Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall Season: Tuesday

Tuesdays are usually a lighter load/catchup day in terms of programming. Since I generally don't get home much before 10pm on Mondays and have to be at work at 10am on Tuesdays, I can't watch all that gets recorded. But there is still new stuff added and here it is:


I started watching House last season and was surprised by how quickly I got hooked. I'm usually not into medical dramas, but this one is so wonderfully written and Hugh Laurie is brilliant. The search for the new fellows story arc was rather engaging, though I'm still not won over by Taub (dude, chill), Kutner (dude, stop setting patients on fire) or Thirteen (dude...just dude). The season finale was incredibly good, though I think I will miss Amber/Cut Throat Bitch.

However, this has now set up a story line where House and Wilson have essentially broken up. We're two episodes into the season (counting tonight's episode) and I still don't know how I feel about this development. Although it is organic in terms of the characters' histories, the House/Wilson relationship moved from subtext to text which takes out some of the fun. The show is usually pretty good about reaching satisfactory resolutions, but I'm still a little leery.

Dancing with the Stars: Results

3 minutes of content (6 if there's a group number) in 60 minutes of program. After 8 years of reality television you would think that ratio would have gotten less oppressive.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Season: Monday

Tonight is the official start of the 2008-2009 TV season, and my TiVo is filled to the gills with season passes. It's rather sad in a wonderful, wonderful way. As I was loading season passes last night during the god-awful Emmy awards, I kept getting warnings that shows weren't going to record due to lack of space. Granted, said Emmys were taking up 4 hours of real estate (they were promptly evicted), there's just a lot of anticipation for this week. Let's see how many of these shows survive.


Last season was extremely problematic. A number of new characters were either dull (Peter's Irish lass) or incredibly irritating (Maya, of "ALEJANDRO!!!!!!!!" lame, er fame). Oddly, this is one of those shows that I think may have greatly benefited from last year's writers' strike. Before things really started flying off the tracks, Kring and company needed to buttonhole things quickly. Some stories may have been rushed, but at least the really irksome ones (Maya/Sylar, Claire/West, Feudal Hiro) are pretty much done. That and the 8 months since the last episode may have caused people to forget all the bad juju the sophomore slump created.

If there's still bad juju, this show may be in trouble.

Dancing with the Stars

First: Shut up. American Idol doesn't swing back around until January so this show fills the void. I'm not a huge fan of the show, but I do like a number of the individual elements. I like Tom Bergeron, I like the application of ballroom to some unlikely songs, and the cast usually has 1 or 2 folks that I already like and someone I will eventually grow to like (who will get voted off soon after). I don't like Samantha Harris, but I like making fun of her. The band and the singers are TERRIBLE, but their choices are easy to make fun of as well.

For me, this season is about Lance Bass. There has been speculation for a number of seasons that he would be on the show and the question about who his partner will be has been the center of the discussion. Specifically, will the partner be male or female? Although my people would have loved to see some guy-on-guy rumba or salsa action (admit it, you would too), Bass would actually be at a significant disadvantage. I'm not talking about people not voting for him -- I'm talking about executing the dance. All of the other male dancers will be dancing as the male in the couple. In fairness, Bass should also have to dance as the male. Therefore, his professional male partner would have to dance as the female. This presents problems for both teacher and student that none of the other couples would encounter.

That's not to say that he won't already have issues. His partner is Lacey Schwimmer, who came in 4th on So You Think You Can Dance in 2007. I hated Lacey. Hopefully she has become less insufferable in the last 15 months, because I would like Lance to do well.

Again, shut up.

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Friday, September 19, 2008


The last 20 hours have been terrible. Thursday nights I've been bowling in a league at Black River Lanes with Bryan, Bukie and James. The first week of the league went fine. My scores were about on average, though I was low man for the evening. The following week I was having some trouble, but I just chalked it up to being tired -- it was the first week of the semester and I was swamped at work.

Last week was a major stumbling block. I couldn't get any of my equipment to do anything and by the third game I was fed up. 8-year-olds having a temper tantrum is annoying. If you are 25 it is really unforgivable. I instantly regretted it, but there's really nothing you can do at that point.

Last night I went in with the mindset that no matter how bad things might get, I will not behave the same way. By the middle of the second game, it was taking every ounce of will to keep myself in check. The frustration is attacking from several different angles. First, I am the only person on my team struggling. The other guys are averaging 200+, James even bowled his first 700 last night. It has nothing to do with the left side as our opponent's had a lefty on their team who was doing just fine. Also, this is the third week in a row I have been struggling on three different pairs of lanes, which means that the center isn't the variable. The only common denominator is me.

It was during the third game that I realized what my problem is. For whatever reason, I feel like I have to prove myself, which is causing me to try way too hard, which is causing me to do all sorts of weird shit in my shot making and is clouding my judgment when I need to make adjustments. The thought that occurred to me was a suggestion my therapist presented at my last meeting with her: that I am not comfortable in my own skin. Sure, my defensiveness, my inability to allow people to get close to me (intimately or even physically), and a host of other issues play into that theory, but for whatever reason I am demanding more proof.

When I came to this realization, I started to panic. Whenever I visualize this concept, I picture a boss from a game like Metroid or Zelda where you have to wait for the scales on their body or some protective covering moves away for a second so you can strike their weak point. When you hit that spot, the boss cries out in pain. I could see my vulnerability being exposed and an ice-cold blade getting ready to poke it. My focus shifted from shot making to holding it together. After the third game was done and I limped over the 400 line (I think? I didn't bother adding the scores) I threw my equipment in my bag, congratulated James and told Bryan I was going to wait in the car.

As we were driving back to Oberlin, my rear window was fogged up, so I turned on the rear defrost. About 2 minutes later, I heard a POP. At first I thought a tire blew out, but then someone said my window was cracking. Was it a gunshot? A meteorite? Whatever it was, it caused me to not hold it together anymore as I listened to the crystallized crackling sound of my rear window. As I approached 511, I hit a bump which caused the entire window to collapse. I won't bore you with the transcript of what I said, but rest assured it was not rated G.

I'm now waiting for my replacement window to get installed. This whole window thing is far too metaphorical for my taste. And expensive. Future metaphors take note: you need to cost less than $50.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008


You might recall a previous post where I discussed Big Brother, in particular a specific houseguest. To quote:

I have a feeling the only change in opinion I will have will be to something more unfavorable, but I'll just have to wait and see. My guess: he will either be the first out or around for a LONG time.

I was right about the second part. Although he was targeted the first couple of weeks, he actually lasted all the way to the end. And won. By a unanimous vote.

I was wrong about the first part. Dan proved to be one of the most awesome players in the history of the series and certainly the most deserving of the contestants this season.

Congratulations, Dan! Sorry about the pregame negativity.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008


"I can't believe you're going to see Journey! Please post a count of mullets--may you find yourself in a sea of fabulous hairstyles."

Last night I went to see Journey at Blossom. The ticket also included Cheap Trick (meh) and Heart (EEEEE!). We (Sarah and I) ended up in one of the distant lots and Cheap Trick took the stage as we made the long trek to the gate. By the time we got settled on the hillside, they were pretty much done. Again, no big loss: I'm completely neutral about Cheap Trick. That's not to say the people around us were also ambivalent -- far from it. Although the crowd was significantly younger than I expected (mostly thirty-somethings and their kids), many of the people in the crowd were doing those dances that middle-aged people do. The kind that cause the kids to say "MOOOOOOOOOOOM! You are totally EMBARRASSING me!" which I witnessed at least once or twice. So many forlorn children. The hair was also pretty normal, though some women were teased out to the shoulders. I only saw one mullet, but it was so perfect that I could only describe it as "professional".

After a brief intermission, Heart took the stage. I warned Sarah that I was going to probably dork out during that set, but I think she out-dorked me. Both Ann and Nancy Wilson are still looking fabulous and totally owned the stage. Overall, I think their set was the best -- I've been singing "Alone" all day.

Another short intermission and Journey took the stage. Although Steve Perry is no longer in the band, the new lead singer (Arnel Pineda) is a fine substitute. Unfortunately, he is so good that his career can be viewed as a Steve Perry impersonator. Sorry Arnel. Anyway, the first few songs were ones that I didn't recognize. The crowd didn't seem as into it either, which was surprising. That was until Separate Ways, truly one of the finer points in Journey's career. They did their big hits ("Don't Stop Believin'", "Anyway You Want It", etc.), but the rest of their set was either new stuff (Booo!) or not easily recognized.

Overall, Heart ROCKED it and the show was quite a bit of fun.

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Monday, September 1, 2008


Okay, so that part in my last post where I said I wasn't going to write anymore about the election? Ignore that -- this Sarah Palin character is way too interesting to pass up.

First up, the baby mama drama (will that be your title card, Fox news?). There were some rumors circulating after Palin was tapped last week that her youngest child (who has Down's Syndrome, not that that is relevant) might actually be her daughter's kid (therefore, Palin's grandchild). How 1950's. During an NPR interview of some RNC representative, the rumors were described as "vicious" and "untrue". No, no, no, the story is much less sordid, with the 17-year-old daughter now 5 months pregnant. Good news -- she's keeping the baby (there's a shock, daughter of the conservative VP candidate) and she will marry the boyfriend so they can raise the child together. See, not salacious at all. On the plus side, this means that the Right will have to abandon the whole "family values" platform, which really didn't sit well with me anyway.

I shouldn't make fun, especially since these are lifelong obstacles getting thrown Palin's way and not a simple case of foot-in-mouth disease. But during the course of the same interview Robert Siegel asked several questions about the vetting process -- a step that I had forgotten was part of the candidate selection. Despite all these obstacles (both personal and political), the McCain camp still determined that, of the choices presented, Palin was the pick of the litter.

It really makes me wonder what caused the others to be disqualified. I'm dying to dig that dirt.

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