31 December 2008
This is the season of TV marathons. I think it comes from a combination of the general holiday hiatus for TV shows, TV programmers being on vacation, and a belief that no one much is watching TV anyway at this time of year. Except vacationers like me, of course.
It started by accident on Monday, when I stumbled across the Band of Brothers marathon on The History Channel. I had seen all the episodes the first time around on HBO, but it had been awhile. Also, I had forgotten about the nearly lethal hotness factor resulting from the combination of Damian Lewis and Ron Livingston. All best friends and heroic and world weary...man, that was some good casting (give it up for Hanks and Spielberg, y'all). You throw in all those other good looking fellows (especially that scary bad ass Speirs, who is ironically now the mild mannered dad on Gossip Girl), slap 'em in some WWII unis, and have them alternately blow shit up, act unbelievably heroic, liberate concentration camps, and struggle with the horrors of war...that's a well spent afternoon of TV viewing. Couple that with the fact that it's a true account of Easy Company's war experience and each episode starts with comments from the actual surviving soldiers, it's really quite moving. (Seriously, if you haven't seen it, I recommend a DVD rental, stat.)
USA network saw me thorough the next 2 days with marathons of Psych and Burn Notice. Love that Jeffery Donovan...glad he found a successful vehicle. He makes a great burned spy and Bruce Campbell is a fine sidekick (nice to see him playing sombody other than Ash). They certainly made the dusting and cleaning the refrigerator a lot more enjoyable.
There doesn't seem to be a marathon of any type on today. I might just have to rustle up a DIY version with some Arrested Development DVDs...
30 December 2008
I'm not one of those people who thinks meat comes magically from the grocery store, but neither am I a farm girl capable of going out and slaughtering the animals I eat myself. Particularly if I had been feeding and caring for them since birth. Were I forced to hunt to survive, I guess could probably do it, especially if it got down to a them-or-me situation. But, the situation would have to be quite dire before I could bring myself kill something. I think it comes down to this habit I have of anthropomorphizing things. Not just animals, anything really. Toys, stuffed animals, office supplies...I tend to ascribe personality traits to things. Unfortunately, this makes them damn near impossible to throw away. Something is wrong with me.
And back to the cows for a moment. If you believe the conceit that cows can write signs about eating chicken, why wouldn't they also be able to spell correctly? Are these elementary school cows that haven't mastered spelling yet? Are they just learning English and this is similar to how I sound when attempting to speak Spanish? Are cows innately stupid? Maybe so...yet, they did learn how to write...
I don't get it, Chick-fil-a. Of course, just look at the spelling of your establishment's name. Actually, maybe I've discovered the problem right there...
22 December 2008
17 December 2008
The Peanuts’ Theme Song (the proper title is Linus & Lucy, I believe) is not actually a Christmas song. Yes, it can be heard in A Charlie Brown Christmas, but it also appears in many other of the animated Peanuts specials. (Great Pumpkin, Easter Beagle, It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown. It's in most of them. Although, it is not in that weirdly depressing one where Snoopy goes back to his roots a encounters all the “No Dogs Allowed” signs)
Just because a song is makes an appearance in a Christmas special, that does not automatically make it a Christmas song. If you have a certain fondness for A Charlie Brown Christmas, feel free to sample from the other actual Christmas songs it contains to meet your holiday needs. Christmas Time is Here? Sure thing. That jazzy version of Oh, Tannebaum? Have at it. The whole Peanuts gang singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing? Knock yourself out. Linus & Lucy? Not so much.
While we're dancing around the subject, the same goes for My Favorite Things. Not only is this not a Christmas song, The Sound of Music is not a Christmas movie. Even Wikipedia agrees with me:
"The wintertime imagery of some of the lyrics has made My Favorite Things a popular song during the Christmas season, and it often appears on holiday-themed albums and compilations, although in the show and movie it is sung during a summer thunderstorm."So, do us all a favor, just stick to the standards. A little Rudolph. A little Silent Night. Throw in a few of those new-fangled modern Christmas songs if you must (except for that Christmas Shoes one, that song should not be played under any circumstances), but let’s try to keep it in the actual holiday area.
Happy Holidays, Zil
P.S. While entertaining, this is not a Christmas song either, no matter how much dancing Snoopy you add. See how it works?
14 December 2008
12 December 2008
10 December 2008
We checked out the newly reopened National Museum of American History and we went to the National Zoo at night, which was lovely and all decorated with lights for Christmas (and very cold!) I was most excited to see that my old friend Uncle Beasley was kicking it at the zoo. I still remember him from his old home on the Mall.
Anyway, I'm sure I've mentioned many times that I love DC (something Lady Byron recently pointed out to me on twitter), and I fortunately seem to get to go there a lot on other people's dime. An annual meeting there is like my one work perk (well, that and 2 weeks off at Christmas and a week for spring break). Whenever I go, I always manage to work in an extra day or two to play and see the sights.
So, while my love for Our Nation's Capital is well documented, I don't think I have mentioned here that I'm going back next month. Inauguration, baby. Just me and Barack and four million or so of our closest friends. I had thought about going up for the inaugration just before and just after the election, but I finally decided it would be too much hassle, what with the accommodation seeking and the crowds and all the other related madness. That was until I got a call from the aforementioned Lady Byron.
It turns out that all three of the Byrons are coming over the pond from London to the inaguraton (including 5 year old BSH - who will be reporting on the doings back to her school class - and the rarely sighted Beard!) So, with that added attration, I couldn't pass up the trip.
So, a plane ticket and an extremely pricey hotel room had been secured. Yay!
07 December 2008
03 December 2008
In music, melisma is the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession.
So there's actually a word for what I usually refer to as "you know, that crappy type of singing they do on American Idol"
On a related note: leave the National Anthem alone, people. It does not need your flourishes and whatnot. Just sing the damn thing and let them start the game.
02 December 2008
For example I saw this article today, in which it is mentioned that Ed Westwick was rumored to have been dating Drew Barrymore. So, my first thought was, what is up with Drew Barrymore dating all these kids? First Justin Long, now Ed Westwick. I mean, she's damn near my age.
Which got me thinking, how old is Drew Barrymore anyway? I mean, I was a kid when E.T. came out, and she was a kid in it, so...do the math.
So, the trusty IMDB tells me that Drew Barrymore is approaching 34, so I was more or less right about her. But then I looked up Justin Long, and I discovered that he is actually 30 years old (June 2, 1978). I had no idea. He's got some sort of Micheal J. Fox/Karate Kid thing going on. Also, completely age appropriate for Drew, so I stand corrected.
Ed Westwick, however, was born in 1987, which makes him 21 (also making him a part of the grand TV-high-schoolers-not-actually-played-by-teenagers tradition). Old enough to drink and all, but still a bit young for Drew.
And, while wandering around in the IMDB, I discovered some additional random information:
- Steven Spielberg is Godfather to both Drew Barrymore and Gwyneth Paltrow
- Barrymore's godmothers are Sophia Loren and Anna Strasberg.
- Barrymore is the Godmother of the late Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love's daughter, Frances Bean
- Michael J. Fox is 47 years old
- Fox and Ralph Macchio are actually the same age, which I didn't realize when I cited them as examples of boyish looking fellows
- Eric Stoltz was the original Marty McFly in Back to the Future (he was fired and replaced by Fox)
27 November 2008
Of course there is the animal. Also the country.
A turkey is also:
1. a failure, flop; especially : a theatrical production that has failed
2. three successive strikes in bowling
4: a stupid, foolish, or inept person
Cold Turkey is a good one, as both a noun:
1: abrupt complete cessation of the use of an addictive drug ; also : the symptoms experienced by a person undergoing withdrawal from a drug
2: unrelieved blunt language or procedure
3: a cold aloof person
or an adverb: all at once : abruptly, without a period of gradual adjustment, adaptation, or withdrawal; without preparation
You can talk turkey: To discuss in a straightforward manner: “The time has come to talk turkey about our national debt.”
Watch out for the jive turkey, a phrase I still associate with George Jefferson.
And my favorite, the Turkey Dump: When a student returning from college breaks up with their significant other from high school. So-called because it traditionally takes place over thanksgiving break, the first time most students return from college.
Also, be sure to check out the Poultry Slam on This American Life, celebrating this season of elevated poultry consumption.
24 November 2008
23 November 2008
I hobbled home and applied the usual ice/compression/elevation routine (it's not my first time around the sprained ankle block. Actually, I sprained my ankle in a high school soccer game a hundred years ago, and ever since my ankles seem to want to rebel against me. If I take even the slightest step in which the entire sole of my foot isn't abolutely flat on the ground, my ankle is like "Oh hell no. That's it, I'm out" and it just rolls over. Such a whiny thing)
Anyway, It's not really that bad. No crutches or anything, just a couple of days worth of bithcing and limping about. I've been convalescing and hanging on the couch since the incident, which has allowed me time to work my way through some of the backlog on my Ti-faux (I used to have an actual Tivo, which I loved, but alas it did not want to play nicely with the HDTV) I also watched Love, Actually on cable (making it's annual appearance for the holiday season, I guess) I joined the film a bit late, but the beauty of the DVR is the ability to rewind live TV, which worked out perfectly because it allowed me to fast forward through all the Laura Linney parts of the movie. Don't get me wrong, I generally enjoy Laura Linney, but in this film I think her whole story line doesn't work.
[here are 2 unrelated interrupting thoughts: 1. One of the things I like about Love, Actually is the interrelated story lines. I seem to enjoy that kind of thing. I love it in Go (still one of my favorite movies), Pulp Fiction (ditto) and even Playing by Heart (if you haven't seen this one, it's worth a look. Jon Stewart --acting!-- also Sean Connery, Gena Rowlands, Angelina Jolie, Ryan Phillippe, Gillian Anderson, Madeleine Stowe, Dennis Quaid, Jay Mohr, Anthony Edwards, Ellen Burstyn...quite the star-studded affair. 2. Have you seen that Laura Linney movie P.S.? I stumbled upon it on one of my movie channels a while back. It also has Topher Grace, who I also really like. It was pretty good, but the premise is that Linney believes that Grace is the reincarnation of her dead husband or something and that whole concept, not to mention the sex scene between the two, was a little disconcerting. Thus endeth the digression]
I also watched this version of Hamlet that I had never seen, featuring Ethan Hawke, Sam Shepard, Kyle MacLachlan, Bill Murray, Liev Schreiber, and Julia Stiles. I vaguely remember being aware of this when it came out. I have to say that it was surprisingly enjoyable. The language is Shakespearean, but the setting is modern. The "kingdom" is a Fortune 500 company with the "King" its CEO. I really liked the little modern touches like some of the dialogue coming in the form of TV news reports, Rosencrantz and Guildernstern reporting in to Claudius by phone and fax, Ophelia forced to wear a wire to try and get proof of Hamlet's madness, and the play-within-a-play taking the form of an arty movie shot by Hamlet. My ankle still hurts, though.
21 November 2008
- El Segundo has come up twice this week on TV shows I was watching. And each time, all I can think of is "I left my wallet in El Segundo" (which has caused me to walk around all week muttering "I gotta get it, I got got to get it...")
- I find diamond jewelry commercials weirdly affecting. I don't even wear or like that kind of jewelry, but lately the sappy Kay Jewlery commercials have struck me as sweet.
- How is it possible that Thanksgiving is on Thursday?
- The Ashlee Simpson/Pete Wentz spawn finally arrived, and they named the kid Bronx Mowgli. So...they love NY and The Jungle Book? What is with celebrities and the jacked-up baby names
- Have you seen the giant blue sculpture between the Dept. of Ed and the Civic Center (it's on Gaines St. + MLK Dr.)? I like it, but apparently it's not sticking around forever. Also, they fixed up that park. It looks quite nice
- Have I mentioned that I've taken up jogging? I tried it a while back but fell off the wagon. I'm really not particularly fond of running, but I've decided to suck it up and learn to like it. Still very slow...the 4 minute mile has nothing to fear from me.
- And now the weekend begins in T- minus 1 hour. Hooray!
18 November 2008
Also, my research was more complete. For example, they didn't mention Aussie Poppy Montgomery, who's on Without a Trace with Anthony LaPaglia, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste, who they did talk about. They got Hugh Laurie, Rufus Sewell, Jason O'Mara, and Damian Lewis (who are all super hot, by the way), but they missed nearly as many: Johnny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Ed Westwick, John Nobel, Anna Friel, Yvonne Strahovski, Anna Torv, Lena Headey (actually they seem to have missed all the women except Jean-Baptiste. I guess that's what an Oscar nomination gets you).
14 November 2008
We guess http://capricious1.blogspot.com is written by a man (56%), however it's quite gender neutral.
Ok, so I'm "gender neutral", actually. Apparently I don't write enough about babies and shoe shopping and whatnot. Although ironically, I'm in the market for a new pair of black fancy heels because I recently messed up the heel of my current pair at a baby shower. That's actually true, but also, check me out now, gender analyzer.
13 November 2008
- I do not recall having recently heard this song. Because,
- Like most people, I have neither seen nor thought about Rent (either the musical or the film version) in years, and
- This is not even one of the main songs from the show, or one I even particularly liked.
Taye Diggs is hot though.
I know Barack and Michelle have better sense than to do this. The last thing that those girls need is to be TV guest stars, even if it is on a harmless tween show. They are already under a microscope during a time when they are not only moving to a new town and school, but into the White House for God’s sake. Get them the hypoallergenic puppy and keep them out of the spotlight. Oh, and shut-up Billy Ray Cyrus. Did the whole Vanity Fair thing teach you nothing? Leave those girls be.
12 November 2008
I rode down to Orlando with work people, but stayed an extra couple of days, so I had to pick up a rental car at the Orlando airport, which took forever. (Advice: avoid renting a car at the Orlando Airport. Huge lines full of vacationing families from throughout North America and Europe.) On the plus side, my trip to the airport did give me the opportunity to walk on a moving sidewalk. I do love the moving sidewalks. They are by far the best thing in any airport. I feel so speedy and important when I’m on one, effortlessly bypassing those walking-on-the-regular-ground losers. I think there should be moving sidewalks out in the world, taking people from their car to the mall or office or movie theatre and back again. I also have this desire to see those skyride aerial tram things you ride on at amusement parks (like the ones at Disney and Busch Gardens) used as a form of around-town public transportation. Think about it. It’s like a cable car, but in the sky. You get a relaxing journey with a lovely view. I confess this idea came to me in a dream, in which Tallahassee had such a system. I walked out to my corner, got into the gondola and was whisked across town to FSU. But, I digress.
Anyway, I finally got my rental car, and as usual it was kind of a pain in the ass. It’s nice to get to try out a different car, but there’s always so much hassle. For example, I hate coming out of a hotel or restaurant or whatever and not immediately recalling what my car looks like. I spent 10 minutes wandering around a mall parking lot looking for my car, because while I could remember that it way gray, I’m not routinely familiar with the lines and body shape of the Mitsubishi Galant. I kept pushing the button on the key to try and make the horn beep to let me know it’s location. I thought I was honing in on it, until I realized that this elderly couple was doing the same thing and I had been following their horn.
Ok, enough bitching for now. But for real, someone needs to get cracking on that skyride transport system, stat. That is totally the way forward.
05 November 2008
Here's some other stuff:
- Someone on CNN mentioned this interesting fact: the candidate with the better military record hasn’t won in the last 5 elections: Bush over Kerry and Gore, Clinton over Dole and Bush the elder.
- Also on the CNN front. I'm kinda torn on the holograms. They were freaky, but kind of grew on me. I mean, are holograms really that different than talking heads on a TV screen? Also, it's led to so many "help me (Barack Obama, will.i.am, etc.), you're my only hope" jokes. Also, I rather enjoyed Wolf and Anderson saying "now joining us live via hologram..."
- I can’t believe the anti-gay marriage amendment passed (not only in FL but in CA too). I just really don’t get this issue. How does a gay marriage diminish a straight one? Gay marriage does not impinge on the rights of straight couples or take anything away from their relationships. And if it’s an issue of faith, I don’t get why people think that the tenants of their particular faith should be put in the constitution. I mean, that’s like a bunch of Christians saying were down with Jesus, but the Jews aren't, so let's put "Jesus is the son of God" in the constitution, you know, just in case the Jews want to name another Messiah sometime. To me, this issue is no different from the laws that used to prevent blacks and whites from marrying. How do people not see that? Being that I am neither married nor gay, the issue doesn't affect me directly, other than we just put something in the constitution that takes rights away from a specific minority group. That's just disturbing...
- I also can't believe that Ted Stevens got re-elected immediately after getting convicted. I mean, thanks to Palin, we already knew that Alaska was messed up, but good lord people...
- I love that there will be little kids in the White House again. I just hope the press (and assholes like Limbaugh and his ilk) don't go all Chelsea Clinton on the girls.
That's enough for now. Yay Obama!
03 November 2008
02 November 2008
Here's another tangentially related thing that happened yesterday. I went to get a pedicure with my friend Lucy (Black Onyx was my selected toenail color, in case you were curious). Afterward, we were standing outside the Tallahassee Mall by her car. She and her husband, Ricky, had been canvassing for Obama that morning. One of the houses they passed by had a McCain/Palin sign in the yard, but it also had a pile of 4 or 5 Obama signs that the resident had obviously snatched out of people's yards. Lucy and Ricky took the signs for redistribution (which I think works as some sort of metaphor for the whole "Obama wants to redistribute your wealth" thing that McCain is always on about with Joe the Plumber these days, but I can't quite work it out at the moment) Anyway, she had the signs in her trunk, and so I walked over to her car to get one. We were standing there chatting and I was holding the sign, when out of nowhere, this 30-ish African-American dude walks up to me and says "I just want to tell you that I'm a McCain supporter, and you might as well throw those signs away." Very odd...
31 October 2008
Hayes got some unwanted attention earlier this month when — warming up the crowd at a rally for John McCain — he said liberals "hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God." He was speaking at a McCain rally and announed that "liberals 'hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God."Really nice, North Carolina.
29 October 2008
I tend to ride on trails like those at Lake Overstreet that are wide and not that challenging. I mean they are not challenging in terms of having like jumps and stuff, because that hill coming up from the bottom loop to the top is plenty challenging for me. That shit is steep, ya'll. Anyway, “technical trails” is I believe the cool mountain biker term for the ones with all the roots and jumps and tight turns and crazy steep drops.
Here's the thing about those trails. I'm not opposed to them on principal. It’s just that I might kill myself, were I to attempt to ride them. I lack the requisite skills. And the problem is that I don't know how you actually get those skills. First off , do you really improve at riding a bike? I mean, it's riding a bike. People say, "it's like riding a bike" for a reason. It’s supposed to be simple, right?
I know that the correct answer on how to get better is to practice, but I’m not sure how that would work in this case. It's like skateboarding. I never understood how people get good enough to do all those flips and ollies and fakie nosegrinds or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Again, I know, practice. You do the tricks over and over again and fall and screw up until you finally don't fall and screw up anymore. I don't think that approach is going to work for my problem, though. I mean, do you just ride down the hill and fly over the handlebars or a crash into a tree until that doesn't happen anymore? Sounds painful. And dangerous. And, I’m too old for that shit.
I’ve checked out some of the other trails around town. A lot of them are mixed use and have some easy parts and some technical parts. That’s fine, I just have to go slow or dismount when I get to something I can’t handle. Which is fine, if no one is around. But often there are other people there who actually know what they are doing and seem annoyed by my slow, unsteady ass. I’m sure that’s just me projecting and that they are perfectly nice, but I am in their way and I feel bad slowing them up.
I would like to get better. It's not like I'm an adrenaline junkie or anything, but I do enjoy going fast. I love roller coasters and the spinny throw-up rides at the amusement park. It's just that on a bike I feel completely out of control. Probably due me being in charge as opposed to the safety of being on a track like a roller coaster.
I think what I need is some sort of class involving safety gear and a professional. Like when little kids take gymnastics class. They start with low-to-the-ground equipment, lots of padding, and spotters to catch them when they fall. I need that, but a mountain bike version for unskilled 30- and 40- somethings.
27 October 2008
26 October 2008
24 October 2008
In November 2007, majority owner Stuart Sternberg decided to make drastic changes and renamed his team from the "Tampa Bay Devil Rays" to the "Tampa Bay Rays", which he described as "A beacon that radiates throughout Tampa Bay and across the entire state of Florida."