Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This is when you know you're really, really tired...

I have to say that after moving and cleaning and dealing with all the assorted @#$% that goes with it, I'm exhausted. Actually, I'm beyond exhausted. The light from exhausted would take 30 billion years to reach where I am.

And as if the aching muscles and zombified energy level weren't enough of a clue, I got another reminder this morning:

I've always had nightmares where I'm taking out my contact lenses and each eye has a seemingly unending amount of lenses on them. I keep popping them out (the benefits of rigid gas permeables...), one after another after another.

Silly dream, huh?

This morning I actually put my right contact lens in my left eye. Doh! Then I pop it out and put it in my right eye. Then I take the left contact lens and also put it in my right eye. I discovered this when I couldn't see clearly and figured I'd gotten a smudge of something on the lens. Popped it out and realized that I had two lenses now stuck together.

Getting them unstuck was quite a challenge.

This (and other assorted events transpiring over the last couple of weeks) would be quite humorous if it were happening to somebody else...

Heroes - Into Asylum

With its oversized cast, I've found Heroes often splits the storylines into groupings of two. Like last night's episode had Nathan and Claire hiding out in Mexico, Peter and Angela seeking sanctuary in a church and the oddest pairing of all: Sylar and Danko.

If they had a creepy psycho contest, who would win?

For me it's Danko hands down. The albino midget makes Sylar look positively normal.

Sylar makes Danko an offer he can't refuse, "I think we should pool our resources." Assisting him with tracking down the person who killed his agents, Sylar leads Danko to a shapeshifter who delivers a head in a box.

Ironically, David Fincher never let us get a glimpse of the head in a box in Seven and yet we get to see one on prime time TV. Go figure.

Hunting down the shapeshifter at a club, Sylar spots him sitting in a corner with an attractive female. Sylar picks him out immediately because he's shifted into Danko.

"Why me?" Danko asks.

Why indeed...

After watching the shapeshifter put the moves on the lovely lady, Sylar observes, "He's a better you than you."

The shapeshifter disappears into the crowd and Danko and Sylar split up to find him. Meeting back up again, Danko tells Sylar he lost the quarry. As they exit the club, Sylar starts to pull a gun on Danko but Danko wheels about and shoots him first.

Then the REAL Sylar shows up all worried that Danko killed the shapeshifter. But he's still alive and primed for Sylar to steal his power--which Sylar does without slicing open his head per Danko's request. Thusly, Danko is able to pass the dead body off as Sylar and put up a big "win" on the board.

Noah didn't seem all that convinced, however.

So Sylar now has the power to take other powers, lie detector, electricity, regeneration and now shapeshifter. He's got some other powers as well, but he's pretty much unstoppable now with the shapeshifting and regeneration, huh?

In our other pairings, Angela and Peter make amends as do Claire and bio-Daddy Nathan. Although Claire is initially upset with Nathan when he admits he has no idea how to straighten out the mess he created. "Last night you said you were going to fix everything," Claire says accusingly. "I was drunk," Nathan replies.

"You're supposed to be Superman," Claire sniffles.

Nathan trades his watch for the necklace Claire pawned and the two walk off into the sunset--most likely to meet up with Peter and Angela...and Angela's sister, whoever that is.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The End of the Streak

When I started this blog, I made a commitment to post something, anything everyday. And I've been able to keep that up even with a demanding full-time job. I would have loved to continue that streak--even as bone-tired and brain dead as I've been with the move this weekend. Unfortunately, my Verizon wireless broadband is useless to me right now as my new apartment doesn't have a working phone jack.

Let's hope that situation gets corrected posthaste...

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Office - Two Weeks

Just so you know, "monsters.com" does not make growling and roaring noises, although Jim's aggravated "It's MONSTER, singular," said to an unmotivated Michael was the funniest line of the episode for me.

Everyone was amazed at the news that Michael had quit Dunder-Mifflin. As he recounted the story in excruciating detail to the rest of the office, Pam remarked, "He finally has a story we really want to hear and he knows it."

Michael comes up with the dubious idea to start his own paper company called--drumroll please!--Michael Scott Paper Company. His efforts to recruit Jim, Andy and even sycophant Dwight are unsuccessful. Pam tries to talk sense into him but Michael insists, "This is a dream that I've had since lunch."

New boss Charles catches wind of Michael's plan and has him escorted out by security. Even Toby misses him. Andy muses ,"The whole office seems darker." To which Phyllis replies, "Andy, he's gone. You don't have to kiss his ass anymore."



Michael sneaks back into the office, slithering along the floor to try to convince people to join his new venture. "Come on down and let's crawl out of here together!" he implores his former staff.

Charles catches him and Michael makes a defeated retreat--until Pam decides to join him.

With no receptionist, Charles appoints Kevin to cover phones and puts Stanley in charge of productivity. Other than Angela and Kelly--who continue to mack on Charles--no-one seems to like the new boss. Wonder how long until there's an office-wide mutiny?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

LOST - He's Our You

Whoa.

That was one helluva a ride. There has been speculation regarding the death of a major LOST character. Was anyone thinking it would be Ben?

What will we do with no more smarmy, slippery, slithery Benjamin Linus?

I shudder to think.

So if Sayid killed the 12 year old Ben in 1977, does that mean the Ben that Sun whacked over the head with an oar last episode disappears? Does this mean the Dharma genocide never happened, Alex was never kidnapped from Rousseau and wasn't killed by Keamy? I guess it would also mean Juliet never came to the island, too...

My mind reels.

The title of the episode did refer to Sayid--but not in reference to Ben. Instead the recalcitrant Sayid is brought before Oldham. Sayid asks Sawyer, "Who is this man?" Sawyer's reply: "He's our you." One might have expected a gruesome torture session to follow--and indeed when Sayid was bound to a tree, it was reminiscent of how he dealt with Sawyer in season one. A little payback or karmic retribution?

Not exactly. Instead of being knocked about, Sayid is given some sort of hallucinogenic truth serum. Under the influence of the drug, Sayid reveals his name and when asked why he was handcuffed, he answers "Because I am a bad man."

He then goes on to tell the Dharmites what he knows about their stations--even the purpose and name of the yet unbuilt Swan--which freaks Radzinsky out. But the whole crew is freaked out when he tells them, "You’re all going to die you know. You’re going to be killed." If that weren't enough, when asked how he knows this, Sayid responds "Because I'm from the future."

This leads Oldham to declare, "Maybe I should've use half a dropper."

The flashbacks to this Sayid-centric episode gave us a bit of insight to our favorite ninja spy dude: Sayid as a young boy killing a chicken (with his hands, not the patented breakdancing move) by wringing its neck; Sayid killing some Russian guy for Ben; Sayid doing his Habitat for Humanity thing when Ben shows up announcing that John Locke is dead and that Hurley is in trouble.

That scene provided the episode's best line:

Sayid: How did you find me?
Ben: I looked.

Sigh. Ben will be missed...

Anyway, Sayid asks Ben why he thinks he would want to kill the guy stalking Hurley. "It’s in your nature, it’s what you are. You’re a killer, Sayid," Ben replies. "I'm not who you think I am. I don't like killing," Sayid counters.

Back in Dharmaville, despite Sawyer's passionate dissent, there's a vote to take care of the Sayid problem by killing him. Sawyer is coerced into making the vote unanimous, but goes to Sayid with a plan to have him escape. Sayid refuses telling Sawyer, "...now I know exactly why I’m here."

The circumstances that brought Sayid back to the island are revealed. After the unhappy reunion of the Oceanic Five at the marina--where Sayid tells Ben, "If I see you again it will be extremely unpleasant for us both," Sayid meets the lovely Ilana at a bar. At first I thought that comment meant that maybe Sayid was the one who beat the @#$% out of Ben, but that was not the case.

Sayid asks Ilana if she is a professional. Yeah, that's an effective pick-up line. Ilana obviously doesn't take offense, because later she and Sayid are making out as they stumble into his hotel room. As Sayid starts to remove her boot, she kicks him in the face and then pulls out a gun.

Talk about a mood breaker...

Turns out Ilana is a bounty hunter hired by the family of Peter Avellino (remember golf course guy?) to bring Sayid back to Guam and to justice. When Sayid sees the other members of the Oceanic Five at the airport, he asks Ilana, "Are you sure we're going to Guam?"

For a moment I thought when Sayid witnessed Ben being abused by his father, Roger, he might have a different perspective on the morally-challenged head Other. But instead he allows Ben to plans his escape which is accomplished via the diversion of a van set on fire and crashing into one of the barracks.

Jack asks Sawyer what is going on and his response is, "Three years, no burning buses. Y'all are back for one day!"

When Ben shows up to let Sayid out, Sayid notices his broken glasses. "My father was a hard man as well," he empathizes. "If I let you out, will you take me with you?" Ben asks Sayid. "Yes Ben, I will. That's why I'm here," Sayid answers.

As they are making their escape, a Dharma van shows up and Jin exits. Sayid lies and tells him that Sawyer let him escape. When Jin tries to confirm that with Sawyer, Sayid flips him and takes his gun.

Ben is impressed by his ninja moves, but Sayid tells him, "You were right about me. I am a killer," and shoots him in the chest.

As I said before: Whoa.

For more insight into "He's Our You" check out the recap at Lostpedia, the screencaps at Dark UFO and Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney's Dueling Analyses at washingtonpost.com.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Coming Attractions

Before the showing of Sunshine Cleaning, several trailers piqued my interest. Here are some of the coming attractions I'm looking forward to:

500 Days of Summer - Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in an offbeat anti-romcom. Love both of them and the trailer looked great.

Management - Steve Zahn and Jennifer Aniston in yet another offbeat romantic comedy. Say what you like about Aniston, she does good work in indie flicks like The Good Girl and Friends with Money. This looks like another opportunity for her to shine. Also features Woody Harrelson.

Away We Go -Directed by Sam Mendes, this quirky ensemble piece is more Juno or Garden State than American Beauty. Fabulous cast headed up by John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph includes Allison Janney, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jeff Daniels and Catherine O'Hara. The trailer was hysterical...take a look:


LOST: HE'S OUR YOU and you are too

Here is George's latest insights on last week's episode as well as a few hints on what's coming up for us tonight. I'm wondering if the title "He's Our You" means that the captured Sayid needing to be rescued by his people is the LOSTies version of Ben aka "Henry Gale"?

Anyone else have any ideas?

Hello LOSTies,

"My name is Ben"

Wowsers! Sayid and Ben meet (more on this tonight). Jack and Pierre meet and Jack gets to be a Workman (more on this tonight). Jack and Kate found out about Sawyer and Juliet. But this pales in comparison to the introduction of Radzinsky!

Radzinsky was working the Flame when Jin busted in asking about the Ajira crash, not knowing Ajira crashed in 2007. Radzinsky was shown also piecing together the plans for a new, upcoming station...The Swan.

The Swan WAS the station in Season 2, where Radzinsky (who would kill himself in the Swan after drawing the map on the blast door), Kevin Inman (Sayid's capturer in Iraq who would later be killed by Desmond), Desmond, and the LOSTaways would press that darn "EXECUTE" button every 108 minutes. The Swan's timing is based also around the events of "The Incident", which as I mentioned last week, is the fabled occurrence on the island that would make it required to press the button every 108 minutes and would lead to women not being able to have babies on the island.

In other DHARMA news, Phil grew suspicious of Jack when he said "James," not "Jim" when speaking of LaFleur. Juliet saved Kate's skin when Phil could not find her paperwork. The group took their 1977 class photo with Jack, Kate, and Hurley. Also, Sawyer pointed out that Daniel was no longer with them, so something must have happened between 1974 (when Horace found Sawyer and the group) to 1977. We also find out the Amy and Horace are Ethan's parents.

Back in 2007, Frank landed the plane on the runway that Kate and Sawyer were helping build in season 3 when they were captured on Hydra Island. Unfortunately, the co-pilot died, but several people survived including Ilana, Caeser, Ben, Locke, Frank and Sun.

Ben is followed by Sun who clues her in on his plan to get back to the main island to find his people. Sun knocks him out and Frank joins her to get there. They arrive at night and walk up to the abandoned processing center where they meet Christian, but not before hearing Smokey in the trees (well at least Smokey is still there in 2007). Christian tells them that they have a long journey ahead of them.

But what you might not have caught is a now controversial scene. In that scene where Sun, Frank, and Christian are talking a woman is clearly scene standing behind Sun. Is it a crew member that accidentally got into the shot or is it part of the story??? ABC has declined to comment, though I'm sure we'll find out soon.

Here is a screenshot:



And now on to tonight..."He's Our You".

Sayid is our focus for the evening. He's now captured as a "Hostile," yet he isn't one. Funny, Ben is becoming one since he's met Richard in the jungle. Ben may have his own ideas when it comes to Sayid. It's almost as if this was a separate reality, but it's really happening. Ben may be able to help out Sayid...but there maybe something Sayid will have to give up.

Meanwhile, Sawyer starts his plan to get Sayid incorporated into DHARMA, continuing his long con. Sawyer has a selfish reason, but also is trying to keep the LOSTaways safe in DHARMAville. One person you will meet tonight is Oldham (played by William Sanderson (ex-EB Farnam, Deadwood; Bud Dearborn, True Blood). Oldham is DHARMA and he ties into the title of the episode quite nicely.

Also tonight, watch for another Workman to appear in DHARMAville. Juliet offers some words to Kate. Also, there is a FLASHBACK!!! tonight involving multiple countries and a child that is in danger.

In the end, will Sawyer's con go as planned or will it blow up in his face? Will Sayid conform or will he be tortured to admit the truth? And with this much lying..is someone close to cracking??

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lefties: Fighters not Lovers?

A recent article in the Washington Post ponders the whys of lateralization. According to the article:

"Left-handed people are more likely to die from accidents. They may also be more likely to have neurological, immunological or psychiatric diseases -- probably because at least some left-handedness arises from prenatal damage or birth trauma. Whether left-handed people have shorter lives on average is in dispute.

Despite those "costs," left-handedness has persisted through human evolution. One of the reasons is simple: Lefties do better in fights."

So posits the research as to why lefties exist at all.

As far as I'm concerned, it's not surprising to find unique and superior examples of any species throughout nature. Some of us are born special, others right-handed...

Heroes - Cold Snap

It looks like anonymous--and others in the blogosphere--were spot on: Rebel was indeed Micah. Unfortunately, his rescue of Tracy did not end so well even though her release also helped to free Matt, Mohinder and Daphne.

Casualties: Tracy and a number of Danko's agents frozen to death. Danko puts a bullet in the icicle remains of Tracy--which seemed like the very definition of "overkill" to me--shattering her to pieces. The teardrop rolling down the piece of her face was a cool touch....

And Daphne finally succumbed despite Matt's best efforts to get her medical attention.

Note to writers: Why do you keep killing off the WOMEN?!!!

It's hard to believe that all the king's horse and all the king's men could put Ali Larter back together again, but she's metamorphesed from Niki/Jessica to Tracy and allegedly there were a bunch of embryos in the test tube batch she was developed in, so I'm expecting to see the latest version pop up any episode now.

How Danko survived when Sylar was slinking in the shadows of his apartment at the end of last week's episode is beyond me, but apparently Sylar is going to toy with him a bit--like a cat batting around a mouse. He gives him a gift: Doyle the puppetmaster wrapped up in a big red bow. When Danko shows off the catch to Noah, he takes credit for the capture telling Bennet, "I'm smarter than the average bear."

That was one of numerous pop culture references throughout the show (that one recalling Yogi Bear). The others:

Opening scene of Danko shaving reminded me of the opening credits of Dexter

The writers must be No Doubt fans with the humorous reference to Gwen Stefani

The Tracy teardrop seemed a bit Terminator, didn't it?

And finally Hiro and Ando trying to hide from Matt Parkman's ex-wife was a definite shout-out to E.T.

Did anyone notice any others?

Speaking of Hiro and Ando, I'm thinking Ando is pretty smart for a sidekick. While Hiro pouts saying, "Heroes change the world, not diapers!," Ando points out that maybe the baby isn't a regressed Matt Parkman, but Matt Parkman's baby. Matty Jr. doesn't have brain mojo thingy as his ability, but can turn things on--like the TV, toys and Hiro's ability to stop time.

This comes in handy at a crucial moment when agents are just about to capture the trio, but unfortunately the baby's power is limited to returning Hiro's time-freezing ability and not his teleportation ability.

Lastly, Angela ends up on the run. She's tipped off by Noah who tells her, "I wouldn't go home if I were you." Although her driver is snatched by agents, she manages to slip out of the crowd and disappear into the crowd. She meets up with old friend Millie (Swoosie Kurtz popping up yet again. I knew Pushing Daisies getting cancelled wouldn't slow her down...), who gives her some money to help her disappear. Before she can make her escape, agents close in on her trapping her in an elevator.

But Peter swoops in at the last moment to rescue her and fly her away. Mother and son are reunited and plotting their next move as they hide out in the Statue of Liberty.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Desperate Housewives - A Spark to Pierce the Dark

Last night's episode ended with a cliffhanger that appears will be dragged out over the next couple of weeks.

Yeah, looks like we won't find out if Edie makes it until April. Given that Nicollette Sheridan isn't coming back next season, chances are she won't make it. So is Edie going out with a bang--electrocuted by a downed telephone line--or will she manage to whimper out Dave's secret plan to punish Mike?

In the revolving door of characters, a blast from the past reared its ugly head with the return of Karl, Susan's ex. Actually, I like Karl--he cracks me up. And anyone who annoys and exasperates the annoying and exasperating Susan is okay in my book. Karl is sending his son, Evan, to the school that Susan is teaching at. When Susan sees him she tells Evan to go on to class. "I need to talk to your Daddy and I may need to use some grown-up words."

But Susan and Karl's detente turns into a full-out war over a disturbing drawing of Evan's. In a class assignment that featured kittens and rainbows, Evan features two figures and a lot of blood. "He's stabbing him in the guts with a sword," he blithely tells the horrified Susan. Susan tells him the assignment was to draw something that made him happy. "It does make me happy. Where's my gold star?" replies Evan.

The drawing raises issues with the school psychologist and principal. Karl brushes it aside, but Susan insists, "Your son drew intestines on the end of a stick!"

Chill, Susan. It wasn't a stick, it was a sword and the level of detail didn't include specific organs.

Karl goes off on a tear on Susan and she responds by tossing a jar of paint in his face. When Evan draws yet another violent picture, however, Susan shows it to Karl privately. This time he recognizes the woman being stabbed with the sword as Evan's mother, Marisa. Marisa left Karl and Evan and Karl realizes this is the same thing he did to Susan.

Karl's back (temporarily), but another character's out the door: Carlos' number two Lucy beat a hasty retreat after unwittingly yelling at his kids. The writers decided to set Lucy up as a royal bitch whose workaholic demands put a strain on both Lynette's and Carlos' home lives. For Gaby, the real problem was the strain on her and Carlos' sex lives. Carlos, tired from late nights and early morning meetings, resorts to tying Gaby up so he can sleep in peace.

Not appeased by Carlos' gift of Jimmy Choos, Gaby confronts Carlos at work telling him "We made these these mistakes before..." Lynette, in charge of watching Juanita and Celia, gets the bright idea to let them amuse themselves with Lucy's precious figurine collection. That's when Lucy loses it and Carlos witnesses her behavior.

Bye, bye Lucy!

Orson reveals to Bree, "I steal to hurt you." He tells her "Each day for the past year--inch by inch, slice by slice, brought me closer to being a eunuch." He convinces Bree to sell her business, but Andrew makes her question that decision when he asks, "If he loves you, why would he want you to stop doing something that makes you happy?" Bree calls off the sale and Orson warns her "I might start stealing again."

Lame.

Meanwhile, Dave's plan to kill Katherine and make it look like a hunting accident is thwarted at the last minute when Edie finally receives the fax that completes the missing piece of the puzzle. Her call on his cellphone makes him miss his shot at Katherine, and Mike and Katherine, rattled by the near miss, decide to return home.

Edie confronts Dave who tries to spin her, but eventually admits that he is determined to punish Mike. Edie, sickened by his admission, attempts to call Mike to warn him. But Dave stops her and starts to strangle her. He stops and Edie races out of the house and drives off while trying to make a call on her cellphone. She nearly runs over the masked Orson, who had just made a hasty exit from a botched robbery attempt, and swerves and hits the telephone pole.

Which is yet another reason that the hands-free law in California is so important, people!

Right now she's still alive--but barely. Will she have a chance to warn Mike before Nicollette's contract expires?

Looks like we'll have to wait until April 19th to find out.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunshine Cleaning

Sunshine Cleaning is pretty much a typical indie flick. It's a good movie but not a great movie. What elevated it above the dreck were the performances.

As with its indie cousin, Little Miss Sunshine, you've got Alan Arkin who is dependably great as patriarch Joe Lorkowski. And you've also got an adorably quirky kid in Jason Spevack who plays Oscar. He definitely gives Abigail Breslin a run for her money in the cuteness department. Then there's Steve Zahn who can always be counted on to be excellent as Mac and Mary Ellen Rajskub delivers a nicely nuanced performance as Lynn.

But the film basically lives or dies in the performances of Amy Adams as Rose Lorkowski and Emily Blunt as her sister Norah. I feel writer Megan Holley could have fleshed out more Adams' role as a woman who peaked in high school as head cheerleader and her co-dependent relationship with sister Norah--both sisters damaged by a tragic incident that occurred in their childhood.

But Blunt and Adams manage to deliver touching and heartfelt performances. Adams, always a revelation, takes a scene that could have been manipulatively melodramatic and contrived and turns it into a thing of grace and beauty. In another scene, Rose tells an acquaintance that her business helps people when they have experienced something "profound." I would have liked to have seen more of that.

But even with the sparkling Adams, the crusty Arkin, the cutie Spevak and the dark Blunt, my favorite performance was that of Clifton Collins, Jr. who played Winston. His one-armed store clerk was the most engagingly genuine of the film. He was so amazing, I was truly shocked to find out he has two arms! He's going to be in the new Star Trek film. I might be looking forward to seeing that more than Zachary Quinto's Spock.

More Adventures in Moving

My life is about cleaning, lifting, dragging, packing, unpacking. This weekend I moved over some food and some shoes. Of course, you're saying to yourself, food and shoes---that makes sense!

Even after paring down my shoes, I still have too many pairs for my new closet. I think the rarely worn will get put on a shelf or something.

Found a bigger rug for the bathroom, but now the bathroom door won't close. Hopefully they can fix that. With brand new bamboo floors, I wanted to make sure it was covered up to protect it as much as possible. The shower curtain is up and the bath mat is down. I just need some privacy film for the window and to move my stuff in.

Bought little plastic storage containers to put nuts, pasta and my chocolate in. Started stacking stuff up on the new little shelf I bought last weekend. It works really well! Started putting shelf liner down, but I forgot to bring my handy-dandy step stool and so I couldn't reach above the first shelf and the drawers. The rest will have to wait 'til Friday.

In the morning I bought an IKEA TV stand from someone off Craigslist. It took much maneuvering to get it into the Protege. Then it was even harder getting it out again! It got knocked up a bit in the process--I really need a hatchback...

Back at the old place I took down the windows and screens and hanging blinds and hosed them off. Took a break from that to drive out to Culver City to check out a hammock. Unfortunately the frame was welded together from being so old, so there was no way it would fit into my little Mazda. The guy selling it offered to drive it over to my place in his SUV, but it was even too big to fit into that! So he tied it to his roof and we drove VERY slowly to the new place.

I gave him an extra ten bucks for his trouble.

Back home I finished cleaning and rehanging the blinds. Then I realized I had missed the bathroom window. While removing that, I noticed the ledge underneath the window was covered in a sooty soap scum. So I cleaned that and washed off the window, but while replacing the window I sliced my finger. I managed to get the window back in, but there was a smudge of blood on the outside. I had to remove the window, clean off my blood and replace it again.

Whew!

Today I managed to take a bit of a break from the move catching a flick for the first time in WEEKS (review to follow...), but I also took a big bag of stuff to Goodwill, another bag of stuff to the new place, straightened up the old place so the landlord could show it AND cleaned my stove!

Going back to work tomorrow is going to feel like a vacation!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Craig Ferguson - A Wee Bit of Revolution on DVD 3/24

I mainly know Craig Ferguson from his stint as Drew Carey's stuffy British boss on the Drew Carey Show. But recently I caught his late late night TV show and was pleasantly surprised at his wacky yet dry sense of humor.

So when I had the opportunity to preview his stand-up concert filmed at the Wilbur Theater in Boston, MA, I jumped at the chance.

I wasn't disappointed.

Whether he's playfully poking fun at his Mum ("My mother loves America a little too much. She's kinda like America's stalker...") or lovingly mocking his idol Sean Connery (Sean Connery doesn't mess around with "acting," he doesn't show off "acting." He's a MOVIE star!), Ferguson offers an enthusiastically energetic performance.

My favorite part of the DVD, however, was the Scotland born Ferguson's July 4th speech at Faneuil Hall. A newly naturalized American citizen, Craig Ferguson passionately expresses all that is great about our nation:

"When I arrived in America, here's what America asked of me: nothing. I was free...free to succeed, free to fail. America did not even ask me to be a citizen. I chose to be a citizen. Whatever mistakes we make along the way, "We the people" will always correct them. "We the people," the citizens of the United States of America are its voice, we are its soul, we are its expression. Our leaders are but servants to our voice. That is our glorious revolution!"
Craig Ferguson and A Wee Bit of Revolution premieres on Comedy Central, Sunday March 22nd at 10pm and is available on DVD on March 24th.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ugly Betty and The Office - The Sex Issue and New Boss

The title of last night's episode of Ugly Betty was highly appropriate--it was indeed all about "sex issues":

The first was those Hilda and Archie, who were generating no "heat" after several dates. Hilda is all set to dump the Karate Kid until an ex-girlfriend shows up and suddenly Mr. Nice Guy Councilman becomes way more appealing.

I would have found it amusing if Archie had arranged the ex drop by as a pre-emptive strike, but he seemed surprised at the ensuing catfight--albeit kinda turned on to have two women fighting over him.

Willie's sex issues were the "lack of" variety--although it's more of a "lack of SLEEP" thing. Marc arranges for a night nanny--aka hot manny. Willie complains to Marc who insists that the hot manny is indeed qualified: "He’s a former model and he’s done diaper commercials!"

Willie sexes it up for the manny, who gently rebuffs her but comforts her as she cries over Connor. A good cry provides Willie the cathartic release she needs and she thanks the manny then tells him, "And since we won’t be having sex, now you’re fired."

Daniel and Molly's sex issues rears its head in the form of a poem that Molly wants to read a poetry slam. Betty points out the sexual imagery to Daniel telling him that the crying rock is his head. "Rock's don't cry!" insists Daniel.

He asks Molly not to read the poem. "It's embarassing," he tells her. But after Betty confronts him, he mans up and tells Molly that he would be proud if she read it. He further shows his love for her by serenading her with an awful rock ballad he wrote as a teenager.

Knowing how things work on these shows, the writers will probably have Molly die during May sweeps. I'm sure I will be bawling my eyes out...

The final sex issue was between Matt and Betty. Following their monthiversary, Betty is ready to take things to the next level with Matt. Matt, on the other hand, pushes Betty into a cab after their date, completely ignoring the fact that she was wearing lipgloss.

Amanda tells her, "Bolder is better" and tells her, "I am going to personally teach you how to be sexy." Betty shows up at the old apartment they shared and waxes nostalgic--which inspires Amanda to remark, "I miss the me I was with us."

I loved that line...

Despite Marc and Amanda's best efforts to teach Betty how to be sexy, Matt races out of the apartment when Betty tries her new moves on him. The besties accompany Betty as she goes to confront Matt about last night and end up tailing him across town. "The bagel has landed!" Marc announces as Matt comes to a stop. But then the trio spy him hugging a blonde--who turns out to be his therapist.

Turns out sweet Matt is a former sex addict. Yikes! This information freaks Betty out so that she imagines every woman in the vicinity is someone Matt has had sex with. But when Matt tells her that she won't be just a number with him, because it's the "First time I’ve ever been with a woman I really care about."

Awww!!!

I'm still a bit skeeved out about the whole sex addict thing, though.

The Office began, as usual, with a Jim prank on Dwight. This time, Jim mocks Dwight's memo addressing "professionalism" by wearing a tuxedo to the office. During the planning of Michael's 15th anniversary, Dwight is thwarted by Jim at every turn.

"You're just agreeing with him because he's wearing a tuxedo!" he tells Michael in frustration.

When Jim suggests Mr. Peanut as a way to class up the festivities, Dwight objects saying, "Mr. Peanut is not classy. He’s a regular peanut!"

Jim's tuxedo backfires when the new VP for the Northeast region shows up. Lacking a sense of humor, Charles Miner is the antithesis of Michael and the two start butting heads immediately. Michael tells Charles, "Jan would mostly come by when she was super horny and Ryan would mostly come by to visit his parents and do his laundry."

Charles interrupts the PPC during its meeting for Michael anniversary party and quizzes Jim on his great idea: "What's a two-way petting zoo?" "You pet the animals. They pet you back," Jim mutters. Charles ends up canceling Michael's party which puts Michael over the edge.

He is horrified to learn that Charles' previous position was at a steel mill. "Do you even know how paper is made?" he asks. "If you put paper into a furnace you know what would happen? You’d ruin it!" he rants as he storms out to go to New York.

Although Michael wants him gone and Jim's uneasy with the new boss, Charles has two fans in the office: Kelly thinks he looks like a black George Clooney, but Angela thinks she would be a preferable partner for Charles.

Looks like we'll have a future catfight on our hands...

In New York, Michael confronts David Wallace with his patented incoherency: "He said no figs. I already bought them I have no place to store them." David agrees with Michael and tells him that he will find the funds for his celebration, that there will be figs and that he will personally attend the party.

And then Michael quits.

This should be interesting...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

LOST - Namaste

Things we know after last night's episode of LOST:

The plane crashed landed on the smaller island--on the very runway that Sawyer and Kate helped build.

Ilana and Caesar did not appear to know each other prior to the crash.

Ben was not injured in the crash, but got whacked with an oar by Sun (Way to go, Sun!).

Sun was the woman who took off in a boat with Lapidus. She's also the only O6er who didn't end up in 1977. She and Lapidus end up running into none other than Christian Shephard who tells her in response to her question as to Jin's whereabouts: "I'm sorry but you have a bit of a journey ahead of you."

The "character that is important to LOST's history but that we've never seen before" that George alluded to was indeed Radzinsky. (Am I the only one who has trouble keeping track of all the different Dharma stations? I had to go to Lostpedia to be reminded that the Swan was the station that was home to the infamous 108 minute input of the numbers and LOST hottie Desmond...)

Daniel is no longer with Sawyer and Juliet, et. al. The question may not, however, be WHERE he is but rather WHEN he is. Perhaps that trip to the Orchid allowed him to travel through time?

Amy's baby will grow up to kidnap Claire and be shot by Charlie in another thirty years. When Amy tells Juliet the name of the baby she delivered, Juliet is just a mite freaked out. (Question: how does Ethan, born to two Dharmites, end up being an "Other"? How did he escape the purge?)

Speaking of chance meetings, Pierre Chang popped up in last night's episode. We still have no idea if he is Miles' father, yet--but speaking of Miles, did anyone catch how gray his hair has gotten? I wonder if that means anything...

And finally, Sayid (captured as a "Hostile") comes face-to-face with his future nemesis as an 11 year-old boy. A flicker of recognition crossed Sayid's when the young boy who brought him a sandwich introduced himself as "Ben."

For more LOST-mania, check out the recap at Lostpedia, the screencaps at Dark UFO and Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney's Dueling Analyses at washingtonpost.com.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

LOST: Welcome Back and Namaste

Here's the latest update from George--as if we all weren't champing at the bit for tonight's episode already!

"Hello LOSTies,

Wasn't this 1 week break a killer?!?!?!? Well LOST is back, but before we get to tonight, lets chat about "LeFleur" and how the con artist became the 'new sheriff in town'.

Before the leap into 1974, the LOSTaways got a glimpse of a large Egyptian-esque station, holding two ankhs in its hands. An ankh is the symbol that was Paul's necklace that Amy kept when the Others demanded his body. So in 1974, the LOSTies have taken cover under the guise that they were treasure hunters looking for the Black Rock and were washed ashore. Horace eventually lets them stay after Sawyer negotiated a secondary truce with the Others. That truce was courtesy of Sawyer's first hand knowledge of Jughead and Locke's flagrant raid on the Others camp in 1954. We were also introduced to Amy shortly after her hubby, Paul's, death. After killing the Others that were there, Amy took the LOSTaways to New Othertown where she lovingly electrocuted them!

Zip zoom forward 3 years and leader Horace is on a bender with dynamite in hand (ah-ha, they've found the Black Rock!!). Amy is now his wife and begins to give birth to their baby. Sawyer has a hand in the birth as he calls for assistance from Juliet (now under the guise of a mechanic). Horace ends up missing the birth of his son, but at Juliet has found redemption knowing she helped a baby get born on the island. So 1977 is before "The Incident", the non-descriptive event that changed the DHARMA Initiative forever. And finally, Sawyer arrives on the scene as Jin brings Jack, Kate, and Hurley with him.

Before we get to tonight, several people have asked what song was playing when Jerry and Rosie were dancing in the security room when Phil busts in..that would have been Tony Orlando & Dawn's "Candida".

So was three years long enough, especially with Juliet as your girlfriend?? Tonight, brings us "Namaste".

Sawyer now has to decide what to do with with his returned friends. It wasn't 3 years ago that he had to convince Horace and DHARMA that they weren't the Hostiles. Can he do the same for Jack, Kate, and Hurley? In addition, we pick up where we left off at the Ajira crash site on Hydra Island. There's still a question of WHEN Locke, Ben, Frank, and Sun are. That's goes for newbies Cesar and Ilana, as well. Tonight, lies will grow deeper...but the ultimate question is if someone will crack. And where is Sayid?? You will get your answers tonight, maybe, possibly...well it is LOST people :)

Tonight, One Life To Live alums get some airtime including Reiko Aylesworth (who plays Horace's wife Amy) and Dan Gauthier (who used to play Kevin Buchanan on OLTL), it's too bad Rebecca Mader (ex-Charlotte, LOST; ex-Margaret Cochran, OLTL) isn't around as she would be from the One Life crew :)

Tonight, you will also be introduced to a character that is important to LOST's history but that we've never seen before. We last heard his story in the episode "Live Together, Die Alone", the 2nd season's season finale....how many of you are gonna run and watch that??

Also, one of the coolest moments of the night is when two of the "science" men meet for the first time! Sorry you "faith" character lovers (I'm part of the "science" crew).

So NAMASTE Class of 1977! Get ready to get hostile!
A character we've never seen before? Who do we think that George is talking about? Radzinsky, perhaps?

Gulliver's Travels

Following on the heels of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves--the first feature-length animated movie, Max Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels was a ground-breaking achievement in its day. Released in 1939, Gulliver's Travels seems quaint and antiquated by Pixar standards, but one must keep in mind that every frame of the 77 minute long film was comprised of hand-painted animation cels--639,000 of them!

In addition to its painstaking artwork, Gulliver's Travels features an early version of rotoscoping (the process was invented by Fleischer) as well. Although the original intention was for Gulliver to be "portrayed" by the character of Popeye, that decision was scrapped in favor of finding an actor who would do the voice and whose likeness would be rotoscoped. Ironically, it was a radio announcer named Sam Parker who won the role.

The film, which was the result of 600 artists working for two years, has undergone a frame-by-frame digital restoration. It is available on DVD and Blu-ray with bonus features that include two cartoon shorts and a mini documentary highlighting the animation process.

With masterpieces like WALL*E and Toy Story, animation has come a long, long way from Snow White and Gulliver. Today's animated features possess a level of sophistication that appeals not only to children, but audiences of all ages. Although computers have made it possible to attain an extraordinary amount of realism and detail and, it's fun to travel back in time and experience the roots of the genre. The restoration of Gulliver's Travels is a great opportunity to view an animation classic!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Adventures in Moving

My day yesterday:

Two hours wasted with Verizon. I could go on and on about that nightmare, but I've already lost two hours of my life to these idiots...

Everything set up with the Gas Company, DWP, SoCal Edison plus change of address for my Nordstrom VISA and Rolling Stone magazine. Took less than the two hours wasted on Verizon.

Checked with the cleaners down the street about cleaning my area rug. It will only cost $60, but it will take two weeks and they don't pick up or deliver. Too bad no-one was around to video me as I rolled up my 8 x 11 foot rug, slung it across my shoulder, navigated a flight of stairs and tried to shove it into a Mazda Protege. It would have made a great YouTube video. Standing up with a 100 lbs. of carpet and nearly tipping over--we're talking cartoon comedy...

Constructed my tool shed. It was fairly simple--no screwdrivers necessary. I nearly took off a finger as I somehow managed to get in pinched in between the door. As I'm standing there, in excruciating pain, I'm wondering how the @#$% I'm gonna get my finger extracted. I managed to pull it free. It was mashed up and swollen, but it's fine now.

Also constructed two sets of shelves and bought a third set from someone off Craigslist to shove between my stove and refrigerator for more storage space in the kitchen.

For the brief bit of time I was over at my new place, I noted that it's not quite the peaceful retreat I hoped it would be.

Sigh.

Hopefully I'll be able to at least a decent night's sleep each night.

Is that too much to ask?

Looking forward to going back to work tomorrow and not dealing with moving again until Saturday.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Desperate Housewives - The Story of Lucy and Jessie

The aftermath of Bradley's murder is that instead of getting fired, Carlos gets his job. Gaby's glee is short-lived, however, when she finds out his ex-girlfriend Lucy will be his second-in-command.

At first she's okay with Lucy taking the job when she sees the zaftig former roommate in person. Carlos: "Okay, so you're not gonna see her on a runway." Gaby: "Well, maybe at an airport..."

Meanwhile Lynette is having trouble landing a job: ageism rears its ugly head in the advertising world. She asks Gaby to put in a good word for her for a Marketing Director's position at his company, but Gaby hems and haws and waffles and shrugs.

Lynette eventually ends up landing a job by lying about her age--as in ADDING years. But Gaby does a reversal and wants her to take the job with Carlos to keep an eye on him and Lucy. Lynette gets a boost in salary, but when she figures out WHY Gaby recommended her she plays with Gaby's mind. The two eventually come to terms with Lynette keeping her inflated salary and Gaby her in-house spy.

Orson's kleptomania continues with Bree confronting him with his misappropriated booty. Her solution is to sneak the items back into the houses of the owners. (She doesn't work to hard at hiding the items, however...) But when she accidentally returns McCluskey's Mexican figurine to Gaby's house, Gaby accuses poor Juanita of stealing it. "Tell me the truth or I'll cancel your birthday party," Gaby threatens. Bree tries to deflect Gaby, but when Juanita suggests that maybe it was BREE who brought the statue into the Solis house, Bree tells Gaby, "Whenever MY children stole, I sent them to bed without any supper!"

Poor Juanita--although the kid does look like she could miss a meal or two...

Bree catches Orson hiding something from Bob and Lee's and drags him in to get counseling. During the session, she doesn't let him get a word in edgewise and I'm thinking "control freak." Orson smirks as she leaves the office telling the doctor that "this is something she can't control. And I love it..."

Susan's storyline featured Swoosie Kurtz as her supervisor at school. (I'm wondering how many redheads can DH handle?) Susan's attempts to garner a positive job evaluation leads to a misunderstanding between her and Jessie when their socializing after work ends up with kiss. Lynette, Bob and Gaby attempt to help Susan figure out what the kiss meant with Gaby going above and beyond with a hands-on demonstration.

(Frankly I thought the Susan-Gaby kiss was way hotter than the Susan-Jessie kiss...)

Lynette suggests, "Let her kiss you again and then sue her!" but Susan decides to confront the issue head-on with Jessie. "You're obviously worried about the lesbian inside trying to get out," Jessie tells her. "I'm more worried about the lesbian outside me trying to get in," Susan nervously responds.

Great line!

During Susan's class there's a whole euphemistic discussion about rhinos vs. gazelles with one of Susan's students piping up, "I like rhinos, too!" "We know, Jeffrey," Jessie snarks, "we've seen you playing hopscotch at recess."

Hysterical.

Jessie and Susan finally agree to be friends which has me hoping that Swoosie will be sticking around for a while.

After all, if Dave Wilson/Dash has his way, we'll be short a redhead on DH soon enough. After Katherine bails on the camping trip to do her taxes, he sweet talks her back into the excursion. "If he ever lost you, it would destroy him," Dave tells Katherine. Meanwhile, Edie is hot on the trail of Dave Dash and finds out that not only was his wife Lila killed in the car accident, but that he had a daughter Paige as well.

What Edie didn't find out--at least not in time to stop the camping trip--was that it was Mike who caused the accident.

Will next week be the grand finale in creepy Dave's dastardly plan? The promos say a housewife will die (Last week's said a housewife would kill but it turned out to be Maria, not one of the regular cast...), but maybe it will be Edie seeing as Nicollette Sheridan is poised to leave the show.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The New Place

Started moving into my new apartment in Santa Monica. I won't be completely ensconced until the end of the month, but so far all the shelves, books, knick-knacks and a bunch of other stuff have been carted over.

This is part of my little patio area...



This is outside the front door...







The view from the front door living room all the way back to the dining area...







The view from the dining area looking into the living room. Cool beamed
ceilings...










The kitchen...








The bedroom...









The bathroom.








Today I bought a little patio set and a hammock (still need to get a stand). I still need a futon couch, coffee table, TV stand and armoire. Hopefully by the time I'm living there, I'll have everything I need.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Stone's Throw

Sally's always running
Never bothers looking back
Doesn't know just where she's going
but she's got to get there fast

Sally's always reaching
Watch her dreams turn to dust
Time slips through her fingers
and December becomes August

Got to keep moving
not a minute to waste
Got to keep running
just to stay in one place
And somehow all roads
seem to lead back
just a stone's throw from nowhere
and going there fast...

Sally's always climbing
Never makes it to the top
and she keeps on dancing
even though the music's stopped

Got to keep running
just to stay in one place
And somehow all roads
seem to lead back
just a stone's throw from nowhere
and going there fast...

(A stone's throw)

Somehow all roads
(from nowhere)
seem to lead back
(A stone's throw)
just a stone's throw from nowhere
(from nowhere)
and going there fast.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ugly Betty and The Office - A Mother of a Problem and Golden Ticket

Christine Baranski swooped into Ugly Betty last night channeling her inner Holland Taylor. As Matt's mother, Victoria Hartley, she was snotty, haughty, bitchy and a hell of a good time. Claire Meade and Wilhelmina Slater looked positively warm and fuzzy compared to her.

Mistaking Betty for the help she tells her, "The first Monday of the month I give away my shoes..." Matt tried to prevent the inevitable meeting between the irresistible force and immovable object telling Betty, "I just didn't want to put you through the Victoria Hartley taste test."

But Betty is game, so Matt invites her to Victoria's swanky party.

Claire advises her to find out and research the party's topic of conversation, which turns out to be "torture." But when the party conversation begins, Victoria changes the topic to the future of opera. Although Betty is put on the spot, she comes through with flying colors. It's not good enough, however, for Victoria who tells Betty that she's not good enough for her son. "I hope you enjoyed your meal tonight but I don’t think we’ll be seeing you again," she tells the crestfallen Betty.

But Matt stands up to his Mom and leaves the party with Betty. He also took the fall for Betty's mushroom mishap. Hmm...he may be a keeper. Later Claire tells Betty to get over her need to have everyone like her which comes in handy when Betty runs into Victoria again. I love the way she stood up to the formidable Mrs. Hartley.

Claire's advice isn't limited to Betty's love life, but Hilda's as well. "Hilda should totally go out with that councilman," she tells Betty. Aha, I thought to myself--I'm sensing an appearance by Ralph Macchio in the near future. Turns out the future was closer than I thought; Councilman Archie turned up as a surprise dinner guest at the Suarez home. Surprise to Hilda anyway and she is put off by the set up, but fortified by a glass of wine and charmed by Archie's genuineness she accepts his request for a date.

It sure didn't hurt that he quoted Justin Timberlake:

Your eyes have a story that they wish to tell
And I have my whole life
And I listen well...
Willie's trauma is that she has to sell off her furs and jewelry to match Daniel's contribution to keeping Mode afloat. But when the auction house shows up to collect her possessions, Willie freaks and Marc finds her in bed surrounded by her furs. (I wondering why PETA hasn't boycotted Ugly Betty...) "I can't stand seeing you like this," Marc tells her as he pulls out his cameraphone. Willie eventually lets go of her precious things, but refuses to give up her gourmet afternoon snack: "As God is my witness I will never go without champagne and caviar again!" she declares channeling her inner Scarlett O'Hara.

Finally, Daniel and Molly disagree on her cancer treatment--but Daniel finally backs down upon Betty's advice: "She’s just trying to give you the time she does have left." He promises Molly to make the most of the time they do have together.

The Office began with a lame knock-knock joke off. Dwight follows up Michael's "Buddha this bread for me," with a slap to Michael's face at the response "KGB who?" telling him "We'll ask the questions!" Michael bans knock-knock jokes so Jim chimes in with "Ding-dong..." Michael responds, "Who's there?" "KGB..." Jim replies.

"Dwight, get the door," Michael commands.

The rest of the episode dealt with Michael's "great idea" to play Willy Wonka and slip five golden tickets into paper shipments offering the customer 10% off their purchases for a year. Michael tries to encourage the rest of the staff to come up with brilliant ideas. Jim offers the possibility of renting out their truck fleet on the weekends. "Too many words," Michael says cutting him off.

Andy's golden ticket ideas consist of things with the word "golden" in them: Golden Girls, Golden Grahams...

Meanwhile, Kevin is receiving conflicting dating advice from Jim, Pam and the recently burnt and bitter Andy. This confuses Kevin who says, "I'm a textbook overthinker..."

Yeah, Kev--you sure are.

Andy advises him to give backhanded compliments to keep the woman off-balance. "Do guys actually do that?" Pam exclaims. "Guys with girlfriends don't," Jim assures her.

Blue Cross of Pennsylvania, their biggest client, ends up getting ALL FIVE golden tickets, which screws with Jim's commissions and the company's revenue. Michael confronts Darryl as to how all five tickets ended up in the same shipment. "You idiot!" he says. "Start over," Darryl warns him. Darryl explains how five boxes sitting right next to each other ended up on the same pallet and thus delivered to the same client. "What is a pallet?" asks Michael.

Michael dodges the calls of David Wallace from Corporate with Pam offering excuses such as "He's not back from the civil rights rally" or "He's having a colonoscopy." One of the excuses proscribed by Michael is that he's trapped in an oil painting. "I'm gonna save that one," Pam says.

Michael defends his golden ticket idea to the staff saying, "I'm just a net that traps all of your crappy ideas and adds some of my childhood memories to them." Jim complains about the loss of his commssions and Michael tells him, "It's not my fault you bought a house to impress Pam. That's what carnations are for!"

Michael tells David, "We might have hired an outside marketing consultant," but when David presses for the name of the firm, Michael shifts the blame to the sales department--specifically Dwight. He pulls out a diary to prove that it was Dwight's idea, but Dwight pulls out a diary of his own to prove that it was Michael's. "Why do you have a diary?" Michael asks. "To keep secrets from my computer" is Dwight's answer.

So Michael invites Dwight to lunch to convince him to fall on his sword for him. He tells Dwight that he needs his job at Dunder-Mifflin more than Dwight does. "What about Shoe La La?" Dwight asks Michael.

When David Wallace shows up, Michael pushes Dwight under the bus only to have David tell him, "Dwight, I owe you an apology." Blue Cross was so excited at the golden tickets they made Dunder-Mifflin their exclusive paper provider. This sets Dwight and Michael off on a game of one-upmanship as to who has better ideas. "I have a lot of toilet ideas," Michael explains.

Fed up, David leaves--but Michael feel ultimately triumphant that he actually had a good idea.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jane Iredale Powder Me SPF

I sent my friend and blogging buddy Hollie to an event at Vert recently and while she was getting an eco-friendly makeover, I was going a bit green myself reading about her experience.

Pea green with envy that is!

After lusting after the products Hollie mentioned in her write-up, I was fortunate enough to be able check out a product from one of the lines she raved about: Jane Iredale Powder Me SPF.

This translucent, light-weight powder provides UVA/UVB protection with an SPF rating of 30. You can apply it over your foundation to give you a nice matte finish--or over bare skin with a bit of concealor for a polished yet natural look. The application sponge attached to the lids dispenses the products in a clean and fuss-free manner.

What I like best about the product is that it contains just 4-5 ingredients--no long list of potentially toxic chemicals. Just the physical sunblock titanium dioxide, a pure clay that nourishes and calms the skin with minerals, and Pomegranate Extract are the basis for this great sunscreen.

How awesome is that?

Jane Iredale products, including her Powder Me SPF, are available at Vert located at 1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291 or via Vert's online boutique.

It's a great way to go green--and not in the pea green with envy way!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Like Peanut Butter and Jelly...

Hey y'all! Just wanted to alert you to the fact that I've been fortunate enough to combine two of my favorite pastimes: shopping and blogging. Yup, I'm blogging about shopping (and saving) at the new Savings.com blog. Check it out and while you're there, take the poll on what you'll be doing with your tax refund check!

If you do a lot of online shopping, Savings.com is a great place to locate deals and coupons to get the biggest bang for your buck and the blog will be an extension of that--alerting you to great deals as well as providing shopping and saving tips and advice.

So if you're into shopping online and getting a great deal, stop by, bookmark it, subscribe to it, link to it, comment on posts. I'm pretty psyched about writing for the blog--I hope you'll enjoy reading it!

The Postal Service - Such Great Heights

On the way up to Santa Barbara this morning, this song came on as part of a CD mix created by Sara. No-one in the car had any idea who the artist or song was and, since Sara wasn't along with us to clue us in, Jacob used an app on his cell phone to obtain the desired info.

How cool is that?!!!

This song gets added to my future iTunes purchases...



Such Great Heights

I am thinking it's a sign that the freckles
In our eyes are mirror images and when
We kiss they're perfectly aligned
And I have to speculate that God himself
Did make us into corresponding shapes like
Puzzle pieces from the clay
True, it may seem like a stretch, but
Its thoughts like this that catch my troubled
Head when you're away when I am missing you to death
When you are out there on the road for
Several weeks of shows and when you scan
The radio, I hope this song will guide you home

They will see us waving from such great
Heights, 'come down now,' they'll say
But everything looks perfect from far away,
'come down now,' but we'll stay...

I tried my best to leave this all on your
Machine but the persistent beat it sounded
Thin upon listening
That frankly will not fly. you will hear
The shrillest highs and lowest lows with
The windows down when this is guiding you home

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Heroes - Shades of Gray

While I enjoyed last night's episode of Heroes, it was filled with anti-climatic moments:

Matt Parkman with the explosives strapped to him, resoled in the first few moments of the show--of course he didn't blow up...

Sylar's inevitable meeting with Daddy Dearest--not quite the Oedipal epic that it was built up to be...

The power plays between Danko and Nathan...

Underwhelming.

The high points?

Angela's meeting with Danko - Nathan redirects the suspicious Danko into Angela's web. Sucking down oysters, cool as a cucumber, she neatly deflects his inquiries about Nathan. Boy, he sure scurried away quickly when she brought up Angola, didn't he?

Claire's job interview at Sam's Comics: "Flight or invisibility?" she is asked. "What type of hero are you?"

Although Claire is thrown by the questions, I'm thinking they're much more interesting than the standard, "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

Danko arriving home to see the taxidermied bunny sitting on his table and Sylar skulking in the background. Now that's a meet up I'm itching to see--and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Although Nathan managed to get Danko dismissed from the task force, he outs Nathan by shoving him through a window and witnessing his ability to fly. This gets Claire's free pass revoked--although she does manage to help Doyle escape the agents who atr tracking him. Nathan arrives in time to help HER escape the agents as well.

And we saw the return of Hiro and Ando--who instead of heroically saving Matt Parkman, have been enlisted in babysitting Matt Parkman, Jr. Wonder if baby Matt has the brain mojo thingy going on...his other sitter certainly wasted no time getting out of there!

Then there's still the nagging question of the identity of Rebel: Everyone keeps referring to Rebel as "HE"--which could be a way of disguising the fact that Rebel is a female. Either way, we'll have to wait two weeks to find out!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Desperate Housewives - Crime Doesn't Pay

After a two week hiatus, Desperate Housewives was back last night with a brand new episode. I can understand the week off due to the Oscars, but last week's snore-rific 2 hour long Brothers and Sister was such a complete waste.

But DH returned with a resounding bang. My favorite moments:

Tom and Lynette's game of one-upmanship vying for the same marketing position with Bree's publisher. Tom didn't even WANT the job until Lynette started angling for it. Their no-holds barred "interview" has Bree commenting: "Maybe we should slice the tart in here. I don’t want to bring a large knife into this." Lynette mentions that Tom worked for her and she fired him, Tom says Lynette is great--"As long as the cancer doesn't flare up again."

Ouch!

Bree's publisher makes a hasty retreat telling the pair, "Trust me, you’ve certainly made an impression."

Speaking of knives, that was sure a big one Maria plunged into Bradley's back after he confessed to his affair with Shayla. Gaby, tired of covering for Carlos' philandering boss, goes to Shayla under the guise of getting a haircut. (Great line in response to Maria's query about how many Shaylas does she know?: "There's Shayla the hairstylist and then there’s this other Shayla I know who’s a homewrecking whore...")

But Shayla is undeterred from continuing her relationship with Bradley until Gaby tells her that Maria is pregnant. Shayla tells her to leave, holding her hair hostage with a pair of scissors until Gaby slinks away. "This is why no-one should ever get their hair cut at a mall!" she declares as she leaves.

Gaby finally confronts Bradley refusing to continue to lie for him even though it means Carlos will lose his job (Speaking of which--who reads newspaper classifieds to find a new job? Especially one of the six-figure variety...) That's when they get the call from Maria and arrive to find Bradley in a pool of blood.

"I just wanted him to stop talking," the dazed Maria says.

Indeed.

But my favorite moment was between Katherine and Susan. As much as Susan Mayer annoys the hell out of me, the writers finally took pity on Teri Hatcher this week. There's a bump in Katherine and Susan's attempt to take the high road when Katherine finds out the painting of Mike's hanging over her fireplace was painted by Susan. When Susan arrives at the housewarming party Katherine is throwing for Mike, she notices it missing. Katherine claims the glass broke when she knocked over during cleaning, but everyone knows she's lying.

"That’s how I got rid of Tom’s last bottle of “Musk” the cologne for men," Lynette remarks.

Susan finds the painting in Katherine's garage and shows it to Mike--who then has a big fight with Katherine during the party. He makes Katherine go to Susan and apologize. But Katherine's "apology" is less than heartfelt. She tells Susan that it's enough of a struggle dealing with her living across the street and the fact that Mike and she share custody of M.J. "Do I have to have a painting of your honeymoon, too?" she asks Susan.

So later when Susan marches over to Katherine's house and removes the painting, it seems like she's being a bitter bitch--but in reality she's protecting Katherine from having to have Mike's past relationship with her thrown in her face. Both actresses did a really great job with that moment.

In other news: McCluskey is back--although without Lily Tomlin, Edie is hot on the trail of deceptive Dave when she finds out his real surname is "Dash" and Orson has developed a bad case of kleptomania.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

SpongeBob vs. The Big One

I mentioned previously about my bemusement as to the SpongeBob phenomenon. Colleen set me straight as to his appeal for kids.

I witnessed that appeal first hand after giving 2 1/2 year old Jack a SpongeBob DVD for Christmas. Crystal set him up to watch it on his DVD player and for over an hour, Jack was completely engrossed. Transfixed. Mesmerized.

Such is the power of the sponge...

On March 3rd, Nickelodeon released the latest installment of the waterlogged franchise about the square pants wearing hero that lives in a pineapple under the sea: SpongeBob vs. The Big One. Featuring a vocal cameo by Johnny Depp (as yet another "Jack"--Jack Kahuna Laguna, surfing guru that is...) in the title episode in which SpongeBob and friends stranded on an island (No sign of Kate, Sawyer or the Smoke Monster on this remote isle...) and need to learn how to surf in order to get back home.

The DVD includes an additional six episodes of the animated show, plus Plankton's Sinister Commentary and the Ridin' the Hook music video as extras. The runtime is approximately 1.5 hours, which means you can catch up on chores, bills (even take a nice long bath!) while your rugrat (or "rugrats") are captivated by Bob, Squidward, Patrick and Sandy.

Do we even care how or why SpongeBob manages to exert his spellbinding force? It reminds me of the time I tried to explain a fax machine to my grandmother. After telling her that it transmitting images via phone lines, she asked "How does it do that?"

"It's magic, Grandma..." I replied.

That's my only explanation for Bob L'Eponge, too.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Erik DiNardo at Dakota Lounge, 3/15

Hey y'all! My co-worker Erik DiNardo is going to be playing at the Dakota Lounge (formerly Temple Bar) in Santa Monica. I'm fortunate enough to hang with him most weekdays (He's wicked funny!), but if you live in the Los Angeles area you can catch his act next Sunday.

Here are the details:

Date: Sunday, March 15th
Time: 7:30 PM
Place: Dakota Lounge
1026 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

For those of you not fortunate enough to live in the area, here's a video of Erik playing the title song from his debut album, Turning Me Loose:

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ugly Betty and The Office - Sugar Daddy and Blood Drive

Was anyone surprised that the always-forgetting-his-wallet Matt was the anonymous donor of the $1ok the Suarez's needed to buy their house?

Me neither.

After Ignacio loses the Kitchen Rumble, a cashier's check for the down payment to avoid eviction mysteriously appears. Betty is sure that Daniel is behind it, but he is too busy trying to save Meade Publishing. While on a date with Matt, who finally remembered his wallet, Betty notices the signature on the credit card bill matches the one on the cashier's check.

Matt admits, "My family is sort of really wealthy." "Did you just say billions?" responds a confused Betty. Matt insists Betty take the money. "We throw money like this at charity all the time!" he insists.

Wrong answer.

The Kitchen Rumble guy shows up admitting that the contest was actually fixed--but that he's offered Ignacio a job in his restaurant AND purchased the recipe which should have won for $10k.

So the Suarez family is not homeless and Betty accepts Matt's apology. "I will never try to buy your house again," he promises. He also admits that he's kinda into her.

Sweet!

Although Willie and Daniel try to show their economizing by taking the bus to the Congressional Hearings for the print media bail-out, they slip up later. At a strategy lunch, Daniel tries to sympathize with Willie over Connor, but she's not having any of it. When she asks about Molly, Daniel puts her off but she manages extract the news that Molly is dying of cancer. "Well, now you've made me feel awkward," Willie tells him. They order a bottle of wine to commiserate, but a photographer captures the moment of their indulgence and their bailout request is denied.

But Daniel decides to man up and liquidate his assets to keep the company afloat. Willie, inspired by his commitment, says she'll contribute as well. Betty tells him he's really brave, but he tells her he feels like a coward for letting Molly go. Betty encourages him to go after her, which he does, and the two are tearfully reunited.

Awww!

Marc meets a cute single Dad and uses Willie's baby to make a love connection. "What do you do with a baby?" he asks Amanda. "I don't know. Lie to it. Pretend that it's yours. Never tell it that it was adopted," replies the still bitter Amanda. Marc manages to get Christina to loan him William under the reasoning that Willie wants him to bond with her baby.

"No piercings. No tattoos!" Christina warns him and she hands over the infant. But Marc's date shows up without baby, so he pawns William off on an off guard Amanda who turns him back over to the capable Christina. Christina muses about the difference about being William's birth mother and his REAL mother, and Amanda realizes that her adopted parents were still her PARENTS.

Marc's date didn't go quite as planned. "He just talked about his stupid baby the whole time," he sulks. "Sorry I left you stranded with the Willi-mini," he tells Amanda.

Best line of the night.

Reunited: the Suarez family with their house, Betty and Matt, Daniel and Molly, Amanda and her parents.

All in all a good episode.

I wonder why the "Valentine's" themed episode of The Office wasn't shown three weeks ago. No matter--it was still quite funny.

The opening had Pam dealing with a phone vendor trying to sell a new system that would eliminate 95% of her job. "But I'd like to see a machine that puts out candy for everyone!" she asserts.

"A vending machine," she deflates realizing.

Jim steps in and pretends to be Michael to deal with the vendor, but at that moment Michael comes out of his office and calls him "Jimbo." Jim can't use Michael's name without alerting the salesman to the fact that Michael is indeed in the office--so he just goes, "Heeeyyyyy!!!" Which leads Michael to respond with, "Heeeeyyyy!" and Dwight, not to be left out, to chime in with "Heeeyyy!!!" and the salesman deciding to beat a hasty retreat.

But as I mentioned, it's Valentine's Day and the best most of the office has to look forward to is the annual blood drive. Kelly thinks she's received a Valentine from a secret admirer and reads the card: "Roses are red, Violets are blue, it's time for your dental cleaning and maybe a check-up, too!" Kevin is still mourning the exit of his fiancee.

Michael, still smarting over Holly, puts Pam's flower arrangement from Jim on the floor. "These people need to be protected from having love shoved in their faces!" he declares. When Pam and Jim refuse to cooperate, he decides "Then we are going to have our own private Valentine's party!"

At the bloodmobile, Dwight claims "I've trained my major blood vessels to retract into my body." Michael is squeamish about donating, but manages some flirtatious banter with a fellow donor. "I feel like a juice box!" he jokes. "Hawaiian blood punch...Type O-cean Spray." This amuses the woman next to him who tells him he's cute. But before he can make his move, Michael passes out and when he regains consciousness, the woman is gone.

At the Valentine's party, Michael encourages his staff to talk about their worst relationship story. He tells Dwight, "There has to be a way to get all these lonely people together..." "A net?" suggests Dwight.

But Micheal has a better idea: a mixer for the entire building. "I'm going to shoot my sparrow at unsuspecting victims!" Michael declares. Of course he has the ulterior motive of meeting up with the cute blood donor again. "You met a woman giving blood? That is so romantic!" gushes Kelly. "I think our blood bags touched," Michael confides.

But the cute blood donor doesn't show up. Dwight tries to sell his romantic prospect paper, but when she extricates herself he tells her, "Thanks for wasting my time tonight!" "You don't deserve her," sighs Michael. Kevin has better luck with his "match" after he confesses to her, "I get nervous talking to pretty girls," which earns him her e-mail address.

Michael decides that even though his Cinderella didn't show up to the party, the fact that he was ready to move on from Holly was progress enough.