Friday, October 21, 2005

On the Boob Tube - Wednesday Edition

There's only one, but it's a damn good one!

Invasion - 10:00 pm (ABC)

This is the show I was most looking forward to this season and it has in no way disappointed. Damn, it's good. I've really loved Canadian actress Kari Matchett in the Nero Wolfe shows and she's very good (and very creepy) in this one. Yeah, it moves slowly, but it's unfolding quickly enough to keep my interest (unlike, say, Lost or 24). There are a lot of characters but they've been introduced efficiently so that there's no confusion over who's who in the zoo. The main thing is that the creep factor is very high but it's done primarily with a raised eyebrow, a glance after someone walking away, a half-heard phone call - definitely not relying on blood and gore. There are no stars (or at least I've only seen some of the principals in minor roles in other shows - JS had to point out that Sherrif Tom is played by the guy that played Brett Butler's least objectional boyfriend in Grace Under Fire) which is probably a good thing (no distractions) and it doesn't read as an ensemble cast since it's rare that more than 3 of the main characters are in the same place at the same time, but the show is oddly as much about relationships as it is the weird shit going down after the hurricane. By far my favorite new drama.

4.5 bleary eyes out of 5

New shows I'm not watching - Veronica Mars and E-Ring - both sound interesting but I can't watch everything. And I'm still not watching Lost, although I've tried. I have to say that it reminds me of a Robert Jordan novel - 800 pages into it and you realize that absolutely fucking nothing has happened.

Friday Quittin' Time Playlist

Friday - Joe Jackson
Loser - Beck

One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces - Ben Folds Five

Ain't This The Life? - Oingo Boingo

Fight For Your Right - Beastie Boys

How's My Driving, Doug Hastings? - Less Than Jake

Heroes - David Bowie

Loooooog week.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bear Photo Update (Or Dook Students are Stoopid)

The bear photos I posted a couple of weeks ago came from Dad, who got them off the Carolina Birds mailing list. They were posted by a doctoral candidate from Dook as having been taken at his parents' house near Staunton, VA. However, while doing a little browsing I ran across this article from the LA Times about the photos and about the penetration they'd gotten across the Internets. So they were actually taken in Ontario, not Virginia. I have no idea why our boy decided he had to take credit for the photos - they're cool enough on their own. The Internets - making fact checkers of us all!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

How Cool Is That?!?!?

Not only did my "Fall Flames" sell during the opening of the Carolina Club members art show tonight, it also won the Staff Favorite award! I'm a little blown away by this - JennySlash has been incredibly supportive in getting me to show my photography in public and I'm not overly modest, but this was just very, very cool and totally unexpected. I hope we get a similar reception for the studio tour, which is coming up in just a couple of weeks. I'm overwhelmed...

On the Boob Tube - Tuesday Edition

There's really only one new show I'm interested in on Tuesdays, but damn if it ain't a good one!

My Name is Earl - 9:00 pm (NBC)
Earl is pushing Arrested Development as the best and funniest comedy on television. Sure, Earl looks a lot (well, maybe is a lot) like Nic Cage's H.I. character in Raising Arizona, but that ain't a bad model. I've been a fan of Jason Lee since Mallrats and he doesn't disappoint, but the real surprises are Jaime Pressly as Earl's trailer trash ex-wife Joy and Ethan Suplee as Earl's lazy brother. If you haven't caught it yet, they're rerunning the pilot next week. The writing is right on, the characters are over the top but grounded enough in people that you've likely known that they work (JennySlash is convinced that she was Joy's roommate at some point in time). The premise is one of those that is brilliant in its simplicity but allows for a huge number of scenarios to explore. Wouldn't change a thing.
5.0 bleary eyes out of 5

New Shows I'm Not Watching - The Office (love Steve "Produce Pete" Carell but just haven't found the show all that funny - would rather watch Office Space for the umpteenth time), Bones (love David Boreanaz but J's tried it with mixed results), Commander-in-Chief and Supernatural (both would have been interesting to try out but they both conflict with Earl so they lose and lose big).

Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam...

I usually ignore spam and just delete it, but the one from "Perry" titled "get big like ron jeremy" really caught my eye. I would think that getting big like the Hedgehog would just require eating massive amounts of food and not moving around a whole lot...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

On the Boob Tube - Monday Edition

As I've noted before, the demise of the Whedonverse on broadcast television pretty much ended my prime-time boobtube watching for some time. It's not like we don't have the TV on - it's pretty much a constant - but it's typically sports, old movies, sports highlights, new news, Mythbusters or stuff in syndication (or sports). Last season the only show I religiously watched was Numb3rs, which did well enough to get picked up for a second season. Less religiously watched was Arrested Development, which was killed and miraculously resurrected by the network after a huge outcry from the fanbase (why didn't that work with Serenity?). There are a number of shows that I would probably have liked if I got into them earlier on (Alias, Lost, West Wing) or was able to stick with them after the first couple of eps (24) so with the new season starting, I decided to check out a few of the new shows to see if I was missing anything. It's certainly not that I'm in need of more things to do, but there are some new shows that I thought sounded promising.

So, Monday night...

Arrested Development - 8:00 pm (Fox)
The funniest half hour on television in, well, forever. My biggest concern this year was that after the cancellation notice last season, they basically burned through a season's worth of storylines in the last three episodes. Thankfully, there seems to be no slowdown evidenced in the first few episodes of season three. There are big laughs, little laughs, sly laughs, embarassed laughs and winks and nods (replacing Henry Winkler with Scott Baio in the cast was just genius). I have to admit to being a little slow about one wink - clearly the show that Arrested Development most resembles is Soap but it wasn't until yesterday that I got the Chuck and Bob reference with Gob and Franklin. Sometimes you have to hit me over the head a little harder. The cast, writing, direction - it's all good.
5.0 bleary eyes out of 5

How I Met Your Mother - 8:30 pm (CBS)
It was a tossup between Allyson Hannigan in this one or Nick Brendan in Kitchen Confidential and I went with the little witch. As it turns out, this is much more "American Pie" Hannigan than "Buffy" Hannigan, but that's okay too. The premise of the show (it's all one long flashback) is kinda silly and the laughtrack was immediately off-putting. Yet each episode has had at least a couple of good laughs, so I stuck with it for the first few. The show is certainly not beyond redemption, but I doubt I've got the patience to wait for it. I think I backed the wrong horse - this one is likely going to fall by the wayside (I've already missed the last two eps).
2.5 bleary eyes out of 5

Surface - 8:00 pm (NBC)
So now we've got a schedule conflict. I wasn't even aware of this one (it was going to be called "Fathom" until just before the premier) and wouldn't have seen it at all if NBC hadn't also run the first few episodes on SciFi to build an audience - that tactic apparently worked as the ratings have improved (and it snagged JS). I've now caught bits of the first few episodes and it isn't bad, but I'm far from hooked (although I think JS is pretty well a fan now). While Fox is preempting everything for baseball we're okay, but we may be fighting for the remote in a few weeks.
3.0 bleary eyes out of 5

What we're not watching - Prison Break (I really like the guy from John Doe but this just seems a little too "24"-ish in pacing - how do you base a whole series around one short event?) and Kitchen Confidential (may give this one a try after baseball).

Monday, October 17, 2005

Bits and Pieces

Haven't really dropped off the face of the earth - just seems that way. Work demands coupled with my other work demands have little time for blogging.

I don't blog about work very much, frankly because I get enough of work at work. But it's probably okay to let those of you that don't know this know that the company that I used to work for that outsourced its IT services (along with me) to the company I work for now gave us notice at the end of July that it is taking most of those services back in house by the end of February. For most of the techs, it probably means that they'll be offered jobs by our old company and they'll see little change. For most of the mgmt team, though, it could mean unemployment - at the least a lot of disruption. While I've been joking about ending up handing out carts at Wal-Mart, I'll likely end up still working with what services we'll continue to provide for this customer and adding a couple more medium-to-small customers to my portfolio (at least so I hope). All this is by way of saying that I'm spending a hell of a lot of time in meetings and on the phone and haven't had much time or headspace to blog.

Last week I actually had to go into the office for three straight days (horrors!) to meet with a bunch of folks, many of whom were Brits. I only bring this up as one of them took the piss out of another with a reference that none of us Yanks understood until British cartoon Captain Pugwash and his crew of Master Bates, Seaman Staines and Roger the Cabin Boy was explained to us. Hhmmmm. I also did my bit for the local economy by driving a couple of the guys over to Circuit City to buy MP3 players for cheap - yay me!

You know, just because you CAN bring your critter into Petsmart doesn't mean you HAVE to. With everybody trying to push a cart in one direction and follow their dog in another, I got run into at least three times tonight.

The other thing keeping us busy is the fall art season. I spent the weekend cutting mats and framing stuff for both the Carolina Club members art show and for the OCAG Fall Studio Tour - my Time for Pants! made it onto the cover of the tour brochure and will be hanging at the Art Center (with examples of the rest of the Tour participants' stuff) for the next few weeks. What was really cool was rescanning Time for Pants! and finding some really neat things in it that I'd not noticed before (haven't posted the new scan yet but you can check it out at the Arts Center!). The Carolina Club show opens day after tomorrow and the studio tour is the first two weekends of November. Hope to see you during the tour!

Despite it being one of the most famous restaurants in the Southeast (and despite JS being a long-time acquaintance of chef Bill Smith), we hadn't eaten at Crook's Corner since we got together 21 years ago until the Sunday before last. It was every bit as good at it should have been, and we had a chance to stop and chat with Bill on the way out. His first book is now out and you should go buy it. Now. Bill is one of the coolest, nicest people I've ever met and a hell of a chef.

We also got adventurous last weekend and ate dinner at City Beverage, which I've been wanting to do for months now. It did NOT disappoint - the food was awesome, the decor looked like a Shag painting and the two girls at the table next to us ordered the "mystery" drink, which came flaming in a soup tureen - can't beat that!

How did we get to
Hot Legs from Every Picture Tells a Story in 6 short years? I spent much of the weekend listening to the earlier Rod Stewart album having forgotten what a fucking incredible collection of songs that it is - Mandolin Wind, Maggie May, the cover of (I Know) I'm Losing You and the title track, which alone would be enough to get his skinny ass into the R'n'R Hall of Fame. That's got to be the rockingest acoustic guitar ever recorded and Madeline Bell's harmony on the rave-up ending is the absolute stuff.

Okay, starting to ramble - time to walk the dog and hit the sack (another night of sleeping on the sofa since I picked up an armful of poison ivy somewhere along the way a few days ago and J has kicked me out lest she pick it up from me). Later!