Monday, May 30, 2005

Beverly Hills, Thats Where I Want to Butt

So one of the "priveleges" of living in the Buffalo-Niagara region is getting one channel of Canadian TV. From what I have been led to believe all the Candian networks (I purposefulyl resist the use of the term "major networks") are like this one, that is, having a mix of American TV and a couple original Candian shows. One of those original Canadian programs is Canadian Idol, the first episode of which I am watching in celebration of memorial day weekend. I should note a couple things about this show, but first let me stay that I am in fact aware that American Idol is not the first instance of "___ Idol" programming, but fundamentally I think its phenomenal success and the fact that it beats the hell out of Pop Idol and the others should be noted. This is the third installment of C.I. and if you can name the other two Canadian idols without looking them up on the internet you are either Canadian, a liar, or a Canadian liar because no one outside of Canada knows who the other Canadian idols are. Katie and I know the first guy, Ryan Malcomb, but thats a fluke and we're like the only ones. Notably, and I am serious about this, Ryan Malcomb would have been lucky to make it to Hollywood and the second dude, who has apparerently sold 2+ million records, I think is fake.

Even though I saw Ryan Malcomb show down with Mikey Bustos and Billy Klippert, I had never seen the CI auditions before. Its the same as American Idol except their Ryan Seacrest is way lamer, they have 4 judges who suck, and the worst catch phrase ever which is said in all seriousness, and I am not making this up: "You're goin to TORONTO!!" Not to mention that they have four judges, Farley (who is obviously a really lame Randy who doesn't say dawg) a Paula whose first name is (again, seriously) Sass, and it appears that they split Simon into two judges, one who got his Brittishness and one who got his rude comebacks but somewhere in the split they lost the choosiness, since both of their Simons are less selective than the real one. I seriously think I could go to the auditions and not look ridiculous. Ironically, that fact is in itself ridiculous because I sing like butt.

A happy Memorial day to any of those who either celebrate in some serious fashion or are remembering someone today. I have never done anything that relates to the specificity of the holdiay, but let me tell you that insofar as it signifies a day off and a barbecue I am all in favor. We were only really able to psuedo barbecue, since we have no outdoor space and no grill of any sort. We did have turkey burgers and roasted sweet corn, which was tasty and in the very least a tribeuce to the spirit of American holidays. It seems to me that the quality and spirit of American holidays are directly proportional to the quality and quantity of two factors: food and football. All holidays in the summer, seeing as how they have barbecue like food, automatically register pretty well. Memorial Day and the Fourth of July get good points for food, but suffer from both football deprivation and potential jingoism. Labor day has the BBQ possibility but isn't necessarily connected to the grill, which is why it can go either way. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the King and Queen of holidayland, the former beating the latter only because it is not dominated by the stress and hassle, its just a Thursday full of food and pigskin.

We have now moved into watching the premiere episode of Hell's Kitchen which stars this Brittish chef douche named Gordon Ramsey. Maybe this dude can cook and maybe he's got some successful restaurants but he is a total total wad. This dude is so obviously geared up to be a reality TV guy that its causing me physical pain. Literally, you could pick up a random motivational person at a police training facility and he would be this good. He's not an interesting character, he's not convincing, and his schtick is like a MadTV caricature of Simon Cowell. That said, Fox has a long and great history in the world of reality TV and I will give them at least a couple episodes, since they are dealing with the shockingly empty Monday evening timeslot, even by summer standards. Regardless, next week is the real beginning of the summer TV season when HBO kicks off Six Feet Under, USA starts the follow up to the surprisingly good first season of The 4400, and Fox gives the BTVS crew yet another chance with The Inside (which, since its guided by Tim Minnear, you've gotta assume will both rock and be canceled after about three episodes). Regardless, that is when my TV senses kick in again full swing.

Hippo is excited, since it will be the first time she has been an old enough kitten to recall the true beginning of a season. I mean, she was half a year old when the mid-season replacements took the airwaves along with the mid-year openers, like 24 and Alias, but that doesn't much count. Anyway, me and the increasingly excited persian are gonna finish this show before we call an end to MemorialDay2k5.



Sunday, May 29, 2005

I Want to Got to Have You Child, Great God in Heaven You Know I Love Butt

First of all, mad props to my kitten for taking responsibility when she accidentally posted to the blog. She's always welcome to guest blog, maybe sometime this summer when I am busy she will take over the dizneuce role. She's had a big day taking naps on the desk, the bed, the couch, and the computer, so we can imagine how taxing it gets by the time we're ready for the Idol finale. It didn't help that the next day she had to go to the doctor and have surgery, from which she has returned home safe and sound. She hasn't been the world's most playful kitten since she got fixed, but she's recovering nicely. I think she briefly blogged about the scenario the other day, including some adorable pictures.

I've been addicted to two different songs this week, neither should come as a surprise to anyone. The first is Bob Mould's new single off the new album, its called "Paralyzed" and its classic pure guitar-y-ness, not to specifically diss on the electronic stuff, it was just never my thing. Anyway, I don't really buy music and this is pretty much the only album I have considered purchaing in years. Its a quality quality tune. The other one appears to be a new Weezer single and I have technically only seen the video, but I dig. Katie read some reviews of the album and said its getting compared to Pinkerton, which can never be bad. The only tune I've heard, Beverly Hills, would indeed fit in on that record, though its not an incredibly radical break with the more contemporary stuff. Weezer's so cool.

We had a very busy day yesterday, much busier than I had expected to say the least. We originally had planned to go to the zoo and celebrate elephant weekend, but it was raining, so we canceled that plan with the idea that fundamentally, any weekend can be elephant weekend when you are at a zoo. Some of Katie's friends from Rochester came by, so we had wings for lunch, made a trip to Niagara Falls, and, unfortunately, the outlet mall. For a slightly more detailed commentary I will add one detail about each event: I was really full, since I had 20 medium-hot wings, a large fries, and a large pitcher of DrP, parking at the American side of the park was 8 dollars, 8 dollars to park a car in a large, 1/2 empty outdoor lot in a state park, that is one of the most significant ripoffs in human history, finally, at least I got a couple books out of the outlet mall experience, since upon very close inspection I was able to find 3 books I wanted or needed anyway for less than 10 bucks total.

Anyway by the time we came home and made dinner I was about ready to pass out, but we stayed up a while longer and played a game of trivial pursuit while watching an incredible Animal Planet program cleverly titled "Leave it to the Real Beavers" which, as you might imagine, was a documentary about beavers. It was great background television, because the only things that beavers seem to do are chew on wood and swim around all cutely. You don't have to pay much attention to be able to follow the gist of the program not to mention that you can name all the different beavers. I think Darrin is a good name for a beaver by the way. Hello, I'm Darrin the Beaver, how are you. Whose dam is this? This dam belongs to Darrin the Beaver. Ahh, lovely job that Darrin the Beaver has done with his dam. Beaver, Darrin the Beaver. It works in any context.

Alright, I am gonna enjoy the rest of the Sunday afternoon. Hippo wants to plan the indoor barbecue that we will commence tomorrow afternoon.



Tuesday, May 24, 2005

That last entry is my bad. I was lulled to sleep by Bo Bice's angelic voice and took a nap on Baxter's computer. Its all nice and warm and a good general area for a kitten of about perfectly my size to cuddle up on. Anyway, my bad on the previous post, I must have clicked on post when I stretched out my paw. Won't happen again. Final note: if you happen to be by a phone tonight and dial 1-866-436-5701 a couple hundred times, well, that wouldn't bother this persian one bit. If you enjoyed it, feel free to check me out at my regular blog


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Monday, May 23, 2005

But its Just the Price I Pay, Destiny is Calling Me, Open Up My Eager Butt

To start off, I'm gonna give five of my patented TV Takes and that is all I will say about TV for the time being.

1) The O.C. is one of the best shows on television. If you read my blog and don't watch the O.C. you have no excuse. You should almost be banned from existence. Last year's season finale was incredible and challenges the season 3 finale of the West Wing for best use of Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah in a Prime Time program (not quite as cool as the award for the Most Gratuious Use of the Word Belgium in a Serious Screenplay, but still). This year's finale may not have been quite as emotional a moment as Seth sailing off into the Newport sunset, but the use of music was fantastic. Seriously, I know there are people who think this show is just a teen drama, but its closer to a Buffy without the fantasmatic aspects. The characters are extraordinarily well developed, the lines are well written, and its often beautifully shot. Pick up the DVDs over the summer and catch up for season 3.

2) Tom is the first person to win Survivor as the dominant bastard from day 1 onwards since Richard Hatch. To some extent I don't even think that Richard Hatch should count since he didn't just follow the strategy, he invented the basic strategy that defines the game. I was amazed that no one hatched anything even bordering on a succesful plot to evict Tom, though they did have only two chances considering he won 5 of 7 individual immunities. Thats freaking ridiciulous, but it marked an incredible season of the program

3) Fucking ANTM. If you went to a restaurant and ordered a cheeseburger four times and one time they gave you a cheeseburger, but the other three times they gave you an ass-sandwich, I assume you would stop going to that particular Wendys, irregardless of the paradox implied by the fact that the customer, even when s/he wishes to be wrong, is in fact, always right. Nonetheless, despite a season which featured very late developing characters (Christina, Brittany and Kahlen all became pretty sweet) and yet another ass-sandwich of an ending (Naima, I mean, come on, she was about 1/2 as cute as Kahlen and rocked less at prolly half the photos not to mention that she did not do better at the final show) I am sure I will be back next fall hella excited for Tyra-mail.

4) The CSI finale directed by Tarentino did not disappoint. It was a good immitation of CSI in the general direction of the plot, but was much eerier, if I can use that word. There were some things that made it very clear that it was designed by someone who doesn't normally write for CSI: not only was there a much greater outpouring of emotion (both by Grissom and Nick himself) but the show invoked three of the continuing plot points that would normally only appear one per episode and each only a couple times per season (Grissom's entymology, his growing deafness, and Catherine's relation with her father Sam Braun). There were also some great Tarentio moments, like Nick and Warrick's emminently Pulp Fiction conversation, the Dukes of Hazard board game and the incredible amouts of camera movement which is routinely absent in the confined space of the crime lab. It was enjoyable.

5) This summer has some truly awful reality shows lined up. There has never, in the history of time, been an idea for a program as bad as the idea behind Dancing With the Stars. The wo/man responsible should be fired, tarred and feathered, fed to wolves, and buried beneath the pool. I'm cheering for Jay Peterman.

Alright, with that out of the way I can mention a couple other things that we've done over the last week or so. The Friday before last we headed out to the classic Holland Tulip Festival in somewhat nearby Holland, NY. I was totally down for a good old fashioned small town carnival, Leprechaun Days style, and it didn't disappoint. We got there around 8 or so, just as the joint was heating up. There is no question that this town is much smaller than even the Rose that is Mount and even further away from anything resembling a metro area. The town couldn't have had more than a couple thousand people and most of the families were out in full force. It wasn't a huge thing, certainly, half dozen rides, half dozen food booths, and a beer tent. I generally don't go on rides at local carnicals, operating on the assumption that if it could kill me if it broke, and it could very well break. I do, however, eat like the extemely f/phat dude that I am.. We had corn dogs (which were all messed up in these parts, more like waffle dogs, they were still tasy, but not pronto-pup like) and fresh cut fries (state fair booth by the diving-exhibition area style) and cotton candy and a caramel apple (both state fair sweet treats style) and a uniquely Western NY concept (I think) called "Fried Dough", which is really just an elephant ear with a stupid name. I love carnival food.

Since it wouldn't be a small town carnival without the beer tent, we went over, since I can't resist a cold one in the beautiful spring air. Beer is pretty cheap in this part of the world and since they were only serving Labatts and Michelob light, I figured it would be 3 or so bucks for a pint. Nope, it was a buck fitty. I had three Michelobs for less than 5 dollars. I don't believe I have ever paid less for a beer. I don't think I've ever even gotten two for ones for less than 3 bucks. Insane. I got a double Tanqueray and tonic in Alexandria for 2 dollars and I think thats as close as it gets.

We had a pretty mellow week after that until Wednesday afternoon. It was then that I got an email from Rick Cohen over at the Tranist Drive-In theater. I am not a Star Wars guy, I don't have any paraphenalia, and I have only seen the movies a couple times max each. Regardless, Katie and I were bored, so we decided it would be worth checking out Fever Pitch at 9:00 and Star Wars at midnight. Not only did we have no problem getting in, since the whole drive-in was only about 1/2 full, but we had a pretty good spot and a chance to enjoy the sunset. We went over there at 8, but pretty much could have waited until 11:30 had we had any idea that no one would go. Katie was all uncomfortable and felt like a geek, which is in general understandable when one is at Star Wars on opening night, but less so when one regularly participates in intercollegiate debate. The movie was definatively the best of the first three, though the dialogue remained every bit as horrible, arguably even worse. Natalie Portman is to science-fiction fantasy film what a wood chipper is to green beans. I have no idea how people can find the good-v. evil motifs of this movie enjoyable when the descriptions and explanations of it are this horrible, but the battles, both space and light-saber wise were hella cool. The Yoda fight was way better than it was in epsiode 2. I was pleased overall, a fun outing.

Final thing to mention, the Buffalo Botaical Gardens which we visited on Saturday, is in some ways very cool and in others hella weird. Katie posted pictures if you wanted to see them. High notes: wicked cool collection of orchids and a ginormous blue agave. Weird ones: dinosaurs made out of plants in a room that was filled with steam, all prehistoric rainforest style and a wicked large plant sale.

Hippo is busy playing with her new pink feather boa toy, but she adds a final meow and reminds you to look out for her upcoming single "Meow Meow Purr" a fantastic cover of 1-2 Step.



Wednesday, May 11, 2005

You See Errtime The Beat Go, I Need To See You Shake that Thang Butt

I've officially started writing my dissertation. I don't have any substantial amount and for all I know none of the words I wrote today will end up in the final edition, but it helps to get beyond the blank page. When I am certain that I know what direction its going in I will say something further, maybe. I do with promises the same thing I do with manicure appointments, that is, not make them. Thats a pretty sweet analogy. I should work for the SAT.

I like to do some fact checking on this here blog, make sure the information I send out to the world is accurate for the most part, and it was in that vein that I rewatched Nelly's smash hit "Errtime" last night. Beyond the fact that Snoop invents a great new dance move I like to call the booty mime (wherein one moves ones hands behind a booty, as if to mime a grabbing and shaking of aforementioned booty) I think that whatever the objective score of this video would be, were videos objectively scored, it should be docked more than a couple points for failing to make a crucial, rhyme. It could also be called the Diss on Andy Kemp Award for Refusing to Rhyme the Word Vagina Despite its Obvious Deservedness. When three consecutive lyrics (make your mind up...ain't gon' find her...she looks finer...) all end with the "ein-uh" noise you shouldn't be legally allowed to skip it. These are likely my last thoughts about Nelly's "Errtime" but again, I am to promises what Napoleon was to Japan.

On All American Festivals today they featured the Frankfort, Indiana Hot Dog Festival. I do love hot dogs and all and I have never really seen a food based festival that didn't look awesome, but the fact that every food festival the Food Network covers has to have some sort of cooking competition contributed poorly to this episode. Garlic, chiles, onions, etc. most foods that have festivals are somewhat adaptable. That is, you can feature them, they can be flavorings, they can play as breads, casseroles, glazes, and usually even some form of sweets. Hot dogs have no such adaptability. If you are talking about cooking with hot dogs (which, at least for the purpose of these cooking competitions, implies not just topping them or cooking them in some creative way, that is, corn dogs don't count, neither do Chicago style) the only thing you can really do is casseroles and hot dog casseroles are fucking disgusting. One dude made a franks and beans casserole, which was only marginally totally disgusting, while another made something that involved layering potatoes, broccoli, and hot dogs gratin style which was one of the nastiest things that human civilization, even in the form that it takes in Southern Indiana, has ever come up with. Regardless, I would like to go to the hot dog festival. Not as much as Southern Cali's garlic festival or Walla Walla's onions, but it still sounds phat.

Hippo was hanging out with me while I spent the afternoon writing. Every now and then she would try to jump onto the keyboard and alter some sentence because she didn't like my formulation. She sat next to me and read along through the course of the Three Essays and Beyond the Pleasure Principle, which I must admit is among her favorite Freud. After a while I think she got frustrated since I occassionally misconstrued her attempts at editorial suggestion as a kittenish desire to play with a pen or have her tumnmy petted, and as a result she just chilled out near the window and occassionally batted at a gum wrapper. She sends her love, a bag of catnip, and a purr-purr meow.



Monday, May 09, 2005

Don't Call it A Comeback, I've Been Here For Butt

In getting back into the blogging thing I will start simply and mention a number of things that I was thinking about in brief, numbered paragraph format:

1) I passed my oral exams last week. The preparation for them was a little intense and by the end I was as nervous as I have likely ever been going into any form of test, none the less I aced them and I felt like I did pretty good. So I technically have a masters and am ABD and all that. Today was the first day of my dissertation writing process and while I am still just beginning the process of defining what I will spend the next however long writing about, things are on the up and up.

2) What does it cost to just get Snoop Dogg to come hang out in the background of your rap video? Nelly's newest smash hit Errtime (from the major motion picture soundtrack to the major motion picture The Longest Yard (which I truly believe should be noted as "redux" or something, not out of any intentional diss to the new cast, but rather simply because I love the original)) seems to have Snoop not rapping, not talking, not doing a little solo or the chorus or anything, he just sits on the hood of the car in one shot and relaxes. There is one clear shot of him mouthing the lyrics, but thats about it. Maybe he has given up on recording new songs since Dobs stole "Drop it Like its Hawwt" and now just appears in videos for a small fee and a good dose of chronic.

3) Take 1 on the NFL Draft: Packers picked up Aaron Rogers at pick number twenty-fricking-four. I am not sure that Aaron Rogers is going to be the real deal, he's prolly no Brett Favre, but you can never be upset with getting the second rated quarterback that late in the first round, even in a qb poor draft. So hopefully we have the heir apparent when that hideous, dark day of retirement finally does come.

4) Take 2 on the NFL Draft: The Vikings made what I think may be one of the worst picks I have ever seen. Maybe there is gonna be an extraordinary development that will prove me wrong, but I would be surprised. The Vikings should still be one of the best teams in the NFC, but I do not fucking understand how you can pick Troy Williamson before Mike Williams. I understand that Mel Kyper does not have objective unquestionable analysis of the draft and I can even understand picking Braelyn Edwards as the top wide receiver. Still, when a guy who makes his entire living ranking college players for the draft says that Mike Williams is number one over all, thats a steal for anyone at number 7, especially when you've traded Randy, the great Rand-ino, the Rand-man. Randy.

5) I spent all last week doing, pretty much nothing. I cleaned a little and ran a couple errands, but for the most part I did no academic work for 7 full days. I am caught up on almost all of my television, which is more than a task than you may imagine, especially since I like so many shows that Katie does not tolerate. When I really don't do anything and can watch 5+ hours of TV every afternoon even I can't maintain an 80+% spaced used on Tivo. I still have some Carnivale and Veronica to finish off.

6) The Donald is finally going to hire a chick. Its hard to imagine and I think that he fired the only potentially qualified dudes rather than the women in the last couple weeks to assure that he would do it. I think if the final two had been Tana and Alex and the Donald had decided to hire Tana that he might accidentally say it to Alex at the last minute, since he seems genuinely frightened of co-operating with vaginas. My money's on Tana, hardcore.

7) I didn't bet on the Derby and that seems to have been the right decision, since I picked zero of the three horses that would have formed my trifecta, which would have been Noble Causeway, Wilko, and Bellamy Road. That said, I always love Derby week, I love the ceremony, I love the call to the post, I love My Old Kentucky Home, I love ugly hats, I love the most exciting two minutes in sports. While I have a hard time believing that the Preakness and the Belmont will be as exciting this year as they have been the past couple (Giacomo for a run at the triple crown?) I have to admit that this Saturday's race was fantastic. Everyone said the pace would be set high by Spanish Chestnut and indeed it was. That horse has fucking legs and until the stretch he was burning. Its almost too bad that he was playing the set up colt. Its the first derby I haven't bet on in a long time and I was almost scared that I would finally be right, thankfully, it was not to be. I saved the 12 dollars (or whatev) that would have made up my trifecta box.

8) We did approximately 200,000 loads of laundry last week. Of course we did them all at a laundromat, so we had to carry all the laundry down the stairs, into and out of the laundromat, and back up the stairs. This was made especially difficult by the fact that I was brutally attacked by the stairs and almost broke both my arm and leg. I am not technically a doctor, but I feel reasonably confident in this assessment.

9) Weather in Buffalo since Thursday=gorgeous. I can't rave enopugh about how beautiful it is outside today. I would kill to have a porch, a patio, a balcony, or even just a comfortable common yard area to sit outside in and barbecue, drink, read, talk, smoke, etc. etc. etc. I'm not a warm weather person by any means, today's 72 was about as hot as I would prefer it ever to go, but in the evening, with a little breeze and without a cloud in the sky, this is begging for a 6 pack of summit and a scenic overlook of sorts.