Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Year-End Musings

As I started to gather my thoughts around the 2010 year’s end, I looked back on blog posts that I made back in the beginning of January and am startled at the similarities to what I’m feeling/thinking currently.

Let’s see – I was complaining about how shitty a year 2009 had been (2010 has proven to be even more tumultuous); I was sick (I still am); dealing with old and/or infirm pets (still); and as I enter what will be the third year in my “new” house, I still haven’t adjusted or settled into it.
So were there any highlights in 2010? Well, maybe a few.

My top 5 Music Moments:

  • The dominance of Ray LaMontagne in my life; especially his song "Let It Be Me"
  • Songs from Glee – I couldn’t get enough of them. They made me love a Katy Perry song for crissakes!
  • Rediscovering the Little River Band after finding an old greatest hits cd buried in the trunk of my car. Move over Journey, LRB is my new karaoke go-to band.
  • Succumbing to Lady Gaga fever after resisting for two years
  • After decades of singing it in the shower and to myself in the mirror, finally performing “Where Is It Written?” from Yentl for a live audience in November 2010.
Top 2010 Movie Moments:

Never Let Me Go – quietly devastating

Inception - Clever and captivating

Brotherhood – harshly beautiful

Hipsters – amazing snapshot of 1950’s Russia

Black Swan – seriously and gloriously f*cked up

Top 2010 TV:

  • The WINTER OLYMPICS! And I actually got to go to Vancouver, albeit by my sad and lonely self, to see a couple of skiing events.
  • The SYTYCD All-Stars season which brought Pasha, Allison, Ade, Mark, and Neil back into my life.
  • New seriesModern Family, Justified, The Choir, Sherlock Holmes, Huge

Top 2010 Reading:
  1. The Hunger Games trilogy came into my life
  2. I got a Kindle!
  3. The continued awesomeness of Melissa De La Cruz's young-adult vampire books the Blue Bloods series. It kicks all sorts of Twilight ass.
  4. Lest you think I only read YA lit, I also enjoyed Pulitzer and National Book Award winners Tinkers, Great House, and The Imperfectionists
In 2010 I also participated with thousands of others in attempting to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I didn’t make it, but it was a great experience nonetheless.

For the past 3 years I’ve said that the coming the year couldn’t possibly be worse than the one that I just lived through, and then that year has tried its best to prove me wrong. I truly hope that 2011, a year filled with mystical and powerful numerological importance, will be the year of healing and happiness.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Music Video Dissection - Xmas Edition

Wham!'s Last Christmas:

  • Oh 80s George Michael, how I've missed you.
  • Andrew Ridgely really was sort of a non-entity in the band at this point wasn't he? It's a shame. He has a really good voice actually and wrote a bunch of their songs.
  • Okay, just where in Europe are they? Where they seem to have private ski lifts that just let you out in front of your huge 40 room "cabin".
  • 1 min 10 sec mark - What kind of ski house/cabin doesn't have a walk way to the front door? These people have to schlep all of their luggage (filled with hair spray and mousse) over a wood fence and through the back yard.
  • Have you ever seen so many shoulder pads and pleated trousers in one place? (Men and women included)
  • So the premise here is that George was dating the girl that Andrew's currently boinking "last Christmas". uh huh, I think George might have been hooking up with the dude that brings in the firewood at the 1 min 35 sec mark.
  • I think my mom owned the white and blue window-pane checked jacket that Andrew Ridgely is wearing at 1 min 43 sec
  • George Michael looks so pretty (and is wearing so much make up) wearing that fur-hooded coat at 1 min 54 sec. Also, with the fence climbing again. Ever hear of a gate?
  • 2 min 20 sec mark - Oooh Sparkler Cake!
  • 2 min 29 sec/3 min 15 sec - Let me get this straight. George gave this chick a "diamond" brooch the Xmas before and she has now regifted it to ANDREW?! That is so messed up on so many levels.
  • 3 min 23 sec mark - There they go, having to climb over the fence again with all of their luggage and crap. A huge oversight in the design of this million dollar ski chalet.
  • 4 min 17 sec mark - I love how only one guy brought skis, but the black lady is wearing ski goggles as like regular sunglasses.
  • And that's it. It just ends. There's absolutely no resolution. George's old girlfriend seems to be flirting with him and seems to regret her decision to move on to Andrew. George seems forlorn (hence the lyrics in the song) but in the end I guess realizes that he's better off with his new blond piece, then with someone who just takes perfectly ugly but thoughtful gifts of jewelry and gives them to her new boyfriend (who is also a friend).
Wow. Merry Christmas y'all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas came early this year!

My boyfriend is single again! Yep, ScarJo's loss is my gain. I can't believe she initiated the split (allegedly); what a dumb woman.

In other celebrity break up news - Dexter's Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter also called it quits this week! I seriously can't believe this one. They seemed like such a great and happy couple. Was it his struggle with Hodgkin's last year that put a strain on their marriage? Was the sibling dynamic of their characters on Dexter finally too weird for them to handle in their real life off set? Inquiring minds...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hey Oprah, stop trying to kill my boyfriend!

(At least my baby got to enjoy a nice glass of wine afterwards)
Today, while making what turned out to be a VERY dramatic entrance on to the stage of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Hugh Jackman injured one of his beautiful eyes attached to his beautiful face.
This episode of Oprah was being filmed in Australia, where Hugh came on to the set down a zip-line that was attached to the nearby Sydney Opera House. Except he kind of pulled the brake too late on the line and knocked into one of the lighting rigs. I blame Oprah. I don't care if the stunt was Hugh's idea, I know in my heart that she encouraged him to do something stupid so that she can have every episode of her final season be as memorable as possible. Well mission accomplished lady!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Best thing I've seen all week -
I know this is hard to read, but I encourage everyone to check the real one out on or here to see it a little better. Some choice bits include:
  • Crying - Acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon
  • Friends - 1 to 3 is sufficient
  • America - The only country that matters. If you want to experience other "cultures", use an atlas or a ham radio.
  • B.O. - Cultivating a manly musk puts your opponents on notice.
Damn, I miss Ron Swanson and Parks & Recreation. When does the new season start again?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


What the hell?! Is this what we've come to Washington state leaders? "WashYourHandsIngTon"?!!!!!? I'm embarrassed for us all.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Torture at its best

Every end of year holiday season is filled with traditions and comforting touchstones that are revisited annually. You're allowed to get away with eating too much, acting like a goofy kid about presents, wearing awful holiday-themed clothing, and generally being a sentimental sap about everything and any thing.

An example of this is the holiday movie theme programming that takes over the Hallmark and Lifetime channels beginning around Thanksgiving and kicking into high gear the minute that December 1 hits. These channels air, and in many cases produce, a shit-ton of  holiday  Christmas (who am I kidding with this PC crap?) movies until the new year is upon us.
I'm "lucky" enough to not only have the regular Lifetime and Hallmark channels, which intersperse their Xmas movie roster with sitcom reruns and Martha Stewart, but to also have the specified movie channel versions for both networks, which exclusively play these sappy movies 24 hours a day.

Every year I complain about these movies; they're so bad, so earnestly cheesy, so tooth-achingly sweet. Yet every year I watch as many as I can without turning my brain to mush. And the plots! The scripts for these movies are beyond ridiculous; uneven story structure, stilted dialogue, horrendous pacing; and that's not even getting into the bad acting that happens in 99.8 % of these things. Even when the producers have managed to snag decent actors there's no saving some of these. Let me describe what happens in three (three?! yikes) of the movies that I've watched (so far) this week - title, plot, actors etc. may or may not be 100% accurate:
"The Good Witch's Gift" - This is a Xmas themed sequel to I guess a series of Lifetime movies about a good witch played by the chick from JAG, who's married to the police chief (played by hottie Chris Potter) in some small town.
*This is one of the first rules that you need to understand about ALL of these movies - they take place in these weird small towns. Even when the movies start out with our protagonists living/struggling in the big bad city, they always end up in a small town. These towns are the most generic and slightly creepy places you've ever seen, where everyone knows everyone and people are totally nosy and always giving advice that nobody wants; always set in locales that are either generically "California-y" or "New Englandy", but are almost exclusively filmed in Canada.
Anyway, in this Good Witch movie some dude that has just been paroled after doing time for robbing the town's bank, comes home to supposedly bond with his child and ex-wife. The chief suspects that he's returned to dig up the bank cash that he thinks the dude's hidden somewhere because it was never located. In the meantime the police chief and the Good Witch (who is like psychic or something? and is constantly manipulating all of the characters in this movie to do the "right" thing) are planning their Xmas eve wedding that the whole town is invited to. There's also lots of other little side stories that are too boring or nonsensical to mention. One thing that confused me which I'm sure was explained in one of the previous Good Witch movies, was that this whole town seemed to know that the Good Witch was a witch and no one batted an eye or seemed to care. Very odd.
Verdict/Grade = because they've got Chris Potter going for them I sat through the whole thing without bleep-blooping forward through any of the cheesy parts. I give it a B, which is high marks for one of these.

"The Christmas Shoes" - It's only the hypnotic power of Rob Lowe's endless hotness that allowed me to sit through even half of this cheeseball movie. Right out of the gate you need to know that this movie is from a book by some cheesy Christian romance author, who in turn based her book on a country song by the same name. Yes, an actual country Christmas song inspired a book that inspired a movie. The plot of the song/book/movie is that some high-powered asshole lawyer who never has time for his family and hates Christmas and kittens encounters a poor young boy who has a mom that's dying of cancer and she used to be a dancer? or play the flute or something musical and the kid wants to buy his mom this pair of red shoes for Christmas since it will be her last one on Earth. The kid's dad is a real sad-sack who is drowning his sorrow in booze and can't help the kid out with money or attention so that's where Rob Lowe comes in. And he takes pity on the kid for some reason and ends up buying the shoes for him and then learns the meaning of Christmas and puppies and changes into *Awesome Dude (rule #2 - there will always be a character in the movie that has a radical personality change from mean/stressed/neglectful/drunk to winsome/extraordinarily kind). Verdict/Grade = C;  Rob Lowe's beauty only goes so far

"The Christmas Blessing" - So get this, the greedy producers evidently saw how well "Shoes" did and decided to make a sequel that supposedly takes place 18 years after the first story but in fact was only filmed 2 years later. Rob Lowe is back in a cameo (with seemingly cake flour brushed into his sideburns to indicate the passage of time) as the high-powered attorney who is now so good and wonderful and milque-toast that it's embarrassing. Lowe is in the film for a total of 4 minutes as the rich dude who saves the day at the end of the movie by buying a house that will be turned into a daycare center. Don't worry, it doesn't make sense even if you've watched it. The movie's main characters are played by Neil Patrick Harris, henceforth called Doogie, who plays the kid from the "Shoes" movie all grown up and a doctor in "Boston", and my favorite vehicular manslaughterist Rebecca Gayheart as a teacher who's just moved to the small "New England" town from Texas. Also featured is the guy who played the dad in the original, but this time sporting a beard that they also flour dusted, and the annoying kid from Two & A Half Men filling in the *child role in the movie. (Rule #3 - there's always at least one kid who has a major plot point)
The plot for this one is all over the place. Doogie is an intern at some hospital in the city and loses a teen on the OR table and freaks out about it and decides to "take some time to heal" by running home to his papa. We're supposed to figure out that Doogie has run home a lot over the years when things got too stressed, and spends his time there reminiscing about his mom and making his dad sad all over again. So this time when he comes home on "vacation" from the hospital he finds that his dad is in full-on empty nester mode; he plans on selling the house and his successful mechanics shop, dating his bookkeeper, and possibly buying a RV and moving to Florida. Doogie is not happy about any of this because he is a selfish wanker. Doogie starts volunteering for an after school program at the elementary school and starts dating Gayheart's character named Callie. One of the kids on the basketball team that Doogie coaches is the 2 1/2 kid who is also really poor, with a sad-sack drunk of a dad and a dead mom (just like Doogie was!). There are about 5 million story threads tangled up here that are so poorly thought out it's frustrating. Doogie's dad gave the Christmas Shoes to charity and 2 1/2's dad picked them up and gave them to 2 1/2 and told him they were his dead mom's dancing shoes. These shoes by the way? Are the fugliest things I've ever seen in my life (red silk brocade flats (!) with gold filigree on them), but throughout the movie they are held aloft like they're Dorothy's ruby slippers.
So randomly an hour in we find out that 2 1/2 has like Marfan's syndrome and his little heart is so diseased that he only has a little time left to live. Both the kid and the dad act like they've known this the whole time but they never actually say this so you're left feeling weird (this won't be last time this happens). Then we find out that Callie has Hep B and cirrhosis of the liver (the hell?!) and will die on Xmas Eve (just like Doogie's mom!) if she doesn't get a liver transplant. It is also not clear if/how long Callie has known about her illness. Such poor writing. If the ending hasn't already been telegraphed for you, 2 1/2 of course dies and his dad gives Callie the boy's liver. And right before the kid died he gave Doogie back the shoes to give to Callie. ANYWAY, the movie ends with some charity concert for the daycare center and who shows up but none other than Blake Shelton who is a real-life country music star and who thanks Rob Lowe's character for bringing him there to perform. As if a Grammy winning artist would really fly all the way from Nashville to a small town in "New England"  Canada for some dumb daycare center opening. Wait! Were the producers being all meta and is Blake Shelton the guy who sings "The Christmas Shoes" song? Meh, I don't care enough to look it up. Verdict/Grade = C-/D+; if I ever meet NPH, the first thing I'm asking him is about this turd.

Next on the my viewing docket this week is something called "Comfort & Joy" with Nancy "don't go messin' with Jo Polniaczek" McKeon. And I'll hopefully be recording one of my holiday movie faves starring Heather Locklear about a sad-sack divorced mom who has a Christmas fling with a hot 20 year old. I can't remember the name of it, but that's what IMDB is for.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

TV Things and things

Glee -
I really enjoyed the Sectionals episode this season. Even the cop-out of having New Directions and The Warblers tie in the end. I especially loved getting to see the spotlight on a few of the other kids - Santana rules! I've loved this second season of Glee, all the haters can suck it. And my love affair with Darren Criss continues. Sigh...Blaine is dreamy.

Top Chef: All Stars -
Premieres tonight! I can't wait. And except for Elia and Jamie (who I wish were replaced by Kevin and Stefan), I am really excited about all of the contestants for this season. There are so many of my faves here that I really don't care who wins (but would be over the moon if Carla or Richard Blaise took the prize)

America's Next Top Model - The finale is tonight. I've really come to HATE Ann but I fear that she will win tonight. I didn't think that it would come down to her and Chelsea; I really wanted Kayla to be in the top two. But it's been a fun season; and I haven't hated Tyra Banks nearly as much as I usually do.

Gossip Girl - I'm this close to being oVAh this show. Can Juliet please die now? This revenge storyline is getting old.

Real Housewives of Atlanta and Beverly Hills - I've had a Tivo break-up with the Atlanta ladies. Even with the slightly interesting Nene storyline developing, I feel my soul dying each minute I waste with them.
But Beverly Hills! I love love love these ladies. Camille Grammer is a total nut-job but so fun to watch her delusional confessionals.

The Fashion Show - Shut up David and Dominique! The challenge this week was do a time capsule outfit. That had to incorporate plaid in some way because Iman loves plaid. It was very strange, and resulted in my sweet Ro Ro being eliminated but I'm still living for the second season of this show. Iman and Isaac Mizrahi continue to be awesome.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Writing a novel in 1 month = FAIL

So here it is, the last day of November 2010 and I did NOT finish writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Yes, yes I know that the month isn't technically over; I still have over 12 hours to churn out prose. But I have to start being realistic with myself; I only have just over 35, 000 words written - and they're not very good words at that.
No, I take that back, they're good words. It's my story that's shit. But it has potential. And for the first time in a long time I'm actually excited about seeing where the story goes. I just wish that I hadn't futzed around the first couple of weeks of November trying to figure it out, and then I wish I hadn't procrastinated as much as I did once I did figure the story structure out, blaming my lethargy on being sick etc.

So here I am a NaNoWriMo failure; but considering it was my first attempt, I'm pretty proud of myself nonetheless. I'd like to think that I will take some time in the coming weeks/months to finish and fine tune the novel that I started this month; but realistically I know that I probably won't. Instead I'm going to file it away, and maybe use it as an inspiration for next year's contest.

Speaking of procrastination and pep talks - the great Dave Eggers was asked by the NaNoWriMo coordinators to give us advice and these were his sage words:

Is procrastination a problem for you? Really? You think you have a problem?

Here's procrastination: The organizers of NaNoWriMo asked me three months ago to write this pep talk, and I'm only writing it now, after blowing three deadlines, after avoiding ten reminders. I was asked to write a pep talk for NaNoWriMo, and I'm actually writing it after the month started. So whatever procrastination problems you have, I probably have you beat. I'm the worst, and I'm getting worse every day.
It's a very strange thing, because we all think writing should be fun. That is, when I was temping through most of my twenties, wondering what it would be like to write for a living, hoping for such a life, I thought it might be pretty sweet. I thought if I ever got to write for a living, I would feel pretty lucky, and that I would be so appreciative that I would bound out of bed every day and, like a goddamned adult, I would write as much as I could every day, and get work done in a reasonable amount of time. Again, like an adult.
Instead, I need, on average, 8 hours sitting on my writing couch to get one hour of work done. It's a pathetic ratio. I stall, avoid, put off and generally act like someone's making me do some terrible job I never wanted to do. I blow pretty much every deadline I'm given.

Just like I blew the one for NaNoWriMo.

But then, when things are late, and I'm feeling like an idiot, and I feel like I'm letting down someone (like the people at NaNoWriMo, and you), I finally dig in and get started. And then I write, and I write in a fury, and I even, sometimes, enjoy writing.
And that's why I love NaNoWriMo. It gets you started. It gives you the impetus to finally start, and/or finally finish. Knowing there are thousands of others out there trying to do the same, who are using this ridiculous deadline as cattle-prod and shame deterrent, means goddamnit, you better do it now because you know how to write, and you have fingers, and you have this one life, and during this one life, you should put your words down, and make your voice heard, and then let others hear your voice. And the only way any of that's going to happen is if you actually do it. People can't read the thoughts in your head. They can only read the thoughts you put down, carefully and with great love, on the page. So you have to do it, goddamnit. You have to do it, and you can step back and be happy. You can step back and relax. You can step back and feel something like pride.
Then of course you'll have to revise it ten or twenty times, but let's not talk about that yet.

Write your goddamned book now. The world awaits.

Dave Eggers is the author of Zeitoun and What is the What.

Edited to add:
They've announced the "winner" of the 2010 Bad Sex in Fiction award. It goes to author Rowan Somerville for his book The Shape Of Her, a nothing sort of novel that was evidently self-published(?).
I have to say, even if it sounds like bragging, the one sex scene in the novel that I attempted to complete this month was a thousand times better than this crap that Sommerville wrote.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Awww Leslie, you'll always be my bachelor...

By the time the movie Airplane! and the tv show Police Squad came along in the late 70s to establish actor Leslie Nielsen as a comedic juggernaut, I had already been in love with him for years.
See there was this little movie called Tammy and The Bachelor, starring one Debbie Reynolds, that had been brought into my life by my grandmother Kay who adored all things Debbie. The first time I ever watched it with her, my grandmother whispered in my ear about 5 minutes into the film, "You're about to see the most gorgeous man this side of your grandpa." And into the frame came the beguiling face of Leslie Nielsen. "Leslie?!" I asked incredulously, "what kind of name is that for a boy?" But wisely my grandmother told me to just forget about his name and enjoy the movie (and the view). And that I did. My crush was born.

Later it grew as he became the silver-fox funny man of my dreams. And then Dorothy had to go and marry him on the Golden Girls,...never mind that's a story/rant for another time.
Suffice to say, you will be sorely missed Mr. Nielsen.

Dr. Drew in the hizZouse!

Addiction medicine specialist, drug counselor to the stars, and all-round hottie Dr. Drew Pinsky is getting his own show on CNN's sister station Headline News. It's supposedly going to be starting up early Spring 2011 and be an interview talk-show style like Larry King. I love Dr. Drew, and have enjoyed him the couple of times he's filled in for the aforementioned King as host on his show. I hope it just doesn't turn out to be a another sort of Love Line rehash though.
I've always loved Dr. Drew's advice but hate the dumbasses that call in to get it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

A heartfelt thank you goes out to all of my friends and family with a wish of good times, spent with good company, eating good food. Don't forget to put on your Joey Tribiani "Thanksgiving pants"!

Just what I need to make myself feel better

I am currently down for the count with a serious sinus infection, but am gazing at this magnificent magazine cover and starting to feel a little better:

Oh Ryan, thanks for the boost!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yes, I'm in one of those moods today. I've come down with a cold and I'm really pissed off about it. I HATE BEING SICK. And I'm worried that I won't be able to sing that well in my recital on Saturday, so I'm irked about that too.

Update on NaNoWriMo writing project - I'm about 26,000 words in. I'm not confident that I can finish the remaining 24K words needed to complete this in just 13 days but we'll see.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stop F*cking Up the Holiday Season, KRWM!

I've ranted about this before, but it bears being complained about again. The Seattle radio station that I use as my alarm clock wake up, "WARM" 106.9, changes their format from adult contemporary to Holiday music every year in November.
But pretty soon I'm afraid that they'll just give in altogether and start the Christmas music as soon as Halloween is over. This year KRWM began playing their "all holiday hits, all the time" play lists the day after Veteran's Day. The fact that I had to wake up to Andy Williams singing about "the most wonderful time of the year" before we were even two weeks into November enraged me to no end.
I try to follow a strict "no holiday music before Thanksgiving" rule with my own personal collections, and this has already been tested this year because the singing group that I'm in has already been practicing the pieces for our holiday concert on December 18. But I was sort of able to compartmentalize this is my head and not think of those songs as Christmas music.
But I can't control all of the stuff going on around me and it's annoying me. It's not only the radio that I have to contend with - grocery stores, clothing stores (shame on you Banana Republic!), movie theater lobbies are all playing holiday music. iTunes is torturing me with enticements of free MP3s of new holiday pop songs, and advertising the hell out of the Glee Christmas album (goddammit! I won't pre-order it no matter how much you tempt me with the adorable Chris Colfer and Darren Criss singing Baby It's Cold Outside. But I'm only human, please stop!)
I'm already not looking forward to the 2010 holiday season for a myriad of personal reasons. And I LOVE Christmas music and rely on it putting me in a better mood. But if the world around me insists on smothering me with holiday good cheer this early on, I'm afraid that by the time Christmas actually rolls around I'll be on the verge of embarking on a homicidal rampage where everyone in my vicinity will feel my wrath.
Prepare yourselves Seattle.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Am I a bad Indian?

Okay, confession time - I don't find the term "American Indian" offensive.

As someone who can claim full heritage in more than two first nation tribes in the United States, I know I should probably care more about the argument over the political correctness of this name, but I just don't. And while I'm confessing here, I'll just go ahead and come clean that I also don't find any of this country's sports teams with Native American-themed mascots offensive either. These are shameful opinions for the daughter of two prominent AIM activists to have and share with the world.
I think it's sort of ridiculous that the NCAA has spent an enormous amount of time and money implementing their 2005 rule that colleges can't have Native American mascots; or that several colleges have wasted even more time and money choosing to fight this rule in court. The University of North Dakota is the latest school to lose their case for keeping their "Fighting Sioux" mascot. They were the last of the colleges to still be fighting the regulation (their case has been going on for almost 2 years). They have to come up with a new mascot and officially get rid of everything with the Sioux figure head and logo by next June.
Of the two Dakota Sioux tribes, the Spirit Lake tribal council has been overwhelmingly supportive of the university keeping the "Fighting" mascot; it's the Standing Rock tribe that opposes it and refused to budge. UND officials were hoping that they'd get to be grandfathered in with an exception like Florida State was when the Seminole nation (including my card-carrying AIM activist father) voted unanimously to allow FSU to keep its mascot and logo.
Redskins, Indians, Warriors. People wearing wigs and headdresses, or braiding their hair into a pig-tail on each side of their head and wearing a headband.
Young men wearing fringed outfits as they jump around on their playing fields and cheer their teams. Plastic tomahawks. Fake war cries, with people slapping the palms of their hands against their mouths and making aiyee ahh sounds. NONE of this bothers me. Does that make me a horrible person?
Do you think even less of me when I tell you that I just ordered a University of North Dakota "Fighting Sioux" hoodie while they're still available?

Friday, November 12, 2010

If actress Grace Kelly had lived she would've been 81 years old today. Reading the interwebs today about her is making me think of one of my favorite fictional characters in American cinema - Lisa Freemont. The privileged, gorgeous but savvy society girl who saves the day in the movie Rear Window.

When I was first exposed to Grace Kelly's Lisa Freemont as a young 8-year old girl, I thought she was the most beautiful, the smartest, and the most captivating woman I had ever encountered.
Lisa Freemont opened up whole new worlds for me with little profound bon mots like - "A woman going anywhere but the hospital would always take makeup, perfume and jewelry."     
Lisa was so glamorous! She was the fashion editor at Harper's Bazaar! And without her, her boyfriend wouldn't have solved the crime! Who else would've noticed a small detail like jewelry - 
"Women don't keep all their jewelry in a purse, all tangled, getting scratched and twisted up." - and run with that to expose the truth about the killer?!  

And on top of it all, Lisa Freemont taught me how to pack smart:
  1. Take one beautiful, black leather Mark Cross attache bag.
  2. Place inside said case a toothbrush and toothpaste, one ankle length pink satin nightgown with matching peignoir and a clean pair of underpants.
  3. Don't forget your bedroom slippers.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Damn you Ryan Murphy! - Glee Season 2 Episode 6

For making me LOVE a gawddam Katy Perry song! I watched the "Teenage Dream" performance on tonight's episode of Glee about 23 times in a row. And how 'bout that Darren Criss kid? He charmed the pants off of me as Blaine. He's adorable!

Keep it up Murphy & Co.

Edited to add - Everyone should go read Tom and Lorenzo's recap of this episode. It made me cry. At 9:30 AM. At work.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Things and things

It's being reported that the producers of the Oscars have asked my boyfriend Hugh Jackman to host the 2011 ceremony again based on how successful he was when he hosted back in 2009.
But he's turned them down because he's scheduled to start shooting the X-Men: Wolverine sequel in late February/early March. Right around the time that ceremony is usually televised.

Sigh...another chance to see this fine speciman of a human exquisitely fill a tuxedo has been squandered.

In other news, I am WOEFULLY behind in my novel writing venture for NaNoWriMo. To be on schedule I should've written close to 9,000 words by now. I don't want to tell you how many words I actually have on paper, but it's way less than 9K. I'm trying not to throw in the towel.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


That's right, you get the "Dwight Eyes" from me this morning.

I'm disappointed, folks. Disappointed in America as a whole for being so damn short-sighted. Disappointed in the people in eastern Idaho for not voting into office a wonderful man like Jerry Shively. And especially disappointed in my fellow Washingtonians for voting down or repealing almost every single tax initiative on the ballot.

I mean yay! we repealed the tax on candy, soda, and bottled water which was going to bring our state a much needed $356 million dollars over the next five years. So now the children of this state won't get the quality education they need and will be crammed into oversized classrooms, but at least they'll be jacked up on cheap candy bars and soda. And state-subsidized health care will fall by the wayside so OOPS, too bad about that diabetes you got from eating said candy. And Washington state will fall further into debt.
But yippee! at least everyone has been saved the terrible burden of having to pay 2 cents more for their f*cking Evian water.

And don't get me started on the fact that we approved a F*UCKING TIM EYMAN INITIATIVE!!!! What is friggin' wrong with the people in this state?!

On top of it all I'm behind in my novel writing, so I'm in even more of a bad mood.

Aww crap, I need a drink.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Here We Go!!

I'm participating in this year's National Novel Writing Month contest, aka NaNoWriMo. The goal is to complete a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Yes, that's right - write a novel in just 30 days!
If it sounds daunting, it is. But I'm going into this thinking about writing 1,500 to 2,000 words a day and trying to tell a somewhat coherent story; I'm not attempting to write the next great American novel by November 30.
So far so good; I've written about 2,000 words today. I have a basic idea of the story I want to tell but I know that this has to be my focus for the rest of this week or this enterprise will go nowhere fast. I've started a story framework outline to help, so we'll see what happens. I'll try to update everyone on my progress here.

Wish me luck!

Friday, October 29, 2010

TV Week in Review Oct. 25 - 29

Some thoughts on this week's addictions -

Project Runway: Everyone's already ranted and complained about the finale outcome on the interwebs, so the less said from me the better. I'll only add another WTF?! to the thousands exclaimed last night. Mondo was robbed.

Sound of Music cast on Oprah: The entire cast was reunited for the first time in 45 years. It was an amazing episode despite the fact that I wanted to jump through the screen and back in time to throttle Oprah Winfrey. Seriously, why is she so damn annoying?! Also, Christopher Plummer is the hottest 80 year-old ever and I would still run away with him to be his sex slave in a minute.

RW/RR The Challenge: Cutthroat - All you really need to know is that this week's Gulag challenge involved slapping the shit out of your opponent with a fly swatter while holding up a 20lb bucket. And that before the nature of the challenge was revealed, all of the cast were wildly speculating about what it would involve. Some of the best ideas about what the challenge would be about? Brandon's suggestion that the guys would have a dualing "boners" contest and see who would kiss each other first, Brad's overly serious (duh!)insistence that it would involve FIRE, and Danimal's idea that the contestants might get water-boarded. If only. The red team won again so Brandon was safe another week. My Johnny Bananas hair hatred continues unabated. And I still want to find that Czech bar patron who punched Johnny and buy him a beer. And maybe pay him to kick Bananas in the nuts. God, I can't wait for CT to get to Prague and maybe kick some of these people's asses.

Glee - This Rocky Horror episode could've been so much worse. I think that's why, once again, I'm in the minority of those who enjoyed it. I had really low expectations that were succeeded. And hello, I got my wish to see my boyfriend John Stamos sing on the show. And Matthew Morrison and Chord Overstreet were shirtless so there's that.

"Book 'em, Dano!"

Sadly, James MacArthur passed away yesterday. Did you know that he was the adopted son of acting legend Helen Hayes?! I had no idea until last night. He also was an accomplished flamenco guitar player. Who knew? Well Dano, you will be missed. Scott Caan is doing a great job walking in your shoes however.

Also, this gives me an excuse to post my favorite picture of Jack Lord, who passed away over 12(!) years ago -
Now tell me, who else do you know that could ROCK a pink-banded panama hat? Thank you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Should our nation's leader pander to us little folks?

So, yeah, last night the PRESIDENT OF THE FRIGGIN' UNITED STATES was on The Daily Show. Before I watched, I was really apprehensive about this interview. Generally I feel that once someone becomes the leader of our country they should just do that - lead our country. It makes me somewhat uncomfortable to see our President appear on shows like The View etc. because it kind of belittles his position somewhat in my eyes. Once you're top dog, take care of business and don't try to sell us on stuff that we've already bought.
Well, all that said, last night's full episode interview with Jon Stewart was kind of amazing. I thought President Obama was insightful and passionate and rather humble. And I really liked how Stewart challenged him in his questioning, although calling the PUSA "dude" is kind of disrespectful. All in all, my faith in the direction our President is going was sort of restored. I only hope that the dumbasses in our country get it together and that we don't f*ck things up on November 2, 2010.

A replacement for my Roomba?

 I LOVE these new vacuums from Electrolux! The problem? They were only made as one-offs to be part of a promotional campaign and environmental protection awareness program. The exteriors are made from recycled bits of plastic and trash found on various world beaches, spanning from the Indian Ocean to Hawaii.
Sigh...I was really hoping to find one under my Christmas tree this year.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Movie Review for late October 2010

I finally got around to seeing the film adaptation of one of my favorite books by Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go. As far as book-into-movie adaptations go, it was really well done by director Mark Romanek despite the fact that he's responsible for one of my most hated movies of all time (One-Hour Photo).
It stars a triumvirate of young British stars, Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield, a young man who is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors to come along in some time. The openness and beauty of his face in this film is almost heart wrenching; his face displays the perfect amount of naivete and soulfulness.  I don't know how he managed to express so much in his eyes and sweet smile, but Garfield's performance steals the show.
Carey Mulligan was also brilliant, and makes me forgive her for doing that Wall Street sequel and for dating Shia LeBouf. And despite my hatred for Knightley, she was such a perfect choice for tragic Ruth that I can't complain at all.
My New Plaid Pants blogger JA does such a phenomenal job in his review of the film, that I feel a little unworthy to say anything more about it. But I will add that while Never Let Me Go is a total downer of a film and will have you leaving the theater teary-eyed, it's so breathtaking, filled with such great performances, and such good storytelling that it really shouldn't be missed. Go see it while you still can! But bring tissues.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"So, there you go."

Thoughts on this week's episode of The Challenge: Cut(My)throat -

  • Awesome part 1: Batshit crazy Katie!!! Gawddam, I love this little psycho. And I felt so bad for her when her team sent her into the Gulag instead of useless, annoying Theresa. I'm glad Katie lived to fight (and beat/scream down bitches) another day.
  • Awesome part 2: After Katie (rightfully) flipped the f*ck out on Ty for being a mysogonistic, hypocritical asshole, Derrick's response regarding Ty and Emily getting a taste of Katie's crazy - "So...there you go."
  • Awesome part 3: The Red Team won this week so Brandon didn't have to go into the Gulag.
  • My obsession with Johnny Bananas' hair week #3: I'm truly trying to rack my brain to remember if Bananas always had such whack, fake looking hair and I just ignored it. But I don't recall it ever being this bad - Hair Club For Men lookin', flat-ironed weirdness.
  • Awesome part 4: Bananas got punched in the face by a Czech citizen. Thank you brave man whoever you are!
  • Awesome part 5: "Medium" Easy whipped dumb Vinnie's ass in the Gulag! And then Vinnie was so mad about it that he acted like a little whiner afterwards. Now, I hope that the rest of the Blue team (minus loyal Derrick and Katie) step up and appreciate the good that Easy brings to their team. Send Bananas into the Gulag you dumbasses!
  • Horrible Laurel and her hate-filled spew towards Erik was easily one of the grossest things I've ever seen on this show. Laurel is a digusting mess, who has some SERIOUS mental health issues.
Above: Laurel keepin' it classy in the hot tub.
Who needs mixed drinks when you can just mix your own directly in your mouth?!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

TV week in review - Early October 2010

Thoughts on TV this week...

Showtime Shows:
Dexter - Wow, season 5 has really started out strong. Considering season 4 kicked all sorts of ass and there's pretty much no way to live up to it, they're doing an admirable job so far. You can't even tell that much that Michael Hall is wearing a hair piece (because he was undergoing cancer treatment for most of this season's shoot). But seriously, Hall and his real-life wife Jennifer Carpenter who plays his on-screen sister Deb, have been acting the HELL out of the writing they've been given. They both deserve Emmys this year, no question. I'm not even minding nosy ol' Quinn who is bound and determined to fuck Dexter up in some way. I'm intrigued to see how this season's story lines all play out. And hee hee, every time they show Dexter carrying Harrison in his little car seat to all of these weird places to do his forensic dirty work, I get a big kick out of it. Dexter is still the sexiest killer on television.

The Big C - My appreciation for this show has been growing steadily since it started in August. Right from the beginning I loved Phyllis Somerville's Marlene and the great John Benjamin Hickey as Sean, but it took awhile for me to warm up to Laura Linney and the rest of the cast, as well as the story. But after the last two episodes I've really learned to love this new series. Could it be hot hot Idris Elba as Lenny that's making me feel this way? Could be. As we near the end of this first season, I'm hoping for a second one.

Modern Family: I saved up the first 3 eps of this second season so that I could enjoy a nice amount of quality time with my favorite TV family. The show is definitely proving that they deserved that Best Comedy Emmy. I didn't think it was possible to love Phil Dunphy or Cam Tucker (or the actors that portray them, Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet) any more than I did in the first season but I was wrong. And I loved the way the writers chose to handle the (TOTALLY STUPID and IRRITATING) brouhaha that's been swirling for the past year over the fact that Cam and Mitchell never kiss on the show.

Cougar Town: First, I love that the producers/writers are totally in on the joke, and have been making fun of the increasingly ridiculous title of this show in their credits each week. Nicely done! So far this show isn't having the sophomore slump that I predicted, which is such a pleasant surprise.
I was sad to hear this week about Courtney and David's marriage split; they seemed like good partners.

Glee: The past few weeks I've read a lot of negative reviews and hateful comments over this second season of Glee. As usual I totally don't understand why people take this show so seriously and can't appreciate it for what it is. Anyway, even the most critical watchers have been saying good things about last night's "Duets" episode. From the snarky mention of Grease 2, to the fantabulous Mercedes/Santana performance of "River Deep, Mountain High", the hilarious way that all of the kids were SO into the fictional Breadsticks restaurant, to the amazing duet between Rachel (Babs) and Kurt (Judy) of the classic "Happy Days/Get Happy", this episode was really excellent.

"The Challenge" aka Real World/Road Rules Challenge aka Freaks on Parade:
Tivo didn't want me to watch this newest season of my favorite televised crack addiction. Even though I shamefully have several different "wishlist" season pass ticklers for this craptastic show, Bunim/Murray have evidently fiddled around with the title so much that my little dvr isn't catching on (it's apparently called The Challenge:Cutthroat this season). So it was with surprise that I was randomly switching channels last Wednesday night and came upon TJ Lavin's stoned mug and immediately squealed "NEW CHALLENGE SEASON!", waking up the dog and cat on my lap and almost dumping an entire mug of tea on myself. I quickly set the dvr to record the 11pm rerun and booted up the lap top to see which drunken losers contestants are gracing this season. I am excited about Abram and Bananas (but not about their unfortunate heads of hair), but was appalled to see Fresh Meat II's Theresa and Laurel back. And contrary to many people, I kind of miss my pasty Canuck Evan and my boyfriend Kenny.
Low Resolution's Joe had a wonderful discussion about this show with the two Sarahs that needs to be shared with all who love this stupid thing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

TV and Movie Week in Review


The Social Network - I LOVED this movie that tells the story of how Harvard undergrad Mark Zuckerberg came to create and expand the social networking site Facebook. Jesse Eisenberg continues to impress with his mad acting skillz. The film also gave me a nice look at newcomers Andrew Garfield and Rooney Mara who are getting so much press right now for their future star projects, the revamped Spiderman and the remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, respectively. And can we talk about Armie Hammer for a minute please? He did double-duty (with body help from Josh Spence) to play both Winklevoss twins, Tyler and Cameron, who sued Zuckerberg in 2006 for supposedly stealing their Facebook idea. Hammer did a great job portraying both twins, and got to deliver some of the best Aaron Sorkin penned one-liners in the movie. The line about being the Karate Kid villain is a classic. And I truly believed that I was watching twin actors in the roles -  that was some spectactular CGI magic there Fincher.  side note: I've actually met the real Winklevoss twins (through rowing association functions), and let me tell you, they're not as cute as Hammer.
This film deserves all of the good buzz that it's been getting from the critics and fans. Even if it does mean that we're robbed of another album from Justin Timberlake in the near future because of his focus on acting.


Glee's "Britney/Britanny" episode -
I may be one of the few people over 30 who loved this episode but I don't care. Was it nothing more than a thinly threaded series of amazing music videos? No it wasn't. Do I care one iota? No, I do not. The only thing I was disappointed in was that John Stamos didn't sing or dance. I am hoping that this is corrected in coming episodes. Also, before seeing/hearing Heather Morris and Naya Rivera's version of the song "Me Against The Music" I absolutely hated that song. But their version has been playing on a continuos loop on my iPod all week; Naya and Heather BLOW Britney and Madonna out of the water in all aspects both singing and dancing. Madonna and Brit also didn't have Mark Kanemura (SYTYCD alum) in their video, which is another failure on their part. hubba hubba

Cougar Town -
Finally caught up on the first 2 eps of the second season. The show continues to bring the funny; despite unevenness from some of the guest stars (I'm perplexed that Jennifer Aniston got such good reviews from the critics for her turn as Jules' therapist). And Christa Miller and Ian Gomez are still awesome as my favorite married couple on tv.
Grey's Anatomy -
Another meh episode for me but I think we are headed for some stellar work in the coming weeks from Sandra Oh as Christina Yang continues to fall apart after the gunman ordeal last season.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall TV 2010 - New Shows and Season Premieres Part 1

Dexter - Ooh boy. What a great season opener. Especially after the heart-wrenching finale last season. I love Bryan Cranston and all, but dammit, if Michael C. Hall doesn't get an Emmy next year I'll be pissed.

Amazing Race 17 - Watermelon face girl! I was happy to see that this famous viral internet clip happened in this episode, even if CBS chose not to show the melon actually exploding on the woman's noggin. I guess the FCC didn't want to scare the children? Anyway, it was a fairly enjoyable premier, from the start in Gloucester, MA to the aforementioned watermelon noggining. I was surely disappointed to see Team Wiz eliminated first though. I'm holding my judgement on this new "express pass" until after it's used. Does this mean that there won't be a Fast Forward?

Hawaii 5-0 - I went in with pretty low expectations, especially considering that Alex O'Showkiller was starring. But my love for Scott Caan is so strong, I thought I'd get through it anyway. And I was right - Caan is the best part about the new 5-0; but he's not the only good part. I really enjoyed the premier and am looking forward to the whole season. And I was so happy that they kept the original theme song.

Grey's Anatomy - A pretty flat season premier; especially considering how awesome and adreneline-filled last season's finale was. The was a bunch of good set-up for some story lines that could be pretty great though.

Bored To Death - gawd I love this quirky, whacked-out show so much.

Undercovers - Eh. I'll watch it because I like cheesy spy shows, JJ Abrams, and hot boys like Boris Kodjoe. But I think I was expecting something a little darker and heavier; the premier at least was a little too Nick&Nora frothy for me. But then again we got to see Boris shirtless which is NEVER a bad thing.

Glee - The 2nd season premier had the funniest opening 3 minutes of any tv show I've seen in quite some time. Way to make fun of yourselves and turn the negative criticism into your advantage Ryan Murphy and crew! I love the addition of Coach Bieste, and am looking forward to my boyfriend John Stamos showing up in the coming eps. I like this new kid played by Chord Overstreet; and I hope that's not the last we'll see of Charice or Cheyenne Jackson. Also, anytime you have a performance of one of my favorite guilty pleasure jams in the first 15 minutes you've kind of won me over for the season. Take note other shows that have disappointed me - all you need to do to win me back is to sing "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.

Nikita - I'm a sucker for anything connected to the awesome French film La Femme Nikita. I even loved the Bridget Fonda remake; and I LOVED the Peta Wilson tv show of the same name that ran for 5 seasons on USA. So I was going to watch this new remake of the television show anyway. I like the new Nikita (Maggie Q - seriously, what's wrong with your real last name Quigley?), and it's nice to see Xander Berkeley working again, but there's a lot to this new version that I hate. Like Shane West as Michael. Why does this dude bug me so much? With the exception of maybe half a season on ER, I have pretty much hated everything that West has ever done. Anyway, I'm in for the long haul because again I like cheesy spy shows and their ilk.
Law & Order: LA - Y'all know I love Skeet Ulrich. And Alred Molina. And the Law & Order franchise. So why don't I love this new show? Yet. I'm going with yet. I'm definitely going to give it a chance to grow on me; much like Corey Stoll's mustache. Terrance Howard continues his scenery chewing acting methods which I usually find amusing but not so much here. I miss Sam Waterson. I also don't understand why this series is so heavily weighted on the "Order" side? Do we really need 4 of the 6 main characters to be DAs or ADAs? No, no we do not.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Burn The Floor!

Tonight was opening night in Seattle of the Burn The Floor tour. What an amazing show it was!
My friend Robert and I were in the first row. And when I say "first row" I mean in special chairs set up over the orchestra pit so that we were literally just a yard and a half from the dancers on stage. AWESOME.
This touring cast was full of dancers that had been in the original West End and Broadway productions. The cast features So You Think You Can Dance alumni - season 3's Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis, Janette Manrara from season 5, season 6's Ashleigh and Ryan Di Lello (and Ryan's chest, which is its own entity), and Karen Hauer who seemed so flat and dull during season 6 but who was the most captivating female dancer on the stage tonight. What a surprise she was!

Here's Pasha and Anya performing a number they do in the show. The charisma and pure sex appeal that pours off of Pasha and the Lativian Diva is palpable.

Other notable standouts (besides Ryan's chest, did I mention that?) included world-renowned ballroom couple Damon and Rebecca Sugden, and Irishman Tristan Macmanus who was so hot and I swear, checked my friend Robert out twice during the performance.

All in all it was a phenomenal performance. If these guys are coming to your town don't hesitate to go see the show!

Edited to add:
I forgot to say that "hot tamale train" Mary Murphy herself was in attendance on Tuesday night's opener. I practically brushed shoulders with her coming out of the theater.

TV Round Up - September season finale edition

Remember that True Blood season 3 finale I was so jazzed about? Well boy, was I disappointed. I've been complaining this whole season about the way the show's writers have chosen to interpret destroy change the character of Calvin Norris, one of the best people in the books, but last night's finale really took the cake. I won't spoil it for those who haven't watched yet, but Alan Ball and Co. really screwed the pooch with the whole "Hot Shot" storyline. Jason as inbred hillbilly messiah? PLEASE spare me.
Other parts of the third season ender that irked me?
The continuation of the destruction of Sam Merlotte. Would he really shoot his brother? C'mon now.
The lame way they've introduced the Faeries, and the cheeseball last scene with Sookie and Claudine (and where the hell is Claude?!).
The fact that Alcide didn't remove any clothing in the episode. Not even his shirt. The hell?
The True Blood finale wasn't a total wash; there were some intriguing parts to it. I was wondering how they were going to introduce the whole witch story arc, which is a major part of the books. And even though they've hinted about it for the past several episodes, the reveal of Jesus as a witch was a surprise to me, and kind of perfect. I'm looking forward to the adventures that he and Lafayette will have next season.
I liked the way they set up Sookie finally finding out about Bill and all of his big lame secrets. And I also liked that they didn't leave Eric in cement all hiatus - and Pam didn't get hurt (hooray!).
Finally I loved that they allowed Hoyt and Jessica to be happy for at least 5 minutes. That creepy old, gross baby doll foreshadows trouble ahead for these too I suspect. As does Mrs. Fortenberry buying that big ol' rifle.
So long True Blood, see you next Spring/Summer. Bring on Dexter!

The Closer -
A very well done season ender. Kyra Sedgwick is truly phenomenal as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson. She deserves every Emmy and Golden Globes nomination she gets.
The TNT shows are strange because they have these summer and winter mini-seasons. Sometimes it's hard to build momentum up to a big cliffhanger in such a short time. This summer the main focus was on who would become Chief of Police. Would it be Pope, who wanted it so bad? Or would Brenda succumb to peer pressure and finally admit that she wanted the job? I wasn't sure that they would actually wrap this up in the finale, but they did, and in a great way by giving the job to Chief Delt, played by the awesome Courtney B. Vance. So now we're left wondering what's to become of the major crimes unit. Fans don't have to wait long - the new season starts in December.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

TV Round Up - last week of August/early September

I've been embroiled in a bunch of family drama these past several weeks (don't you just love family sometimes?); so I haven't had any time to watch television. My poor Tivo and Tifaux have been working overtime and their little memories are filled to capacity.
But let's talk about some of the things I managed to watch this week. Keep in mind, most of this stuff aired days ago and in this day and age of Twitter and live blogging, none of my comments are really that fascinating. That's not stopping me from sharing them though.

Project Runway from 8/26
The team challenge episode for this season was superb television. Gretchen's spectacularly crazy spiral on the runway, the appalling treatment of Michael C. by the rest of his team, and best of all the AMAZING smackdown of Gretchen from one Tim Gunn were some of the best moments this show has had in some time.

Huge - 1st (and hopefully not last) season finale
You guys? I loved this quirky gem of a show so much. Yes it's a teen drama on the ABC Family channel. And yes, it was about teens at a fat camp for the summer. But boy oh boy it was so much more than that. The stories, dialog, and the characters that were created for this show was some of the best written stuff for tv that I've seen in some time. The tv show is better than the book. And the book is great! Teens talked and acted like real teens. The actors playing the kids at the camp were, guess what Hollywood?, actually overweight, and not some weird slightly bloated thin person or someone thin in make-up and prosthetics. No fat suits! Nikki Blonsky who was in the film version of the musical Hairspray was one of the leads, and she was so great; she has real dramatic talent. And I loved that they didn't really showcase her singing talent in a forced way (like some shows could've/would've done).Sure, her character and another one end up writing some songs together, but it was done in a very organic way, that made sense with the character development. And the singing was not at all canned, produced, or auto-tuned. 
You really cared about every single person and I really can't tell you the last time I experienced television characters, especially teen television characters that were so, well, deep.
The finale was just as superb as the whole season has been. My only complaint is that it really left me hanging. I'm dying to know how everyone fairs by the end of summer camp. Will I have to wait until next year?! I don't know how ABC Family does their seasons. Or if the show was even picked up for a second season; but if that dumb show they have about gymnasts can get a 2nd season, certainly Huge can right? They totally deserve it!

Memphis Beat season finale
Another quirky freshman drama; another cop drama on TNT, but hey if it's working for the network why mess with the formula? This one starred Jason Lee as MPD detective Dwight Hendricks who moonlights as a blues singer who has an affinity for Elvis songs. It also starred the always good Alfre Woodard, Celia Weston, and a surprisingly good DJ Qualls who finally found the right character and balance for his inherent weirdness. Jason Lee sure does have a beautiful singing voice. Who knew? No seriously, did people know this? I know about Lee being a former pro skateboarder, and a Scientologist etc. But I did not know that he could sing; and play guitar and bass. He should consider putting an album out. Maybe he already has and I'm just out of the loop; that would mean I'd have to give up my Jason Lee fan club membership card I guess. The show's writing was a little inconsistent throughout the season, but I can't say that there was any episode that I hated.
Which can't be said about another TNT drama HawthoRNe. This show and I had a very dramatic dvr-breakup last month because I hated Jada Pinkett-Smith's character so much. You know when the power of shirtless Michael Vartan can't save a show for me, there's something wrong.

Big Brother -
Sigh...the people I had picked to win in my office pool all got eliminated, the last being Brendon who really played an excellent game and just barely missed staying in the house (as HOH no less) for another week. Oh well, I really don't want anyone left in the house to win but if I had to choose I guess I'd go with Britney.

2010 Emmys -
I'll quickly just say that I was over the moon about Eric Stonestreet and the Modern Family wins. Can't wait for that show to come back into my life.
And that opening number from Jimmy Fallon et al was effin' brilliant.

True Blood
Season 3 has been better than I could've hoped for. I've said it before, Alan Ball and the rest of the writers are doing an excellent job of incorporating various plots and characters from the books into the television show, while creating totally new and interesting characters. Case in point the two men pictured above, Kevin Alejandro and Joe Manganiello. They play Jesus and Alcide respectively; Alcide is a beloved character from the book and Joe was the top choice from fans of the book who emailed and tweeted Alan Ball with suggestions to have him play Alcide. He's perfect in the role and I can't wait to see what next season brings. Jesus on the other hand is a brand new character created for the show and such a welcome addition. I love Alejandro's chemistry with Nelsan Ellis who plays Jesus's love interest Lafayette.
Speaking of my beloved Lafayette and Nelsan Ellis, how cute is he in this picture from a cast Emmy party with actor Marshall Allman who plays newcomer Tommy Mickens/Merlotte.

Needless to say, I'm super psyched for the True Blood season finale happening in a couple of weeks. And then it's time for all of the new and returning Fall tv shows. It's my favorite time of the year!