31 December 2008

Marathon woman

So, I've been on vacation all this week (vacation meaning "not having to go to work" as opposed to "going somewhere interesting". More of a staycation, if you will) and I've mostly been hanging around doing all the house projects I never feel like doing during the working week (or on the weekend, when I am recovering from/preparing for the working week.) And, while doing that, I've been watching marathons of things on TV.

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

Cow vs. Chicken

Does anyone else find those Chick-fil-a ads with the cows disturbing? I know, they've been around forever, but lately they have been particularly bugging me for some reason. I understand that food has to come from somewhere, and yes, I am a carnivore, but there is something unseemly about the cows throwing the chickens under the bus. I realize that nature is all about the survival of the fittest, but that just seems cold.

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

While driving in the car this afternoon...

...I was listening to All Things Considered. A story ended, and as usual, a piece of interstitial music came on between stories. It was a classical sounding violin thing, some sort of string quartet, and I was only vaguely paying attention to it. Then it started to sound familiar. That's when I realized it was Where is My Mind by the Pixies. Nice work, NPR.

17 December 2008

'Tis the season

Dear radio stations and others who play Christmas music,

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

I feel this man's pain....

While I often find myself wanting to fling my shoes at Bush, this man actually did it.

12 December 2008

Why the English language is awesome!

Bill O'Reilly has a memoir out called A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity, which some genius has determined is an anagram for "Shameful, Bona-Fide Hypocrite."  Perfect.

10 December 2008

Back from DC...

...and a good time was had by all. And by all, I mean me. Well, and possibly my friend Rakes, who I was visiting. He should have had a good time...I'm delightful!

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

Check it out

Obama has already been added to the Presidents display in the National Museum of American History

03 December 2008

Something I learned today

Check it out:


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

Wandering off topic...

So half the time when I start to write something for the blog I end up getting distracted and digress into writing something entirely different from what I had planned to discuss.

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:
I love the IMDB.

counselling...look into it.

Generally, I can't be bothered to think about the life of Kate Moss, but this does not sound like a healthy relationship to me.  I mean, if  you and your boyfriend are getting into a physical fight about anything, much less Christmas decorations, that seems...not cool.  And her quote on the matter? "We fight and we have our ups and downs - like anyone, really." Umm...not so much.