yes, we still haven’t sold any of last seasons’ shittitude to you fans hanging on by a thread.” The OC continues to have no shame.

Now, Sandy recaps the past couple of seasons to Kirsten to show that yes, he really is the sturdy and reliable one. With no friends, though. (Jimmy left TWICE…. And for what? I don’t see Tate Donovan up to anything interesting, or at all.) He wants to ask someone on a man-date because Ryan won’t hang out with him. Apparently he wants to hang out with some guy who is a good golfer and Kiki counsels him on his man issues. The moments between these two are totally not as good as they used to be… there is absolutely zero chemistry and Kirsten always seems to be baking or sitting around reading the newspaper. Come on bring back some Kiki drama!

Julie and her money-mongering daughter talk about how they need a new man to give them a free ride. While Julie continues to live in her separated husband’s house, she offers to ban men if her skank daughter will stay out of trouble. I think that Caitlin is wearing black nail polish, not surprised. Taylor marches in all perky and non-sweaty in a workout outfit asking if anyone wants a protein scramble, which sounds like a euphemism to me, and Caitlin points out that something from “Henry Michael” has arrived in the mail which is NOT how you spell “Henri-Michel, secret husband,” but whatevs. Taylor freaks out (she is wearing wristbands WHY?), and Caitlin pretends to check out the pool guy (been there before) to trick her mom into being the slut she really is.

Ryan is working at “El Pavo Guapo” which involves scooping full bowls of tortilla chips into piles, when Taylor shows up to charm him into helping her with something. Big surprise. She says she needs to get divorced and her husband is on the way to Newport, an event requiring Ryan because she will give into the hubby a.k.a. “sexual Jedi” and his powers. Ryan of course has to give in because he can’t resist a girl in trouble.

Summer pushpins a nice Devil Wears Prada poster to the wall of her room when Hippie Paul Rudd enters the room to ask her to spellcheck something for him (apparently Summer is still smart, even at Brown. Must be that 2300 SAT she got. Mm, yes). She takes him to her closet to show him her massive collection of shoes that are made from animal skin. I believe that one pair is my own pair of Coach gold cork platforms. She shows Paul Rudd all her InTouch Weeklys and the pic of Marissa which has reappeared. He is typically accepting of her because she is being herself and welcomes Seth with equal enthusiasm and the phrase “Just be.” Apparently that is hippie for “Go fuck yourself.”

Sandy tries to hang out with people from work and sounds more awkward than his son. That’s what Seth means about the Cohen awkwardness. Sandy gets totally blown off by the actor that looks like Monk. (Monk?) Summer hates The Valley apparently now because it SUCKS. She says “they just create fake problems about fake people.” She is very upset that she’s been falling behind on her celeb gossip although she apparently still calls Justin Timberlake “JT” which is so 2001. She puts down the celebretard mags in favor of the Solar Power Rocks! flyer that Paul Rudd left behind. Oh Summer, college is hard!

Taylor nervously sips Perrier in an effort to forget about her Frenchy husband and sasses Ryan. This could become the new power couple if only because they are too hilarious together. Taylor cracks my shit up: “What is your favorite fruit!?” Instead of the husband, the husband’s lawyer shows up to bring a little bit of French class and language to this oh so classy show. Apparently, Taylor can’t get a divorce unless she’s had an affair so she obviously pretends Ryan is the sexy lovah.

Summer reenters from a shopping trip in more leggings, because, sigh, we cannot get away from them. She apparently still has a problem with fur, and apparently with normal hair because she has a weird braid action going on. Seth takes off while Summer checks up on the rally while trying on the Ugliest Sweater Ever. She misses her old hippie buddies. While on the phone with Paul Rudd, she realizes that it is also the ugliest thing ever, but I think that’s supposed to be a metaphor for how she really has changed, and maybe she isn’t as shallow as she wants to be. (Perhaps, Summer, you may be capable of finding a balance between your activism and your boyfriend, and that whole bit about how he can’t handle a you that’s only into tanning is a figment of your overactive imagination? Too good to be true, right? I thought so.)

Julie is back to her barbed self post-separation-from-latest-husband and tells Kiki that she is getting over an addiction too – those pesky men. Remember, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Kiki is approximately the most boring character ever at this point. I almost want Jeri Ryan to come back to stir things up. Apparently Julie wants to rejoin Kiki in the matchmaking biz. Which apparently still exists although we haven’t heard about it in forever. One of the Newpsies shows up with a little new boobage and confesses she doesn’t need a dating service – she’s moved on to younger, limber men and apparently whores it up big time. These younger men are apparently still spending time with her in public despite her terrible tan and hideous dress. Julie is tempted. Blahhhh.

Luke’s brothers in matching Tweedle Dum water polo jackets propose a fake ID venture to Caitlin who is wearing a blouse-over-shirt combo that looks like she stole it from Marissa’s closet. She gives in. Big surprise. The bad girl dies hard.

Why do all of Ryan’s jobs involve lifting cases of beer and emptying them? HE does this constantly. It’s really bizarre. Currently he does it in a classy Mexican restaurant – so classy that the bottles on the bar are all identical bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label (no tequila up in this biotch). Taylor shows up with a suspicious stack of papers requiring Ryan’s signature. Since it’s in French, Ryan has no idea that he’s about to commit to the lie of their affair but Taylor is a little cagey about the actual content of the contract so Ryan seems to have some idea that he is walking into trouble.

Meanwhile, back in Rhode Island, Paul Rudd polishes his didgeridoo and Seth enters offering him some leftovers. They happen to overhear Summer in some debate about solar panels and realize that she actually has changed. Seth is a leetle disappointed because maybe he likes his girls dumb after all, but Paul Rudd is all down with her righteous self.

Ryan teaches himself some French out of the dictionary (go Ryan, you have some smarts left in you despite getting your head bashed in so many times), and Seth calls to say he feels like Old summer has been replaced by Real summer who looks suspiciously like New Summer. Wrap your head around that riddle, my friends. He says “thi sis her life now and I’m sorry I don’t fit in it.” Summer walks in and they start to reconcile. Good girl. Just because you like the environment now doesn’t mean you have to hate on regular non-protesting dorks. Seth remembers he taught her what recycling was in 10th grade, so that now officially means I have hope converting Sean to the recycling bandwagon. Here’s hoping.

Naked Paul Rudd with a guitar tells Seth he has a gift for him – “my song.” It appears to be about polar bears dying and he appears to have the WORST facial hair ever. I feel like he might connect with Lili Taylor from “Say Anything” and they could sing discordant songs together. He hugs Seth in the nude. Gross.

Sandy’s man-date is ruined by the other dude being on the phone the whole time. Kids on the phone are such cockblocks. Oh shit, apparently the dude was lying and he was just feeling awkward about not having any guy friends. They bond about the past being so much fun when they had male friends. I preferred Sandy hanging out with men he didn’t have a crush on. This is boring. Bring back Jimmy Cooper and ninja video games anytime.

Kiki and Julie have their own date planned for the evening apparently and Julie is ready to run. Perhaps she is joining the slutty Newpsie for some hot boy lovin’. This plot is approximately the most retarded thing ever to air on this show. Kiki in her race to be the most boring person ever is ready to order takeout. LAME already.

Caitlin gets her fake ID wearing some strange lamé jacket. Another plot I don’t care about. Move on to bigger things, my friend.

Newpsie and Julie get wasted on Jose Cuervo (classsssy) while waiting for their younger men. Julie does some strange headshake when she takes shots apparently and they start to act like Laguna Beach girls on vacation in Cabo. Whee, plot, rotting away.

Ryan figures out that Taylor wanted to pretend they had sex “like, thirty times.” Apparently putting his signature down on a paper that he’ll never see again (at least if I know anything about loose plot ends and their tendency to disappear from this show) is too much work for him what with the whole Marissa death thing. Taylor gives Ryan a nice little speech about her sappy French husband suckitude and references Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes like it’s a MODEL relationship. After she leaves, Ryan repents. He also appears to actually be working at a Chili’s, which is masquerading as Classy Mexican Restaurant.

Seth, because he will never stop sucking up to get the hot girl, learns all about the environment from Paul Rudd. He tries to go to the rally with Summer, and is banned because he doesn’t have a student ID (TASER!). He tells Summer to go ahead without him and save the world. Aww, what a good kid.

Caitlin manages to go to the same bar where her mom is whoring it up. She is suitably shocked. Julie has a moment of good acting where she realizes that she really is being a drunk biznatch and leaves the bar and her sweaty dance partner. Wise up, Julie. You will not find a new trophy husband/meal ticket in a club. (Unless it’s the country kind.)

Sandy and his mandate hang out in the restaurant where Ryan works because it’s replaced the Bait Shop as the hangout of choice. Kiki calls to check in and Sandy, rightfully, stays with his bros because he knows that Kik is a huge bore.

Ryan shows up to rescue Taylor from the French lawyer and they share a surprisingly hot kiss. Oh Ryan, you come through in the end. You always do, so now we have a brand new couple to be excited about. The lawyer busts out some forced foreshadowing for the audience: “I may be a lawyer, but I am also a Frenchman. I know love when I see it.” Yes, I admit it, that kiss was kind of hot. Apparently Taylor agrees with me because she is all up in Ryan’s grill now.

Summer’s environmentalism apparently inspires her to wear dresses from the 14th century around campus (but doesn’t stop her from hobbling around in platforms to all-night rallies. That’s the Summer I know). She takes a break to talk to Seth who is napping outside, ever supportive. Can’t wait until he actually has a real life of his own at RISD, but in the meantime I will accept this cute good-coupleness.

Sexy moment with Ryan in wifebeater RETURNS! Nothing like girls popping into the pool house unannounced. Apparently the reason Taylor knows how to cook is because her French husband made her take a cooking class that she claims she failed, despite cooking the whole Turkey dinner last week. (Plot coherence, A+.) Taylor wants Ryan real bad and REAL obviously. She tries to spin a nice little story to get him to pay attention to her and Ryan resists, for the most part, because he is apparently the densest person ever. However, Taylor knows the way to a man’s heart is his stomach and apparently her peach tortes kick ass. This is clearly the new couple of the show (I mean, who else would it be? There are no new characters except for the Moron Twins and Paul Rudd, and those are not exactly Ryan’s type).

Sandy comes home to his boring wife to play boring strip Scrabble. At least it’s boring because only Sandy is taking off any clothes, big surprise.

I love how skinny women on TV ALWAYS eat huge tubs of ice cream when they are bonding, because that’s totally realistic and all. (I refer of course to Team Cooper.)

Taylor is the new Marissa. Prepare to see a lot of staring at the pool house n the future.

Seth has adopted that old lesson, “If you love somebody, set them free” which for him consists of lying on the floor of an airport with his suitcase as a pillow. And drawing new cartoons of the Vixen girl as an envirovixen. Do I sense a return of the Newport crowd in print? Yes! Yes! Bring it back!

Next up on the OC: Ryan is naked, Taylor’s in love! “How can you tell? She said Ryan was funny.” I cannot express to you how excited I am about the Ryan and Taylor sexual tension. Yes, I’m being manipulated by Josh Schwartz. No, I do not care. With the exception of Teresa, Ryan was always way more interesting with girls who were not Marissa, and Taylor is not enough of a wreck for him to have to look after her all the time. Yes, The OC! I’m coaxing you back into brilliance!

Friday, November 17, 2006

I meant to post this yesterday with a very emphatic "NO!" attached to it, but didn't get to it.

So here it is now, with an update (the benefits of posting late).

No Part II!
Can I suggest a comment-off? Who do you think really is the sexiest man alive?

Salon's got some suggestions (and I agree with them on: Mark Ruffalo, would pick Jamie Oliver over Alton Brown, would pick Grey's George over Neil Patrick Harris - I mean, seriously? - am sort of creeped out although appreciative of the Sufjan nod, entirely weirded out by the Richard Dawkins, highly pro-Alan Rickman and Jon Stewart, and although I was pretty indifferent to the face behind "The Squid and the Whale," I'm gonna support the choice of that film's director, since the movie was awesome).

What are yours? I should get Caryl and Mom in on this one.
Well, this could explain why I'm such a bitch all the time...

All OJ, all the time

I'm going to actually try not to talk too much here about the OJ Simpson book/TV special because, well, what he and his publishing/media buddies want is to get attention and I'm going to try not to give it to them. But this is pretty funny - other potential titles for his book.
You don't need to read this entire column (I always skim Media Matters columns - they are too long and they contain about 4893048320 references to previous columns), but know this: Bill O'Reilly is talking about how Vermont is too liberal. Now read the last line.

Ooh, burn!

No words for how excited I am about this:

Confession: I know almost nothing about Andy Warhol. My favorite piece of criticism about him came from Chip Kidd, book jacket designer, who said that Andy Warhol was a hack and the real artists were the people who designed the original Campbell's can. (He has a point there.) But I do want to see this movie, because Guy Pearce is kind of creeping me out as Andy Warhol - he doesn't seem like Guy Pearce, which is, after all, the point - and because I'm fascinated by the weird way Sienna Miller talks. It's like she's eating her words. I realized watching this that I'd never seen her speak before - which is weird because she is so ubiquitous and her face is so recognizable. So for that reason alone - seeing the voice and actual acting talent (or lack thereof, I'm open minded on the matter) of a tabloid superstar on the screen. I don't know when Factory Girl comes out, but it's now officially on my radar.

More Borat lawsuits

Ok, we get it, once one dupee busted out their lawyers, all were going to follow. Just, give up already. You signed a release form. We've also all seen it.
I'm sort of intrigued by the idea of eating locally, like this 100-mile diet. I know that I don't have the money (or time or energy) to really do it for everything, but doing it for as many things as possible is good, right? (Plus, the produce is better. Think what this means - farmers' markets and Whole Foods, basically. And I live in California, where everything good is grown.)

Why eat locally, you ask? Well, eating locally is the new organic - since even a lot of organic foods are grown in other countries or wherever and shipped to your grocery store, there is as much harm done to the environment as there would be with the use of pesticides (if not more, thanks to the fossil fuels burned in transportation). This New York Times article talks more about the benefits of eating locally, as does this page on the 100-mile diet site. (Plus, use their handy map to see what's within your 100 mile radius!)

Anyway just a thought. Now if only I could persuade myself to get up before 10am on a Sunday to hit up the farmer's market...
OC Liveblog will come later tonight or tomorrow - I didn't have time to watch it yesterday because I was doing very important things like making cinnamon ice cream.


I never personally read the Drudge Report, but I got this forwarded to me by a friend from the Columbia course. It's publisher Judith Regan's explanation for why she is publishing OJ's book. Look, it would have been one thing to bust out the "It means to make public, not to endorse" argument, but in the future I hope she'll refrain from the really long personal stories about how she wants to make all the bad men in the world confess (you know, on TV during sweeps and stuff). Look, he's not confessing. He's almost gloating. And as for her schpiel about how he is mentally disturbed, well, a) no shit and b) last time I checked, to "publish" did not mean "to psychoanalyze."

I don't mean to downplay her own past suffering and experience with a man who beat her - but doesn't it seem like a really convenient way to spin the story? A hypothetical does not a confession make - a mockery it makes. So forget your spin story (which is badly written, if I may say so myself) and just be honest: It's a ridiculously good opportunity for publicity. What kind of publisher-with-a-history-of-controversy wouldn't take that?

(Oh yeah, and the likelihood of any of that money going to the Browns? Stop kidding me here. Nicole Brown's sister - someone with a fair bit of rage herself, if I remember the trial correctly - was angry at Regan for "promoting the wrong doing of criminals," and the Goldmans are not happy either. I wonder why Regan hasn't reached out to talk to them about how they can get the money from the book sales yet?)

UPDATE: More! More!
I need this.

Hey, Vanilla Face

Alright, we're all overloaded on Borat, but here's another story - this one about the guy at the hotel reception desk (aka "Vanilla Face").

My favorite part:

The next day we pulled the security camera tapes to see what was going on outside and discovered that they had a production crew setting up Borat's "grand entrance." That's when we knew absolutely that we had been set up. I also called a friend at the Dallas Film Commission and she told me that she was certain that this had some connection to a man who had been spotted driving around Dallas in an ice-cream truck with a bear in the back of it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

So this profile is probably not real, but at least the pictures are, so I can use them as an example of how all starlets seem to be compelled to make that terrible puckerfishfacekissyabomination face in every picture they take. Will someone please explain?

See what I mean?
I never thought I'd be posting Weird Al videos on my blog, but, this one is mildly funny if only because I never thought Taylor would be the American Idol whose song was considered stalkerish. I figured "Invisible" really took that cake.
This is not normally postworthy, seriously. Chad Michael Murray looks like a cross between Mark Paul Gosselaar circa 1992 and Rob Lowe circa 1985. Plus maybe some preppy kid in a John Hughes movie. I've done a lot of Google image searching and can't pinpoint the exact problem with his outfit, but all I can say is, I think he would benefit from a white blazer (sleeves rolled up) and an earring in one ear. Look:

Can't you just see it?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm reading this Onion AV Club interview with Chuck Klosterman and I'm realizing how much reading criticism (or hell, just plain hatred) about something you like taints your experience of it. Since I started reading Gawker regularly and therefore taking in their CK haterade, I just can't look at good o' Chuck the same. I always mostly liked him (Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs is good, don't deny it), with a few moments of "Wait, I really could write like this, or maybe better" thrown in for good measure. (I think Chuck and I share something in our writing style, which is, not editing rambles just for the sake of a coherent point, and I think that's partly why people don't like him, because he gets away with that.) Anyway, but it was shocking to me that as I was reading the interview, I was making sarcastic responses to his remarks in my head. For no reason!

It's kind of a true story

I just finished reading It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini and there was an article, mostly about him, in the Village Voice today. It's amusing to me because as I was reading the book, I noticed the little blurb in the front that mentioned that the author had also spent time in the psych ward (or whatever you call it) at some point. I was thinking that was all, you know, way in the past, but then when I finished the book I noticed the sentences "Ned Vizzini spent five days in adult psychiatric in Methodist Hospital, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 11/29/04-12/3/04. Ned wrote this 12/10/04-1/6/05."

So he really did just get out and write the damn book. Which makes me think a few things:

1-That must have been some very inspiring/healthy/helpful time in the hospital.
2-How meta. The kid in the book finds solace in his artwork and gets the hell out of the hospital, as, apparently, did Ned himself.
3-Interesting how quickly he started and finished the book after getting out - makes me feel like the way the kid feels and behaves in the book must be pretty realistic.
4-That explains why the book felt hurried in places - It's almost like he couldn't wait to get this story out and on paper.
5-Not a lot of non-personal research went on in the writing of this book. So much so that the kid in the book can't be put into teen psych, even though he is only 14, and ends up being put into adult psych, which sure is convenient for the author.

Anyway, it was an enjoyable book. I don't know if I liked it quite as much as King Dork, which, btw, just got bought for a movie by Will Ferrell.

Here are my two favorite moments from It's Kind of a Funny Story:

Tentacles is my term – the Tentacles are the evil tasks that invade my life. Like, for example, my American History class last week, which necessitated me writing a paper on the weapons of the Revolutionary War, which necessitated me getting in the subway, which necessitated me being away from my cell phone and e-mail for 45 minutes, which meant that I didn’t get to respond to a mass mail sent out by my teacher asking who needed extra credit, which meant other kids snapped up the extra credit, which meant other kids snapped up the extra credit, which meant I wasn’t going to get a 98 in the class, which meant I wasn’t anywhere close to a 98.6 average (body temperature, that’s what you needed to get), which meant I wasn’t going to get into a Good College, which meant I wasn’t going to have a Good Job, which meant I wasn’t going to have health insurance, which meant I’d have to pay tremendous amounts of money for the shrinks and drugs my brain needed, which meant I wasn’t going to have enough money to pay for a Good Lifestyle, which meant I’d feel ashamed, which meant I’d get depressed, and that was the big one because I knew what that did to me: it made it so I wouldn’t get out of bed, which led to the ultimate thing – homelessness. If you can’t get out of bed for long enough, people come and take your bed away.

“Forget the midlife crisis,” I say. “It’s all about the sixth-life crisis...Well, first there’s the quarter-life crisis,” I say. “That’s like the characters on Friends – people freaking out that they won’t get married. Twenty year-olds. That’s probably true that people get quarter-life crises; I wouldn’t know. But I know that now things work faster. Before you had to wait until you were twenty to have enough choices of things to do with your life to start getting freaked out. But now there’s so much stuff for you to buy, and so many ways you can spend your time, and so many specialties that you need to get started on very early in life – like ballet, right, Noelle, when did you start ballet?”


“Okay. I started Tae Bo at six. So there are like – so many people angling for success and so many colleges you’re supposed to get into, and so many women you’re supposed to have sex with–...So now,” I continue, “instead of a quarter-life crisis they’ve got a fifth-life crisis – that’s when you’re eighteen – and a sixth-life crisis – that’s when you’re fourteen. I think that’s what a lot of people have…Well, there are a lot of people who make a lot of money off of the fifth- and sixth-life crises. All of a sudden they have a ton of consumers scared out of their minds and willing to buy facial cream, designer jeans, SAT test prep courses, condoms, cars, scooters, self-help books, watches, wallets, stocks, whatever… all the crap that the twenty-somethings used to buy, they now have the ten-somethings buying. They doubled their market! …So pretty soon.” I keep thinking. “There’ll be seventh- and eighth-life crises. Then eventually a baby will born and the doctors will look at it and wonder right away if it’s unequipped to deal with the world; if they decide it doesn’t look happy, they’ll put it on antidepressants, get it started on that particular consumer track.”

"Hi, I'm Sacha."
Hey all,

Just a little plug in the afternoon. Cristina, who you all know and love, is in the running to be America's Next Top TVgasm writer. That means she's trying to get a gig recapping a show that apparently sucks, Jericho, every week. The competition is down to the final two - Cristina and another upstart, Gina (how fittingly rhyming) and this is the final race to the finish! Go here to read Cristina's recap and then comment on her post saying how awesome it is. You know it will be. A recap of a crappy CBS tv show about how a nuclear attack has devastated the US except for this tiny town Jericho, starring Skeet Ulrich of all people, by Cristina, featuring awesome references to other moments of pop culture brilliance like The Cutting Edge? I thought so.

Go. Vote. Now.
Moment of stupidity.

I genuinely had no idea that Emilio Estevez was Martin Sheen's son. Now I know why he looks so much like the Sheens. I'm an idiot.
I read on John Mayer's blog today about the "must-have-before-they-call-it-the-must-have-record-of-the-year-record-of-the-year." I went to the dude's Myspace and played the first song.

Who do you think it sounds like?

(Hint: It's obvious!)

Lessons learned

Morning matches of opposites for your enjoyment.

Yes: Tara Reid
No: Ashlee Simpson
Lesson: Plastic surgery is bad. Unless it's plastic surgery to repair your old plastic surgery, in which case you will look foxy again.

Yes: Blue Man Group on Scrubs.... please, please tell me that the analrapist (hey, it's half analyst and half therapist, don't get all offended) Tobias Funke will soon follow as a guest star.
No: OJ Simpson on TV.
Lesson: Don't kill your wife, get away with it, and then tell people how you would have done it if you had. I don't know what that has to do with Zach Braff, the Blue Man Group, Scrubs, or Arrested Development but I know that one of these things is going to be hilarious and the other thing is going to be incredibly depressing to watch because it will remind you how much our justice system totally blew it in 1996.

(Oh yeah, and also, please absorb, as I have been since I read about this yesterday, the title of the OJ Simpson special: "If I did it, this is how it happened." WHAT!?! I think even grammatically that is a mess, which should indicate something about the deep, deep psychological secret shit going on here.)

Yes: Unbearable Lightness of Being finally released in Czech
No, No, No!: All Weinstein movies only to be released via Blockbuster
Lesson: Making something available to many people at once in many places (er, languages) is good. Exclusivity is bad. Down with the man. While you are at it, stop buying music from Apple. Wait, too late.
I really never would have guessed it. (Some geeky girl intern/editorial assistant must have suggested this one.) But I'm glad! Go Jim/John (I suspect that they are similar in the way Seth Cohen and Adam Brody are similar).

But, fix that hair. I don't know how I feel about the greasy look.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'm watching To Catch a Thief, which, now I'm watching it, I realize I've totally seen before. But I really like it. I am not a film nerd but you can't argue with lines like "Germaine has very sensitive hands and an exceedingly light touch. She strangled a German general - without a sound."

Since it's from 1955, it reminds me of the United States of Arugula which I haven't read but which is all about the gourmet-ization of the U.S. I'm just amused because at one point in the movie Cary Grant says "This is a quiche lorraine. Have you heard of it?" Imagine when a quiche lorraine was exotic! Amusing. Does it have something to do simply with the glamorization of Europe in America? After all, Cary Grant is the smooth French resistance fighter, essentially a European with his scarves and his villa, and Grace Kelly's mom is the new money, straight shooter, stumbled into oil in her backyard American type.

Maybe I should have been a film studies major or something, I'm enjoying this too much.

Also, Cary Grant is bright orange. Look:

I seriously want to see the new Bond movie. I have this absurd love for the idea of Bond movies although I didn't care for the Pierce Brosnan ones and the only old one I really remember is Goldfinger. But I just feel like it's going to be good (and so far I seem to be right). The preview looks pretty awesome and it actually makes me want to find out what happens (as opposed to the way I feel in the Brosnan ones, since I don't care about the plot at all in those and it doesn't matter if I do since it's kind of irrelevant to, you know, the explosions and bad puns about Christmas coming once a year). Mostly, I want to see the movie to figure out if Daniel Craig's eyes stay so pale blue throughout the whole movie. They don't seem like they could last. Seriously, look at these pictures:

I didn't know eyes could do that! It's kind of like how Elizabeth Taylor has purple eyes - they're just kind of inhuman and fascinating. Every time I see pictures of him I'm sort of bizarrely mesmerized and creeped out at the same time, and I think I'd like to see what a semi-creepy Bond can do.

I won't type the title of this anti-feminist movement because it creeps me out.

Every once in a while articles like this scare the crap out of me.

"Family planning," Pride argues, "is the mother of abortion."

Well, that's a sort of tidy way to put it.

And, for good measure:

"Some people think that what I'm doing--having eleven children--is wrong. I don't really get into that much. The Bible says 'be fruitful and multiply.' That's my belief system. They don't believe in God, so they think we have to conserve what we have. But in my belief system, He's going to give us a new earth." Overpopulation isn't a problem in a universe where God promises a clean global slate.

(via the Sinner's Guide to the Evangelical Right)
Ok, actually this is becoming less cool.

I kind of assumed that all those people were actors.

"These people are poor and they were tricked by people more intelligent than us," he said. "They took one of our 75-year-old ladies, put huge silicone breasts on her and said she was 47. Another man they filmed to look like the poorest person in the world, and one of our men who is missing an arm had a plastic sex toy taped to his stump."

on the upside...

Not everyone in Glod is upset. Sorina Luca, 25, excitedly described how she was given $3.30 to bring a pig into her home and let the producers put a toy rifle into the hands of her 5-year-old daughter for one scene.

"I really liked it," she said. "We are poor and miserable. Nothing ever happens here."

I hate everyone.

(Although, I wonder what the Freakonomics guys would say about this?)

(via Broadsheet)
While I ate my Cheerios this morning, I flipped through the first few pages of the latest Entertainment Weekly and found an article (I can't find it online) lauding gay celebrities for coming out. It's like the press celebrating Bush for his flexibility and for never saying that this was "stay the course." All the celebrities that have come out recently have first spent the past 5 years at least clarifying how straight they are - and THOSE are the ones who get all the press and attention for being totally down with their gay selves. People like Portia de Rossi, who is totally lesbian AND a major sex symbol for guys and girls (just look at her in Arrested Development and Ally McBeal - she was not only sexy for men and women, but sexy WITH men and women) - and no one seemed to care that she was openly lesbian (and dating Ellen). Instead they make a big fuss about pseudo-celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris and LANCE BASS. Imagine the scorn dripping from that name. Look. Don't get me wrong - I'm happy that NPH and Lance and cuddly George from Grey's Anatomy have all come out and are now comfortable around town with their boifs and all that. But I'm tired of the media talking about how it's totally cool to be gay in the entertainment industry. Clearly it's not when Burke from Grey's (I don't like him so I am not looking up his real name) calls his costar a "fag" on set, or when NPH and others like him hide from media coverage of their sexuality until ubiquitous rumors on blogs overtake their own PR machine. If it was really just dandy to be gay in Hollywood, then no one would make such a big damn deal about it, now would they?

Anyway, all this is just to say I'm glad someone else finally noticed this ridiculousness, and also noticed how "out and proud" actors like T.R. Knight (for the record, I think that he was pretty even headed about his coming out - there was no rumor mill and there was just a two sentence statement saying he hoped that the fact he was gay was not the least interesting part about him - which it's not) are playing highly unmanly characters on TV still (George is often called "Bambi," although his fishing expertise last week may have made him seem a little more useful at "manly" things than, say, Carev, who apparently only knows how to talk about boxing to unborn babies and say incendiary things).
Thanks to Ravi for sending me this video link about the Pop Up Book of Celebrity Meltdowns. I feel like the OJ Simpson car chase doesn't necessarily fall in the "meltdown" category, but I have a question: How come they can show a pop-up illustration of Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson's boob, but they can't show the real thing because every God-fearing mother in America would flip their shit?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Alright, so:

I sort of think Perez Hilton is a real douchebag (very self-righteous) but I still read his site every day and I also kind of love him. He really does just go there. And I think it's hilarious that he makes fun of all the celebrities but he's friends with them too (at least the attention whores like Paris Hilton). ANYWAY, this video is not awesome because of him, but mostly because the guy interviewing him, Mr. Mickey (glasses, on the right), is HILARIOUS. I met him when he spoke to my class at the Columbia course and he was pretty much awesome and we bonded about how much we love Mary Kate Olsen.

Just watch to be entertained for a few minutes and then feel free to move on quickly.

Useless inventions of the day

Because it's really just too hard to buy decaf coffee (what, are you afraid the barista will laugh at you?)

Because your chairs frequently break, but only into distinct, whole pieces, and you want to have a chair that will rebuild yourself. (Maybe they should make all Ikea chairs self-building, and then no one would ever have to try reading all those assembly instructions that use no words, only pictures.)

Arguably both of these are more interesting useful than my old friend the "Excuse me" flag. So I will cease to judge.

UPDATE: Another invention that I can't imagine anyone spending time on (hey, how about an ice cream glove while we are at it?). Except, it has the potential to greatly increase my karaoke prowess.


Last Friday I saw Babel, the new movie from the 21 Grams/Amores Perros writer-director team Guillermo Arriaga and Alejandro Garcia Innaritu (not going to attempt the special characters). While it was not the best movie ever, it was certainly riveting (if long). I was totally emotionally drained afterwards. The plot you probably know the most about (Cate Blanchett, wife of Brad Pitt, gets accidentally shot while on a tour bus in Morocco) was actually the least painful. The worst part was watching Amelia (Adriana Barraza), the housekeeper/nanny for Cate and Brad's angelic blond children, do her best to care for them while the U.S. government treats her as a second class (non-) citizen. The actress did a really wonderful job and my heart went out to the character. The second plot that really captured me was the series of vignettes about a deaf-mute Japanese girl named Chieko. There is a scene where she walks into a nightclub and the beginning of Earth, Wind and Fire's "September" is pulsing. It wasn't until the sound cut out that I realized, wait, she can't hear this. It was a strange way to shake up my hearing-centric perception, and obviously it was only part of the whole language-tower-of-Babel theme of the movie. Another reason to see the movie.

(Oh yeah, and for you to have the same "wtf" moment in the opening scenes: "Wait, Brad Pitt has bags under his eyes and gray hair. When did that happen?" Brad did a pretty good job - I generally think he is kind of boring, but, and maybe it's Angelina's influence, this was a different role for him and he performed it well. It wasn't Oscar deserving or anything, but it was good.)

Team JAM!


Yes, these.

I almost want one of each so I can change according to my mood. I am so torn! I think Karen has more balls, and we know Jim has a straightforward, non-wimpy-unrequited love side to him from his short date-y relationship with the purse salesgirl played by Amy Adams. So he and Karen could just work. They arguably have a more "adult" relationship. But, Pam! Come on, Jim is so supportive and they have so much fun together (example: their trip to buy get-well gifts for Kevin at the grocery store. Clearly if you can have fun in a grocery store, you are MFEO)! That said, Pam seriously made a mistake by refusing Jim's affection - the worst part is that she knows it. And now she's trying to make up for it, and so far, that doesn't look so happening. In real life, in all likelihood, Jam would be over and Jaren (Kim? Kam?) would prevail.

As it is, we're probably going to sit through seasons of pain as Jim and Pam try dating and then totally break up and experience awkwardness all over the place before a (not contrived, the Office doesn't do shitty plot twists) reunion circa the series finale. So, in the interests of not watching Jim and Pam get together only to break up, should I be on Team Karen? I just don't know.

In the meantime, I may just have to buy those t-shirts. Both of thems.
Today is the day for reading about insane "diets," apparently. Victoria Beckham stays robot-thin by only snacking - on foods like pretzels, edamame and that demon of all diets, sushi. And maybe if she wants to add a little extra to her diet she should try this abomination, which I read about on, of all things, a fitness blog. Kill me now. This is why the internet is bad - people take these things as serious fitness plans. It's also straight up from 1976, which I feel like has to mean that it's just not current with actual knowledge about health and fitness from, oh, thirty years later. Anyway, despite my firm conviction that this is totally ridiculous and my actual education in dieting and knowing that detoxing and quick fixes don't do any good, I have this small part of me that's really curious to know... what DOES it taste like when you mix up maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper? I may have to mix me up a batch tonight just to try it. But if you think I'm going to eat only that for 10 days you're insane. I just baked three and a half dozen chocolate chai snickerdoodles last night and I plan on enjoying them before they are stale.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Hey guys,

If you leave a comment, can you identify yourself? It always confuses me.
Friday night I spent about an hour being mesmerized by a couple of guys I know playing this bizarre game called Katamari. The general point is that you are this little man running around with a little sticky ball thing that somehow manages to pick up everything in its path (as long as the things in the way are smaller than the ball itself). You have been instructed to do this by the King of All Cosmos, who is some strange purply gray guy/bootcamp instructor who mocks you for having katamari (that's the ball thing) that only get to be, say, 500 meters in diameter. If you don't complete your target (which you can set for yourself the way you'd pick out a workout on a treadmill) in the designated time, then you lose. If you complete your target, the katamari you made becomes something like a star or a moon.

Don't let me explain it to you though. Please read this Wikipedia entry about it. And while you do, think about this: who the hell sat down one day and said, let's make a game where you run around picking up erasers, piggy banks, squid, and white-out bottles until you make a sphere as big as the moon?

And more importantly, how did they know the game was going to be so addicting?

(Because as we speak I have the urge to play it again. I realized that it's a game I can actually play, because all it involves is the two toggles on the PlayStation 2 controller, which you can move in exactly three configurations. I can actually manage that simple of a video game.)
Guess what was on TV this morning?

The original America's Funniest Home Videos!

With Bob Saget!

It was awesome!
It's official! In less than two months, I am returning here:

not to mention here:

and perhaps most importantly, here:

That's right! Today I bought my tickets to go to London and Oxford with Sean before he remains in Oxford to study for winter quarter. I have been talking about it for so long that it's kind of hard to absorb the fact that I am going to be THERE. But yes, I am! I miss England so much and have wanted to go back there for so long... and I am so excited that it's finally actually within reach!
Here is the Kurt Vonnegut (who, by the way, was born on Nov 11) quote I was referring to before. I really do love him.

When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans' Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans' Day is not.

So I will throw Veterans' Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don't want to throw away any sacred things.

What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

And all music is.

(Breakfast of Champions)
I get that this is a symbol of community support and all that, but couldn't your time be better spent?
Interesting take, interesting take:

Washington pundits still persist in portraying our recent elections as a series of waves, alternately sweeping in the proponents of a blue team or a red team; by this theory, first came the Republican surge 12 years ago, and now comes the Democratic countersurge. But in fact, these two waves are more accurately viewed as part of the same continuous seismic disturbance: the growing frustration of voters with the Washington crowd of both parties, who seem stuck in the same ideological debate they were having in 1975, while the rest of the country struggles mightily with the emerging economic and international threats of 2006.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Every time Veterans' Day rolls around, I think about Kurt Vonnegut, who in one of his books, insists that he continue to call it Armistice Day. Which I like so much better. Not that I am not all about respecting vets and all, but Armistice Day makes it sound... serene... peaceful... like we are really just all taking a breather from violence etc. for all our sakes. Plus, everyone else still calls it Armistice Day, right? I feel like it's a real return, nostalgic and everything, to a time when no one had seen anything as bad as WWI. It was, at the time, the Great War - the most horrifying thing possible - and everyone said to themselves "Never again." What a nice thing to remember once a year.

Anyway, Happy Armistice Day!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bare stems and so forth

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for that special someone?

Look no further.

This is my personal favorite. Ah, poetry.

(via the Onion AV Club)
It's all a matter of perspective, isn't it?

(I'm not calling anyone a terrorist here, just making an observation.)
Really interesting blog article Dan sent me about the Washington Post's coverage of Bush and the Rumsfeld resignation. Way to go, 1984. I've been reading a bit about how the press is really reluctant to call him on his bluff (or bluffs, since he's done similar things before), but this is pretty ridiculous. I don't know if there is an unwritten rule or a written one about newspaper articles changing after they are published, but usually they print corrections if there is something, well, incorrect. What's weird about this is that they made it incorrect. Anyway, let's all go Media Matters on their asses.
Highlights from the Office Producer's Liveblog last night (spoilers, I guess?):

John had to fall off the bike a number of times for that stunt [in last week's episode] and I stopped him when he wanted to do more. He was roaring drunk at the time.

Dwangela are going strong, although still trying to hide it. There will be some big drama in that relationship in January.

We will do a Christmas episode this December 14th and it will be an hour long, and was directed by Harold Ramis.

Oscar will return. I have just finished directing that episode and it will air in January

Fans of Michael's lovelife should especially catch the Christmas special.

Still the best show on TV.
I guess this is what your days are like if you have a job working for yourself doing something you love. (You still have 14-hour work days.)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Maybe they should have signed a prenup

I recently finished reading Tom Friedman's book From Beirut to Jerusalem. I found it really interesting, somewhat baffling (the entire religious scene in Lebanon officially confuses the hell out of me), and very enjoyable. I learned a lot. One thing I learned is that I hate it when Tom Friedman uses metaphors like this:

Although Israelis and American Jews began dating and fell in love after 1967, they never got married; they never made that total commitment to each other. Theirs was a romantic fling--an affair. As with any love affair, it was only skin deep; the two parties didn't really know that much about each other. In many ways, American Jews liked Israel for her body and Israelis liked American Jews for their money. Theirs was not a love based on true understanding, mutual respect, and mutual commitment. The relationship worked as long as the two parties dealt with each other in a facile, superficial manner--as long as not too many Israelis moved to America and saw how attractive life there really was compared to life in Israel, and as long as those American Jews who went to Israel never got off the tour bus or, if they did, met only heroes and dead people and got right back on again.

But, as in any romance, there comes a moment when the starry-eyed couple discover who the other really is, and, just as important, who the other's relatives are hiding in the bedroom closet. Only if the relationship survives that process of mutual discovery can it really last. That mutual-discovery process began for American Jews and Israelis in the mid-1970s. American Jews suddenly found themselves exclaiming to Israelis, "Hey, I fell in love with Golda Meir. You mean to tell me that Rabbi Meir Kahane is in your family! I went out with Moshe Dayan--you mean to tell me that ultra-Orthodox are in your family! I loved someone who turns deserts green, not someone who breaks Palestinians' bones." Israelis eventually found themselves equally aghast and exclaiming, "Look, American Jew, just because we are dating doesn't mean you can tell me how to live my life. And anyway, American Jew, if we are in love, then you should move in with me. You cant just date me so that all your neighbors will ooh and aah, and then drop me off at the end of the evening. You also can't start taking aerobics classes and building up a physique of your own that my daughter finds so attractive she wants to move in with you! That's just not fair."

Look, I get the point, but really?
Is it just me, or is the President's decision not to remove Rumsfeld months ago when he first considered it a perfect example of Bush's hubris and unwillingness to admit defeat? If Rumsfeld left months ago, the Repubs probably wouldn't have lost so badly - I can just imagine Bush sitting in the Oval Office saying, "We can't get rid of him now. It will look desperate. No, stay the course!"

(On a side note, I continue to be amazed by how old these guys in the White House are. Rumsfeld is 74. That's way past retirement age. I guess the way things work around there, you have to be that old to get that important of a position - just because you have to have been around long enough. But seriously, it kind of weirds me out. McCain is 70. Clinton, on the other hand, was 46 when he took office. See, that seems more like it. Jesus, just for their own health, they sleep like 3 hours a day.)

Two in one week - OC liveblog woo

"You're the one that's avoiding, avoider!" remains my favorite line from the last episode and luckily I get to see it again in the previous scenes.

We begin with the nice acoustic guitarness we've come to expect from the OC. I'm assuming I know who this artist is but don't care to look it up. Kirsten makes a brilliant comment about Ryan becoming "an island" while Julie has been named "Hurricane Julie." She has been excluded from Turducken Day because she sent Ryan on a murder mission. Seth calls Summer who is still not listening and appears to be losing it a little bit, dropping her pictures of the Newport crew (which Taylor previously noted are not on the wall) all over the floor. She deletes Seth's message because apparently T-day is less important and heartwarming than Chrismukkah so no one needs to reconcile for what is only a day of thanks and family and all that shit.

Coffee drips very slowly when you wait for it. I discovered that today at work while waiting for my life's blood to finally finish brewing up in the pot. Apparently the Cohens agree with me about the whole waiting for the coffee thing, because the awkwardness in the Cohen house at the moment is brewed up stronger than the coff itself. Kirsten lays it out straight for Ryan and Seth because apparently she has no problems anymore (I still don't remember if she drank any booze last season after being in rehab. Remind me?). She sends Ryan and Seth to shop for the holiday eats. Nothing like a grocery store trip to bring people together - gotta love the bonding that happens when you fight over whether to buy bread based stuffing or not.

"I'm not angry. I just wish he was dead, that's all." - Ryan, about Volchek. Now, that would be funny in another show, but it's not as the OC has lost all humor except for Taylor and Caitlin and a little bit of Summer's environmentalism. Apparently Volchek still doesn't have a cell phone because thugs only use payphones, old school style.

Since the weather never sucks on the beach in the OC in November, Volchek and all the half-naked surfers hang out on the beach when Sandy shows up, again in his badass sunglasses, to pick up yet another blond kid gone bad. Sandy's eyebrows look particularly caterpillarish with the sunglasses on. Jesus is Taylor still hiding out? What happened to her awesome leopard print teddy, it's been replaced by strange flannel pjs. Seth finally realizes that Summer has never called him the entire time she's been in college and now shes panicking and telling her dad she doesn't want to come. She appears to be wearing some kind of iron-on shirt - is that Sarah Jessica Parker or am I making things up. Caitlin has adopted a rat dog with feathers. It's kind of adorable and apparently it's a purse dog. That dog is freaking adorable... It's the sorriest animal specimen I've ever seen. BREAKING NEWS has come into the stupid show for a kid who got abducted. This is sad for the kid and apparently the kidnapper drives a gold Saturn. A gold Saturn - not your usual kidnapping vehicle, huh? Alright moving back, we appear to be in medias res in a fight between Julie and Dr Roberts who really weirds me out and looks like someone... let me think about this... Someone French? Or is it Gabriel Byrne. Not sure. Julie avoids the problem as usual.

Seth and Ryan shop at Whole Foods... or is that my local Vons? It really could be. Apparently in Newport everyone goes shopping for T-day ON T-day. Julie is subtle by getting Ryan to talk to her near the samples, at which point I wonder, is this Costco? It's not, but whatever. They have an oh-so-subtle conversation, so subtle I miss the entire point because I really don't care anymore about what Julie is up to, and Ryan, I mean, Marissa 2, bores me to death.

Kirsten discovers Taylor who has a really cute shirt as usual, and calls her on her shit stealing stuffing (which they apparently don't need to go shopping for. Good to know). Ryan and Julie continue their whole conspiracy because they are BORING. This better be the last Volchek episode. For some reason Ryan is taking all of her shit, which must be some Freudian thing remaining from his Marissa obsession, cause really, people.

Taylor says the words "well-endowed" in front of Kirsten, who seems to think that Taylor's bitchfest of a mother will not care about the fact that her daughter got drunk and married a Frenchman and apparently still likes speaking French very ostentatiously. Taylor continues to have a better head on her shoulder and trying to get out of the bed she made for herself. Why is she still not worried about, oh, not being in college? For that matter why is no one worried about that? Taylor also apparently speaks French fluently because she lapses into it when she is upset, which, I'm sorry, does not happen (except Casey speaks Spanish when she is drunk).

Summer I guess is on her way and still exchanging awkward kisses with Seth, who bought nice roses because he is a good boyfriend despite her never answering any of his phone calls, ever, ever, ever. More awkwardness ensues.

Sandy tells Volchek he's turning him over to the authorities, and Volchek seems to have gotten an even crazier tattoo since the episode last night. He says that Mexico felt like prison anyway, which is very mature of him. He is neither drunk nor in an orange room in the back of a bar, which is highly out of character, and who knows what changed between last week and now. The set for Sandy's office appears to be the same as the set for the Harbor School, further proof that this show is really low budg now. Ryan catches Sandy - OOH, anOTHER betrayal by the Cohens - driving off with his "client" Volchek. Ryan catches people all the time, he always discovers secrets he doesn't need to know. For once I'd like to see someone discover a secret about HIM.

(On a side note, who actually watches Prison Break?)

Taylor teaches Kirsten how to cook, because apparently she still doesn't know despite being Ms. Stepford. And she hasn't slapped Taylor yet, God knows why. Ryan is pissed and wondering where Sandy went, blah blah, this vendetta thing needs to end now. He also seems to have adopted some scruff. Is Taylor wearing a poorly placed brown belt over a black top. That confuses me to no end. Summer seems to be slightly receptive to Seth's overtures but is keeping him to a 5-no, 10-minute romp in the bedroom.

Julie doesn't know how to cook a turkey, so Dr Roberts is finally catching on to her whole fraudulent thing and her denial about going to the Cohens. Ryan tries to see Julie but has to get through the Iron Curtain of Dr Roberts first, who is understandably suspicious about this 18 year old kid trying to have an urgent conversation with his batty wife. He didn't seem to care until Caitlin caught him tooling around with his ex wife, so his time here is predictably short. Dr Roberts claims he was "excited about his life with this woman" but that didn't stop him from hiding out down at the pier with the Stepmonster. Ryan is turned away at the door, so that's better than expected for this scene.

Kirsten goes to confront Taylor's mom while she acts like good ol' Julie and flips out about not having the right color candles. She is apparently a sports agent, which explains everything since I've seen Jerry Maguire. Mrs. Townsend continues to be a huge bitch, and I still don't care really, and Kirsten does a truly terrible job of fluffing Mrs Townsend to accept her daughter's ridiculous marriage.

Summer does yoga now, and they talk about Seth's tattoo. She is kind of cuter now that I remember, but appears to not be feeling the making out vibe as she notices a cartoon of Marissa on the wall. COME ON JUST FORGET ABOUT HER ALREADY. Summer channels her rage about Marissa into rage about homeless people and drags Seth off to feed the homeless, which explains all those previews showing homeless people in the Cohens' house.

"Who knew, out of all you kids, she would turn out to be the young Sandy Cohen?" Ooh, I can just see it... Summer goes to a top tier law school (she has the arguing skills) and becomes a public defender or some other kind of public service lawyer. She'd probably be rather sassy in a suit - I can really see the future of the OC (except for the whole bad ratings thing). There are still some details in this show that I can really get behind.

Sandy tries to explain to Ryan how he isn't defending Volchek, just negotiating terms of his surrender, and Ryan storms off in the car they continue to provide him. He continues to be annoying. MOVE ON ALREADY. All your viewers have.

One of Volchek's old buddies still hangs out at the beach, because you know all the asshole badass guys surf religiously in the middle of the afternoon in November. Ryan wears the worst sunglasses ever, which is a really bad problem with this show. This Heather girl, who I vaguely remember (was she Johnny's girlfriend? No. I can't remember last season at all, because it really sucked that much), tries to stick up a little for Volchek and Ryan doesn't care. She continues to look far too clean-cut to run with that crowd and I think her top is from Target. Ryan still won't let it go, because he has to drive this plot point into the ground, and while Sandy looks for him, we have a really excellent 1950s style car driving scene (you know, moving the wheel back and forth w/o turning the car, all that jazz). Sandy looks steely-eyed and Kirsten stays home in the kitchen. Taylor returns to criticize the mashed potatoes and speak more bad French. Kirsten says "You can stay here?" and Taylor says "Forever?" because you know the Cohens really just need more messed up kids around. Taylor looks horrified about the lack of pecan pie, while Seth and Summer bring over a bunch of homeless people. Taylor goes to teach the bums how to wash themselves and Seth shows them Battlestar Gallactica, another hipster namedrop. Kiki stays in the kitchen, where she belongs, dammit.

Julie realizes that Volcheck doesn't need to be dead to be out of her hair, and Caitlin appears to be wearing suspenders. Or overalls. Not entirely sure. She goes to look for the dog who I want to come back on the screen to distract me from how I cannot figure out who Dr Roberts looks like. Julie wants to baste the turkey. Ryan looks for Volchek at the infamous inn where Julie boned Luke, and Sandy shows up with more bad glasses to catch him before he continues to be annoying.

In a nice back-and-forth scene, Julie and Dr Roberts avoid talking while Summer avoids talking to Ryan. Caitlin continues to hang with that freaking awesome dog, which looks like a bunny of some kind, and stomps off to go to the Cohens for Thanksgiving. Wise choice, my friend. I can't wait for Caitlin to be a bigger character. Again, big moment between Seth/Summer and Dr/Julie while they realize both Summer and Julie need to get over their shit. Dr Roberts, by the way, says he never slept with the Stepmonster, he just needed someone to talk to. Julie drives off telling him to get out of the (his) house, and Summer ditches Seth at his house, leaving him to stay with all the homeless people she dragged home to work out her own emotional shit.

Since it's now dark in the show, we can assume that it's at least 5pm and all other families have already eaten their tryptophan, but Sandy is busy carpooling with Ryan to go hang with Volchek. It's a brilliant idea to put two muscled, angry kids in a hotel room with broken beer bottles. Ryan punches V in the face (must be all the cagefighting), bust the bottle, and pushes him to the floor, trying to make Volchek feel the pain that Ryan won't let himself feel (oh yes, thank you, that was brilliant analysis on my part). Meanwhile, Sandy sits outside well aware that his adopted son has some serious anger management issues. Another example of brilliant hands-off parenting by Sandy Cohen.

Apparently Sandy has engineered some strange situation where Volchek and Ryan can hang out in the hotel with cops, lawyers, etc outside. They have to work it out. Hug it out, bitch. Ryan confronts his inner pain while Volchek says, "I think about that night every day." Very good, Volchek, you have a shred of human emotion. Your acting is brilliant as well, and your muscle tee totally not the kind of thing that would get your ass kicked every day. He confesses that "it all just got out of control," and Ryan asks, "It as all an accident?" Uh, yes? Volchek says "If you want to finish this, I'm not going to fight back," and Ryan says, "I'm not doing you any favors. You have to live with what you did." That is a very Princess Bride kind of moment. "To the pain," right? Volchek walks out to turn himself in and Ryan has apparently learned his lesson. The fact that he was on a mission to kill doesn't get him arrested, but Volchek gets cuffed and heads out. He still has a creepy angry look on his face but presumably this is the end of that plotline, and I am so grateful.

Summer returns to a beautifully decorated table with no food and just Julie, sitting there like the mom in American Beauty, totally on the verge of snapping. The two mourners bond over Marissa. So moving, really, I swear.

Seth wants to talk to Summer but Taylor, voice of wisdom, stops him. Caitlin still has that feathery dog. The bums are still around, and they managed to extend that table by a whole lot. They must have a lot of table leaves. Taylor's lesson in hygiene hasn't done anything. The bum calls Sandy "crazy eyebrow man." Apparently the feather dog belongs to one of the bums. That baby dog is the cutest thing ever. It's so ugly it's cute. Caitlin has apparently named it Julie, which would be excellent except that the dog goes back to the bum and will not be a permanent, Paul-Anka-on-Gilmore-Girls-type pet character. Disappointing. It went so well with Caitlin's absurd outfits.

Taylor quotes the Bible and then says she is no longer religious, and Caitlin says she is awesome and a total freakshow. This is the first time these two characters have really faced off and I can see the chemistry building. Both of them have been added as permanents on the show, so this could go somewhere good.

Summer is again going back to Brown without sexing it with Cohen or really talking to him at all. She says she'll call him when she gets her head screwed on. Her dad seems to be there for her, randomly. He says Seth has grown on him, probably thanks to their sandwich-and-golf sessions during the summer of Julie being insane. Dr Roberts, in another tidy OC plot wrap-up getting rid of an unwanted guest star, wants to move to Seattle to be a plastic surgeon at Seattle Grace - HA, way to reference the show that is KICKING YOUR ASS IN THE RATINGS. If he's gonna be in plastic surgery, that means he's gonna be hanging with Dr McSteamy. Summer seems to be unfazed about her dad moving to another state, which, I know from friends who had that happen to them in college, actually sucks a lot, because you go home to no friends. And apparently he is still talking to the stepmonster, and has broken up with Julie, all in the past like 2 minutes. Summer is willing to stay to hang with her dad but not Cohen, I guess, and they go to Chili's. If only they reference the Office here it would be awesome. I don't think there is a Chili's in any airport in Orange County.

Julie shows up at the Cohens and again needs to be taken in by them because she is essentially always losing families at the worst time. She apologizes. Julie kicks ass sometimes. Now we move into an Alexi Murdoch song. Heartwarming, as usual. Julie wants to talk to Ryan and people finally realize that's really weird of her given her history with young men that date her daughter.

"Tell me about her," Julie says, really reaching bottom now, because as far as I know all Ryan can say is that Marissa was a total headcase. He remembers the first time he saw her - or, at least, he remembers her outfit. He remembers that she was "really hot." VERY deep, Ryan. Your IQ seems to have been damaged by the cage fighting. I feel so much better about all of this now that I know Marissa will always be remembered for her hot bod.

Next week on the OC, Seth walks in on Che playing guitar in the nude. That's not me making a joke. That just IS a joke. Not in the good way.

First Reader Poll Ever

Hey all 5 of you -

and more specifically, for all 2 of you who read through my OC liveblogs -

Do you want more plot recap, or is the random, typed-super-fast-without-pausing-tivo observations of random ugly sweaters and/or non-shocking plot developments without explaining the actual event, but only saying things like "Oh no you didn't" thing working for you?

In other words, do you actually care if I make a point to tell you what happened, or would you rather just see my mind spit out whatever observations it happens to make?

Tell me so I can act like the Democrats and respond awkwardly to poorly organized polls that show me what I think you might want. (I kid. I'm just going with the George Lakoff/disgruntled Progressives/bitter Republicans line.) No really. Tell me so I can write for my audience!

Stranger than Criticism

How meta.

It's things like this that make me want to be an English PhD student, and yet at the same time I know very well that actually being one would have nothing to do with applying literary theory to popular movies and everything to do with wading through dense criticism and for that matter, dense novels themselves. Still, there is something so appealing in untangling the mysteries in storytelling. I think my handicap as an English major was always a lack of willingness to question the validity of the author's writing, creativity, strategy, technique, whatever you want to call it - I find it hard to give a bad review, basically. But my talent was my willingness to take it for what it is - to say to myself something akin to the following:

But that just may be what a critic is supposed to think; it’s what Jules Hilbert might say if he were writing this review from inside my head. And for all I know, he is.

Either way, I have this itchy finger when I read or think about literature, like when I read Jude the Obscure and lovvvved it. (And thought to myself, I should become a Thomas Hardy scholar!) And, I want to see this movie.