Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Return of Veronica Mars

The pilot for the would be fourth season of Veronica Mars found it's way to You Tube. Check it out:

Part 1

Part 2

I've not watched it yet (damn work), but I am fairly certain it will be awesome.

Update: So, yeah, I watched it. It. Is. Awesome. Why didn't the CW pick this up for a full season?!?!? It's only 11 minutes and its so much better then anything on their whole, damn network. Stupid network execs.

Top 5: Happy Halloween

I am stuck in stormy Florida for Halloween, wishing I was at home, with friends, watching scary movies. Here are the top 5 scariest movies I've ever seen (and wish I could watch tonight):

Pet Semetery - I saw this in the theaters in 1989 ( I was 10) and it scared the crap out of me. 10 is probably a little early for a horror movies, but my mom is Stephen King's biggest fan and I guess she wanted to introduce us early (I blame them both for most things wrong with me). I remember being unable to sleep in my own room after watching it and being scared for months Rachel, the creepy, brown, puss mouthed, bed-ridden sister, would be in my bed every time I walked into my room. Thanks, Ma.

The Blair Witch Project - I saw it opening weekend when people still thought it was real footage of kids murdered in the woods. The ending was really freaking scary. Of course, now it seems a little lame, but if I could watch it again for the first time, I would...if that makes any sense.

The Ring - I really thought I was gonna die seven days after I watched this movie (I kinda have an overactive imagination. You're shocked, I'm sure). When I watched it at a friends house for the first time, the phone rang immediately after the DVD finished. I almost cried, I was so scared.
(Fun trivia fact: The girl who played the creepy well girl plays psycho Rhonda on Big Love. Awesome.)

The Silence of the Lambs - Such a good movie, I sometimes forget it's really scary, too. When Buffalo Bill is watching Clarice Starling in the pitch black with his night vision goggles, I can hardly watch. I think every woman fears being held in a basement well by some creepy guy, ready to do God knows what to her body (even if he is very adamant about keeping you properly moisturized).

Seven - More of a thriller then a scary movie, it's still hard to watch this one alone. I jump every time the icky Sloth man breathes and Brad wasn't the only one freaked out about "what's in the box."

I'll know I've missed a ton of great scary movies (the new Dawn of the Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, 28 Days Later, all gave me sleepless nights), so feel free to tell me what I got wrong in the comment section.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

BSG: The Pseudo Movie

According to Variety, the two-hour special episode of Battlestar Galactica (which kicks off the fourth and final season of the series) will be shown in movie theaters - 7 major cities across the country - on November 12. The screening is free, but, of course, San Diego is not one of the major cities. Guess I'll have to watch it on TV like everyone else.

Imagine how hot I'll be on the big screen, big boy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

See This...

Plot is dead. Lately, I'm really into movies because of how they "feel" more then what happens in them. The Queen of this "feel" is Sophia Coppola. Nothing much happens in her movies (lonely people interact...that's about it...and there's nothing I relate to more then loneliness), but her movies have a very distinct mood and feel to them. Some people say they are boring; I say they are amazing.

Wes Anderson is another auteur whose films have a very distinct look and feel to them. This weekend I saw his latest, The Darjeeling Limited, and like Sophia's movies (yes, we're on a first name basis) the movie is not so much about what happens, but about mood and people and relationships and loneliness and three estranged (and lonely) brothers who take a spiritual journey across India. First, it looks incredible (as all Anderson's films do). My favorite thing about his movies is how they look. You can ALWAYS tell a Wes Anderson film within the first five minutes from the colors and the sets and the shots and the music. And second, his cast of actors (the Wilson brothers, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray who always give their best performances) never cease to make me laugh and break my heart.

The Darjeeling Limited, perhaps more then any of Anderson's other films, feels emotionally real (well, real in a crazy, colorful parallel universe). My friend Garney said, "I loved how this film felt more organic than Anderson's other films. The film was more of a shared experience with the characters, and not just an obvious trajectory of plot development. I think a lot of that is because of Roman Coppola's contribution." I totally agree. Roman Coppola, who co-wrote the film, is, like his sister, terrific with look and feel (rent his film CQ for evidence). Anderson benefits from his collaboration with Coppola, and The Darjeeling Limited is probably his best film after Rushmore (I also noticed Marc Jacobs, who sites Sophia Coppola as his muse, designed the luggage in the film (which is as much a character as the three brothers to some extent). What I wouldn't give to be a part of that friend group). The audience and the three brothers share the journey across India, their realization of the importance of family and their release of years of heavy emotional baggage. We've all been there (well, maybe not journeying across India, but the rest for sure) and when you leave, you feel just like the characters...better for the experience.

(I apologize for this cheezy/pretentious movie review. It's what came out)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Music For Your Friday

The Hype Machine is the best thing ever. Click here to listen to 15 fun covers to get you through to the weekend. Here's the track list:

Lily Allen - Don't Get me Wrong (The Pretenders)
The Libertines - Eight Days a Week (The Beatles)
Bloc Party - Say It Right (Nelly Furtado)
Coldplay - Can't Get You Out of My Head (Kylie Minogue)
Snow Patrol - Crazy In Love (Beyonce)
Vanilla Sky - Umberella (Rihanna)
Death Cab for Cutie - Freefallin' (Tom Petty)
Christina Aguilera - Mother (The Beatles)
Travis - Hit Me Baby One More Time (Britney Spears)
The Pipettes - I Think We're Alone Now (Tommy James & The Shondells/Tiffany)
Damien Rice - Talkin' About a Revolution (Tracy Chapman)
Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright - Careless Whisper (Wham!)
Ben Folds - Such Great Heights (Postal Service)
Avril Lavigne - The Scientist (Coldplay)
Counting Crows - Rain King/Thunder Road (Bruce Springsteen)


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Neil Patrick "Don't Call Me Doogie" Harris

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was just aiight for me, but I really want to see the sequel. Mainly because this is the greatest movie poster ever...

The Bee Movie Hype Must Stop!

When I first heard about Jerry Seinfeld's Bee Movie, I thought it looked pretty sweet, and when Jerry dressed up as a giant bee at Cannes, I thought it was really awesome (I actually thought Bee Movie was a live action movie where Jerry and Chris Rock dressed in giant bug costumes. In hindsight, this is a much better idea then another animated movie about bugs). Next, the hardcore advertising kicked in. It started with mini-shorts called TV Juniors (or something) during the commercial breaks of 30 Rock (where Seinfeld appeared as a guest star...and mentioned he has new movie coming out about, oh, 20 times). Last night, during the World Series, I saw Jerry's own HP commercial where he pitches Bee Movie not once, but twice, in 30 seconds. I am so done with this movie and it hasn't even come out yet! Someone please tell the marketing department of Dreamworks market saturation is not the way to go...unless, of course, your goal is to annoy the hell out of people.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bruce is Magic

Looks like FM 94.9 petition to bring Bruce Springsteen to San Diego wasn't successful. Seeing him play live is still one of my life goals (and by "life goals" I mean a list of stuff I really want to see/do before I die. This list is in my head. It changes at whim).

Anyway, in this time of trouble, we could all use a little Bruce. I've wanted to write about his new album, Magic, with the E Street Band, for awhile now because it's awesome. Very reminiscent of their early stuff together...makes you feel good while it delivers a really powerful (albeit left wing) message (there's a reason my Republican friends won't listen to him (yes, I have Republican friends. They need friends, too. Even if most of them have no heart (I probably just alienated our huge Republican fan base. I hate when I do that!))) If I had to pick, I'd say my favorite tracks are I'll Work For Your Love and the title track, but the whole album is fantastic...a rare find these days.

I realize some people (Liz) don't "get" Springsteen and that's cool, but he's made my smoky days a little better this week. Maybe it can do the same for you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We Don't Need no Water .... Actually, we do. Really bad. Please?

As you may have heard, Southern California is on fire. Since Gingers HQ is located in San Diego, you probably won’t see as many posts as usual for the next few days. Please forgive our absence, as we’re distracted by the television telling us we’re going to die.

If you’d like to help out some of those effected by the fires, your best bet is to donate to the American Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties. If you live in the San Diego area, you can bring sleeping supplies (blankets, cots, pillows) or non-perishable food down to Qualcomm Stadium.

Stay safe everyone. And for the love of God, if a fireman tells you to get out of your house – GET OUT!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Get OUT!

We've had surprisingly few Harry Potter posts on this blog, considering what big fans both Lora and I are. I guess it's because the blog started after the last book was published. But, like a phoenix from the ashes, JK Rowling has managed to give us news without a new book or movie. Turns out everyone's favorite Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore is gay!

This will probably upset a lot of people, but whatevs. I still want a "What Would Dumbledore Do?" bracelet. Would someone make those please? I'd totally buy one.

So, Dumbledore .... You wanna go shoe shopping?

Friday, October 19, 2007

This Post is (kinda) About Boobs

(I'm trying to get more men to read this site...think that title will work?)

So, for Christmas, my boss got me one of those page-a-day calenders. Thinking I can be a bit of a people pleaser, she got me Getting In Touch with Your Inner Bitch (it's actually been very helpful. I've (mostly) stopped doing things I don't want to do). Today, the calendar tells me it's National Mammogram Day, but the best part is, guess who declared the third Friday of October NMD? Everyone's favorite ladies man, Bill Clinton. Bill's always looking out for the ladies...and for women, too. *rimshot*

Thursday, October 18, 2007

About Approved Time Wasters

I have a lot of time on my hands lately. I mean, A LOT. So rather than be completely bored, I've been trolling the web looking for links to add under our Approved Time Wasters and I thought I'd tell you a bit about them all (click on the links to the left to see more):

[redacted] - I love the whole "asshole guy" thing. I can't help it. I think it's funny. The guy who writes this site is hilarious. And his blog title makes me think of one of the all time best episodes of The Office (I don't know if he chose "redacted" because of that episode, but he's cooler in my mind if he did).

Everything Is Wrong With Me (or Jason Mulgrew) - Very similar to [redacted], but a bit more all over the place. Read this post. I'll send you $5 if you don't laugh out loud (and also write you off as a human being because you obviously have zero sense of humor. Sorry. The truth hurts sometimes).

Garney's Blog - Garney is a friend (and sometime GITW commenter) who writes the most comprehensive pop culture blogs, complete with funny/interesting links galore. He doesn't post often, but when he does, it's worth the wait.

Go Fug Yourself - Two girls making fun of celebs and fashion. Liz turned me onto them and I check their site probably 50 times everyday. Laugh out loud funny (which is sometimes a problem when I'm at work).

Josh Wolk - He writes for EW. I googled him after a hilarious Top Chef recap on and found his own blog. Fun stories about living in NYC.

Pink Hat Nation - Our other blog about sports. Mostly about the Padres and the Chargers and the Red Sox. Dave and Liz write some really funny stuff over there.

Pop Watch - I get 90% of my news from this site...which is kinda sad when you think about it...

The Hype Machine - I just found this one today. It all the songs currently posted on blogs all around the internet. You can listen to just about anything in it's entirety (not just the 30 seconds Itunes decides to give you) and it includes some pretty cool covers I've never seen anywhere else. You can also just listen to lists of songs and find a ton of cool new stuff and create playlists of stuff you like. I'm hooked already.

The Recalcitrant Beagle - Another friend. Brennan and I used to share an office before he moved to Texas. His vocabulary and way with words makes me green with envy.

I'll add more as I find things I think are funny and/or interesting. Suggestions are always welcome. Lord knows, I've got time to kill...

American Outlaw

Really funny news story about my new hero, 75-year-old Mona Shaw. After getting jerked around by her cable company she went down to their offices and smashed up the secretaries computer, asking "Now do I have your attention." Probably a little overboard, but you know you've thought about it.

TV Premiere Week (+3) - Special Viva Laughlin Edition

Let's recap:

~ This is one of the strongest television seasons in awhile and has filled many a DVR with too many things to watch.

~ Pushing Daisies is everyone's favorite new show.

~ Heroes has been less than stellar, but may redeem itself when K Bell joins the cast this week.

~ I am old because I like Carpoolers and not Gossip Girl.

I think that about covers it. However, there is one more show I've been looking forward to and it finally premieres tonight. Viva Laughlin, based on the BBC show Viva Blackpool, stars Hugh Jackman (or features anyway. I can't quite tell from the press. I think he's only in it a bit, but ABC wants to hype him so more people will watch) and Melanie Griffith (who has only ever been decent in Working Girl...and then only barely because her supporting cast was so phenomenal) as characters who work at a Casino in Laughlin, Nevada (aka the poor man's Reno). And here's the's a musical. It's already drawn comparisons to Steven Bochco's early 90's suck-fest Cop Rock (which was on too late for me to watch at the time, but most people (aka critics) regard as TV's Ishtar (aka one of the worst movies ever)).

You're probably thinking, with all these strikes against it, why am I excited to watch? Well, the answer is threefold, my friends. 1) It's a musical. I love musicals. Even bad ones. 2) It's based on a BBC show and we all know how much I love the Brits. and 3) It sounds like the all time greatest trainwreck. Hugh singing the Stones' Sympathy for the Devil; Melanie singing Blondie's One Way or Another. C'mon! Pure awesomely bad goodness. I can't wait!

Update: Not awesomely bad, just really, really bad. Please, for the love of God and your personal sanity, DO NOT watch this show. You can thank me later...

Another Update: It's already been canceled. Hallelujah!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I wish I fell down a well

Honestly, my biggest memory of the whole Baby Jessica saga is my brother asking my grandmother how the kids playing with Jessica told her parents she’d fallen down the well, and my grandmother speculated they said, “Ding dong dell, baby’s in the well.”

And people wonder why I’m odd.

Anyway, it was 20 years ago that little Jessica McClure fell down an old well in her family’s back yard in Texas, setting off a media frenzy. Apparently all the money people donated to her family was put in a trust fund that will be available to her when she’s 25 (she’s 21 now) and it’s worth $1 million! Some girls get all the luck.

Signs I am Getting Old - Vol. 2

There has been a lot of discussion about the best and worst new shows this season, but we haven't talked about the most surprising new show. For me it's Carpoolers. I know what you are thinking. The premise seems so lame (a bunch of guys who carpool to work and talk about their woman problems) and the big name draw is Jerry O'Connell (anyone else think it's crazy the chubby kid from Stand By Me is now playing "the hot guy" all the time?), but it's actually pretty funny. Sure, the main couple (Faith Ford and some guy I could IMDB, but can't really be bothered) are kinda generic in a very What About Jim kinda way, but their son Marmaduke (yes, like the dog) is freaking hilarious. Jerry O'Connell plays a hot, divorced dentist. Jerry Minor plays a whipped dad of, like, 7 kids who waits on his lazy wife. And the fourth guy (okay fine...Tim Peper...who was on Guiding Light, alright?!?) plays a newlywed who's perky wife is probably my least favorite character. The show was created by Bruce McCulloch of Kids in the Hall (and Gilmore Girls!) so I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised it's actually funny. I realize I won't be winning any cool points for liking this show (and it kinda makes me feel old that I actually like the generic couple sitcom), but that's okay. I'm just saying it's worth checking out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What's the Deal With China?

Apparently, the Chinese government is really pissed because America is giving the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal. Tibet's Communist Party Secretary said, "If the Dalai Lama can receive such an award, there must be no justice or good people in the world." Huh? The Dalai Lama is one of the greatest people alive. Since Mother Theresa died, I can't think of another spiritual leader who has been more influential (besides the Pope, I suppose). And on top of that, he's totally cool! Name another monk who hangs out with famous people and wears sunglasses. The Dalai Lama is awesome.

I realize the China/Tibet thing is a huge issue (I saw Seven Years in Tibet), and I am firmly on the Free Tibet side. Not to get too political, but how is it okay for a huge country to invade a smaller one in Asia, but not okay in the Middle East? Obviously, America relies heavily on China for imports. Recently, a woman in Louisiana wrote a book called A Year Without "Made in China" where she and her family stopped buying anything made in China for a year (hence the clever title). Turned out to be pretty difficult, from what I've read, but it was possible. And, if the past few months have shown us anything, it's maybe China isn't the best place to get your goods. Between poisoned food and toothpaste and lead on our Barbies, it's obvious China has very little regard for heath and safety and thinks only of making crap as cheap as possible. So maybe the "justice" and "good people in the world" are simply no longer a part of the Chinese government. I'm glad we are giving the Dalai Lama the medal. The Chinese government can kiss it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My DVR is Running My Life

I went out of town this weekend, and when I returned, my DVR was jam packed with stuff I'd taped over the weekend, not to mention all the stuff I'd not gotten around to during the week. Add work and Netflix and a feeble attempt at a social life and there are just not enough hours in the week! So I think the time has come to drop some stuff from the line up. I cut It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia last night (I just couldn't get into it...sorry Garney) and, as I've mentioned, Heroes is close to getting the ax. So what else? Pushing Daises, Reaper, The Office, 30 Rock and Life are staying put, but are Journeyman, Bionic Woman and Friday Night Lights expendable? What say, ye? What are you gonna stop watching before you turn into a crazy, Bud Light swilling kitty cat?

Friday, October 12, 2007

And the winner is ...

It’s a rare network TV show that can have Kristin Chenoweth burst into a rendition of Hopelessly Devoted to You and not induce viewers to scramble for the remote. That show is Pushing Daisies, and it’s the best of the 2007 freshman crop.

Other new shows like Chuck, Gossip Girl and Bionic Woman got a lot more hype than Pushing Daisies, and some of them are pretty good, but this highly stylized yet easily accessible ABC hour-long is definitely the most innovative and entertaining show of the bunch. It’s a tricky concept to pull off: it’s arty, it’s mostly about death, deception and the darker side of human nature, and it’s funny as hell. I call it an “hour-long” because it’s not really a drama, but I hesitate to call it a dramedy. Its chalk full of quirky characters - from retired synchronized swimmers with a host of social anxieties, to a grizzled PI who likes to knit gun holster cozies – and the sets owe a lot to Tim Burton. These elements could easily get cloying of overly affected, but so far on Pushing Daisies, they’re just fun.

The show itself is about a guy named Ned who found out as a kid that he has the freaky power to touch dead things and make them alive again. Naturally, there’s a catch. Actually two: after he makes something come back to life, if he touches it again it’s dead forever; and if he keeps a newly resurrected life alive again for more than a minute, another living thing must die in its place. Ned now makes a living baking pies, but he supplements his income by teaming up with the PI to find out who killed murder victims and collect the reward money. When he brings his childhood crush back to life after she’s murdered on a cruise, he can’t bring himself to kill her again, so now she’s part of the team. Her and Ned are hopelessly smitten with each other, but can't touch or she'll die, and they've developed the habit of high fiving via inanimate objects they're holding that's just one of many subtle touches that make the show surprisingly rich for such a new program.

The cast is great, the writing inventive and its visually like few other shows I've ever seen. There is a narrator whose presence worries me – sometimes he makes me laugh out loud but other times he’s grating – and I’m concerned about the creators’ ability to keep up the tone. So far it’s been pitch perfect but going off key just a bit will ruin the whole little world they’ve constructed. Provided that doesn’t happen, Pushing Daisies gets my vote for best new show.

Which of course means it’ll be cancelled in about two weeks.

Nerd Alert!

I am a geek (you are shocked, I'm sure). I embrace the label with gusto, but I've always drawn the line with certain things. RPGs? No thanks. Rock Collections? I'll pass. Star Trek? Only if there is nothing else on and it's raining outside (so pretty much never, as I live in San Diego and it's 72 everyday).

So, I'm kinda weirded out that I am super excited about the new Star Trek movie coming out late next year. J.J. Abrams is directing (I'm a huge Felicity fan and his Mission Impossible was my favorite) and word this week is Eric Bana, Jon Cho and my current celeb crush, Simon Pegg, are all joining the cast, which already includes Zachary Quinto (aka Sylar from Heroes) playing Spock (run-on sentence much?). Sounds fantastic. The movie doesn't come out until Christmas of '08 and I wish I could see it tomorrow.

I've only seen 2 or 3 of the other 10 Star Trek movies and I remember liking them (I think Shatner is pretty hilarious), but I've never been excited to see them. It's an odd feeling and further proof I am a complete nerd.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Everything in its Right Place

For the record, I paid $6 (after taxes) and after hearing the first seven songs, I like it. But that’s not important.

What’s important, or at least what’s really cool about today’s release of Radiohead’s latest album In Rainbows, is the resurrection of the dead concept of the Record Release Event. Remember when record stores used to open at midnight and people would line up to get the latest from Guns n’ Roses, U2 or Nirvana? Aside from a single or two on the radio, no one had heard it yet and everyone heard it for the first time all at once. No one does that anymore. You can, I know M-Theory records in San Diego has midnight release parties (with pizza!), but most people download it off iTunes, buy it from Russian sites for half the price, steal it, or have their friend Sharon who works for an A&E newspaper in Boston send them a copy of the promotional discs. OK, maybe that last one is just me, but the fact remains: everyone gets the new album on their own time in their own way.

By releasing In Rainbows over the Internet as soon as it was done, at the reasonable price of $Whatever You Want to Pay, Radiohead insured everybody, and I mean everybody, got the record at the same time. No magazines or Web sites got it early for review purposes. Nobody leaked it. Due to the fact that the earth revolves around the sun while rotating on its axis, people in the UK got it Wednesday morning while those of us in California got it shortly before midnight Tuesday, but in it was all the same moment. And I think that’s pretty cool.

Of course I’m a grandma and a nerd, so I have a skewed view of cool.

Top 5: New Music Please

I'm bored. With life in general, but also with my music. I've picked up a few good songs/albums in the past few months, but I need some new stuff to listen to. So, I'll make you a deal. I'll suggest 5 artists you might like and you return the favor. Fair enough? Here goes:

1. Sara Bareilles - Good old fashion singer-songwriter chick. Think Alanis without the anger...or Sarah Mclaughlin with a bit more edge.

2. Matt Mackey - When I first heard Matt, he reminded me of Bruce Springsteen. Now, I'd say he's John Mayer meets Dave Matthews, but in a good way.

3. Mika - Pure unadulterated fun.

4. Hem - This is what my band would sound like if I had a band.

5. The Magic Numbers - Great songwriting. Enough said.

Your turn. Okay, Go...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Heroes, You've Been Warned

Dear Heroes,

I never intended to watch you. I thought you looked sub-par from the get go, but you were streaming on and I could watch you at work (not that I ever did...I swear). So, I'll admit, I got sucked in by the dreamy Milo Ventimiglia, the adorable Masi Oka and the tolerable Hayden Panettiere. I even stuck with you when all your super hyped story lines fell short, but enough is enough.

This season (only your second) has left me pretty disappointed. WAY too many storylines and I still don't really care about any of the characters (except Milo, of course. So glad he got the hair cut). Molly is annoyingly whinny, the "Irishmen" have lame Irish accents, the twins are boring (other than the creepy black stuff from the eyes bit. That's kinda cool) and the CGI is just atrocious.

So here's the deal. Increase the budget (with all the Nissan product placement, this shouldn't be a problem), kill off some characters (I suggest most of the new ones) and bring in Kristen Bell ASAP. Consider yourself on notice.



It's the End of BSG as We Know It

I have 7 episodes of Battlestar Gallactica season 3 left to watch, but here is the season 4 trailer. I am so very excited...

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Streets are No Longer Safe

Lohan is out of rehab...

Add This to Your Queue

This weekend, I received Jekyll from my good friends at Netflix. It's a modern day Jekyll and Hyde story from the BBC (who make all things wonderful and entertaining) and stars James Nesbitt and Michelle Ryan (aka the new Bionic Woman).

Nesbitt is Dr. Tom Jackman, a descendant from Dr. Jekyll. He realizes he has a dark alter ego and attempts to keep it in check through CCTV and audio recordings (telling his Hyde he will turn himself over to the police should Mr Hyde ever get out of hand). Ryan plays his assistant of sorts who makes sure all runs smoothly between the two personalities. There is also an evil corporation out to get the doctor (run by a Brit playing an American...his accent is pretty bad, but it's kinda funny to see how others portray us elsewhere) and presumably use him for their evil plans. Add a fair amount of blood and guts and scares and you've got an awesome horror/thriller. Just in time for Halloween.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Top 5: UK Edition

Face it. The Brits are better than us when it comes to entertainment. They make the best music and television in the world and are even taking over American TV sets this year (It really weirds me out when they speak so well with American accents). So here are my top 5 UK imports:

Brits on Network TV - Damien Lewis, amazing in Band of Brothers (have I mentioned that yet?), now stars in Life on NBC as a cop who spent 12 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. He's fabulous and a ginger. Pretty much my new favorite actor. And Anna Friel. I watched the entire Pushing Daisies pilot and had no idea she was English. Maybe the fact that she is makes her more likable then all the other new female love interests on TV this season. She also has a kid with Professor Lupin, err David Thewlis from the Harry Potter films, and anyone who gets it on with a Werewolf must be cool.

Top Gear - England's top motoring show, this is one of my favorites and it's now on BBC America. Basically, 3 middle aged white guys play with cars all day. I know it sounds incredibly boring, but it's not. My favorite segments are the races. Once, they raced a Bugatti Veyron against a plane from the south of France to London. Recently, they raced a Toyota truck against a dog sled in the North Pole. They are insane. It's awesome.

The Swell Season - They are Irish and would probably be very offended to be included on this list, but they can deal with it! The Guy and Girl from Once formed a band and this is the result. It's Damien Rice on low dose steroids (if that makes any sense). They're playing 4th and B Nov 11th. Anyone want to go with me?

The Pipettes - A 60's girl band with modern, naughty lyrics. Their album is so much fun it's practically impossible not to dance to...

Jasper Fforde - He writes the cleverest books. I call them literary sci-fi (probably because I heard someone interesting call them that first) and they kinda only work if you are a serious reader. JF takes literature and nursery rhymes and turns them on their head. His Thursday Next series follows a literary detective, who can literally jump into books, as she attempts to save the Book World from evil. He also writes a Nursery Crimes series where the murders of Humpty Dumpty and Goldilocks are solved by Jack Spratt and that contrary Mary Mary, with the psychotic Gingerbread man as the prime suspect.

Man! Now I totally want to go to London...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Pack Your Knives and Go

It's the Top Chef finale tonight. Here's my incredibly unscientific breakdown of the contestants:

Casey - The easy on the eyes Texan seems to have it in the bag. She's the only chef noted for her "soul" and that's gotta be a good thing, right? I was never a big fan, but of the three remaining contestant, she seems to be the front runner.

Hung - If, for some crazy reason, Casey blows it, Hung is probably the winner. He's technically superior to the others and has a more training and experience. I don't like Hung - he's a pompous ass and his food is boring most of the time (crazy cereal dish aside). He claims he has great stuff to show in the finale, but I don't buy it.

Dale - I love Dale. He's the bitchy, gay friend every woman should have. I would love to see him pull out something amazing and win it all. It could happen...crazier things have...

So, anyone want to wager a guess who will win tonight? Does anyone (other than me) even care...especially since Tre, the real top chef, was eliminated weeks ago?

Update: Well, Casey blew it. I thought for 30 seconds Dale might actually win, but Padma informed us all Hung got the prize (and not just Biggest Douchebag)

My Current Obsession

I've already discussed my love affair with Entertainment Weekly (Yes. I realize this is not something to brag about. I'd be much cooler if I was really into Pitchfork or NME, but I'm really not that cool) and reading fuels my obsession with my favorite columnist, Dalton Ross.

I first noticed Dalton when he wrote What to Watch each week for the magazine. It was hilarious and became my favorite part of each issue (no one else made reading about Temptation Island and Making the Band so funny and entertaining). Now, he writes a weekly column called The Glutton and provides Survivor TV Watch online. Reading his columns is the highlight of my websurfing each week. He is the ultimate beta male (which is so hot right now), he's married to Christina Kelly of Sassy magazine (which significantly shaped who I am today) and he likes most of the things I like (which makes him a genius). He also includes an Obsession of the Week and a video Top 5 in his columns...two things I write all the time. Actually, I think my obsession is so great, I've started to emulate Dalton. Maybe I need and EW intervention...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hooray for (the) Hollywood (Bowl)

It’s against my nature to compliment Los Angeles, but every city should have a Hollywood Bowl.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite bands, Bright Eyes, perform with the LA Philharmonic. In addition to dovetailing perfectly with my new habit of telling people I like classical music, the Hollywood Bowl made the experience that much better by letting the audience bring their own food and drink, including alcohol.

How rad is that? I’m fairly new to So Cal so maybe its well known that you can picnic while you listen at the Bowl, but for me it was a most pleasant surprise. Tickets were a little pricey, but not much more than any other large venue. To not be additionally gauged at the refreshment stand was a lovely change of pace. The music industry is losing control of its bodily functions trying to find out why they’re losing money. Obviously most of that is music downloading, but making the overall experience of following a band feel more like a fun night out and less like you’ve been shaken upside down by your ankles for your pocket change might be a nice place to start.

It's Bruce Springsteen Day!

Well, it is in Connecticut anyway. Bruce plays the opening show of his US tour in Hartford tonight and his new album with the E Street Band is out today. I'm listening to it right now. Man, I love the internet.

Not as much as I love Bruce, though. I grew up (as most children of the 80's did) digging Born in the USA, but it wasn't until a professor in college turned me onto his older stuff that I truly appreciated his genius. I really want to see him play live. So does FM 94.9. They've started a petition to get Bruce to come play in San Diego. Sure I could (and may) go see him play in LA, but I'd rather see him in my hometown. Won't you celebrate Bruce Springsteen day by signing the petition and making all my dreams come true?

Monday, October 1, 2007

OK Piracy

Radiohead announced last night that they’re releasing they’re upcoming album In Rainbows via the Internet – and only via the Internet - on October 10. And that’s not even the most interesting part.

The most interesting part is that you get to decide how much you want to pay for it. $15? $10? How about $0? That’s right, you can get it for free if you want.

I’m torn. At first I thought, “You know what? I really like Radiohead, this is very cool of them, I know they have more money than they’ll ever need, but I’ll give them 5 bucks for this record.” But then I was discussing it with a co-worker, and he pointed out that if you can get it for free, but you don’t, you’re kind of a chump.

What do you think? To pay or not to pay? I don’t want to be a chump, but it also might be nice to have some protection from the karma police.

(Sorry, I’m a sucker for lame puns).

The Downward Spiral is Complete

Dear Britney,

I hear you just lost custody of your kids. What happened to you? How effed up do you have to be to lose custody to K Fed? I liked you, Britney. I don't think you're particularly talented or bright (tough love, babe, sorry), but there is something about you I always liked. You out slutted X-tina when you smooched Madonna, out hicked Jessica Simpson with your "barefoot in the gas station" episode, and out cheesed Mandy Moore in Crossroads. Now, though, you're a bit of a train wreck and I just feel sorry for you (well, kinda...I have a hard time feeling sorry for millionaires).

At this point, you just need to disappear for awhile - make up with Mama, go back to Louisiana and chill out for a few years. Kick the drugs and the insanity and get back in touch with everyone's favorite snake charmer. In, like, 5 years, you can make a comeback and be bigger then the Spice Girls.

All the Best,


Celebrate Your Freedom

It's Banned Books Week! I can't tell you how many "Banned Books" I've read...and they are usually my favorites (who doesn't like a little extra naughtiness?). Banning (or challenging) books is obviously ridiculous and really just makes people want to read them more. Most are banned for the craziest reasons - I read today, Black Beauty was banned in South Africa during apartheid because it has the word "black" in the title...racists are such morons.

Seems most books today are challenged due to homosexual content. I realize I live in California (and have a gay roommate), so my views on homosexuality are different then many, but I'm still shocked when I realize homosexuality is considered a threat to American society (Too bad Osama isn't gay...we'd defiantly have killed him by now). So to celebrate the week, I'm gonna pick up And Tango Makes Three and enjoy thinking for myself...