Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Memos - a strong argument against...

Need a laugh? Check out this episode of Better Off Ted. A mistyped word in a memo causes all kinds of problems...

I still can't believe that more people didn't watch this show when it was on the air. Boo, ABC, Boo.

Monday, June 28, 2010

True Blood Season 3 so far

My thoughts on True Blood season 3 so far:

As I've said many times before, I'd be much happier if it was The Eric and Pam Show or The Eric, Pam and Lafayette Show featuring Jessica. Eric is interesting and Pam and Lafayette are fabulous in the best sense of the word.

The kindest thing I have to say about Sookie and Bill is that they are reasonably attractive. Anna Paquin's and Steven Moyer's acting in TB has not been stellar. (I'd be ecstatic if they'd give up on the accents. I'd rather them have generic American accents than their atrocious Southern-esque accents.) I think I'm most disappointed in Anna's performance. I mean, we're talking about a girl who has talent - she won an Oscar as a nine-year-old for Heaven's sake - and held her own in a movie with Holly Hunter and Harvey Keitel.

I know True Blood is supposed to be over the top, but I'd be much (MUCH!) happier if there were no repeats of that final sex scene with Bill and Lorena. There aren't enough negative adjectives for me to use to describe it. It's almost like the show is becoming a caricature of itself, and more so with every episode.

In addition to the eight-million story lines already happening (many of which I haven't even mentioned), Sam's family... completely unnecessary, and the acting and script are so broad that you can spot what's coming from a mile off.

On the bright side, Alcide. YUM. They appear to have cast him perfectly... Also, I'm interested to see how the always fantastic Alfre Woodard fits in as Lafayette's mother.

My friend Candace has some interesting thoughts about True Blood here.

Finally, if you haven't already seen it, be sure to check out Snoop Dogg's "Oh, Sookie" video.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A revelation

As I've mentioned before, about a year ago I gave up my cable t.v. and moved to watching most, if not all, of my t.v. online. (That sounds odd, doesn't it? T.V. Online. lol) Most of my shows are available on Hulu; the ones that aren't are usually available on their network's website.

In most ways, this has been a great thing - it's much less expensive than a cable subscription and frees me to be able to watch my shows at my leisure.

What I hadn't realized until recently was that it also significantly changed what I'm viewing - and for the better. I used to be obsessed with the celeb-reality crap that is VH1. Now I can't tell you the last time I saw an episode of Rock of Love or something of that ilk.

I guess that really shows how meaningless those shows are, if I can go a whole year without watching before realizng that I should be missing them...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer TV 2010

I'm somewhat ashamed to admit what my favorite new show this summer is. Can you guess what it is?

I was so hoping that Fox's The Good Guys would be it - and I do enjoy that show. TGG has grown funnier as it has found its footing. I'd even go so far as to say that Bradley Whitford's mustache should have its own billing in the credits, lol. In short, Bradley Whitford's throwback to the 80s cop and Colin Hanks' straight man cop are an amusing, if light, duo. Definitely summer fare - little to no thought involved and several chuckles an episode.

I tried ABC's The Gates and Scoundrels. Both had oddly low production values for network television. The Gates was slightly better than Scoundrels but I don't plan on revisiting either. Let's just say that The Gates fares poorly in comparison to its same night competition, True Blood. Scoundrels was already done better by FX - The Riches. If you like the idea of Scoundrels but not the actual execution, check out The Riches with Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver. It's available on dvd.

Believe it or not, ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars is my favorite new show of the summer. It's an interesting teen drama and is filling the hole left by Gossip Girl quite nicely. I'd even go so far as to say that it's better than this last season of GG. (I do miss me some Chuck Bass though.)

Of the various returning summer shows I've seen so far, USA's Burn Notice is still entertaining, Royal Pains less so. HBO's True Blood is off to a quick start. I've found the episodes so far quite entertaining but I do wonder if they're introducing to many new characters and plotlines too quickly. Still, I'll watch TB as long as Alexander SkarsgÄrd is on it as Eric Northman. As I've said on facebook and twitter, I really wish they'd just go ahead and make it the Eric & Pam Show (as long as they gave Lafayette a show too, lol.). I'm also looking forward to the return of ABCF's Make It or Break It.

How's your summer tv watching going? Seen anything entertaining or interesting?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Need a laugh?

You all know how much I enjoy Glee. Heather Morris' Brittany is one of the many reasons why - she consistently delivers hilarious one-liners. I found a video on YouTube where someone had pieced them all together. If you need a laugh, you might want to check it out.

I can't decide which is my favorite. At the moment I'm leaning towards "I think my cat is reading my diary." and "When I pulled my hamstring, I went to a misogynist."

Do you have a favorite Brittany quote? or other Glee quote?

Friday, June 18, 2010

When it's right, it's amazing...

...and when it's off, it's really bad.

I just saw an article on Hitfix.com about Christina Aguilera singing the national anthem for the NBA championships. They included a clip of her performance, which you can view here:

Our national anthem is an exceptionally hard song to sing. I wouldn't care to try it in front of millions of people.

To me, the classic performance will always be Whitney Houston's 1991 performance. I still get goosebumps. Here it is:

Do you have favorite version and/or performance of The Star Spangled Banner?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What the heck was he thinking?

I just got this email from David Vitter, US Senator:

Dear Friend,

President Obama insisted that under his health care bill, "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan." But it turns out that many health insurance plans will soon be changed under the Obama health care bill. The New York Times reported in an article on the health care reform bill that "some people, especially those who work at smaller businesses, might face significant changes in the terms of their coverage."

ObamaCare requires many health insurance plans to comply with new federal government regulations . Many Louisianians get their health care from their employer, but if those health care plans do not comply with the new federal rules, they will lose their protected status and fall under new regulation. In fact, the Obama Administration's own projections estimate that most small business workers will lose their protected status and have to obtain new, costlier coverage as a result of this new federal regulation.

I remain committed to reforming health care with measures that truly make health care more affordable through clear and concise solutions without threatening our nation's prosperity and freedom. The American people won't stand for this government takeover of health care, and I will continue to fight to repeal it and reverse the damage.


David Vitter
U.S. Senator

REALLY? You send this e-mail out in the middle of a huge environmental, economic and social crisis? This is not helpful to anyone at this time. Rather than being devisive, we need to be working together towards solutions for the myriad problems caused by the oil leak.

Get real, I say

I see people on the news complaining about the oil leak relief workers getting paid $20/hr to work 15 min and then have 15 minutes off. To them, I say, get real! We're talking about wearing head to toe plastic suits in in 95 degree weather with 95% humidity. I don't think anyone could work an hour straight under such conditions. And, even if they did, they'd probably wind up in the hospital.

Tonight, President Obama announced a moratorium on deep sea drilling in the gulf for a while. I have really mixed feelings about this: I completely believe that there needs to be some way to better regulate the rigs so that this doesn't happen again. On the other hand, it's going to destroy what's left of the Louisiana oil industry and a huge chunk of our economy. Is there a reasonable solution to both sides of this dilemma? I'm open to suggestions...

Monday, June 14, 2010

A surprise (to me, anyway...)

I was very surprised that the Karate Kid remake did so much better than the A-Team at the box office over the weekend. Maybe because KK is more family/kid friendly? Maybe because the primary A-Team audience was busy watching the World Cup? (Who knew Americans would be interested in soccer?)

Actually, with the exception of Sex and the City 2, it sounds like most films have been financial disappointments this summer. Iron Man 2's earnings are way off and so is Shrek's. Have the cinemas finally priced themselves out of business? Or is it the lack of quality at the cineplex?

Let me know what you think...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A disaster of epic proportions...

... and no one seems to care. Or at least no one who is in a position to do anything about it.

The oil leak is a nightmare and we are being lied to about it all of the time. It's exponentially worse than the Exxon Valdez oil spill in the 80s.

I suggest you read this commentary by James Carville, potlitical science professor at Tulane University and former Clinton campaign manager. I'd say it's a pretty accurate portrayl of how the Louisiana people think and feel about the whole situation.

I say we're screwed, no matter what happens from here on out...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To dye or not to dye...

... that is the question. I seem to be getting more and more white hairs on my head everyday. I'm trying to decide if I should start coloring or not. I don't really want white hairs but on the other hand, I'm not sure I'm really prepared for the upkeep of keeping my hair colored. And, my hair grows really fast, so I'd have to color pretty often.

The other question is if I do start coloring, what color do I choose? During college and my early 20s, I was fond of that shade of red which is practically purple, much to the dismay of my parents.

Do you color your hair? Why? And, if so, how and why do you choose the color? Do you do it yourself or go to the salon?

Argh. I hate making decisions of this nature...

Monday, June 7, 2010

On a lighter note...

On a much lighter note than my previous post, here's a link about The Goonies and it's 25th anniversary. Has it really been that long since we visited the Goon docks? Since One-Eyed Willie's skeleton scared the crap out of me?

The Goonies remains to this day one of my favorite movies. My other favorite movies from my childhood include Ghostbusters, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Top Gun, What's Up, Doc?, Spies Like Us, The Princess Bride and Star Wars (I'm not calling it A New Hope. It's Star Wars. I don't care what Mr. Lucas says). What's your favorite childhood movie?

And, lastly, speaking of childhood favorites, I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to The A-Team.

Uh-oh, we're in trouble...

Is the American Dream over? What does it take to be "successful" in America today? For that matter, how do you define success? These questions, and others like them, have been at the forefront of my mind lately.

When I was a child in school, it was practically promised to us that if we did well in school, attended college and got a degree, we would have a good job and a successful career. As a result, it never occurred to me not to go straight to college when I finished high school. And, I was a very young 17 in a lot of ways when I graduated. I probably would've benefited from a year working in the "real world" before going to college.

It didn't even seem to really matter what your degree was in, as long as you had one. I remember during my college selection process hearing this nugget (or one like it) several times: "Businesses like to see liberal arts degrees because it proves you're a problem solver and that you can think for yourself." What a crock.

There are jobs that require degrees - teacher, engineer, doctor and accountant come to mind immediately - and there are jobs where degrees are required but not really necessary to the function of the job. Enterprise-Rent-A-Car is an excellent example of the latter. Did you know they require all of their rental agents to have a college degree because they're considered "management trainees?" Yep, you absolutely need a college degree to rent someone a car.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-college degree. I just think America's obsession with degrees has gotten out of control. I know there are a lot of jobs that I've applied for that I wasn't even considered for because I didn't complete my degree. I think there is a lot to be said for certification programs where you go to school for a year or two and come out with specialized training for a specific field. How much more useful is this to the individual, the business community and our society?

The individual is not burdened with the debt that can be caused by a four-year degree. Businesses benefit because needed workers are available that much more quickly. You see the trend.

Speaking of debt. Student loan debt is in as bad a shape as the mortgage industry. Maybe worse. Children are taking out loans to pay for school, sometimes co-signed by their parents, sometimes not. Do you really think that they know what they are getting themselves into?

I read an article on Yahoo last week about a girl who graduated from New York University with almost $100K in student loan debt. Her bachelor's degree is in religion and women's studies. The lenders are refusing to issue more loan credits so that she can work on a master's degree. Her mother had already co-signed on several loans for her as an undergraduate and even though she was willing to do so again, they were still turned down.

It never occurred to these people that they couldn't afford the degree that was being pursued. They assumed because the girl was getting a good education and degree from a good school that she'd get a good job with good pay and benefits and be all set. Instead, the girl is working as a photographer's assistant for $20/hr and not remotely able to make significant payments on her student loans. The only way the mother would be able to help her would be to sell her bed and breakfast which means she would be out of a business and a place to live, so that isn't a reasonable solution.

I took out student loans to go to school. For my two years and an unfinished degree, my loans were around $12000. I paid an average of $80/month over the course of 12 years (sometime was spent in deferment because of unemployment). It wasn't too bad. This girl, assuming a 10-year payment plan and no interest, would have to pay $835/month. How insane is that? And a women's and religious studies degree? How do you use that except to teach or write books?

I guess what I'm getting at can be boiled down to this: Do you feel like your degree was worth your time and effort? Are you actually using it in your day-to-day work? Has the obtaining of it caused more problems than it's worth?