In keeping with the "Bad news, good news" theme, two related CNN stories:
Bad news - Apparently George Orwell was off by about 18 years. Turns out, his prophecy involves another guy named George.
Good news - Dropping the charade of party loyalty in the name of logical, independent thought, a majority of senators rejected the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act. This battle's far from over, though.
Friday, December 16, 2005
In keeping with the "Bad news, good news" theme, two related CNN stories:
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Too bad, because I'm ready for all four episodes of Chappelle's Show next year, thanks to this trailer that had me laughing out loud. Love the Cribs parody's T-Rex ridiculousness and sparkly garnishes.
Other things I'm looking forward to in years to come, as mentioned in my Elephant Larry Group blog post comment from October:
• The Sopranos (2006) - Come ONNNNNNN already!
• Yankees spring training (2006) - Featuring a roster costing an estimated $2.6 billion.
• Spidey 3 (2007) - But it'll never top 1 or 2, especially since a "Wings" cast member is involved.
• My marriage to Kate Bosworth (2009) - Although she's more excited about it than I am.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
A single MSN article bummed me out and psyched me up at the same time:
Bad news - Varsity Basketweaving fave Rachel McAdams appears to be close to marrying Notebook costar Ryan Gosling*.
Good news - McAdams is purported to agree to a Vanity Fair photo shoot, posing "skin-to-bare-skin with Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley."
Considering I'm now taken and never really had a shot with Ms. McAdams anyway, I'll consider this a victory for everyone.
*This picture is not actually of Ryan Gosling, who seems to be a cool enough guy.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Favorite obscure line from Anchorman: Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) flicks his head toward the news camera and declares "PANDA WATCH!"
Monday, December 12, 2005
On Saturday night, I had a vivid dream that I cohosted Saturday Night Live with another sports columnist, Bill Simmons. Because the show's writers had either taken the week off or were on strike, I improvized the monologue, which started off slow but picked up steam after climbing a ladder to the top of Studio 8H for some reason with fellow Boston College alum Amy Poehler, leading to a rowsing ovation. I then told the crowd that the "Very-Big, Very-Big Bosstones are here," because the censor warned me that the growingly imposing FCC would not allow the repeated use of the word "Mighty" on the air. Sting made a cameo in a skit that involved me and Simmons and some faceless cast member as construction workers in cherry-pickers. Oh, and the four of us sang for some reason. With the dream imitating life, the show got worse as it went on and the audience laughter was nonexistent toward the end as me, Simmons, the Very-Big Very-Big Bosstones and Sting joined the cast for the Goodbyes.
The dream sequence carried into the next day, when JumpTheShark.com was inundated with angry users who declared it the worst SNL episode in history and that I was its worst-ever host.
Ouch, my subconscious is a tough crowd.
Still, when I awoke, I was more impressed that I theoretically was picked to cohost the show than upset by the terrible reviews. Go me.
Friday, December 09, 2005
With the first significant snowstorm of the year, I took the train to work rather than risk getting into a car accident. As I trudged through heaps of snow on my way to the office, I wondered if I actually had it better than drivers navigating similar conditions.
OK, Basketweavers... time to vote: Assuming your travels would take you 20 minutes in two to four inches of snow that would be cleared at times and clumped at others, would you rather:
1. Walk or
Things to consider: Heat, Sitting, Icy patches, Accidents, Slipping, Skidding, Other people's driving, Burning calories, Cardio, The ability to make out in the back seat.
Hmm... I think I just answered my own question. Then again, there's always a third option:
3. Stay inside and watch cartoons
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Really, really bad day. I'd go into detail, but I can't just yet.
It does not involve death of a loved one or a difficult relationship, but my feelings are almost like my reaction to the former.
Quoting John Lennon's lyrics on the 25th anniversary of his death:
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
I got a new cell phone.
I tired of people fawning over my new nephew, so I got this phone to overcompensate. (Kidding, Thomas!)
In reality, my old flip-phone broke to the extent that when it was open all the way and I'd try to talk to someone on the other end, I often couldn't hear anything in the receiver. The weird thing is I'd actually get some reception if the phone was open at about a 90-degree angle -- versus its normal mouthpiece-to-earpiece angle of 135 degrees -- which did little for comfort or performance.
This ridiculousness went on for about a month until Verizon allowed for a contract renewal and the purchase of a new phone for a discounted price. Yesterday, I opted for this puppy: the LG VX9800. Full keypad for text messages and other uses; a camera; AOL, MSN and Yahoo messenger built-in; legit ringtones; Bluetooth; et al.
"Noooo good?" you say? Well, I think it's hella tight. Warning: Immediate Sound.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Admittedly, this short film goes on about two minutes too long, but here's the premise: Dude in creepy Burger King mask expresses his feelings about his competitors through mime and interpretive dance. Warning: Immediate Sound.
Oh, and you reeeeally shouldn't watch this at work unless you have headphones and five minutes alone.
All things considered, this is a decent compromise.
Comedy Central Prez Doug Herzog: "We thought it was time to start unearthing the material we had. It's kind of like Bob Dylan's 'Basement Tapes.' "
I don't think that comparison is that much of a stretch, considering "Chappelle's Show" has been the seminal TV comedy of the new millennium.
Friday, December 02, 2005
The Baseball Gun.
Ooooh! I want one. Not to fire baseballs at anyone's head, but just to have mounted on the wall and admire.
Wellllll, maybe I'd use it to fling whiffle balls at people. Or to run beer-league batting practice with it (but not while under the influence). Or to launch rotten produce at hack comedians.
So how did I find this thing? While referencing a recent blog post, I was explaining to my friend Rachael about how Google Images easily helped me find a picture of a guy firing a gun while holding a football, using only football and gun as criteria; that pic was the first result. After explaining this, Rachael told me that hockey and gun didn't come up with anything nearly as cool. But boy, oh boy, did baseball and gun ever!
I'm often a Blue Stater, but a beautifully sung national anthem will always give me goosebumps.
Now I feel better about telling you that I found this link while searching for the botched "Star Spangled Banner" lyrics Leslie Nielsen sang in The Naked Gun.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Here's The Hollywood Reporter's 2005 list of highest-paid movie actresses, estimating their salary demands per film:
1. Julia Roberts - $20 million
2. Nicole Kidman - $16 million to $17 million
3. Reese Witherspoon - $15 million
4. Drew Barrymore - $15 million
5. Renee Zellweger - $10 million to $15 million
6. Angelina Jolie - $10 million to $15 million
7. Cameron Diaz - $10 million to $15 million
8. Jodie Foster - $10 million to $12 million
9. Charlize Theron - $10 million
10. Jennifer Aniston - $9 million
Drawing from only these 10 actresses, here's how I'd rank them, based on talent and personal preference:
1. Angelina Jolie - Smart, talented, drop-dead gorgeous, mysterious and kooky. I'm a big fan.
2. Charlize Theron - All of the above, except she doesn't have the kook factor going on.
3. Reese Witherspoon - A solid actress who's easy on the eyes and is a proven box office draw.
4. Cameron Diaz - A much better actress than most people give her credit for.
5. Jodie Foster - Awesome and sneaky hot for those who like sexy librarians.
6. Nicole Kidman - A bit overrated, but is a reliable go-to actress for roles with gravitas.
7. Julia Roberts - Quite overrated, but still likeable enough to send legions to the theaters.
8. Renee Zellweger - A decent actress, but I'm not ever compelled to see a movie because of her.
9. Drew Barrymore - Next.
10. Jennifer Aniston - I've never understood America's fascination with her.
I'm hoping Scarlett Johannson, Rachel McAdams and Kate Bosworth jump way up this list in the near future.
Last night, I'm in New York City rehearsing for a show my group has this Saturday. Famished, I head over to Wendy's in a specific quest for two Bacon Mushroom Melts and a Big Bacon Classic with no onions. (What can I say? I love me some burgers.)
So it's late -- about 12:15 a.m. -- and I'm waiting behind just one person on line: a construction worker. Nothing inherently wrong with that, except for the fact that he's ordering dinner for his entire staff on a piece of cardboard filled with black magic marker scrawl.
I try not to get too upset. After all, he's working late at night; I'm not. And upon realizing that he had an order to feed what seemed like eight to 10 people, I could have strolled next door for a shorter wait at McDonalds, whose burgers don't compare. And sometimes I've been the one in the office to do the occasional fast food run, ticking off the people in line behind me. But I am trying to catch a 12:30 train home.
But the construction worker, well aware of the huge line that has developed behind him, figures it won't be too much trouble to ask for napkins, which the three hard-working Wendy's workers provide after spending more than 15 minutes hustling to fill his order.
Oh, but another thing, he remembers. He needs barbecue sauce, which the Wendy's workers also provide as they ready to take my order.
But wait, that's when he says, "Gimme more barbecue sauce."
That's when I let out an audible groan -- and nearly flinch in anticipation of the roundhouse right that never came.
Just so you know, the pet peeve is not necessarily with the person who orders dinner for a small army; it's with the aloof person who must have every last garnish and special sauce taken care of when a massive line has snaked behind him. So, thank you, Construction Worker Man, for ticking off a legion of colorful New Yorkers, who did everything not to rip that helmet off your head and demonstrate their field-goal kicking skills, perhaps for an audition with the Giants.
- Yes, I missed the 12:30 train and had to take one that left 50 minutes later.
- Yes, waiting for those burgers was worth it. I inhaled all three in about six minutes.
- Yes, a homeless man cut in front of me, too. But that doesn't bother me nearly as much.