Friday, February 02, 2007

May The League recommend...

The Sarah Silverman Program

It's not often I feel uncomfortable watching a program, but still really enjoy watching it.

Actually, that's not entirely true. That's sort of how I feel watching most of the Adult Swim line-up.

And I also felt miserably hypocritical watching the the new Comedy Central show "The Sarah Silverman Program". I'm pretty sure the "Sarah" of the show is supposed to be on meds. And I'm pretty sure this show can't air before 10:00 on basic cable.

Also, there should be more singing on TV outside of American Idol.

It's not so much one moment or two moments that made the first episode particularly good, it was more the feeling of people who had an idea able to get their weird, half-ass'd show on the air and do whatever they wanted to do without a lot of fuss from the outside.

Portions of the show are probably not as funny to me as they might have been once, but I look forward to seeing what the next few episodes are like.

30 Rock

I have a semi-long-standing crush on Tina Fey. And have harbored a deep admiration for Alec Baldwin ever since The Shadow (yes, I love The Shadow. Shut up).

So, yes, of course I tuned in to 30 Rock. NBC has let this show grow and find it's way. And this week, the episode fetaured guest star Paul Reubens (a man who knows how to committ to a part) and Isabella Rossellini, who still is doing an excellent job of maintaining what her mother's genes gave her.

There's enough of a cast to mix things up from week to week, and its not turning into a comedy that is going to hamstring itself with a "Ross & Rachel" type scenario that always makes me go running from shows both comedy and drama.

Some folks are going to keep pointing to Studio 60, but as Studio 60 re-creates itself as a romantic dramedy to fend off cancellation, I'll continue watching the show that I believe is probably far closer to the truth of how things work back stage at a comedy show.

Mooninite Enablers Address the 4th Estate

I wish I had the presence of mind to do this sort of thing when my entire future is in the balance.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The League tells you about love

Hello Leaguers. It's that magical time of year once again when young love blossoms, roses are in bloom, cherubs fill the air and everyone is but one magical evening away from romance.

I've been married for some time, and as such, I think I have a pretty good idea regarding how love works. So, here's some unwarranted advice I have for all the single-folk out there when it comes to how you can make Valentine's Day better:

Stow it.


Every year the blogosphere and work-time lunch conversations are filled with the nattering of the dateless and unmarried making as if their Totino's-For-One Valentine's Day should somehow be equated with the plight of an oppressed peoples. There's invariably a lot of talk about how the valentine cards and expensive dinners are but reminders of how others are blissfully in love, while the single-folk dwell in loveless solitude.

Look, I am very sorry you miss out on this holiday. I imagine it must be horrible, all the not spending money on gifts that will never see the light of day again, or waiting in line for two hours at some mediocre Italian place. Or the watching of whatever you want to watch on TV. The lack of "constructive" criticism from a mate, and all the nobody telling you that you don't look awesome in your homemade Hawkman outfit.

If you really want a Valentine's Day that's not going to make you feel all squooshy inside, then, for God's sake, cowboy up and ask someone out. Quit your crying and find some movie times and ask someone out. But do it well before Valentine's Day as that holiday is NOT a good day for a first date.

Keep in mind: The worst they can do is say no.

Well, the worst they can do is say "maybe", then string you along for a while so they have a chance to tell all their friends what a pathetic loser you are so all their friends can watch as you fumble along behind them, believing they might like you when, really, they think you're a worm. But if you picked a girl who was going to do that, your date selection needs some work.

this sort of flower is about to get stupidly expensive

Bear in mind, nobody ever had a great Valentine's Day by deciding nobody was going to go out with them. And crying about it doesn't exactly make anyone feel particularly sorry for you. Certainly not me.

I've been married seven years, and been associated with Jamie for more than eleven years. The truth is: Valentine's Day is for High Schoolers. It's a time to give Peggy Sue a teddy bear she can keep on her pink bedspread (until she dumps you two weeks into Freshman year of college), and to play grown-up when you wear your church pants and go all by yourself to the Olive Garden.

My hard-gained wisdom tells me that most folks on the other side of your Hallmark-laden nightmare do not care too much about Valentine's Day. I think we usually exchange store-bought cards on Valentine's Day, watch a re-run of "Scrubs" and then go get a Gyro or something some other day.

And here's the real deal for why I'm never too psyched about Valentine's Day: For dudes, Valentine's Day is a one-way gift street. This evening I saw a Zales commercial wherein a gentleman was examining a $500 trinket he'd purchased for his lady-love and smiling coyly to himself. Here's my issue: I am betting the lady-love did NOT spend $500 getting him a PS3 or new rims for his El Camino. One way gift street.

Many will object at this point and wish to sheepishly point out that supposedly there's snugglebunnies involved. Look, Leaguers... there's a name for that kind of transaction. I don't care what day it is.

When I was but a lad and working one of my three amazing summers at The Disney Store Willowbrook Mall, a family would come into the shop on a regular basis. Dad was a bald, chubby dude with a nicely trimmed mustache, and he'd be walking behind three kids, lined up like ducklings. At the front of the line was Mom. Mom was obviously born with some severe birth defects as her legs and arms had not fully developed, and, thusly, she was confined to a motorized wheel-chair.

Upon seeing the family, I remember thinking: That lady probably grew up thinking she may never meet someone who would see her for who she was. She may have cried herself to sleep after her own mother, hoping to be helpful, told her that nobody would ever want to really get to know her. You know, like in a Sir-Mix-A-Lot-XXX-Throwdown sense. But, somehow, these two crazy kids had found each other and raised a brood of miserable little hellspawn who would knock all the merchandise off the shelves.

The point is: Sure, you probably know it's a lot of self-loathing on Valentine's Day which has kept you from getting around to asking out that lady at the coffee shop or that guy who puts luggage in the bottom of the plane. But nobody is going to do that for you. Except for me. If you ask, I'm happy to do it. Or even if you don't. Really, it's best I never know if you're interested in someone as I'll just make you miserable until you get a date or they shoot you down. That's just how I roll.

But as we enter February, and I see the cards at Target and I reflect upon this completely made up day of romance... it's mostly the energy spent on the lonely-guy/gal nattering that drives The League insane. Nobody is persecuting you. Nobody but geeky teenagers is really enjoying Valentine's Day. Many of us are dreading spending this much money when we just paid off the Visa from Christmas. And nobody is stopping you from asking anyone out. Cowboy up.

And if they do turn you down, have a choice B and choice C lined up.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Multiple Things (Updated)

RIP Molly Ivins

Your voice will be sorely missed in the Lone Star State.

Boston Powerless before scourge of the Mooninites

It seems that electronic ads featuring the Mooninites were mistaken for bombs or something.

CNN story here.

Hilarity here.

can you see this? because I'm doing it as hard as I can

The devices displayed one of the "Mooninites," outer-space delinquents who make frequent appearances on the cartoon, greeting passersby with a raised middle finger. Nine were reported around Boston on Wednesday, sending police bomb squads scrambling and snarling traffic and mass transit in one of the largest U.S. cities.

Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll called Wednesday's incidents "a colossal waste of money." She had no immediate comment on whether any laws were broken but said police would investigate further.

Thanks to an erratic schedule and my love of anthropomorphic food, I'm more than a little familiar with Aqua Teen Hunger Force. So, perhaps the APD would do well to keep me on staff for just such an Aqua Teen-related emergency, or emergencies related to Space Ghost or Sea Lab 2021.

And now, an example of someone taking out their personal embarassment as rage:

Scaring an entire region, tying up the T and major roadways, and forcing first responders to spend 12 hours chasing down trinkets instead of terrorists is marketing run amok," Markey, a Democrat, said in a written statement. "It would be hard to dream up a more appalling publicity stunt.

Curiously, not a single stoner, geek or insomniac felt threatened. Go figure.

Luckily, I am sure everyone will maintain a level head about this.

oh, wait... They've actually arrested someone in relation to the rogue electronic signs.

I am unclear WHY the Boston police thought the Mooninites were a threat (well, I am sure the Mooninites would like to believe they are a threat). These are pretty clearly signs. I do not stop and believe every metal box I see is a bomb, but I also have not been through terror-response training.

I am sure there's a lesson here that probably could be summed up with the fact that our nation has a color-coded terror threat scale.

It's good to know that we're all now one poorly placed sign away from being charged with terrorism.

And for those of you still living in a world where you do not know what a Mooninite is:

Action Comics Annual #10

I wasn't all that excited about DC's fill-in for February's Action Comics miss (this is after no new Action Comics in January OR February). But DC wisely put out a preview for the Annual, and it looks pretty cool.

It should be a good one for your pull list. The format of the comic follows the format of traditional "giant" Superman annuals and issues from years past, with all the different stories highlighted on the cover. (Also used in "Superman Family").

Comic Fodder

Apparently I was one of many who got bent out of shape about DC editor Eddie Berganza's DC Nation column last week.

Still, it got me some much needed traffic on Comic Fodder.

Since then I've done two days worth of DC reviews and a post on when weekly comics go wrong.

I don't think Jamie actually ever reads what I write on Comic Fodder. I saw her reading it, like, a week ago. But I think that's the first time she'd ever checked it out. It's probably good that way. I take what everyone else says as constructive criticism, but when Jamie offers me anything, I feel like I totally screwed up. I don't know what the difference is.

And it's also been a reminder that the interweb is a public place. Some guy out there refered to me as a "goon", even after agreeing with me. Apparently my prose style can use some work.

Mom and Dad, i heart you

Apparently my parents are concerned that I no longer call as often as I once did. A few factors:

1) I no longer have a 45 minute commute. I'm unemployed. I don't have a period in my day when I know I will be on the road listening to you or "Marketplace" on NPR. When I am on teh road, it's no longer a completely straight line as it was in AZ. Plus, driving and talking = dangerous.
2) I am actually busier here than in Arizona. I no longer spend Friday, Saturday and Sunday watching VH1's celeb-reality proigramming, hoping someone will call to break up the boredom. I now DVR the celeb-reality programming and watch it while you're at work.
3) You people are never home. Did you know that?
4) I am unemployed. I have very little to discuss aside from what Jason has usually already told you about. He was there for most of it.

So if I'm not on the phone all the time, I'm sorry. If I'm not here when you call, I may actually have left the house, unlike AZ.

It does not mean your younger son does not think the world of you.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007

No Post

Nothing happened today.

Lucy is driving me insane.


I have posted reviews to last week's comics at Comic Fodder.

Is Carolina lurking at my blog? Say hi. Send an e-mail. Call. Something. It's been a while.

The last two movies I watched were: Jesse James meets Frankenstein's Daughter, and The Punisher. Something has gone very wrong in my life.

I am sort of excited about Windows Vista. You know how you get excited about the new TV season because you sort of hope that THIS year they'll come up with something you can watch? Even though they usually don't? It's sort of like that. It's like birthdays when you reach middle school and you quit getting Transformers and start getting Knights of the Round Table shirts in weird colors you never would have picked out yourself. I guess I'm always up for anything new.

That said, I'm not buying anything with Vista on it for six months, minimum.

I have an underbite. Sometimes it bothers me. When I close my mouth, my top teeth touch my bottom teeth. I could probably get it fixed as my father-in-law has been known to straighten a tooth or three, but 99.5% of the time, I don't think about it. But I bet he stares at it, knowing exactly what he'd do to fix it. Well, I shall be the teeth that got away.

Lucy is now asleep.

Jason has gone into radio silence since Saturday. I need to fit him with a bell.

Mel is usually asleep. Sometimes he chases the ball. Down the stairs. Add the cat to the stairwell, and hilarity ensues.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Arden Snow Prep

the indignities of the snow suit

Billy Bush is a PodPerson

We've had a lovely weekend at League HQ.

Friday night I headed over to Pat's for HD Movie night. Of course, Pat lured me over with an HD copy of "Superman II: the Richard Donner Cut". We also watched a few minutes of SuperPup (provided by yours truly), a few Superman cartoons, and a couple of HD programs. "Three Sheets" is a travel show following a lush as he goes from lovely vacation spot to lovely vacation spot sampling local booze. The guy is clearly in need of an intervention, but that doesn't mean the show isn't a lot of fun. It also reminded me I haven't been to the beach since November '01. Damn. They also have a show which is just swimsuit models on the beach.

This sort of shortcuts a business plan my former co-worker, Tom, once pitched to me: The Beach Channel. 24 cameras pointing at beaches, one in each time zone, and we rotate beaches once an hour. Sure, it's more of a screen saver than a show, but we'd also license steel drum music or something to make it work.

Saturday we had brunch with Jason at Maudie's, then re-grouped at his place with the dogs. The Austin weather was perfect. Sunny, breezy, and cool, and I wanted to do something outside. I had throwing a frisbee around in mind, but Jason reminded me that there was a march going on downtown, so we got all political and went and did that.

Then we wrapped up the night at Mandy's with Jason, Greg Johnson, a smoking chiminea and some decent beer.

When I got home, I finished my week-ending column for Comic Fodder, then went to bed.

Today was very pretty out, but a LOT colder. We've mostly been running errands, cleaning up a little and hanging out today. I did some maintenance work for Comic Fodder as per JimD's wise suggestion (no, I am not done), and tonight I need to do at least 1/2 of my DC Comic Reviews.

So I sat through 2 hours of "Grease: You're the One That I Want", NBC's Broadway-themed American Idol rip-off. It's hosted by TV gadfly Billy Bush, who I once tee'd off on in these very pages.

I finally figured out what creeps me out about Billy Bush (aside from the fact that he is, in fact, a member of the Presidential Bush family, and does, in fact, look a tad like Bush POTUS 43). What creeps me out is that all Billy does for a living is read from a teleprompter. And not particularly well.

Ryan Seacrest may be a parasite, but he's a highly successful, lamprey-like parasite. I've had occasion to see American Idol dozens of times, and I can give him credit where credit is due. Seacrest at least seems comfortable improvising and talking to the contestants.

Every single word from Bush's mouth is coming from the teleprompter, to his eyes and then out of his mouth in a bizarre, snappy patter that bears no resemblance to actual human speech patterns. It's almost as if Bush doesn't actually understand the words he's saying, or ever consciously process those words. He's a human vo-coder that merely blurts out sounds based upon some barely sophisticated programming.

it walks among us

And that may well be the truth. Take the vo-coder, add a head of LA-wet-moosed-windblow hair, blank/dead eyes and a zombified grin, and there's no real evidence to prove that Billy Bush ISN'T an alien being walking in our midst. A star-struck, semi-coherent alien with a lot of skin creme at his disposal.

I have decided, while watching this show, that I have a pitch Maxwell and I need to put together for a "reality" show. Our show would have to be on Bravo or A&E, and it would follow the process of bringing a show (TV, movie, Broadway, whatever) together, but not in a game show format. I think people would be interested in a documentary about the whole process.

Only our show would also have sharks.