Category Archives: Television

And On the Third Day – A Follow Up On Our Beloved Cable

And On the Third Day – A Follow Up On Our Beloved Cable

…and it was buried, and that it hath risen on the third day….

It’s a Cable-mas miracle! Despite all our efforts at simplifying our lives, some angel from Cox Communications called and took our entire bill down by half if we came back.

In the interest of full disclosure and defense of my innocence in this plot, I passed this information along to Jim. I put my most appealing, saucer-eyed look of longing on my face and he went for it. Chump!!!

I readily admit that I am a very weak person. I’m pretty sure that’s never been in question. I have no will power. I have nil power if you will.

Another act of austerity I recently embarked on was a good cleaning out of my closet. What do I need with three black cocktail dresses? Ask me the last time I went to a cocktail party. Hell, ask me the last time I took a shower in the morning or wore a shirt without coffee stains down the front while you’re at it.

I dragged two garbage bags full of clothes out to the garage to donate. The result is that we never got to the thrift store to drop them off so I slowly started to pick stuff out again. Basically, I dress in the garage now. One more step down the slippery slope of domestic ennui.

Soon I’ll be dumpster diving for dinner.

So the first couple of steps toward the Summer of Austerity had some cramping. This doesn’t mean other things aren’t on the chopping block.

Next up is the gardener. Yes, we had a gardener. DON’T JUDGE US!

Sorry Lino, we had a good run. No, don’t say a word, just walk away. I will remember our time together and think of you fondly.

Eulogy for My Beloved Cable

Eulogy for My Beloved Cable

I love TV. Not all TV. But, I happen to be one of those shallow, useless souls who believe that there is actually some really good shit on the ol’ boob tube these days.

I understand many people have much better things to do with their time like cure cancer, fix the economy, spend time with loved ones, blah, blah, blah. But all those things generally involve other people and sometimes, you just don’t want to do stuff for other people. At least I don’t.

And, just as an aside to those who have never really succumbed to the evil empire of television and pop culture: I take pleasure in making constant references you will never understand. And, I refuse to let you feel superior to me even though we both know you are and that you fill me with self-loathing. Hey, if you choose to spend time with your kids instead of Ryan Seacrest, well…..that’s just a choice you have to live with. I’m just saying, I sleep fine at night.

Jim and I recently decided that this summer would be “The Summer of Austerity” (and I will be printing team t-shirts and coffee mugs, undoubtedly making millions just to be an asshole and flip off the Summer of Austerity).

This will be an attempt to see how little money we could spend over the summer and still live to tell the tale come September. Along with this, we also decided we would go without Cable for the summer. And by “we” I mean Jim.

(Jim is now interrupting my “creative process” by proclaiming that it’s not just about money but also about living a simpler, less cluttered life. Fair enough….that golf club bag sure makes a nice little home for that mouse family, doesn’t it? You are such an animal lover!)

And so, I ask that we take a moment of silence (and by “we” I mean you), bow our heads and remember the happy times and the joy Cable has brought to my life.

Oh, Cable, with your open arms and blind acceptance of all intellectual levels from comatose to barely functional. You teach me to embrace my laziness and stupidity with no judgment asking only in return that we eat Happy Meals and take Viagra. Preferably at the same time.

You’ve given me so many hours of enjoyment and escape. You’ve kept me out of the gutter by letting me watch people who are in it.

Cable, I bid you a teary adieu. Godspeed on your quest to find true love, singers who have the whole package and are not pitchy, and to teach us just how difficult it is to be a midget chocolatier with a hoarding problem….on crack….who is pregnant…..with quadruplets.

And now, dear friends, I ask for strength and fortitude in the Summer of Austerity. I will check in from the other side when I am allowed. Assuming we don’t decide “electricity” seems a bit over-indulgent.

Seacrest out.

A Word About Vampires

A Word About Vampires

When I was little, Barnabas Collins rocked my world. I would run home from Catholic school and gladly dive from the divine light of our savior, Jesus Christ, to the dark underworld of vampires.

It was my favorite half hour in the universe. Dark Shadows was this weird acid-trip of a gothic soap opera that featured the tormented Barnabas Collins, the tortured and impassioned vampire and a pioneer for the piecey bang look.  It was scary and romantic and probably the worst show on television.

There is a huge cult following to this day and I know there will be a mob of angry fanboys with torches on my front lawn any minute now….(not to overstate the obvious delusions I have that anyone outside my best friends and family actually read this blog).

But, truly, I defy you to follow the Escher-like maze of a storyline. There were actors playing multiple roles, timelines that jumped from present to past to parallel universes to living to dead and back again.

I was a 6-year-old Goth and a tip o’ the hat to my mother for supporting my addiction. I’m sure it molded my love of The Cure. Picture, if you will, Robert Smith in a Brownie uniform.

So, imagine my sunken-eyed delight when I heard that Tim Burton was making a movie of my beloved Collinwood. And, with the singular Johnny Depp as well. Be still my bloodless heart!

(I wonder if Johnny Depp just sits in front of his mirror saying “You, my man, are freakin’ amazing. Is there nothing you can’t do?” I know I would do exactly that if I were Johnny Depp. Aren’t you glad I’m not?)

Now, I haven’t seen the movie yet but I do have an innate distrust of taking my beloved 60’s and 70’s TV childhood and slapping lipstick and a push-up bra on it. We never let anything age gracefully, do we?

It certainly didn’t do the Beverly Hillbillies Movie any favors. What? You didn’t see it? Point made.

See, one of the best parts of Dark Shadows was how absurdly bad it was. I’m not sure they could really capture the art of a boom hitting an actor in the head, the craft services dude eating a donut just to the left of the grand staircase, or the fly that continually lands on Josette’s nose as she pleads with Barnabas. Even a child knew they were witnessing something terrible and brilliant all at the same time.

But, because the FLIPPIN’ AWESOME Johnny Depp is in it and the FREAKIN’ BRILLIANT Tim Burton is at the helm, I will give it a chance. They are the two-headed idiot savants of creativity so if they can’t pull it off, who can? Maybe no one. In which case, perhaps we should leave bad enough alone.

Why I Love Talking Monkeys

Why I Love Talking Monkeys

I love any talking monkey. I will watch all the Eddie Murphy Dr. Doolittle movies a million times just for the drunk French monkey. Same goes for that Kevin James zookeeper movie….I love me a chatty monkey! Put clothes on them and I’ll wet myself.

Oddly, I don’t like George Bush though so clearly all talking monkeys are not funny.

Now, my husband is having an aneurism because he is a science geek extraordinaire and, technically, I love talking primates, not monkeys alone, monkeys being a sub-order of primate and blah blah blah blah. So, I’ve given him a resounding whack across the head and told him that I am not Darwin so shut up and make me a lemon drop.

The crowning glory of the talking ape genre (that I just made up) is Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. Why hasn’t some brilliant Hollywood exec (I know, I crack myself up too!) remade this inspired artifact?

For those of you not yet enlightened on the beauty of Lancelot, Mata Hairi, Dragon Woman (where the creators cast an exceptionally politically incorrect Chinese villain), APE (Agency to Prevent Evil) and CHUMP (Criminal Headquarters for Underworld Master Plan), please do yourself a favor and look at this. You will be a better person for it.

And, because Lancelot had time on his hands after saving the world from CHUMP domination, he put a bitchin’ band together: The Evolution Revolution. It’s fucking epic.

Just watch Mata Hairi shred on that tambourine. Take that Susan Dey, you candy-ass percussionist. Though, why do they feel it’s necessary to put a beard and mustache on a chimpanzee? Seems redundant somehow.

Screw You Hunger Games (or, Why I’m a Filthy Hypocrite)

Screw You Hunger Games (or, Why I’m a Filthy Hypocrite)

I think I’m better than pop culture and yet I have a Rain Man ability to absorb its useless content and even take pride in spewing it out at dinner parties like an annoying tic.

I don’t, as a rule, watch reality TV because I’ve had my fill of seeing people at their worst from years of hitting the Nordstrom half-yearly sale.

I don’t understand the whole Twilight thing so I tried reading a page of it and proceeded to throw it across the room. Then peed on it and started it on fire.

I never read any of the Harry Potters because, well, I’m not 10.

But, for some reason, I occasionally get sucked into the stinking maw of some show, book or movie that holds little or no redeeming value. I don’t even really like reading or watching this stuff, but I simply don’t have the strength to fight it. I know it’s bad for me but I’m a moth to the flame. I’m guessing it’s some sort of substitute for the drug, sex and alcohol abuse that I left behind years ago (strike that last one and get me a drink).

  • I did get sucked into American Idol, especially the first seasons (who am I kidding, I just started to ween off it last season). There, I said it. Spit on me, call me names. I’ve done the same to myself. The demise of that show has forced a modicum of dignity back into my life.
  • The Hunger Games. Fuck you, Katniss Everdeen and your sassy braid for making me wish I were a slave to an evil totalitarian society and that my parents had coughed up archery lessons (yet another misstep in my upbringing).
  • Now, I’ll drag my husband into the muck with me. When we had tiny, mewling, puking, premature twins, we got hooked on both Cheaters and The Anna Nicole Smith Show. I will blame this on program timing since they were on during a scheduled feeding and we had to space out on something. I will also say that nothing made our lives feel just a little less desperate than to watch others walk in front of the train. I am not a better person than that.
  • I used to watch Melrose Place….the original one because, yes, I’m old. Get over it. And I went to high school with Lisa Rinna (go Black Tornadoes).

My saving grace is Downton Abby….or is it? Isn’t it really just Dallas-on-the-Thames? You stick a bustle and an accent on it and suddenly its culture. Don’t forget, these are the same people who gave us Benny Hill.

So, I thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to go through the cultural equivalent of self-flagellation. I feel a little cleaner now as I watch the second Hunger Games book download to my iPad.

Glitterati in the Mist

Glitterati in the Mist

 

This story is the stuff of legend among my peers. They’ve heard it many times and I hate to repeat it but also feel it belongs in the annals of history as one of my more humiliating moments.

A friend of mine, who is clearly better connect than I am,  was able to get us into the Elton John post-Oscar party one year. Turns out there is also a party within a party for the select few who are closest to him. We actually had to be on TWO lists held by snotty people with clipboards.

I had not really been out of the house much over the two years or so before this event as I had been held hostage by small twin boys and had experienced something akin to Stockholm syndrome. So, my social skills were lacking unless you needed your diaper changed or some barf cleaned up. These skills had been perfected back in college and came in handy now that I had these two terrorists in my life.

When we arrived we had to walk the paparazzi plank past no less than 50 cameras with the longest lenses I’ve ever seen. Even with all the primping, exfoliating and waxing (twice) I did, not a flashbulb went off. In fact, the disappointment on their faces was just awkward. I’d be paying with ingrown hairs for weeks, you bastards.

We had to be very careful when roaming amongst these special colorful animals. We had to assume the somewhat bored vestige of our fellow partygoers. One spark of giddy recognition and we’d be left to wander the unfriendly night of West Hollywood. You must philosophically squat amongst them, mimicking their actions like Dian Fossey in an evening gown.

Once inside, I was introduced to Sir Elton and was very graciously hugged and kissed… on the mouth. This took me aback, as you may expect. I chalked it up to being gay and European. I find both do things with more panache.

Being surrounded by so many famous people is too much for the normal person to bear, let alone me. I was profoundly uncomfortable and did what any self-respecting human would do – I got good and liquored up. My blood alcohol level and 4-inch heels were a lethal combination. Keep in mind that most of these people are either on their way to rehab or have just gotten out so the sight of me swaying in the wind on my stilts may have made them a bit skittish.

Like all really great ideas when one is tanked, I decided I needed to let Sir know exactly how much I loved him when I was in Junior High and what Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy meant to me. I had been sitting on a low chair just a few feet from him and as I went to get up my dress got caught under one of my heels. This sent me tumbling directly toward Sir and, to break my fall I grabbed for the nearest thing, which happened to be his orange-colored head. A beefy hand caught me a mere centimeter before I would have tumbled fully into Sir’s lap. Sir squealed and gave me a look of such horror you’d think I was bathed in blood. He was promptly herded back to his pack by his wranglers.

Suddenly there was a buzz in the crowd. The herd began to get skittish again. I noticed a very small man in a very bright red suit. An alpha had just arrived. I can’t type his name, it was formerly one thing but now is a symbol that my computer keyboard cannot duplicate…though an elaborate calligraphy set might. He took up residence in a corner in classic defensive position so he could see his enemies approach.

Luckily, his entrance had taken any attention away from me and the intervention I’m sure they were all planning. So much for blending in and studying these creatures in their habitat. I found my colleagues and regrouped.

Now that my cover had been blown, we left and went back to the real world where I had an appropriately undignified end to the evening as I spent it on the soothingly cool tile floor of my friend’s bathroom.