Monday, March 31, 2008

I haz smoke monzter?

Have you heard of those LOLCatz things? You probably have, you Web savvy sexpots you. But if you haven't, it's these pictures of kitties with misspelled baby talk describing what they're doing. Like this:

Some of them are kind of funny, some are quite funny, and some are just dumb. Just like life. And as with most things that run the gamut from quite funny to dumb, we've got copies now! Someone decided to create this thing called LOLLost, where they do this kind of thing with Lost characters. Again, some are kind of funny, some real funny, some not so funny at all. If you like Lost, and if your day is going as slowly as mine, might be worth checking out.

Hehe, this made me laugh. Don't you judge me!!!

Hey sports fans, check out this shameless self-promotion!

Dear faithful Gingers is the Watchword readers,

Thanks so much for reading our blog! And for making such witty, astute and abundant comments. We much appreciate it. We appreciate it so much in fact, that I find it hard to ask any more of you. And yet....

As some of you know, Red and I also have a sports blog called Pink Hat Nation (I'm still not entirely sure where the name comes from, but I think it had something to do with making fun of my beloved Red Sox. What. Ever.) with our friend Dave. You may also be aware that PHN has been a bit neglected in recent months and we haven't posted on it a whole lot. But that is changing! Oh yes my children, 'tis! Now that Red and I's favorite sport, baseball, is back in action, we are going to try our darndest to write more frequently for our sister blog.

So, if you have any interest in sports, or just can't get enough of our effervescent writing style, please check out PHN at I guarantee* you won't regret it!


* Guarantees will not be honored in any way.

Daily Rant: Leave David Cook Alone!!!!!

I am thisclose to posting a crazy You Tube video for him. After a week long tirade from Chris Cornell fans about Cook's use of Cornell's version of Billie Jean (Cornell said he liked it), some band called Doxolgy issued a press release saying they want credit for David Cook's arrangement of Eleanor Rigby. I'm all for artists getting their due, but give the guy a break. David Cook isn't taking credit for these arrangements. Sure, maybe Idol needs to do a better job acknowledging who arranges these songs (because, newflash, someone arranges ALL of the Idol songs...not just David Cook's), but it's Idol/Nigel Lythgoe's responsibility to ensure these artists get credit...not some contestant who's just trying to win a singing competition. David doesn't host the show. He just sings. So, America, lay off! I'm just sayin'.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hollywood Officially Runs out of Ideas

I’ve come to realize that for people of a certain age (roughly mid-30s) Beverly Hills, 90210 was and is the defining television show of their lifetime. I watched it sporadically myself (it came out when I was in elementary school so it was a little beyond me) and I totally had a poster of Luke Perry on my wall that I bought at a school book fair, but it never really captured my imagination that way it did for some.

Well, apparently that scrappy little network The CW is hoping it will capture the imaginations of a whole new generation because they are in the works to do a remake of the show. I’m not exactly clear on how it works: Will it be set in the early ‘90s, complete with high wasted, acid washed jeans and hammer pants? (Please God, say yes!) Will it have the same theme song? Will the cast include two twins named Brenda and Brandon Walsh, a “bad boy” named Dylan, a blond guy with a perm named Steve, a virgin named Donna, etc, etc, etc? If so, will Andrea Zuckerman be portrayed by a 35-year-old actress? Or will this be more of a "Saved by the Bell: The New Class" kind of thing? Remakes of movies happen all the time - sometimes it seems like that’s all Hollywood does lately – but I can’t recall any other remakes of scripted TV shows, so I don't know how this will work.

Also, with Gossip Girl, The Hills and all that other stuff, I’m not entirely sure a new 90210 is exactly called for. But then again, in these troubled times, a chant of “Donna Martin graduates!” might be just what the doctor ordered.

P.S.: The news story I linked to on this, from the New York Post, has a funny section where they tell you where the 90210 actors are now, and speculate where the characters are now as well. Good for a chuckle.

Add This to Your Queue

I realize it's Spring and time to come out of hibernation and do outdoorsy stuff. However, if, like me, you prefer your big lovely couch to hiking up mountains, here are 4 movies worth your rental dollars:

Enchanted - Sure it's a Disney movie with singing and talking chipmunks, but it's really wonderful. It's the cleverest twist on the classic fairy tale, well, ever. Amy Adams is fantastic as Giselle, a cartoon maiden sent to NYC by a wicked witch hellbent on stopping her marriage to the prince. James "why isn't he a bigger star" Marsden, Patrick "I refuse to call him McDreamy" Dempsey, Susan "walking advertisement for looking phenomenal at 61!" Sarandon and Idina "Mrs. Taye Diggs" Menzel round out the terrific cast. If I ever have a little girl (you know, when someone finally gives in and marries me), this is the Disney princess movie she watching.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - Who knew competitive video gaming was so interesting? This documentary follows Steve Weibe, an out of work engineer who decides to set the high score at Donkey Kong and obtain the world record. To do so, he has to take down Billy Mitchell, who set the high score in 1982 and has become a god in the classic video game community. It's a truly fascinating look at this crazy world. Read another (better) review here.

Sunshine - From the team that brought you 28 Days Later, Sunshine is a futuristic tale about a team of scientists who journey to the Sun. 50 years in the future, the Sun is dying and if the Sun dies, so goes the human race. The plan is to get to the Sun and set off a nuclear bomb to keep the Sun alive. Of course, things go very bad, as things tend to do, and the crew encounters a creepy journey to save the universe. Sunshine is a bit flawed, but it creeped me out for sure.

Dan in Real Life - I'm not really sure who this movie was made falls into that "male romantic comedy" genre, which is really oxymoronic when you think about it. Nevertheless, it's funny and sweet and anyone with a soul will love it. Dan (Steve Carrell) is a widower who falls for Marie (Juliette Binoche because, c'mon. Who wouldn't?), but it turns out Marie already has a man...Dan's brother (Dane Cook, who, much to my shock and horror, I didn't hate). They, along with the rest of Dan's crazy family, spend the weekend together at their parent's home in Rhode Island and wackiness ensues. It's great. Check it out.

Because, when it comes down to it, who needs sunshine? (well, other than the movie Sunshine. Oh, nevermind...)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Radiohead Covers Vol. 3

And now, Karl from the motion picture Slingblade performs Radiohead's Karma Police...or Some People Call the Regular Police, I Call the Karma Police.

Looks like Britney Spears won't be gracing us with her Radiohead cover (apparently, she thinks she's "too cool for school" since she helped boost the HIMYM ratings. Whatevs). However, Cher, Eddie Vedder, David Bowie, Dave Matthews or Kermit the Frog may be singing next. You can cast the deciding vote in the comments section...

American Idol: The Aftermath

Three things:

1. Chikezie is gone. I love being right. He seemed like a nice enough dude, but there was no way he was winning, so I really don't care that he left. I was kinda glad Syesha was in the bottom 3. When Ryan asked the judges "Why?" I was shouting, "Because she seems like a total bitch!" at the television. I'm sure my neighbors think I'm insane.

2. Carly is not pregnant. Apparently, Grandma was misinformed. I really wanted her to say something like, "No. Not pregnant. Just normal sized. I can see how you'd be confused," but, of course, snark is unbecoming of an Idol.

3. David Cook's version of Chris Cornell's version of Billie Jean is already a radio hit! Or I heard the full length version on the radio this morning, anyway. This bodes pretty well for my lover. Ah, how I will enjoy our fancy life of caviar dreams and champaign wishes.

Until next week, friends.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Update: "Wolverine and the X-Men" animated series

Here's a recent trailer for the new X-Men cartoon, reportedly to appear on Nicktoons in 2009. It's an interesting way to begin with the supposed death of Professor X, and it will also be worth noting if there are any tie-ins with the upcoming Wolverine prequel movie. X-Fans (if there's any that read this blog), please enjoy:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

If America Got It Right: Top 10

So, my grandma called me tonight and asked if Carly Smithson is preggers. She said there's a rumor going around that one of the ladies is pregnant and she assumed it's Carly . I love that my grandma is cooler than me and knows all the hot gossip. Looks like the rumor is all over the internet, but who knows if it's really true.

Anyway, on to the show. For the most part, the kids were really good this week, but here's who I think should be sent home:

Ramiele Malubay - No one should ever try and sing Alone (especially after Carrie Underwood killed it season 4). I don't think Ramiele will go (those Asians vote like crazy!), but she really should.

Chikezie - Seems he's only "on" when jumping around like a madman. He went back to his old Luther Vandross comfort zone and, though he sounded good, seemed about as young and relevant as Mr. Burns. I think he'll go home this week.

David Archuleta - Obviously, never in a million years will Little David get the boot tonight, but his performance was pretty weak. I kept waiting for my High School Showchoir to come out and sing back-up for him.

The Best - David Cook. Holy, Lord. His Billy Jean was phenomenal. Also, Michael Johns finally gave a performance worthy of his pretty face.

The Hot Mess - No one really. Syesha, Brooke and Carly all kinda fell apart towards the end of their songs, but no one could be called a hot tranny mess. Even Kristy Lee (God help us) sounded good (even if I loathe that song. Again, serious showchoir flashbacks).

Song I'd Sing This Week - Here You Come Again by Dolly Parton (1978)

Your turn...

For Those Who Suffer from Gingervitus

You can now watch all South Park episodes online at South Park Digital Studios. Of course, this is my all time favorite episode. What's yours?

All in the Family

Politics is a filthy sport that's never helped anyone, so I generally like to steer clear of it on the blog, but this little item was too fun to ignore: Apparently Barack Obama is related to Brad Pitt, Hillary Clinton is related to Angelina Jolie, and John McCain's southern roots are too, um, tangled to figure out.

Notice a resemblance? Me neither.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society did family tree research on the leading presidential candidates and found all of them have some famous relatives. In addition to Brad Pitt, Obama is related to six presidents - including the current one - through is mama, not to mention Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Clinton is related to a lot of famous French Canadians through her mama, including Jack Kerouac, Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette, as well as Madonna and the aforementioned Jolie.

John McCain is related to First Lady Laura Bush, but in a rather amusing statement, the NEWHGS said that because a lot of McCain's ancestors are Southerners, they had trouble figuring out who else he's related to. "Notable connections (are) somewhat harder to trace because of challenges to genealogists in that region."

In other words: He inbred!

As far as I know, I'm not related to anyone noteworthy. I have a friend who found out she's a descendant of Scottish pirates. I think I'll start telling people I am too. Y'ar!

This (mostly) Just In...

Your semi-weekly (or whenever I feel like it) round-up of stuff you may or may not care about:

Britney Sucked on HIMYM
- I forgot to remind you yesterday (I feel I have failed you all), but Britney made her guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother last night. She was pretty terrible. Guess the whole "trying not to be a hot tranny mess" thing didn't really work out so well (by-the-way, I am totally jumping on the Christian fun wagon and spreading "hot tranny mess" to the far reaches of the world).

New Counting Crows album out today - I know I am one of a handful of people who still listens to them (and the album is apparently "just okay"), but CC is one of those bands who holds a special place in my heart and I will always check out their new stuff.

George Michael to tour the US (and Canada. Don't forget Canada!)
- The tour starts in San Diego. I don't know anyone who'd go with me, but I'd totally be there if I did.

Jericho Ends Tonight - Despite valiant efforts by it's fans, the Jericho series finale airs tonight. And, yes, I realize Garney and I are the only people who care.

Red Does Not Feel Particularly Funny This Week - Maybe you are saying to yourself, "She's funny ever?" but I'm kinda in a bad mood. Maybe it's the 80 degree San Diego weather? I dunno. Even The Guttenberg couldn't cheer me up last night (by-the-way, Monica Seles and Penn Jillette are totally going home tonight). Hopefully, my weekly dose of David Cook will turn me around.

Or you telling a funny joke or something might help, too.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Damn the man!

So there's this band called Be Your Own Pet that all the hipper-than-thou blogs like Pitchfork love. They're decent; a scrappy little punk band that sings songs about high school but are better than your average high school band, you know? I think they mostly got attention because they were discovered by Thurston Moore or something. I don't dislike them, but also don't quite get what all the hype is about either.

But that's not the point. The point is, the man is trying to keep them down! And I don't care who you are, I am always anti-man-keeping-down. Apparently this band's second album, Get Awkward, is being distributed by Universal, and Universal decided three of their songs are "too violent" and cut them from the record. This from the label that brought us Eminem's Kim.

OK, so yeah, the songs do talk about killing someone 'cause your bored and getting into a knife fight with your former best friend, but knowing the band, I think this is done more tongue in cheek than instructionally. And it's not like it's anything worse than half the rap and metal that's out there.

I know we have to think of the children and all that, but it gets me mad when we're not allowed to hear things because it offends someone else. Besides, there are worse things out there than violent songs. Maybe hearing lines like "Eating pizza is really great / So is destroying everything you hate!" might prepare the kiddies for that.

Threatening society by acting like every other band ever.

No Taxation, Period

With tax season upon us, here's a film about taxes and how we don't really have to pay them. Basically, Aaron Russo interviews ex-IRS agents and examines US law, only to discover there is no law requiring people to pay taxes. It's a pretty interesting film and a very interesting subject. I already filed my taxes (and got my return...and bought a new TV) so I can't take advantage of this information (and by "take advantage" I mean refuse to pay your taxes, spend years in your later life battling the IRS, only to win a court case, but lose everything you own), but maybe you can. Don't say I never gave you anything.

Yes, it's a full length film.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My Current Obsessions

I know you are all a bunch of godless heathens, so I'm not gonna even bother to wish you a Good Friday or Happy Easter. Just devour your chocolate and be done with it. Instead of talking about Jesus, I'm gonna talk about me, me, me (a refreshing change of pace, no?). Here are some things I am obsessed with at the moment:

The Guttenberg - I finally watched Ladies Night of DWTS last night (Kristy Yamaguchi is pretty much winning this thing. We all know this, right? And Marlee Matlin blew me a-freaking-way!), but the best part of the night was the 5 seconds Tom Bergeron spent with The Guttenberg. Wow! He's so awesome.

She & Him - Thanks to Sharon and The Back Story for linking to the new album from Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. It's very, like, Loretta Lynn meets Hem mixed with the Ronnettes. I can't stop listening to it!

Last Restaurant Standing - Is anyone else watching this BBC America show? It's basically the foodie version of The Apprentice (which I stopped watching ages ago) and pits 9 couples against each other to establish a successful restaurant. The winners will open their own restaurant with fancy French chef Raymond Blanc. I just realized, I watched 4 hours of reality television last night. I think I have a problem...

This post was really just an excuse to post another picture of The Guttenberg.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What IS so Funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding?

The Peace Sign turns 50 today. Initially a symbol for Nuclear Disarmament, (who knew? (probably lots of people actually)) this simple figure became the universal symbol of peace. And something for hippies to wear on a T-Shirt. Damn hippies...

Happy Birthday old symbol thing-y!

Who's Your Celebrity Girl/Man Crush?

As a completely heterosexual women (not even one of those girls who makes out with girls for attention when drunk), I do, from time to time, develop "crushes" on other girls (like, I find them lovely and want to be their best friend). Kinda how every man alive has a man crush on Brett Farve. It's only natural.

Well, for the longest time, my girl crush was for Scarlett Johansson (Garney even sent me this picture once. Yowza!), but lately, it's transfered to the saucy minx to the left (Christina Hendricks from Mad Men). Foxy!

So, how about you? What same-sex celebrity do you have a crush on? Or am I alone in this?

American Idol: The Aftermath

Believe it or not, someone actually asked me to write more about American Idol (shocking, but true).

Speaking of shocking, Carly was in the bottom 3 last night. I think she suffered from that old AI curse where people assume someone will be safe and they don't vote for them. Carly should be safe for the rest of the season (or until she's voted off, anyway).

Somehow, Kristy Lee survived to sing another day. After Carly was sent back to the couches, I didn't really care if Amanda or Kristy Lee went home, but it's the principal of the thing. I want to be right, damn it! As Beckeye has said, Kristy Lee is the Carmen Rasmussen of Season 7. Thankfully, for the us, Kristy Lee can sing about a trillion times better than Carmen. Still, she's not good enough to be around any longer, in this, the best season ever!!!

When it all comes down to it, as long as David Cook, Carly Smithson and Jason Castro are around, does it really matter who goes home in what order?

Rock on!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Radiohead Covers Vol. 2

And now, by popular demand, Christopher Walken sings Radiohead's My Iron Lung...

(Btw...this sounds even better in person)

Click here to view other possible Radiohead covers and let us know what you'd like to hear next.

If America Got it Right: Top 11

Even before Simon said it last night, I was thinking Beatles Night: Part Deux was a mistake. Other than Little Davey Artuleta (and, as much as it pains me to say, Syesha Mercado) every performance was a bit of a let down from last week. And Simon was seriously grumpy! (Someone get that man a puppy or something) I'm having a hard time deciding the bottom 3, so I'm gonna pick the top 3 instead:

David Artuleta - The Long and Winding Road is one of my favorite Beatles songs and he did a lovely rendition. I don't know if it was "Amazing" (as Simon said) but it was very good and re-instated David as the guy to beat.

Carly Smithson - It was nice to see Carly use her lower register and still belt out the high notes. Simon hated the song choice. How can any self respecting Englishman not love Blackbird?!? He's ridiculous sometimes.

David Cook - Maybe it was a bit predictable, but I thought he rocked Whitesnake's (ha!) version of Daytripper. And the vocoder was rad.

I thought Michael Johns was good (even though the judges hated it). A Day in the Life is classic Beatles and his arrangement was solid. I still didn't feel Chikiezie, but ultimately, it's time (just like it was last week) for pretty blond girls to go back to their farms. Later, Kristy Lee.

The Hot Mess - Brooke White. Brooke, honey, don't dance. Better yet, don't move at all.

Who is your favorite Beatle? - Since we picked the songs we'd sing last week, a new question this week. My favorite Beatle is George Harrison. For all my reasons, see A Hard Days Night and try not to drool.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This (mostly) Just In...

Here are some buzzed about internet stories you may or may not care about:

Britney Spears is taking time off from being a train wreck to guest star on How I Met Your Mother (which has now officially become the new Will & Grace as far as guest stars are concerned). Maybe NPH can straighten a sister out. Every girl needs a gay man to tell her the cold, hard truth.

The Office is back April 10th. Thank the Lord. I been missing Jim in my nightly fantasies.

P. Diddy (or whatever the hell we call him now) has been linked to the death of Tupac (even though he completely denies it, of course). Just when the East Coast and West Coast were becoming friends again.

The Riches returns with season 2 tonight on FX. Like most one-hour dramas these days, it may be a bit tough to follow if you haven't seen season 1, but give it a try anyway. Where else can you get a weekly fix of the hilarious Eddie Izzard? No where, that's where.

Or maybe you can watch Eddie on You Tube.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Guttenberg Alert

Tonight marks the return of Dancing With the Stars (a show I never watch...I swear). As you know (because I told you), there are many "stars" this season, but I'm really only interested in a weekly dose of The Gutenberg.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

As they say, today, everyone is Irish.

We had a lovely weekend in Arizona (thanks for asking) and tried to celebrate St. Patty's in an Irish Bar/Grill in Peoria. Unfortunately, the most obnoxious man in the world was trying to play the worst version of Name that Tune, like, ever and our plans were thwarted (Dave called it "the worst hour of my life."). So we went to the diveiest bar we could find (the apt named Shenanigans), conveniently located behind Big O Tires. There we found a Whiskey Tango crowed and the worst karaoke I've ever heard. It was awesome.

Here's to better luck for you tonight.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Speaking of the Weekend

We will be MIA tomorrow, as all GITW personnel (except Garney) will be skipping out of work to go watch Spring Training baseball. Try not to miss us too much. To get you through the weekend, here’s Garney Daniel Plainview (from There Will be Blood) and his rendition of Radiohead’s Creep:


Top o' the Weekend!

It’s that time of year again: St. Patrick’s Day! The holiday falls on a Monday this year, so most people will be celebrating this weekend, and since I won't be around tomorrow, the wearin' of the green post comes early!

The Irish have been stereotypically known as a drunken, superstitious lot with quick tempers and immense Catholic guilt, and Irish-Americans appear to be the only hyphen group that uses its designated holiday to reinforce these stereotypes rather than dispel them. But, as the Irish contributor to GitW (and, ironically, the non-ginger) I’m taking it upon myself to give you tips on a more authentic St. Paddy’s Day celebration.

Remember: Every time you drink green Bud Light, Oliver Cromwell kills a leprechaun.

Music is key to a good St. Patrick’s Day celebration. And no, you don’t have to listen to Danny Boy:

The Pogues – They’re known as an “Irish-punk” band, but I hear way more Irish than punk. Of course, lead singer/dental nightmare Shane MacGowan was photographed by a London newspaper when he was teenager getting bit in the face at Clash concert, so I guess that scores him permanent rawk points. Their album Rum, Sodomy and The Lash is a classic.

Flogging Molly – Often derided as gimmicky or a poor man’s Pogues, this band actually rocks way harder than the former, and I think has some pretty great songs.

The Chieftains – Traditional Irish music, but really good traditional Irish music, not just lame accordions and bagpipes. They’ve done some great collaboration with the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Sting and others.

If you feel like watching a movie on St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a few of my Irish favs:

The Commitments – One of my favorite lines: “The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it once, say it loud - I'm black and I'm proud!”

Intermission – Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy before anyone knew who they were. It gets a little sentimental at the end, but still worth it.

Waking Ned Divine –It’ll make you want to raise a Guinness in toast. Actually, all of these will make you want to raise a Guinness.

Beer is essential for any Irish celebration, but its got to be the right beer. The best are:

Guinness – Natch.
Smithwicks – Pronounced “smith-icks,” this used to be hard to find in the US but now Guinness is importing it.
Killian’s Irish Red – They don’t actually have this in Ireland, but we have it here, and its grand.
Harp – If you must drink a yellow beer, make it this one.

I’d suggest food, but “authentic” Irish food is basically anything that’s had the flavor boiled out of it. The culinary arts have largely evaded the emerald isle. So make whatever you want.

Erin go Bragh!

Top 5: All Time Favorite Movies

Now, for the final post in this week long series (something I will never attempt again because it’s way too much commitment), here are my top 5 favorite movies of all time:

Pulp Fiction - Probably the greatest film made in my lifetime. Quentin Tarantino reinvented cinema with this one. Too bad he's had a hard time living up to the genius.

JFK - I have seen this movie probably 50 times (and that's saying something considering it's over 3 hours long). Sure, Oliver Stone is a woman hating nutter, but he can certainly make a damn engaging film (or used to anyway).

Say Anything - All time greatest romantic comedy. Ever. You know it's true.

Magnolia - PT Anderson is an amazing filmmaker. Who else takes 500 characters and melds them together so well? Magnolia has so much to say and brought up so many discussion points. I still get chills when it starts raining frogs.

Sense and Sensibility - The best Jane Austen adaptation ever, Sense and Sensibility introduced the world to Kate Winslet (and aren't we all the better for it?). I think all women are either an Elinor or a Marrianne (I'm an Elinor myself) and the end makes me cry every time.

Your turn...and I promise not to make you think so much next week.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Top Five: All time Favorite Albums

Since Red is inflicting … er, I mean, enlightening us with her tastes in everything and anything this week, I decided to jump in with my Top 5 Albums. I know no one listens to albums anymore, but pretend like technology never progressed past 1995 and you’re stuck on a desert island with only five CDs. These are mine – though ask me next week and they might be different:

Radiohead: OK Computer – If I could only bring one CD to this mythic isle, this might be the one. Its got a fantastic variety of songs to fit any mood (Exit Music from a Film = I’m depressed because I’m alone on an island / Electioneering = We’ve run out of coconuts and I. Am. Pissed!) and even after ten years, I still hear something new in the layers upon layers of tracks nearly every time I listen.

Bright Eyes: Lifted or The Story is the Soil So Keep Your Ear to the Ground – A long title for a long couple of months without the InterWeb or indoor plumbing. Again, great variety of songs, endless hours of fun studying the lyrics. Probably the closest Conor Oberst will ever get to a masterpiece.

Rilo Kiley: The Execution of All Things – Those who know me knew we weren’t getting through this without an RK record. While More Adventurous is also awesome, I’m going to give the desert island treatment to Execution. When I’m delirious from drinking seawater and the vultures are starting to circulate over my shipwrecked frame, I want the dulcet tones of Jenny Lewis and lap steel guitar to lull me to sleep.

The Beatles: Rubber Soul – You could really go with almost any Beatles album on a desert island. Hell, you could go with all Beatles albums and probably not go too insane. This one has Norwegian Wood, Nowhere Man, In My Life, Michelle and others. It’s going in my supply satchel next to the insect repellent and cyanide capsules.

The Clash: London Calling – This album came out three years before I was born and it still pissed off my parents when I played it as a teenager. Always a good sign. With songs like Rudy Can’t Fail and Spanish Bombs, Joe Strummer and the boys had a great sense of desperation in paradise. Just the thing you’d want to listen to when there’s water water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

OK, ya'll's turn.

My Kind of Town

Top Chef: Chicago
premieres tonight (just in time to fill the Project Runway hole in my heart). Top Chef combines all my favorite reality TV elements...smokin' hot hosts/judges (Padma and Tom, left), awesome guests (Rocco DiSpirito (who has apparently stopped eating...bit of a worry for a chef) is the guest judge tonight), food, and insane challenges no one would ever face in real life. Because I did so well with my PR predictions, I'm gonna pick Andrew or Stephanie to win (based solely on their Bravo bios) and Valarie to be the first to pack her knives and go.

Top 5: All Time Favorite Books

Once upon a time, long before television and Netflix, there were these things called books. They were made of paper and ink and they told crazy tales about men and women and life and stuff and you had to use your imagination to fill out the story. I, being the lover of all things ancient, have read quite a few of them (in fact, in college, I MAJORED in reading books…old ones, too. This makes me very special and interesting). If you, too, want to be special and interesting, post your 5 favorite books below. Here are mine:

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte: A good old-fashioned Gothic romance. Inspired my favorite series of modern novels, the Thursday Next series, by Jasper Fforde.

Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger: I first read Catcher in the Rye in 9th grade and loved it... thought Holden Caulfield was dead right about phonies and all his ranting. I read it again in college and thought Holden was kinda naive and immature. Made me realize I'd grown up a bit, which made me both excited and very sad.

A Man Without a Country – Kurt Vonnegut: I've read just about every book KV wrote and loved them all, but A Man Without a Country kinda summarizes his entire philosophy. The closest he came to writing a memoir.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen: I know, I know. Could I be more generic and girly? But it’s really a fantastic bit of literature.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – JK Rowling: Again, I love all the Harry Potter books, but this is my favorite. Such a shame what they did to it on film.

Your turn...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

If America Got it Right: Top 12

It's official...I want to marry David Cook and have ten thousand of his babies. The self-proclaimed "word-nerd" rocked Eleanor Rigby, one of my all time favorite Beatles songs. Ladies, have fun fighting over Michael Johns. I'll take David and is devilish grin.

In other news, here's who should be in the bottom 3 and sent home this week:

Syesha Mercado - Unlikeable and boring. Is there a bigger kiss of death on AI?

David Hernandez - The man can sing, but his version of I Saw Her Standing There was just dreadful.

Kristy Lee Cook - A country version of Eight Days a Week? Are you kidding me?!? Kristy should have been shipped back to Oregon, like, yesterday and, if America gets it right, should go home this week.

On Notice - Ramiele Malubay and Chikezie (I know the judges loved his performance, but I seriously didn't get it).

The Best - Carly Smithson was phenomenal. Damn, that girl can sing. I also really liked Brooke White...not so much for her singing, but for her overall performance.

The Hot Mess (I'm adding this for the performance that won't get the singer voted off, but was pretty horrible nonetheless) - David Artuleta. It's a good thing he's done well the past few weeks because his version of We Can Work it Out was a big ol' mess.

Song I'd Sing this Week - Let it Be. You?

Top 5: All Time Favorite Songs

Recently, I dug out my old CDs and have been listening to all the crap I loved in high school (but I definitely did NOT listen to Backstreet Boys' Millennium yesterday. And I really, definitely didn't like it and remember all the words). Needless to say, I had some really bad taste in music back then. I like to think it's gotten better with age as I've expanded my listening horizons, but music really is so much about time and place and being the soundtrack to life, right? So, here are my 5 favorite songs of all time (listen to them all here):

1. Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen: Maybe the best pop song ever from one of the greatest albums ever. I actually took a class in college where the professor had us study Springsteen lyrics as poetry. We talked about this song as it relates to the loss on innocence, maturation and the need just "go." Great for driving fast on the freeway.

2. Don't Think Twice - Bob Dylan: There are better Dylan songs, but this is my favorite. It's such a painful break-up song. You just kinda wasted my precious time. Ouch!

3. Still Fighting It - Ben Folds: Ben Folds is my favorite artist. From his band, Ben Folds Five, to his work with Shatner and his solo albums, he's yet to make a crappy record. This is my favorite Ben Folds song, mainly because it's about how much it sucks to grow-up and who can't relate to that?

4. Defying Gravity - Stephen Schwartz: I have to include a song from a musical because, for so many years, I listen to nothing else. This song, from the musical Wicked, is so effing phenomenal I basically wet myself the first time I heard it. I'd give my right arm to sing like Idina Menzel.

5. Both Sides Now - Joni Mitchell: This song is a favorite for several reasons, but mainly because it's so simple and lovely. I love this version...her voice is older and rougher and more worldly. Just lovely.

Your turn...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Top 5: All Time Favorite TV Shows

Let's get to know each other a little better, shall we? This week, along with your regularly scheduled blogging, I'll be posting my favorite bits of popular entertainment and you can post yours in the comments. Sound fair? Let's start with my 5 favorite TV shows (note: these are not what I consider the best TV shows ever...just my favorites):

1. My So-Called Life - I think every girl alive in the 90's loves this show. It's really a brilliant look at the life of a teenager. I'm kinda glad, in hindsight, it only lasted one the creators didn't have time to turn it into a soap-opera. It's perfect in it's melodramatic simplicity.

2. The Wonder Years - A terrific bend of nostalgia and real life. The fact that Winnie and Kevin didn't end up together in the end made it all the more wonderful.

3. Sex and the City - I've been rewatching the entire series lately (for the 3rd or 4th time. Don't judge) and it really is so funny and frighteningly accurate. I've dated a couple Mr. Bigs, have been lucky enough for have friends like Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha, and made all the stupid mistakes Carrie made (well, I never broke of an engagement with someone as amazing as Aiden, but I'm definitely dumb enough to do so). I know a lot of guys who hate this show (think it's too girly or whatever), but really, men should be thankful this show came along. It made women more aware and less baby/marriage crazy (unless the girl is a "Charlotte" of course).

4. Freaks and Geeks - Another one season wonder; another look at teenage life; another smokin' hot love interest, but Freaks and Geeks is a bit less melodramatic than MSCL and therefore, more realistic. Also, this show gave the world the genius that is Judd Apatow. Thank God for that.

5. The Wire - I think you know why at this point.

Honorable Mentions: The Simpsons, Veronica Mars, Roseanne, Quantum Leap, The Office, Gilmore Girls, The Cosby Show, Fraggle Rock, MMC

Okay. Your turn...

Maybe Add This to Your Queue

This weekend I watched Martian Child. I'd expected it to be pretty cheesy (and it kinda was), but it has something not enough films can has John Cusack.

Cusack has made a career playing men women love. Chuck Klosterman pretty much hits the nail on the head with his essay on Cusack (and his Say Anything character Lloyd Dobler) in his book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs (which you can read here. The internet is so awesome). Basically, Klosterman argues he will never make a woman happy because all women (especially those born between 1965 and 1978 (which includes yours truly)) are in love with John Cusack/Lloyd Dobler. I wish I could refute his claim, but it's totally true. I first saw Say Anything when I was 13 or so and have been looking for Lloyd Dobler ever since. Does this make me crazy and screwed up? Sure, but am I alone in this? Absolutely not.

After he (and Cameron Crowe) created the perfect man, Cusack went on to make High Fidelity and solidify his place as the greatest man ever. Now, when he makes a movie like Martian Child (about a widower who adopts a little boy who believes he's from Mars), I watch and love it far more than I should because I'm still in love with Lloyd Dobler (and will, obviously, be single for the rest of my life). Check it out, ladies, and see if John has the same power over you...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Last Walk in the Garden

This Sunday, we bid farewell to The Wire (or what I affectionately like to refer to as The Greatest Television Show in History). We here at GITW are all big fans and Liz and I wanted to say goodbye in our own ways:


Until I started watching The Wire, I always thought a “shorty” was an NBA groupie. Maybe it still is, but it’s also a nickname for a really young – and therefore short - drug dealer. And there are some really, really young drug dealers out there.

Oh, and also, urban America is totally fucked.

There have been a hundred theories as to why The Wire hasn’t caught on like other premium cable shows like The Sopranos or Dexter. The accents are too thick; the slang is too confusing; the story lines are too complex; the cast is too black; the heroes and villains are too hard to decipher. Maybe it’s none of these; maybe it’s all of them. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure it matters.

The creators of this show have presented an intensely realistic view of that “other America” so many books and stump speeches have been about: a world completely devoid of hope and opportunity. Something tells me they didn’t go into this thinking Sonja Sohn would be the next Jennifer Aniston.

According to the writers themselves, what they really wanted to do was humanize the war on drugs, from the sides of both the dealers and the cops. And they have. Without embellishment, without swelling music that signifies drama or some star-crossed romance to tug at the heartstrings, they have presented why the inner cities of the world’s most powerful nation have thoroughly - and perhaps irreversibly - crumbled.

What the show doesn’t offer are any real answers. There were a few episodes where an enterprising police captain basically legalized the drug trade so long as it stayed within one abandoned block of Baltimore. Crime in the rest of the neighborhood The Wire focuses on practically disappeared. But that scheme was found out, shut down, and everything went back to normal. That’s kind of a recurring theme on the show: a kingpin gets shot or sent to prison, a major stash is confiscated, a fresh and exciting politician comes along, but nothing really changes.

The truth is, it’s not the show’s job to present us with any answers. It’s the show's job to make us care. That’s really the only reason it’s too bad that no one watched. But hey, if a helplessly white girl from Southern California can come to appreciate the many meanings of the word “shorty,” maybe it’s a start.


The Wire
never spoon feeds you. Episode 1 plunges you into the world of the Baltimore streets, without back story; without exposition. You have to figure things (characters, stories, situations) out for yourself. Just like real life. That's what The Wire does better than any show, well, holds a mirror to your face and says "Don't look away. This is how things are in all their gritty and horrible glory. This is your America. What are you gonna do about it?"

It took me a few episodes to get used to the harsh reality, but 3 episodes in, I was completely hooked, as the story shifted from the streets, to the blue collar workers dealing with urban revitalization at the docks. Then season 3 took us back to the streets and the long, hard journey of Stringer Bell (Oh, what a of the finest heroic villains ever created). Season 4 focused on the public school system and the choices (or lack thereof) facing urban kids today. This 5th, and final, season brings us to the dying newspapers of America...and what the media does and does not cover. It's not all tough and tragic. There have been many, many laughs along the way. Because life is nothing if not painfully funny.

Through it all, we've had Bubbles (the lovable junkie you have to root for or you have no soul), McNulty (the womanizing alcoholic who will literally do anything to ensure real police work gets done in Baltimore), Bunk (the funniest partner a cop could hope for), the Barksdales (a family to rival the Corleones) , Marlo (the scariest gangster ever), the kids (Michael, Dukie, Namond and Randy), Mr. Prezbo, Bunny, Omar, the list goes on. All of them have a special place in my heart. All of them will be sorely missed.

Now do yourself a favor and add season 1 to your queue so you can know what the hell we're talking about...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Get Well Soon Swayze!

I heard about this last night, but have actually been busy today (for a change) and didn't get a chance to comment. Apparently, everyone's favorite 80's dirty dancer, Patrick Swayze, has pancreatic cancer. Contrary to early reports, he is doing okay, "responding well to treatment" and continuing work on his TV show pilot for A&E. Here's hoping he makes a full recovery. Seeing him dance shirtless when I was 9 was the beginning of a 20 year love affair with shirtless dancing guys.

C'mere Loverboy! And beat that cancer!

If America Got it Right Vol. III

It was an interesting week in Idol land. First, we learn David Hernandez is a former (gay?) stripper. Then, Paula spent Tuesday night spewing incoherent nonsense (Is it just me or are the judges becoming those people you hang out with who the spend the entire night telling inside jokes you don't get and stories about people you don't know? Very annoying really). So let's get back and focus on the singing. Here's who should be voted out tonight:

The Fellas
Luke Menard - C'mon, America. Enough is freaking enough with this guy.

Chikezie - This is tough, because he's not really bad, he's just not as good as all the other guys. And he comes across as bit of a douchebag and, let's face it, there's nothing America hates more than a douchebag.

On Notice
- No one. Every other guy is surprisingly worthy of his top 12 position.

The Ladies
Kady Malloy - What's the deal with people butchering Queen this season? Yikes! I think Randy needs to have a hearing test because from where I sat (on my couch of judgment) she did not nail the high notes. The entire thing was a mess.

Christy Lee Cook - I know (as Beckeye pointed out) the Idol universe would collapse if they voted off the two, pretty blond girls in the same week, but Christy needs to go. Sure, she was better this week, but still, not good enough.

On Notice
- Syesha Mercado (mainly because I don't like her and I could go on the street right now and find at least 5 girls exactly like her).

The Best - David Cook was awesome with his emo version of Hello (and I know there's a big, hunky Australian dude to drool over, but something about David does it for me) and I'm loving Brooke White. She's different, but maybe more marketable that the whole lot of them.

Song I'd Sing this Week - I'm adding this because it's fun. If I were a Season 7 Idol hopeful, I would have rocked Journey's Don't Stop Believin'. How about you?

Red out!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Fierce Finale

Okay. I realize I've beat the Project Runway finale thing to death (with, now, 3 posts on the subject). You all know I think Christian's gonna win, but I just learned (and am way more excited than any normal human should be) Victoria Beckham is the guest judge! This is gonna be major!

Any chance Becks will make a special appearance?

This Just In...

Blogging is good for you. Makes perfect sense, really, as it's basically journaling (and we all learned from out hippie 8th grade English teachers that we should all keep a journal), but anything to justify my inordinate time wasting is very welcome.

Reel Resurrection: Murder by Death

Everyday, thanks to the magic that is Gmail Chat, Garney and I play a round or two of Titles, a movie game Garney made up that's way too complicated to explain here and only freaks like us are even really good at (but it's taken over my life. Now, when I see even a clip of a movie on HBO or whatever, I think of how I can use the movie for the the game. Kinda like with Tetris when I was a kid. I played so much, I started imagining how/what pieces would fit between people's head. It was a sickness). Anyway, he brought up a real gem of a film a few days I'd almost forgotten about (and that he thought he could stump me with. Didn't work. Sucka!)...called Murder by Death.

From the decade that brought you Star Wars, The Godfather and yours truly, Murder by Death is a spoof of the country house murder mystery (kinda like Clue, really). Written by Neil Simon, the story follows six of the worlds great sleuths (all send ups of Charlie Chan, Agatha Christie, Sam Spade, etc) who are invited to "dinner and a murder" at the home of an eccentric millionaire (played by Truman Capote of all people). Someone dies, the detectives go about trying to solve the murder and, let's just say, hilarity ensues. Perfect for a rainy spring night in your glorious mansion (or apartment or whatever).

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Mash Up Time

Gravediggaz vs. Portishead, two late 90's favorites. Hope you enjoy:

Harry Windsor and the Secret trip to Helmand Province

Prince Harry uses his red hair to single-handedly defeat the Taliban. Or something.

By now you all know that Buckingham Palace’s resident ginger Prince Harry spent a few months in Afghanistan fighting with the British army. Red and I are both big anglophiles (which I’m sure makes my Irish ancestors roll in their graves, but what can you do?) so even though it's a bit behind the times, we had to give it a mention. Here are a few follow up links for those of you still interested:

Prince Harry talks about the experience.

The Associated Press explains how in the hell the rabid British press kept the lid on this.

A US television host ruffles British feathers by calling Harry “expendable.”

While we may have been in the dark, apparently the Taliban knew all about Harry's presence in Afghanistan.

The father of a British soldier killed in Afghanistan thinks Harry's being used as propoganda.