Archive for June, 2007

Jun 26 2007

Stupid computers.

Published by under Computing

I did something truly stupid and listened to my web host when they told me that my WordPress installation was out of date.  I mean, I had JUST upgraded the damn thing; I knew it wasn’t out of date.  Anyway, I used their update tool and that took me backwards a version.  Now, for some inexplicable reason, the May-June posts have these funny little characters after every period.  I went back to April and didn’t see any there, so it looks like it’s just those two months, for whatever reason.  Just one more thing to go in and fix by hand.

3 responses so far

Jun 25 2007

My hands are cracked and peeling. Ouch.

Published by under House Renovs,Outdoors

 I had to restore this post because I borked something in WordPress.  Any comments that were here are gone now.  Sorry.

I can’t put off painting the porch railings anymore. They could have used it last year, but you know, I’m kind of lazy when it comes to starting stuff like that, and with one thing and another, it never got done. This year I can’t afford to be so lackadaisical. The paint is peeling off in large pieces and there is mildew growing in all the little crevices of our gingerbreading.

So, today I took my butt to Lowe’s and picked up my supplies. I knew I wasn’t going to get any actual PAINTING done today, because I had to do all of the oh-so-fun pre-painting work. The biggest part of the job was washing everything down with bleach water and scrubbing off all the dirt and mildew that had built up. That’s why the skin on my hands hurt – I’ve had them in bleach all day.

I got all of the pre-work done today – wash, scrape, sand, rinse TA DA! Tomorrow I hope to get the painting done. Cross your fingers that I don’t run into any unforeseen problems that will drag this out longer. I just want to get this done before this dry spell breaks and we’re deluged for days on end.

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Jun 22 2007

Studio Shitty

Published by under Media

Hey, let’s take a moment and talk about Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, that show that had such great promise, conceived and written by Aaron Sorkin of The West Wing fame, which crashed and burned, and is now running its last episodes in the dull hell of summertime network television.

I initially loved this show, and I’m watching it right up to the bitter end, because I want to see just how out there it’s going to get. What was this show about? Well, it was supposed to be a TV show about making a TV show. But then it turned into a romantic comedy. Now, in its final episodes, it’s kind of like West Wing Lite. But all that I could deal with. Sometimes it takes awhile for a show to find its legs and the direction that’s going to work. What really cheeses me off, and has cheesed me off since the beginning of the show is the characters. The poorly written, ill-conceived, nigh-unbelievable characters.

Sometime in between leaving The West Wing and starting up with this project, I think Aaron Sorkin forgot how to make up good characters. Very few (if any) of the characters on TWW ever rang hollow with me, even those that were brought in for a single episode. Almost every single one came off as developed, with a distinct (and believable) personality. Almost NO ONE on Studio 60 fits this description. Take, for instance, the prime target of my ire: Harriet Hayes.

Harriet is supposed to be a conservative Christian. In case you ever forget that, it is hammered into your skull almost every episode. Either she is quoting the Bible, or telling someone that he/she is going to hell (joking or not), or calling someone a heathen, or she’s praying, or she’s telling the story of how she was raised in the faith in the grand Southern tradition, or she’s arguing with her on-again-off-again boyfriend about how she made an appearance on The 700 Club, and so on and so on. I mean, really, there is no character there is only CHRISTIAN. Big ol’ honkin’ self-righteous Christian. Which is fine. You want a conservative Christian character, more power to you. But if you’re literally going to bash our faces in with the fact that she’s a CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN BORN-AGAIN PRINCESS SPOKESPERSON FOR THE RED STATES in every episode, there are a few things that you might want to consider:

  • Very few conservative Christians would take a job working on a sketch comedy show that regularly makes fun of Christians and Republicans.
  • Very few conservative Christians would take a role as Anita Pallenberg in a movie about the Rolling Stones.
  • Very few conservative Christians regularly, and with great abandon, engage in premarital sex. Not just once or twice, but a lot and with multiple partners.
  • Very few conservative Christians would consider posing in their underwear in a men’s magazine for publicity.
  • Very few conservative Christians would consider marrying (or even engage in a long-term relationship with) someone who is happily, energetically, and boisterously all of the following: an atheist, someone who gleefully attacks religion in all its forms (going so far as to call religious people stupid, in not so many words), and who won’t shut up about how ridiculous it is to practice a faith of any kind. Literally WON’T shut up about it.

I could go on, but you get the point. Somewhere, Aaron Sorkin found himself a big book of “Characters For Dummies”, opened it up to the page that said “ultra-conservative Christian”, and found that apparently all you have to do is make sure this character prays a lot, and mentions that God is all-powerful and the source of many blessings. Any actual practicing of beliefs or the values that are professed by actual members of the faith are unnecessary, since there are none. It’s really just praying and give God mad props.

Then there is my other “favorite”, Jordan McDeere, the hot-shot female network president. Jordan started out promising: a smart, intelligent, funny, and beautiful woman who knows what she’s doing and knows how to get other people to play ball. But then she underwent a terrible spine removal operation and started being a ridiculous bitch. I mean, straight out, hands down, no holds barred, shrill, defensive, BEE-YOTCH. What’s up with that? What kind of a network president pays so much attention to a single show (even before she started dating one of the producers)? What kind of network president meets a new employee and within five minutes basically tells her that her chosen genre is shit and she’s shit for working in it and by the way you’re dumb and I’m smart. I mean, the first few episodes that featured this character made a point to say how smart she was, how respected, how much she’d done in her field thus far, how powerful she is. Within FIVE episodes this poor woman is reduced to pretty much a desperate rookie who’s trying to keep up with the big boys. That, my friends, is enough to give you whiplash.

The best characters on this show are the ones you see the least of, and that’s sad. When you watch the show, really hoping that a second-stringer will get some spotlight time because they are so funny and NORMAL, it’s a bad sign. I guess that’s why the show is going off the air for good, once these final episodes are burned off. Which is kind of sad in a way, because I was really looking forward to see how many more things Aaron Sorkin could cram in there in an attempt to get someone, anyone to watch. We got pregnancy, drug addiction, a hostage crisis, two problematic romantic entanglements, bad sketch comedy, tension with the writers, tension with the network, Hurricane Katrina, a British girl, slapstick, flashbacks galore (if you’re flashing back multiple times in your first season, that’s problematic), a whole lot about the war in Afghanistan, some stuff about September 11, and more and more and more. And again, I emphasize, this is all in ONE SEASON. How much can you fit in before it stops being a show and becomes a variety act?

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Jun 22 2007

Shop ’til you eat, and then shop more.

Published by under The Fam,The Man

Today I took Grandma shopping.  There is a family reunion coming up in a week – (which The Man and I will not be going to.  It’s for Grandma’s side of the family, and while I’m sure they’re rad and all, I’ve only ever met ONE of my great-aunts.  The rest of these people [mostly cousins of some sort since I think all of the great-aunts and uncles are dead now] are complete strangers.  When I off-handedly said this, Grandma pointed out “that’s kind of the point of family reunions”, which, touché, but it’s a little late in the game for me to be adding 40 bajillion people to my family circle.  Um, where did I leave off?  Oh yeah.) – and she needed “an outfit”.  She was very clear that this was to be a complete outfit, no separates for her, by George, no sir.  I don’t know if she thought I would recommend Garanimals or what.  But, when someone tells me “a complete outfit” I can really only think of two things:  suit or dress.  Everything else to me IS separates.

So, we go to Macy*s (another aside – how annoying is that asterisk in Macy*s?  It’s called an apostrophe, people.  Crikie.) and start looking for clothes.  My Grandma, for those of you who do not know, is kind of a brand junkie.  Especially when it comes to clothing and shoes.  She likes Ralph Lauren.  Tommy Hilfiger (for jeans).  Clarks.  Naturalizer.  Anything designer, really, although she is not above going to Target for reasonably priced t-shirts.  So, she’s looking around the Ralph Lauren section of Macy*s, and I’m looking across the aisle at Other People’s Clothes, and I find a really cute white linen suit for her to try, in her size and everything.  Except, when she gets into the changing room, we find that in this designer’s world, a size 4 is much larger than in everyone else’s world.  Like, the waist had about 3 extra inches of material, and the legs are 3 inches too long.  Luckily, when we moseyed over to Petites, there was the same suit, and it fit, and she looked SHARP in it.  Although, the pants had no pockets, and this was a Big Deal for her.  “There are no pockets!  No pockets!  There’s a back pocket, who needs that?  There should be pockets here!”  She did buy the suit, but I predict she will be calling me up next week to take her into town for a speedy return.  Pockets are apparently a big issue here.  I hope not though, because no kidding, she looked sharp.

Anyway, we also took a break for lunch with The Man, who dashed away from work to meet us.  Lunch was good – it was the recharge I needed after shopping for a few hours – and then back to the mall to finish out the list of things Grandma wanted to buy.  I got two new OPI nail polishes, one of which looks disturbingly similar to a shade I already own.  Seriously, I painted my nails one color, and my toes the other, and I cannot tell the difference.  I got ripped off.

When I dropped Grandma back at her house, she gave me the obligatory pay-off and thanked me for taking the time to drive her around.  I said “Really, Grandma, it’s no problem.  I like spending time with you.”  And she said “I’m glad that you do, because a lot of people don’t.  I mean, a lot of younger people don’t like to hang out with older folks.”  So I just told her “That’s because not everyone is as cool as you are, Grandma.”  That made her laugh, which was all I was really after, but it’s true, too.  She freaking rules.  I try to tell her that, but sometimes I forget to mention it to her, although I always tell her that anything she needs, she just has to ask and I will do it for her.

I also dyed my hair tonight, and what a surprise that turned out to be.  I want to know in what universe a color called “Darkest Mahogany Brown” equates to “Look at that red hair you’ve got”.  Fortunately, it’s not that horrible shade called “Holy shit, this was a mistake”, so I can live with it.  I just wanted darker hair.

And lastly, it is (or was, I guess, since this is getting posted at about 2 AM) my dad’s birthday.  He turned 56 on June 21, which makes him officially 27 years older than me.  Woo?

(LAST PARENTHETICAL, I PROMISE: Do any other girls remember a clothing line sold at either JC Penney or Hudson’s in the early 90s called Multiples or something like that?  Everything was made out of jersey/spandex type material and there were some multi-function pieces.  Like, “this spandex thing can be used as a belt over your billowing tunic, or it can be a tube top!”  I had an ugly green outfit from this line, and I was just wondering if anyone else had clothes like this).

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Jun 18 2007

More Recommendations

Published by under Life and Living It

I’m reading a book where the main character is playing Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos in E-Flat Major K. 365 (or, it’s K. 316a in the K6 reckoning). I’d like to get a recording of this so I can hear it, but I know very little nothing about musicians and performers of classical pieces. Does anyone have a recommendation as to which recording I should try to pick up?

2 responses so far

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