Saturday, August 26, 2006
Winners receive The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeffer: The Complete Series in the unlikely event it ever arrives on DVD.
Friday, August 25, 2006
For me, it's about Daily Show alums -- I want to see Steve Carell get Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series, where Monk is the only real competition, and Stephen Colbert for Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program, in which I guess David Letterman could get the Oh, I Always Vote For Him from the more senior voters.
Basically, I want The Office to win everything possible. Last night's reruns again reminded me how many brilliant moments there have been -- such as Ryan's silent horror after Dwight and Angela's "Don't expect any cookie"/"But what if I'm hungry?" conversation. And beyond that, I want to see Shonda Rhimes up there at least once. You?
Using a iPod in this manner is cost efficient and convenient. It also allows the couple more or less complete control over the songs since they are not constrained by the breadth of a DJ's collection or a band's repertoire.
All that being said, I'm not especially wild about the trend because there is no way an iPod can match the magic of a live band or the creativity of an experienced DJ. A DJ or a band leader can think on the fly and choose songs based upon how the guests have reacted to earlier songs. A wedding reception is a dynamic event. An iPod cannot respond to the ebbs and flows of the audience.
I do agree that an iPod might be a good choice for a rehearsal dinner or during various interludes in the main wedding reception (e.g., the cocktail hour while wedding photographs are being taken). Any thoughts? What songs would be on your own wedding iPod?
Thursday, August 24, 2006
He loves to cuss, gets a jolly when a mountain biker wipes out trying to keep up with him, and now we're learning that the first frat boy loves flatulence jokes. A top insider let that slip when explaining why President Bush is paranoid around women, always worried about his behavior. But he's still a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can't get enough of fart jokes. He's also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides, but forget about getting people to gas about that.
See, there is something he has in common with the French.
Look at these grand planets. Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of your celestial existence just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jupiter? Also, the star of the others orbit around, The Sun? To have spent years with that wonderful little planet, Mercury? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best planet in the solar system today, Earth? Sure, I'm lucky.
When Neptune, a planet whose orbit you would give all the methane in your atmosphere to intersect, and vice versa, sends you a gift - that's something. When everybody down to the asteroids and those meteors remember you with trophies - that's something. When you have a wonderful moon, Charon, who takes sides with you in squabbles with your other two moons, Nix and Hydra, - that's something. When you have a gravitational field that works so you can have a spherical body - it's a blessing. When you have an inclined orbit who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed - that's the finest I know.
So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for."
Just before coming down to speak with you, I called Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus and congratulated them on their success today. As I see it, in this campaign, we've just finished the first half and the Classical Planet team is ahead, but in the second half, our team -- Team Pluto -- is going to surge forward to victory.
I am, of course, disappointed by the results, but I am not discouraged. I am not disappointed because I lost my planetary status, but because the old politics of scholarship and intellectual integrity won today.
I expect my opponents will continue to do in the future what they have done today: Belittle me instead of coming up with ideas to avoid having to rewrite science textbooks. I will continue to offer the astronomers a different path forward to make my Solar System and orbit a better place to live and work, and that's what I want to do for another six million more years.
I know a lot of people in this system, and not just "classical planets", are angry about the direction in which the Solar System is moving, and so am I.
Tomorrow morning, our campaign will file the necessary petition with the International Astronomical Union so that we can continue this campaign for a new astronomy of unity and purpose. I will always do what is right for my orbit and Solar system regardless of what the political consequences may be. Tomorrow is a brand new day. Tomorrow we launch a new campaign -- Team Pluto -- Asteroids, non-conforming celestial objects and planets.
Yes, we will run this one into the ground.
"Think of a song that resonates deep down in your being. Now imagine sitting down with someone who was there when the song was recorded and can tell you how that series of sounds was committed to tape, and who can also explain why that particular combination of rhythms, timbres and pitches has lodged in your memory, making your pulse race and your heart swell every time you hear it. Remarkably, Levitin does all this and more, interrogating the basic nature of hearing and of music making (this is likely the only book whose jacket sports blurbs from both Oliver Sacks and Stevie Wonder), without losing an affectionate appreciation for the songs he's reducing to neural impulses."
I ordered a copy today.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Anyway, the Project Runway Mom-a-thon. Uli does good prints. Michael's always solid. Laura designs for Laura. And in the end, it's the age-old battle between Strong-But-Wrong Editorial Stance and Nice-But-Unspectacular, and I think we know by now who wins that fight every time. So go ahead and visit Comme Des Garçons in the Amish Country, but then please join us in the comments thereafter.
The chaff is gone. Six left, and I go back to Top Model II (Yoanna-Mercedes-Shandi-April-Camille-Sara) to find a reality season in which a final group that large had so many equally interesting potential winners remaining, each with their own talents. But you know I've got a thing for that cycle.
“The idea for this actually came from the criticism that Survivor was not ethnically diverse enough, because for whatever reason, we always have a low number of minority applicants apply to the show. So we set out and said, let’s turn this criticism into creative for the show. And I think it fits in perfectly with what Survivor does, which is, it is a social experiment, and this is adding another layer to that experiment which is taking the show to a completely different level.”Intrigued, offended, or irrelevant, given that Survivor is up against Office/Earl and Ugly Betty this fall?
Later, he said, “Our original idea was simply to have the most ethnically diverse group of people on TV. It wasn’t until we got to casting and started noticing this theme of ethnic pride that you’re alluding to that we started thinking, wow, if culture is still playing such a big part in these people’s lives, that’s our idea. Let’s divide them based on ethnicity. So, yes, I think it’s very natural to assume that certain groups are going to have audience members rooting for them simply because they share ethnicity.”
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
The Good: Ryan Star was Good Chris Chambers again. The only one to really impress me this week. Toby gets high marks for energy, but not so much for the actual singing.
The Competent: Magni, Lukas, and Dilana, and it's mostly because of my bias against misinterpretations of what Sting has referred to as "a quite evil song about surveillance and controlling another person. The fact that it was couched in a seductive and romantic disguise made it all the more sinister for me."
The Needs To Go Home: Patrice, Dilana's fake eyelashes, Magni's ski cap.
After the long-necessary axing of Patrice, next week it starts getting tough.
That said, I don't know that I'll be starting her with the brilliant short "Hearts of Twilight". It's not many cartoons which reward knowledge of Apocalypse Now, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse as well as Jerry Lewis' The Day The Clown Cried, after all. Thank goodness this one did.
IT IS A TRUTH UNIVERSALLY ACKNOWLEDGED, THAT A MAN IN POSSESSION OF A BOOGIE BOARD MUST BE IN WANT OF GOOD WAVES AND WARM WATER: For the past week or so in Truro, the town's best beach has had ideal conditions for boogie boarding -- low tide near noon, warm water, and, perhaps most important, big waves that break about 100 yards offshore.
I have noticed that there appear to be two basic techniques. One involves holding the board with straight arms so that your head ends up near the middle of the board and your body trails behind it (the "Superman position"). The other involves holding the board with bent arms so that your head is near the front of the board and most of your body is on top of the board (the "sphinx position"). I strongly prefer the sphinx position, but I happen to be unusually tall (and thus heavy). Which one do you prefer? More generally, isn't boogie boarding an amazingly reliable path to happiness?
Monday, August 21, 2006
In honor of the XIIIth! and the show's DVD release, here's a YouTube link to the scene previously presented with the annual It's Not Just TV; It's HBO Award: witness Titus Pullo, Gladiator. You can fast-forward to about 3 minutes in, and it's pure violence from there. By the time you get to 4:28, you'll understand why the award was uncontested. NSFW, unless you work in a slaughterhouse.
I'd like to see the show come back, so long as they actually have a host who travels with the production, an editor with a better sense for drama, and producers more willing to be transparent about their role in the whole enterprise. Bottom line: smart shows in which the clues are actually clues and intelligence is rewarded ought to be encouraged, and for all its flaws, Treasure Hunters was a step in the right direction for reality tv.
I'm sure WaPo freelancer Chris Richards was very proud of his ability to string together a few words to diss Bob Dylan's latest concert, and that his hipster friends with their chunky plastic-framed glasses toasted him with a few PBRs. But I have a strange feeling that Mr. Dylan is going to be able to get over it.
Also, I think it's a fabulous move on Fox's part to launch Vanished right after the first premiere of the season -- because really, what else is there to watch at this point? I'll tune in if only for a change of pace from my pleasant but repetitive diet of Entourage, Project Runway, SYTYCD, and reruns of House, SVU, and Without a Trace.
In case Cosmo Baby doesn't permit me to watch the premieres in a timely fashion, feel free to discuss them here.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Still, my favorite note in the two articles was Usher's anti-anecdote about what led him to want to play Chicago's Billy Flynn on Broadway:
So what’s Usher’s experience with Broadway?
It came into his orbit, he said, when he was about 15 and had arrived in New York to work on his first album. “After seeing ‘Cats’ on Broadway — well, I never went to see it — but after seeing the advertising for it, I always kind of had an open eye,” he said. “And then when I found out about Fosse, I was like, man, this is it.”
Take that and rewind it back for a minute. Heh.