Tuesday, July 07, 2015

BAD REVIEWS CAN BE FUN!



Although I've written a few of my own bad reviews on this very blog, I've never gone to a site like Yelp and ripped a business or its employees for sucking. Not that I've never experienced poor customer service, because--duh--of course I have. Everyone has. But I've never been sufficiently pissed off (or impressed) enough to actually go and set up a profile on a business review site just to voice my opinions about a restaurant or a shop or a library or whatever. 

That said, I've come across some online reviews that are pretty damn funny. The best ones, naturally, are the ones that aren't meant to be funny, written by people who are all puffed up with self-righteous indignation because the Applebee's waitress screwed up their order and there was fucking cheese on their chili cheese fries when they specifically told her NO CHEESE ("and I'm lactose intolerant, goddammit! I was on the toilet for five hours!") and they've included a lot of !!!1! and typos and misspelled words to help illustrate their point. You know. Those kind of reviews. They're a hoot. 

I was searching online, trying to remember the location of a post office that's close-ish to our house, when I ran across some amusing Google reviews. 

Yes, Google reviews. For a post office. 

Um...okay?

There were eight reviews listed, all of them dismal, and the star of these reviews was a mysterious, cranky postal worker named David.* Here's what some of the reviewers had to say (typos and misspellings left in for comic effect. My thoughts are in blue):
Truly the worse experience at any post office ever. David was rude, arrogant, unkind and unwilling to fix the situation. He would not even give me my mail back until I had to demand it back. Absolutely terrible customer service skills.
Wow. How bad to you have to be to provide the "worse experience at any post office ever"? I'm not even being facetious. I mean, that's bad. And are we to believe that this David dude got pissy and snatched her mail away from her, holding it hostage like a giant toddler? Did he also threaten to hold his breath until his face turned blue? That's....pretty funny. And entertaining for the other customers, I would think. 

"There is a USPS employee that is unbearable. His name is David. I've personally called customer service to leave a few complaints about his services. I'm European, and I don't know if he has something against my country but he doesn't treat me well. He won't accept my packages, or he'll try to charge me double to send them. I've to leave the office and go to the one in downtown, where I don't have any problem sending the packages regular rate. And last time he lied to me and told me that the rules had changed and prices were different. I called to confirm and USPS told me, after being on the line 56 minutes that prices haven't changed at all and I was in my right to send flat rate my package without any problems. Share your comments, maybe this man needs to change jobs." 
Well, I've encountered some annoying Europeans in my day. Americans don't have the monopoly on obnoxious public behavior. It just seems like we do. Maybe she was giving David some European-y attitude and he wasn't having it. Still though, sounds like old Dave might have some issues. 

Then it gets weirder. This reviewer seems to have studied writing at the James Frey school of Random capitalization. He also apparently composed the following while in the midst of a stroke. Either that, or he types with his feet:
The Business I own, with the hard work of our employees is all about provided the finest products and services via utilizing and implementing the best products we can find. GIGO, as the phrase goes. Here at Trik Production Company we Adobe Mater Suite design tools, Google for our Search engine AdWare and analytics, and old Microsoft for enterprise Organization. We make great e-Brand solutions because we pay good dollars for Top Tier Vendors, and most of all for tier 1 talent. This is the Point. You have bad USPS here with some looser named David that apparently didn't get a Pony when he was six. Now, do the right thing; Set David free to wander the landscape and find his Pony for Christ Sake. We have work to do. FYI, we are going to UPS down the...
And then he just trails off! Dude, don't leave us hanging! What the hell happened? Did David follow this guy home, sneak up behind him while he was writing this review, and pop a cap in his ass, Tupac style? If so, I'm sure David took umbrage with the notion that he was disgruntled because he never got his "Pony" when he was six. I have to say though, the image of a pissed off postal worker wandering the Nevada desert "landscape" in his little cap and postal worker shorts is sorta funny. Dumb, but funny.
I've saved my favorite review for last. This one proves that the best statements are often simple, short, and concise. No need for a gratuitous plug of your Trik Production Company. No call to show off your fancy European book-learnin.' Waste of time.

This review is from a person named Xisadz (?) who uses an anime character for an avatar. It sums up everyone's feelings in just five words:
I hate that bastard David.
Brilliant, Xisadz. You win. 

* "David? That's a Biblical name. What does he call you, Bathsheba?" (I never get tired of that line. It's from Annie Hall, my favorite movie ever.)

Aw, an old boyfriend of mine had this t-shirt back in the 90's.
Ironically, he had the patience of a saint.



     


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Killers + Dave
Two great tastes that taste great together. 
Plus this song is SO AWESOME performed live it will blow off the back of your head. 

Monday, June 01, 2015


Dad's second grade class photo.
Centralia, Illinois
Happy Birthday Dad

My father would have been 84 years old today. I thought I'd post a few of my favorite photos of him throughout the month. 


Dad's 40th birthday.
I was born two years later. :-)


Mom and Dad's wedding, June 1st, 1971 (on his 40th bday, see above)
They got married at a park at midnight--my Mom's idea--in Tulsa.
A friend officiated. 
Me and Dad. He's making sure I don't eat the dandelion.

Dad's birthday, a few years later (me in the background--maybe about 8 years old?)
I love this photo. And I miss our yellow 1970s kitchen.


Dad and me, crashed out in his favorite armchair.
Hanging out on the banks of Lake Michigan.
Shortly after Dad moved to Sheboygan, WI (post-divorce) to work for Kohler.

More photos to come this month. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mad Men tribute: 
"The Times of Your Life" 


Oh my God, that video. The "Nostalgia" teaser trailer was wrenching enough, but this? With the shot of Betty standing in the hospital window, holding baby Gene and waving down at Don, Sally and Bobby? And the shot of Burt Cooper standing in his office, bidding Don goodbye as the door symbolically closes on him? Christ, break out the Kleenex. 

Anyhoo, in less than an hour, the Mad Men series finale premieres (Reno is in PDT time zone, which I still can't get used to). I'm being a huge nerd about this, but I can't help it. I am obsessed with Mad Men and I don't even want to think about tomorrow, when it will be all over. Seriously, how will I deal? Will I resort to desperate measures, like combing the interwebs for for Mad Men fanfic in an attempt to fill the gaping void? 

I could try to find another show that captures my interest, but I already know it's going to be like jumping back into the dating pool when you're still agonizing over your last relationship. There's no other show I can see myself committing to. I have no interest in Turn, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, True Detective, and every other sort of complex "edgy" drama series that's out right now. I am somewhat intrigued by Halt and Catch Fire, but I feel like the commercials are trying way too hard to court the Mad Men audience, with the quick-cut clips of power drunk computer geeks behaving badly. 

I wish I had a bottle of Jameson--shout-out to my Dad, retired Irish adman--so I could "pour one out" as a tribute. 



     


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rescued From Obscurity:
"Can't Wait One Minute More" by CIV

Trashy talk shows were sort of the reality shows of the 1990's, in that they were ubiquitous and everyone and their mother bitched about how awful and staged they were and how stupid the whole phenomenon was, and yet...they were inexplicably popular.








The low point came sometime mid-decade, when some asshole TV producer--undoubtedly in the middle of a serious drug bender--dropped his crack pipe, slapped his forehead, and said "Hey, I know! Let's give EVERYONE a talk show!" Then he looked down at the intern he was riding and said, "Hey you, get me the phone numbers of every C-list actor who ever cut a fart on primetime TV. Start with Vanessa from Cosby, that red-headed sex offender from The Partridge Family, the chick who played the 40-year-old teenager on 90210, and just keep going from there. Damn, this is genius!"

Anyhoo, in 1995 (around the height of the talk show boom) NYC hardcore punk band CIV had a very minor hit with "Can't Wait One Minute More." It's a fun song, and the video is a great satire of the talk show format, with lead singer Anthony Civarelli playing the snarky "host," hopping through the audience members as they jeer at the parade of talk show guest staples: the requisite teen gang bangers, the gay love triangle, the trailer park couple, the male strippers, and even some Elvis impersonators.



Besides the CIV video, there was one other good thing that came out of the '90s crap talk show zeitgeist, and that was Night Stand with Dick Dietrick, a little-known talk show parody that aired at some absurd time like 2:00 am on Monday mornings and is probably only remembered by insomniacs like me. Dick Dietrick (played by comedian Timothy Stack) was a clueless Alan Partridge-type host who was forever shit-talking his "rival," Jerry Springer. Night Stand nailed every one of the sleazy talk show stereotypes: the faux-sympathetic host, the homophobic audience members, the delusional guests, the hilariously lurid topics (I remember one episode titled "Homicide in a Double Wide"). It was awesome.



Thank God for YouTube, ya know?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Definitely SFW

My new favorite site is This Is Not Porn. True to the name, it's not porn; it's a huge collection of candid snapshots of stars on movie sets, at parties, backstage at concerts, hanging out at home, etc. Even cooler, TINP is searchable and covers a wide range of people and eras. You can see stuff like Rita Hayworth goofing off with Orson Welles in the '40s, River Phoenix eating a soy omelet with his brother in the '80s, shots of Freddie Mercury cuddling with his many cats in the '70s and much much more. A sampling of the awesomeness available:

Skatetown, USA!
A candid shot from the set of Skatetown USA, a 1979 roller disco flick that I can't believe I've never seen, given my obsession with cheesy cinema. I mean seriously, look at that cast! I spy Johnny Castle, Chachi, Marcia Brady, Arnold Horshack and crap teen movie hunk Greg Bradford. With all due respect to Patrick Swayze, that is an absolute B-movie dream team if I've ever seen one.


Unsurprisingly, there was a fair bit of good old fashioned '70s debauchery going on behind the scenes of this flick. Years later, Maureen McCormick confirmed in an interview that she was driving that train, high on cocaine during the entire shoot (as was pretty much everyone else involved). That little bit of trivia makes me grateful that cell phone cameras, internets and TMZ weren't around back then, because photos of Marcia Brady bent over a table doing rails of coke would have killed my entire childhood.  

Harrison on Hanover


Speaking of B-movies, here is a shot of Harrison Ford on the set of Hanover Street, a little known screen gem that I unashamedly adore. Set in England during WWII, Harrison plays an American pilot who has a torrid affair with a married English nurse played by Lesley Anne Down. Basically, it's a movie-length Harlequin romance novel complete with cringe-worthy dialogue and modest, PG-rated love scenes. I first came across this flick on cable when I was in middle school, and of course I thought it was the most romantic story in the history of ever. I should mention that my discovery of Hanover Street coincided with a massive pre-pubescent crush on Harrison Ford, along with the realization that I kinda dug men in uniform. Seriously, I need to hunt down this movie again. 

Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr. 


These two! You gotta admit, they made a seriously adorable couple. I am loving SJP's bracelets and curls and RDJ's fly threads and Elvis Costello specs. If the 1980's were a prom, I'd crown them King and Queen. And then they could have their slow dance to "Save A Prayer," because it isn't the '80s without Duran Duran. 

Matthew Broderick and Jon Cryer


Speaking of cute, here's Ferris Bueller and Duckie Dale in 1986, looking straight out of the pages of Teen Beat magazine. It's really too bad that the younger generation only knows Jon Cryer as the nebbish-y dork from Two and a Half Men, especially considering how dreamy he used to be. Yes kids, once upon a time, the Duckman had it goin' on. 

The Outsiders set, Tulsa, 1982


Because of my ties to Tulsa and S.E. Hinton and the novel, I have a deep love for The Outsiders. The southside socs, the northside greasers, Robert Frost, "Stay Gold," this amazing cast, just everything. Trivia: two of my Tulsa relatives were background extras in the drive-in scene.  


Seriously, check out This is not porn. It is pure awesome. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

YOU MAD, BRO?

Wow, they really know how to milk it, don't they? First they halve season 7--the usual 14 episodes--just to stretch the last season over two years. And then these trailers. Using "Love Hangover" by Diana Ross is a stroke of genius. Was that Don's idea?



I will officially go into mourning after the series finale. This show has meant so much to me over the years. That said, this last-last season better be EPIC, because part 1 of season 7 was sort of a let-down.

I admit, I got choked up over these clips....



Premieres Sunday, April 5th. Not that I'm counting the days or anything.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

"As far as I can tell, a massive electric shock. 
He died instantly." 

For explanation of post title, see 1:59 of the second YouTube clip

On the night of November 22, 1987, two Chicago television stations--WGN and local PBS affiliate WTTW--were hacked by an unknown party who managed to override the TV signals and break in with two separate pre-recorded segments that became officially known as "The Max Headroom Broadcast Signal Intrusion."

Here's a synopsis of the WGN hack (from wikipedia):

The first occurrence of the signal intrusion took place during then-independent station WGN-TV (channel 9)'s live telecast of its primetime newscast, The Nine O'Clock News (now known as WGN News at Nine). During Chicago Bears highlights in the sports report, the screen went black for 15 seconds, then returned with a person wearing a Max Headroom mask,[1] moving around and jumping. His head was in front of a sheet of moving corrugated metal, which imitated the background effect used in the Max Headroom TV and movie appearances. There was no audio other than a buzzing noise. The hijack was stopped after engineers at WGN switched the frequency of their studio link to the John Hancock Center transmitter.[2]

The incident left sports anchor Dan Roan bemused, saying, "Well, if you're wondering what's happened, so am I."


Pt. 1 -- The brief interruption on WGN during the evening news


And then later that same night, during a showing of Doctor Who on the Chicago PBS station....
Doctor Who was interrupted by television static, to which an unidentified man appeared, mentioning about WTTW pundit, Chuck Swirsky, saying he is better than him. The man started to moan, scream and laugh. He continued to laugh and utter various random and unrelated phrases, including New Coke's advertising slogan "Catch the Wave" while holding a Pepsi can (Max Headroom was a Coca-Cola spokesperson at the time), then tossing the can down, leaning towards the camera and giving the finger wearing a rubber extension over his middle finger, although it was hard to see the gesture. He then retrieved the Pepsi can, and saying "Your love is fading", before removing the rubber extension, then began humming the theme song to Clutch Cargo* saying "I still see the X", which referred to the final episode of the series, before resuming humming again. He then began to moan painfully, exclaiming about his piles (a reference to a Preparation H commercial), to which an indistinguishable flatulence sound is heard. He then stated that he had "made a giant masterpiece for all the greatest world newspaper nerds" (the WGN call letters used by the Chicago television station as well as its sister radio station are an abbreviation for "World's Greatest Newspaper", in reference to the flagship newspaper of their corporate parent, the Tribune Company's Chicago Tribune). He then held up a glove and said, "My brother is wearing the other one," and he put the glove on, commenting that it was "dirty" and that "it's like you got blood stains on it!" He then threw the glove down in disgust.
The picture suddenly cut over to a shot of the man's lower torso. His buttocks were partly exposed, and he was holding the now-removed mask up to the camera (with the rubber extension now placed in the mouth of the mask), howling, "They're coming to get me!" He then said, "Come get me, bitch!" An unidentified accomplice wearing a French maid outfit** then started to spank the man with a flyswatter as he screamed loudly. The transmission then blacked out for a few seconds before resuming to Doctor Who in progress; the hijack lasted for about 90 seconds.[3]
a weird 1960's cartoon, popular with stoners
** actually it was a cowgirl/Annie Oakley costume



Pt. 2 -- The more famous one, a longer clip (the one with audio), 
aired in the middle of a Doctor Who episode

ALSO, some of the subtitles are inaccurate: "Max" didn't say "I stole CBS," 
he said "I still see the X" (Clutch Cargo reference) and at one point 
he says "My piles!" not "My files!"

As it happened, I remember the incident well. I was actually in Chicago at the time, visiting my Dad for Thanksgiving week. Although I grew up in Indianapolis full time, I spent most holidays and about a dozen weekends a year in the Windy City. My Dad worked for an advertising agency on Wacker Dr. (heh heh, "wacker"), from 1985 - 1991 and he lived in a high rise on Diversey Pkwy, across the street from Lincoln Park.

Dad's old digs. I love that neighborhood and make a point
to pay my respects whenever I pass through the city. 
I didn't see the clip when it originally aired that Sunday night, but I saw the aftermath. My Dad always had the news on during the evenings, so in the following days we got to experience all the brouhaha and the media reports over "the television piracy." 

Here's a compilation of clips covering the incident:


My favorite part of the above video comes in at the 4:00 mark, with the incensed Doctor Who fan moaning in a thick Chicago accent, "We're gonna have to tape ooooh-ver it." It's funny, you'd think of all people, Whovians would appreciate being the first to see something bizarre and unexpected coming over the airwaves, but I also see why they would have been pissed off. In 1987, you didn't have instant access to any television clip you wanted to watch. You weren't spoiled by things like On Demand and YouTube. Doctor Who was more of a cult thing back then--definitely not as mainstream as it is today--so if you wanted to see The Doctor you really were at the mercy of the local PBS affiliate (and your VCR, apparently). In fact, the main reason why the Max Headroom pirating was able to gain legendary status in the pre-internet days was most likely because of the fans who were taping the episode, inadvertently preserving an infamous bit of broadcast television trollery in the process.

It's not hard to see why the FCC was nervous; obviously the persons responsible for carrying out the signal intrusion knew what they were doing and had access to fairly sophisticated broadcast equipment. These weren't your garden variety pranksters; if they were able to shanghai a newscast and an episode of Dr. Who with footage of some guy dicking around with a rubber mask, a flyswatter and little PG-13 bare-assed S + M, who knows what else they were capable of? What if they broke into an episode of This Old House and subjected innocent DIY enthusiasts to full-on penetration porn? Or what if--God forbid--the bastards used their evil to sabotage Moonlighting?

Bur aside from the FCC and television news, I don't remember much panic among the general public. There was a lot of head-shaking and a general attitude of "those darn hooligans better watch out!" but there was none of the "Oh my God, they're terrorists!" reaction you might get if it occurred today.

There have been countless online articles and blog posts written about the incident, and the video clips have racked up millions of views on YouTube. Over twenty-five years later, the prevailing attitude reflected in the YouTube comments (and some of the internet think-pieces) seems to be one of "OMG this is so fucking creepy!" I don't disagree with that sentiment, but IMHO the first WGN clip featuring the random Max Headroom head bobbing around the screen with the background buzzing noise is 100% creepier than the second interruption. If the hackers had stuck with the first intrusion and then faded into the ether, I think I'd have been sufficiently freaked out for the rest of my life. But coming back two hours later and goofing off with a Pepsi can, complaining of hemorrhoids and getting spanked by a fly swatter sort of negates the creepy momentum they had going with that first appearance.

The other thing that strikes me about the news coverage of the signal intrusion is how sure everyone was that the "pirates" would be caught. The fact is, the hackers were never caught or identified, and that makes it even more intriguing. 

Amazingly, in 2010 a guy on reddit claimed to know the duo behind the hacking. He has no real proof, but he's got some amazing insights. If he is telling the truth about being peripherally involved in the hacking/phreaking community in Chicago at the time, I'm inclined to believe that the two brothers he talks about are the culprits, The most telling clue is his revelation that the brother with autism (the one in front of the camera) had a habit of saying "Oooooh," (instead of "um," for instance) during pauses in conversation, something that rubber mask Max Headroom does frequently throughout the broadcast.

I hope that they never fully uncover the real story behind the Headroom hack. In this day and age of internet hoaxes and blatantly scripted "reality" TV and beloved icons being outed as cheaters and sexual predators, it's kind of comforting to have this bit of mystery that's managed to survive the internet age. The MHBSI stands out as a whimsical, bizarre little puzzle that can be endlessly debated and analyzed, but never understood.

And I kinda dig that.


CATCH THE WAVE!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

JOT



So then there's this little bit of 1960's weirdness, a religious cartoon that they used to toss in among secular cartoons when I was a kid. The five-minute animated shorts centered around the adventures of a little white blob called "Jot." He'd do something evil like break a toy or not wash his hands before Sunday school and then some off-screen authority figure would make him answer for his sins and wrap it all up with a Bible verse at the end. There was also--weirdly enough--some very flower child psychedelia thrown in with his escapades, like in this short where he lies to his mother about stealing a cupcake and then has some sort of trippy freakout when his conscience gets the best of him. 


Due to his meltdown, Jot never gets around to eating the cupcake. Personally, I think it would have awesome if they had the little guy eat the cupcake and then start tripping balls. That would send a fun message: "Kids, don't steal sweets from authority figures because they'll put hallucinogens in the ingredients to catch you out, you thieving little bastards."



I'm pretty sure I hated Jot, probably because I resented having preachy morality lessons crammed in between secular weekday cartoons. It would have been one thing if they'd confined it to the Christian channel, but having to endure creepy religious crap when you just wanted to watch Caspar the Friendly Ghost really sucked.   

My most significant Jot-related memory was playing ping-pong with my friend Heather, age 8 or 9, in the basement of my neighbor's house (our elderly neighbors across the street regularly invited us kids in for snacks and games; if I remember correctly their grandchildren lived out of town, so us neighborhood urchins were sort of their grandkid surrogates). Heather and I would take turns slamming the ping pong ball across the table as hard as we could, pretending it was Jot the Biblical dot-goblin.

Well, what do you want? We didn't have violent video games back then. We had to use our imaginations. 

I'd still probably wear this t-shirt, though. For kitsch value.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

WIN PARIS!

From (Everything Is Terrible vlogger) ohmy70s because they are the awesomest....



Remember when Charlie Sheen's brain broke and he was all over 20/20 and Piers Morgan and whatnot babbling about his "goddesses" and "tiger blood DNA" and--of course--"WINNING"? I mean, he was/is clearly bonkers, but now that I've seen this I wonder if the "WINNING" thing came from a late night infomercial hallucination fever dream Chuck fell into after a 48-hour hooker/porn star/freebasing bender and was visited by an apparition of this Win Paris dude. 

Makes sense to me. 

Everything about this clip is so 1970's insane. The skin-tight jeans hiked up to the nipples. The orange tracksuit. That nightmare leisure suit. The fact that Win looks like a creepier version of Hugh Hefner with a bad bowl haircut. (Not to mention the Midday Movie "Son of Kong." WTF?)

I have vague memories of these '70s fitness/motivational gurus. There seemed to be a lot of them back then. They used to pop up on afternoon talk shows my mom would watch (Merv Griffin, Dinah, etc.). These odd little guys confused me, the way they bounced around the set, screaming at the camera and the studio audience. I'd be like, "What is that man so mad about?" And the king of them all was Richard Simmons, crying and shrieking and hugging all over the fat women.

I couldn't find an illustrative Richard Simmons clip from the '70s but I did find this gem. If you ever wanted see Richard Simmons molest a PM Magazine reporter and drop the f-bomb, well, you're welcome.

  
      

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sarah Failin'


Several years ago I had a dream where I ran into Sarah Palin in the salad bar area at Kowalski's (a Twin Cities supermarket chain). I've forgotten many of the details; I only recall pushing her grocery cart aside, putting my hands on her shoulders, staring her in the eye and demanding, "What is wrong with you? Really, I'm serious--what the hell is your problem?" I don't remember what answer she gave me, or if she said anything at all. 

I think I already knew the answer. It was clear then, it's crystal now: the woman is a gold-plated idiot. No complicated answer. No clinical diagnosis. That's really all there is to it. She's dumb as a bag of hammers. 

I wish a wolf would shoot her from a helicopter. That would rule. 

Sic her, boy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Finally!


Damn, those are brave actresses. I hate my profile (nose-acceptance issues).


Somehow I totally missed the Girls premiere this past Sunday (I was thinking it wasn't til next week), so I made sure to catch it last night because I can't stand not knowing everything about that show. To my great relief, I loved it.

I didn't like season 3 much. I found most of it rather sitcom-y. Not typical sitcom-y, mind you, but sitcom-y compared to season 1 (which I loved) and season 2 (which I loved even more). It was mostly to do with the trajectory of Hannah and Adam's relationship. It just got....I don't know. It wasn't as interesting to me. And I hated the addition of Adam's psycho sister. I mean, Gaby Hoffmann is a good actress but holy shit, her character made me want to run screaming out of the room every time she appeared. I guess that's the intended reaction--the Caroline character is batshit bonkers--but in a way that's really hard to watch. Yuck. 

For the love of God, PLEASE kill her off. 
There were a few things I did like about season 3. For one, I really dug the "Beach House" episode and the weird dance they choreographed for no reason at all. I re-watched that one recently and can't believe I forgot that the song they danced to was "You're Breaking My Heart (Fuck You)" by Nilsson. Great tune!

"Run down to Tramps, have a dance or two...."

And then there's Shoshanna. Any scene of her losing her shit--either silently or loudly--is comedy gold, and there was plenty of that in season 3. Seriously, Zosia Mamet is hilarious. She was great on Mad Men and she's better on Girls.







And then Jessa. Love her character but her storylines have been sort of all over the place. I didn't like her rehab/relapse thing because *yawn*....BUT towards the end of season 3 she got awesome again and I adored her friendship with the Louise Lasser character. And I loved everything about her in the season 4 premiere.  

Yeah baby she's got it.

Speaking of the season 4 opener, there's that one scene, you know, the Marnie/Desi scene everyone's clutching their pearls over. Firstly, it wasn't all that shocking, and secondly, I wonder if anyone else caught the sly subtext, because it seems lost on the general public so far. My interpretation: Marnie loves having Desi's nose up her ass--figuratively AND literally--but (unlike Charlie) Desi's a duplicitous dick who treats her (and his "real" girlfriend) horribly and Marnie can't get enough of that shit. Yeah, it makes me want to slap her, but I'd really rather slap him. There were too many of those guys in my past.

Girl, don't look so smug. He sucks.

Anyway, I'm just relieved that things are looking up for season 4 so I can continue to love and defend Girls with all my previous ardor. 

Friday, January 02, 2015

2015


Came across this image some time ago...can't remember where, how, when, who, why, etc. 
But it's honest and hopeful and says everything true about everything. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Duran Duran
"New Religion" 
New Year's Eve
1982


On the last day of 2014, may I present Duran Duran on the last day of 1982 at the Palladium in NYC. "New Religion" has always been one of my favorite classic Duran tunes, and it kicks ass live. I especially love the way John (bass) and Andy (guitar) play off one another. And of course there's Simon. He really knows how to shake his.....tambourines.

Excuse me sirs, can I bum a ride? 


Thursday, December 25, 2014

I've always loved this macabre little Yuletide carol. 


Oh Weird Al, you're a national treasure.

To all a good night! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A few words about Angelina "chicken pox" Jolie

"OMG you guys, I totally have chicken pox! I can't believe it!"
Neither can anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex, honey.

I've mentioned my loathing of St. Angie several times before on this blog. In fact, looking back, I realize I've devoted a lot more space to her than I should have. So, for the last time, here I go. In the immortal words of my father: "I'm not going to tell you again!" 

When it comes to my knee-jerk revulsion to all things Jolie, I can't exactly pinpoint when it started. I know that earlier in her career (before the Brad Pitting and all the compulsive child collecting) I barely paid her any mind. I knew she existed; I even saw some of her movies: Girl Interrupted, Gia, and Tomb Raider--that last one, in my defense, was not my idea. It was the summer of 2001, I saw it on a date, and aside from being bored out of my skull, I don't remember much about the movie itself. Ironically, the guy who dragged me to see Tomb Raider apparently had high expectations for it and spent the whole car ride home ranting about how awful it was. I was like *shrug* "Okay, whatevs," which kind of sums up my whole reaction to Angelina Jolie at the time. I didn't have much interest in her movies, she was just another "bleh" Hollywood actress churning out mainstream crap that held little interest for me.   

I think it was around the time she was trying out her whole emo persona (the goth-y/bloodletting/Billy Bob era) that I realized how much she grated. Not surprisingly, this was also when she started getting all that press for her contrived "edgy" shenanigans. The whole thing just reeked of shameless fame-trolling, and the fact that the media seemed to be swallowing the line of bullshit she was trying to run on everyone (at the same time praising her "acting" skills...wha?) made her all the more nauseating.

The Brad Pitt thing sort of clinched it for me. Now, I know the tabloids would have you believe that every woman in America still cares deeply about the breakup of "Brad and Jen" and Angelina's role in it, but let's get real here. Brad Pitt, IIRC, was known to be something of a slut during his marriage to Aniston (and well before that), so the news that he couldn't keep it in his pants on the set of that stupid movie was hardly earth-shattering. Also, was the general public that emotionally invested in the Aniston-Pitt union? God, I sincerely hope not. No, what chapped my ass about that whole dumb media circus is that was the moment in time that Angelina's fish-lipped mug became completely inescapable, and it's been that way ever since. 

AND THEN, in light of the Sony leak and Jolie's chicken pox fakery, I read something about Jolie's past so wretched and disturbing that it made my blood boil. Following a link from an article about famous people with mental illnesses, I came upon this. I wouldn't even recommend clicking on it, because it's vile. To sum it up, the article references a viral video in which Angelina Jolie "talk(s) about beating her pet dog to death (whom she states died a short while later), trying to kill her pet snake, and other acts of cruelty towards other animals that were in her care." If you have any doubts about the validity of that information, the video is embedded in the above link, where you can hear it straight from the skank's mouth.
 
So that's it then. Angelina Jolie is a psychopathic animal abuser. I'm not fooled for a minute by her whole Mother Teresa act. I don't care what sort of "humanitarian" efforts she attaches herself to. She could find the cure for cancer and broker a lasting peace agreement between Israel and Palestine and the woman will forever be a piece of subhuman garbage. It makes me wonder now about my years-long visceral abhorrence of that woman. Maybe I could smell the evil on her. Or maybe it was just a coincidence. 

At any rate, I refuse to support any of her movies or anything she "directs", "writes," or touches with a ten-foot pole. In fact, I'd rather be forced, Clockwork Orange-style, to watch a week-long marathon of Keeping Up With the Kardashians than to see five seconds of footage of Angelina Jolie ever again. 

And Brad Pitt can also take his toys and go home. I'm done with him too.
     

Monday, December 08, 2014

Insomnia...it's a hell of a drug.




Once upon a time Frank Zappa and Borat had a kid together and that kid grew up and he got himself a silver jumpsuit and a Yamaha synth and a key-tar and Lady Gaga and made this video and it was the greatest achievement in the history of the arts and it made everything warm and special and magical and the stars aligned and the angels wept and peace broke out across the land and everyone laughed and hugged and cried and holy shit this really is the greatest thing ever recorded.

You're welcome.

Friday, December 05, 2014


Okay, so this blog has been semi-comatose for a while, but I do have an excuse...for the month of November, anyway. See graphic above. YES, I actually won NaNoWriMo this year! I wrote a 50,000 word novel between Nov. 1 - Nov. 30. Hallelujah!

This was my fourth attempt at NaNoWriMo. I entered in 2010 and made it to around 10,000 words before running out of inspiration for that particular project. I still have what remains of the manuscript, so it's something I may go back to at some point. I tried NaNo again in 2012 (working title: Wreckage), but didn't get past the third day. This time it was a case of having a very vague idea of a story, one not fully formed in my head enough to keep up my momentum. Then last year, 2013, I had an awesome idea for TWO sequels to Thanks, That Was Fun. My 2013 NaNoWriMo plan was to start on In Spite of Me, the second installment of my would-be trilogy. (The Morphine album Cure For Pain was the inspiration, hence the book title.). But that fell apart about 16,000 words in. I don't quite know what happened there, but I still have all my outlines and I will definitely return to ISoM in the future.

And then, this year. This year! Fourth time was the charm. I wrote my ass off for 30 days and ended up with 50,107 words. The novel is nowhere near finished. In fact, it's only 3/4 of the way there, and much editing needs to be done. But still, I DID IT!

My 2014 NaNoWriMo novel is, incidentally, titled Harleighwood. I'm giving myself a week off before I go back and start editing and adding to fully complete it.

But for now, YES! It is finished. Temporarily.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014



"The secret to life is to have no fear. When you can let go of what others think about you, how something is going to turn out, or how your past will affect your future, then you are finally living life free.”
-- Unknown

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"He's a man you don't meet every day." 



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Richard Charles Ryan 
June 1, 1931 - May 7, 2014

Dad and me, circa 1993

I lost my father last Wednesday, May 7. 

I haven't been able to write anything; my brain has shut down. As far as my emotional state, I've been cycling from anguish to rage to numbness to anxiety to hopelessness ad infinitum. My husband has been amazing--he is truly my rock. I've also been getting a lot of support from friends far and near, some of whom have experienced the loss of a parent themselves. It has meant so much to hear that what I'm feeling and going through is normal and completely understandable. Thank you to everyone for being so awesome. Your kind words and support bring more comfort than you'll ever know.  

I'm going through all the old photos of Dad that I have. There are some great ones but unfortunately--or fortunately--I made some awesome scrapbooks for Dad a few Christmases ago that have all the best family photos of him with all his kids and grandkids, as well as pictures and clippings from his career as an adman from the 1950's through the 1990's. There are also some funny pictures of him during his swinging bachelor days in Tulsa and Chicago, which are a hoot. I've got dibs on the photo albums so I am looking forward to having those again and maybe posting the best shots here on the blog. I think Dad would like that.

His memorial service is being held in Tulsa at the end of this month. He didn't want a funeral, just an Irish wake with plenty of booze and toasts and music. Dad's favorite local Irish band -- Cairde na Gael -- will of course be providing live music.

Nicest group of musicians you'd ever want to meet.
I'm still processing everything and I may not be able to write about his death again for a long time. 
What else is there to say? I guess this says it all......


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Getting this in just under the wire (for Pacific time, anyway)....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GLORIA STEINEM! 


80 is the new 40!!!

John and I are packing to leave for England (gonna meet my UK family---including my step-grandchildren!) so this is all very last minute. Thus, here's a cool infograph from Makers.com......


And this photo is my favorite. Of course.

I love that she's a catwoman!


Cheerio for now, luvs!