Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Think about it: There's 3 feet of snow, enough to stop cars in their tracks, cancel school and work days, freeze pipes (more on that tomorrow) and otherwise cause havoc untold across the land. Yet you, little ol' you (or in my case, not so little), are able to beat back this snow with a thrust, melt it on contact like so many Wicked Witches of the West. Tell me that's not cool.
I'll tell you what isn't cool about peeing: sealing the deal. Being male, I have been able to pee standing up pretty much since I could stand. It's never really been a problem. Early on I learned about “False Finish,” a phenomenon all guys are familiar with. This is when you the stream ends and you think you think you're done, only to be attacked by a last gaps reserve force. Many a male has forgotten about “False Finish,” only to discover almost immediately the problem. (Unlike most customer surveys, you pretty much get instant feedback on whether you've put the car into the garage a little too soon. And while I'm on the subject, not a woman here is allowed to go “Ewwwwwwwww!” Know why? 'Cause I've done laundry for you ladies, and no amount of “False Finish” fatalities can come close to comparing to the dastardly discolored discharge you all bring to the party.)
Lately, though, False Finish has not been my only problem. It seems that the older I get (and maybe this is a factor), the less confident I can be that I've really “gotten it all out there.” There I'll be, standing, minding my own business (literally), get through the first act, allow for False Finish, and go through the final little “Shake Shake Shake” dance, only to find, that much like just like a late-night infomercial, there's more!
Where is it all coming from?
It seems like now I have to go through several False Finishes, and sometimes even have to resort to a Cautionary Tissue Wipe . What am I, a chick? (Note: I have no actual idea how girls generally pee, not being one of those types, but if late night stand-up comedians have taught me nothing else, it is that women use roughly a tree and a half to clean up a simple #1. If this is wrong, some brave lass leave the real scoop in the comments, and if it is right, perhaps you'd be so kind as to explain why.)
I've heard this might be something prostate related, which can't be good, seeing as how I'm only 30. I remember having a flat-mate once who was in his 50s, and privately snickering how he had to pee four or five times a night. But dammit if I haven't joined his ranks. Rare is the night (or in my case, early morning, or possibly late afternoon), where a couple of privy pit-stops do not take place. If this is all prostate related, the future does not look bright.
Up next in the Pee Chronicles: What to do when you can't flush
Monday, November 27, 2006
As you may or may not know, if I want to use the Internet I have to go outside (currently -30) and down to a little shack. I'm not allowed inside the shack, but an Ethernet cable comes out. Unfortunately, in this weather, there are more cracks than a plumber convention and thus actually getting on the Internet is quite the ordeal. (For some reason Yahoo IM almost always works, but God help you try to get a browser.)
Anyway, the result is that I sit here for hours. Meanwhile the restrooms are clear at the other end of the camp, and obviously in this weather you don't want to leave a laptop unattended. Thus, I do a lot of squirming, and occasionally, I make use of Mother Nature. (This is more dangerous than it sounds, as there are packs of coyotes very near here. They are generally scared of humans, but quite attracted to urine. Go figure.)
Since we've gotten about 39 feet of snow here I have been able to witness the phenomena known as “name writing.” I think you know what I'm talking about.
Since I'm generally civilized (and more importantly, usually live in warmer climes), I have never really had the opportunity to do this whole calligraphy thing. I thought it might be kind of a lark, but what I noticed was that my “hand-writing” was terrible! My words were more illegible than “Smells like Teen Spirit” and “Louie Louie” combined! Oh the humanity. I have thought about this for several days, but am unable to come to any conclusions as to why.
On a completely unrelated note, I got this giant pencil for my birthday last year . It's like this, except mine was red.
My neighbor gave it to me, and she jokingly said I could use it for Sudokus. (This was back when I was quite the fan. Now I find them so easy as to not be worth the effort.) However, the pencil, while funny looking, was almost useless to write with. I think it's because it was so big and so long. When you get something that big and long it becomes very difficult to control the writing flow, and you're left with gibberish. Nice idea, but I guess that's why giant pencils have never caught on to write with.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Here is the video:
Later, on another trip down the hill (had popcorn the night before), I was listening to ESPN radio and the girl hosting the show (didn't catch her name) talked about how every guy in the studio had a "hit in the groin" story.
Once my mother was complaining about how childbirth was the worst pain ever.
"Mom, you don't know what you're talking about. Childbirth isn't the worst pain ever. Getting hit in the groin with a frozen Snickers bar is the worst pain ever."
"Spoken like a true male." (Women love to lord that over you, don't they?)
"Mom, let me ask you something. How many kids do you have?"
"And after you had me, did you want to have more children?"
"Mom, I NEVER want to get hit in the groin with a frozen Snickers bar again."
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
There is a certain kind of Entertainment that goes far beyond the now-cliche “Guilty Pleasure.” I'm tentatively calling it “Zima Art” or “Z-Mart.”
Back when I worked at Delta airlines Zima was real big on the scene. Yet, everyone I worked with—to a man—trashed the drink as unpalatable, and more than a few implications that quaffing said beverage could possibly start a journey down the Trans-Gender highway. Not being a drinking man myself I had no knowledge of such things, but it seemed impossible that Zima could be so popular when everyone seemed to loathe it so.
Finally, in a week moment, my friend Adam admitted to me that Zima actually tasted pretty good. “The thing is,” Adam confided, “no man can willingly go into a liquor store to buy a six pack of Zima. So, what you have to do is something along the lines of, 'Yeah, I'll take a bottle of Vodka, some J-D, a 40 of 8-Ball, and uh, a six pack of Zima, for the wife, ya know!'”
I realized that for many, Zima fit into that class of art that people needed to make excuses to enjoy, because they felt ashamed to admit they liked it. At various times such items in the Z-Mart shopping cart have included: NSYNC, Sex and the City (for men), Harry Potter (before blew up and became okay for adults to admit they loved), Michael Bolton, Jerry Springer, Reader's Digest and The Olive Garden.
Can you think of others?
Monday, September 25, 2006
TV is under a real renaissance, is it not? It is getting so that a person can barely have any life at all. You come home and there is just so much to watch! (Except Friday and Saturdays: they suck.)
Now, I know what some of you are thnking: get a life.
Fine, fine. Feel free not to watch TV. But wipe that smug expression of your face. TV at its best is high art, and some of the best art in the world is right there in that box each evening. Of course, an awful lot of crap is in that box too.
That is why you have me! I am here to give you the rundown on each of the new shows. Now, some of you may not have my taste (read: you suck), but I have tried to craft these reviews to explain what the program is like so you can figure out whether 'tis for you.
First, the ones I have recently covered:
VANISHED (Mondays on FOX)
Senator’s Wife is kidnapped; twists and turns ensue. I abandoned this after one episode.
STANDOFF (Tuesdays on FOX)
Hostage negotiators, starring the guy from Office Space. I really enjoyed the first two episodes with a breezy tone dominating rather than total tenseness, but I wonder whether the show can continue to be interesting over the weeks, and with more shows coming on board, do not know if I will hang.
JUSTICE (Wednesdays on FOX)
Very entertaining so far, with a behind-the-scenes look at a high priced defense firm. I am a huge Victor Garber fan, and I love the supporting cast so far. I also like how at the end they show you what actually happened. Wit LOST coming soon I doubt Justice stays on my radar, but I sure have enjoyed it so far.
Studio 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP (Sundays in
The best of all the new shows I have thus seen, and the second episode was better than the first. I cannot recommend this show highly enough. Behind the scenes of a Saturday Night Live-type show, Studio 60 is funny but really is a drama. You can already pencil in an Emmy nomination for Matthew Perry, and I bet a Best Drama nomination too (among many others). This is the show. Last night’s episode included a musical number with the term “Intellectual Reach-around.” If you cannot get into a show that uses the term “Intellectual Reach-around,” you and I are just very different people.
Here are the new shows, in a generally improving trend. (Make sure you read until the end, for the last review premieres tonight!)
BROTHERS AND SISTERS (Sundays on ABC)
Calista Flockhart as a conservative TV pundit. If you can believe that, you can probably buy the show. Actually, I do can make it even simpler than that. Brothers and Sisters airs right after Desperate Housewives. If you can still stomach that show, this is probably right up your alley.
Maybe I am too harsh. The story of a grown up family of brothers and sisters (and of course mom and dad and even a screwy uncle) is riddled with a talented cast. Besides Flockhart, there is Rachel Griffith, Tom Skerritt, Ron Rifkin and Sally Field. Maybe it will get better, but I’m guessing one time through is enough to let you know what you are getting.
BOTTOM LINE: Go ahead. I doubt I will be joining you.
Could not sit through it. You are on your own.
SHARK (Thursdays on CBS)
My mom called this before the second commercial break: “House in a Courtroom.” Well, not exactly, but close enough.
James Woods is the prototypical “Shark” Defense lawyer. He gets his client off for Attempted Murder on the client’s wife. That night…wait for it….the man actually kills the wife.
Nine months later Woods is in a tailspin, his guilt not allowing him to practice law anymore. Luckily, the mayor shows up. Tired of rich people getting away with murder in
The lawyers assigned are all misfits; washed out everywhere else. Then there is the D.A. (Jeri Ryan, no longer smoking hot but still very pretty), who resents this shark in her waters.
BOTTOM LINE: If you like Law shows, definitely worth a look. Otherwise, it depends on whether you like procedurals, Woods, or Six Degrees.
SIX DEGREES (Thursdays on ABC)
Again, let me help you out: Six Degrees comes on after Grey’s Anatomy, and I am guessing if you like the one, you will like the other. I am not comparing the two, quality-wise, but they are somewhat similar in tone.
My favorite part was arguing with my sister over whether a man had good intentions to his girl. Bridget Moynahan (who is no longer so young; more on that another time) asks her boyfriend to marry her. He says yes, but then she finds his picture on a singles website. His explanation is that the office interns did it as a joke. Yeah right. No way would he not tell her about that. She is distrustful and sets up a “meet” with a perfect girl. He shows up, only to have a ring (which he was denied giving her when she asked him).
At this point, my sister counted coup, believing that her faith in the man had been borne out. Only in the last two seconds do we see I was right all along, and that was one sweeeeeeet gloat, my friends.
BOTTOM LINE: Worth a look or two if you are not done watching TV after CSI or Grey’s (or, uh, even Deal or No Deal).
KIDNAPPED (Wednesdays on NBC)
The other kidnapping show, this one takes the old Law & Order time slot. 800X better than Vanished, I was super impressed by the pilot.
Part of it may be the cast. The always delicious (and one of the top five hotties over 50) Dana Delany is married to Timothy Hutton, looking decided middle aged. Add to that Jeremy Sisto (the dude from CLUELESS who was missing his Cranberry CD), my main man Delroy Lindo and….Bubba Gump! (without the lip thingy). I know: awesome.
The deal is that Timothy Hutton and Dana Delany are rich people…rich people with secrets! (Dun Dun Dun!) Their son with a heart problem is kidnapped. They call a K&R guy (Sisto) to get him back. Unfortunately, the FBI gets wind of matters, and they get involved too.
The problem with the FBI getting involved with a kidnapping case is that they not only want to secure the return of the hostage, but catch the perpetrators. This can contradict with returning the kid. Thus the conflict.
BOTTOM LINE: I have not seen every last-hour time-slot show on Wednesday yet, but so far, this one is a winner.
SMITH (Mondays in
I am not saying we have the second coming of Tony Soprano, or even the anti-heroes of The Shield, but I will say this: I do not think Network TV has ever had a show that followed actual bad guys.
Oh yes: actual bad guys.
This “crew” is not all Ocean’s 11. More like HEAT. In the first episode, people get killed. Security guards and people who keep one of the bad guys from surfing! (You gotta love a dude who would murder over beach rights.)
The main bad guy is Ray Liotta, and his wife is played by Virginia Madsen, the woman from SIDEWAYS with the super-sexy voice. The money to front the operations comes from Shohreh Aghdashloo, who some of you may know was nominated for an Oscar in THE HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG, and some of you may remember as the hot mom terrorist in Season 4 of 24.
BOTTOM LINE: I am a little worried that some of the supporting characters may be a bit blah, but I am so excited to see actual bad guys on a network TV show, that I am going to be watching Smith as long as I can.
HEROES (Mondays on NBC)
Remember the first 10 minutes of the original X-Men movie, before the school, the spandex, and the spiffy one-liners? When we were just moving around the world watching people, outcasts really, trying to come to terms with their “powers”?
That is NBC’s new Sci-Fi show Heroes. (At least the first hour, in what I should warn you is a cliffhanger. I was quite set up when NBC sent me the pilot for preview purposes, but a tad miffed when it just started going good and the dreaded “To Be Continued” appeared on screen.
But I suppose it should be accounted a good thing that I was drawn in, eh? The theory, not really explained in more than a psychobabble intro, is that the human genome project has revealed that with just a fraction of mutation the next step of human evolution is right around the corner.
I know what you are thinking: can Wolverine be far behind? I have no idea where they are going with this, but I gather it will be more “ordinary people do extraordinary things” than nicknames that sound like American Gladiator tryouts.
In the first hour, we meet our presumable protagonists. One might be able to tell the future. One can break every bone and have it heal almost immediately. One can…uh, talk to herself in the mirror. And one—who has to be everyone’s initial favorite—can bend the fabric of space and time, which translates to teleportation. His first test: a woman’s restroom at a crowded nightclub.
See: you like him already.
And if you are not convinced, what if I added that the kid is chubby, nerdy, Japanese, convinced he is the second coming of Spock, and unlike everyone else who seems to be freaked out by these new discoveries, honestly cheerful and cool with it all.
I told you he was cool.
A show like Heroes is obviously contrived, but no more so than CSI. (C’mon: do you really think science nerds solve all those crimes? That show is as much sci-fi as BSG, and if you think the techies do collect evidence with their perfect hair hanging everywhere….) NBC does not have a great track record with Sci-Fi. In fact, the last show even approaching Sci-Fi was the Misfits of Science. (Anyone old and cool enough to remember that? Just me, huh?)
Heroes will work if the characters have some sort of chemistry and if the storylines feel important enough but not too self-important, all while avoiding too much X-Men cribbing. Already there are some plot lines that seem darkly interesting, but only time will tell.
BOTTOM LINE: Along with Studio 60, Heroes makes Monday night potentially the most interesting on TV.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Every now and then, a new TV show comes around that could really be something special. It is pretty hard to tell just from a first episode, of course. Usually pilots are different from the rest of the series. Changes are made. The cast has to gel, feel their way into characters. But sometimes you can tell. You could tell with CSI, now, what—7 years ago? I could tell with Lost and House almost immediately. Tonight a new show premieres on NBC: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It might—just might—be one of those shows.
The show is about an SNL-type show, behind the scenes. The cast will most likely be pretty big, but the two main characters are Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford. For West Wing Fans, Bradley was Josh Lymon. Imagine Josh, but with a recovering coke problem.
As for Matthew Perry…you know how
Imagine all that pain brought to the surface. The humor is still there, but gone are the attempts to hide behind one-liners. Mark it down: Matthew Perry absolutely without a doubt will receive an Emmy Nomination for his character.
But tonight big things have happened, and they are called back to save the show. What are these big things? Well, that I do not want to ruin for you, as it is a pretty great TV moment, but let us just say that if the name Paddy Chayefvsky means anything to you, a treat is in store.
Even if it is not, you are in for an interesting ride. Creator Aaron Sorkin seems to know what goes on behind the scenes of a TV show. Not only has he created big shows before (like West Wing), but he actually had a show in the past about a TV show: Sports Night. (A show so good but so overlooked that I feel compelled to review the DVDs later in the week.)
If none of those shows ring a bell, where have you been the last few years? You should at least recognize Sorkin from The American President. He is known for his rapid-fire dialogue in talented enemble casts.
The only reservatin I had was Amanda Peet. I have always found her totally devoid of any talent other than taking off her clothes on Camera, and she seems way too young and stupid to be that awesome. However, Hyperion will reserve judgement, for a while. I have a feeling the rest of the cast should make up for her, which you can read about here.
What else can I say? If Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip works, it could be the show everyone is talking about this year. Hey, I am all for well-made procedurals (same type of show each week) and I love well-made cop shows. And I love the genre stuff if it rocks. But when is the last time we had a mainstream ensemble with this level of talent? Not since the heyday of West Wing. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip could be to Television what West Wing was to politics, LA Law was to, well, lawyers, what ER was to hospitals, what Pat Robertson was to all things evil.
Okay, that last one was a joke. But Pat Robertson actually comes up in the pilot, as does the insanity that is the FCC everytime someone dares to mention a controversial subject matter.
I must stop, or I will reveal the entire plot. Look: just watch it, okay? I do not have much to live for these days, and it would make me feel good if I got at least some of you to do the right thing for once.
Of course, with that many super geniuses (I just feel better than genii; sorry), there are bound to be unexplained explosions, rocks in the temporal plane, rips in the fabric of space-time, and all sorts of other wacky adventures for the Marshal (now Sheriff) to find himself in each week.
Basically think of the quirky kind of personalities in a town like Stuckeyville (Ed), Cicely
This is not to say there is no arc to the series, but I have a feeling you could jump right in the next time you see
As far as I can remember, I have never lost in Week 1. I certainly have never been 0-2. I am calling it now: WORST SEASON EVER! I just know my team will suck like no fantasy team has ever sucked before. What is wrong with me?
How could I go wrong naming my team after Iranian Jews? It is not as if they are a group under siege, right?
I tell you: that Jebus is a tough deity to crack.
Even worse: I am going to wind up 1-10 in the Shadow Championship this week. What is the Shadow Championship? Each week we calculate what our record would have been if we had played each of the other 11 teams. Basically taking the luck out of it. There is only one other team which scored fewer points than I did. That means that I would have lost virtually any match up.
To add insult to injury, my “Best Possible Score” is only like 3 points higher than what I actually scored, while my opponent would have scored in the 120s.
I really really suck.
(I do not have the heart to give you the full breakdown, so here is the blurb)
(I do not have the heart to give you the full breakdown, so here is the blurb)
[At this point the conversation turns eyes-only, but you get the point]
Sunday, September 17, 2006
This week I am up against The Tale of How, a team without two great RBs. In fact, The owner is only starting 1, opting instead to put three Wide Receivers (WRs) on the field. WRs generally score fewer points than RBs, but it is an allowable option in the league, and you do what you gotta do.
I am curious what "The Tale of How" got named. I just wrote the fellow, but on game day he might see me as an enemy and refuse. Still, there is hope.
Last week the owner (Let us call him Max Powers) scored 90 points even, out of a potential 99.00. He lost his game, but I want it noted for the record that if he had played me he would have won.
Going over the rest of his team, I feel like I am overmatched on offense a good deal but have a better Defense with my two stud LBs. Last week my DBs were horrible, but I am giving them one more reason to turn it out. I am sitting my DE Dwight Freeney, who is listed as Questionable for playing. Freeney was listed as questionable last week and did play, but scored poorly. In place I am going with Mario Williams, who was actually the first overall pick in last year's real NFL draft.
I am also giving another rookie a shot, Tight End Vernon Davis. He had a fumble last week but also a touchdown, and it it is possible he could be a real find. Everyone else stays the same, including starting Betts from Washington as RB. People who care will note that I started him last week only to see him share time with Portis, who was not supposed to play. This time Portis is out, but I heard Betts is still sharing with a phalanx of other RBS.
Do coaches not realize what this does to Fantasy owners? How can we start a player with confidence when he might share time in the backfield with Larry, Moe and Curly?
Anyway, below are the teams. I will have an update later tonight about where we both stand. Neither one of us have a Monday Night game, so it should be all over but the shoutin' by midnight.
| The Tale of How |
| Iranian Jews for Jebus |
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I'm very surprised no one has ever tried this set up again. Well, maybe they have, and it just sucked. I don't see why, though. If done correctly, who wouldn't want to see their childhood reflected in a coming-of-age heartfelt sitcom, complete with "if I'd only known then" voiceover?
And by the way, Daniel Stern doesn't get nearly enough credit for his Older Kevin. He may suck as an actor, but that was some Morgan Freeman-level voice over work.
(Last year I ranked the best "pilots" of all time. See if The Wonder Years made the cut.)
I had my shot, you know. If ever there was a week to knock off league powerhouse Biloxi Injuns, this was it. Biloxi has arguably two of the three best playes in the league, with RBs Alexander and Larry Johnson. Week to week I bet they average 45-50 points. But this week?
If you'd told me I could have them average 9.2 I'd take it every day of the week and twice on Sunday (no pun intendend).
If there was a week, this was it.
And I had my chances. Going into Monday Night's double header I was down by 4.5; each of us still with two players on the board. One of his players was LB Donnie Edwards (last year my high scorer), so it didn't look too promising. Still, it would probably all come down to Betts, the RB for Washington. A couple of touchdowns and some decent yardage and I'd have this thing.
I only started Betts because Clinton Portis (Washington's Stud RB) wasn't playing. Except, at the last minute, he was. Wouldn't you know it, Portis scored 9.2 points--which should have gone to Betts.
In case you can't add, I lost by 9.1 Where's Muddy Water when you need him?
Interestingly, my Fantasy League does a "Best Possible" score, which is what you would have scored if you'd made all the right moves and played So and so while you kept what's his name on the bench.
You know, just to rub it in.
Biloxi's "potential" score? 103.9, meaning he scored 92.78% of what he could have.
My "potential" score? 94.6, which means I had 92.28% of what might have been.
This means not only did Biloxi beat me straight up, but their potential beat my potential, their straight up beat my potential, and--this is the part that really hurts--their straight up beat my potential!
Any way you look at it, I suck.
And now the numbers:
| Biloxi Injuns |
Owner: Wayne Boyd
| Iranian Jews for Jebus |