Archive for May, 2006

So Bob Mueller just actually said (I don’t think he writes his own interstitials so maybe I’ll cut him some slack) that (close paraphrase)

So how easy is it to get married after 30? 20 years after a groundbreaking book it ….appears that the future may not be so bleak for women

Wha?!? Look, I’m very happily married to a Hawt Guy who is good to me and whom I love dearly. BUT I don’t believe that an unmarried future is a bleak one for everyone. Some women don’t want to be married. The other day when my super-anal husband neatly stacked all his chicken wing bones in a straight line I could see why.

Even if you are single and over 30 and want desperately to be married wouldn’t you feel a little more bummed if someone implied that a manless future was bleak? I would.

Bleak. ???

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When I was a kid there was a house in the neighborhood that all the other kids whispered about. Especially the older kids. No one was quite sure why. Sometimes it was because a crazy old lady lived there and wanted us to stay off her lawn. Other times it was because the people who lived there were in a cult. (It was the 70s. “Cults” were the bogeymen.) We moved from that subdivision when I was 16, but every Christmas we still drive by my old house.

Today, twenty years after the fact, I finally found out why everyone was so scared of that house. Since I was actually a) a baby and b)in the hospital I had no recollection of the actual events. But apparently some dude shot his family there.

I can NOT believe it’s actually creepier than the stupid reasons we had come up with. I mean, dudes, it’s like our own Amityville Horror house, right around the block. And here we were afraid of some mythical “keep of my lawn” lady.

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Once again I’m hooked on Last Comic Standing. Has there ever been a reality show with a more checkered past? Well, considering that this is reality TV, probably.

Still, I’m betting none are this intentionally funny.

I’m glad to see that they’ve given more audience participation at the ground level. Hopefully it will end up in more newbies. The one thing that has always gotten me about LCS is that at the end of the day it isn’t breaking in new stars like American Idol, it’s just giving established comedians a broader platform. In AI terms, it’s quite like that show reimagined with regional lounge singers competing for the top honors. There are quite a few good novice comedians who’ve gotten passed over.

Still, it’s a great summer show and worth it’s weight in laughs.


For more on BuckStar, go here. I’ve done a bit more research.

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I’ve been commissioned to write a children’s book†. So that’s how I’m spending my days. Big Orange Michael, on the other hand, is making Big Orange Plans to do a lot of reading this summer. He’s included one of my all-time favourite books–Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon— on his reading list.

Any book that contains the phrase “Alan’s penis scheme” is good reading, people.

†For my sister’s Kindergarten classes, so it isn’t as big a deal as it sounds.

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Man, ABC must think we’re all veeeerrry easily entertained. They are airing the Scripps Spelling Bee on Thursday night. As the dramatic promos say it is ONE NIGHT ONLY. They make it sound as though we are all in for the thrill of a lifetime.

Folks, let me explain. Spelling bees are great entertainment. If it’s your kid whose brain is on the block. Otherwise, this Little- House- On -The-Prairie-gone-xxxxtreme business is just really not fun at all. It’s like having an art show featuring fingerpaintings previously affixed to refrigerators with magnets. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of good spelling. Granted, mine is sadly lacking on occasion, but only because I was a huge spelling-bee nerd in Jr. High and personal pride prevents me from using spellcheck. Still, I’m a lover of reading and as such find good spelling a boon insofar as it makes my reading-life easier. Nevertheless, unless I share vast quantities of DNA with the kid, I’m not going to spend hours of my life bored stiff by waiting to see if little Megaprecious spells “constabulatory” correctly.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the rise in popularity of Spelling Bees is just so that parents have yet another outlet to pressure their kids overmuch while grasping at the limelight. They seem awfully close to dog shows, child beauty pagents and travel teams in that ‘pimp your kids’ way that just grates on my nerves. Bees are really big business these days. My last trip to Starbucks was bubbling over with Akeela and the Bee propaganda. I’m not sure of the reason behind the tie-in, but I assume that deep down it’s because people know how much coffee you need to actually stay awake when watching a spelling bee.

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It’s probably cheating to suggest films ought to be made from books. I wasn’t going to do it, but then I had one thought. Bewitched. If they are so desperate out there as to need to remake old sitcoms, perhaps they can look to another medium for ideas.

I have several films in my head that could be spun from some books I’ve loved, but I hesitate suggesting them. Hollywood’s idea of what entertains is generally very different from any author’s viewpoint. (Remember the love story from Jaws?)
I realised this when I first thought of making this particular book into a film. Because theoretically it is already in development.

Hah. Anyone familiar with Julian F. Thompson’s The Grounding Of Group Six knows that the “movie” synopsis of the film in development is NOTHING compared to the actual story.

Here’s the film they want to make for us:

A seventeen-year-old travels cross-country to find his older brother who has escaped from a mental instituion. On the way, he falls in love with one of his brother’s old friends.

WTH? The excellent JFT book tells the story of five posh teenagers and their young counselor at an exclusive camp for rich kids. Slowly they realise that their parents have sent them to this camp to be executed. At the same time, handsome “counselor” Nick comes to know the children he’s been hired to kill and has second thoughts. Eventually they all band together to overturn the institution, save the day and give their parents comeuppance.

That’s the classic story, and that’s the book that should become a blockbuster Hollywood film.

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So I’ve been quasi-laid-up for a few days, and I thought I’d amuse myself by watching Star Wars movies. If Star Wars Movies were wedding dresses, the “new” trilogy would be mine. It had pearls, sequins, beads, ribbons, lace and just about every other white thing you could stick on a gown. (Trust me, it was fashionable when I wore it. Many years ago.) The old trilogy, on the other hand, would be one of those simple but elegant satin shifts. Sadly, with all the tinkering George did for the “special” editions, it’s as though he stuck some gaudy sequined iron-on patches on the sparsely elegant dress.

Is any of this making sense? Probably not. But I still stand by the fact that if there’d been a bit less CGI and a bit more Han Solo-type charm, the prequels would have been a lot more timeless. Yub yub.

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That’s Entertainment!


I hate it when people pimp the Shoah for profit. But hey, it’s Oprah! and Sweeps! So let’s go to Oswiecim and get closeups of her tearing up. Maybe she’ll even chat with her good buddy Steve Speilberg.

Somehow when she announced Night as her bookclub selection I felt this Oprah® Brings You The Holocaust coming on. But this? Never expected this.

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May 23rd

Today I am thirty-six years old. (Three Dozen for all you egg fans…)

According to Wikipedia, there are 222 days left in the year after today.

In 1995, this was the day that the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City was bombed. According to Wikipedia nothing else of note really happened on this day for the last 2000 years. Okay, I take that back. In 1911, the New York Public Library was dedicated. I don’t know what that entails, but I envision someone smashing a bottle of champaign over the head of one of the lions. Probably not how it went down, but that seems festive enough so I’m going with it.

Many notable people share my birthday. Libertarian comedian Drew Carey (good) and multi-talented poet and van-dweller Jewel Kilcher. (not good) Joan Collins was born on May 23rd, but I never say she “shares” my birthday, because she doesn’t seem like the sharing type. Famous know-it-all Ken Jennings was also born on May 23rd. Come to think of it, so was Betty Garrett. You know her best as Laverne’s Dad’s Girlfriend from Laverne & Shirley.

There IS a famous writer born on my birthday, but I feel cheated. Aunt B. gets Arthur Conan Doyle and I get Mitch Albom–the Tuesdays With Morrie guy. Could be worse. I could have gotten Dr. Phil.

I will be spending this day enjoying my favourite pastime. Passing a kidney stone. It’s not so bad, really, considering that this is a Tuesday birthday. Having your birthday fall on a Tuesday–as all birthdays occasionally do–is generally an off year for the Birthday Holiday. Tuesday is a rather monastic day. There’s never a decent excuse for a long enough weekend to absorb the Tuesday. The world is going about its business. Tuesday is the one day a week that everyone buckles down and feels like working. Monday is recovering from the weekend. Wednesday is “Hump Day”. Thursday is almost-Friday. But Tuesday is “let’s meet on the San Diego shipment” day. So as birthdays go spending my Tuesday birthday on hydrocodone, phenergan and grape soda is …. better than nothing. I think maybe I’ll watch Empire Strikes Back. Yoda makes more sense when you’re on the drugs.

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Today is Aunt B.’s birthday. I am officially jealous because she shares her day with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. That makes it like the coolest birthday EVER. Stop by her place and grant her felicitations.

Oh, and if you work at WKRN, step out of the office to meet her. That’s gotta be the nicest, cheapest birthday present ever.

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