Thursday, January 25, 2007

Can't Stop, Won't Stop

This could have been my brother. He was a high school athlete; and although I don't think he got up to too much nookie with the ladies when he was a teenager, he just might have. This could have been my brother.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

It Might Be the Whiskey Making Me Smile, But...

I couldn't remember where I heard that shit about Toby (check me with the first names, now!) looking like a hot rabbi, so I decided to google it. And you'll be happy to know -- well, I was happy to know -- that The Lake Street Get Down is the number four hit if you google "Toby Ziegler + hot rabbi." If you just google "hot rabbi," you get all these angsty young Jewish women who are worried about being able to concentrate during service because they got a hot rabbi. To which I say: suck it up, ladies. At least rabbis can date. Catholic priests got no choice but a little Father Ralph De Briccasart-style action.

By the by, The Get Down is only hit #8 if you google "lazy narcissism," which makes me vibrate with rage.

Edited to add: Success! If you google "jugo naturale," The Get Down is hit #1! We're number 1! We're number 1! Eat it, everyone else.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Let's Get 'Em!

"Shoes" is arguably a better video. But "Muffins" is more determinedly surreal. And for that, I love it. Also, it looks and sounds like something Bernie and I would have done back in those halcyon days of unemployment.



I'm Gonna Knock You Out

Damn, family. I'm going through the 7 stages of grief over here with The West Wing. Somebody needs to come over to my house and slap the dvd remote out of my hand. I am now pushing up on season 5, and I have veered wildly from hysteria to denial to rage (I didn't say that I was doing the seven stages in order; nor did I say that my seven stages corresponded to those commonly accepted as part of the grieving process. For instance, I'm pretty sure that I spent a little time in both a red wine and a rolling skating stage. Not sure what that means) and I can not stop renting these dvds. For anyone paying attention, the dream team currently involves these players:

1. Dule Hill (Charlie Young). That chick on the right is not Athena, who is DEAD TO ME, by the way.

2. Janel Moloney (Donna Moss). I didn't give one half of a crap about this character before season 3. But I gotta give her some love, because I do not know how she managed to not punch Josh Lyman right in his mouth on a daily basis.

3. Richard Schiff (Toby Ziegler). I've heard people say that he looks like a hot rabbi. Ok, tell me that description ain't funny. Toby is my ace boon dude! At some point between seasons 2 and 3. Aaron Sorkin must have started burning that good booger sugar, because Toby started smiling and cracking wise a lot more. Probably because he and his ex-wife started doing it again. She is now pregnant with twins.

4. Martin Fucking Sheen (Jed Bartlet). Sometimes his dentures slip a little bit, and he looks like a deranged mouse. Congratulations, President Bartlet! You have moved up in the rankings, and have outpaced your wife, the lovely Abigail "I was 34 When I Played A High School Senior in Grease" Bartlet!

You'll notice that Allison Janney got bumped from the rankings. Sorry, C.J. I still like you, but I had to pull your card when you started to cry me a river about how your dad never got promoted because "there was always some unqualified black woman around..." I realize that there are Democrats of all stripes and bents, and I can manage to have a civil discussion with almost all of them, but someone with such a colosally self-serving understanding of affirmative action gets no love. The only reason I'm not writing off the show as a whole is because ol' Jed schooled another character on precisely this issue: to wit, there is a difference between affirmative action and quotas.

So anyway, I was supposed to be writing this post through a Vicodin haze, but I was not able to get my wisdom teeth yanked yesterday. They give you this information sheet before you come to your appointment that tells you not to eat after 7 in the morning if you have an afternoon surgery scheduled, but I had a handful of dry Cheerios at 10 am. I get sick if my blood sugar gets too low! So they wouldn't put me under. Apparently, your digestive tract has to have been empty for 6 hours before it's safe to knock someone out (if you won't be inserting a breathing tube, that is). Whatever. I'm having the work done next month now. But here's the thing, kids: this procedure is turning out to be a lot more involved than I had originally suspected.

You know that you got problems when your doctor/dentist calls in someone to consult on a diagnosis or course of treatment. Well, for my last two dental visits I've had 3-4 people looking in my mouth at once. Never a good sign. The oral surgeon who was going to work on me yesterday had to inform me of some risks associated with the removal of my jacked up wisdom teeth, with the absolutely stunning revelation that, during the removal of my lower right wisdom tooth, they were almost certainly going to break my jaw. Did you catch that? That's how messed up this shit is -- they aren't talking about "if" they break my jaw, they are talking about what they are going to do when it happens. It looks like I should be in some kind of Glass Jaw Hall of Fame, because two people I spoke to yesterday took pains to inform me that the bone on the right side of my jaw is "paper thin." Let me tell you at what point during the consultation when I really started to freak out, though: when I had to start processing the information on permanent nerve damage and a fucking titanium plate in my face. Apparently I've got some kind of perfect storm of bad nerve placement and bad tooth placement and bad motherfucking luck.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I Serve At the Pleasure of the President

I really, deeply suspect that this will be the last post I make on The West Wing, because...well, I'm near the end of season 3, which means that right around the corner is season 4, which marks the departure of both Rob Lowe and Aaron Sorkin (it doesn't escape my notice that in my 32nd year, after successfully resisting the charms of Rob, Demi, Ally, and Judd* in the mid-80s, I've become the kind of person who can be affected by the presence or absence of Rob Lowe on my tv) -- actually, scratch that ... I think Sorkin left during season 5 ...anyway, apparently there was a precipitous drop in quality sometime after season 4, so I fully expected that my newfound and intense fascination with this show would evaporate just as soon as it had condensed. But at the moment, I'm still 'bout it, 'bout it. I even took the colossal misstep of heading over to the forums at Television Without Pity today, which rarely ends well. I mean, Aaron Sorkin can testify to that himself: he got into it with a former TWW writer there, as well as some more dedicated viewers, and the result was the episode I just watched, " The U.S. Poet Laureate." I'm not going to bother recapping this episode here -- if you're interested, go 'head over to TWoP and dig around in the archives. I'm not recreating Shack's work here -- but I do want to say that...actually, I don't know what I want to say. I think I was going to make a point linking the [imminent] [ostensible] [worrying] decline in quality at The West Wing to the [long-elapsed] [verifiable] [infuriating] freefall in quality over at TWoP, but now, I don't remember why I was going to bother.

I just feel bad about it, I guess. I was an old school DamnHellAssKing fan from way back, and although some of the sites on that ring were wack as they come, some were fucking amazing and they are still going strong, and still regular reads. I don't love Sars nearly as much as I used to, but I think that bitch is fierce and I love that Tomato Nation is still out there. Pamie has also clearly lost her cotdam mind, but as the author of "It Puts the Lotion in the Basket," I'm going to have to give her a pass. I still love Wendy/poundy. I agree that Terribly Happy was better when it was a journal, but I'll read anything that Omar writes, so I'm cool with the blog. And Fametracker? The much-vaunted, notorious, cutting Fametracker -- man, I registered at FT back in 2001 (it doesn't sound so long ago, but when I think of the number of generations I saw come and go on the fora there, it honestly blows my mind) while I was still living in London. You can't tell me nothing about Fametracker, man. I was up in there every day, and I told everybody I knew about it. And then, at some point, when "snark" (and you know what? Give me a fucking break on that word, please. It's moronic and unctuous and it seems to be used almost exclusively by the fuckwits who furiously fling the most absurdly delusional "commentary" around with the moral certainty that hey, it's Television Without Pity: snark is what we do. Give.Me.A.Fucking.Break. And yes, I'm aware that I just typed that in a stereotypical TWoP-stylee. Ah, there's a sort of bitter and juvenile irony in that. I guess. But still. Give.Me.A.Fucking.Break) and a hypercritical cacophony started to drown out the, you know, actual funny people, I just gave up on FT. I was wooed back for awhile, and then the forums imploded (it occurs to me that there's a whole segment of the population that never waded into the FT forums; I actually was one of those people for the first couple of years I was a regular reader of the site. But the forums were the lifeblood of FT. Wing and Co. might not have believed that to be the case, but there was a massive deflation of numbers after the forums went quiet. I think that the numbers are back up, but that's entirely due to the enduring popularity of TWoP --remember when TWoP was Mighty Big TV? Remember that, kids?? ) and I decamped to a kind of [unofficial] sister site and none of this means anything except that I can feel the change coming in The West Wing, just like there was a change over at my beloved Fametracker, and just like there was a change at that former outpost of wit, TWoP, and it makes me sad.

Seriously, people. Check out one of the Rachael Ray discussions over there. Tell me those crackerjacks aren't crazy.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Again, I Implore You: Stop Making Me Love Your Hot Ass

Why Didn't Somebody Tell Me?!

Episode 21: The West Wing

(Episodes 1-20 available in back issues of DAE, including episode 4, "David Bowie"; episodes 6-8, "Staying Hydrated," "Blueberry Pie," and "Finishing A Project"; and episode 17, "Big Afros.")

Oh, Mr. Sorkin...

I'm sorry if I ever implied that your skills were overrated. I'm sorry if I made fun of your big-titted and dazzlingly-platinum Broadway Baby ex-girlfriend, Kristin Chenoweth. I'm sorry if there was a small part of me that was really only watching Sports Night because of a residual childhood crush on Robert Guillaume. Aaron Sorkin, I salute your genius. How long were people suzy'ing over The West Wing? Well, since 1999, I guess. Whatever. I was not about to start watching this show then. In 1999, I was doing a fair amount of blow* and I could not have cared less** about a dialogue-dense political drama starring Martin fucking Sheen if I tried.

*An excuse that I'm sure you'll appreciate.

**Note to Sorkin, as well as all the other losers who routintely get this wrong, thus ensuring that I grow aged prematurely: the phrase is "couldn't care less," not "could care less." The two are not synonymous; they are, in fact, diametrically opposite in meaning. Learn it, people! For fuck's sake. How this mistake continued to find its way into what was supposed to be one of the more erudite shows on television, I'll never know.

The problem, of course, is that the apathy of youth becomes the cravings of maturity. Or something. While living with Bernie in PDX, I discovered that I was no longer capable of the patience or commitment necessary for week-by-week tv fandom. That is, I love Lost and I love The Sopranos, but I'll be dead in my grave before I make appointments to watch a fucking tv show every week.* Enter dvds. Now we can watch a season's worth of ...well, anything, really, and there's no waiting 7 days for the next episode, people! The next episode is only one click of the "chapter skip" button away! Now, you couple that kind of instant gratification with the wonder of the Netflix menage-a-trois-at-a-time, and you've got a woman who finally decided to see what all of the jibberjabber was about and whoa -- I have blown through the first 2 seasons of The West Wing in about 5 days. That may not seem like much, but I'd ask you to consider that each season contains 22 one-hour episodes; that I have had to work during that time, that I have also had multiple dentist appointments this week; that...the point is, people, that this show is just killing me softly, 48 minutes at a time. It has accomplished the impossible: making me feel ever-so-slightly affectionate towards Rob Lowe. That, in and of itself, is a miracle. I have carried my antipathy for the Lowes around with me like a security blanket. Of course, I also thought that I was going to take my Andrew McCarthy-loathing to my deathbed, but that one effed up episode of SVU (DO NOT ACT AS IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT) made me revise my opinions of that dude's acting skills, too. Hmmm. Brat Pack redemption. Who would have known? Or indeed, have cared?

Anyway, I am about to have three of my wisdom teeth prised out of my face on Wednesday, so for the next few days, all I will be doing is cold-chillin' with the Bartlet administration.

(In no particular order, these are the people I am loving the most so far! Oh, that's a lie. Toby is abosolutely my favorite. That mean motherfucker is the best. Toby Ziegler! Toby Ziegler! Toby Ziegler! I don't want to hear any crap about what happens to him in subsequent seasons, either, so can it, bitches)