Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Does A Body Good

Monday evening I saw Milk. In the theaters. Yes, I paid my $12.50, but I was not alone! We had been intending to see Slumdog Millionaire, but when we got to the theater all of the ticket kiosks were not working which caused great confusion and one heck of a line to the actual ticket counter where actual people give you your tickets. By the time we got up to the front to buy our tickets it was too close to the start time for us to get popcorn and not be sitting in the front of the theater. Thanks a lot, AMC 25 at Times Square! So we changed our movie from Slumdog to Milk since that started a little bit later.

Milk was very good, and inspiring in it's way, but it's hard not to watch it and feel sad. It's TOO timely. Effing Propositions to limit people's rights in California. Except it seems we had greater success for pushing back against the oppression 30 years ago. The movie reawakened the disappointment I felt about Prop. 8 at election time. It was hard to really experience it then with the Obama win being so inspiring. But watching the movie, which is so well-acted and very interesting, it puts the spotlight back on the huge problem of social inequality for gay people in this country. And it made me sad to think that we're having such a similar argument 30 years later.

But then I thought about the actual movie and thought too about how gayness and gay characters have been changing in just the past decade. I remember in college how student groups would come into the Health Education Office looking for gay-themed movies for events on raising awareness and there were so few main stream movies to pick from. Now it seems like that taboo has fallen away and straight or gay actors can play gay characters and there's no fear of career backlash. Also it seems like stories involving gay, lesbian, and transgender characters are gaining more focus in film. Even a couple years ago Brokeback Mountain seemed to pushing the envelope with its gay cowboy love story, but in some ways Milk seems more provacative a film, but is met with less fanfare because the subject matter has an easier reception now. These are steps forward, maybe not in terms of legislation, but at least in terms of public awareness. As gay people gain focus as an integrated part of the American psyche, more people will accept the need for change and equality. So that's a good thing. And i think Milk is a very good example of that. Sean Penn and Josh Brolin are just terrific at humanizing their characters. They are flawed and have many levels and their interaction together is ultimately tragic for both. This is one you should definitely see.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

$12.50

I was walking around 34th street stores today, looking for after Christmas deals along with oh 34 million other people, when I decided to stop shopping and take in a movie. I walked up to the Loews on 34th and 8th ave. I tend to see a lot of movies there, probably because the tickets used to be a little cheaper there. Then they raised them to normal market prices, but I continued going there out of habit. So anyway, I stroll in there today with about 10 minutes to the next showing of Benjamin Button, so i opt to see that. I go to the kiosk to purchase my ticket and the screen says it will cost $12.50. $12.50?!! When the hell did THIS happen? I'm not usually one of those people who likes to say "i remember when this crap was much cheaper," but i do remember buying tickets for TWILIGHT back in NOVEMBER and it was certainly NOT $12.50 Loews. What gives? Why the sudden spike in prices when the economy is in the crapper? I was so annoyed that I did not go to the movie. I'm not swearing off movies, but unlike live theater, I don't really enjoy going to the movies by myself. I wasn't gonna spend that plus even more on a popcorn and soda just for myself. Especially when I could go home and watch a movie via netflix on my computer for practically nothing. So yes, I remember a time when there were actual matinee prices and nighttime prices. I remember when movies were 10 bucks and then 11. but 12.50? This is new to me. I am not pleased.

Friday, December 26, 2008

What Not To Watch

I might have mentioned this before, but no channel goes out of it's way to be TV's answer to the Weekly World News like TLC. The house that Trading Spaces built now gives air time to almost every physical abnormality or surprising medical condition known to man. Oh sure, they still have a good What Not To Wear marathon at the holidays, but the promos they run DURING that Marathon sometimes make you think you're watching the Sci-Fi channel (if only, then we'd get promos for the Galactica Finale! It's so close I can taste it! The taste is bittersweet!)

Here are some of the programs coming up this weekend. Judge for yourself.

Untold Stories of the ER
Half Man, Half Tree
Treeman, Search For The Cure
Mermaid Girl
Half Ton Teen
Half Ton Mom
Half Ton Dad
Jon & Kate Plus 8
Kids By The Dozen

I'm intrigued to know if Kids by the Dozen is some kind of spin-off of J&K+8, or if the network thought they had to outdo themselves after +8's success. I'd also be interested to know if all the Half Ton shows focus on one family or several. Is it one familyof obese people who each get their own show or did the producers have to search around the country for the right half ton people that could carry a series. I probably won't watch any of these shows, because they don't get the Holiday marathon treatment, but I'm amazed they exist at all. How long before we get offerings like "My Lover, My Centaur" or "Z is for Zombie" or "Fingerless at Forty"? Nothing is too extreme for TLC.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Gray Lady, Baby!

The New York Times gave a shout out to Legally Brown! How cool is that? A lovely Christmas Present from the legitmate press. You can read all about it here! Legally Brown, as always can be located here.

O's Christmas Tree! O's Christmas Tree!



Here's a pic of this year's xmas tree in my apartment. It's been a good tree! Merry Christmas to all!

It's A Wonderful Cry

I have a holiday tradition that started six years ago when I moved out on my own. On Christmas Eve, I stay home alone, wrap my family's Christmas presents which I will deliver on Christmas Day, watch It's A Wonderful Life and cry. To some, this may sound sad, but I look forward to it every year. I don't cry because I'm sad that I'm alone on Christmas Eve. I cry because I LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. And there's something beautiful and refreshing to me about taking time by myself to experience the movie while prepping gifts for the people I love.



It's always interesting to see at what point in the film the tears will start flowing. The first time I watched the movie on my own it was when Young Mary leans over the drug store counter and says to Young George "Is this the ear you can't hear in? George Bailey, I'll love you til the day I die." I started crying there and didn't stop until the movie was over. There was also a year that I started crying right at the beginning when everybody is praying for George. That was a mess. But mostly now I don't cry for long jags, there are just scenes or lines that make me go into these heavy silent sobs. This can happen anywhere from when Mr. Gower beats up on young George in a drunken rage, to when Mary first sets eyes on George at the prom, to when George grabs Mary and tells her "i'm gonna do what I wanna do!" before caving in. And of course the undeniable moment when Harry calls his brother the richest man in town. How can a person not be moved by that?

I can't recite the whole movie by heart if it's not on, but while I'm watching it I can chime in at any point and do all the great lines. That's become a part of the Christmas Eve ritual as well. I really like everything that Young George says especially when he's dealing with violet ("HELP YA DOWN??") or Mary "Say brainless, don't you know where coconuts come from?"

The best scene in the whole movie though has to be the quiet moment between George and Mary after they move the Martinis into their new home. They're doing this great thing of setting up a family with a nice house, but all they feel in the moment is trapped in their lives as their friends have moved away and become more financially successful. It's all expressed as George shows his frustrations by kicking the car door closed. But DUDE, Donna Reed is your wife and that truly is a wonderful life. But you can tell in the scene that Mary is feeling the strain of her life as well, even though she loves her husband and children.

Another great thing about this tradition is that every time I watch the movie different things jump out at me. This year, it was how awesome Donna Reed is as Mary. George avoids her so much because he knows she's the most wonderful thing on the planet, but if he chooses her he has to compromise his other dreams! But she's so totally worth doing that! And also this year, I really felt for Uncle Billy. Usually i HATE Uncle Billy. He's kinda feeble-minded, and a bit of a jerk to boot. If he hadn't been so keen on sticking it to Potter about Harry's commendation, he wouldn't have lost the money and George would've been fine. Usually when George yells at Billy for losing the money, I feel it's deserved, but this time I really felt bad for the guy. He really can't help himself and it's so sad!

So now we put It's A Wonderful Life back on the shelf for another year. I look forward to another trip to Bedford Falls next year and wonder what turn of phrase or facial gesture will set off the waterworks next time. Until then, when the gym floor will inevitably open up and Mary will hilariously ask George why must he torture the children, I remember that outside of the film, it really is a wonderful life we lead, and that as Clarence would tell us, no man is a failure who has friends. Enjoy those wings, Clarence!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

DDR on TONY

Dance Dance Revolution closed last night. It was a great run. I can't believe it's over! Thanks to everyone who came out to see it. And I love the cast and crew so much. You are the greatest!

If you missed the show, or just can't get enough, here's a link to a special Time Out New York Experience in the show. You can see me a couple times at the beginning dancing in my street clothes. Special shout outs to Jose and Jo for getting behind the mic and added their special Dance Corps flare to the occasion.

Mickey Mouse! Mickey Mouse! All around the world we're marching!



In A Facebook Universe...

This is another delightfful video that i saw posted on Facebook, of all places. Confirm or Ignore? The true question of our times. STATUS UPDATE!

Team Hilarious

I love Puppets and I love the infectious absurdity of Twilight, so the following video is right up my alley. I personally like when she finds out he's a vampire, the overuse of the word "team" and the rather impressive gazebo at the end. Great work, SpookyDan!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Read It To Believe It: Episode 3

Subtitle: Can robots join equity?

Robots are now having an easier time getting cast in a musical then I am. They might have perfect pitch, but i'm sure their performance is still a little souless and stiff. Hardy Har. Read on.

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2008/12/12/187273/Robots-to.htm

Read It To Believe It: Episode 2

Subtitled: New things on the KFC menu to make you throw up

These girls are the new poster children for White Trash. I cannot believe they actual turned the KFC vat into a hot tub. It's especially good at triggering my gag reflex because these girls are not attractive. Hotties in the KFC cooker might have been slightly more acceptable. They should really stay out of the food preparation business.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2008/12/11/2008-12-11_kentucky_fried_chicken_trio_photographed.html

Read it to believe it. Episode 1

Subtitle: Be glad they weren't performing Sweeney Todd.

This is an actor's nightmare. I swear I read it several times before I believed it was an actual article from an actual news source. But it is. A warning to actors: ALWAYS CHECK YOUR PROPS!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/11/actor-slits-throat

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dance Dance Pics

Here are some jammin' pics from DDR. The last batch of house seats went on sale this Thursday. Now the run is completely sold out. Vexy exciting! I have to remember to tell dad how to get to the theater for tomorrow.



The dance corps in mid-flight





Vayu catching some serious hangtime.





Dance Dancers Unite! (I'm just out of frame to the left! Really I'm there!)

Jesus, take the wheel!


I think this picture is kind of insane. I think it's amazing that the Super Church is big enough to have two SUV's on stage. I think it's astounding that this is what people have been brought to do in the face of the Auto Industry Collapsing. But seriously? If I had to ask myself "What Would Jesus Do?" in such a situation, i doubt his plan would include bringing giant gas guzzling machines up to the altar in a house of worship and praying for god to change them into Hybrid vehicles like so much water into wine.


I love how the dancer down in front is SO INTO IT. Obviously God will see her dancing and he will save them all from the ineptitude of an industry that has made no real advances toward fuel efficiency and alternate energy soucres for the past 30 years. I appreciate her dedication, but the whole enterprise is just spectacularly ridiculous to me. Save me, Jeebus, indeed!
Head here for the full article.

Remote Control

I have a friend, who shall remain Nameless, who has a problem. His problem is this: when he goes to sing karaoke, once he gets his hand on the remote to punch in a song, he cannot stop at one. Sometime there are 3 or 4 songs put in at once, mostly under the rationale that these are songs "for the whole room to sing." Now i love, Nameless, I do, but this is a problem. He is something of a Remotaholic. Just like an Alckie can't take just one drink he can't pick just one song. I feel there is a courtesy rule of karaoke that you put one song in and then pass the remote to someone else so that song distribution is even among party members. If someone else puts in a song after you and asks you to duet, that is also acceptable. But then you have to give it a rest.

What should not happen is this: Nameless sings a song, everyone appaluds, a new song comes on , the whole room gets confused and says "wait... who put this song in?" and then Nameless says "oh, it's mine again!" UNACCEPTABLE!

I don't know why this makes me so irrationally angry but it turns out I'm not alone. I recently read an article about people being killed in Eastern Asia at karaoke bars for singing certain songs over and over again. You can read all about it here.

In conclusion, karaoke can be dangerous. Change up your song choices, don't always sing the same favorites. And sometimes it's best to just put down the remote. Listen to someone else belt out The Theme From Ice Castles or Baby got Back. A little courtesy can go a long way. And on the flip side, if you know someone is a Remotaholic, try to be understanding without enabling. It could save a life!

Coach of the Year!

Special Shout Out today to Cousin-In-Law John for being named AFCA Assistant Coach of The Year. John is a great guy and an excellent coach. He totally deserves it for his hard work on the field and his charity work off of it. Congrats, John!

Read all about it here!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Purple Reign, Purple Reign

This past Saturday, Miggy graduated from an Orange Belt in karate class to a Purple Belt. This was a momentous occasion. We have been waiting YEARS to get to purple belt. Purple is Miguel's favorite color, so reaching this level was extremely important to him. I'm amazed he's stuck with it this long, but I'm proud that he made it. Now he will enter the training for his black belt. If he sticks with it long enough, he's gonna get it!!

the ceremony was held for a bunch of classes at once at Hunter College. They were all doing their best, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I could kick all their asses if I really wanted to. I know, I know. They are children. Still, I just wanted to yell at them, "sharper! don't hesitate! move with conviction!" They weren't committing to the movement. It would cost them dearly in a true fight. And I, of course, would've shown them no mercy.

The experience reminded me of the time Kramer fought those kids in karate class. it's a classic moment I've included below:

ITH - Dreams Come True

This is beautiful and makes me cry. I remember watching the first video of Nicholas with Lin, and it's amazing that it's grown into this. I can only imagine how Nicholas must feel. I don't know how i would've felt if i got to run around the set of Into The Woods with the OBC singing with me. This brings me so much joy. Watch and fall in love.

Thankful

Oh Lordy. So many times have I planned to write since Thanksgiving Weekend and so many times I have not. Things have been busy. Thanksgiving Dinner was delicious. My 5 year old and three year old niece finally realized i was alive and a skilled player of "Barbies" if only provided the right dolls and a decent Dream Castle Play Set. Family time was good times. Obama remains President Elect and he continues to speak intelligently and I continue to love him fervently. Dance Dance Revolution has merrily taken over my life. Things are pretty good!

That's not to say everything is perfect. the economic downturn is gonna be a HUGE problem in NYC and across the country. The terrorism in Mumbai was extremely distressing. We have big problems ahead of us in so many areas. But I honestly can't get over my feeling of hope. I truly believe we have the opportunity to turn a corner. Nothing is for certain, but I believe it can happen. For so long, when I looked ahead I did not have a lot to believe in. It really has a lot to do with Obama, both as a person but also as a symbol. I think part of me really didn't believe the country would elect the best candidate just because he was black. It's the fact that I didn't really believe a black man could be elected president. I believed the country would let us down and we'd be as racist as we feared we were. I thought we'd let ourselves down. But we didn't! So maybe this means I could be wrong about other things I am pessimistic about. Maybe I can be hopeful that other things I didn't think would happen COULD happen. Maybe it's okay to work towards goals without feeling it will inevitably fall apart! Those are great things to feel. And I am so thankful for that hope.

Oh and I'm also thankful for Kelly Clarkson.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Always Been A Long Ride To Coney Island

Saturday Night I went to see the Encores! production of On The Town. I'd never seen the show or the movie, but it's one of those classics where you know a bunch of the songs going in. I didn't really connect with the production, even though i thought a lot of the elements were first rate. I waited a day to see if I felt differently about it, once it settled in.

Turns out, i don't! the problem for me was the staging. It felt like they weren't sure how to balance the importance of the music and the importance of the dancing. They ultimately put the orchestra smack dab center stage and had the dancer on a platform behind the orchestra. This had the optical effect of really distancing the dancers, and totally cut off the view of everyone in the upper balcony from seeing the dancers altogether.

The show itself is light and fun and anyone who loves NYC will like the musical love letter written to the 5 Boroughs. It was fun to hear jokes about the subway considering it's still such a punchline in current events. When the characters make a long trip out to Coney Island late at night, it's easy to empathize with their amazement at how many stops there are before you get there.

I'm glad I got to see the show. Great score. Funny Book. Great dancing. Memorable preformances. So it's puzzling it left me cold. It just didn't grab me. Sometimes that's how it goes.

MTA? A-OK!

Your pending schedule cuts can't come soon enough, MTA! Just this week I was thinking how your extreme efficiency was getting me to my destinations too quickly. Sometimes when I'm late for work and I blame it on the trains not running, I get the impression people don't believe me because it's such a lame excuse and I use it ALMOST EVERY DAY! Maybe once you get rid of the W train altogether, elminate several buslines and cut back on service everwhere else, people will think it's more plausible. I just can't wait for Spring!

Also, I want to say how happy I am that you are planning a 23% fare hike. Sometimes when the A train is stalled heading uptown on the way to 125th street, I have too much time to think, and I start to feel guilty about how little it costs to take a trip on this amazing subway system. I was thinking it was about 23% below where it needed to be, so this puts it right on target. Thank you for freeing me from my guilt!

I also just want say that it's been an exciting adventure these past few weekends trying to figure out your construction-related system detours. The N train runs express to Queensboro plaza, but doesn't go into Manhattan and then runs express heading to Brooklyn making it QUITE THE CHALLENGE to get to Prince Street Station. The R train is on the F V line. The uptown C train goes express from Canal. The 2 train runs local to 96th st. The Q train runs local on the R line. It's crazy sauce to me, but I'm sure it's entirely necessary to keep the whole system from collapsing in on itself. And I have to laugh at myself when i add an extra half hour to my travel time and still wind up 10 minutes late to a destination that sould be only 20 minutes away to begin with. I have to be at rehearsal at 4pm this afternoon, and I probably should have already left - and it's 11am! LOL!

...omigod, MTA, i hate you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

snacks to the max

I have always had a soft spot for Entenmann's products. When I was little, my Grandparents would get tons of cookies and cakes from a friend who worked for the company. It was all stuff that was juuuust about to expire (which I assume is why they were giving it away) but most of the stuff had also been in the freezer so it really had more of a shelf life than usual. Plus, a box of cookies doesn't really last that long with a 6-year-old cookie junkie and his two older sisters anyway, so expirartion dates don't factor in.

My favorite of all the baked goods were these giant choco chip cookies with nuts that were the size of an adult's fist. They came six (possibly eight) to a box. They were totally delicious and 1 or 2 at a time they were the perfect meal. They stopped making them a while ago, and then they brought back an inferior version with a different recipe. Boo-urns to that.

As one gets older, one cannot eat as many Entenmann's products as one used to without it reflecting unfavorably in the belly area. It is a sad reality. However, they now have 100 calorie packs called Little Bites. that make a decent snack when you're craving some soft baked sugary goodness. You can get the taste you are craving without becoming a total fatty. As you would guess, there are usually only a few small nibbles per pack, but you get used to it. That is, I did, until I tried the chocoate chip muffin minis.

TWO?? TWO MUFFIN MINI's PER PACKET?? That is simply not enough. They need to come up with a less calorie filled muffin and put more bites in each packet. It's insane to think two little things are gonna be enough of a snack. There is not enough to chew. You don't get the sense that you've eaten anything. You know you've reached your 100 calorie limit, but you're not ready to move on.

Work it out, Entenmann's. I like your stuff. I'm a lifelong junkie, but I need more substance in my snacks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Glo Hopper Bliss

In my opinion, the best part of being in a play where you're an unnamed member of an ensemble, is making up your backstory. You can really be anything you want. You can create complex psychological and emotional connection to your ensemble-mates. You can have a mysterious or adventuresome history that brought you to where the action is in the play. The sky is the limit. No one watching the play will be aware that you might have been abducted by aliens, or a spelling bee winner, or tortured by a fear of pies, but as an actor YOU know those things and it makes the experience more playful and exciting.

Right now I'm in a play called Dance Dance Revolution. It's kinda like Footloose set in a post apocalyptic future and dance revolutionaries are fighting the No-Dance Authorities. There are many many actors in the ensemble, and Alex, our Director, asked us all to come up with personas for our DDR characters. Not only did we all make up some really random awesome crazy shit, we posted it all on a super awesome website.

www.dancefreedomforever.

My character's name is Glo Hopper Bliss. He gets his name from one of the Glo Friends. I believe in the future there is a new religion where the characters on Glo Friends have become saints. I actually picked up a cameo role in the show with an actual name in the show, but Glo Hopper is still the main attraction. If you would like more info on my persona pleas go to www.dancefreedomforever.com. There's a great list of who everyone is in the show, and everyone came up with really funny details about their characters.

And please come see the show Dec. 3-20 at the Ohio Theater. $18 tickets through smartix. Tuesdy through Sunday at 8pm. It's gonna be great. It's really funny and out of it's mind and you'll laugh at the craziness and marvel at the dancing!

Glo Hopper Bliss wants you in the audience!

WTF, SVU?

Listen, SVU. I like it when your plots are out there, but tonight you have lost me. I haven't been playing too close attention, but it seems that someone was raising an illegal tiger and it mauled someone to death. But wait! The tiger they think it is, is not the right tiger because DNA from the saliva doesn't match the victim. So there must be a second tiget and someone must be trafficking in animal trade...

What does this have to do with Special Victims? What the hell is going on? Why is Elliot ignoring his wife? Who is Bushido and why is he having animals kill people? I feel like I don't even know this show anymore! I'm giving up on this week's episode, SVU. Call me when all the animals are back in their cages and people start touching each other inappropriately again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Learning to Trust Again: NY Knicks Edition

I am a Knicks fan. It's been this way since elementray schools. I cared little for arguments over Rangers vs. Islanders, Mets vs. Yankees, Giants vs. Jets. The Knicks were the home team worth rooting for. At that point, Riley was the Coach and Ewing was the star. They never won the Championship, but they sure came close once or twice. My favorite era of Knicks fandom are the Jeff Van Gundy years. His sudden mid-season departure way back when, was a huge loss, and every since then it's been downhill for my team.

I can't stand to watch the Knicks lose. It's heartbreaking. There is much screaming at the screen. When i was younger it would take days to recover from a loss. I couldn't look at the newspapers the next day. I cannot watch them if they have a losing record. It is not because I can only support a winning team. It is because it is too emotionally and physically upsetting to watch from that perspective. I can't do that to myself anymore.

The Thomas years, were years spent in Exile from my beloved team. I can't tell you how much I hated his reign of terror. He was like the George W. Bush of Head Coaches, just stubborn and awful and in his own world.

Now that he is gone, and Coach Mike D'Antoni is in there, I have returned to my team. They actually have a winning record 6 games into the season! Who remembers the last time that happened? I'm thrilled to be able to get a chance to really learn the new roster and see what they can come up with. I'm not expecting miracles. I am hoping for the play-offs. Please, don't let me down, Knicks. I am trusting you!

If Obama Had Lost...

the scene at Alex's birthday party would have probably gone like this. It's a recording of some girls watching the American Idol Finale when David Cook rightly kicked the ass of Daivd Archuleta. I don't hate Archie. I like his single "Crush" just fine. But I didn't want him to win and I'm glad he lost to Cook.

It's fair to say these girls LOVE Archie. Their rage, anguish and disbelief at Cook's win is totally hilarious. I can imagine it's truly upsetting for them, but clearly they are too young to remember the national horror that was Election Night 2000, and then the insult to injury that was Election Night 2004. Hang tight, girls. You get another chance to pick the American Idol winner in 2009.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Change We Got

Tuesday was an amazing day in history. We all know it. Here are a few highlights of the day:

BFF Votes For the First Time! It was great to know someone who had never voted before in a national election, who now felt motivated to vote for someone for the first time. Barack was the change she believed in. She was a little nervous and i think might have felt a little insecure about being an adult that wasn't already familiar with the ballot-casting process. But she did not let insecurity stop her! She voted and realized how painless the process could be. Brava, BFF. You fulfilled your civic duty!

I voted for Obama. I was so excited to vote for him. I was humming the "I've got a crush on Obama" Song the whole time i waited on line. Everyone there seemed so eager to vote, even though the lines were longer than anyone had ever seen them there. Afterwards, "For Now" from Avenue Q came on my ipod and when "George Bush!" got called out, I broke down in tears right in the middle of the street.

Being with friends. It was my friend Alex's birthday/election party. His birthday is such that it usually falls right around election day. It was an amazing assortment of people with whom I went to college. Lots of them are married now, but since lots of those marrieds don't have kids yet, they can still come out to play on a school night. After the total horror that was losing in 2000 when we were all at Wesleyan, i really felt like something was restored to us as a group to be able to witness Barack's win together. We've basically spent our adult lives working against a horrible, divisive, fear-mongering administration. For me, it felt almost baptismal to be with them the moment they announced that Obama had won at 11pm. It felt like so much weight and sadness had been washed away. Finally we could address these huge problems facing our world with hope in our hearts instead of anxiety and frustration. The country did what it collectively ought to have done in electing Barack Obama. That knowledge, that moment, can never be taken away from us. We did the right thing. John McCain deserved to lose for the campaign he ran. Not because he himself is awful, but because he did not run a campaign that was reflective of him. He gave control of his campaign to the wrong kind of people with the wrong strategy, and if he could do that with his campaign, he could do that with his Administration. But getting back to my main point, being able to unite with my friends in-person, after uniting with them via the internet to take a more active part in the campaign was a truly momentous occasion. For us to be a little older, a little wiser, a little more active and a lot more hopeful eight years later? That is fucking awesome.

Taking it to the streets. After Obama's amazing victory speech, we left Alex's apartment and headed for union square. You could hear people all over the place screaming and cheering. Cars and trucks all over were honking horns along with the chant "O-BAM-A! O-BAM-A!" and "YES! WE! CAN!" Union Square was a sea of bodies, all excited none really sure what to do with themselves. We danced and and cheered and hugged... and then i could not ignore the fact that i had to be at work at 9am the next day and had to go home. But the night was filled with a fantastic energy that i will not soon forget.

The next morning. I remember waking up post-election day in 2000 and 2004 and immediately thinking, "what's the use? this is a total nightmare to face the world under a Bush Presidency?" then i checked the news and the race was undecided! Both times! But then it went to Bush. Both times. It was so great to wake up yesterday - even after only 4 hours sleep - and feel the Obama Era taking hold. And I turned on the TV and it was still very clear Obama had won. There would be no court battle, no slimy feeling of a stolen election. We just had the somewhat scary, very hopeful, and totally exciting question to ponder: What Happens Now? Whatever happens, everyone needs to be a part of moving forward. I can't wait to find out what good comes from the change we got.

Monday, November 3, 2008

2008 ING NYC Marathon Playlist

Here's my Marathon Playlist. Amazingly it worked out perfectly! I charged toward the finish line to Green Day's cover of The Simpsons Theme and crossed just as the tempo picked up on Don't Stop Me Now by Queen. Here's the whole list!

Mile 1
You Can't Take No For An Answer, Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem
Happy Birthday, Bright Lights, Big City (Studio Cast)
Straight Lines, Silverchair
Mile 2
Final Fantasy IV - Main Theme
30/90, Tick, tick... BOOM!
Mile 3
Outer World Theme, Final Fantasy VII
Home, Chris Daughtry
Mile 4
Is It Any Wonder?, Keane
Lost Ones, Jay-Z
Vertigo, U2
Mile 5
Blackout, In The Heights
Breakthrough, Hope 7
Bury My Lovely (October Project), The Cardinal Sinners
Mile 6
Some People, Patti LuPone
One Angry Dwarf And 200 Solemn Faces, Ben Folds Five
When you're next to me, Mitch & Mickey
Mile 7
Cheer Up, Boys (your make-up is running), Foo Fighters
One Minute, Kelly Clarkson
Oh My, Mellowdrone
Mile 8
So What (Main Version), P!nk
Music Is The Victim, Scissor Sisters
That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed), Panic At the Disco
Mile 9
Mr Brightside, The Killers
A Little Respect, Erasure
Goodnight Goodnight, Hot Hot Heat
Mile 10
The Water Song, Julia Meinwald
The Goonies R Good Enough, Cyndi Lauper
The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In), Hair
Mile 11
Your Fault/Last Midnight. Into the Woods [Original Broadway Cast]
Going Through The Motions, Once More With Feeling
BTW - Write Back, Andrea Burns
Mile 12
Invincible, Pat Benatar
Barrel of a Gun, Guster
Shoplifter, Green Day
Mile 13
I'm Lion-O, Relient K
Kansas Sky Highway, True Fans
We Are Not Strangers, Runaways Soundtrack
Mile 14
Run for Your Life, Nancy Sinatra
Blinded (When I See You), Third Eye Blind
I Kissed A Girl, Katy Perry
Mile 15
Stuttering, Ben's Brothers
Don't Waste Your Time, Kelly Clarkson
The Bucket, Kings Of Leon
Mile 16
Crush, David Archuleta
Just Fine, Mary J. Blige
Can You Picture That? Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem
Mile 17
bleeding love, leona lewis
96,000, In The Heights Soundtrack
Mile 18
Pocketful Of Sunshine, Natasha Bedingfield
U & Ur Hand, P!nk
Bones, The Killers
Mile 19
When I Grow Up, The Pussy Cat Dolls
Funplex, The B-52's
I've Just Seen A Face, Across The Universe Soundtrack
Mile 20
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams, Green Day
Looking At the World from the Bottom of a Well, Mike Doughty
All I Do Is Dream of You, Singin' in the Rain Soundtrack
Mile 21
Princes Of The Universe, Queen
Motorcycle Drive-By (acoustic live),Third Eye Blind
March of the Witch Hunters, Wicked Soundtrack
Mile 22
Take My Temperature, Kaiser Chiefs
Swollen Summer, The Bravery
Nowadays / Hot Honey Rag,Chicago Movie Soundtrack
Mile 23
Pounding, Doves
Lollipop, Mika
Bastian's Happy Flight, The Never Ending Story Soundtrack
Mile 24
Girlfriend, Avril Lavigne
Who Knew, P!nk
Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell Soundtrack
Mile 25
Gone, Kelly Clarkson
Eagle Fly Free, Helloween
Thundercats Theme
Mile 26
Bigger Than My Body, John Mayer
Carnaval Del Barrio, In The Heights Soundtrack
The Simpsons Theme (From "The Simpsons Movie"), Green Day
Don't Stop Me Now, Queen

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wig in A Box



Happy Belated Halloween! I hope everyone had a fun time. I definitely did. It's great to walk around NYC and see tons of people dressed up like pirates and superheros and vampires and slutty snow whites (shout out, BFF!). I think it's great that it's socially acceptable to run around looking crazy for one night, and the crazier and more inventive you get, the more impressed with you other people become.

I always enjoy crafting a Halloween Costume. Previous years have brought us BatBoy, The W Train, Seymour from Little Shop, and Sam Witwicky from Transformers (to compliment Miggy's Optimus Prime.) This year it was Sweeney Todd. I've been planning on being Sweeney Todd for Halloween since last winter when Sweeney Todd came out in theaters. I am pretty in love with the movie and Tim Burton's designs and Johnny Depp's performance. Sweeney also might be my favorite Sondheim score. So this was an obvious choice for a Halloween costume and I did a lot of pre-planning.



I knew i could piece together a Burtonesque black and white sweeney-like ensemble, but I would need the hair with trademark white-stripe, and also some razors for accessories. What would Sweeney be without his friends?



I looked online and found that there is a mass-produced sweeney costume! It's basically a pirate costume and i didn't really like it. But they also sold a wig AND a razor kit. Excellent! Now before i ordered these things online, I went to check out Ricky's, the costume store that opened right outside my office on Broadway and 19th st.



Ricky's has every mass produced costume there is! Except Sweeney Todd. Boo-urns. I went looking for it in the beginning of October and I even asked one of the guys who worked there for help (which i never do!) and he totally shot down my dreams of getting my costume without the cost shipping and handling fees. They just didn't have it, they said. So I ordered it online.

Two weeks pass, and I realize I have not received my wig and razors. Halloween is fast approaching and I'm getting nervous. Didn't I get an email order confirmation? I check, and i did. I call the company's number and this guy answers. "Hello," I say, "I'd like to check my order number blah-blah-blah, it's a sweeney todd wig and razor set." He checks. "Oh yeah," he says, "We don't have any more of those. Your order won't be filled. Someone should have called you." Que QUE?? It said "in stock" when i ordered it, so what the hell happened? Costume Company could not provide me with a sufficient answer. So i look for another place online to buy it, that can get me the wig in less than a week. I find one and I order it, for roughly the same price as the one I had ordered before.

The next day I go looking in ricky's for weapons that will closely resemble the razors. There are no fake razors available online. I take a stroll through the horror costumes and what do i find but the sweeney todd costume! And WIGS! for much cheaper than I paid online. I was so upset! Why had the Ricky's salesman led me astray a few week's ago. Why didn't he say we didn't have those costumes YET. YET was the key word in the sentence! Well, whatever. I'd have my wig in the mail and that would be fine. I still had no razors.

Two days before Halloween, my wig has not yet arrived. I'm getting anxious. It should've arrived on Wednesday at the latest and here it was Wednesday night and there was no wig. I check the order status online and it says "Delivered"! Can you believe it? Two mail-order wigs that never got to me. I immediately see the upside to this though. I can cancel my lost order and then buy the wig at Ricky's for the cheaper price! Woohoo!



When I get to Ricky's, there are still wigs there and another delightful treat - Razor sets! For only 10 bucks. I buy two. When I go to the register, I mention that I had been looking for the razors for almost all of October. "Oh yeah," says the sales lady, "We had them in a box, but it didn't get opened until yesterday. People, how are you gonna sell the product if you don't put in on the SHELVES?






Anyway, I got my razors and my wigs after several failed purchases and I had a great time. The general consensus was that I looked really creepy and people on the street smiled at me with recognition and appreciation. I felt very good. Another successful Halloween! I can't wait to start to start thinking about next year!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dead Mum?! How was i SUPPOSED to react?

Tuesday night I went to see Billy Elliot.



(Actual Billys in the production not pictured.)



Billy Elliot is... worth seeing! The dancing and the staging and the sets are are amazing. It's totally beautiful, with the potential of moving audience members to tears. That alone is worth the price of admission. The rest of the play is a bit uneven in its execution, but I don't think you'll walk away caring about it too much. It's Billy Elliot. You've come to see the kid dance "BAAA-lee" and dance BAA-lee he does with amazing energy and finesse.



The uneveness comes from the show's book, singing and acting. It's not that some of the cast are amazing and some are not so good. It's that the whole cast has moment's of brilliance and then other moments that really miss. It's still in previews mind you, and I'm sure some of that will be ironed out as they head toward their actual opening. The book is a little too long. It does not take 3 hours to tell this story, but maybe there is all that padding to give the kid a little time to catch his breath before he has to dance his butt off again.



If you don't know the story, it's basically about this kid named Billy Elliot who lives in a coal mining town in the early 80's in Britain that's about to crushed under the iron will of Maggie Thatcher. His mom is dead, his brother and father work in the mine and are involved in a messy miner's strike and Billy happens to fall in love with BAA-leee, instead of boxing. He's got amazing potential, but can his dad and the community in general spare the time and money to help one kid make good, while the rest of them lose everything they have? The answer is yes, but the path is not easy.



The cast is huge and the children almost outnumber the adults, but it's easy enough to keep the character's straight. I guess it would be even easier to follow if you're a big fan of the movie. I haven't seen the Billy Elliot movie in years, and wasn't always interested in learning about the miner's strike during the stage version. The townfolk were painted a little broadly and not given a lot of characterization during the group scenes.



But now allow me a minute on Dead Mum. This would be Billy's Mum, who is dead, and that is how she is referred to in the playbill. Dead Mum and Billy have two songs together and they are both lovely, however I leave you with this warning. If your mother ever wrote you letters as she was dying in real life, perhaps these songs will open difficult emotional recesses of your psyche. They did for me. I cried and cried. Crying is fine. There's nothing wrong with being moved emotionally. But Dead Mum, her message to Billy and his message back to her, really just drove a truck through the emotional defenses I've built up over the past 10 years and had me really in an emotional state. It's not a reason not to see the show, just considered yourselves forewarned.



ALSO: These kids are just kids and I feel you should respectfully leave them alone after the performance. The Billy from our performance (three young actors alternate the role) happened to walk out the stage door as we were leaving and he was visibly (and understandably) totally exhausted. And here come the autograph hounds trying to get him to sign autographs as he's barely got the sense to look for his mom in the crowd. Back the eff off, people. Your aggression is totally inappropriate. If it looks like the kid is about to fall over, just vocally congratulate him and move on.



There's a really interesting article in New York magazine about the production and the young cast. Here's a link: http://nymag.com/arts/theater/features/51543/

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Twenty Nine

I am now 29. 5 days to go. 360 to go. If I change my personality 1 degree for the rest of the year I will make completely circle around and meet myself again by the time I'm thirty. This would prove that as time goes by, the more things change, the more they say the same. Does that make sense? I swear I'm not high as I'm writing this. If you call me overtired, then guilty as charged.

I had a very fun party at my place this year. I have not hosted a party in forever and was not sure how it would go. When I woke up and saw it was windy and overcast, I immediately thought no one would show up. It's hard to expect people to travel between boroughs in inclement weather. I know I drop plans at the slightest drop of rain on a cold day. But my friends are better people than I am, and they came out and we had a fun time talking and eating and playing mafia until the wee hours of the morning. There was the watching of the world series on my Giant TV (i must name my TV, it deserves an Identity). Then when most people left I watched The Warriors on Blu Ray with friends who were waiting for a 5:15am (you read that right) train back to CT. The Warriors is a great 2am movie. The perfect movie to christen my new PS3. Happy birthday to ME!

I'm actually looking forward to the last year of my 20's and feeling good about what's to come in my 30s. I'm in a good place. I will be in an even better place if Barack wins 6 days from now. Right now I'm looking forward with a lot of hope. While I'm still not great at making plans, there are more goals and a greater sense of momentum and urgency in me to complete them. I'm excited and inspired. There's more than I need in my life and I'm gonna go after it. I have supportive family and friends. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Perhaps next year, I will be freaking out and singing 30/90 while in a cloud of my own filth like Pig Pen, but for now I feel good. To para-phase Obama, I am the change I've been waiting for. And to directly quote Kermit The Frog, "look at me. here i am. right where i belong."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

the town's as busy as bees!

I feel like I have not written anything here in a long time. I feel like I've posted quick things but not written. And I really want to write! Right now it is tricky, because almost all of my non-activity time has been taken up by running. Training for the marathon has been totally consuming. I don't feel physically or mentally run down by it, but I'm looking forward to having running going back to being part of my normal exercise routine, and not totally consuming my evenings.

So here are a few highlights of the past week and a half or so.

I participated in an Obama phonathon alter ting people in swing state Indiana that early voting had already begun, and that it was a very convenient way of voting. It eases congestion at polling places on Election Day and let's you get voting out of the way in case some emergency comes up on Election Day. Why put off voting tomorrow for the candidate you want today? What I learned from this experience was that it's very fulfilling to talk to nice people on the phone. Also? Dads in general, are suspicious of people trying to talk to their college-age students. We just want them to vote, good sirs! We don't want their money! Obama has plenty!

I saw Firefox in a fun show last week. It was good times. 5 short plays adding up to "The Goldberg Variations." Firefox is a talented actress! It was great to see her on-stage. And her mom wrote three of the pieces. She is a talented playwright!

I had a karaoke reunion with the '06 alums of my old theater company, Nitestar. We rocked out to many songs. Favorites I sang on Friday were Creep, What's Up?, Life On Mars, Don't Stop Me Now, Bohemian Rhapsody and Who Knew? There were more. It was a ton of fun. I'm so glad we all got back together.

I went home for my cousin's daughter's baptism. It was good to see the extended family. There was a tornado of young children running around. Lots of people asked me lots of questions about the marathon. Everyone seemed proud of me doing it. That made me feel good.

Dad got me an AMAZING new TV for my birthday. I think he had to one-up my present to him last spring of getting him really good seats to see In The Heights. So now I have a beautiful 42" flatscreen. It easily beats out any other birthday or Christmas present I've ever received. Now all the talking heads on TV are actual GIANT TALKING HEADS. I don't think I've ever loved a possession like I love this TV. If I could make love to this TV, I would. It's that awesome.

Those are some highlights of what's been going on. I turn 29 on Sunday, I am going to see Billy Elliot on Tuesday and then running the marathon on Nov. 2 and the election is on Nov. 4th. That's a lot of upcoming things to write about and there's much more non-event related stuff that's brewing in my brain. So I'll see you soon!

Legally Brown, Episode 6: The Grand Finale

All good things come to an end. Thanks to everyone who made Legally Brown possible! Congrats to the victor! :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

So just how old is this episode of SNL on E!...?

Well:

Host Jennifer Aniston is still married to Brad Pitt.

Friends has yet to go off the air.

John Kerry thinks his prospects of being the Democratic nominee are poor in the face of the Howard Dean Machine.

Britney had just married that kid for a day in Vegas.

Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon are hosting Weekend Update.

So this is circa '04. I can't believe Brangelina has all those kids in less than 4 years! Jenn was wearing a "I Love Brad Pitt" T-shirt at the end of the episode. Sad!

I finally watched you, Into The Wild!

I finally watched you, Into The Wild! I believe I've had you sitting on the end table in my living room for about 6 months, but finally I opened you up spent 2 and a half hours watching you and then put you back in the envelope and dropped you in the mail. Netflix will be so happy to have you back.

You were a good movie, Into The Wild. I always thought you would be, I was just never in the mood to watch you. I know you would be sad and possibly disturbing and I couldn't invest in watching you. I actually thought you were quite a beautiful movie with all-around great performances. It was totally worthwhile spending part of my sick day this week watching you. It shouldn't have taken so long, but better late than never.

Now I must update my Netflix queue, Into The Wild. It has been neglected since before you arrived at my house. Some of the movies I have to take off because I've watched them on cable, or bought them for my DVD collection. And there are new movies that have come out on DVD since then that need to be moved to the top of the list (I'm looking at you, Sex and The City and Kite Runner! Don't worry Shoot 'Em Up - you're still up there too!)

Legally Brown: Episode 5, Cheyenne's Little Problem

The Penultimate Episode! It is awesome blossom fabulous fantastic! Great job, Cheyenne!

Where have you been all my life, Gatorade Endurance?



Maybe I've written about this before. I don't care. I have to write about it again.

Gatorade Lemon Lime Endurance Formula and I first met during the NYC Half Marathon sponsored by Nike. Every mile or so there are refreshment stations, that usually just have water, but then occasionally they had High Endurance Gatorade. I have traditionally not been a fan of Gatorade. Growing up it was like a poor man's Kool-Aid. It LOOKED like it should be a super-sugary delight but then you'd gulp it down and it would mostly taste like water. It was a huge disappointment. I carried this grudge for many many years and never really drank Gatorade all the often. And I definitely was no big fan of Lemon-Lime flavored anything. But 6 miles in to a 13 mile race, you tend to look for a little variety in your fluids.

Gatorade Endurance Lemon Lime thirst quencher has to be one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted. I love it unconditionally. I thought my connection to it was based purely on the intense circumstances under which we met, but since then, I've had it stocked in my refrigerator and it's the best thing to gulp down after a long run. Or when you're not feeling well and you need an electrolyte pick me up. Or when you wake up at 3am from bad dreams and you need a little something to calm you down. It's the panacea of sports drinks, I tell you.

Sometimes my local Key Food does not stock Endurance Formula Gatorade. It makes me very upset. Sometimes I take for granted that it will always be around and I only buy a few at a time. And then weeks will pass and only regular Gatorade will be on the shelves. I look to the stock guys with plaintive eyes and they do not understand what my problem is. The problem is that I want my High Endurance and will not settle for lesser Gatorades! (though fierce grape is also pretty tasty.)

Luckily today after i completed the first 1/2 of my 20-mile run I went to Key Food and Endurance Formula Lemon Lime was back in plentiful supply on the shelves. I snatched it up off the shelves, while practically drooling all over myself in anticipation. It tastes better than I remembered it to taste. I'm so glad to have it back in stock in my fridge, satisfying my deep down body thirst.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I tire of you John McCain

I tire of you, John McCain. It takes a lot of energy to actively watch you in these debates. You keep saying nonsense that anyone who has been paying attention, knows is not true. And for the record? Lots of people are paying attention because we are in the middle of a HUGE economic crisis. So this crap that you are saying is not gonna fly. You look like you are intentionally misleading people. And your campaign is slinging mud in a way that really demeans you. It demeans us as a country. I can't put any more energy toward your desperate reach for power. I instead will actively promote Obama to people in swing states on his merits and not bother with you anymore. You used to be someone i respected. That was a long time ago. I'm sad to see you turn out this way.

Regretfully,
O

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nice Job, SNL!

There's a lot to take in during this week's episode SNL. There were really only two skits that didn't land well and one was the last sketch, and no one ever has high hopes for what comes after the second musical number anyway. Here's the amazing opening skewering of the VP Debate, followed by the 2 performances by the Killers who I think totally rocked it. You can catch other highlights at NBC.com.





Saturday, October 4, 2008

13 Years in the Making

So OJ Simpson was convicted of the current charges against him, and will probably spend the rest of his life in prison. There is some weird numbers mojo going on with this. For one it is 13 years to the day he was acquitted of murdering Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman (i was still in High School!). If that wasn't enough. He was arrested on these charges last year on September 13th. The trial lasted 13 days. And the Jury deliberated for 13 hours. Certainly 13 is not a good number for Simpson to have played in Vegas, where he was arrested and convicted, and now will probably be imprisoned! Peace out, brussel sprout! Karma finally caught up with your guilty ass.

Sick Day Viewing

I have been sitting around the house all day with a horrible cold. I did force myself to do the dishes in my sink and washed my clothes because sitting in the house with that not done all day would have only made me feel worse. The rest of the time i was pretty much flumped on my couch taking in a mix of DVR'ed programs from the week and various reality shows on multiple cable networks. Here's a review of the new stuff I watched, tissue box for my runny nose in hand.



Tabitha's Salon Takeover (BRAVO) - This show was recommened by a BFF, but I didn't get the premise. There's this lady named Tabitha who we're told is big in the Salon industry and she goes around to crappy aalons gives advice and insults to the owners and employees for a week, redesigns their work spaces and then comes back to check up on their progress a few weeks later. I didn't understand how there would be enough disastrous salons to sustain a series about this, but I scrolled through the episode descriptions and saw that Tabitha spends most of her time out on Long Island, and it started to make sense. Nassau or Suffolk. North Shore or South Shore. There are tons of crappy haircutting places to be found. The show's not bad, but the premise doesn't really allow for much variation, so i think you have to really like hairstyling or think that every psychotic hairdresser is a distinct flavor of crazy, to keep coming back for more. It wasn't a bad start to a sick day though. 3 out of 5 tissues.



Pushing Daisies on DVR(ABC) - I liked Pushing Daisies a lot last season, but this premiere was bit weird. It probably didn't know how to shake the rust and dust off of last year's strike-shortened season. You know what probably wasn't the best course of action? An 8-minute long narration of everything that happened last season. I've tried to watch this episode twice before during the week and fell asleep both times and that's not a good sign. But I got through it today, and it's still got the style I like and the funny, But those Aunts gotta find out that Chuck is alive. I can't stand that secret anymore. There are juicier mysteries and secrets that have been introduced now. Let's get this one out of the effing way. Bonus: Petey Cambor is in this episode. I love me some Cambor. 4 out of 5 tissues.



Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Island (MTV)- This show is stupid. It required no thought which is all I had the patience for at the point of the day it was on. For some reason, they decided to try to make this season look more like Survivor stranding them on some island, but they gave them a beautiful shelter to live in and air drop food and wine to them. I swear the kids on Endurance have a tougher go of it (speaking of which, when does THAT show return...) They have to perform in challenges to win keys to build a boat to go to another island to look for money... oh don't waste your time trying to figure it out. I didn't. They all hate each other. Even returning host TJ LAvin seems to hate being there and all involved. Many of them have done 5 seaons of Challenges without winning a damn thing. Get jobs, people! You are OLD. The best part of this episode was when there was a plague of bugs that swarmed on the beach and everyone ran around like they were in a b-horror movie. Only one contestant had the sense to sit quietly under mosquito netting, and that was the only time he got any screentime during the show. 1 out of 5 tissues.



Exiled (MTV) - The premise is former My SuperSweet 16 particpants get shipped off to third world locations for a week to learn about what selfish wastes of space they truly are. It's like an "Send My Daughter to Bootcamp!" episode of Maury, only on a global scale. It wasn't bad. I didn't really watch the whole thing. I think the girl went to Peru? There were mountains and a girl named Helen who was kind of awesome. And there was guinea pig that was killed as an honored delicacy that did not go well for the Exiled Girl. Also, Helen showed her toughness when Exile Girl was being a brat about carrying water. Exile girl got her bucket dumped out in the grass and then was sent back down to the river to carry water the right way. I wandered away to get food before Exile Girl really learned anything, but she was pretty broken by Day 3 so I'll assume she learned something. 3 out of 5 tissues.



L&O: SVU on DVR(NBC) - Right now, SVU is performing at its crazy best. It's a procedural, but I like the episodes where you can't tell what the actual case is for the first 25 minutes or so. Last week's was like that too. The guest actors were all very good this week, but no one was SO more famous than the others that you imediately knew who the bad guy would be. Teri Polo gave a great performance as an emotionally devestated mom. It was all very sad as they fought for the soul of a teenage pedophile-in-the-making. Elliot also got his badge taken away - AGAIN. This can't be the first time. Anyway, it was a really solid SVU episode, I like the new ADA, but missed BD Wong. This epi was in total need of a shrink and he was MIA. 5 out of 5 tissues.



The Simpsons on DVR (FOX)- Homer and Flanders become Bounty Hunters and Marge bakes erotic cakes. 20 Years in, it still makes me laugh. It's the little things, like when Lisa is horrified when Homer brings her home a meth lab to play with, or when Flanders and Homer go chasing around Springfield jumping around like video game characters. 4 out of 5 tissues.


Top Design (Bravo) - I don't like this show. I only saw the last 15 minutes of it. There was a Design Triatholon? I wasn't impressed. This brief glimpse at the show made me feel like I wasn't missing anything. Also, the judges look totally crazy. Moving on. 1 out of 5 tissues.



Tim Gunn's Guide To Style (Bravo) - I was looking forward to this, cuz Tim Gunn is great, but they replaced his co-host and I don't like change. This episode didn't quite have the same zip to it as last seasons's installments, but the lady they had on seeemed sweet and she got some nice new clothes. The people being made over always seem really appreciative though. I would not mind Timm Gunn taking me to get designer suits. 3 out of 5 tissues.

I've been watching Chicago on E! as I've been typing this. There are some weird line dubs in this thing. I can see taking out the word "shit" I'm dubious over taking out the word "ass" and I have to laugh about the reworking of "Take A Hike!" Kitty. "Take A Hike!" shrieks Lucy Liu and later "Go Away!" it's funny and ridiculous. This movie is still sexy as hell though.

I'm hoping tonight's SNL really slams Palin from the debate. She earned it, Tina Fey. I need you to bring it. I'm sick and that will make me feel a little better.

Episode IV: A New Hope

I'm glad we went for the Star Wars reference at the beginning and the Poochie homage at the end. Clinton campaign references abound in the narration.



My time with Allison was brief but she was a total delight and brought so much to the shoot. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Legally Brown: Episode III



Episode 3! Matt's awesome. As you will see. And you can see me in the background for a second as I'm furiously scribbling down the lines for the judges off of my computer!

The Marathon On The Horizon



I'll be running the 2008 ING NYC Marathon in support of The Children's Tumor Foundation. The Children's Tumor Foundation.is a non-profit 501(c)(3) medical foundation, dedicated to improving the health and well being of individuals and families affected by neurofibromatoses (NF). NF is a set of distinct genetic disorders that cause tumors to grow along various types of nerves. In addition, NF can affect the development of non-nervous tissues such as bones and skin. My extended family has a very personal connection to this disorder, as my 11 year-old-cousin, Lauren Loose, has been meeting the challenges of neurofibromatosis her entire life. Her courage, strength and amazing sense of spirit has been a huge inspiration to me over the years and especially throughout my training for this event. I'm so happy to be able to raise awareness and money for this important cause through participating in this year's marathon!



The success of my fundraising efforts depends in part on your generosity. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to my Marathon Run for NF, please follow the link to...

MY NF FUNDRAISING PAGE: http://www.active.com/donate/nfnewyork2008/runowenrun

It is a completely secure and an easy way to make a contribution. Plus you'll get to see fun pictures of me running and a nice picture of me with cousins Lauren and Grace from this summer. A donation of any size would be greatly appreciated. If you prefer not to donate online, you can also send me a check made out to "The Children's Tumor Foundation" at the following address:

Owen Panettieri
21-38 31st St. 2S
Astoria, NY 11105

Even if you cannot donate at this time, thank you for support and well wishes. I will be sending updates as the race gets closer, so you can track my progress online the day of the race. Or you can come out and cheer me on in person! I have included some more informative links below if you would like to hear more about Lauren or The Children's Tumor Foundation.

If you would like to learn more about Lauren's Story you can read all about her current updates at: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/laurenloose

There is also a website for the incredible non-profit football camp that her parents have set up in Lauren's name: www.laurensfirstandgoal.org

And if you would like to learn more about the work CTF does, you can visit their website as well.
www.ctf.org

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This Award Show Is The Biggest Farce I Ever Saw! - What about the Emmys? - I Stand Corrected.

10:58 - Probst, subtle as a hammer, gives a curt goodnight and a sharp wave and we're done. This ceremony was terrible, y'all. And there were lots of first time winners. Please pick ONE FUNNY PERSON to host the awards next year, and no more theme song medleys or monologues about dead air. Thanks for reading!

10:56 - Tom Selleck gets down to business. Mad Men wins Best Drama. Lost, I'm sure you came in a close second! It's nice that AMC gets a little recognition.

10:52 - You must ocver your arms MTM!! I cannot look at the screen. See, MTM? Betty White knows how to dress appropriately!! Comedy Series. 30 Rock's got the momentum... and the trophy! Maybe you'll have to promote it now NBC, since it won 4 major awards?? Please? Or Tina Fey can just keep winning awards and pimping the show from the podium. Whatever works.

10:50 - Haven't they been adequate tonight? LOL. Jeff Probst wins. Hooray for him. He wanted it the most. He knows the 5 hosts tanked.

10:46 - I tried to do handstands for you. For You-OOOOO-ouu!

10:40 - NO MORE BANTER! GET TO THE EFFING NOMINEES!I like all of these ladies. MLP has such dark eyes! Tina Fey wins! AWESOME. That almost makes up for the past two and half hours of lameness. Host of Reality Show. The one none of you have been waiting for. Jeff Probst really wants to win, he can barely play along in actual anticipation ! Oh well, at least they are making sure we know this category is totally bogus. After the break, indeed.

10:38 - Best Actor In A Drama Series with Keifer Sutherland. I don't watch any of these shows again, but House. I'm glad Bryan Cranston won, for all his years of work on Malcolm in the Middle. Here comes the play-off music. Life is unfair...

10:36 - Commercials. I can't believe George is gonna sleep with yet another of the female docs on Grey's Anatomy. Like he's some great prize.

10:29 - In Memoriam. Tim Russert is coming up! Oh dear, I'm not ready. Oh, George Carlin. You're great too.

10:25 - That jacket does you no favors, Candice Bergen! Who is gonna win best actor in a comedy season? Oh, thank god. Alec Baldwin. The Tony Shaloub curse is broken. You know what else is broken? Vanessa Williams's microphone. I can't hear what she's presenting! Well the screen tells me Lead Actress in a Drama goes to Glenn Close for Damages.

10:23 - Glenn Close in the house. What's she got to present? Lead actor in a miniseries/movie. Just give it to Paul Giamatti and let's close out the miniseries categories. And he wins. Hooray for him. His first nomination? That seems incredible!

10:16 - Writing for Drama. Go Angeli for BSG! Oh, sadness. It went to Madmen. I don't watch that show and I don't care what he has to say. It doesn't matter because Don Rickles ate up all his time!

10:13 - Here's Cynthia Nixon and Glenn... Someone... Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series. I don't watch a lot of the shows nominated here. But I do watch House and House won! Cool. Maybe that means Hugh Laurie will win.

10:08 - That was a mercifully long break. NPH and Kirsten Chenowith are here to present individual performance in variety show thingy. Who wins? Don Rickles, of course! He is old and alive and still funny! Tina Fey was a little bit robbed. On the beach with the jewelry signaling ships is a funny line. I'm glad the people didn't play him off. They could've tried.

10:01 - Sally Field. What's she talking about? Outstanding Miniseries. It's gotta be John Adams. And it is! It did receive 23 nominations after all. Forrest Gump reunion at the podium when Tom Hanks accepts for the team. The show heads once again to commercials. And I go for the tasty d-lite in my freezer.

9:56 - Don Rickles and Kathy Griffin! STAND! Let's read these funny lines they wrote for us! Don Rickles isn't gonna be put in a corner or read the prompter, people. Amazing Race wins best reality competition AGAIN. Six years running. It's the ONLY winner in this category EVER! Survivor and American Idol are spitting up blood right now.

9:53 - Howie Mandell... ugh.... MASH? Fine. Give an effing award and get ON WITH IT. Sandra Oh and Patrick Dempsey. Supporting Actress in a miniseries or movie. Wait, what did Laura Linney win? I thought she won this category an hour ago. Aileen Atkins won, but is not there to get played off the stage. Our loss.

9:48 - Writing for a Miniseries or Movie. John Adams wins. Great. The Emmys get political and patriotic. Vote, America. But put down the prunes. No time for speechifying! Commercials! They must REEALLY be behind schedule. It's the show's own fault for that stank opening.

9:44 - Colbert and Stewart! BRING IT! Prunes!! Directing a Miniseries or Movie. Recount? Adams? Recount! Jay Roach won earlier? Really? He didn't give a speech last time. Did he? I don't remember this.

9:42 - National Stay At Home Week is the stupidest promotional campaign I've ever heard of. CSI is a show I don't watch and don't care about. Larry Fishburne is cool though. This banter is painful! We're into the acting in miniseries and movie categories. Tom Wilkinson won supporting actor for John Adams. He's not here. No acceptance speech! Yay!!

9:40 - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Saturday, Sunday, EveryDAAAAAY!

9:35 - Christian Slater is his own worst enemy when it comes to picking television pilots. Christina Applegate is awesome. Recount wins for outstanding made-for-tv movie. Great. Commercial? Commercials! YAY!

9:30 - We're back with Tom. He's showing a clip of West Wing. Here's Mr Sheen. Classy as always. Rock the vote. Now on behalf of the Academy of blah blah blah... don't mention the STRIKE(S)!!!

9:26 - Keep these commercial breaks coming. If i wasn't watching it live, i'd zip thru them, but the show is so bad, I'm happy not to have to pay attention.

9:23 - Angel is back with more nominees and more anger directed at the viewing audience. This is for comedy writing. Tina Fey wins! AWESOME. I am going to tell people I'm a writer now too. I will point to Legally Brown as Exhibit A.

9:19 - It's Angel and the Hills Girl. They will tell us who won at the Tech Emmys last week. Angel looks really pissed to be there. Kathryn Joosten is here for directing of a comedy series. Who could win? Pushing Daises!! YAY!! That's totally random and great. I really like that show.

9:15 - Laugh-In?? What the hell is going on? I don't understand this crap at all. Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series. Daily Show. THANK YOU! Let's move it along please.

9:13 - Stop bothering me with Opportunity Knocks, JD Roth, and bring me another season of Endurance. Now.

9:06 - That crap went on for 5 minutes. I am stunned and nauseous. Save me Alec Baldwin. Lead Actress in a Mini-Series? Who cares? Laura Linney can take it for John Adams. Oh, she did! Well whaddayaknow? She's kinda got a neat dress on. I haven't noticed many dresses tonight. Are we at commercials again? Thank goodness.

9:01 - We're back with Josh Groban. Oh effing God. He's doing the medley. WHY???? NOOOOOOOOO!!! Butchering all of my favorites. Thanks.

8:58 - Commercials. I've seen this Tina Fey Amex commercial many many times and it's still funnier to me than anything said by any of tonight's 5 hosts. I'm offened by how unprepared they are to run this show.

8:53 Tommy Smothers is onstage looking old, but spry. Freedom of hearing. Freedom of speaking. I like him. The announcer just said Josh Groban is waiting in the wings. WHY??? If this is connected to the theme song tribute I might shoot myself.

8:49 - Don't effing play off Colbert, and then stick me with Howie Mandell and Jeff Probst. I hate these two more than ever right now. They are too in love with the sounds of their own voices. They come off as such amatures. And here comes Steve Martin as another example of a presenter who has more funny in his left pinky than in the 5 hosts of this awards show put together. He's talking about Smothers Brothers. I'm going to get more juice.

8:45 - Scary Haired Gost Whisperer and the girl with almost my last name announce writing for a variety, comedy or sometihng or other. Colbert Report wins!! I'm pleased. i was saying earlier today that the writing of The Word segment alone deserved an Emmy. That thing is very clever and very nimble and they do it night after night. Not an easy feat. I love you Stephen Colbert.

8:43 - Conan and supporting actress in a drama series. Conan makes a relevant Katherine Heigl joke that might be a little easy. Diane Weist wins? Wow, Katherine steps out of the way for her castmates and they don't even win.

8:38 - Once again saved by commercials.

8:31 Ricky Gervais!! Awesome. Thanks for that! Oh, but don't introduce clips of winning speeches! We'll have enough of these in the ACTUAL SHOW! Look at his stupid face. LOL Give me the Emmy. Finally, something funny. Thank you, Ricky Gervais. Outstanding Driecting in a comedy or variety or something or other. The Academy Awards won. The producer is also doing the emmys and complains that Gervais went long. GERVAIS WENT LONG?? Let him host next year, chumps.

8:26 - Wow, we're back with a hard cut. Tom and Heidi. Saying NOTHING!!! Please stop this madness. Desperate Housewives. Here come all the ladies. Everyone looks pretty great. Best Supporting Actor in a Drama. Come on, Michael Emerson!! Please no William Shatner. Let's give it a rest for a year. Zeljko won for Damages! I don't watch that show, but I'm pleased a first timer won. Maybe we won't get another Tony Shaloub win after all.

8:25 - Are you shitting me with this Lee Golberg Eyewitness News Commercial? You suck, ABC.

8:18 - Julia Louis-Dreyfuss. Telling an actually funny joke about the emmys and looking cute in that pink dress! Oh, best supporting actress in a comedy! This is one category where I like everyone. I would be thrilled for Amy, Kristin or Jean. Jean Smart won! Wow, I'm surprised but not displeased. I think she's great. If they're gonna play off the winners they need to play off the effing hosts who have bombed everytime they've been on stage. And it's only been on for 22 minutes! Thanks god we're mercifully at commercials again.

8:16 - We're back with Tom Bergeron and Ryan. Oh Joy. Oh Bliss. They are on the Seinfeld diner set. And now the clip from The Contest. Awesome. Clips shows within awards shows.

8:13 - While we all enjoy this Macy's commercial, i'm gonna get my dinner set up.

8:10 - Amy and Tina! Thank god actually funny people doing an almost-funny bit. Best supporting actor to... Jeremy Piven. Three years in a row. Oh, this is a bad sign that the Emmy Voters are on cruise control. It should have been NPH! Oh, but at least he acknoweldged the sucktastic nature of the opening. There's a tribute to THEME SOMGS coming up? Sweet wounded Jesus.

8:04 - I HATE these people. I enjoy Heidi Klum the most because she is not saying anything. And she is taller than the rest of them. This is the worst bit I've ever seen. How'm I gonna get through the whole night. Denny Crane. I love you. Please don't be on stage again tonight

8:01 - Oprah! What is she doing here? She is talking. The cast of Grey's Anatomy is listening. What is she DOING here? Say something that's not just words in random order. Her breasts are VERY large right now. Glen Close doesn't know what Oprah is talking about but remains posed. Wait, she's introducing the hosts? So she said nothing of any substance or relevance. This is gonna be a long night.

WELCOME TO THE LIVE BLOG! This awards show is gonna suck i'm sure, but I'm here bringing it to you LIIIVE! I haven't typed and watched TV since the demise of Step It Up And Dance On Gene Kelly's Grave, so we'll see how it goes. I alread missed the very beginning because I was getting dinner. This is how we roll!