Saturday, August 18, 2007
Tonya Harding, born November 12, 1970. Yes, Harding's a train wreck of a woman with arguably the worst taste in men on record, but be honest, now: With the benefit of hindsight, wouldn't you have clubbed Nancy K?
Besides, she's got that white trash thing going for her that I find so attractive...
Martha Plimpton, born November 16, 1970.
Although she's kept working consistently in film, television and theater to the present day, Plimpton is a bit like Emily Lloyd in that, arguably, at least in films, she's never equalled some of her earliest work.
Check her out in Running On Empty (speaking of underrated movies, as I was yesterday) sometime. In the midst of a story about the aftermath of the sometimes violent protests of the early '70s, there's one of the most realistic portrayals of a teen relationship ever.
It's between her and the character played by the late River Phoenix, whom she also dated in real life. But we all know that doesn't always lead to steamy chemistry onscreen...don't we, Ben & Jen?
BTW, I once interviewed Plimpton by phone when she was promoting the forgettable 200 Cigarettes. I doubt it was the best interview of her life, but I hope it wasn't the worst, either.
Sabrina Lloyd, born November 20th, 1970. Seriously-I have no idea why Lloyd isn't a huge star. Maybe it's the name. It certainly isn't a lack of talent or looks.
She's probably most famous as Natalie, the extremely hot and extremely able assistant producer on Sports Night. Meaning she has just about the most important credit I can see in an actor, a starring role on an Aaron Sorkin/Tommy Schlamme series. It means she can pretty much do anything, as far as I'm concerned.
Here she is helping Dan through a bout of writer's block:
The only bad thing about the above clip is that it's from one of the early episodes when the show still had a laugh track forced upon it. But after you have a look at that and fall in love with her, you might want to go to YouTube where there's about a baker's dozen other clips.
Then you'll want to have a look at the Sports Night DVDs...
Friday, August 17, 2007
Bill O'Reilly: "I think everybody's got to relax on all this gay stuff"
(camp voice): It's easier that way...
Emily Lloyd, born September 29th, 1970. After her unforgettable performance in Wish You Were Here, I think a lot of people expected Lloyd to have the sort of career that Kate Winslet is having.
Didn't work out that way, I don't know why (but according to this bio, she suffers from OCD, and maybe from that uniquely British strain of Fear Of Success).
Kelly Ripa, born October 2, 1970. So sue me, I actually kind of like Ripa. I'm a sucker for women with good senses of humor about themselves, which she seems to have. And anybody but Kathie Lee...
Josie Bissett, born October 5, 1970 (in Seattle). Probably remembered by most for her six years on Melrose Place, but remembered by me for an underrated romance/mystery/thriller called All-American Murder.
Never released theatrically in this country, the movie was directed by Happy Days star turned journeyman director Anson Williams.
Williams direction leaves something to be desired in places (he was going through an "arty camera angles" stage). But he's helped by the performances (Bissett stars with Christopher Walken, Charlie Schlatter, and Amy Moore Davis) and a decent script by Barry Sandler.
It's one of those movies that you come across (as I did, several years ago) on cable and tune in to with lowered expectations. And then, somewhere along the line, you start to feel the growing suspicion that...this is actually kinda good.
Which it is. I won't pretend to you that it's The Shawshank Redemption or anything, but it's good.
In the introduction, he's discussing Radio Days, a perfectly wonderful film that, as I've mentioned once or twice before, is the one I like most of all of Allen's. (At least that I've seen.) And one of my favorites of all time.
Schickel, I was happy to read, shares my affection for the film. But then he writes
of the Radio Days family. They "look" Jewish, and in their passionate disputations they "act" Jewish. (Well, anyway, they are assuredly not button-down WASPs.) But nothing is directly made of their ethnicity.
Well, yeah...except for one of the best jokes in the film: When the "Woody-as-a-boy" character (played by a young Seth Green) has stolen some of the change his Hebrew School has sent him out to collect for Israel.
Confronted by the Rabbi with his crime, Green deadpans a la The Lone Ranger: "You speak the truth, my faithful Indian companion."
And there's also this four-minute scene:
I might not make so much of this, but only a few pages earlier, Schickel preens about his authority on the subject of Allen's work. This is what's known in the biz as "asking for it." Hey, Richard: I'm one of those idiot bloggers, and I certainly would never claim "authority" on Allen's work, as you did.
But I knew that was wrong. You know what I'm saying?
|Which God or Goddess are you like? |
Your Result: Budha
You are Budha. You are a very peaceful person, you love all who love you. You are a cheerful personality, and you have a great sense of humor. Congratulations!! You are Budha!!
|The Christian God|
|You are your own God or Goddess|
|Which God or Goddess are you like?|
Make Your Own Quiz
The deal for this one is
you give four responses to each question and then add a new question of your own at the end
I knew this was coming, so let's see if I've saved up any good answers or not...
Four jobs I've had or currently have in my life:
1. Writing for a college newspaper. It's where I found out that I...if you've seen Ratatouille, you know the scene where Remy freaks out because Linguini's ruining the soup? That's me when I see bad writing.
2. Night manager at The Best Used Bookstore In The Bay Area. This is not just my opinion, we were so voted...
3. Playwright. Hey, I was actually paid to do it (or rather, to have done it) once...
4. Babysitter, years and years and years and years and years ago.
Four countries I have been to:
I've rarely been out of the United States, although I have been to Tennessee which I think ought to count. There's a few places I'd like to visit, especially in Europe, and one, Mexico, that I intend never to set foot in as long as I live. Oh, and I've been to Canada.
Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. In a theater directing a play
2. California, although the whole "governor Arnold Schwarzenegger" thing might make me rethink.
3. New York, but only if I had money. I'd see every show on one side of Broadway and then the other.
4. Utopia. What?
Four foods I like to eat:
1. Weird ones
2. Goldfish cheese crackers
3. Burger King hamburgers (has to be. They're just better than McDonald's).
4. Andrea Trindle (and in the unlikely event that she finds this, hi!)
Four personal heroes, past or present:
1. Kevin Smith- Yes, his overage fanboy ways have really worn on me, and I'm nowhere near as much of a fan as I used to be, but there's no denying he's got my ideal job.
2. Harlan Ellison- How many different ways can I say it? All-time favorite. Described by Neil Gaiman as
"...partly one of the greatest writers of the 20th century and partly an ... impish and furious 11-year-old boy -- and at the same time a cranky old Jew who doesn't just enjoy his cranky old Jewdom. He revels in it."
Now that's a man.
3. Alan Moore- Because he knows the score. And BTW, the news that Watchmen is "finally" coming to the big screen does not fill me with joy. Maybe, maybe if they were doing it Lord of the Rings style and committed to making a series of films. And if they got Terry Gilliam to direct them.
4. Peter Milligan- When he was writing Shade and before he ruined it.
Four books you've just read or are currently reading.
1. Fire with fire : the new female power and how it will change the 21st century by Naomi Wolf
2. Two books by Charles Grodin
3. Dating dead men by Harley Jane Kozak
4. White knight; the rise of Spiro Agnew by Jules Witcover
Four words or phrases you would like to see used more often
2. "The Jack Benny Program!"
3. "All aboard!"
4. "George Bush and Dick Cheney left The White House today following the first joint impeachment in our nation's history."
And the question I will add to this meme is:
If you had a Tardis and could use it to see any four performances in history, what would they be?
1. Olivier in Macbeth
2. Frank Sinatra's first "retirement" concert.
3. Burt Lahr in Waiting For Godot.
4. Bob Fosse's Big Deal.
Tagging RAB, Dr. Zaius, Mana, and J.D.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The rays of the sun
the sea of the sky
Frozen in time
you're asking me why...
flying above you
I'm not coming home
now i know, now i know that i love you...
(Words by Thompson Twins. Images found on Google.)
Besides, when I watch interviews with women like Julia Stiles or Claire Danes, I find what I'm thinking more often than most is..."She's so young." And I don't mean that in the creepy "come over here, little girl" way.
I mean that if I actually met someone from their generation, we'd have little or nothing to talk about. And yes, actually, that matters to me.
Obviously, it's not age that's preventing me from meeting such a someone. But I just thought it would be a good idea to start reminding myself of the women with whom I share at least semi-common experiences.
Plus I also thought it would be good to feature a few different women than the ones who usually star around here (Sylvia Kristel, Nicole Kidman...). And if nothing else, I thought it would make a good series of blog posts.
So that's what I'm going to start doing for the next couple of weeks. Every day in this spot, there will be appreciations of "women my own age." These are all women born within one year of me (on either side).
Today we'll start with stand-up comedian Maria Bamford, born September 3, 1970. She's really funny, quite possibly nuts, nice to look at, gifted at doing voices, and darned surreal. How have I possibly not dated her?
Here's about a two-minute sample.
Next, Aisha Tyler, born September 18, 1970-in San Francisco, yet.
Tyler is hot--obviously--and has shown herself to be an able actress in appearances on shows like 24, Friends and the Santa Clause sequels. She also appeared on I Love The '80s, so you know there's a connection there.
I also think so far she's been the best of the rotating co-hosts filling Roger Ebert's chair on TV during his illness. Fire Roeper and just give her the show till Ebert gets back, I say.
And Natasha Gregson-Wagner, born September 29th, 1970.
I'll be honest with you, I've only seen Gregson-Wagner in a few films, and I only remember her in a couple of them. But what I do remember is that she's very cute and has what I would call perfect breasts.
I never said I was completely renouncing my shallow ways, now did I?.
Watch this space...
So maybe this is old news, but seeing a clip from the show, during his appearance, was the first time it really sank in that Alyson Hannigan had seen fit to dye her lovely red hair black. It took me a moment to recognize her.
It's a conspiracy, I tell you. Probably some sort of "red-state bashing" thing.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
"The Nine," a drama about the survivors of a hostage ordeal at a bank, drew a shade under 3 million viewers in its return on Aug. 1. That number dropped to 1.9 million last week,
That's barely better than a show on The CW. It's a shame, but that's the way it is. So I can't bring myself to get too crazy about this now-you-see-it-now-you-don't summer return. After all, nothing lasts forever.
But I wish that it had been otherwise.
Anyway, it quotes him as saying,
being known as the Nirvana Baby comes in handy with the ladies. "I have to use stupid pickup lines like, 'You want to see my penis ... again,'" he says.
Ladies...I beg of you...
The crux of her argument seems to be that this girl "chose" to have sex with a man in his 40's. As if there is such a thing as consensual sex where a child is involved (tip: there isn't). So the mother shouldn't blame the computer for making it easier for that to happen.
She even seems to blame the mother for taking her daughter's computer away as a result of her actions. Deborah is a parent and I'm not, but...I think that's what I'd do, too. For starters.
Deborah (apparently grudgingly) admits that yes, this man was a pervert. But she doesn't seem to get even half as much exercised about that as she does about the idea that this mother might actually have a reaction to what happened to her daughter.
What's weird is that I agree, in the broader sense, that 99% of those "sex predators on the internet" stories are inflated scare tactics. But in a case like this, where something actually happened...that's a draw a line in the sand moment for me.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I'm afraid this show is now starting to lower my opinion not only of the Second City school of comedy...but of Canadians in general.
I've never been a serious student of improv, but I'm not a totally uneducated, disinterested observed either and I remember something about one rule being to always work from the top of your intelligence.
If that's what this current crop of Canadian comedians is doing, I cry for the country (and apologize for the aliteration).
But really, the biggest fault does not lie with the cast members, or with the judges, or with the "mentors" from the current Second City cast. The fault lies with the concept. A Second City reality series, at least done the way this one is, was a terrible idea and the result doesn't make it as good TV, comedy or otherwise.
It's become like watching a road accident, you know it's wrong but you...you can't look away! Tonight's big scene was an American Idol parody, which is not quite as stale as last week's Survivor swipe, but still at least one year too late.
Once again, no celebrity guests...am I cyncial to think they caught a whif of what this show was turning out to be? More than any reality series I've ever seen (which admittedly is not a lot) this one brings to mind images of producers banging their heads against their laptops.
For those cast members (or their friends and family) looking themselves up...I realized watching tonight's episode why I don't want to try to rate you any more. I'll have more about that in a minute.
Jeannie Cole won my sympathy this week in dealing unapologetically with her admitted lack of singing ability...and picked up a little more when the producers were snotty about it.
Two cast members whom I've liked from the beginning, Kayla Lorette and Megan McDowell, were asked to improvise an eighties pop song. This is what's known in the trade as "baiting me." They actually did a good and credible job, but the performance, like most of them, was lessened by being accompanied only by a piano.
You can't play eighties pop without a synth. You can't play folk without an acoustic guitar either, which was also tried, but I know they had a synthesizer there, it was visible in-shot...mocking me.
Further to my musical-nerd-qualities, Ali Rizvi lost a point or two by not knowing who Leonard Cohen was. And you call yourself a Canadian artist. And possibly by misidentifying Art Garfunkel as the writer of "The Sounds Of Silence" (I thought that was Paul Simon...but I could be wrong).
Is it fair to condemn an aspiring comedian for his limited musical ear and/or poor memory for songwriting credits? Certainly not. But this show doesn't give me much to go on to judge him, or any of them, as a comedian...
I don't watch series like America's Got Talent or So You Think You Can Dance, but maybe someone will correct me if I'm wrong about this: On such shows, don't you get to see an entire performance, whether it's a dance routine or anything else?
On the Second City reality series, all I'm getting to see is what somebody has decided I should see. If, for some reason, the producers decided they wanted to favor one cast member or another, they could easily make them look better via editing. Or vice-versa.
This removes almost any investment that I might have as an audience member. American Idol fans are invested in their favorites, as I know from painful experience. But since I'm never allowed to see one of this show's cast members in an uninterrupted performance...who am I to judge them as sketch comedy/improv performers?
Holy sweet merciful lord in heaven, and click to see original size...
I think I could probably find video of it somewhere, but the point I want to make is that what he said was memorable, so most of these quotes are from memory.
He had no interest in mocking the President that night, nor I believe did 99% of the country, including me. What he did show interest in was connecting with his audience.
I remember him addressing the camera as he often does, usually to hilarious effect. But that night he said all he wanted to ask his viewers was..."How you doing? You OK?"
Speaking softly, and evidently from his heart, he talked about how George W's habit of mispronouncing words (or just making up his own) just didn't seem funny anymore. He hoped it would be again one day, because that would mean that maybe things were back to normal.
In other words, or at least as I read it, if that was the biggest pie a satirist could throw, then Bush would have done pretty good.
Well, now it's six years later.
None of you reading this need me to enumerate all the things George W. Bush has done to make himself a deserving target of satire and mockery at the very least. Both from professionals like Stewart and those who make snarky comments on the internet.
But that night, Stewart also said this.
And this next bit is not from memory, it's his actual quoted remarks:
The view from my apartment was the World Trade Center. And now it's gone. And they attacked it. This symbol of American ingenuity and strength and labor and imagination and commerce, and it is gone. But you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. The view from the south of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty. You can't beat that.
Now. What kind of a truthful, wise and loving human being could find anything worthy of ridicule in a statement like that? Who would express his contempt for a man's thoughts and ideas at a time like that and, more, be willing to accuse that man of insincerity?
Ladies and gentlemen, John Gibson of Fox News.
So I'm wondering, who in today's Hollywood will still be recognizable 75 years from now. I'll probably be dead---and so will you, sorry to bring you down---but will our (hypothetical) grandchilden know the names of...Julia Stiles and Claire Danes?
I tend to doubt it. Call me a dinosaur if you must-somebody else already has today...
If it weren't so expensive (and if I travelled more than I do) I think I might take any overnight journey by train. I went from here to California once by train, and found out I'm one who really enjoys the sensation of being rocked gently in a train bed at night.
You're the Blue Train!
While lots of people think that you're sad, your land is a
happier place now than it ever was in the past. You represent a good deal
of wealth and privilege, and even a bit of what was wrong with your land,
but you've managed to turn things around. Traveling with you really beats
marching, though you still like to sing about marching sometimes. You love
to wear capes, especially into town.
Take the Trains and Railroads Quiz
at RMI Miniature Railroads.
You're a Tyrannosaurus Rex!
You can't stop talking about the "good old days" of the past. While
you remember everything being so much better and more glorious back then, you've
got to realize that times have changed! It's time to move on, time to bring in
the new technology and advancements! Still, there is some charm to your olden
out-dated ways. Children seem to love you, for example, as do some historians and
scientists. And you should really eat something... your bones are starting to
Take the Animal Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
None, was her instinctive response. You might hurt the baby.
In a confrontation captured on videotape, a hospital security guard fired a stun gun to stop a defiant father from taking home his newborn baby, sending both man and child crashing to the floor. Now the man says the baby girl suffers from head trauma because she was dropped.
Now-there's more to the story than that. As you read further into the AP item, you start to get the idea that the father has, shall we say, some credibility issues.
Child Protective Services has custody of the baby because of a history of domestic violence between [the father] Lewis and his wife, Jacqueline Gray. Agency spokeswoman Estella Olguin said the infant seems in good health.
Lewis was arrested and charged with endangering a child. A grand jury in May declined to indict him on that charge, but charged him with retaliation, accusing him of making threats against [the security guard].
Lewis denies both charges. He said he is considering suing the hospital but has not filed any legal papers.
So. What we're left with here is the possibility that the father is unlikable and unpleasant. Unfortunately, doesn't matter once you've fired a stun gun at him while he was holding a child.
Texas, ladies and gentlemen. A state known for men given to misdirected overreaction that does nothing for anyone it might have been said to be for...(and for women who take no shit, something I sure hope Ms. Gray turns out to be).
Then the second season came along and it turned into a pandering mess.
But, at least I do have the first season on DVD, and I don't have to accept that anything after that actually took place.
This is the great opening credits sequence (with one of W.G. “Snuffy” Walden’s best themes ever).
...have a gift for expression. Whether it's writing, drawing, creating objets d'art or making music, you see the world in a unique way and are able to convey that to other people.
Say, do you think that means I could quote them on a book jacket?
"Ben Varkentine has a gift for expression...he sees the world in a unique way and is able to convey that to other people."-CNN.
Shouldn't have to lie...
No doubt you doodle on napkins and meeting notes,
Well, no. I can't draw and I'm not much of a doodler.
are always humming a new tune,
I do often have a tune in my head-but it's more likely to be The Lightning Seeds than anything new.
have already read the latest fiction releases,
I'm always reading something, but again, it's not likely to be new and it's almost never fiction. With the exception of a few mystery writers I follow and my recent investigations into the world of chick lit.
and know all the local art galleries' schedules by heart.
You might like hobbies like sketching,
See doodling, above.
No-rather than take a photo of something I see, I'd try to write about it later.
Actually I wouldn't mind trying this, but I'd probably be in it just for the nude models.
playing an instrument,
It's true, I would love to really be able to play the keyboards.
More often than I hum, really.
I suppose blogging is a form of this...
or designing clothing.
If you'd seen the clothes I buy, you wouldn't suggest this.
ABC Family has ordered an additional 10 episodes of its new college drama series "Greek," which airs at 9 p.m. Mondays and centers on college life and the Greek system. ... “Greek’s” third episode last week posted a series high in several key demographics, including females 12-34 (476,000), teens (370,000) and female teens (302,000).
Monday, August 13, 2007
"'80s: Live Aid. '90s: McWoodstocks '94 and '99."
At Live Aid, stage time was at such a premium that even a singer as firmly placed in the pantheon as Elvis Costello (my reservations aside) was only allotted one song. This is what he sang, introducing it as "An old Northern folk song."
But I wanted to take just a very few words, because I remember when he started on Flash with Mark Waid, with whom he would go on to co-create Impulse. It took an issue or two for his work to feel rewarding to me, but it had a definite energy, and eventually...
It seems that these days, you just say things to get attention.
Shock value is the really important thing for you now. You used to have
a cause, and this made you seem like a threat to the established order, but now you
just want to say wacky stuff once in a while. Air travel doesn't really mesh
with your lifestyle, and you'd probably scare the security guards somehow
Take the Country Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid
On the bright side, my leader's son gets to have dinner with Nicole Kidman...but it's not going to go well.
The odds of my ever playing host to a season of The Real World are remarkably low.
And maybe Albert Brooks will come to see me.
On the other hand, I apologize for the role my people played in the gunning down of Emmett "Doc" Brown. Things were said in anger, mistakes were made, and maybe they were wound a little too tight.
And anyway, the thieving cur had stolen material we need for our nuclear reactor...not that we have a nuclear reactor, because we don't.
Oh, and Top Gun was a bad movie even with your American devil cover girl next door sweetheart Meg Ryan.
Damn her for making our pulse race.
This is the work of one of my artists.
"Happy dreams any her humanitarian, sleep...any her The justice."
This is not the work of one of my artists, but a Londoner, Janet Cree. Her husband, a famous lawyer
John Platts-Mills had a fascination with more than one killer dictator, for, when his dutiful and self-effaced wife is somewhat surprised by his absence from home, she rings his Chambers to ask his whereabouts: well as it happened his image just appeared flittingly on British TV screens as a guest standing behind Colonel Ghaddafi, on a visit to Libya. This was the time of the Libyan embassy crisis in London, at which point the imperturbable Janet would answer quietly:
‘Well, in that case I will not lay out the table for tea.’
We are inspirational.
And yeah, we torture, but so does the U.S. military, so I wouldn't run your mouth about it until they stop. But then in fact, you get off on it in your films and flicks, don't you?
Finally, check out lawyer Aisha Gaddafi. Some call her the Claudia Schiffer of North Africa, and we've certainly never heard any bad things about her.
We've never heard any bad things about her because people who say things about her that her father doesn't like...tend to disappear.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
For the sake of your sensitivities, I do not ask that you watch each of these videos in their entirety. A minute and a half or so of each should suffice to illustrate my point, or at least to embed something in your head the way it's been in mine...
This is the cheesiest song from The Pirate Movie, itself fabled in song and story as one of the cheesiest films ever made. To say that the lyric is full of double entendres is to give it too much credit. It's so lewd and vulgar I can't even believe they got it into a movie whose target audience was 10-year-old girls and gay boys.
And what about this end song from the same film? Try to decide which is worse, the performances, the lyrics, the choreography, the costumes...
Both these songs were nominated for the 1982 Worst Original Song Razzie award; the first "won" it. They're really bad songs, is what I'm saying.
But are really that much worse than Boy Meets Girl?
This is Boy Meets Girl - Waiting For A Star To Fall.
It was one of the top-selling hits of 1989, yet it's long sounded to me like it could have been written for the same movie.
See if you don't agree.
I've tried Weeds and found it to be not for me (maybe I didn't inhale), but I've appreciated Parker and her work as far back as Grand Canyon in 1991; including of course The West Wing and Angels In America.
Which is why I maybe shouldn't have been as surprised as I was to read this little factoid: "Parker is just a few days past her 43rd birthday."
Mary-Louise Parker is 43?
In one word: Damn. She still looks young enough that, if she said she wanted to play Keitha, I would have to give it some very serious consideration.*
PS: And she's given birth, too.
*Yes, this is in a magical candyland in which Emmy-nominated actresses are lining up to play my characters. Don't go snapping your fingers to bring me out of it, ok? I'm so much happier here...
Then the blonde girl, now on her knees....
Suffice it to say that once again, we here at Dictionopolis In Digitopolis have anticipated your every need...
Credits: Via Dr. Zaius and glaurung_quena. Story and art by Elliot S! Maggin and Curt Swan.
All this is largely by way of explaining my initial reaction to Washington Post fashionista Robin Givhan's July 20th article, "Hillary Clinton's Tentative Dip into New Neckline Territory."
Rereading Ghivan's article...I became aware of something [odd]. I realized just how frequently she'd used words rarely used to describe Senator Clinton. Words like "tentative," "noncommittal," "tortured," and "ambivalent," all in the service of exposing Clinton's hitherto unnoticed lack of confidence. Odd, really, isn't all that?
It's true, those are all words I would use to describe my own feelings about Mrs. Clinton before I would use them to describe her apparent feelings about herself.
Well, maybe "tortured" under some cirumstances...