Wednesday, January 31, 2007

January Round-Up

I figured at the end of every month, I'd tally up some of my entertainment gains of the past 30 days or so, because I have a compulsion to make lists, and keep everyone on the Internets abreast of my every move.

Books Read: Six. That's a pretty good tally for one month, isn't it? That's more than one a week! Combine that with the number of movies I've watched, as well as endless hours of TV and you have proof that...I have no social life. No! You have proof that one can be addicted to television AND still read like all the hoity toity "I don't even OWN a TV" snobs do. So there.

And if you're interested in what I've been reading, just look down on the right of this here blog for a little Library Thing widget. I plan to keep it updated.

Movies Seen: Eleven. And that includes two seen in an actual theater, which means I have stuck to my New Year's resolution to see more movies outside of my living room. In the future I hope it will be more than two, but for a start, that's not bad. (For the record, those two flicks were "Pan's Labyrinth" which I was a little disappointed in. But then again, I fell asleep during part of it. That might be an indication that it was boring, or that I missed the really awesome parts. The other movie was "Children of Men," which was depressing, but also incredibly exciting at times, and oddly humorous. I liked it a lot.)

If you want to know what DVDs I've got at home, there's a Netflix widget down there on the right, below the book one. I love them widgets!

Fancy Dinners Out: Five. But that was mainly because of my birthday, and the whole Dine About Town thing wherein I could eat at a fancy restaurant and only pay $31.95 for the meal ($21.95 at lunch). I wish I could have taken more advantage of that, but it's probably better for my waistline that I didn't.

Live Shows Seen: Two. Kind of. Technically I can't include the New Year's Eve comedy show, but I will anyway. And the other was the Rifftrax show. I hope some band I like comes to town soon, because I haven't been to a concert in a while, and I'd like to.

Shoes Bought: Four pairs. But one was a gift.

So, there you have it. My life in a consumerist nutshell. Fascinating, yes?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Proof That "Ghost Rider" Is Going to Be the Worst Movie Ever

OR, everything they'd hoped "Snakes on a Plane" would be.

Exhibit A is familar to many of you:

Exhibit B: The Trailer

Exhibit C: The Worst Advertising Tie-In Ever

SFist In the News...Again!

SFist made it to the local news again. Someone else posted the ABC-7 news story on YouTube before I got the chance to, (but I WOULD HAVE!) Check it out below.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Birthdays Are Cool

First off, my latest "I'm From Rolling Stone" recap is up on SFGate now. Now! Now!

I had a pretty great birthday. While it rained all day Friday, the day I took off work and rented--yes--a convertible, it was still fun. That night I met up with friends and family at my favorite bar, got lots of cool presents, and drank way, way too much. I was adhering to that New Year's resolution, you know. Except I think in the future I will pace myself better. That's hard to do when people are buying you birthday drinks every five minutes.

Saturday I recovered and then went out to a fancy dinner with a friend, and Sunday I did precious little.

And next weekend I go to Disneyland! I have to say, so far 2007 has been pretty damn good.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It's My Birthday, and Apparently That Means I Must..."Go"?

Yes, today is my birthday. Woo! And a woo hoo!

And that's it with the wooing because I have to work. But at least I get to work at home, which means I get to wear my jammies and sad, tarnished birthday tiara all day. Here at home. ALONE.

Ha ha. Just kidding. It's awesome. And tonight I get to eat rich food. And tomorrow I have the day off and I'll be riding around in a convertible, making the occasional stop to shop. And tomorrow night, I'll be drinking. So, really, what could be better?

Aside from a nice, huge piece of Just Desserts chocolate cake with white (cream cheese) frosting?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oh Stewardess? I Speak Jive.

I put this video up on SFist, but the site is whack, and it hasn't gone live as of yet, and this video is just too awesome to sit on.

If you like San Francisco, the early 60s, greasers, and jive, you'll love this.

And I Am Telling You, You're Not Going...To the Oscars

Well, as you probably know by now, the Oscar nominees have been announced. And I have some opinions about them...

Best Picture:
"The Departed,"
"Letters From Iwo Jima,"
"Little Miss Sunshine,"
"The Queen"

I admit that, so far, I have only seen two of the nominees: "The Departed" and "Little Miss Sunshine." It goes without saying that I loved "The Departed." And I might have liked "Little Miss Sunshine" more if people weren't drooling all over themselves with praise for it. It just wasn't that fantastic. It was much funnier the first time I saw it, when it was called "National Lampoon's Vacation," and [spoiler alert!] Alan Arkin, the best thing about the movie, is only in about half of it. The whole thing feels like a carefully planned Sundance Festival entry; way too contrived, and ultimately, not funny enough.

As for the other movies, I'll probably see "The Queen" before the actual awards, but I am not looking forward to watching "Babel." I'm getting a little tired of movies that pass incomprehensibility off as depth. I'm just glad "Dreamgirls" didn't sneak in there. Enough with the nominating of musicals already!

Leonardo DiCaprio, "Blood Diamond";
Ryan Gosling, "Half Nelson";
Peter O'Toole, "Venus";
Will Smith, "The Pursuit of Happyness";
Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland."

I guess the only surprise here is that voters actually remembered Ryan Gosling and "Half Nelson." But once again, I haven't seen any of the nominated performances, so I can't say much about the choices.

Penelope Cruz, "Volver";
Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal";
Helen Mirren, "The Queen";
Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada";
Kate Winslet, "Little Children."

There's a good variety of grand dames and (relative) newcomers in this category, but I really don't think Streep's role in that movie was a lead one. Hers was a supporting character, and should have been nominated thusly.

Supporting Actor:
Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine";
Jackie Earle Haley, "Little Children";
Djimon Hounsou, "Blood Diamond";
Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls";
Mark Wahlberg, "The Departed."

I'm really pleased to see Jackie Earle Haley nominated; it's awesome that he's gone from a "whatever happened to that weird looking kid from 'The Bad News Bears'?" to an Oscar nominee. Also, how awesome are the words "Academy Award nominee Marky Mark"? That said, I think Alan Arkin will take it.

Supporting Actress:
Adriana Barraza, "Babel";
Cate Blanchett, "Notes on a Scandal";
Abigail Breslin, "Little Miss Sunshine";
Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls";
Rinko Kikuchi, "Babel."

Once again, only saw "Little Miss Sunshine," and as cute as that little girl was, I don't think she deserves an award for it. I haven't seen "Dreamgirls," but in all the acting clips I've seen of Jennifer Hudson, she's not...that great. Will they really give her an award based solely on the strength of her singing?

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, "Babel";
Martin Scorsese, "The Departed";
Clint Eastwood, "Letters From Iwo Jima";
Stephen Frears, "The Queen";
Paul Greengrass, "United 93."

It's another one of those years where they nominate a director and not his film (and a film, but not the director) in this case Paul Greengrass for "United 93," and not Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for "Little Mis Sunshine". Which just reminds me, I'm sure happy "United 93" didn't get nominated. I think the praise it garnered was based on the emotions brought up by the events of September 11th, and not by the film itself. It was good and all, but it wasn't great. As for the rest, the question remains, will Scorsese get passed over in favor of Clint Eastwood once again?

Of course there are more nominations, but I haven't the time to get into those right now. Maybe later. I need to start planning my Oscar night menu. "The Queen"'s bangers and mash? And "Departed" lobster rolls. Yes!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Goddamn Cows

I just ate my second Skinny Cow chocolate fudge cone of the evening. The whole low fat, only 150 calories thing kind of goes out the window after one, doesn't it?

In totally unrelated news, Liz Lemon's reaction to the Hair's asking her out on a date on tonight's "30 Rock" had me laughing for about five minutes. I think this is the first series of the season that I might have to buy when it comes out on DVD.

Just a Fleck of Ben

I went to see the MST3K guys last night doing a Rifftrax Live show as part of the San Francisco Sketchfest. Wanna hear more about it here it go.

I was tempted to just trash the show in an effort to get Mike Nelson to post a rebuttal in the comments, but then I realized he's probably a much more level-headed person than David Cross, and went ahead and fawned over them all like the huge dork I am.

Just Be Sure to Give It Three Thumbs Down If You Set Your TiVo

Tonight's the night Stephen Colbert will appear on "The O'Reilly Factor," and O'Reilly will appear on "The Colbert Report." Set those TiVos! Just be careful, lest your TiVo starts recording nothing but Fox News shows for you.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Nice Web, Mr. Crack Spider

[via SF Gate's Culture Blog]


I was quite saddened to learn that NBC is canceling "Passions" to make way for another hour of the Today show. Another HOUR. That's FOUR HOURS A DAY.

I'm not sure why it upsets me so. I haven't actually WATCHED "Passions" in years. But I just liked knowing its brand of soap opera insanity was on the air. NBC is really blowing it with their daytime line-up. They cancelled "Starting Over" and gave that spot to Megan Mullally's show (which, in turn, was cancelled!) and now this.

I imagine now that the writers know the end is neigh, the "Passions" craziness will only get better. I think its final months will be a must see.

Here's a montage featuring one of my favorite characters, Timmy, Tabitha's doll that came to life and made her cocktails that were called, I think, Timmytinis.

Does This Mean I'm as Smart as Him?

I have to say I agree 100% with what Ken "Yeah, I'm the Jeopardy Guy" Jennings has to say about the American version of "The Office." In fact, I think I've said the very same thing at some point. I just can't prove it.

And agreeing that the British version mastered the "mockumentary" thing better than the American version has doesn't mean I don't think the American version is funny. I think it's hilarious.

But the British version is a masterpiece. [via TV Tattle]

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

OK! Who'd Like a Banger In the Mouth?

I have a love-hate relationship with David Cross. When he's funny, he can be really, REALLY funny. But when he isn't, he can be painful and downright annoying.

Fellow SFist writer Emily reviewed his SketchFest show and didn't like it. At all. Now, I've seen Cross live, and I've seen him bomb, so I wasn't surprised by the review. But apparently, David Cross was surprised by it, and took the time to comment about it.

I don't really know what to say. But if you've ever wanted to respond directly to something David Cross has said, I suppose this is your chance.

I Want Her Version of Sobriety

I've got a brief post up on SFist about Paula Abdul and....well, you know. She's nuts. I just hope KTVU keeps the video up, because I couldn't get their link on their own site to work, and that ANNOYS ME.

It Would Be a Shame For You to Leave Over Underpants

I have to admit, I had to look up who the hell Leo Sayer is after seeing this clip, (the only song he's done that rings a bell is "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing,") but I think he's due for a comeback tour. Sponsored by Hanes.

Losing It

I just couldn't believe this quote made by one of the producers of "Lost."
"When we work on stories, we work on how the characters interact. The larger audience is more interested in who will Kate choose than who Alvar Hanso is."
Seriously?? I can't think of anything LESS interesting than who Kate will choose. Who is this "larger audience" this guy is thinking of? Because it certainly isn't anyone I know.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Hey! Look at ME!

Thanks to the lovely and talented Eve, I have begun to recap the show "I'm From Rolling Stone" on the San Francisco Chronicle's Culture Blog. Go check it out!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

No! Not the Bees!

I contemplated renting the remake of "The Wicker Man" to see for myself just how awful it is, but thanks to this bit of video, I no longer need to. [via Popwatch]

Holy Prefiguration, Batman!

Check out this Secret Fun Blog post which proves that Batman has always been cooler than the average superhero.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Asimo Is Ready

Asimo has gone from slightly-constipated robot, to oh-no-I'm-about-to-crap-my-pants robot. [via Boing Boing]

The Most Horrible Thing to Happen to Anyone, Ever

My iBook is broken.

OK. Perhaps I'm exaggerating with that title up there, but it certainly FEELS that way right now. I'm hoping it can be fixed without any loss of data because I'm an idiot and haven't backed anything up in about three months. I wish there was something out there that would just automatically back everything up at the end of the day, with no effort on my part. (IS there something like that out there?)

Anyway, it's unlikely to be dealt with until this weekend (so there probably won't be a "Musty TV" newsletter going out this week). I don't dare venture down near the Apple store until all the Macworld stuff dies down.

Luckily, I have my work-issued PowerBook to help prevent complete Internet withdrawal...ironically, it had to be repaired today, too.

I've got a post up on SFist that requests reader-participation. Go there now and start participating!!!

Friday, January 05, 2007

You Know What Would Be Great Right Now?

I'm not sure why I didn't write about this show when it was on, but for whatever reason, I always seemed to forget about "The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman" until an episode would turn up on my TiVo. Then I'd watch it, enjoy it, and forget about it again. For the unfamiliar, it ran on IFC last year and starred Laura Kightlinger as a struggling Hollywood screenwriter who's bitter and cynical. The comedy was pretty satirical and often downright absurd, as you will soon see.

I think one of the other reasons I didn't bother writing about it was...well...Laura Kightlinger's face kind of freaks me out. She didn't always look quite so scary, and I don't know if it's plastic surgery gone wrong, or some kind of drug reaction, or what, but it kind of made me uncomfortable to look at her. Which is totally shallow, I know. (Unless it did happened as a result of her getting Botox and plastic surgery, in which case I, and everyone else, should feel free to mock her.)

One of my favorite episodes had Jackie accepting an arts grant from a Native American group, and her having to pretend she was going to use the money to film a documentary about a tribe. She and her friend Tara end up on a reservation tripping on peyote. Thanks to my new DVD recorder, I am now able to share this little bit of comedy gold with you fine people. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Who's the Douche?

So, yesterday, SFist posted about the above video which was filmed by fellow SFist writer Mattymatt. You can't see much, but you can hear an argument between a MUNI driver, a rider, and the rest of the passengers on the bus.

I had some issues with the way the video was presented. In the introduction, Matt writes that two guys tried to get on the bus with expired passes. Since he didn't say when this was filmed, I posited that perhaps the driver was the douche if the guys had presented December passes since there's a three-day grace period for Fastpasses.

In the comments, Matt explained that he didn't see the passes, but they looked like daily passes, the kind that expired after 90 minutes--which would be a transfer, yes? Not a pass. Even thought the guy in the video keeps saying he showed his "pass" to the driver.

OK. OK, I am being very nitpicky about this, but only because I have had way too many run-ins with bus drivers who are complete douches that I tend to instantly side with passengers in cases like this. I've gotten into arguments with drivers for having an expired transfer after waiting over 90 minutes for the fracking bus to show up. Should I really have to pay another buck-fifty because the bus was late? I've also gotten into it with drivers who would take the transfer I was issued at an underground stop and not replace it with another transfer, even though it's a clearly written rule that every passenger must have "proof of payment" when riding a MUNI vehicle. And those are just two instances of douchery from bus drivers. So, I'm not ragging on Matt or his video, I am just pointing out that as douchey as the public can be, bus drivers can be even more douchey. Also, I just like incorporating the word "douche" into this post as much as possible.

Regardless, NBC 11 felt the video was newsworthy, and actually interviewed Matt for last night's 11 o'clock news! I uploaded the segment to YouTube, and you can watch it below. His comments about the public are particularly amusing.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

O.C. Ya Later

It's not too surpising, but "The O.C." has been cancelled. The final episode will air February 22nd.

I'm not too sad to see it go, as seasons two and three were really sucky. This season has been fun, but there was an underlying feeling that no one really knew where to take the show now that the kids are out of high school (or dead). But I maintain that the first season of the show ranks up there as one of the best high school-set TV dramas ever.

Supernova Flameout

If you were wondering how Rockstar: Supernova's debut on New Year's Eve went, apparently, it kinda sucked. What a shocker!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year, Yadda Yadda

I'm slowly pulling myself out of holiday vacation mode, but it ain't easy. I'm still a bit in shock that an entire year is over. How did that happen?

I got rid of my tree yesterday, and while that should normally make me sad, as it symbolizes the complete end of the Christmas season, it actually made me ecstatically happy. The thing was a sad dried shell of its former self, and it was taking up way too much room. It feels good to have my apartment back.

I thought about making some New Year's Resolutions, which is something I just never really got in to. Seems to me if you're gonna make some changes, you should do it as soon as possible, instead of holding off until the new year. (And you better add "quit procrastinating" to that list of resolutions while you're at it.)

But since everyone else is doing it, I figured I would, too. So here are three:

Drink More - I cut back on my drinking in '06 because of an ongoing headache issue I've had for a couple of years now. Booze was an obvious trigger, and I figured why risk it. And for the most part, the not drinking thing has been fine. But I think I've figured out my tolerance, and what to avoid drinking to avoid a killer headache, and I'll probably stick to an only-on-weekends plan. Here's to more drunken evenings in '07!

Go to the Movies More - I saw over 100 movies last year, but only saw about five of them in the theater. The rest were Netflixed. There are a lot of reasons NOT to go to the movies these days--ticket prices, lousy theaters, lousy movies, assholes sitting next to/behind/in front of you--and few reasons TO go; in fact, the only thing I can come up with is, well, the screen is bigger. But this past year I've noticed I saw very few movies I could actually say I loved, and I'm beginning to wonder whether that has anything to do with not seeing many in a theater. It's pretty easy to get distracted when you're watching a movie at home, whereas at a theater, you don't really have any option but to pay attention. So, I'm hoping to test out this theory by going to the movies a couple of times a month, at least...

Continue With the Working Out and Eating Right Thing - This isn't really a resolution as I started with it back in June. But I pretty much took a holiday from it for the months of November and December, and just want to get back into the habit. I don't imagine it being too difficult.

So there. Three pretty damned easy resolutions. I'm sure there's plenty more I should probably do, but I'll just have to deal with those as they come to mind.

I'll leave you with a glimpse of how I rang in the new year. Here's to 2007! I sure hope it's better than 2006!