Wednesday, February 29, 2012

January Round-Up - 2012

Welcome to the first official round-up of 2012, happening on Leap Day no less. Does that make it more exciting?

Probably not.

But it does remind me, I never understood why the year with an extra day is called a "leap" year, when it seems to make more sense for common years to be called leap years because you are, essentially, leaping into March on years where there isn't a February 29th.


Whatever, let's look at January!

Movies Seen: Eight, with three in a theater. Getting off to a slow start this year...

The three theater movies started with a sing-along screening of West Side Story at the Castro, which was fun, but frankly, West Side Story isn't a very easy musical to sing along with!

The other two were The Iron Lady, which I didn't bother reviewing because not much could be said beyond, "Bad movie, but Streep was amazing," and Contraband, which I reviewed here.

Most of the DVDs I watched were lame, but I did enjoy Someone's Watching Me!, John Carpenter's 1978 made-for-TV movie starring Lauren Hutton. It's worth seeing because of her--she's just kind of a kooky character in it--and because, as far as TV movies go, it's above average.

Books Read:
Four. Click through to read my (limited) thoughts on all.

Then Again by Diane Keaton.

The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay, all by Suzanne Collin.

Regarding that trilogy, man. It started out so good! And ended so bad! But I'm still totally excited to see the movie!

Fancy Dinners Out: Four, although two were technically lunch. The first of the lunches was at the Rotunda at Neiman Marcus, which I had never been to before, and would certainly go to again, if only for those popovers and strawberry butter.

I went to Disneyland for my birthday, and had what has now become a traditional steak dinner at Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland hotel. Got the prix fixe. Delish.

On my actual birthday, I had dinner at La Traviata, per usual. Had pasta. Wish I had some right now.

And I ended the birthday month with another steak, this time lunch at the Leatherneck Steakhouse, which is in the Marines' Memorial building. It is pretty reasonably priced for what you get--which includes TRUFFLED TATER TOTS--and has a totally amazing view. I highly recommend it.

Live Shows Seen: None, but as I mentioned, I did go to Disneyland, which is basically a non-stop show.

Shoes Bought: Two pair, both metallic! The first are some goldish Old Navy flats that are kind of textured to look like lizard. Can't find a picture of them anywhere right now, though. The second are these silver American Rag pumps, which I snagged for under 30 bucks at Macy's.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I'll admit, I was shocked to hear about the death of Whitney Houston. I can't say I was ever a big fan of her music, (just way too adult contemporary for my tastes), but there was no disputing she had an amazing voice that just puts other so-called divas to shame.

I was more a fan of Whitney Houston herself, in all her crazy glory. Of course, it was pretty obvious a lot of her kookiness came from her drug use, so it's probably in poor taste to find any of that funny now.

Except, I still do, and there's really no way I can curb that. So, I choose to remember her in the many ways she, and her influence, made me laugh.

Like this moment, where she's with Bobby B., and decides to try on some sunglasses.

Or here, where she's telling him, or maybe the cameraman, or maybe just the world, to kiss her ass.

I've also found myself mourning the (probable) loss of Maya Rudolph's Whitney impersonation, which never failed to crack me up. In a weird coincidence, Rudolph is set to host "Saturday Night Live" next week, and I am hoping they find a way to keep her impersonation alive.

Here are a few of the best of Rudolph's Whitney moments, collected so I can have a localized place to watch them over and over and over again, which I plan to do. A lot.

maya rudolph aka Whitney Houston by jenniesslave

Finally, I knew Rich Juzwiak would have something great to say about her, and I wasn't wrong. Check it out.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Today's TV Tirade

I've been thinking about some shows recently, and how they've been annoying me. Here's a blog post about that!

A few years back I wrote about the TV show "Jack and Bobby," and how no abortion on a TV show can go unpunished. In summation: Most of the time, to avoid any kind controversy, if a character doesn't want a baby, and is pregnant, the writers will introduce a very convenient miscarriage. As I mentioned in that post, this happens in movies too--and is one reason I didn't think the movie Citizen Ruth was that great; it didn't have the courage of its convictions--but I tend to notice it more on TV.

A few months ago, on "Grey's Anatomy," the character of Cristina Yang got pregnant. She's married, and in a good position to have a kid, but she has never wanted kids, and didn't want this one. Her husband, Owen, knowing that his wife doesn't want to be a mother--and a kid should not grow up with a mother that never wanted him--agreed that terminating the pregnancy was best, and even went with her to the procedure.

That, as the saying goes, seemed to be that. There were several episodes after in which things were back to normal, they were doing fine, and it seemed to be non-issue.

Of course, this couldn't last forever. Two episodes ago, during a fight, her husband admits that he is not fine with the abortion, and bellows at her that she "killed" their baby.

And in the previews for this coming week's episode, it looks like Yang might get hit by a car, or someone might get hurt while trying to save her from getting hit by a car, or maybe she'll get hit by a car, and magically find out she's pregnant again, and this time keep the baby.

No abortion can go unpunished.

It's sad that I was more surprised by the show's few episodes where it all seemed to be a non-issue than I am by this latest development, because it's just so pathetically typical. I hope this wasn't the way creator Shonda Rhimes wanted it to go, and she was somehow influenced to add this new drama, but she's a TV writer. She probably knows how stories like that "have" to be handled on television...

In a completely different, but still very annoying vein, what the hell is up with "Alcatraz"? Every week we see one of the prisoners who disappeared back in 1963 reappearing in 2012 San Francisco, and we have yet to witness any of these prisoners having any kind of problem navigating modern life, or, indeed, acting very surprised by anything they witness.

I really hope I've just missed an important plot element, (which could very well be the case; my attention tends to drift when watching the show), and they've explained that, perhaps, all these guys have actually been wandering around for years, and thus we just haven't been privy to their moments of acclimation, or some other plausible explanation for their nonchalance.

But if that's not the case, and they haven't explained this at all, and don't intend to, well, I don't think I can keep watching. I don't know why, but this aspect of the show just really, really irks me. I think you have to earn that kind of preposterousness. You can't just throw it at an audience right out the gate!

As a final note, here's a link to blog post I wrote in 2004, about "Lost," that mentions a certain island in the San Francisco Bay.

In case you didn't know, "Alcatraz" comes from some of the creators of "Lost"...

So, yes, basically I am saying I am responsible for the existence of "Alcatraz." OBVS.