Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Top 7: New TV Shows

Big week for TV last week. Here are the new shows I find most promising (in order from best to worst):

1. Bored to Death HBO - Jason Schwartzman stars as a recently dumped writer who decides to become a private detective. It co-stars Ted Danson and Zack Galifianakis and it's funny and quirky and dark and awesome. I'm not gonna lie. My adoration for this show may be mostly based on the fact that I want to have 10,000 of Jason Schwartzman's babies. And yes, I realize he's, like, 5'2".

2. FlashForward ABC - Imagine, if you will, the entire human race blacks out for 2+ minutes and flashes 6 months into the future. What do you do with that knowledge of the future? WHAT DO YOU DO?!?!?! This one looks pretty cool and Lost-ish. I do wonder how they'll continue this story beyone one season. Will everyone black out and flash forward again? That would be retarded.

3. Castle ABC - So it's not technically "new" as it debuted last season, but it's new to me (I started watching reruns this summer) so I'm including it. Nathan Fillion is maybe the best thing on TV. So hilarious and dreamy. For the fellas, Stana Katic isn't too shabby herself.

Look at his cute ginger daughter!!!

4. Glee Fox - I think it's getting better because it's getting more ridiculous. Though, they really need to kill of Jessalyn Gilsig ASAP.

5. Community NBC - I'm warming to this new comedy. I do really enjoy Joel McHale...and Trudy from Mad Men is adorable...and who doesn't enjoy some Chevy Chase...but I seriously don't buy the premise that Joel McHale would work so hard to persue that blond girl. She's just not that interesting. I'll give it half a season to improve.

6. Modern Family ABC - I really want to hate this show, but it made me LOL several times...even if most of those funny moments were in the trailer. (Are they still called trailers if they are for TV shows?) I love the dad who thinks he's super hip, though, and will keep watching. "WTF: Why The Face."

7. Eastwick ABC - Okay, I'm really not sure about this one, but the first episode was kind of fun, right? Like Desperate HouseWitches, no? (P.S. I never watched DH) And it has the crazy lady from the movie version and WWW's girlfriend Sara Rue, so that's something. They guy who plays the Devil is truly atrocious, though. How did any test audience not pan this guy into oblivion? You know what? I think I just talked myself out of ever watching this again. Thanks, me!

What the frak was I thinking?!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

DVR Dilemma

I need help. For the first time since it's use became widespread, I am sharing a DVR and I want, nay NEED, to establish some DVR Rules of Etiquette.

You see, my lovely roommate D and I have been living in TV harmony for most of the summer. There wasn't much to watch and what there was, like Rescue Me, I'd record, watch and delete, knowing she stopped watching Denis Leary bang everyone and their mother seasons ago. But now, NOW, there is so much on that we both watch and love, cleaning the DVR is becoming an issue (only for me, mind you, because I am neurotic and thisclose to obsessive-compulsive). I love watching a show and then immediately deleting it. I find this insanely therapeutic. I realize this is weird (I also love doing laundry and dishes. Like I said, I'm weird), but now I keep most of the shows on the DVR for D (we rarely watch things together as she has something called "A boyfriend" and "A life," both of which I'm seriously looking into acquiring). And it's not that I mind saving them for her. I don't at all, but I worry (seriously, this keeps me up at night) that we will both watch something, but leave it on the DVR thinking the other hasn't watched it yet, and then the DVR will fill up and I will freak out and next thing you know we've run out of space and never learn how Ted meets the freaking mother!!!

I realize this problem could easily be solved by what the kids call "talking about it," but I hate making TV so important it leads to a weekly conversation about clearing the DVR (yes, I realize the ridiculousness here. Shut up). I thought about making a list and having us each check off when we've watched things, but that seems truly ridiculous, too. So, I'm hoping you have some solutions for me, dear readers. How do you deal with clearing the DVR? Obviously, my fragile psyche needs your help.

There wasn't a logical, interesting image to go with this post, so here's a half-naked Jamie Bamber!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Go See This: Big Fan

Patton Oswalt’s a funny guy. So when he does a movie about a sad little man who’s life revolves around making comedically hyperbolic phone calls to a local sports talk radio show about his beloved New York Giants, you’d think it’d be hilarious right?

But Big Fan is not a comedy. Its funny, but the humor comes out of just how serious Oswalt’s character, Paul, takes himself and his nightly screeds. It’s about what its like to have your life completely and thoroughly revolve around a sports team; a sports team that doesn’t know you exist, but which you wouldn’t exist without.

It’s a great movie period, but if you’ve ever spent even five minutes listening to sports talk radio, you’ll wonder why it took this long for someone to make this movie in the first place.

Paul is in his mid to late 30s, works in a parking garage and lives with his mother, but on the late night sports airwaves, he is an artist. He spends his time at work writing opuses about how the Giants are amazing, and the Philadelphia Eagles suck, and then reads them on the air at night, hoping listeners will think he’s coming up with it all off the cuff.

For a while, the movie just follows Paul around, showing how everyone is depressed about his life except him. It picks up speed when he and a friend have a chance encounter with Paul’s favorite player, and the encounter goes horribly wrong. Paul spends the rest of the film trying (and failing) to deal with the fallout.

Big Fan was written and directed by the guy who wrote The Wrestler, and it has some of the same tragic-comic overtones. I’d imagine Patton Oswalt will get some Oscar buzz for his performance, but I’d shocked if he wins. Not because his performance is bad – on the contrary, it’s amazing. But it’s amazing because it’s so real. There’s not a whole lot of the “ActING!” that the Academy likes to honor. Paul is just a schlub who gets all his self-worth from a football team he can’t even afford to see live.
Does he take it to extreme levels? Sure. But I think anyone’s who’s ever worn a team jersey or hat well into adulthood can sympathize, if only just a little.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Guinness!

Today is a very special day for connoiseurs of fine beer. It marks the 250th anniversary of Guinness stout!

OK, this date is a little arbitrary - The Guinness brewery at St. James Gate in Dublin was leased to the company on Dec. 31, 1759, and Arthur Guinness had been making his special brew for a few years before that. But today is Arthur Guinness' birthday, and since Dec. 31 is kind of already taken as a holiday, the Guinness company decided to make today, Sept. 24, "Arthur's Day."

As the first beer I ever finished a glass of, and my reigning favorite, Guinness holds a special place in my heart. To mark this occasion, I'll be going out to enjoy a pint (or two) of the black gold tonight. And in addition to that, I'll tell you all some fun facts about the beer, accompanied by some of its rad advertisements:

- Though people think of it as filling, Guinness contains only 198 calories per pint! That is less than most light beers, wine, orange juice, or even light milk!

- Legend has it that at some point in the 250 years they've been brewing Guinness, some health inspectors came in for a routine inspection. They found dead rats in some of the beer vats, and made the company clean them out. After this though, the Guinness didn't taste as good. So (again, according to legend) to this day, they throw meat into the vats while brewing Guinness to bring back the distinct flavor. What kind of meat, the legend doesn't say.

- According to a study at the University of Wisconis, a pint of Guinness a day works as well as an aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks.

- Some people say you can determine a person's nationality by counting the rings of foam left on their glass after they've had a pint of Guinness. An Irishman will have 3 or 4 rings, an American will have 6 or 7, and Australians don't have any.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Boss!

Well licky, licky, look who's 60!

Bruce Springsteen is celebrating the big six-O today, and we here at The Watchword wish him the happiest of birthdays. True story: My dad once helped Bruce and the E Street Band set up for a gig in Boston before he was famous! (Before Bruce was famous, I mean. My dad is still waiting for someone to discover him at the soda fountain).

As all our faithful readers know, Red is the real Bruce fan at this site, and she took a break from filming Girls Gone Wild: The Lower Ninth Ward! to send in this tribute:

"The Boss is the primary reason I fell for two fellas, neither of whom turned out to be any good for me."

Thanks for sharing, dollface.

Honestly though, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Red for showing me just how brilliant Bruce actually is. Until she came into my life, I mostly knew him as the "Glory Days" guy. And don't just take my word for it, ask Cusack:

Here's to many more, Boss!

Rank: Quentin Tarantino*

*[You might want to check out the Writer's Note at the end of this before reading]

I finally saw Inglorious Basterds over the weekend. Like Coen Brothers movies, whenever I see a new Quentin Tarantino film, I have a compulsive need to compare it to his others. With apologies to Grindhouse (because I didn’t see it), here’s how I would rank Tarantino's movies:

5. Jackie Brown – Chronically underrated. Even though I’m putting it at #5, this is still an awesome movie. It should have done to Pam Greer’s career what Pulp Fiction did for Travolta.

4. Inglorious Basterds – I really enjoyed this movie, but my worst fears came true: A summer full of people telling me it’s the MOVIE OF THE YEAR!!!! set the bar too high, and I couldn’t help but nitpick it a little. I’d like to see it again, a second viewing may bump it into third place, ahead of ….

3. Reservoir Dogs – The movie that taught the world how - with good writing and the right soundtrack - extreme violence could be transformed into high art. In other words, the movie that introduced the world to Tarantino.

2. Kill Bill Vols. I & II – I count these movies as one film, as they were originally intended to be. Alone, they are decent, though certainly lower on the list. Together, I think they’re something akin to a masterpiece. I know not a lot of people disagree with me. Those people should get their wrongness looked at.

1. Pulp Fiction – Still the gold standard. Who would have thought Rashomon and 1970s kitsch could mash up so well? Infinitely re-watchable and quotable, I’m not sure Tarantino will ever out-do Pulp Fiction. And he doesn’t need to.

What do you guys think?

* Writer's Note: So, I just realized Red did a really similar post to this like, a month ago. (And when I say "really similar," I mean basically the same thing. (Well, not exactly the same, because she included films he just wrote, and her order was different. But still)). I wish I could use the, "Hey, I don't read this blog," excuse, but I can't, because I do. I apologize for the redundancy, and I hope we can all still be friends. Red will be back to protect me from myself next week.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Top Five: Emmy Awards

The Emmys were last night. Regularly we would have had like four preview posts, breaking down matchups and making picks, but this year we didn’t. I don’t know why, we just didn’t, OK?!?! Is that ALL RIGHT with you??

Ahem … But since GitW is legally obligated (look it up) to at least mention every awards show, here are my Top 5 favorite moments from last night’s broadcast:

1) Neal Patrick Harris as host.
That nice young man from Doogie Howser, MD is so charming. Seriously, I thought NPH was a great host. I couldn’t think of one specific moment, but overall he was funny and quick and all that good stuff. I especially liked how he introduced presenters by their least known roles.

2) Kristin Chenoweth’s acceptance speech.
Chenoweth won for Pushing Daisies, which was of course cancelled last year. Her speech was like a parody of a weepy actress acceptance speech, with a lot of blubbering and hand fanning, but I had to laugh when she said, “I’m unemployed now, so I’d like to be on Mad Men. I also like The Office and 24.”

3) Sarah Silverman’s mustache.
When they were showing all the nominees for Best Comedy Actress, Silverman was randomly wearing a mustache. Maybe you had to be there, but it was odd and screwball and perfect.

4) Dr. Horrible!
If you guys haven’t seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog yet, type the typey over to Hulu and check it out. They managed to work it into the Emmy broadcast, y fue fantisco.

5) Michael Emerson!!! Michael Emerson has been taking Lost to another level since he joined the cast in the second season. I know he won an Emmy a few years back as a guest star, but come one, everyone knows the Guest Star Emmy is for losers*. Winning for Best Supporting Actor is the real deal. If only my DVR didn’t cut out before his speech.
* No one actually says this

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shaken or stirred?

Lora is out of town for a whole week, so in my attempt to fill the void, I asked myself, “What would Lora do?” The answer, obviously, is write about Mad Men.

We’re roughly halfway through season 3, and I still think it’s the best thing on TV, but while avoiding work and reading message boards lately, I’ve discovered that a lot of people out there aren’t digging the denizens of Sterling Cooper this year. People are complaining that the show is moving too slowly, there’s not enough action, nothing’s really happening, etc., etc.

I don’t want to use the snob argument that some people just aren’t smart enough to appreciate the nuance and all that, because I don’t think that’s true. I’m more surprised at this reaction because I don’t think the show is moving any slower or subtler than either of the previous seasons. Things have happened – Betty had another baby, the grandfather moved in and then died, Don found out Sal is gay – and those things have happened in the same understated way as every other event on the show. Plus, viewers in 2009 know this entire season is taking place in the looming shadow of the Kennedy assassination. Dramatic irony a-go-go!

I agree that a few characters have been sadly underused so far (especially Joan), but the show is taking that time to further develop others. I actually kind of wonder if a lot of people got into the show on DVD and now, seeing it spaced out week to week, with commercial breaks, makes it feel slower.

What do you guys think? Still love Mad Men? Can’t stand this season? Never liked it to begin with and wish we’d stop writing about it? Explain your stance in the comments section, and don’t forget to show your work!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Umm ... OMFG!!!!!

I just always picture you guys together.

Where have I been that I didn't hear Pavement is getting back together?!?!?! (Oh right, in Massachusetts for a wedding and then busy playing catch-up at work). Still no excuse! Apparently the seminal late '90s indie rock band is getting back together for a show in New York next year and then a subsequent tour. Someone please lend me $500 and important standing in society so I can into one of these shows!!

Top 5: Tonight's Season Premieres

It's the most wonderful time of year...when my favorite TV shows return with new episodes. Tonight is a big night so let's break it down, Cajun Style*:

1. The Office - When we last saw the gang, Michael was mourning the loss of Holly and Pam was preggers. All that is sure to play out nicely over the season. I even heard rumors that Andy may explore his sexuality. I mean, c'mon. Dating Angela would turn Chuck Norris gay!

2. Survivor: Samoa - Every season, I make fun of myself for still watching this show, but I'm not gonna do that this time. I still watch because I watch with a bunch of's about community building, people!!! Speaking of communities...

3. Community - The newest addition to "Comedy Night Done Right" stars Joel McHale and Chevy Chase. Need I say more?

4. Parks and Recreation - People criticized this show last year for being "not funny," but I like it. Of course, that's mainly because I have uber-crushes on Aziz Ansari and Paul Schneider.

5. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - I've tried to get into this show, like, 5 times now. The season finale last year was pretty funny and the ads for this new season make me cry with laughter, so I'm optimistic. Sixth time's a charm, right?

*This is not only a totally awesome 30 Rock reference (which, sadly, does not return tonight), but also serves to inform you I am off to New Orleans for a week tomorrow! Email me if you want a postcard!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Now that's mildly entertaining!

Listen, I don’t like reality TV and it doesn’t like me. It’s here to stay though, so my strategy is to just find a series or two that doesn’t make me want to claw my eyes out.

I’ve found a few (Red’s burning, creepy passion for Anthony Bourdain is actually kind of justified; I find myself getting sucked into a lot of “Deadliest Catch” marathons; “The Mole” was great for personal reasons). But I realized last night that someone has found – in my opinion - the ideal format for a reality TV show. Bizarrely enough, that someone is Shaquille O’Neal.

The gargantuan baller starred on a show called “Shaq Vs.” this summer, about which I am alerting you a little late, since it had its finale last night. You can probably catch it online though. The show involves Shaq learning different sports, and then playing them, in minorly rigged fashion, against some of the best athletes in the games. It’s pretty simple and straightforward, and therein lays the genius: it’s like settling the never-ending bear vs. shark debate, in tidy little half-hour packages.

I never thought much of Shaq as a performer to be honest. My boyfriend has a huge man-crush on him and thinks he’s hilarious, but I never really got it. To me, Shaq’s husky monotone voice makes him sound about as smart as a bag of hammers, and I had a sneaking suspicion that if he wasn’t 7’1’’, he wouldn’t be much of an athlete.

As happens once in a blue moon, I was wrong. Shaq is actually an oddly entertaining host, and though he never beat any of the pro-athletes he faced, he never really embarrassed himself either. After only a few weeks of training, he held up surprisingly well against the likes of Oscar de la Hoya and Michael Phelps.

The two things about “Shaq Vs.” that - to me - made it better than your average “Bachelorette” were: (1) It had big name stars, and (2) every episode is short and sweet.

This wasn’t a show full of d-list celebrities and wanna-be d-list celebrities. Shaq squared off against reigning Super Bowl champ Ben Roethlisberger in football, probable 2009 MVP Albert Pujols in baseball, and the aforementioned world champions De la Hoya and Phelps. And at a half-hour long, each episode had just enough time to show Shaq learning a new sport, and playing it against star athletes. There was no time for the usual contrived melodrama that is the most annoying part of reality shows.

Does this mean I’m running out to buy an “O’Neal” Cavaliers jersey, or starting a letter writing campaign to make more episodes? No. All it means is more television producers should take a look at how silly, disposable TV should be done. If I want compelling, stimulating, intelligent stories, I’ll stick to scripted goodness like Mad Men. But when I want something to zone out to while ironing, I’d like fewer housewives of various counties, and more great athletes in ridiculous Speedos.

I read that Shaq actually stole this idea from Steve Nash. Maybe they could do an encore episode in which they play a game of HORSE to settle things? That’s the kind of thing that’s worth half-watching while doing chores around the house.

This (mostly) Just In...

Eddie Izzard runs 43 Marathons in 51 Days - In news that makes my hour long walks look downright ridiculous, everyone's favorite cross-dressing comedian ran over a thousand miles through the UK in the past month and a half. Someone's seen Forrest Gump a few too many times.

Harry Potter Theme Park to Open in 2010
- Liz, we need to book tickets in Orlando immediately!

Some Awesome Tumblrs You Should Check Out Immediately -

Guinness Turns 250 - Here's to you, you glorious beverage. And here's to many more years spent enjoying each other.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Win!

The lovely BeckEye over at The Pop Eye has monthly caption contests which I always avoid participating in because I kind of suck at making up hilarious captions to funny photos of celebutards. But this month is different, friends. I was inspired by Paris Hilton and a camel and came up with the funniest caption you've ever read!!! And I won the contest!!! My reward? I get to be "Firecrotch of the Month" which is fitting because, well, I'm sure you can figure out why.

Anyway, here's the lovely badge I will display with pride for the entire month.

Maybe this is just the start of greatness. Maybe I am on my way to being named Firecrotch of the Year!!! (yes, I realize I am obsessed with 3 exclamation points. I think it's funny for some inexplicable reason). I promise to not be so arrogant and self promoting next week. Maybe. Probably. I really can't make any promises.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Liz and Red on the Obama Speech

Don't worry. This is not really political. It's just the exchange Liz and I had at the start of the Obama Heath Care speech, posted here (a la The G-Chat Diaries) for your enjoyment (because we are so hilarious):

5:05pm PST

Liz: Obama's on the television talking about health care, if you want to watch.
Red: And stop watching Greek?!?! Okaaay
Liz: Nevermind
Red: I'm kidding!
Liz: I know :) I have to watch it for work. You seemed to have some interest in this issue, so I'm just giving you a heads up.
Red: No, I appreciate it. Thanks
Liz: And because you love Barack Obama and want to have 10,000 of his babies
Red: Well who doesn't?
Liz: Good point
Red: Did it not start yet?
Liz: He hasn't started talking. All these congress people are shaking hands and pretending they don't hate each other. These things never start on time. Am I huge nerd for knowing that?
Red: Pretty much.
Okay. I'm watching now. Charlie Gibson, what!
Liz: We have Katie Couric on our TV.
Red: Why is Newsome there?
Liz: He is? I don't know. He probably has lobbyists or party elders to meet with.
Red: He's starting to bug me!!!
Liz: I haven't seen enough of him to bug me yet. I'm sure he will by the time the election comes around :)
Red: Oooh. Michelle looks pretty!
Liz: Not crazy about Michelle's shirt, maybe I have to see the whole thing. Can you give us a pan back, CBS?
Red: I love the color
Liz: The color's nice. I'm not big on pleats and bow ties though
Red: Right. Agreed. She's still so pretty. I think I want to have her babies.
Liz: I do have a total girl crush on her.
Is it just my TV or does Barry look orange?
Red: He does have a lot of makeup on.

5:20ish PST

Red: Good one!!!
Liz: I missed it! We were making Town Hall meeting jokes!
Red: He said "I'm not the first president to take up the cause of health care, but I'm determined to be the last." [Boom. Roasted!]
Liz: nice

5:40ish PST
Red: I bet Michelle's outfit is super cute without that coat.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This (mostly) Just In...

Alexander Skarsgard and Evan Rachel Wood Dating - Dude, Evan Rachel Wood gets around! Yet another romance born on the set of True Blood. At least they're both vampires...or something. (For the record, this does not make me totally jealous. Really. It doesn' all. *sniff*)

A Day Without Cats - Today on the interwebs, 40 sites have decided to refrain from posting pictures and videos of cats being adorable (I Can Has Cheezburger is not among them, obvs). Why? Why would the world want to be so cruel?! I mean, I get a Day Without Megan Fox, but cute pictures of kittehs gets me through the day!!!

Why would anyone want to me deny this kitty?!?!?!?

Glee Returns Tonight - After geeking out before the initial "premiere" and kind of being the slightest bit disappointed, I'm moderately excited for the series to begin for reals. Even if the show itself continues to be on the "Meh+" side, the tracklisting for the show's soundtrack looks ah-mazing!

Three Things I Never Want to Hear About Again - The Gosselin's (DIE), the Obama school speech (not to get too political, but conservatives are retarded), Tila Tequila and Shawne Merriman.

Raves: Sept. 2009 (Bumbershoot edition)

I spent most of my Labor Day weekend in Seattle at Bumbershoot, a music, comedy and art festival. Even though I had to leave early, causing me to miss some of the biggest and best bands, I still had a wonderful time, and want to share with you some of the things I enjoyed the most, so that you might in turn enjoy them as well. Onward!

Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head: The band with the most bizarre (idiotic?) name ended up being one of my favs of the festival. The members look like they’re about 17 years old, and their music was best described by my friend Ben as “thrift store glam.” They put on a very energetic show that involved throwing blowup pool toys into the audience. Worth checking out fo sho.

Elvis Perkins in Dearland: The polar opposite of NPSH, Elvis Perkins and his band play a kind of freaky gypsy folk that took me a few songs to get into, but once I did … good times.

The Improvised Shakespeare Company: The name is pretty self explanatory – these dudes get up, take a suggestion for a name of a play from the audience, and act it out in Shakespearean language and themes, all improv. Could be really bad, but it wasn’t. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. (Of course, anything with a reoccurring line like, “I am riddled with syphilis” is bound to make me smile. Its just the kind of girl I am). These guys are based in Chicago, but apparently travel. Try and see them if you ever can.

My Rain Boots: The weather ended up holding up fairly well. It was supposed to downpour all weekend, and instead we saw scattered showers. But that didn’t stop me from wearing my kickass new rain boots that going to Seattle finally gave me an excuse to buy! I must say, I looked pretty hot in them.

Katy Perry: I know! “I Kissed a Girl” is still a fame-grab gimmick, and most of her other songs are generic power pop, but Katy Perry is still a hell of an entertainer. When she covered Queen’s “Don’t Stop me Now,” during her set, I had to tip my cap and acknowledge I was having a surprisingly good time. Plus, great gams.

There was tons of other cool stuff at Bumbershoot as well. Like I said, most of the bands I really wanted to see played late Sunday or Monday, after I left, but it was still an awesome time. I’m going to try to go back next year, so if you’ve ever wanted to go to Seattle and meet me, think about it!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Necessary Roughness

The sports world is in a tizzy today because a player for the University of Oregon* football team punched a player from Boise State after a game last night. Everyone's calling for the head of LaGarrette (great name) Blount, because he socked Bryan Hout in the jaw after what had reportedly been a very frustrating game for the Ducks.

But take a look at the video:

Doesn't Hout - who clearly says something to Blount before the incident - look like the most obnoxious d-bag you've ever seen? That smirk! That is the smirk of every jock who ever who ever tripped someone in the cafeteria or made fart noises during other people's presentations. That is a Cobra Kai smirk, a Hawk smirk. I don't generally condone violence, but that smirk was asking for it.

(Sorry for the poor video quality. This one had the best view of "the smirk").

* The original post said Oregon State. I have since been informed it was the University of Oregon. Sorry, I don't know the colleges of Oregon as well as I should.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I know, I know, there are sober kids in India. But still ...

I am not an alcoholic. Honestly.

I don’t drink on the job, I can go days without drinking, I don’t hide drinks around the house, and I am capable of having one or two beers and then stopping. (I just usually choose not to).

But lately, I’m thinking of cutting back. The older I get, I find that I’m more susceptible to dehydration and hangovers. I think beer and wine are the reason I spend so damn much on groceries and going out every month. And I have a sneaking suspicion that beer – coupled with my crippling laziness – is the reason I’ve gone up several jean sizes in the last 5 or 6 years.

So I think its time to slow down. But here’s the problem: While I’m not an alcoholic, I do have an embarrassingly low will power. I see other people drinking and having fun, and I instantly want to join in. I can’t even watch The Sopranos without wanting a glass of wine, nevermind go out with my friends and stick to water. The two times I have successfully made it through a night at a bar without drinking, my trivia team won and I couldn’t turn down the free beer we got in the end.

Here, dear readers, is why I’m telling you this: I need some advice. If you’ve ever quit, or substantially cut back, on something that was really difficult and part of your lifestyle (smoking, watching TV, using a telescope to spy on your poorly curtained, frequently naked neighbors) how did you go about that? Is cold turkey best, or should one ween themselves off of their vice? Did your life improve, or do you regret your decision because we’re all going to die anyway and no one says on their deathbed that they wish they spent less time spying on their neighbors?

I need help people. They say it’s the first step.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Top 5: Characters I Most Relate To

Last week on Mad Men, Peggy had a moment that hit me like "Whoa. I have so done that!" So, naturally, I decided to collect other such moments and post them. This proved to be damn near impossible, so instead, here are the top 5 characters that are so like me at times, it freaks me out:

The aforementioned Peggy Olsen from Mad Men - As much as I love and wish I were like Joan, I really relate most often to Peggy (she had that amazing line in the Season 2 finale that still kills me). While not as career driven as Pegs, her single gal, imitating Ann-Margaret in the mirror and kickin' it with the boys act is totally my scene. Plus, I, too, would probably fall for Pete Campbell because I am just that retarded when it comes to men.

Norah from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist -Norah (played by Kat!) is goofy and awkward and a dreamer and responsible and cool and dorky and, again, willing to settle for crappy guys who simply take notice. I like to think I "was" Norah in high school, but I'm pretty much still like her today...except I don't punch people in the throat (though not from lack of desire, mind you).

Liz Lemon from 30 Rock - Liz said to me recently "We decided last night that you are Liz Lemon, except not that pathetic parts." I had to disagree, as I think I am MOST like Lemon in her pathetic parts, but it was one of the best compliments I'd ever received. If anyone needs me, I'll be in my slanket working as hard as I play.

Charlotte from Lost In Translation - I know a lot of people find this movie incredibly dull and pointless, but it's one of my all time faves. I like the loneliness. Also, it reminds me of when I was married (yes, I was married...there's some "mixing in more about ourselves" business you are all clamoring for), making fun of stupid people and my spouse thinking I was a jerk for doing so. Stupid know-nothing spouses.

Angela Chase from My So-Called Life - I never had a hot boyfriend like Jordan Catalano or a nerdy neighbor like Brian Krakow or parents like Graham and Patty. I did have friends like Rayanne Graff and Sharon Cherski, but, in hindsight, I my life wasn't much like Angela's at all. That didn't stop me from identifying with it like hell. However, rewatching the series now, I see more clearly the follies of youth (kinda like when I re-read Catcher in the Rye in college and realized Holden Caufield was immature and not the all knowing truth proclaimer I'd thought him to be in high school). I guess this, as the shitty band says, is growing up.

Your characters who hit close to home in the comments, por favor...

I'm Peggy Olsen and I want to smoke marijuana