Monday, February 28, 2005

E-Pression: Jerry Seinfeld, Age 5

(While reading, imagine Jerry Seinfeld at the age of 5 and read to yourself – or out loud – in his voice.)

Ya know, I was watching that show Sesame Street the other day. Have you seen this show? What is the deal with Snuffleupagus? There’s nothing imaginary about the guy! I see him, YOU see him, WE ALL SEE HIM! All of us, that is, except for Mr. Hooper. (Clench teeth and fist – mutter) Hooper! How is it that Mr. Hooper manages to lose his glasses EVEry SINgle TIME Snuffy is around? And how blind is this guy? I mean, there’s a huge brown thing standing in front of you – it’s not a house, it’s not a car, it’s not Oprah – what else could it be? And Big Bird is no help. You get Snuffy and Hooper in the same place at the same time and Big Bird starts stuttering like Mel Tillis after a pot of coffee!

Big Bird. What kind of name is that anyway? Big Bird. What, do they think we’re stupid?

(Turn to left to have conversation with self.)
“Hey, I’ve got an idea for a character!”
(Turn right.)
“Great! What is it?”
(Turn left.)
“It’s a big bird.”
(Turn right.)
“Fantastic! What should we call him?”
(Turn left.)
“…How about Big Bird?”
(Turn right.)
“…I think you’re on to something!”

In fact, I think I’ve figured out how they name all of the Muppets on the show so us stupid little kids don’t get confused. You’ve got your “human” Muppets, who all wear clothes and have one-word names. For instance, Bert and Ernie. Then you have your animal and monster Muppets, who never wear clothes and have a name that explains what exactly they are. Big Bird is a big bird. Kermit the Frog is a frog! Cookie Monster is a monster that eats… COOKIES! Oscar the Grouch – the guy lives in a trashcan in the ghetto – OF COURSE HE’S GROUCHY! Ya know if YOU had to live in a trashcan, you’d be a little grouchy yourself. So based on this principle, can someone explain Grover to me? One name, yet no clothes…Does that make him the naked, blue, stoned hippie that wanders around the neighborhood, hangin’ out on the stairs to the apartment building, talkin’ to the kids? If there was a naked blue hippie hangin’ out in front of my house, I’m pretty sure my mommy wouldn’t let me go outside.

Didja ever notice that sometimes, when Ernie is taking a bath, Bert is in the room with him? …Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

And what’s with the Count? Why is he always laughing when he finishes counting something? Great – 5 street lamps – not funny. You want something funny, why don’t you go to Bob’s house and count the dead hookers buried in the back yard – now THAT’S funny! …Maybe more in the ironic sense of the term…

The show I was watching the other day was brought to you by the letter “C”. Hmmm… (Wrinkle nose) Nyah, it didn’t do anything for me. Give me something I can use – something with a little more meat to it…perhaps the letter “S”? I know, “C” is for “cookie”, which may be good enough for SOME people. But add the letter “S”. Suddenly “cookIE” becomes “cookIES!” …Now we’re getting somewhere!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

PAFC Newsletter, 2/27/05

Time to make enemies!

This is a sign of the apocalypse: the company I work at is auctioning off “art” made by children from the ages of 6 weeks (NO, that is not a typo) to 5 years. A 6-week-old child scribbled in yellow crayon on a piece of paper and the bidding starts at $5! Why don’t you just ask me to donate money? What am I going to do with that? Is Mom’s refrigerator full? All proceeds go to art supplies for the daycare center – because the artists consumed all those supplies for this project.

Something tells me nobody is going to visit my cube at work this week. I bet I get the Ward Churchill treatment. Maybe I should show up on Tuesday parading behind a group of violin playing Italians and a holier-than-thou attitude?

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure this out – maybe because I am actually focused on trying to lose weight as a resolution this year – but I know why so many diets die in February. It’s those darned girl scouts! They pester you at church, work, and the grocery store. We all end up buying $50 worth or cookies and wonder how we hit the weight loss wall inside of 2 months! Then we get discouraged and give up. But how can you resist? The girls are all so cute and aggressive, and they make something for everyone. If you are a freak that doesn’t like chocolate, they have options! So I am here to keep you focused! You can still eat the cookies and stick to your goals! Try limiting yourself to just 2-3 a night, and right after dinner. You don’t want to eat that many calories too late in the evening. Or, just go on a binge and destroy them all! Gain the few pounds, and realize what did it – then you can get focused again. I’m writing all of this on a morning where I had to try on 3 pairs of jeans because my one pair that fits properly is in the laundry.

This is just an observation on the way to work, but will a self-respecting man ever buy a Pontiac G6? Oprah gave them away, and the commercial is focused on women… This is the Saturn SL2 of 2005! Honestly, you will never see a G6 on the road with a man behind the wheel – unless it’s a rental. Track it yourself! You’ll either find an old lady or some young Oprah fan driving these things, just like the Saturn! Wait, I drove an SL2 ten years ago! Oh, never mind!

I am so sad that Blink 182 has disbanded! What are we to do with one less band that has a number in their name? The trends are dying! I guess I was mostly surprised to find out that they had put out 10 albums – TEN! How could I have missed that? I must have blinked! OK, that was corny. Speaking of Korn, one of their members left the band! The guy got tired of playing dark music and found ol’ JC! He is down with G.O.D.! JC is in the house! Can I get a wut-wut? So if being in a death-metal band makes you find Christ, does this explain how people that are brought up in a religious heavy house go off the deep end? Can’t we all just find a happy medium? Ya know, go to church on weekends, and listen to Megadeth during the week!

After the NBA All-Star game took place here in Denver last week (a country-rapping midget on crutches at half time?), I started to wonder – what is Denver to me? I’ve lived here basically all my life, and I don’t listen to country music or ski. I know that makes some people think I should be deported, but you can enjoy mountains without having to ski on them. Do people around the country think we’re all about country music and snow? I don’t ride a horse or live on a ranch. The lil’ woman and I head to the mountains every now and then to shop or visit really cool little towns. Sometimes we go up to hike, bike, or camp, but that’s a pretty rare occasion. Seeing the mountains on a daily basis is absolutely beautiful! But my vision of Denver is really concrete right now, thanks to the 10-year T-Rex project that is expanding the interstate. Without weekly trips to the Pepsi Center for hockey games, my view is cement roads and other cars that refuse to get out of the fast lane even though they are not actually passing people. Hey, that’s illegal now! The beauty of driving in Denver at night is always being able to see the blue Qwest lights downtown. The altitude is irrelevant after you’ve been here a week or so, but the dry air can make anyone get nosebleeds. So I guess to me, Denver is a slow drive to work with mountains to my left and a bloody nose. Maybe people would rather hear the country-rapping midget on crutches…

Whitney Houston got sick on a plane in France this week due to food poisoning. Yeah, right! Actually, it was called gastroenteritis. Hey, my dog had that last week! I wonder if Whitney also didn’t chew up her treat properly! Either that, or my dog has a coke problem.

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! A blind man who allegedly bit his guide dog has been charged with animal cruelty. The guy bit and kicked his guide dog in the street in front of many witnesses – guess he didn’t see them. Hopefully this guy will never get assistance from anyone again. Sure it happened in Scotland, but if you see a blind guy trying to cross the street without a guide dog, you shouldn’t help him just in case. To me, this is appalling! This dog was trained from day one to assist blind people and this SOB kicked and bit it? It’s upsetting enough to see poorly behaved animals getting abused, but a trained dog? Anyone that has a pet needs to give it a little extra love this week.

More about not biting the hand that feeds you. A 4-year-old bull elephant impaled a zookeeper this week in Vienna. This is the same zookeeper that has cared for the elephant since birth! And you thought pit bulls would turn on you! This is a CSI episode waiting to happen! Then again, there’s really no mystery to the zookeeper’s death here.

At what age do people need to take a mandatory driving test? I’m not asking because I got stuck behind an old person on the road. I’m asking because an 86-year-old monk mistook a tube of superglue for eye drops. OK, what are these two items doing in the same drawer anyway? Doctors used acetone to dissolve the glue in one eye so far, with the same procedure scheduled for the other eye next week. I think we saw a cat at the vet ICU last week with the same problem, but my mother was nowhere to be found. (Uh, she hates cats, FYI.)

Need a new school president? An Ohio State University student has put school president Karen Holbrook on the online auction site ebay, saying that she will, “ruin the undergraduate experience.” OK, how? How much power can this girl really have? I can’t even tell you who my school president was when I was in college, let alone list their accomplishments and shortcomings – and I didn’t drink! I think this kid needs to get over it and try to, oh, I don’t know, concentrate on school! Then again, does anyone really go to OSU for an education? All I know is my niece is school president in her grade school and I’d never try to sell her on ebay. Unless my house is still on the market come June, then we may be desperate.

This may be hard to believe, but Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie have upset people with their total lack of respect for other human beings! The evil women drove a hearse, filled in a grave and held a mock funeral during an episode of the Simple Life last week. They also spilled what appeared to be human ashes onto a carpet, and then used a vacuum cleaner to clean them up. How can anyone think this is comical? The ashes were actually a mixture of cat litter and cement, but people who had family members buried at that funeral home were upset as the mock funeral took place in the same room where many paid their last respects to lost relatives. Respect. Can you spell respect Paris? No, it’s not a new fragrance by YSL. After seeing her huge head hanging in a store at the mall this weekend, I wondered aloud how this ugly person has gotten so famous! Yet here I am, fueling the fire about every week! She just makes me so sick I want her to go away – I can live without the paragraph every week. Actually, here it is – my word that I will NEVER mention her in a column again. Write it down in the calendar and circle it! I feel so cleansed! OK, maybe just once more – when her tragic death is reported.

Speaking of tragic deaths, why is it the only the good musicians die horribly and too young? A specific example would be the death of Stevie Ray Vaughan that happened when I was in college. He died just after going through rehab and cleaning himself up. He had a new album out, and things were going well for him. Then he was killed in a helicopter crash. Why is it always the great ones? How come we never get to turn on the news to hear that a bus carrying (insert annoying boy band here) went off a cliff and there were no survivors? Sorry, just a fantasy of mine.

OK, this is a scary trend here. John Bobbit must be getting chills. Last week a woman in England got upset at her ex for not giving in to her advances. She ripped out one of his boys with her bare hands, popped it in her mouth, and walked off. Now, another woman in Alaska got upset when her boyfriend said they should break up, and she cut the whole thing off and flushed it down a toilet. I thought Alaska was like 80% men? She’s got her pick! Or she at least HAD her pick. Now she’s the woman who cut it off – the lone woman in Alaska that will never find a date again! It was reattached, and I’m sure he’ll be doing adult films in no time.

Since there is no hockey, at least the NBA got a little interesting at the trade deadline. 35 players moved to new teams – that’s insane! The biggest winner has to be Philly who scored Chris Webber, Jamal Mashburn, and Rodney Rogers without giving up much. And what a great move by Denver! Wait, they didn’t do much! They got rid of Rodney White and the Russian Bust of 2003 and acquired a center, a guard and a number one pick. I guess that’s not a horrible deal, as Camby needs a back up, but there is still no shooting guard on this team that can, ya know, shoot. I do like the fact that Doug Moe is back on the bench as an assistant coach in Denver – and what an effort by Moe and Karl on Friday night! Too bad it meant Michael cooper had to be “assigned to another department inside the organization.” What the heck does that mean? Is he a dance squad coach now, or is he driving a bicycle taxi, or will he be scanning tickets at the door, or did they hide him in the back room of the retail store to do inventory? Talk about falling out of the spotlight – the guy was the head coach just a few weeks ago! And what about Moe’s health? The guy could fall over dead at any given fast break, and this team runs a lot!

And football got a little funky this week too! Drew Bledsoe has been reunited (and it feels so good) with Bill Parcells in Dallas. That should work! At least he’s under the age of 50! But the talk in Denver is about how badly Oakland will kick our butts now that they’ve acquired Randy Moss. Denver never even went after the guy, even though they need a 3rd receiver in a desperate way and the last thing they want is (another) game breaker on the Raiders. Did anyone watch that night game in the snow last season? Do you think the Raiders really need another weapon? This should open up their running game and make them a force in the AFC West this year. Plus, Denver is about to lose the only two defensive linemen that can put anything resembling pressure on the quarterback. Hang on, folks – this is going to be a tough year! The only thing we’ve got going this coming season is Tatum Bell. However, tell me the last time Denver did NOT have a huge running back? I don’t think losing badly to the Colts in the playoffs is going to be an issue this year. Granted Moss is kind of a distraction, and Oakland is where bad seeds go to die, but if you ever get a chance to go after one of the greatest athletes in the league, you gotta at least be competitive about it. Now Muhsin Muhammad is available from Carolina and Ty Law from New England. Get on it, Shanahan! But wait, he’s too late already! Why? Because Chicago already picked up Muhammad! Yeah, they’re the reincarnation of the ’83 Chargers all of a sudden. Quick, someone name the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears! I didn’t think so.

Since when did college basketball turn in to minor league hockey? Temple basketball coach John Chaney has been suspended for the remainder of the season for sending in a thug to injure the other team. I didn’t know basketball had goons! Apparently Chaney thought St. John’s was setting illegal screens the last time the two teams met. When they started doing it again, he pulled in a bench warmer to go knock the St. John’s players around. The kid fouled out in 4 minutes and broke a senior’s arm. Nice! At least he got to play! His parents must be so proud!

I will watch golf if the big names are going at it on a Sunday, as will many people that aren’t huge golf on TV fans. So, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for whoever was carrying the Match Play Championship this weekend. Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods AND Vijay Singh all crapped out on Friday, leaving a few no-names to battle it out on Sunday. I bet hockey would get better ratings!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Kaki King – Legs to Make Us Longer

You can compare her to maybe Michael Hedges meets Les Claypool and Adrian Legg. So, you have no idea who I’m talking about? OK, let me just say Kaki King is probably the most original and incredible instrumental guitarist I have come across in a long, long time. She can play really fun and funky stuff to slow and beautiful melodies. Not to mention that she can change her style from song to song. You’ll get hints of classical, Spanish, slide, and hard rock – all on this CD. That’s pretty impressive for a young girl with a ring in her lip.

Since I haven’t done a music review in a long time, I thought I’d go track by track. What better way to communicate Kaki King’s diversity? In fact, if you like what I’m describing here, I can’t even tell you where to find this CD. It could be under anything from rock to easy listening to new age to jazz. You can, however, hear samples on her website: www.kakiking.com.

Frame: A kind of slow, lightly strummed piece. Pretty, but a little bland. Nothing really exciting going on here. Ends with nice harmonics.

Playing With Pink Noise: This is where she starts getting funky. It starts out with a permutation of her left hand tapping on the low-end strings and the frame of the guitar for percussion. She strums a little and taps around with harmonics, then slides a chord around while tapping harmonics in odd places. Back to the funky banging on the body of the guitar with a few open strings hit singly for a little depth. I swear she sounds like two guitarists for a bit here. She moves on to some pretty fingerpicking, then back to the beginning, and an abrupt end. This is certainly one of the highlights of the CD.

Ingots: This is another song where Kaki may be using the guitar for percussion, but I think it’s a foot stomp. She slides chord around and picks, and some cymbals join to give this tune a slightly more rich quality. I certainly wouldn’t pass this song up when listening to this CD – it’s a great example of the complete control she has over the guitar, from subtle volume control to making her fingers jump around the fret board.

Doing the Wrong Thing: Kaki starts off very slowly on this song, similar to Frame. Then a jazzy little subtle beat comes in, and she’s all over the fret board, finger picking and jumping around like Bela Fleck. She again throws in some pretty harmonics before reverting back to the intro of the song, and then she goes back to the jazzy guitar accompanied by strings.

Solipsist: On this song, she’s showing off her strong fingers and ability to hammer-on and pull-off, making it sound like two guitars. This song has a strong Adrian Legg influence.

Neanderthal: Don’t let the title fool you; this is a very pretty song. Soft finger picking, followed with a slight increase in intensity with some hammer-ons and pull-offs, but then she goes back to the pretty stuff! A beautiful four minutes.

Can The Gwot Save Us?: I’m still trying to figure out if she’s using a slide bar. It could be that, or a fretless guitar. Either way, this slow tune has a slight country influence – even reminds me of Michael Lee Firkins, the best thing to come out of Omaha since Godfather’s Pizza. I just think there is too much going on for her to be simply using a slide bar, but you can tell how strong her fingers are on this song.

Lies: A little blues to start, with a 50’s jazz guitar feel. Maybe a hint of Al DiMeola? Then, she goes on a Crazy on You inro-esque picking fest. A slight dark bend is quickly rebounded with almost a giddy, happy surge. Ah, she’s just showing off now! She slows down for just a minute, but returns to the quick picking to end the song.

All the Landslides Birds Have Seen Since the Beginning of the World: This song title really explains what you will hear. It has a slow, pretty beginning with a dark feel, turning to quick chaotic and nervous picking. You can picture the birds scattering.

Magazine: This is my favorite song on the disc. It starts very slowly with a bit of a dark theme, but you need to hang with it for about a minute and a half. Everything kinda stops with harmonics and an odd bass line. Then she goes into a freaking frenzy of hammering-on and pulling-off. On to a really cool base line mixed with strumming, back to the frenzy. This is just damn cool – a great song to crank and sit back wondering how the hell she is pulling this off! She strums for a bit, moves it up an octave and stops. But she’s not done – we’re back in the frenzy and to a speedy end. I’m telling you, this tune will wear you out! Simply amazing!

My Insect Life: After Magazine, you need this slow and simple song to relax again. This is the only song on the CD with vocals, although they are faint and are simple words. But hang on for an Orient inspired hidden track that ends the CD.

Honestly, I feel very lucky to have discovered this CD. I was fortunate enough to catch the beginning of a Letterman rerun and heard him mention she was coming on the show. He described her music, so I set the DVR to record the rest of the show. 3 weeks later I finally watched in amazement as she performed Playing With Pink Noise – I instantly went out to find the CD. You will probably have to go to an independent store to find it. Believe me, it’s worth the search!

5 out of 5!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

PAFC Newsletter 2/20/05

What scares you? No, what REALLY scares you? How about the fact that there is going to be a Lindsay Lohan Barbie doll? Yeah, me too! So I guess any sub-par actress, sub-par singer, average looking girl with oversized natural (?) boobs can have the world handed to her on a platter before she can legally have an alcoholic beverage. Puh-lease! It’s not that I dislike her by any means – in fact, I loved Mean Girls (mostly because it was written by Tina Fey). However, this is what I would refer to as over the top. OK, WAY over the top! The only thing that could be positive about this would be if the doll had her exact dimensions – not skinny little legs like most Barbie dolls. Seriously, the girl isn’t too skinny (yet) and she has a little bit of meat on her. Maybe this won’t be so bad, because it’s probably healthier for young girls to idolize Lindsay Lohan than someone like, oh, Paris Hilton. But this is a silly idea. What’s next – a black man owning a professional football team?

Hey, Reggie Fowler just bought the Minnesota Vikings! And he’s black! So what? All I want to say is why must we keep drawing this line? Why does the color of his skin matter when he makes a business deal? Is it still 1940? I think this is great, but the more we see headlines about the “first black owner of an NFL team,” the more we are categorizing and trying to limit people. The real issue here isn’t the color of Reggie’s skin, it’s the fact that he just paid $625 (remember, million is always implied in purchasing prices of professional teams – and under the table Michael Jackson settlements) for the stinkin’ Minnesota Vikings! I mean, next to the Broncos, which other NFL team starts out fast only to fall on their face EVERY season? At least the Broncos already got their new stadium! Best of luck there, Reggie! What’s next – a pop-star serving a 5-year term for rape going on tour?

Mexican pop star Gloria Trevi, who was recently released from prison, will kick off her tour in her hometown of Monterrey next month. Trevi was cleared on rape and kidnapping charges after spending five years in Brazilian and Mexican prisons. Apparently she and her backup singers would lure young girls into their entourage and then sexually abuse them. And, as you might imagine, the US loves her! Mexico isn’t being very receptive to her new CD, but in this country she’s a hit! We love a celebrity with a troubled past, don’t we? What’s next – an old woman being charged for hitting police officers with her cane?

Really, how can a 79-year-old woman separate a man’s shoulder with a wooden cane? Two cops arrived at the woman’s home responding to a domestic violence call. When her caretaker, a 56-year-old man, argued with the officers as they tried to cuff him, the old woman started beating the officers with her cane causing them injuries including a mild concussion and a separated shoulder. What’s next – the first cancelled professional sports season in history?

Oh, NHL. I miss you SO! I am absolutely disgusted that it took until the day commissioner Gary Bettman called a press conference to cancel the season for the players to accept a salary cap. Now the two sides are only $6 apart! And how can you have a 28 game season? What would that prove? Last week I said I couldn’t wait for them to actually try to get money from me for NEXT season, as it doesn’t exist yet. Now, I think they owe the fans lower ticket prices. I’m not holding my breath! After spending $1100 on a sick dog this week, I could use the dough! But I can’t believe this sport is not more popular as it is my favorite. And I also can’t believe that the NHL is going down in history as the first league to ever cancel an entire season. What’s next – some idiot kid not taking responsibility for his actions when he murdered his grandparents?

A 15-year-old kid claimed that the antidepressant Zoloft drove him to burn down his grandparent’s house. Well, the jury didn’t buy it either and the kid is going to jail for 30 years. I get really tired of people blaming their horrible actions on society and peer pressure – ANYTHING but taking responsibility for what they have done. Even with the dumbest little things, people will point fingers. Stop already! What’s next – a 34-year-old former teen pop-star posing for Playboy?

Hey, Debbie Gibson – nobody cares! I thought she went all religious, or was that Tiffany? Anyway, why would anyone want to see Debbie Gibson in Playboy? She wasn’t even cute when she was17! Someone obviously didn’t manage their millions very well. Why else would she be doing this? Do you think Playboy pursued her, or she pursued Playboy? I can’t imagine Hugh has Debbie Gibson on his “A” list. Or “B,” “C,” “D” or “E” even! What’s next – a pro athlete NOT getting special treatment?

Sorry, Ricky Williams, looks like you’ll have to pay back that bonus after all! Williams “retired” at the beginning of the last NFL season. He was still under contract and received a HUGE bonus. Now, he will have to pay back $8.6 of that bonus. He didn’t think he should, for some reason, but he lost the argument. Yep, he’s the one that quit for pot! What’s next – country music at the NBA All-Star half-time show?

Are you kidding me? Do people really think Denver is still such a hick town that we need country music at an NBA All-Star game because it takes place in Colorado? With the big game in town, I decided to head over to the Cherry Creek Mall on Saturday. Why? Because some dorky anchor man on TV suggested some of the celebrities in town would be there, “getting their bling for the parties (that) evening.” First of all, anchor men should never say the word bling! Secondly, after talking to my wife, we were wondering what store in CC would actually carry any huge, diamond encrusted dollar signs. Believe it or not, Hyde Park had a $56,000 chain holding a God-knows-how-much diamond cross, and they were blaring hip-hop music. Just like always! Do you smell that? That’s sarcasm! Apparently, 98% of Aurora saw the same telecast I did because the parking lot was flooded with Dodge Neon’s. There were more people yelling into their cell phones, wearing baggy pants, and not a straight baseball cap in sight. But there was not a celebrity to be found. However, it didn’t stop some of the rich white girls from pointing at every tall black man in a sweat suit that walked by. What’s next – a Nugget winning a skills competition?

It wasn’t going to happen this year as Voshon Leonard couldn’t keep his crown as the 3-point king – possibly because he’s rehabbing a torn Achilles. I’m not sure I like the rising star shootout thingy! It’s kind of neat to have a current player, an old-timer, and a WNBA-er from the same city, but I wasn’t sure what the point was. The again, you can’t argue with seeing Alex English on the court again. The skills competition is just dumb – dribbling around and passing and shooting. That’s got to be the lamest competition there. And when do you get 15 attempts in the dunk contest? I thought if you missed you were gone? Chris Andersen was absolutely painful to watch as his assistant couldn’t give him the perfect bounce pass over and over and over and over and over and over… But it was all worth it just to hear Kelly Clarkson squealing before the competition started. Didn’t she win a singing contest once? And what were the Goo Goo Dolls doing there? I seriously was expecting Nelly, 50 Cent, Destiny’s Child – anyone that has a little ethnicity for the fans of this sport. What’s next – a healthy female in the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue?

Don’t count on it! After seeing the women in the competition to be in this magazine, I was saddened – they are all so thin with no definition to their body! Again, they look like a bunch of 10-year old boys in bikinis! If I wanted to see 10-year-old boys in bikinis I’d…Uh, I don’t think I like where this sentence is going, so insert your own Neverland Ranch/Michael Jackson joke here!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

American Dad - FOX, ???

So is this show ever coming back? They tout it for weeks, show one episode after the Super Bowl, and then rerun the pilot on Cartoon Network forever! WTH?

It wasn't very good anyway. It's pretty much Family Guy with different drawings. If I wanted to see Family Guy, I'd watch Family Guy!

Here's the worst part - rumor has it that this piece of garbage will replace Arrested Development in March. Arrested Development is the best sitcom on TV!

Needless to say, I wasn't impressed with this show.

2 out of 5 - and with new episodes of Family Guy coming, don't bother bringing American Dad back!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Point Pleasant – FOX, Thursdays

Need something fun to watch when CSI is a rerun? Well here it is! Call it the OC meets the Omen (it is New Jersey after all), or Beelzebub of Arcadia. Whatever! This is what happens in a small ocean town when the daughter to the devil shows up. Bwa-ha-ha!

Meet Christina (Elisabeth Harnois), a twenty-something gen Y-er that washed up in Point Pleasant and was saved by a lifeguard. She is taken in by the Kramer family, and starts on a journey to find out about her Point Pleasant native mother that she never knew.

Suddenly, weird things start happening in this sleepy little town. The townsfolk no longer repress their deepest and darkest thoughts. Dogs and cats are living together! Weird stuff is happening, man – WEIRD STUFF!

Why is this happening? As Christina learns more about her mother, she also realizes that her dad ain’t really her dad. She could be the offspring of Lucifer! OK, so I’ll just say she is. But darn it if she wants to be! She’s really just a nice, innocent girl who can, when she gets a little upset, make people do things for her. Dogs are floating, people are chasing others around with axes, you know – repressed feelings are starting to show! But Christina suddenly has second thoughts about her evil ways and fights to be good. She stops the bad things right before they happen because she feels guilty. Will she ever just cave and let the devil consume her? Probably, but for now it’s interesting to watch her fight it off.

I like it – a lot! Sure it’s similar to Joan of Arcadia, but the devil is more intriguing than God sometimes. The show is dark and creepy and fun to watch – give it a go!

4 out of 5!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Numb3rs – CBS Fridays (UPDATED 2/13/05)

I just wanted to say that this has no replaced Medical Investigation on our TiVo. The show isn't nearly as formulatic as I expected. In fact, the writers seem to go out of their way to have it flow completely differently every week. Morrow is getting better, and Hirsch's character is cracking me up! I hardly miss Sassy!

There’s a lot to talk about, and I’m going to double-whammy you with comments from PAFC member, Bill Purdy. First, let me start with the cast:

Rob Morrow as Ron Eppes (Northern Exposure, Quiz Show) – an FBI Special Agent (no, he doesn’t ride the short bus) who is put on the most difficult cases and has absolutely NO personality whatsoever in this show.
.
David Krumholtz as Charlie Eppes (Slums of Beverly Hills, 10 Things I Hate About You, Addams Family Values) – a professor of mathematics who uses numb3rs to help his brother solve crimes (uh, the guy listed above).

Judd Hirsch as Alan Eppes (Taxi, Independence Day) – he is dad to Ron and Charlie and known as the peacekeeper. He always has to poke that huge nose of his in EVERYTHING!

Peter MacNichol as Dr. Larry Fleinhardt (Ally McBeal, Ghostbusters II, Dragonslayer, Addams Family Values) – he is Charlie’s colleague and friend. Somehow, he is considered socially awkward. I know – a math brain that is socially awkward – go figure!

The name alone reminds Mr. Purdy of the old game show Bumper Stumpers, which ironically reminded me that I want a license plate that says “44BERG” if we ever play hockey again. Purdy also has deemed the show CS-Pi. Get it, its math plus CSI? HAHA! Anyway…

Here are some of the problems with the show. Ron is way boring – no character, no humor, just dull. Charlie is a little more interesting, and Alan kinda lurks around in the kitchen when the brothers discuss things. I can see a formula for this show (pun FULLY intended): Ron will have trouble with a case; Charlie will explain it can be solved with math, Ron replies with, “You can do that?” Half way through the show, there will be a problem with the equation because Charlie forgot something (like a math brain would forget something); Ron gets in trouble with his boss; Alan brings the boys back together and hints to them how to fix the equation; case is solved. Why do I say this? Because that’s how the pilot was, and that’s how the synopsis for Friday reads.

Don’t get me wrong – I kinda liked the show! Honestly. The pilot was about a serial rapist and it could have been a decent movie plot. It was a pretty exciting show to watch. However, if they stick to the same formula, it might get a little redundant. It resembles many shows like House (FOX Tuesdays) and Medical Investigation (ABC Fridays) where they seem like they have the case solved, but the show is only half over so you know they are wrong. Then they have to start digging again, but you can tell by your watch when they will find the right answer.

Off the subject a little, House really disappointed me this week. I love his character, but they blatantly ripped off an exact plot from Medical Investigation two months ago: Kids convulsing due to some kind of insecticide poisoning from wearing an unwashed new pair of jeans purchased from the back of a truck. That was a little disappointing for me.

I’ll certainly give Numb3rs another shot, assuming Medical Investigation is a repeat. I really liked CS-Pi and it has a ton of potential. Can they live up to it? Or would I rather watch a pseudo albino hang up on his coworkers without saying goodbye? Hey, everything is numb3rs!

3.5 out of 5, currently.

PAFC Newsletter 2/13/05

Dear faithful readers – I hate to do this to you, but this will be a short column this week. Why? Well, there are a few reasons:

1) I’ve been sick all week. Granted this doesn’t mean I’ve been doing nothing, but I have been going to bed early and I did have to work all week as I was covering for a co-worker who was on vacation. Therefore, I couldn’t miss any work or sleep in or stay up late writing. How sick was I? Let’s just say I’ll put detail in the last paragraph and warn you before you read it!
2) Last week at work was hell! Ya hear me, Lewis? HELL!!! I was hammered with work from my director and VP as well as covering for someone on vacation. By the time I got home, I was dead tired.
3) What happened this last week anyway? Seriously?

I had every intention of reviewing the Super Bowl I recorded last week and putting together an entire blog about it. Then I realized something – there wasn’t much to talk about! Terrel Owens was mighty impressive – I’ll give him that. I was beyond shocked that he had over 100 yards after breaking his ankle 6 weeks prior. The Eagles pretty much showed they were in no hurry to score when they were down by 10 with 6 minutes left. Andy Reid will just have to live with that decision for the rest of his life. I mean, how do you NOT try to get in the end zone before the two minute warning so you can use it as an extra time out to stop the other team? And as far as the commercials, I really only liked the Ameriquest one with the cat and the spaghetti sauce. I’m pretty sure that was the only time my mother showed any emotion during the game, and believe me, she was cheering!

It’s always sad when a band sells out unexpectedly. I honestly cringe when Swifer uses “Whip It” by Devo to sell a cleaning product. And now, since there are no hockey power plays this year, C+C Music Factory has sold the rights to “I’ve Got The Power” to a diaper company! So, instead of thinking of Peter Forsberg threading a sweet centering pass to Joe Sakic whenever I hear this song, now I’ll think of a kid going through potty training. Ugh!

Speaking of the stinkin NHL – WTF? Call the season already – quit with the fake optimism and meetings! Oh, and gimme my money back! I can’t wait for them to ask me for money for tickets next season – THERE IS NO NEXT SEASON! I am deeply saddened by the lack of hockey, but I can certainly use the dough. If you know me, you know that my wife and I share about 30 hockey jerseys and a license plate that says AVSFANS. Money well spent! Think any of this would sell on ebay?

Speaking of my lovely wife, I have to commend her on two things. First, she has been named president of her ultra secret women’s group that raises money for women to go to school and slaughter an occasional woodland creature. Anytime she needs to call someone, I make the call; get the person on the phone and say, “please hold for the president.” Does this make me the first man? What are my duties? Can I do illegal land deals now and get away with it? Fortunately, she does not have any interns. Second, she told her alma mater where to go last week. We knew it was just a matter of time before CU called her asking for money. She proudly told them that she will not give them a dime until they solve the Ward Churchill issue and fire the commie bastard! YAY for my wifey! And happy Valentine’s Day you sweet little girl!

OK, I promise to update the blog this week – I swear! I will keep you all posted when I can get some new stuff up there.

Wow! Bill just forwarded a new William Shatner song to me and it scares me. Bill owns about 5000 CD’s, and this is a sick, sick habit. Please, I beg, stop before someone gets hurt!

Now, here’s your warning. This is disgusting – due to some graphical description, reader’s discretion is advised.

I was so sick this week.

How sick were you?

I was so sick, that when I blew my nose, I could feel a sting in my left eye. I looked in the mirror to find mucus squirting from a tear duct into my eyeball. I swear to God! This is far and away the most disgusting thing my body has ever done. Even more disgusting than pulling a tree trunk cluster of whiskers from one pore filled with goo out of my chin.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

PAFC Newsletter 2/6/05

Let’s start with some props to a PAFC member: Sam Anderson. Ol’ Sam is now a published author! He has written a short story that was published in a collection of horror stories called Death Grip: It Came from the Cinema. If you are a fan of horror stories, support Sam (he actually gets royalties) by going to www.hellboundbooks.com and buying a copy. I’ve read Sam’s story and I have to say it is very good – must be the editor. OK, I’m poking fun at Sam here. It is a good story and the best I’ve read in the book so far. Granted it’s the only story I’ve read, but I enjoyed it. Go buy it – NOW!

How fun is this? A friend of mine at work is pregnant and she just found out it’s a boy! So, in her honor, I’ve compiled a new top 11 list!

Top 11 Rejected Names for Michelle Fox-Lucas’ Baby Boy!

11) Lucas
10) Jamie
9) The NFL On
8) Red
7) Vivica A.
6) George
5) Rupert
4) Michael J.
3) Huckleberry
2) Zorro
1) Merle

If you know me, you know I love Saturday Night Live. I record it every week in case we actually do something social that keeps us out past 10:30 on a Saturday. However, I don’t know if I can watch it this week. It was bad enough that Lorne Michaels billed Ashlee Simpson to perform, but now he has Paris Hilton hosting! How on earth does he think this no talent stupid bimbo can actually participate in sketches? Hell, I could carry a show better then she can! Is there honestly nobody better out there? This girl’s 15 minutes are way overdue – she can go away now. I can only hope and pray that her stupid reality show starts to fail miserable – that American finally decides what a pig she really is – that we no longer have to see her disgusting face. But NO, Americans keep her in the top 20 in the Neilson Ratings. We truly are a sad country.

Speaking of us being a sad country, I really want to hear people’s thoughts on Ward Churchill. In case you are not sure who he is, he’s the Colorado University professor who is presenting his essay about 9/11 called “Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens.” I have seen snippets from this essay, but have not read the whole thing. In my opinion, he’s allowed to say what he wants – this is a free speech country. However, he should be prepared for the backlash if he’s going to compare the people killed in the World Trade Center to Nazis. Guess what, Ward; you’re going to tick people off when you write that! As far as you being allowed to teach in a state university and be paid by the general public’s tax dollars, don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that everything will work out fine. You’ve upset many people, and it looks like they are pushing back on you. Are you ready? His car has already been vandalized and it’s just a matter of time before someone does something stupid to him.

Am I the only one nervous about the NBA All-Star game coming to Denver? I don’t recall warnings of gang violence when the NHL (who?) had their All-Star game here. So, what sized generator and how much bottled water should we be storing? Do I need to board up the windows? Should we start a pool on what famous rapper will be shot? Do we need to nervously tell jokes like, “I went to a gang fight and the NBA All-Star game broke out?” Should I even THINK about going downtown? I bought extra-baggy jeans and a bucket-cap (that I wear cocked to the side) just in case I feel like going out. I mean, how many Hummer stretch limos can Denver hold?

Speaking of basketball, good for Rudy T. for retiring. I don’t think it’s as much his health as it is Kobe’s ego. If Phil Jackson AND Rudy T. can’t get through to this know-it-all brat, then the inmates are running the asylum in LA. Nobody can coach this team, and their demise is coming sooner than later. At least George Karl has the respect of the Nuggets so far. They have looked good, winning their first 4/5 and only losing by 3 in Portland under Karl. I’m thinking it’s a good move, but I’m not ready to talk playoffs yet. We’ll see if he can keep their chins up…

Watch out – baseball comments coming! I have to give kudos to the Big Unit for donating $400K to tsunami relief after he signed a big contract with the Yankees. What? You didn’t hear about it? Maybe because it was GOOD news – the media HATES that stuff! As far as Sosa is concerned, who cares? The guy will be suspended for steroids for half of the season so he will make no impact. OK, enough about an out of season sport.

How about some hockey? Anyone? SOMEONE? PLEASE???

Here’s the stupid lawsuit of the week: Yogi Berra vs. TBS. It seems TBS has been running ads for Sex and the City that feature a joke about what a “yogasm” is. One of the possible answers was “sex with Yogi Berra,” which he feels could taint his image. First off, I don’t think the target audience for Sex and the City has a clue who Yogi Berra is. Secondly, the guy should be flattered for even being mentioned on the show! When I first saw this article, I had the same thought about 98% of people that even know who Yogi Berra is had, “is he still alive?” Any press is good press – just ask Ashlee Simpson!

But wait, here’s another stupid lawsuit – in Colorado no less! Two teenage girls decided to bake cookies one night and deliver them to their neighbor – just as a nice gesture. They went next door and rang the doorbell at about 10:30 PM. The woman of the house got so freaked out that she had a panic attack and ended up in the hospital the next day! Then, she sued the girls for medical bills and pain and suffering! Is this really what we’ve come to? The girls apologized many times and their parents offered to pay the medical bills, but the woman went through with the lawsuit. And won! Sort of. She won her medical bills. Ah, taxpayers money at work!

Remember how last week I said I was getting new links for odd news stories? How about this: Woman Gives Birth to 14-Pound Baby! OK, you can get up now – it was a Caesarean.

Rent a Drug Sniffing Dog! A couple in Toronto bought a $16,000 German Shepherd with the ability to sniff out drugs. They will rent the dog to concerned parents for about $15 to search their homes and kids clothing. Is it just me, or do you think there are quite a few parents that would never, ever rent this dog? “OK, Boy – go into Billy’s room. Go on. No, not our room – Billy’s room. GO! No, stop, this way…”

There is word that the man who shot Pope John Paul is wishing him a speedy recovery. I’m sure the Pope is hoping for the same since there are clowns in his hospital room trying to cheer him up. Talk about testing someone’s faith! The poor pope is probably praying for death by now! Just what an 84-year-old ailing man needs – creepy clowns jumping around in his hospital room. What happened to the break dancers that visited him at the Vatican? If we really wanted to cheer him up, we should have some Hooters girls deliver him hot wings!

OK, I admit it – I watched SNL. The cast carried Paris, and she wasn’t awful. She wasn’t great by any means. However, it’s really strange to see that even great actors struggle on live TV – it happens to some of the best of them. De Niro has always been uncomfortable to watch on SNL. Paris held her own, and her dog (for a few sketches), but the rest of the cast really carried the show. Still, can’t Michaels find someone better to host?

Thursday, February 03, 2005

In Good Company

I know this film has been out for a while, but we just got around to seeing it and I thought I’d throw together a quick look at it.

Dennis Quaid plays Dan Foreman, a middle-aged ad executive for a popular sports magazine. When a large company named GlobeCom gobbles the magazine up, suddenly Dan’s new boss is a twenty-something go-getter named Carter Duryea (Topher Grace) promoted from within GlobeCom. Carter’s goal is to increase ad pages, and he suddenly realizes this can be done through cross advertising with other GlobeCom sister companies. Wow, he’s a genius! However, things don’t go the way Carter anticipated and he begins laying people off. Ah, the new corporate America – ya gotta love it!

Carter’s wife leaves him (for some reason that was never really explained) and he ends up lonely and inviting himself over to Dan’s for dinner. Enter, Alex (Scarlett Johansson), Dan’s 18-year-old daughter who is on her way to NYU. Well, as you can imagine, sparks are flyin! Carter and Alex start seeing each other, much to Dan’s chagrin. How will it end? Will Alex and Carter stay together? And what about the magazine? Will there continue to be layoffs? Dan gives the CEO of GlobeCom a piece of his mind, leading to a somewhat surprising switch-a-roo! And I’m done telling you anything else!

OK, I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it. Topher Grace is a solid, easy-to-like guy. His character is similar in personality to Eric on That 70’s Show, which isn’t a bad thing. He seems to be cold and calculating at first, like most young guns at large companies, but he does have a heart and Grace plays the part well. You feel his pain when his wife leaves him, and he has to fire people when things start going downhill at the magazine. No matter how excited he was to move up at the beginning of the film, you really like him and start to feel sorry for him.

Quaid is excellent, fighting with his emotions of letting his daughter go off to live in the city alone and him not being able to protect her anymore. You can really feel the bond they have. But Johansson was not great. She sounds like she’s auditioning for the next Wes Anderson film, showing no emotion really and sounding like she’s got a bad head cold throughout the entire film. In fact, my wife did a great impression of Johansson all of last week, but not by choice unfortunately. I felt like Scarlett kinda mailed this one in. And there wasn’t nearly enough of Marg Helgenberger (Dan’s wife, Ann) for me! I really like her on CSI, and she was just along for the ride in this film.

I’d have to say 3.8 out of 5 – I guess I expected just a tad more from it.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Pat Angello - sorry!