Friday Factoid

Fun Fact

The IRS estimates it should take you about 4 hours and 33 minutes to fill out the 1040, plus 40 minutes to copy, assemble and send it to the IRS — after you've spent 5 hours and 40 minutes getting your records together and learning what you need to know about tax laws.

I'm thinking of getting started on the 9th.


I dozed off while I was reading yesterday afternoon, and I woke up around 7. I couldn't tell if it was AM or PM for a while, and it kind of freaked me out.

I turned on the ball game, but I must have fallen back into what Ryan Seacrest has dubbed "unprotected sleep" (He means falling asleep without setting your alarm clock; get your minds out of the gutter.) because I was jolted awake about an hour and a half later by a phone call.

Then I was ticked, because I had forgotten to turn the VCR off so it could record Friday Night Lights. I'll have to watch it on later. I read some comments on the forums at TWOP, and apparently it's an awesome episode. (That's another thing: I couldn't get the site to come up for the longest time. Apparently they were having server issues.)

That time I stayed up long enough to watch Chris Sligh get the boot. Can't say I'm sorry to see him go, but it continued the feeling that I was in some sort of bizarro universe.

This morning, I pull in to the parking lot, and mine is the only car there. Spooky! Apparently this is what happens when all the lights are green and you get there two minutes before 8, as opposed to five minutes after. Okay, ten minutes after.

Anyhow, that's my life up to the last five minutes. (Dennis Miller was on the Daily Show the other day — I loved the bit where Jon and Stephen interact between shows and Stephen tried to out-Dennis Dennis with the obscure references and whatnot.) I might get some more CDs from Lala today, which would liven things up considerably. I need something interesting to listen to while my mind boggles at the complexity and detail of the web redesign project at work.

Woo! I'm Famous!

If by "famous" you mean "quoted in an e-mail newsletter about basketball." (It's a little-used definition — probably about 8 or 9 in Webster's list of senses of the term.)

Lemme break it down:

There's this guy, Sam, who has
a Web site about basketball and who sends out an e-mail with his thoughts about the game. A few issues back, he talked about how awesome the Cavs are. (And how could he not? At the time, they were on a seven-game winning streak.) He also noted that whenever he praises teams in his newsletter, they tend to go into a slump — his own version of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. So, he told Cavs fans to keep their fingers crossed.

A few days after his words hit my inbox, the Cavs go into a funk. Yes, we're definitely playoff-bound, but I want them to catch the Pistons and take the division title, dang it. So, I e-mailed Sam to thank him for bringing on the bad luck, and he quoted me in the latest edition!

[I wrote] “Well, it seemed to take a few days, but your jinx on the Cavaliers kicked in. Thanks a lot!”

Dear Amy, sorry. But you are right. Last week, I featured the Cavs and they followed it up by going 1-2, including a loss against a Charlotte team that was without Emeka Okafor, Brevin Knight and Sean May. Even their win against Utah was an “ugly, grind-it-out” affair, according to coach Mike Brown.

The Amico Report has long history of jinxing featured teams -- which are just 3-14 following newsletters this season. Dallas has lost just 11 games all year, and TWO came just a few days after receiving praise from me.

Honestly, I hope to stop writing about this, but it just keeps happening. That said, I will gladly accept money to NOT write about your favorite team. Or better yet, accept money to write about a team you hate.

So, now I have to break out the checkbook and see how much he'll take to write about the Pistons.

This Week in Netflix: Volume 3

A Bleh, two Mehs, and a Hi-larious:

  • Nacho Libre

  • Snakes on a Plane
  • Dreamland

  • Farce of the Penguins

I usually love Jack Black, but I couldn't get into the whole setup. I was working on other things while Nacho and Snakes was on, so maybe being distracted played a part of it?

Not paying attention probably allowed me to upgrade Snakes to "meh," actually, although I was paying a lot of attention to the scenes with Taylor Kitsch (aka Riggins on Friday Night Lights — an amazing show, people! Watch it!). Sadly, he only has about five minutes of screen time, max. Since I thought the whole thing was supposed to be a cheesy B-movie, I was confused to see a novelization of the movie on the shelf at the library yesterday. Why would you read the book instead of — or in addition to — the movie?

Dreamland is also meh. Parts of it struck me as funny, although I think the movie wants to be a serious coming-of-age drama. It's hard to believe the situations and choices and not yell at the screen about what idiots these people are. (Note to self: If you need a ride somewhere, do not tell the person who is driving you through the desert that you want to break up until AFTER you get there — unless you are wearing comfortable shoes and carrying a canteen.) I did like seeing John Corbett again, and I liked the song that Gina Gershon and ? (the guy who played her husband — I could IMDB it, but I don't really care) played.

So, the big winner? Farce of the Penguins. It's stock penguin footage that Bob Saget, Lewis Black, Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Applegate, Mo'Nique, and a ton of other funny people do voice-overs to. It's a hoot. Highly recommended, and it only makes me more excited about seeing Saget at KSU in a few weeks. (I never thought that I would ever say that I was excited to see anyone in the cast of Full House, but times change.)

An aside: Shooter was awesome. Mostly because we giggled throughout the last third or so. Also funny and worth the money: Coffee Date, which I saw at the film festival on Sunday. I wasn't that impressed with Relative Obscurity, and had the most fun picking out the locations since it was filmed in and around OU/Athens. Severance was good for a horror film, but those really aren't my bag. Beautiful, Ohio was memorable mostly for the collective gasp from the audience about five to ten minutes before the movie ended.

Saturday Night Vanilla

Could there be anything more white bread and tapioca than Peyton Manning and Carrie Underwood? I was not looking forward to their episode of Saturday Night Live, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

I'd never heard Carrie's songs before, but they weren't terrible. Peyton did a nice job, too: From the faux United Way spot to the ESPN/NCAA segment where Amy Poehler's character used Cathy's method of picking teams (mainly uniform color and mascot cuteness) to the locker room sketch where he wanted to lead the basketball team the F out of there and ended up dancing like a spaz (pictured), he was pretty funny. And then at the end when his brothers brought out the birthday cake: Aww!

I still detest them both (I heart Tom Brady and Bo Bice 4-eva!) but I didn't fast-forward through any segments, which is a first this season.

Another plus: Andy Samberg as Sanjaya! Awesome!

Weekend Viewing: TMNT or Shooter?

I'm on the fence about seeing the new Ninja Turtles movie. I was into them the first time around, and I still have a few boxes of assorted paraphernalia that may or may not be worth fifty cents on eBay. (Slippers! Coloring books! Comic books! Watch! Bank!)

As I mentioned at lunch on Wednesday, I once had a birthday party with a Ninja Turtle theme — cake, plates, napkins, table cloth, banner. I even had Ninja Turtle candles on the cake. (I might still have those somewhere. I'll have to check the junk drawer at my parents' house.) One of the editors feigned polite interest as I related all this, and then the other proofreader asked: How old were you? Me: Sixteen. Everyone else: Uproarious laughter.

At any rate, I was thinking of taking my cousins to see it, but maybe not. I'm not really planning on a trip to Akron anytime soon (well, maybe next weekend), plus I read Teddy's Take on it. Here's a snippet from his review:

I didn't care much for the new movie. First of all, the film is hyper-violent. It's rated PG, and all of the chop-suey bashing and trashing is bloodless. But there are so many fights, so many crashes, and so many knock-down/drag-out scuffles in this flick, many parents may find themselves actively worrying about their little ones sitting next to them. Even worse, the filmmakers don't seem to have much faith that the Turtles are interesting enough characters. So they overstuff the movie with a menagerie of nightmarish demons, creatures, human mercenary ninjas, and other sinister lifeforms and saddle the movie with an opening-a-portal-to-Hell storyline ripped right out of Ghostbusters, Stargate, and Alien vs. Predator.
Maybe I'll have more fun watching the original movie on tape at home. And laughing at this cartoon:

Next option: Shooter. About which I know next to nothing. Except that it has, as the other proofreader puts it, "Marky Mark and the Shooty Bunch." (Hee!) Since I stole that, I may as well steal the other half of her description: "Dirk Diggler stars in ... oh, wait ... that's a gun."

I think we'll head to Brendan's for some preshow drooling . . . I mean, dinner — unless the combination of Hot Guy at Gym + Hot Bartender + Hot Movie Star puts the OP over the Recommended Daily Allowance for Hotness. Although I don't think she would mind OD'ing on that. (ETA: I was right. She says: There is no RDA for hotness. Soak up as much as you can — it's good for you.)

Teddy thinks Shooter is pretty much a rip-off of many, much better films. I'm sure he's right, but I'm also pretty sure I don't care.

Fun fact: Elias Koteas, who played Casey in the first Ninja Turtle movie, is also in Shooter!

Opinions on American Idol

When I was at the dentist's last night (No cavities! Yay! No lecture about flossing! Double Yay!), the hygienist and I were talking about how this season doesn't seem as good as past seasons.

Then I find out that "America" tells Stephanie No and Sanjaya Yes? Whatever! I'm still going to watch it, but I'm not going to like it. Well, maybe I'll like Blake, but that's about it. Evil spawn of Nosferatu/Batboy cannot get off my screen fast enough.

I also liked this bit from the USA Today Idol Chatter blog:

Rather than have them review last week's performances — which I've already done, you've already done, 5,000 other blogs and fan sites have already done, and for all I know half the junior high English classes in the country have already done as an essay assignment — we asked each of them to pick a finalist who has potential but needs to step up his or her game.

How Did You Celebrate Stephen Colbert Day?

I would have celebrated Stephen Colbert Day by eating some Americone Dream ice cream and watching his show, but (a) you can't buy the stuff around here yet and (b) I tape the program for later viewing. Besides, I was busy "working" on some freelance stuff. And by "working," I think we all know that I mean "uploading my iTunes library to so I can make it available for trading."

Anyhow, thanks to my Google alert for Stephen Colbert, I was informed of a variety of news articles promoting the event or promoting other Colbert appearances, including

Clark Morawetz, Jacob Kanter, Maurice Collard, John Tate and Jason Colbert (left to right) practice their Stephen Colbert impersonations in Oshawa, Ont., Tuesday, March 20, 2007. Photograph by : NATHAN DENETTE/CP

Heh. I keep typing Colber (without the t) because I'm saying it to myself in my head as I type. At any rate, now I'm trying to figure out when I'm going to visit my sister in NY and when we will head to NYC for a few days. On one hand, it would be cool to see people I know who are going to BookExpo in NYC, but on the other hand, I think The Colbert Report and The Daily Show are usually in reruns the week of Memorial Day, and it would be even cooler to see the show in person. But it really all depends on my sister's schedule, so we'll see.

This Week in Netflix: Volume 2

Two pretty bad ones, two pretty good ones, and one pretty awesome one.

Chain of Fools

  • Not good. It sounds like it should be fun, and then it just isn't.
  • Lots of familiar faces in bit parts. It was more interesting to play Name That Actor: Jeff Goldblum! Elijah Wood! Salma Hayek! David Hyde Pierce! Craig Ferguson! A lot of people must have had some bills due.
  • Steve Zahn was looking a little Seacrest-y. But maybe that was just me.

Pompatus of Love

  • Overall: Meh. It's guys being freaked out about relationships and whatnot. Mostly I just wanted to tell them to get over it already. Although the Steve Miller Band playing in the background did make me think of freshman year of college. (We never really debated what "pompatus" was, though. We might have mocked rhyming "taxes" with "fact is," but everybody does that.)
  • I kept trying to place who the other actors in this are. They look familiar, but they're not really famous and they're not really at the Hey! It's that guy! status, either. I did recognize most of the women right away, though. (Mia Sara: the girlfriend in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, one of my all-time faves; Kristen Scott Thomas: several things I've never actually seen, like The Horse Whisperer and Random Hearts)
  • Jon Cryer's character in this is almost exactly like his character on 2.5 Men. Is he playing himself?

The Holiday

  • Predicable rom-com, but enjoyable.
  • I'm not a fan of Cameron Diaz, but Kate Winslet is okay and I heart Jack Black. Plus: John Krasinski has a small role! Squee!
  • Contrary to some people's opinion, Jude Law is very pretty. I especially like it when he puts on his glasses and accentuates the resemblance between him and Michael Caine. Rowwr!

Man on Fire

  • This was solid stuff, compelling even if not completely surprising. I liked it, but not as much as I liked Deja Vu, which I saw while I was in Georgia a few months ago.

  • Also featuring Denzel: Inside Man and Out of Time. I rented and liked both of those.

  • All of Dakota Fanning's scenes made me think of the SNL sketch where Amy Poehler played Dakota and Drew Barrymore played Abigail Breslin (from Little Miss Sunshine). "I did a funny dance!" Heh.

Casino Royale

  • I'm not that much of a Bond fan (although I do love his cars), but I really liked the latest one.
  • Especially cool (because I'm a nerd): the opening credit sequence.
  • I didn't completely guess all the plot twists right away, so that made it more fun.

As Pimped by Ken Jennings

As a faithful reader of the Ken Jennings blog, I followed the links in his post to a new book he contributed to: The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything.

It arrived on Friday morning, and the only thing better than the easy-open Amazon envelope it came in was the actual book.

Selections from the table of contents:

  • Candy Bars
    (Cathy says it's hard to choose between Skor and Heath because they're both terrible.)

  • Mondegreens, or Misheard Lyrics
    ("'Scuse me while I kiss this guy" doesn't make it out of the first round. )

  • Game Show Catchphrases
    (by Ken Jennings)

  • NASCAR Phrases
    (by Jeff McGregor, author of Sunday Money: Speed! Lust! Madness! Death! A Hot Lap Around America with NASCAR, which I mentioned in an earlier post)

  • Pickup Lines

  • Punctuation
    (by Jesse Sheidlower, who also contributes to Copy Editor, a newsletter I subscribe to)

  • Political Hot Buttons
    (by Mo Rocca, formerly of The Daily Show, who reminds me of my friend's husband)

  • Scrabble Words
    (by Stefan Fatsis, author of Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players, which I read and enjoyed)

  • Sins against the Language
    (includes many that I see in manuscripts all the time)

  • Sport/Not a Sport
    (by Bill Scheft, author of The Ringer, which I read and enjoyed, writer for David Letterman, and former contributor to Sports Illustrated)

  • Typefaces
    (Megan L can't believe that Arial isn't even listed.)

  • Women's Magazine Sex Cliches

  • Your Boss's Annoying Habits
    (Pestering you about going to church is not listed.)

  • Shakespeare Insults
    (Finally! Something useful!)

I foresee hours of amusement during breaks and lunch. This may be the best $10 I ever spent.

Friday Timewaster

Flash by Night has a few fun things, including a 30-question Are You Smart or Stoopid? quiz.

Apparently I am smarter than the average bear by 40.2 percent. Yay, me.

Now I'm addicted to
Tune Master.

When I first started playing, I would only get about 180 or 200 points. I kept playing, and eventually I made it all the way through the quiz. My score was about 200 points off the high score, though, because I had to use clues to get me through some of the rap songs. I'm not that familar with the complete lyrics to Dr. Dre, Jay Z, Eminem, Biggie, Tupac, Diddy, Fifty Cent, The Game, et al. (Shocker, I know!) Oh, and I kept getting my UK groups confused: Blur, Oasis, Coldplay, and Radiohead run together for me, and I don't really know my Corrs from my Cranberries, either, come to think of it.

Anyhow, since the office is free from pretty much all authority figures today (unless you count JesusCam — a running joke about a security camera hidden within the oversized crucifix hanging near the door), I have no real reason to buckle down and get some work done. Well, except for the fact that I goofed off a bit all week and need to have two projects finished by the end of the day so I can be ready to start something new on Monday. So. . . yeah.

Idjit with a Widget

Last week some friends of mine were telling me about this CD swapping site they like and want me to join — mainly so one of them can parade around in the free t-shirt that is the reward for making a referral. I said I'm not against the concept, but I'm not sure what I can bear to part with. Even if I don't listen to something too much anymore, I'm not good at forcing myself to sell it or trash it or give it away.

Exhibit A: My Milli Vanilli cassette.

[Dang. Now I have "Girl You Know It's True" stuck in my head. Oooh, ooh, ooh, I love you. Sigh.]

While they empathized with the sentiment (while shuddering at the Milli Vanilli aspect), they pointed out that I have to complete at least one swap before the t-shirt can be issued, and suggested that maybe I have duplicates of something. That made me realize that I do have two copies of Mink Car (They Might Be Giants) and No Angel (Dido). So, since I am a big supporter of the concept of putting off doing the laundry, I decided to help my friend in his quest for a new garment.

A byproduct of joining is the option of putting a LaLa widget on your blog (see right).* I haven't listed everything I own yet, only the random pile of stuff that happened to be within arm's reach while I was lounging on the couch with the laptop last night. Also, I have to limit myself to things I actually own the official version of, as opposed to albums I've bought through iTunes or something.

I have been considering adding widgets to ye olde blogge for a few weeks, actually, but never found the right one. I wanted one for my Netflix Queue, but since that has about 388 entries on it, I had to settle for my "At Home" list (see right). Anyhow, if anybody cares, click away.

* Update: I eventually deleted it. I think it was because it was affecting the page load time.

April Fools Comes Early?

From the You Must Be Joking file:

Neanderthal TV
Those Geico ‘‘cavemen’’ shouldn’t be so upset after all – they may get their own television series.

ABC said Friday it had ordered a pilot for a comedy, tentatively titled Cavemen, that features the characters used in a series of ads by the insurance company. In the ads, cavemen appear insulted by a Geico pitchman’s claim that the company’s Web site is so easy to use that ‘‘even a caveman can do it.’’

Akron Beacon Journal, 3/7/07

Erm. Right. This from the channel that just (to all intents and purposes) cancelled the adorable Donal Logue, et al.? Jerks.

This Week in Netflix: Volume 1

Recent Returns

Big Tease

The Big Tease, Born Romantic, and Saving Grace

I went on a Craig Ferguson kick and requested everything I could find with him in it. Saving Grace was okay, and I liked Born Romantic because it all works out nicely for everyone in the end, but The Big Tease is really funny.

Hollywoodland, A Scanner Darkly, and The Last Kiss

These are from the category of "Things I Meant to See When They Came Out and Never Did." It would have been neat to see Hollywoodland and A Scanner Darkly on the big screen (the better to appreciate the period costuming/set dressing and the freaky live action/illustrated hybrid, respectively) but I'm glad I didn't bother with The Last Kiss. I like the people in it, but the choices some of the characters made (I'm looking at you, "Michael"/Zach Braff) got on my nerves. I wasn't in love with Garden State that much either, come to think of it. I liked the soundtrack, though.

Seatbelt, Schmeatbelt I am so tired of the incessant chiming every time I (or my passenger) don't fasten the seatbelt. Because it's too easy just to wear that d@mn thing and get it over with, I've been devoting extensive amounts of time and brain power to figure out how to get the car to shut up about the seatbelt already.

I asked a friend to ask her ex to find out what wire you have to pull to make the ringing stop. He explained that circumventing this safety feature would be breaking the law (since the state law is that you have to wear your seatbelt) and thus there's nothing he can do. Strike one.

For a while I tried leaving the belt fastened, and just sitting on top of it. The fastened part on the right kept digging into my hip, though. Strike two.

I thought I had the whole thing cracked about ten days ago, when I remembered that there's a third seatbelt in the front seat. (Technically you can put the armrest down and squish someone in the middle of the front seat, so there's a seatbelt there.) I thought I would be able to fit the tab end of that seatbelt into the slot end of the driver's seatbelt and thus fool the machine, but nooooo! They made the tab on the third seatbelt a different shape from the driver's seatbelt on purpose, so it won't fit into the driver's seatbelt slot. Grr!!!!

I don't mind wearing the seatbelt when I'm on the highway, but I don't really feel like bothering with it when I'm making the 8-minute run from home to the office, or running short errands around the neighborhood. I realize that the majority of accidents happen within 25 miles of home, but come on. (I was also reminded by several people that even though I may be a good driver, there are tons of idiots out there and you can never be too careful. Whatever.)

I just did some Googling on the topic, and found a few forums that give the same (complicated!) list of steps for de-activating the seat belt alarm. I'll have to print them out and try them later. Or I can just continue to turn up the radio and not make any cell phone calls with my seat belt off. (The chime seems to wreak havoc on my reception — imagine that!)

Cage Match: Part 2

So, The Prestige vs. The Illusionist.

Both are quite good and well worth the time, even if you borrowed my DVD and fell asleep within the first ten minutes of pressing "Play." (Twice!) Note to Rungsinee: I feel that this is not so much a commentary on The Illusionist as it is on the whirlwind pace of your fabulous life. Or something.

I have to give the edge to The Prestige, though, simply because there was another level of plot twist. I can't say that it's a completely original plot twist, but I didn't tumble to it right away like I did the first level of twist. I was only slightly misled by the The Illusionist, mainly because the closer you get to the end, the more it becomes a total shout-out to The Usual Suspects.

Ignoring the plot and going strictly for eye candy, I still have to go with The Prestige. I have hearted Christian Bale since he was in Empire of the Sun — which I distinctly remember seeing with my mom, dad, and sister at the General Cinema in the plaza around the corner from Chapel Hill mall — and I've developed a soft spot for Michael Caine as well. The Illusionist only has Ed Norton, really, and I think looking at him made me think of Fight Club, which led to thoughts of Brad Pitt, and then brain function pretty much ceased.

Unlike Breach, the bit players in The Prestige weren't much of a distraction. Well, apart from this internal dialogue:

Hey, is that David Bowie?
Why would David Bowie be in this movie?
Dunno. Why would he wear a moustache like that?

Hey, is that the guy from Cheers?
Uhm. Want to narrow it down a bit there, Einstein?
You know. The English one Rebecca thought was so awesome. Didn't they get married or something?

Anyhow, off to try to finalize my viewing schedule for the Cleveland Film Festival. My friend and I are trying to arrange it so we spend one day watching stuff that interests us, but the festival schedulers have made that impossible. Do they not know that the target audience for a Chad Lowe movie is very similar to the target audience for the latest entry in the Paul Rudd oeuvre? Why schedule them opposite each other? Grr! Not to mention this, which I have decided that I have to see because it was set and filmed at OU. I have a sneaking suspicion that I am going to end up at Tower City more than once before the month is out. Oh well.

Cage Match: Part 1

That's right: Two movies enter; one DVD leaves.

Breach vs. Bourne Identity

I saw Breach last week, despite some people's comments about the ending being ruined because of the first five minutes, and other people's comments about expecting Matt Damon to show up. I rather enjoyed it, although I can't discount the basic veracity of the two criticisms and thus can only recommend it on $4 night.

Knowing the ending isn't just a factor of the first five minutes. If you pay attention to the news at all, you've already heard about Robert Hanssen. The general subject matter (Spies! Treason!) and casting (Ryan Phillippppppe! Chris Cooper!) does allow the mind to wander to the Bourne trilogy, especially since the main character's love interest in each film is German.

I found some of the bit players unintentionally hi-larious as well. Gary Cole is one of Ryan Phillippppe's FBI bosses; I kept waiting for an Office Space-esque "Ahh, I'm also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too..." Dennis Haysbert
is an FBI agent, too, but when he first pops up, you think
(a) Hey! It's the president of the United States!
(b) Hey! It's the Allstate insurance guy!
(c) Hey! It's Cerrano! Are you here to sacrifice a live chicken?

And I didn't confuse Ryan Phillipppe


with Matt Damon


so much as I kept thinking about Chad Michael Murray.

Squinty McSquints-a-lot

I have no good explanation for that.

On the other hand, The Bourne Identity is totally awesome, The Bourne Supremacy is even better, and I can't wait to see The Bourne Ultimatum. I've read all the books but — similar to what happened to me when I saw Little Children — it's been ages ago so I can't quite remember what happened and how they'll adapt it for the screen.

So, verdict? Bourne Identity.

Next up? Illusionist vs. Prestige.

Still Recycling

Thoughts of Breach were driven out of my head by The Prestige, which I just watched last night. I saw The Illusionist recently too, so now I'm thinking of doing a double comparison/contrast post, with The Bourne Identity rounding out the list.

In the meantime, I reviewed my Blog Fodder folder and came up with this article, which I am reprinting in its entirety, from a guy who does movie reviews by e-mail. As an added bonus: My desktop wallpaper.

Statler and Waldorf

Teddy on TV: Are the Muppets Due for a Comeback?

From the "Oooh, I REALLY Hope This Happens" file ...
This week, Walt Disney Television confirmed that it is considering the launch of a new Muppet TV show that would be a spoof somewhat of the reality TV shows currently flooding primetime. The series would reportedly follow Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie and the rest around in a mockumentary style format. A 10-minute pilot episode has been filmed and is now making the rounds. So, it will likely be 2008 at the earliest if this ever becomes an actual series.

If it does, though, how cool would that be?!

Of course, this could be one of those series that ends up being a better concept than a finished product. Kermit and the gang haven't really been that edgy since Master of Muppets Jim Henson went toes more than 15 years ago. But this could really be something if the writing is there and the Powers That Be are willing to take risks. Imagine if all of the Muppets we've known over the years are really just characters who turn on their quirks when the cameras are rolling, but are entirely different frogs, pigs, bears, whatevers off camera.

From the press release, though, it sounds like a show similar to "The Restaurant." The new program will follow the various Muppets as they try and re-launch a new version of "The Muppet Show" for the 21st Century. But even that would be really funny and interesting, as Kermit and Co. look to get financing, secure a theater lease, track down all of the old talents, and audition new Muppets.

The possibilities are endless! If this proves successful, they could continue to churn out reality spoofs like a full-blown, "Muppet Idol"-type show in which various Muppet wannabes vie for a spot in the hallowed rotation. OR, what about a "Survivor"-type show where the Muppets are forced to rough it on some isolated island in the South Pacific.

No word yet on if Rob-and-Amber Muppets are in the planning.

Copyright (C) 2007 Teddy Durgin.
All rights reserved.

Finishing What You Start

"Never read a book through merely because you have begun it."

John Witherspoon

Dr. John Witherspoon (1723-1794) is best remembered as the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence, as a representative of New Jersey. Born and educated in Scotland, he served two Protestant Scottish parishes before emigrating to America in 1768 to become president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton). He served in the Continental Congress (1776-82) and, after the American Revolution, in the New Jersey legislature.

This quotation is mostly a shout-out to Megan L, and I'm only posting it because I have been unaccountably busy with actual work today, so my in-depth analysis of Breach (which I saw last week but held off on writing about because I was sticking to my Countdown to Kevin Smith gimmick) will have to wait. I'm sure that you're all holding your breath . . . Not!

On the Injured List

I burned my finger on the toaster oven this morning.

I'd already burned two slices of raisin-cinnamon swirl bread because I didn't think they were toasty enough on the first cycle, so I stuck them in for another cycle. Usually when I do this, I monitor the toastiness closely and take them out before they turn into charcoal briquettes. Today I had to head to the bathroom, and by the time I got back, it was carbon city.

I immediately tossed those in the trash: None of this trying to scrape the black bits off and cover up the rest with strawberry cream cheese to salvage it for me! The two new slices stuck together when I laid them on the rack, and as I reached in to pry the top one off, the back of my hand got too close to the hot metal. Now I have a lovely hot pink section on the lower portion of my middle finger.

Time for more ointment.


This e-mail from my dad cracks me up.

I saw in the Akron Beacon Journal ENJOY section the text announcement about the Kevin Smith show at EJ Thomas, with the last line "Sold out"!

I called the phone listed (ticket office) 330-972-7570 and they confirmed it was sold out — no tickets available. They had been available online previously.


Did he think that Kevin Smith is not popular? I mean, I know he doesn't like the movies, so maybe he figured I was the only weirdo that wanted to go to this thing. Also, I love how he had to not only call and verify this information but also include the phone number for my benefit. Sigh.
Meanwhile, I flipped through the paper myself and found this:

Nice photo!

T Minus 1

And the excitement builds . . .

Someone on the View Askew boards mentioned the length of a past Q & A session, and that made me curious about how much Kevin Smith I can expect for my $8. If the Wikipedia entry can be trusted, the longest event was seven hours. Since it was in Red Bank, he took whoever was left down the street to his store, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, and hung around with people for another two or three hours. Oy.

I think I'm going to add his store to my list of things to do when I visit my sister in New York this summer. She's a fan too, so I'm sure she'll be up for it. I've already mapped out the route from the motel where we usually stay — it's only 72 miles! Totally worth it, right? Right.