Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Track 02 Update!

Ok, for all of my ranting against iTunes, we had a pretty special moment today. You may or not remember my plea for information on a random mp3 that appeared in my iTunes library after a rash of music blog acquisitioning. I loved the song, but had no information on it at all, and that really does not sit well with my OCD. I’ve deleted lesser tracks if I couldn’t identify the artist or album. Heck, sometimes even a lack of album artwork (my #1 iTunes obsession) is grounds for removal. But Track 02 was really lovely and I couldn’t bring myself to dump it. So I attempted to Google the lyrics, a usually fool-proof tactic, to no avail. A few weeks ago, after another mass-download and open day, it appeared again in my library! Track 02; same sweet tune, still no identifying info. I tried to back-track my steps that day to see if I could find the actual blog it came from, but still no dice. This track was seriously messing with my already irritatingly disordered iTunes library.
All that changed this morning as I was working my way through a new batch of tunes, rating and researching missing album artwork. I was looking up a new Sea Wolf song, Middle Distance Runner and upon clicking See All Tracks by this Artist, there it was. The Garden You Planted. A key line in the chorus of Track 02 and certainly a phrase I used in my attempts to reverse-Google the lyrics. Sure enough, The Garden You Planted IS Track 02!!!
Is it sad that this is maybe the best thing that’s happened to me all week? Wait, no, I saw Max again on 47th St (sighting #4, bee tee dubs. Not that I’m bragging) yesterday, so that wins. So this will have to settle for being the best thing that’s happened to me while sitting at my work desk this week. It’s not as easy a title to claim as you might first surmise. Does this mean I can claim my own $15 iTunes reward? Because there are some soundtracks on sale that I’ve been eyeing…

Back to the Max thing for a moment – there are friends of mine who work in my same building that I randomly run into with less frequency. This has got to be the work of higher forces. How are we not BFF yet?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Freakshow of luck

I win a lot of stuff. This has not always been the case; I won Optimus Prime in a drawing at Shop-Rite when I was 7, and then pretty much nothing else until college. I’m also leaving out anything merit-based in this assessment. Sure, it was awesome to snag a first place in the 6th grade monthly writing contest but I would really like to think that had nothing to do with luck.

But starting around my junior year in college, I’ve had an uncanny touch when it comes to winning random contests, raffles and drawings. All of this is not to gloat – luck is not an ability; by its nature luck is something that we have no control over and therefore nothing that I can take credit for. However, I am starting to believe it is a genetic gift, and I would just like to share my gratitude.

My father’s mother, my Oma, is the luckiest person I have heard of. From major life events to the smallest happenstances, she finds good fortune at every turn. There is almost no way for me to fully explain about my Oma’s extraordinary luck without including an extremely depressing back-story, so I’ll just put it this way: her life-long lucky streak makes me believe in things I would rather be cynical and dismissive of. I am no where NEAR as insanely lucky as she is, but I am getting warmer.

In the winter of 1999 I won TWO separate radio contests on two different stations, approximately one month apart. In the first one, the prize was dinner and two tickets to a Uconn Lady Huskies Basketball Game. Pretty sweet and I had a wicked bad cold when I won, so that cheered me up considerably. The second prize was two-fold: first I won tickets to a Rod Stewart concert. I promised to take my best friend to the show, and when MH protested, I told him he could come with me if I won the grand prize trip to Los Angeles to see a taping of the Tonight Show. Well, he and I still think Burbank is generally a waste of space but that Darrell Hammond is a gifted impersonator.

Lately, the Edge Theater Company has been the source of some of my more memorable wins. From a $200 gift certificate to Bluefly.com handed to me by Philip Seymour Hoffman, to an alleged dinner at Medieval Times with the band Run Run Riot (still waiting to hear from those folks…), I called both of my wins ahead of time, adding another ring to the freak show.

Today I received notice that I won The Morning News’ Headlines Pop Quiz. (Side note: I love this site, and reading through most of the stories linked in the headlines makes me feel just a little smarter at the end of the week.) I am still delighted when stuff like this happens, if less surprised than mere mortals might be.

Monday, July 09, 2007

My To-Do List

  • Get manicure
  • Book room in Portland, ME for wedding…in 4 weeks
  • Buy Ziploc bags and dryer sheets
  • Finish blogging about the Personality Matrix
  • Look up A-Rod’s current HR total; realize I failed to match my number of blog posts in June
  • Blog about how I suck worse than the Yankees
  • Re-read Harry Potter 5 & 6 before 7 comes out…in 2 weeks
  • See Once and Ratatouille in theaters
  • Clear out sacks of old clothes from under the bed; donate to Sal’s Army or the freegans
  • Haircut?
  • Get my photo taken with the very large poster of Max outside of the Brooks Atkinson, thus killing two birds: making up for lost cell phone photo tragedy AND replacing tired MySpace pic that I am sick of looking at.
  • Blog more

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

How my summer was made

It was Tuesday and an M-F’ing hot day. I left work around 6 – technically 30 minutes later than I should but nothing too far out of the ordinary. Rocking out to my iPod, blasting past tourists on 42nd St, when I catch a glimpse. I’m not positive, but I HAVE to investigate. So I do a 180 in the middle of the sidewalk (something I am normally extremely opposed to), lift my sunglasses and start scanning the crowd. Sure enough, in the group of attractive young folks standing outside the Yoshinoya, dressed in a white t-shirt and UM track pants, was Slacker Danny and NYOne Crush of the Summer ™, Max Crumm. Naturally I walked right past him. I collected myself (mostly unsuccessfully, as you’ll learn), queued up his songs on my iPod, and made my way over.
I led with the oh-so-original “I just have to say, I love you”. Max was, of course, super sweet and gracious. I showed him the songs, TMI’d that I also named my iPod Max, but not entirely after him, because it’s just a really good name in general…Mm hmm. He asked my name and did the cute thing, “Hi [NYOne], I’m Max.” Yes, dear, yes you are.

(Side note: Have you ever found yourself watching Last Call with Carson Daly or an especially weird sketch on SNL and found yourself thinking, I can’t believe THIS is the only thing on the National Broadcasting Channel right now. This right here is what GE is spending millions of dollars to send out over the airwaves. In the same vein, I can’t believe that for two shining minutes, I was in that moment, actually talking to Max and he was talking to me.)

Back to our story – I managed to salvage a shred of good sense and asked for a picture with my cell phone. He said “Of course!” and asked his friend (who had been listening to me ramble without once laughing at me, as far as I could tell) to get us both. He apologized for being sweaty from rehearsal, which was seriously not a problem. (I’m not being gross; it was hot out, we were all sweaty). My hands were very obviously shaking as I handed the cell phone over. So lame! But they get a little shaky just thinking about this again. My heart seriously races just from recalling the specifics. I am too embarrassing for anyone to be friends with me.
Picture snapped, I thanked him again and wobbled away. You have to realize that almost all of this, but especially the last part, is a blur. I still had the phone in my hand, but must have closed it when Max’s friend handed it back. Without hitting SAVE, which you need to do on my stupid, God-forsaken cell phone if you want to keep the photo. So yeah, I lost the picture, which is pretty heartbreaking if I let myself think about it at all. BUT instead, I chose to focus on the fact that I MET MAX CRUMM. I was dying for it to happen, and it did. And he was dreamy. Hopefully, I only came off as mildly insane and hey, at least I didn’t cry. I only hope that I was able to brighten his day a fraction as much he did mine.

What? I AM ALLOWED TO BE COMPLETELY CHEESY. IT WAS MAX CRUMM.

Next week we return to your regularly scheduled sarcasm. Maybe.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just wondering

Question: Why doesn’t white-out work anymore? Back in [falsetto] the year 2000 [/falsetto] we used it daily in the BTF Box Office (Our motto: “Computers are for sissies”) and it worked fine. Ok, it did resemble Elmer’s Glue in that it dried practically clear, but that was Quill brand and all of their products are crap. But here in my current office, we have BiC ® Wite-Out ® Brand Super Smooth Correction Fluid. I am here to tell you there is nothing super about this other than its utter uselessness. It’s not dried out and crusty, it’s more of a stretchy, congealed glob connecting the sponge brush to the reservoir of gelatinous goo in the bottle. I guess the lesson here is that years of disuse is no good for the shelf life of Wite-Out, much like nail polish and one’s ability to recite the state capitals.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

TOLD YOU SO

I swore up and down to anyone who would listen and several people who probably didn't that I WOULD see Max Crumm on the street or in the subway at some point...

AND IT HAPPENED!!

I will come back to document the full story later. Sadly, without pictoral evidence to back me up as I am lame and forgot to hit the SAVE button on my phone after his friend (and "publicist") was kind enough to snap one of us. I really, really hate my cell phone. Meanwhile, I just needed to put this out there. I SAW MAX. And got a sweet and sweaty hug. Squee-ew. No, really, just squee. So so SO much squee.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cause life's like this

FINALLY, yesterday, the Video Gods* graced me with a showing of Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry. From the beginning, no less. Two observations, upon rewatch:
  1. There is nowhere NEAR enough Hot Milo in this video.
  2. Especially when he is wearing the aforementioned unacceptable porkpie hat in one scene. WTF is with the hat? I know in the grand scheme of high-waisted denim overalls and peed-in shorts that make up Fergie’s regular vestments I shouldn’t get so worked up over one egregious piece of millinery. But that hat just punches me in the rage bone. I need way more shirtless, guitar-strumming Hot Milo if I am to ignore That Hat.

So naturally, having seen the vid again, I thought I could return to my previously peaceful toggling between MTV and VH1, leaving those trickier high-number channels out of the equation. But, glutton for punishment that I am, of course this morning I had to just check really quickly and see what might be on MTV2. They play exactly two types of music on MTV2 in the morning: hip-hop (70%) and screamo (30%), that “I AM VERY SMAD + LOUD” brand of rock. To which my response is that {sigh} I am so old but SHUT UP and wash your hair already and you know what, I ALWAYS liked Brian Krakow better anyway.
Except…for this:



I do not understand what happened to My Chemical Romance. This was probably my #1 most despised band before I really knew anything about 30 Seconds to Mars. They are shrill, angry and worst of all, seemingly humorless. As near as I can understand it, they discovered Queen sometime before writing and recording their most recent album The Black Parade, and it did them a world of good. The first video, for the title track, had the benefit of a surprisingly melodic and rousing chorus AND the lead singer’s hot new haircut/color. As for this video, well, the angry/disaffected cheerleader thing will forever be a rip-off of Nirvana, and I can’t support Gerard’s return to the black hair, but…THIS SONG. It is BEYOND catchy. You know it completely the very first time you hear it. It’s the auditory equivalent of Hey! It’s That Guy! In fact, where DO I know this song from? Oh man, this is going to drive me nuts…






*Simon LeBon and Toni Basil , natch.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

WTF of the day

So my mission to see the Fergie/HOT MILO video again goes on fruitlessly to this day. But I have not given up, and in fact have added Fuse and MTV2 into my morning rotation. And while I may be suffering from an acute lack of HotMilo in my life, I am being compensated for my efforts by a guarantee of at least one video every single morning that makes me put the remote down for a second to go, “…the fuck?!?” I hope I can make this a regular feature; there is certainly plenty of WTF out there:



Please watch as much of this video as you can handle*. Now let’s just sit Elliot Yamin down and ask, what HAPPENED here? Is it 1994? Is this one of those booths where they take an All-4-One video and insert you lip-syncing?

*It might not be much. Or you might be like me and find yourself physically unable to turn away until the whole thing is done. I think maybe the fact that I just saw this again recently really helped.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Watch this show:


You will not be sorry. Also, it must be summer if I’m actually watching a show on CBS.


I noticed a funny thing the other day - I have the same number of posts in April and May as A-Rod has home runs for the respective months. So I only need two more here in June to catch up! Pick it up, slugger, or my fan(s) here will be sorely disappointed!


Speaking of baseball, the Yankees are on their way to sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks as I type this and thus far I have only one question.











What the Eff IS this? A hockey jersey? I find it totally offensive when teams/schools shorten their names to something slangy on official game wear (a la Mizzou. Gross). And also, Gordon Ramsay called and would like his font back.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Mixtape (thank god it's not) Monday!

Choosing a name for your band is not easy. It is the very first impression you will likely make on anyone. While it is possible to randomly overhear music without knowing who the artist is (a dangerous situation in which one can find oneself bopping along to Stars Are Blind, because I DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS A PARIS HILTON SONG, OK, AND IT’S DAMN CATCHY AND YOU KNOW YOU LIKE IT TOO. Ahem.) it's rare. So when it comes time to pick a name for your band, you want something generally short, not already in use by any other of the 8 billion bands on MySpace and of course somewhat evocative of your sound. Well, sometimes two out of three is the best you can do.

Death Cab for Cutie – Marching Bands of Manhattan
Think back to when you first heard of Death Cab. Oh shut up, hipster troll, my reader(s) and I first heard of Death Cab because they were Seth Cohen’s favorite band. And come on, with the word Death in the title, I know I was not the only one surprised by the band’s vaguely-castrati sounds.

Acid House Kings – Do What You Wanna Do
Recently discovered from one or another of the awesome mp3 blogs I like to crawl through. I remember thinking to myself, ugh, there is no way I will like this band. Clearly the expectation here is psychedelic/dance/electronica, like a raver tripping at Woodstock. Imagine my delight to get happy, jangly pop, complete with handclaps!

Teddybears – Cobrastyle
On the other end of the spectrum, we have a band name that sounds like they should be playing PopFest on a double bill with the Pipettes. While there are handclaps present here as well, the vibe is more synth-Shaggy. Also, you have heard this song before. It has been featured in several commercials and movie trailers, and most prominently (at least in my house) on the soundtrack to FIFA 2006 for Sony Playstation.

The Damnwells – Kung Fu Grip Kiss
Wow, double whammy here. The name to me sounds like an angry and unwashed punk band, but the Damnwells actually play indie/alt-country rock that’s more rocking live than some of their tracks would lead you to believe. Strike two is the song title. I almost demoted this song back down to 3 stars after an initial 4-star rating, simply because I couldn’t believe I would like a song with such a ridiculous name. Well, suffice to say the song has actually made the incredibly rare leap to a FIVE star rating, and their concert (note: NOT my photos) kicked some serious ass (in a hygienic and non-punk way).

Rigby Lane – link to their MySpace page
This pains me in a way, because I know these guys and they are awesome people. The band’s previous incarnation was called Catherine St. and while everyone agrees that was a basically acceptable name, numerous changes in the lineup dictated an entirely new band name for the remaining members. Here is the problem: they are not, I repeat NOT, actually a Beatles tribute band. I know, right?


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Has anyone else noticed that I fluctuate between listing the songs title first vs. band name first? Yeah, it annoys me too. In this post, listing the band name first made sense as that was the thematic thread tying together the mix. But I feel like my default is song title first, then artist name, like reading left to right in iTunes. I need to do some research on music blog standards. OR if you have a preference one way or the other, do tell.

Dirty!

Working on a slightly delayed Mixtape Monday for y'all. Meanwhile, I'm hosting my music at Box.net and if you don't think that tags like "My Public Box", "Share Your Box" and "Upgrade Your Box" make me laugh each and every time, well clearly we don't know each other very well.

Monday, June 04, 2007

A lack of blogging

…not because there is nothing to blog about. On the contrary, there are loads of things I’ve been meaning to share, but a change in my work environment makes daytime blogging infinitely more challenging. Why not just do it at home in the evenings like a responsible person? Look, it’s hard to argue with you when you won’t stop making sense. BACK OFF! No, sorry, please don’t.
Currently the things I feel most strongly in need of sharing (in ascending order of importance):

Thank Effing God the Yankees won last night. MH and I constantly play the “If X = Y, then T = D” game, wherein X is the current batter, Y is the desired result of the at-bat, usually a homerun, T is some form of reward and D is usually an alcoholic beverage. So it’s normally, “If Derek Jeter hits a homerun right here I’m going out and getting ingredients for margaritas”. And A-Rod’s top of the 9th two out at-bat would have been an IDEAL opportunity for this game, but unfortunately we were thoroughly convinced that a lead squandered is a lead lost and so were watching the MTV Movie Awards instead at the time.

Which brings me to point the second: was it me or was Mike Myers disturbingly hot in the black tie/black shirt combo doing his Austin Powers dance? I was a little distracted by the threat of Cam Diaz’s crotch coming out to attack, but DAMN. Boyfriend was kind of working it. As was maybe Shia LeBoef and he is at least 20 by now, plus I have heard rumors that he’s fibbing about his actual age so don’t look at me that way.

WHICH in turn brings me to my most significant point, WRT to “working it” and hot guys. Obvies I have been enjoying Milo Ventimiglia as Possessor of Emo Bangs of Hotness Peter Petrelli on Heroes. So much so, that he even looks better to me in old eps of Gilmore Girls (specifically, the sprinkler scene and the much later Jess-gets-his-shit-together last time we see him). But nothing really prepared me for this:

HE HAS NO RIGHT TO LOOK THAT GOOD. I'm just saying.
I might possibly enjoy this song, and Fergie’s oeuvre as a whole, despite her often tragic fashion choices. (A porkpie hat...that just hurts.) I often spend my small window of free/napping time in the mornings flipping between MTV and VH1 because at that ungodly hour they actually show music videos. Seriously though you guys, ever since I first saw this vid, all I do is obsessively check back and forth waiting for this video to play. And does it? No! I get Pink (which, Ok but the song is better enjoyed on the radio), Kelly Clarkson (which, awesome) and simultaneous Carrie Underwood on both channels (COME ON!) but no greasy-ponytail-wearing, fake-tattoo-sporting, HOTTER THAN FIRE MV have I seen in the last two weeks. I know that this is why God invented YouTube, but for reals, MTV. I need a pick-me-up in the morning – make mine a Venti.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Eek! A Week!

Ok, I know I suck. I missed From the Archives, Mixtape Monday and don't really have a This Week In: Crushes prepared yet. (In my defense, *someone* picked an awfully inconvenient time to start sucking. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Lewis.) In other news, my TV died. Tragedy, especially so close to the finale season! I could take it as a sign from God that I watch too much TV, but luckily I was shown a sign yesterday that that is not the case. On the way to buy a new (awesome, huge, HD) TV, I sort-of-by-way-of-MH spotted John Krasinski! Here:


No, obviously I didn't actually take that picture, but that is where we saw him - passing by the premiere of Shrek 3. MH was super casual about it, all, "Hey, there's John Krasinski. He looks good" as I proceeded to lose my shit just a smidge. I am 100% useless at spotting celebrities. It doesn't help being this low to the ground, but for reals, yesterday, in addition to JK, MH also saw Kelly Ripa and George Whipple. Me, I spotted Brad Blanks. As in, the Aussie from THE RADIO STATION, and how do I even know what that guy looks like? Anyway, back on topic, CLEARLY spotting JK, my #1 celebrity crush (just barely edging out Max Crumm on the shortlist of My Life Is Not Complete Until I See...) is a message from above that the mission to get the awesome, huge, HD TV was blessed. I'm thinking my Max sighting might come when I go to switch the DVR box. Boy's gonna need cable, right?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I'm just asking

What is so wrong with medium? Why are there no reasonably sized coffee beverages available outside of a $4 latte? I don't want the 8 oz dinky cup that will be gone before I even get back to my office; nor do I need a French Vanilla Big Gulp. Normally, I will admit, I am a fan of the wee. I like tiny, bite-sized, kiddie portions of everything from steak to cheesecake. But sometimes you want to upgrade to the not-so-wee. Unfortunately that was not an option and now, as you may well imagine, I am sitting with a FRIGGIN' HUGE cup of joe on my desk. Not a cup of Joe, either. That would merit FH.
I also hate it when pizza places have only medium and large. No, that means you have small and large - medium is a strictly relative term requiring bookended modifiers for definition. There is no Jan without Cindy.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mixtape Monday!

Apparently I used up all of my storage allowance on EZarchive so I have switched over to box.net. Let's see if my reader(s) notice!

Today's Mixtape Monday is supremely dorky. As I mentioned before, I have this playlist, embarrassingly titled Only Connect (and I didn't even like Howard's End) where words in the band name or song title...whatever, you'll understand when you see it. The bonus is they are all lovely songs. I couldn't fit it in here, but after my last post about this, where I cracked there should be more songs with the word wolf in the title (because every damn band now is Peter and the Wolf, or Wolf Mother, or Sea Wolf, etc) I actually searched my iTunes library and found FIVE songs with wolf or wolves in the title. So that expanded the list substantially.
Anyway, ignore if you can my obsessive need to find patterns and connections everywhere and instead just enjoy the tunes!

Stars - Lamar
Ok, what is the story with this song? I LOVE it, and you may recognize it from not one, but two promos for the Office. However, every time I try to look up this "Lamar" person, I come up with someone who is clearly not responsible for this lush pop gem. I will extend my $15 iTunes gift card offer to anyone who finds me this album.

your ex-lover is dead - Stars

Fallen Snow - Au Revoir Simone

Shut Your Eyes - Snow Patrol

Haligh, Haligh, A Lie, Haligh - Bright Eyes

Telescope Eyes - Eisley

I know, nothing revolutionary here, but you see where it's going. And except for the Bright Eyes song, all 4-stars in my book. The great thing about having basically terrible taste in music and owning up to it is that I never have to pretend to like a band (coughJane'sAddictioncough) when my heart lies elsewhere.
I promise to be back, hopefully tomorrow, with actual interesting things to talk about. I've missed my window to discuss:

Future Peter's look on Heroes: Loss of the Emo Bangs vs That Scar.
The unending awesomeness that is Blake
Why Reuben looked like he was posing for his 8th-grade yearbook picture?
Cinco de Derby: Isn't a Mint Julep really just a Bourbon Mojito?

But I'm sure there is plenty more where that came from. I was supposed to have a subscription to Premiere magazine (thanks, work!) but they of course folded, so the replacement has been Us Weekly. As if I didn't do enough damage to my brain cells on the weekend benders. My main reaction thus far has been, Katie Holmes. When POSH SPICE is your only link to the real world, things have gotten BAD. Y'all KNOW I loved the Spice Girls (that doll collection is going be worth serious $$ some day, I'm telling you) but you could never ever trust Posh to know what was going on. I'm not even talking about the "I've never read a whole book in my life" bit that came AFTER she released a "memoir". Back in the day, Ginger had to explain to her the math behind "If you put 2 and 2 together/You will see what a friendship is 4". Aw man. I really miss my sneakers with 4-inch rubber platforms.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

Mixtape Monday!

Naturally, with all the talk of covers lately, that is the theme of today's Mixtape Monday. This was challenging for me to compile. Ideally I would want to do a more tightly thematic list, i.e. Really White Covers of Hip-Hop or everyone's favorite Crap Pop Songs Covered by Bands With Indie Cred, but unfortunately, I didn't have 5 solid songs in either category. So here is a smattering of both, with a dash of straight-up Actually Good Covers. Enjoy!

Bitches Ain't Shit - Ben Folds
Baby Got Back - Jonathan Coulton
Here we have the first category covered, and I think you'll enjoy these. Ben Folds has such a lovely, sincere delivery on lines like, "That's some real conversation for your ass". And Jonathan Coulton gives BGB the Jordin Sparks treatment - making it more of a song than you ever realized it could be.

Since U Been Gone - Ted Leo
Worth it for the "cover art" pic of Ted and our girl Kelly Clarkson. Bonus: he goes in to "Maps" in the second half, then brings it back on home.

Cry Me a River - Lost Prophets
Don't let the Gregorian-chant intro throw you - this is appropriately angsty and rocky and definitely worth sticking with.

It should be noted that neither of these songs in their original versions actually qualify as Crap Pop Songs. But for whatever reason, I didn't feel like including Ben Gibbard's take on Avril's Complicated. Oh, ok FINE. At least it's definitely a Crap Pop Song, whereas Since U Been Gone is maybe our generation's Good Vibrations - an indelible contribution to the pop music landscape, elevating the artist beyond previously reasonable expectations of quality, up into The Next Level.

Whew. Only room for one more song, and I'm already being generous given the bonus track above. But I love to share (take that, only-child-stereotypes). So my one contribution in the Actually Good Covers category:
Brand New Key - Betty Dylan
How good is this cover? Well, it won't change your life or anything, calm down. But, I used to HATE this song...no, wait, let's back up. Like many of you, I suspect, I had never heard the original Melanie version until Boogie Nights came out. And then I heard it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. For two whole weeks, thanks to the girl on my floor at Buckley who also borrowed my copy of Spaceballs and never returned it. (Bitch.) So at this point, I hate the song. I'm not going so far as to say that this cover rescued the song for me, after a certain point you have to let things go and it is a hilarious and dirty song. But I find myself really slow-jammy-rocking out to this Betty Dylan chick.

That's it for today kids! According to EW, it is Adrian Pasdar's b-day and he is another year of awesome. I also caught up on Grey's Anatomy over the weekend, and what is UP with that show? I would throw in a Seriously?! there, but I don't want to give them the satisfaction. Alan Sepinwell of the NJ Star Ledger has it about right here. Shut Up, Izzie, is really all I can say. I can honestly say I am not really looking forward to whatever crazy shit they have planned for sweeps. Was Denny's death already last May? Huh. And yet the rage at that ridiculous turn of events feels so fresh.
I hate to leave things on such a crabby note, so...Explorer's Club! Again! Tell me you don't love this song!!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

From the Archives

April 19, 2006:

AI was surprisingly good! Chris did better than I expected him to, especially with a really overdone song. Not a huge fan of Ace with the ponytail, but I thought he sounded good. For him. I will be sad to see him go when he does, but he’s definitely the weakest vocally. Elliot is just too weird looking. He makes the most uncomfortable faces, with his eyes all bugged out. I totally agreed with Simon’s assessment that personality is a big factor tonight. Basically, these are really romantic songs and Elliot just can’t sell romance. Kellie, poor, stupid Kellie. It started out ok and just got worse as she went on. She had some really, truly pretty notes and some really wonky ones as well. I still don’t see her going home. They have sold her so hard and I'm guessing she has a solid fanbase as a result. Taylor was unremarkable, totally meh. I hope he’ll be in the bottom three with Elliot and either Ace or Kellie. My prediction to go home is Elliot. I sense that he’s like VM in a way – a fiercely loyal but unfortunately tiny fanbase. Anyone else notice that Simon has a total hard-on for Kellie, but he resists pimping her too much lest people believe she is totally safe? All of the Grassy Knoll theories on the AI boards are hilarious, because no matter what happens, someone has an explanation for how TPTB are working to guarantee a victory for TCO. Except no one can really agree on who TCO is. I guess the general consensus is that it’s Chris, b/c they want a white male to win this time and he’s pretty sellable. But some people will say it’s Kat or Kellie and then explain how praising/criticizing other contestants plays into the conspiracy. While I stand by my belief that they manipulate the bottom 3, except for the actual lowest-vote-getter and I certainly see them favoring certain people with loads of screen time (i.e. Kellie) I don’t think it’s quite the vast plot some make it out to be. First of all, there are laws against rigging game/reality shows, so they can’t legally boot off someone they don’t want to win. Secondly, given the paltry record sales of every winner except for Kelly, I think they realize the money is in making the show interesting. Lastly, in this day and age of spoilers and the internet, details of something that orchestrated and involved would leak faster than Grace’s water bra.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A totally original idea...

Gather round, kids, we’re going to play iTunes Roulette. Here's how it works: you take your entire iTunes library, put it on shuffle and record – HONESTLY – the first 10 songs that play. Those are the rules of iTunes Roulette and they are unflinchingly rigid. In the interest of full disclosure, please note this is my work computer where I mostly have random songs from mp3 blogs as opposed to full albums of my own crap. Here we go!

Hallelujah – k.d. lang
Wow, this certainly makes my earlier comment about MOKB's Covers Project seems oddly prescient. Wish it had been one of my 5+ versions of There is a Light That Never Goes Out, ideally the Joseph Arthur one. Hallelujah is tricky – there is no question it is overused in TV/movies and not just by Josh Schwartz. There are some arguably great covers of it out there. (I suppose anyone other than Leonard Cohen is doing a cover version). But as Captain Obvious as it may be, the Jeff Buckley version is still not only far and away my favorite, it is one of those songs that makes you wonder what life was like before you knew that song existed. Weren’t you just a little bit less until that song came into your life? Heady stuff – I could do a whole post just on that, but we haven’t the time or space here. Moving on!
Skyway – the Replacements
FANTASTIC – love this song. Instant 4-stars for me. Wow, we are off to a reasonably promising start.
Creep – Brandi Carlisle
Slap me if you must but when this started I was confused, though not disappointed, wondering when I got a Dilana track in my iTunes? Yeah, sorry, this song just reminds me of Rockstar: Supernova.
Umbrellas – Sleeping At Last*
Based on this song and "Ships" by Umbrellas, I created an entire playlist where words jump from song titles to band names (and sometimes back again). Most useful words: stars and eyes. If only there were more songs with Wolf in the title.
*hmm, seem to have misplaced the link, sorry about that
Put Your Hands on Me – Joss Stone
What the H happened to this girl? The gross look-at-me hair and skanky outfits; I’m just not down with any of it. I can’t quite fathom why I have this song. Though I might still like Fell In Love With a Boy.
Forever – The Explorers Club
AAAA – OMG – I – words – font too small – cannot express – breathe – ok, ok, I think I’m back.
I BEYOND LOVE this song. When I first heard it, ok, well, this guy had the exact same thoughts so just read it there. It’s both an accurate and precise description. I could listen to this OVER AND OVER AND OVER. If there is only one song you take with you today, let it be this one. To get this song in iTunes roulette is like…I don’t know, I’m just too happy for words.
Fireworks – Whitest Boy Alive
Well, this is a nice break for me. Nothing at all to write about this song.
Miss You Now – Stereophonics
Um, sure, this is fine too.
So Nice (Summer Samba) – Astrud Gilberto
Why yes, Pottery Barn, I would LOVE a mojito right about now.
Baby Fratelli – The Fratellis
While not nearly as kick-ass and catchy as Flathead, this is still a nice slice of garage rock with some Beatles-circa-Help!-esque vocals.
All in all, a VAST improvement over the time I played iTunes roulette on my home computer. Yeah, that was a wealth of embarrassment which I will naturally share with you some Friday in a From the Archives.

I'm sure it was a whole wheat donut...

Clinton
Fights Obesity on 'Rachael Ray'
Former President Bill Clinton appears on an episode of "Rachael Ray" today
to announce a partnership with the popular chef to publicize various
anti-obesity initiatives, the New York Times reported yesterday. Clinton used
his surprise cameo in Ray's television kitchen to publicize the collaboration
between her nonprofit Yum-o Organization and the Clinton Foundation's Alliance
for a Healthier Generation, founded in cooperation with the American Heart
Association.
Ray's nonprofit Yum-o Organization is intended to educate
consumers about healthy, easy-to-prepare foods through a variety of channels,
including show segments, a dedicated Web site, scholarships and related media
exposure. (The name is taken from Ray's frequent exclamation of culinary
delight.)

Nice timing, considering that I just saw Ray Ray in a DUNKIN’ DONUTS commercial this morning, where she grabs “her regular coffee and donut to go”. Real brand synergy there.

Edited Friday 4/27: Ok, fine, I saw the commercial again this morning and it's actually a "bagel and coffee", not a donut. Marginal improvement. Still! Anti-obesity initiatives + Dunkin' Donuts = false equation.

Delinquent!

Darn, and I was doing so well! Sorry to have skipped yesterday, especially considering that as I was caught up on Heroes, Gilmore Girls and AI, there is no excuse not to have posted. PLUS, I have an iTunes roulette all loaded and ready to go that promises to be fun for all. So I’ll just share a few thoughts on Heroes for now, and if I get inspired (read: bored) later in the day, maybe come back with the AI thoughts.
Heroes was predictably great – I’m so happy NOT to be involved in any fandom for this show. It’s infinitely more enjoyable to just sit back and let the fun wash over me, rather than jumping in with timeline and characterization nitpicks. So with that in mind, my main observations:
WTF is the deal with Malcolm McDowell’s beard? If you look closely at it (NOT RECOMMENDED) it’s like the Target bulls-eye with a circle of hair, and then a circle of clean-shaven lip and chin and then his mouth. Ok, I’m really skeeving myself out here. Point being, dude needs no help turning the Creep-O-Meter up to 11. When Eric Roberts is on your show and you’re STILL the scary one….
Could Adrian Pasdar rock any harder? Answer: no, he could not. Plus he’s married to Natalie Maines, y’all! I love his voice – it’s almost high-pitched and gravelly at the same time. Petrelli for president, no doubt. Well, except maybe for that whole blowing-up-NYC thing. Not so much down with that.
Finally, I am so psyched for 5-years-from-now-Claire’s brown hair! What, I told you I just sit back and let the fun (and the pretty) wash over me. You want deep, analytical insight, Erin is your girl.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This Week in: Crushes

{sigh}

If I was a totally awesome, dedicated blogger, I would pull up all the dreamy pictures of Max Crumm that currently adorn my laptop at home and make some kind of cute collage. But (SPOILER ALERT) I am totally lazy. Sorry about that. Next Tuesday's "This Week in: Crushes" will be totes better. Right now, John Krasinski is the scheduled Crush, though if I hear another whiff of the alleged pairing with Renee Zellweger, he will be bumped indefinitely.

Speaking of spoilers, I didn't get a chance to watch Heroes last night, which means I basically have to ban myself from the internets today so as not to accidently read something revealing. GREAT. That won't be a problem for me AT ALL.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin

Wonder if these folks are feeling guilty, or giddy, at the news?

Mixtape Monday!

Week #2 of Operation Make Blog Less Sucky is off with a bang! I happily present to you Mixtape Monday, where I will post 5 songs along a theme of mine - OR YOUR - choosing. Seriously, make requests in the comments and I'll do my best to accommodate. Naturally, the weirder the better. Today's theme is Chirpy Chicks, in honor of the OUTSTANDING weather we are experiencing today:

1.) The Pipettes – Pull Shapes
This song best encapsulates what I was aiming for with this week’s theme. So freakin’ cute and catchy.
2.) The Weepies – Gotta Have You
Not as upbeat as I might have preferred, but I love the song.
3.) Rilo Kiley – the Frug
Hmm, same problem as above. I love Jenny Lewis’s voice though and AFAIK this is about as close to bubbly as she really gets.
4.) Lily Allen – Smile
I only have this here to make a point…
5.) Lady Sovereign – Love Me or Hate Me
Which is that I wish Lady Sov would go ahead and kick Lily Allen’s ass. I do not get why Allen is such a big freaking deal and Lady Sov is still relatively unheralded. She is the biggest midget in the game, people! There is no competing with that! She wouldn’t need to pay some dodgy gang to beat up her ex and trash his apt – Lady Sov would handle that shit herself. She might even kick my ass for including her in a list titled Chirpy Chicks. But I’m willing to risk it, in order to bring you, dear reader(s) some peppy tunes on this lovely Monday.

Friday, April 20, 2007

From the Archives

Something I'd like to start as a regular Friday feature, when I'm clearly too lazy to post new content: From the archives - the best of my ramblings, rants and observations from the past year or so that never made it to the pages of My Life as a Latte. For today's inaugural FtA, cast yourself back to May 2006, when the once brilliant, twisty and addictive Alias brought the crazy, broken-down roller coaster to a completely ridiculous finish:

Just finished watching the last 4 eps of Alias ever...yeah...there were some problems:

a) Tom and Rachel plot = WORSE than Wallace and Jackie. And that's saying A LOT. Maybe if I had seen the beginning of this season and had the faintest inkling of who they were, I might have cared. But I doubt it. Did she sleep with Sark earlier in the season? Lucky bitch.
b) OMGIRINAISEEEEEVIL = not so much, JJ. Seriously, this is your big "twist"? Your shocking "reveal"? I'm sorry; did we go back three years? Who the hell is surprised by this anymore? Oh, wait, I know – NO ONE.
c) My motto for the last, oh I don't know, four hours of the show: FUH. KING. SHOOT. HIM. (or her) Sydney has Sloane at gunpoint. Or her mom. Vaughn has Sark at gunpoint. Even when SydAnna had real Sydney trapped under the car wreck. WHY WOULD SHE LIGHT THE CAR ON FIRE INSTEAD OF JUST SHOOTING HER???
d) Rambaldi's big secret = eternal life. I don't have a font big enough for this – DUH. What the hell else would it have been? Just, duh.

Only Jack was truly awesome, no surprise there. And Erin is right; the Vaughn baby faces were amazing. I do have to give props to Garner and Vartan, they still have great chemistry despite their off-screen issues.
One last thing about Alias and then we are moving on (because we are people with lives. Hee. As if). I ruined an entire load of laundry not by “soiling” it, as I’m sure Kristin would say but because my ears started BLEEDING when Sydney was all, “That’s the last time I trust/stick up for/give a millionth chance to Sloane/my mom. I believed him/her before but I’m not going to make that mistake again because…” and that’s all I got because my ears were filled with BOILING HOT BLOOD. Know when that would have been a good idea? THREE FUCKING YEARS AGO. Now, I love me some Ron Rifkin and he and Victor Garber have some kick-ass chemistry/tension in their scenes. But it is simply beyond any plausibility that Syd and Jack would have gone back to work for Sloane this whole time and then they’re like, well, shit, turned out he WAS bad all along. Our bad. TOTALLY not going to make that mistake again. For real, you guys.

If you squint...
















Y'all I do not know how to format this text correctly, so bear with me. While I know plenty of other people have made the connection between sensitive rocker Sea Wolf and comdedy-hottie Michael Ian Black, I also feel (and maybe it's just this pic) that Morgan Stanley memoirist Dana Vachon could be their...dad? Older cousin?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Music?

Yo, I am working on this whole posting mp3s to a blog deal. Music blogs are a recent fixation of mine - I'll add some of my favs to the links list. It's just so awesome - free, cool music! For free! Much like an open bar or apps at a fancy party, free music tastes better. So I'm hoping to share some of my new discoveries (read: stuff hipsters tell me is cool) with a Mixtape Monday feature. This here today is my first test at getting a song on the blog at all, and it's a unique situation:
I downloaded this song from...somewhere. I usually tear through three or four music blogs at a time, right-clicking willy-nilly and then going back into iTunes and adding the songs to my library. They almost always have at least the song title and artist and very often the album title as well, when available. Not this track. This is only "Track 2". So I listened to some of the lyrics and skipped on over to Google. The reverse look-up has always worked for me before but no luck this time. SO, I turn to you, dear reader(s). First person to identify the artist of the song posted below gets a $15 iTunes gift card. No, totally for real. I know I was a bad, bad blogger before and I'm pulling out all of the stops to get my loyal reader(s) back. You tell me who the heck is singing and I'll hook you up with enough iTuneage to get Avril's new album with change to spare.


Track 02

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

as promised

Chris R is like that one friend of your boyfriend (read: Blake) who you can’t stand. Eventually, he wears you down to the point of tolerance, and occasionally forgetting why you ever hated him in the first place. Then he gets way too drunk, per usz, at a party and it all comes rushing back. You’re not surprised at his obnoxious behavior, but you are a little mad at yourself for being so generous in your earlier assessment. And then, just when your opinion of him is its nadir, he goes and hits on your younger cousin.
Happily, your boyfriend chooses this opportunity to sing pretty much your favorite song ever to enter the orbit of Country Night on American Idol, so all is forgiven. Seriously, when I heard that Blake was doing “When the Stars Go Blue”, I gasped so loud that I hiccupped. Sure, the vocal wasn’t awesome, but an argyle sweater vest goes a long way towards making everything wonderful.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

In other news, I caught Grey Gardens on Broadway last night. Good news: I had bitchin' seats that were free. Bad news: zzzzzzz. Christine Ebersole is great, I guess...Matt Cavenaugh is still wicked hot...and that wraps up today's portion of Broadway Theatre Performance Dramatical Review. Tune in next week* for my stirring critique of two shows sure be duking it out for Best Revival: Chorus Line and Company. Dancers who can't really sing vs. Singers/musicians who can't really act. Tough call!



*not really. Well, please do tune in, but not for that specific topic.

Nasally is a form of singing

And dickweed is a common species of reality-show contestant. More on Chris R to come.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Later, schmater

You waited a long-ass time for any kind of updates, so who am I to be coy? Here then is the David Brent vs. Michael Scott deliberation, only a year or so too late to be timely:


David Brent vs. Michael Scott: Would You Rather…?

Here is the basic timeline of my Office-obsession: Had watched and enjoyed the BBC version on BBC America back in the day. Definitely found it funny, awkward, etc. Even back then, I remember observing that it got better upon rewatch because when you know what’s coming, you can sit back and just laugh. Knowing exactly what horrible, offensive, racist, sexist (or special combination of all of them) thing David was going to do or say took the edge off.
Then came the American Office. Blah blah blah sacrilege, hopeless, didn’t-they-learn-from-Coupling-cakes. Turns out it is a-MAY-zing! (TM Kelly Kapoor). I bought both S1 and S2 DVDs after Thanksgiving last year and burned through them in less than 2 weeks. Then I bought all of the S3 eps I had missed on iTunes. And the addiction was born. I will spare you the true force of my shippiness; suffice to say that in my world, JG = Jammy Goodness and it is something I require soon (PAGING GREG DANIELS). But that is not what this post is about.
Clearly, they made conscious choices with the America Office to differentiate it from the BBC version. Arguably, the biggest deviation is the portrayal of everyone’s fearless leader, Michael Scott. Go back to S1 and he has more of the jerky, self-centeredness that was David Brent’s core. Since then he has evolved into an awkward, oftentimes clueless schmuck who nevertheless has good intentions in his heart. Almost everything he does, from embarrassing routines through almost ruining Phyllis’ wedding, comes from a desperate need to be loved and validated. Because we are shown this soft underbelly and the occasional, unexpected moments when Michael actually does not fuck something up, we root for him. Steve Carrell is simply too nice a guy to believably play an irredeemable asshole for any extended period of time.
I’m absolutely in favor of this tonal shift; I think it makes the show funnier overall and certainly more palatable for American audiences. However (OMG, a point to all of this) because we root for Michael Scott, it makes it *worse* knowing when he is about to do or say something awful. I promise you, I wouldn’t willingly sit through Gay Witch Hunt again without fast-forwarding through the Michael-Oscar kiss. In fact, 99% of the time when I rewatch an episode (which is at least once every week and sometimes more than once) I have to skip the Michael bits.
I recently re-watched Series 1 of the BBC Office and found myself actually looking forward to the worst of David Brent. He is such a spectacular trainwreck, and Ricky Gervais just owns Un!Comfortable! like no one else, that it is more fun to root against David. Not in a vindictive, hope-he-gets-fired kind of way, but in a gleeful, my god, what else could possibly happen to make this worse way? Which is I think ¾ of the appeal of Sanjaya.

I know you miss me blind

Srsly, you guys, I am back. I know, I know, I've made this promise to both of us before and failed miserably, but I think this time it could be different. That, or you won’t hear from me again till July. But, let’s be glass half full for now, and jump right in to the good stuff:
General update: Veronica Mars = down the crapper. Rob Thomas, I trusted you. I believed in you. I freaking flew to Texas for you. And what do I get in return? A wasted premise, the disappearance of previously-vital characters (Where’s Wallace?) and a lame, desperate premise intended to “reboot” the show for a 4th season. Let’s hope not. MOVING ON!
The Office = my current obsession. You knew I would have at least one. OMG JAM SQUEE, etc, etc. I am also re-watching the BBC Office and have a longer David Brent vs. Michael Scott theory to post…later. Remind me.
Also still fixated on: Max from Grease: You’re The One That I Want. (Boy is that ever annoying to type out). Loved the show, natch, though would have enjoyed more actual showtunes and less Austin Miller. Now that Max is bouncing around NYC, I am DETERMINED to meet him. It will happen.
It is me, or is everyone obsessed with cover songs lately? SPD, my blogger crush, has started a regular Under The Covers segment. MOKB has their insane Covers Project, where they post every available version of one particular song. Because you need more than, say, 5 versions of Hallelujah in your life. Maybe it’s like how once you learn a new word, you start seeing everywhere, or how certain commercial actors will be in 5 different spots all at the same time, but now that I have covers on the brain, it seems I can’t get away from them.
Just so you know, my plan is to start posting brief recaps after shows I watch. I figure it will at least get me back in the habit of recording my inane ramblings. Hey, so far I have managed to stick to my New Year’s resolution of bringing lunch to work instead of buying every day, so there’s hope! Fine, complete disclosure: I only started doing it last week. But so far, so good!
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