Saturday, April 1, 2006

THE NUMBERS GAME: The dumbest move in Survivor history remains Colby handing Tina the $1,000,000 by not taking Keith into the finals of season two, but Terry's move this week is a close second. (Okay, maybe third, depending on your read on Lex's trusting Rahb and saving Amber in All-Stars.)

Situation: you're down 6-4 coming into the merge. You've first screwed this up by not offering anyone in the other tribe a better deal than what they've already got. But you do have the hidden immunity idol, which you can wield at Tribal Council to eliminate someone from the other tribe and make it a 5-4 (with Bruce sway-able) -- but that's only if you can first lure the other group int voting for you. He's clearly the alpha male target, so that's not a problem. What is? Dumbass macho boy from Simsbury up and wins immunity -- the only thing that could've screwed up the plan. Result: his idol remains in the holster and that one of his few allies is eliminated.

So now he's down 6-3, and Miss Alli is right -- without an interesting narrator like Rahb or Fireman Tom, this game can be really boring when played correctly. And Shane's just not that interesting. He's loathsome, and not in a fun way.

Anyone else watching this season?
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH: A thoughtful reader from the deviate / hell-bound / socially permissive left wing of our audience emailed me this afternoon in response to my post below on the synergies that might be obtained by leveraging the obvious – to right-thinking (no pun intended) big-tent conservatives – nexus between traditional family values and developing corporate rights. In the interest of demonstrating a commitment to discourse over ideology, and confident that the balance of our readership is righteous beyond such temptations, I am happy to reprint his communication in full:

Mr. Throckmorton-

Read with interested your missive of this date w/r/t corporate adoption and write to inquire about your impression of the possible applications of means-testing to social relations generally.

Assume your application vis the proposal for direct corporate investment in families/children would proceed on the basis of $X / year necessary per child (ratably reduced for kids 2, 3, 4 to account for sunk-costs, of course) and that compulsory acceptance of funds would apply only to families found Y% short of responsible income levels for offspring they’ve accrued. Brilliant! Keeps investigative costs to a minimum. Can simply have the IRS determine eligibility annually on a gross-adjusted income basis.

But what is suggested hereby is a much broader opportunity not only to leverage corporate finance principles to the end of social welfare, but to expand significantly and responsibly our cherished personal freedoms.

Recent years have seen considerable kerfuffle about the institution of marriage and non-traditional configurations thereof clamoring for official legal recognition therein. If you put aside, for the moment, what I assume to be your position on such subjects, and recognize with me that the State’s essential interest in the institution has to do with the consequences of privileging at law the promise of two people to take care of one another, you will see that gender drops quite out of the picture.

Furthermore, under a means-tested regime, the admittedly tedious (even, at times, for the most conservative) adherence to monogamous pairings could also be easily discarded.

Simply put, the promise of one individual to take care of another is not to be taken lightly. (As the basis of your argument seems to concede.) The promise of an individual to take care of more than one other, is incrementally less plausible. But modern economic modeling (as you must admit your proposal to suggest) allows us to determine how much less plausible to a statistically significant degree of certainty. It is, in short, (as you suggest) bankable.

Why not accordingly afford the privileges of the marital estate to all such polymorphous polygamous combinations as, on a statistical basis, demonstrate the capacity to vouchsafe each others’ well-being on a going-forward basis?

Very truly etc,

Branford Tamilson,
Vancouver, BC
FEDERALISM IS DEAD: If there's one thing in which the authors of this blog have believed steadfastly since the start, it's the sovereign right of states to exist as laboratories of democracy, experimenting as to the best ways to organize society.

Well, that vision dies a little bit more tonight, as the Hoosier State, having already failed in its efforts to alter the ratio between a circle's circumference and diameter, tonight will abandon the concept of 2:30am on the first Sunday of April, mindlessly conforming with most other states in acceding to Benjamin Franklin's risky daylight savings scheme.

Warning to Newfies: they're going to take away your half-hour if you're not vigilant.
ALREADY WORKS IN NEW JERSEY: All this discussion of Norman Minetta and the problems with the U.S. Department of Transportation has led me to a single inescapable conclusion--it's time for the U.S. government to get out of the highway business. That's right, it's time to privatize the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. Obviously, this proposal is less than wholly selfless. As a Manhattanite, I rarely, if ever, make use of the interstate system, yet I am forced to pay the same tax burden to pay for a system I rarely, if ever, make use of. This strikes me as fundamentally unfair, especially given the fact that I pay for my local streets and mass transit through local taxes. There should be no reason I have to pay for maintenance and upkeep of roads that I do not use. Instead, it's time we turned these roads over to private maintenance, and, where necessary, toll collection.
PUTTING SOME BLACKTOP BETWEEN ALEX AND ME: I know I'm supposed to keep disagreement to the comments, but I think it's worth a full post to point out that Alex's screed against Norm Mineta is a complete load of crap. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Alex is on the attack again against the only moderate (and the only Democrat) left in Bush's cabinet, but this is just another typical example of the anti-California conspiracy between this administration, its arch-conservative supporters, and the Italian Communists ("what's yours is mine; what's mine is mine") in the midwest. Yes, Californians, other than oddball pockets in places like Laguna Beach and Shasta, have consistently voted Democrat since Pete Wilson's ill-advised War on Brown People. We also pay more taxes than any other state and receive, in return and in contravention of Section 9, Clause 4 of the Constitution, the smallest per-capita governmental benefit of any state. The fact is that Norm Mineta is the only thing standing in the way of reducing the return on California's tax investment to a subsidy for the production of a little pro-torture polemic called 24 and as much spent fuel rods as we can bury above the Stanislaus Aquifer. So, basically, leave my quiet Asian moderate bureaucrat off your hit list.
MINETA MUST GO, REASON NO. 132: I know some of you may be getting sick of my constant harangues against Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, but the man's continued incompetence in mishandling this nation's once great and mighty transportation empire just gets my blood aboilin'. The latest bugaboo from Mineta's desk involves the state of Tennessee receiving a $2 million federal transportation grant to resurface State Route 385 from Collierville to Interstate 40 in Shelby and Fayette Counties. Excuse me? As someone who has traveled State Route 385 from Collierville to Interstate 40 in Shelby and Fayette Counties perhaps a dozen times in the last year, I can tell you firsthand that road is more pockmarked than Edward James Olmos. Yet, in his infinite wisdom Mineta has only earmarked $2 million for the job. I've spoken to many of my contacts on the state and county level and they tell me the job will cost no less than $3 million. This is just another case of the Bush administration trying to get by on the cheap, a decision I am sure that will come back to haunt the GOP in 2008.
TRADITIONAL AMERICAN CORPORATE FAMILY VALUES: I’m often asked what it is that binds market conservatives and social conservatives into a coherent political whole. How, folks on the left wonder, does the moral agenda of the religious right consistently cleave so effortlessly and completely to the fiscal agenda of organized post-industrial capital? Unaided, these endlessly inquiring minds quickly resort to prattling about cognitive dissonance, “double-think” and vast right-wing conspiracies; but, as I shall attempt to explain below, the real answer could not be simpler.

Conservatives – fiscal and social alike – have always known that America’s strength lies in its commitment to core values: family, industry, moral health and free markets. Active exercise of these values works a kind of alchemy in our great land, constantly presenting unique opportunities for principled individuals to achieve limitless empowerment through cultivation and application of their skills and moral qualities on the increasingly level (if endlessly complex) playing-field of modern market capitalism. Once that is understood, answers to lingering social ills become apparent in innovative applications of our already successful values system. Failing schools, single parenthood, child poverty and juvenile crime will all be ameliorated incrementally as we intensify – and further integrate! – our nation’s parallel commitments to family values and corporate rights.

For example, by means-testing family expansion and encouraging corporate sponsorship of promising individuals or family combinations, we can place strong incentives for moral responsibility and simultaneously bring the dynamism of the market directly to bear on the future of America: our children. Raising children properly is expensive for a family. Raising them improperly is expensive for society as a whole. When individual American families are permitted or compelled to turn to America’s corporate family for such financial assistance they may need to raise their children responsibly, everyone involved will benefit (provided that the arrangement is structured to provide adequate assurance of a reasonable return on investment and adequate recourse in the event of default).

Corporate adoption – whether implemented outright (as a recognition of full guardianship following properly instituted parental termination proceedings), or through support and sponsorship mechanisms that allow children to remain in their biological homes (repayable grants or debentures issued for child-rearing expenses, for example, or a discounted securitization of future wages to offset the cost of programs and benefits provided to indigent youth) – shows great promise for providing much-needed social resources as well as increased oversight on how those resources are expended.

I hope, in the days and weeks to come, to provide more insight into the promise that a corporate adoption regime offers for the increasingly bright future of this great nation, and trust that you will all join me in a spirited debate on the most promising aspects of such a system, as well as its potential pitfalls.
A PROPER RESPONSE: In life, fools dare to dream about perfect solutions. So maybe Sen. Jon Kyl is one. In achieving the Tohono O’odham Settlement Agreement, Sen. Kyl has at last resolved the water rights claims of the San Xavier and Schuk Toak Districts of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Such resolution over these thorny riparian issues will allow mining companies, farmers, and irrigation districts can continue to receive water without fear that they will be stopped by needless litigation.

Those of us who've been following the issue since the 2003 hearings recognize that the Southern Arizona Water Rights Settlement Act of 1982 had yet to be fully implemented; now, thankfully, these matters are resolved for both them and the people of Tucson. It's a lot better solution than rescinding the Gadsden Purchase and starting from scratch, I hope.
A VISION OF LOVE PLUS A VISION OF WHAT THE WORLD COULD BE: In the current issue of The New Yorker is a gushing summary of the career of Mariah Carey written by Sasha Frere-Jones. The article gave me a new appreciation for Carey, whom many of us are too quick to dismiss. Frere-Jones makes some astute points about Carey's sophisticated use of melisma, "the act of taking one syllable of a lyric and stretching it over several notes."

What impressed me most were the depth and breadth of Mariah Carey's observations about how we might be able to use tax policy to combat poverty. Our world would clearly be a better place if more members of Congress possessed her wisdom in that regard.

Friday, March 31, 2006

MMMM....FEATURE FILM RESIDUALS: Well, in a somewhat bizarre choice, Fox has apparently chosen Ice Age: The Meltdown as a vehicle for the announcement of a long-awaited movie. Interestingly, while advertising that a movie will feature a trailer for another movie has become increasingly common, with Star Wars and Lord of The Rings both making "our trailer is attached to this movie!" advertising pitches, but Fox has surprisingly dropped this trailer with no hype. So, does this make you any more likely to go see the movie to which the trailer is attached? Do you think the movie in question is a good idea? Discuss.
THE PEOPLE ARE REPRESENTED IN TWO SEPARATE, BUT EQUALLY IMPORTANT TIMESLOTS: Realizing that not even venerable workhouse Law & Order can make a dent in American Idol and Lost (and that newbie Heist was getting crushed by CSI: Gary Sinese is Really, Really, Intense), original recipe L&O will return to Wednesdays at 10 starting next week. More frighteningly, NBC will devote at least 4 hours of its primetime schedule next week to Deal or No Deal, including a 2-hour Monday night edition. Does America love Howie Mandel that much?
PERHAPS BECAUSE IT FEATURES JENNA FISCHER: It's a pretty uninspiring week for movie releases (personally, I'm planning on catching up and getting around to Inside Man this evening), but is anyone else shocked that the best reviewed of this weekend's new wide releases is a flick about alien slugs making people into zombies?
A DETOUR IS A CHOICE BETWEEN TWO TIMESLOTS, EACH WITH ITS OWN PROS AND CONS: In the face of disappointing ratings, The Amazing Race is moving to Wednesdays at 8pm, effective immediately. Right up against Tyra.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

IF YOU DON'T ENTER, THERE'S NO CHANCE THE NOW-AVAILABLE ANNA BENSON WILL BE INTERESTED IN YOU: There's already five entrants in our free NL-only rotisserie league, so please join us using the information in this link.
BUT WHAT IF I'M HUNGRY? NO COOKIE: One might have taken issue with The Office over the last few episodes for making the Michael Scott character a bit too sympathetic, straying too much from the British version.

Well, that was certainly not a problem this week. I need to rewatch the episode, basically now, to catch all the details, but this was cringeworthy/good. "That was the saddest funeral ever. That and my sister's." Pam/Jim and Dwight/Angela. The More You Know. Wow.
IT WAS NEVER GOING TO WORK WITHOUT BRINGING BACK WAYNE KNIGHT: It has been a long time since I've put together a post which just compiled negative movie reviews.

Well, it's also been a long time since the original Basic Instinct, a comedy I greatly enjoy, and sometimes you have to shoot the fish in the barrel, because there's just so many fish:

Guardian UK: It is difficult to convey just how uproariously awful this movie is, all of the time. The original's complications had their own messy allure: this one is just muddled and silly. Sharon is haughtily jaded; there is nothing in the script to release her natural fizz; where once there was danger and mischief, there is now only a kind of dyspepsia, and the script by Leora Barish and Henry Bean gives no perspective on what Catherine might be like as an older woman.

Arizona Republic: [T]he entire film is hollow. It also commits the grave sin of psychological thrillers: heavy on psychology, light on thrills. Basic Instinct had a twisting plot that kept viewers guessing. The only thing you'll be guessing about here is why you spent $9 to see this. Even the sex scenes, obviously designed to shock, are merely gratuitous nods to the original. Nothing in Basic Instinct 2 works, unless you're seeing Stone with her clothes off. Trust your basic instinct and avoid the worst sequel since Staying Alive.

LA Times: With "Basic Instinct 2," the "Basic Instinct" franchise (who saw it coming?) enters its unhinged rococo phase. Set in a carefully curated London, abstracted and glamorized to a fare-thee-well, the new movie makes the original Verhoeven-Eszterhas collaboration look positively Hellenic. It's just that fancy. Every surface is buffed, shiny, unbelievably expensive — including Sharon Stone herself, who, should the situation arise, could double as her own limited edition action figure. . . . Watching Stone slink along with a diabolical smirk frozen on her face, trailing bodies and clich├ęs, is not, however, without its pleasures. What we may very well be looking at here is another "Showgirls," a drag camp-fest for the "Baby Jane" crowd, fabulous fodder for future cabaret acts, and a pleasure probably best enjoyed in a crowd — preferably a vocal one. Dead serious and stone idiotic, the only basic instinct in evidence here is desperation.

San Jose Mercury News: Her new playmate is a perpetual "duh'" short of being Michael Douglas, star of the original picture and an actor whose sexual charge is sorely missed here. Caught in Tramell's web, Glass' fly is open to the operatic mind game she has in store for him. But in the clammy hands of a Liam Neeson knockoff named David Morrissey, he has the irradiated sexuality of a potato.

NYT: Certainly this has to be the only film from those reliable schlockmeisters Mario F. Kassar and Andrew G. Vajna — Mr. Kassar brought us the original Basic Instinct, and together they had a hand in much of Sylvester Stallone's well-oiled oeuvre — to feature the word Lacanian.
Namedropping an abstruse school of psychoanalytic theory probably seemed terribly clever at one point; given this film, however, it's grounds for screenwriting hell.

Ebert: I cannot recommend the movie, but ... why the hell can't I? Just because it's godawful? What kind of reason is that for staying away from a movie? . . . The Catherine Tramell role cannot be played well, but Sharon Stone can play it badly better than any other actress alive. The director, Michael Caton-Jones, alternates smoldering closeups with towering dominatrix poses, and there's an extended Jacuzzi sequence in which we get the much-advertised full frontal nudity -- which does not, somehow, manage to be full, frontal and nude all at the same time. First a little nude, then a little full, then a little frontal, driving us crazy trying to load her simultaneously onto our hard drive. . . . "Basic Instinct 2" is not good in any rational or defensible way, but not bad in irrational and indefensible ways.

In the words of critic Jay Sherman, "It in-stinks!" Let us know if you find more.
AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS OF WALKING THE STREETS AT NIGHT JUST TRYING TO GET IT RIGHT, AXL NO LONGER NEEDS TO ASK FOR PATIENCE, YEAH, SOME MORE PATIENCE: I was a 21-year-old college senior when Use Your Illusion I & II (known in our room as "Use It") came out. Was the follow-up, the oft-delayed Chinese Democracy, worth the wait? Chuck Klosterman has mixed feelings.
THE TIE WILL BE BROKEN AT THE UPCOMING COLUMBIA-NYU LAW B-BALL GAME: Although they're not up on the official U.S. News website, I'm sure folks around here will be interested in the new law school rankings, which will certainly make some around here quite happy.
I PICTURED THE CHARACTER AS MORE CANADIAN: A TWOP poster on-set at Studio 60 yesterday confirms one of the two major missing pieces for casting--Tony and Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Judd Hirsch will play Wes Mendell, the "Lorne Michaels" character, and also confirms that the fine folks at Desperate Housewives are letting Felicity Huffman loose for her guest appearance as herself. It'll be interesting to see how Hirsch reads in the part.
WHAT'S NEXT -- CHARGING TO LOOK AT PRESIDENT LINCOLN? It strikes me a profoundly un-American that they'd even about charging admission at the Smithsonian museums.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I MAY NOT HAVE BEEN TO PHUKET, BUT I HAVE BEEN TO TALLAHASSEE: It is a testament to Terry O'Quinn's acting chops that I find Lockecentric episodes to be emotionally painful to watch. That's really all I want to say about the flashbacks. Because tonight, there's really a whole lot to discuss concerning events on the island -- none of which should really be said out here except that I'm not surprised that Jack knows how to play poker.
THERE WOULD SEEM TO BE AN AWFUL LOT OF COUNTRY MUSIC FANS OUT THERE: I generally believe that the best thing that can happen to an in-contention performer on AI is to find oneself unexpectedly in the bottom two without actually being voted off. But waiting to make sure that being in the bottom two does not include being in the bottom one -- that's just stressful. Glad to see that we got the right outcome, even if it took a little nailbiting to get there.
I AM THE PROUDEST MONKEY: Short-lived CBS dramedy Love Monkey, which showed promise in the three episodes that aired on CBS, may not be making additional episodes, but VH1, apparently needing something other than talking heads talking about how much they love pop culture, will burn off the episodes for CBS.
JUST MAKE SURE TO HIT THE BELLAGIO BUFFET ON YOUR DAY OFF: Harvey Fierstein is playing Vegas for the first time in his life, and he's got some catty commentary for your enjoyment, hitting everyone from the Shubert organization to Carrot Top with his barbs.
CLEVERER! STUPIDER! FINIER! LINIER!: Politics and entertainment collide for a second time this week, with the unveiling of a pro-life art exhibition featuring a provocative resin statue of a naked Britney Spears giving birth. there's a link that should set the site-meter spinning, despite being safe for work.
THE FANTASY SUITE: We can declare an early winner to our NCAA Tournament bracket, as Kevin Learned is the only person who had two of the Final Four teams, and is the only member with the chance of even one more win. So congratulations.

And so we move on: what is the level of interest here in a rotisserie baseball league? Given the difficulty in coordinating everyone's schedules at this point, a live draft would be difficult to pull off, but I could certainly set up an ESPN multi-list league and have us ready to go by Opening Day. If you're interested, let me know in the Comments.

edited twice to add: We are set up. If you're interested, click here to sign up for a free team on Sportsline, and then find us using the following info:

League Details
League Name: A League About Things Thrown
Player Universe: NL-only
Draft Type: Multi-List (rank by each position)
Draft Date: Mon, Apr 3
Scoring Type: Rotisserie
Stat Type: 5x5
Private Password: muktuk

You've got until the end of Sunday to set up your draft lists. Please join us, and good luck.
AND I MAY BE OBLIGED TO DEFEND EVERY LOVE, EVERY ENDING, OR MAYBE THERE'S NO OBLIGATIONS NOW: There aren't many artists over the age of 60 about whom I'd say this, but I am excited to know that Paul Simon will have a new album out in May.
AND WE WILL BRING YOU THE FINEST BAGELS AND MUFFINS IN THE LAND: At some point today, based on the meter in the corner down in the left-hand corner, one of you will be our 500,000th visitor. If it's you, let us know. And thanks.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

"THAT'S ONE OF PHIL'S TURTLENECKS:" I think tonight's TAR was solid--the fratboys got a little more hatable, and the hippies got a little more lovable (witness their t-shirts, demonstrating a commitment to race heritage), while also showing some nice airport hustle. Yes, the Detour was a little ordinary with its "fast and heavy" vs. "slow and light" choice, but the Roadblock was ingenious (perhaps demonstrating that the "nerds" aren't as smart as they think they are), and, for the first time, a Yield has an actual and direct impact on the outcome of a leg. TV fine enough it almost didn't offend me that my DVR lost tonight's Scrubs.
I STILL HAVEN'T WATCHED THE SOPRANOS, SO AM GOING TO SIT DOWN AND WATCH RATHER THAN CONCOCTING A GOOD AI TAG LINE: I'm not a fan of 21st century night on AI, mainly because I don't really listen to new music anymore, so I never know the songs. But I actually did know a few this time (Ace's, Elliott's, and Daughtry's), so either I'm getting more tuned into the music scene (unlikely) or else these were just really big songs and thus managed to penetrate my no-new-music fortress. And wow -- what an array of genres tonight, with the country and the rock and the pop and the gospel and the R&B/soul.

So for me, tonight was a night of Haves and Have-Mehs. Haves: Paris, Daughtry, Katharine, and -- for the first time ever -- Elliott. Have-Mehs: Lisa (bye), Bucky (fine, but never all that exciting, and tonight was no exception), Ace (big oogies for pointing at the scar during the scar part of the song), and Kellie ("tear in my beer" country is never a big draw for me). Mandisa and Taylor are kind of on the fence between the two. I don't see how Lisa makes it past tonight -- she's been in the bottom three for a while, and this performance did nothing to save her.

I have decided that I want to hear Daughtry sing "Home Sweet Home" or "Sister Christian." True to his style (sorta), but different from the identical performances he's been giving every week regardless of the week's theme. How do you think he can change it up without sounding silly?
DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON HOW JOSH/DONNA IS A MIRROR OF ELIZABETH BENNET/MR. DARCY: For those who might think that we analyze popular culture a little too much, the New York Times tries to explain how House parallels Jane Eyre. Offer your best/worst comparison between television and literature in the comments.
POLYGAMISTS WEIGHING IN ON POLYGAMY: I'd been wondering whether people with real-life experience would be willing to share their views on Big Love -- apparently the answer is yes, when invited to do so by the New York Times.

I'm not all the way through this week's installment yet, but 2 1/2 episodes in, I remain intrigued. I don't know what others were expecting from the show, but I find it to be an interesting view into something perhaps ultimately incomprehensible. Why did this woman agree to be a part of this relationship? What are they doing here? How does this work, exactly? It's more than a little voyeuristic, but so far it's kind of gripping.

Does anyone besides me like this show?
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT'S DEVELOPMENT ARRESTED? I guess this isn't terribly surprising. But still: sniffle.

Monday, March 27, 2006

THIS TIME, THEY STEAL THE EIFFEL TOWER FROM THE PARIS CASINO: Apparently, we can look forward to Oceans' 13 next summer. Interestingly, while Clooney, Pitt, and Damon are all set to return, neither Julia Roberts nor Catherine Zeta-Jones will be back. Given how good 11 was, and how much 12 demonstrated the law of diminishing marginal returns, I'm thinking this is one too many trips back to the well.
NOT EXACTLY "LOST IN LA MANCHA": But do check out this compelling account of the book that was never written about The Making of Red Scorpion, just to prove one more time that the line between politics and entertainment is ... well, it's like that legendary line between clever and stupid.

Having poached the link above from Josh Marshall I shall now write 100 times "This is not a political blog. This is not a political blog. This is not..."
ROAD TRIP DIARY: The Cosmopolitan family spent the weekend in Our Nation's Capital catching up with old friends. The on-the-road part of the journey inspired a couple of questions that perhaps the good people of ALOTT5MA, with their deep knowledge of the NYC-DC corridor, can enlighten me on.

First, a specific question. How the heck is Havre de Grace (Maryland) pronounced? I can't imagine it gets the full French accent, which strikes me as a little excessive -- Av-ruh de Grrrrrahhhhhhce? But is it actually something like Have-da-Grace? Help me out here, folks.

This second one is more of a quandary for the ages: I-95 supposedly is a single road that takes one from Florida to Maine, right? So why is it that around Philadelphia, it is in fact two separate, distinct, and unconnected roads? Mr. Cosmo could not for the life of him figure out why we were not driving past Philadelphia en route to DC. "Because we're not on 95." "But we are on 95!" "No, Philadelphia's bit of 95 is a separate strip of road that is not connected to the rest of 95." (Fortunately for a couple of clubgoing Jersey girls who cornered us at a rest stop at the NJ/Delaware border trying to figure out why taking 95 South from Wherever-They-Live, North Jersey, hadn't gotten them to the Vine Street Expressway en route to Market Street, I as a native Philly girl was able to explain the problem and give them directions back to the land of the formerly-tall William Penn.) I have to think that zillions of people get lost due to this little rip in the space-time continuum.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

THANK GOODNESS WE FINALLY GOT TO SEE THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS SIDE OF TOBY'S CHARACTER EMERGE: The only thing I have to say about tonight's West Wing, really, is that it's just odd that for the second time in the past year-plus, someone I know in real life has been oddly fictionalized on the show.
SHOW, DON'T TELL: A disappointing Sopranos episode tonight, IMHO, too much was made explicit by too many characters, and in a matter that's so unlike the way the show is generally. Even the "dream" sequence was a bit obvious -- and even while moving at the end, the cameo was a bit too expected, y'know?

On the plus side, we did get our laughs along the way, and we certainly have a better sense of where this is going. But, still, after an initial two episodes that took us places we hadn't quite been before, this was . . . less great.
THEY DID, SENSIBLY, AVOID LOVE STINKS: A question spurred by my attendance at a wedding this weekend--might wedding DJ's wish to avoid playing Kanye West's "Gold Digger" at receptions? I don't know if I've ever seen a more incongrous sight than folks hollering "We Want Prenup! We Want Prenup!" on the dance floor at a wedding reception.
YES, AND I'M SURE WE'RE THE ONLY ONES ASKING THIS QUESTION RIGHT NOW: So, where does George Mason over UConn rank in college basketball upset history? Less than Chaminade over Ralph Sampson's UVa, even given the mutual home court factor, but in terms of tournament games, it's at least the equal of UCLA-Princeton, no?

I don't remember any run quite this cool since Cleveland State in 1986.