Friday, December 12, 2008

IF BLANKETS ARE JUST TOO COMPLICATED FOR YOU: Get Snuggie! (YouTube here.) Who doesn't want to dress like a monk at home?
OBVIOUS REFERENCES TO STINSON AND ERIKSEN WILL GET YOU SLAPPED: Some weeks ago, Spacewoman and I were recounting the details of an irritating (do I use that word too much? I think I must be irritable) encounter she had with someone. The details are lost to me -- it could have been about an old roommate (she has crazy ones), a passerby (today I actually reprimanded a young man in a suit for weaving aimlessly while he walked slowly on a crowded sidewalk and talked on his cell phone; it was impossible to pass him and people were queuing up), a service-industry worker. But, we mused, what if the law allowed everybody one non-injurious slap against everybody else?

There would be some rules. You can slap as many people as you want, but you get only one slap against any one person. That one slap would bear no legal repercussion, but the law wouldn't require that people allow themselves to be slapped -- businesses could impose no-slapping rules; people could employ bodyguards. Thus, you could be banned from US Airways or Best Buy for using your slap (and would be, until they had banned so many customers that they'd have to allow it) but you wouldn't be prosecuted. You'd never get close enough to Tom Cruise or Rod Blagojevich to take your shot. And just to keep this honest, I'm banning slaps-for-hire.

The best part of this fantasy is not imagining the crack of hand against the cheek of, say, the stranger on my flight two days ago who, while boarding, took somebody else's bag out of the overhead compartment and just left it in the aisle, but rather thinking about how you'd use your one slap with your loved ones. Strangers are easy -- you'll probably see them only once, so you'll either use it or you won't. But with your friends and family, you need to conserve your precious resource. How much regret would Spacewoman have if she used her slap on me that one time at the toll booth in 1996, when we were just dating, not knowing about the ear-reddening argument we'd have in 2003 about the Nike 17205 case? How much more valuable would my slap have been throughout middle- and high-school as a lingering threat, knowing that my impulsive sister would have used hers on me already, leaving kind of a slap-missile gap in our household cold war? Do I know anybody who, at some point, I wouldn't have slapped, and who wouldn't have slapped me?

Come to think of it, would I be proud or shamed to know, at the end of the day, that I had both suffered and doled out more than the average number of slaps? And which speaks better of you -- to have been more slapper than slapped, or the contrary?
WOLVERINE! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has confirmed that Hugh Jackman will host the 2009 Academy Awards. Jackman was a pretty great Tony host the couple of times he did it, but those shows are typically filled with song and dance material and inside theatre jokes and production numbers. I'm not quite sure how (or whether) that carries over to the Oscars.
SOMEONE'S GOING TO NEED A LOT OF COFFEE: For those suffering from Lauren Graham withdrawal, two tidbits. First, "Super Karate Monkey Death Car," one of the funniest NewsRadio episodes, featuring Graham as an efficiency expert administering lie detector tests to the WNYX crew and an even better B-Story involving Stephen Root's Jimmy James (an odd forebear of Jack Donaghy) having the best-selling memoir in Japan--Jimmy James: Macho Business Donkey Wrestler--is now up on Hulu. I watched it yesterday afternoon, and while the "reading" sequence is the funniest part, Graham gets moments as well, including in the opening sequence, where she suggests some "roleplaying," leading into a "Zoom" joke.

Second, once Graham finishes her Guys and Dolls run, she'll return to TV in a new project for ABC from some of the folks behind Arrested Devlopment, in which she'll play "a self-help guru who teaches women how to live a stress-free life -- but struggles to follow her own advice when her boyfriend dumps her." Seems to me like they're looking for a companion for Samantha Who? Of course, unless it's going to be filmed in NYC, that may mean Graham's G&D run will be cut short, so plan accordingly.
WELCOME TO HOLLYWOOD, BABY: MJsBigBlog leaks an interesting Fox memo on American Idol's upcoming season:
FOX Network Program Executive Council

When will the schedule and any new details about this season be released?

January through March details will hopefully be released before the Holidays. All episodes will be Tuesday-Wednesday. No Thursday’s planned; same overall number of hours as last year. There will be 3 weeks of auditions and 2 weeks of Hollywood rounds. There will be 36 contestants coming here to Hollywood as opposed to 24 last year. There will be a wild card week and there will continue to be 12 contestants in the Finals. There will be a couple of more 2 hour shows than in the past. Promotional thrust will have fewer bad singers and more ‘aspirational’ singers. There will be no Idol Gives Back.
Okay. Other than the "no Idol Gives Back" thing, since we're a fan of anything that gets Annie Lennox in front of television's biggest audience every year (as well as Carrie Underwood's cover of "Praying for Time"), this is all good. We've seen enough delusionally bad singers for a lifetime, and I'd rather they spend the time ensuring that we get to know all of the semifinalists before it's time for America to vote than trying to make bucks exploiting the mentally ill.

You know I love Hollywood Week. I am thrilled to see more of it.

The shift from 24 to 36 semifinalists, and the existence of a wild card week, suggests that instead of doing the 24-to-20-to-16-to-12 eliminations, it'll be back to something like the old days -- perhaps three weeks with groups of twelve performing on Tuesdays, with the top three each week making it to Hollywood, followed by a fourth week with "judge's favorites who didn't make it the first time," with the top three from that week joining them. The format used the past few years created too many incentives against risk-taking (until the perilous 16-becomes-12 week); this will be better.

[Anyone else remember the year in which the wild card week brought back folks who we had never seen before? What season was that?]

American Idol returns on January 13, 2009, barely a month away.
DESERVES: Given how quickly the third act of Million Dollar Baby was spoiled in the media, reviews like Manohla Dargis' of Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino make me want to see it quickly:
He knows that when we’re looking at him, we’re also seeing Dirty Harry and the Man With No Name and all his other outlaws and avenging angels who have roamed across the screen for the last half-century. All these are embedded in his every furrow and gesture.

These spectral figures, totems of masculinity and mementos from a heroic cinematic age, are what make this unassuming film — small in scale if not in the scope of its ideas — more than just a vendetta flick or an entertainment about a crazy coot and the exotic strangers next door. As the story unfolds and the gangbangers return and Walt reaches for his gun, the film moves from comedy into drama and then tragedy and then into something completely unexpected. We’ve seen this western before, though not quite. Because this isn’t John Wayne near the end of the 20th century, but Clint Eastwood at the start of the still-new 21st, remaking the image of the hero for one more and perhaps final time, one generation of Americans making way for the next.
Sunday's Times will have a profile of Eastwood, which notes: "Despite what you might have read on Wikipedia, Mr. Eastwood is not a vegan, and he looked slightly aghast when told exactly what a vegan is. 'I never look at the Internet for just that reason,' he said."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT, ISAAC WASHINGTON AND A SPECIAL APPEARANCE BY TINA FEY'S HUSBAND: Oh, my goodness, that was one fine hour of NBC comedy. "The Office" was reaction shot heaven, and the Phyllis-Angela stuff was just brilliant as Pam & Jim, for once, stayed on the sidelines. As for "30 Rock," Elaine Stritch earned her annual nomination and Alec Baldwin his Emmy tonight. Just wow.

See, NBC? You can do scripted television shows that people like!
DID WE LEARN NOTHING FROM THE EMMYS? Nikki Finke reports that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has chosen a host for this year's Oscars, who's not a TV personality or a comedian, but is involved in the movie business, and is "outside the box"--the traditional monologue will be omitted Defamer speculates (mostly in jest), but you should do so as well. (A commenter on Finke suggests that Tom Hanks fits, and would make sense.)

Finke also notes that protests have arisen over the planned honoring of Jerry Lewis with the Academy's Humanitarian Award due to his recent use of anti-gay slurs as schtick in his public appearances. Personally, I'm still waiting for Day The Clown Cried.

Finke is now reporting that an offer has been made to Hugh Jackman.
A LIST FOUNDED BY CAL TRILLIN'S ROOMMATES, THATCHER HADLEY BAXTER, HADLEY BAXTER THATCHER, AND BAXTER THATCHER HADLEY: Via Drew Magary at Deadspin, Inside Lacrosse's 2009 All-Name Team. And not a Knox Mowgli among them.
PAGING THE BLIZZARD MAN: Incredibad isn't the sequel to Superbad, but the debut album from Andy Samberg and his cohorts at The Lonely Island. The lead single will apparently be "J*** In My Pants," as featured on last week's generally painful SNL, and the album will also feature "D**k In A Box," "Lazy Sunday," and "Natalie Raps," along with new material, including collaborations with T-Pain, Norah Jones, and Jack Black.
NUB NUB: Things discovered today--the word "Ewoks" is not recognized by Microsoft's spell check as a valid word. Guess some people didn't much like Return of the Jedi.
'STEFAN,' IT'S FINNISH FOR 'JACKASS': Okay, the guy is good television, what with the constant provocations and the "I MAKE GOOD BABY" t-shirt. He is a good strategist, with the constant undercutting of, well, everyone around him. He is a good gamester with a good palate as well. Still, I did want Jamie to punch him in the face. Her analysis that he's "a button-pusher" is dead on, and the edit showed her more amused than harassed, but I would have found a little direct physical correction appropriate and reassuring. What kind of man corners an avowed lesbian with bargaining for a kiss in such an uncomfortable manner that a fraggle has to come swat him away with book? The kind of man who married and divorced the same woman twice and still calls her a "chick" on internationally syndicated cable television. Yech.

Speaking of fraggles, "hootie-hoo"?? Muppetier and muppetier! How much more muppety could it be? The answer is none. None more muppety. ...unless of course there is a kids episode later in the season and costumes are involved.

Good quickfire this week with really good challenges where, for once, the drama about the elimination got me right in the gut. The arguments for sending Gene home were all there, and I was shocked to discover that deep within all my vortices of snark and bile there is still a small kernel of something human that cares about the outcome of reality television shows.

But enough of that. Does anyone think it's plausible that Danny shoved those inexplicable notches in his beard so that he wouldn't look too much like the other large bearded cheftestant? Is that giving him too hard a time? I believe he did show up with a full beard, and the notches appeared only after they got to the residence.
THE 75 MOST POWERFUL PEOpLE IN HOLLYWOOD: Golden Globe nominations are out, and a few quick thoughts before I run to work:
  • All four Doubt performers are nominated, as is the screenplay, but no best picture or director nomination?
  • Big love for Vicky Christina Barcelona (unsurprising, as the HFPA tends to love Woody Allen and foreign performers)--acting nods for Bardem, Rebecca Hall, and Penelope Cruz, as well as a best pic nominee.
  • Meryl Streep is nominated in both best actress categories (Doubt and Mamma Mia!), and Kate Winslet is nominated as a lead actress for Revolutionary Road and a supporting actress for The Reader.
  • Even though the Globes don't divide their supporting acting categories into comedy/drama, two comic actors got in on supporting actor--both for Tropic Thunder--Robert Downey, Jr. and Tom Cruise. Both are, naturally, going to lose to Heath Ledger.
  • Clint Eastwood--two nominations--both for music.
  • Kevin Connolly for lead actor in a comedy? Seriously? (And NPH is the sole nod for anything on CBS Monday.)
  • Aside from Sean Penn's performance, Milk is shut out.
Other oddball nominees include Miley Cyrus (best original song), James Franco (best actor for Pineapple Express), Melissa George (supporting actress TV for In Treatment), and multiple nominations for In Bruges.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Alinea At Home

XANTHANTASTIC! For those of you who found the Julie/Julia Project to be insufficiently hardcore, Carol Blymire is cooking everything in Grant Achatz' Alinea cookbook and photo-blogging about it. The WaPo profiles Blymire here, and explains:
At close inspection, none of Alinea's recipes requires terribly advanced techniques. There are unfamiliar ingredients, such as soy lecithin, a commercial emulsifier, and tapioca maltodextrin, which helps transform liquids into powders. But the dishes are intricate, requiring patience, time -- and a lot of dishwashing. To make the liquefied popcorn, Blymire used 17 bowls, pots, strainers, utensils and glasses for weighing, cooking, blending and serving the tiny post-dessert shot. And that was one of the easy ones.
See, e.g., Blymire on "Sea Urchin, vanilla, chili, mint", or indeed "Caramel Popcorn, liquefied":
My first reaction was that it looked like the aftermath of the Delts' 1987 Heaven and Hell party, but after straining it, it looked more like corn pudding, which was much more appetizing for all of us.

Let me take a minute to talk about the smell. It's sooooo much better than the farty movie theatre popcorn smell (which smells great for the first 30 seconds, and then just ends up smelling, well, farty). This popcorn pudding purée (because it went into the blender and was strained again before serving, but that's one of the steps I don't have a photo of) was sweet and salty and smelled like my favorite corn pudding dish, only better, and more like fall, if that makes sense. We tasted it at this point, and the only way I can think of to describe how it tasted is to say that it tasted like chewed-up popcorn... but not in a gross-out kind of way. In a really awesome kind of way.
Oh, and she already spent eighteen months cook/blogging The French Laundry at Home.
CRASHING THE GATES OUTFIELD WALL: It is a good day for Internet-based journalists, as today the Baseball Writers’ Association of America approved the membership applications of Baseball Prospectus columnists Will Carroll and Christina Kahrl, as well as those submitted by writers Keith Law (formerly of BPro) and Rob Neyer, making each (among other things) eligible to vote for baseball's major awards next year, and in ten years eligible to vote on Hall of Fame inductions.
BROCKTOON! Members of a certain fan club, as well as Leon Redbone, can exult--Mr. Belvedere is due out on DVD in 2009 from Shout!Factory.
WHEN WILL PEOPLE FINALLY COME TO GRIPS WITH THE FACT THAT JUST BECAUSE HUEY LEWIS SAID IT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S TRUE?: I've lived through, and in many cases, opposed, the advent of terrycloth casualwear, parachute pants, man-perms, shower caps over Jheri Curl, Uggs (with miniskirts in LA in August, no less), trucker caps, stripper platforms, and tramp stamps. Today's irritating sartorial tomfoolery, though, is the use, in DC, of the lanyard badge as fashion statement and status symbol. I realize that people in DC yearn to fill that hole in their tribal behavior that elsewhere is populated by actual, honest-to-God fashion -- as I've said before, this is the only place in America where you can't tell a Democrat from a Republican by the precision and placement of the part in his hair -- and that the lanyard is a like a cry in the wilderness, announcing, "these are the secure doors behind which my dreams are writ in the passive voice," similar to the cry you'd hear elsewhere from a pierced eyebrow, male eyeliner, or a logo splashed across one's buttocks. But: people, please. Nobody outside of the security checkpoint wants to sniff your tags to find out who you are, which agency or contractor or lobbyist employs you, or how photogenic you aren't. There is no need, or excuse, for the conspicuous display of a lanyard badge on the Metro, in Quiznos, or in line to board a plane at Dulles. Is it possible that an entire metropolitan area might wake up one morning and decide that it would be best if everybody sported a "HI, MY NAME IS: ___" tag and wore his or her housekeys as jewelry? It's things like this that just confirm that, no matter how densely we populate a certain region of California with men who wear short-sleeved dress shirts and knit ties and cut their own hair and shower only on even-numbered days, DC is still the dorkiest place in America, and not in a hip-to-be kind of way. So, DC, if you're listening, untangle yourself from that fashion noose, tuck it into the front pocket of your Dockers, and join the rest of the world, where your status depends not upon the initials on your swipe card but rather upon normal things like how low your REI number is or the cost of the sweatpants into which you tuck your guns.
PUT THAT COFFEE DOWN! COFFEE IS FOR SENATORS! Is it just me, or does a large portion of the Rod Blagojevich indictment seem like a David Mamet play?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

SHERILYN FENN, BUT NO CHERRY STEM? There's a medical term which one doesn't hear very often, but when it comes up on a television drama and you have any memory at all, your heart just sinks. So thank you, A Very Hizzy Christmas, for breaking my heart.
YOU'RE THE GOOD GUYS NOW: If there's one thing we love around here, it's well-done heist films. If there are two things we love around here, they're well-done heist films and obscure details of the U.S. legislative process. I enjoyed the pilot of Leverage well enough, but tonight's second episode, which featured a heist rotating around the theft of an appropriations bill from "the hopper," and (relatively correct!) discussions of how appropriations riders can be used to make significant legal changes, cemented that it's getting a season pass from me. And, man, those are some impressive production values for a cable show.
IN VOLATILE MARKET, ONLY STABLE INVESTMENT IS...: Apparently, Trekkie Monster's theories on investing have been proven false by recent events in Prague. (Arguably NSFW content on both links, though the second is from the International Herald Tribune.)
WHOOOOOO ARE YOOOOOOUUUUU? Given that Grey's and The Office air against it, it's not all that surprising that it seems we've never blogged about CSI: Original Recipe. That said, it is the #1 scripted show on TV most weeks, and when I watch it, I typically enjoy it (not so much with the spinoffs, which lose most of the quirk that makes the oriignal version fun). With Grey's in repeats this week, I'm DVRing it, if just because I'm interested in Lawrence Fishburne making his CSI debut as William Petersen's eventual replacement. Anyone else care? Does Petersen's departure make a difference to you? Does Fishburne replacing him? Discuss.
MAMA, I'M A BIG GIRL STILL: MTV has details from Marc Shaiman and John Waters about plot points and potential songs for Hairspray 2, which, are, well....interesting. Certainly, I'm not sure how tweenage fans of Zac Efron will feel about a movie in which he "has an ongoing dialogue with three pimples on his forehead" while high on drugs.
TONY WHO? What if I told you that there was a guy who was the lead singer on 5 Top 10 hits and that you had probably never heard of him?

Tony Burrows never had a hit record under his own name, but he managed the feat of having four records in the British Top Ten at the same time, all under different names. The British session vocalist was the lead singer of:

Burrows had another Top Ten hit in 1974 with the song Beach Baby, credited to First Class.

He also sang background on many of Elton John's early-'70s albums (especially Madman Across the Water). In fact, he sings background on ALOTT5MA fave Tiny Dancer (this clip taken from the memorable scene in "Almost Famous").

COULDN'T WE HAVE GOTTEN "THE BARRY GIBB TALK SHOW" INSTEAD? I'm still far from excited by the concept of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, but I have to admit that the idea of Philly alterna-hip-hoppers The Roots as the House Band is something different and smart. (Also, interestingly, he's not moving into the current Late Night studios, which makes me wonder whether Conan's move to L.A. might be less of a done deal than anticipated.)

Monday, December 8, 2008

IT'S SLIGHTLY EARLIER NIGHT! In a shocking development -- unless you read Bill Carter's The Late Shift, like I keep telling you, and remember that Jeff Zucker contemplated something like this for David Letterman back when they were trying to reclaim him -- NBC is expected to announce tomorrow that's it's handing over the 10pm slot every weeknight to Jay Leno after he cedes The Tonight Show to Conan O'Brien in May 2010.
WHAT DO YOU DO? WHAT ... DO ... YOU ... DO: You're getting on a cross-country flight and must leave soon. You have enough time to stop at a Virgin Megastore to pick up one DVD to watch on your laptop on the plane, and you are partial to TV seasons. You have already watched the HBO pantheon, all of the Sorkin and Apatow shows, Arrested Development, Weeds, House, 24, and Buffy Season 1. What TV season DVD do you pick up?

Did I mention this is happening in real time? I am actually getting on a cross-country flight and must leave soon, etc. Help me, please.
THE FLASHY GIRL FROM FLUSHING: The (wannabe) Senator named Fran! Unreasonably catchy theme song is already available.
WHY YOU CRANK THAT? I'm as big a fan of rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band as the next guy, and I know we have more than a few Dance Dance Revolution fans amongst us, but was there actually demand for Soulja Boy: The Video Game? I guess it can't be worse than Britney's Dance Beat (and, yes, there is video).

Sunday, December 7, 2008

45-35:For the reasons set forth in the headline, I'm thinking the BCS got it at least a little bit wrong this year. (Though I must admit to being amused that Rice is in a bowl game while Texas A&M isn't.) Make your case below.
THANK GOD THAT GUY LIKES DOUGHNUTS: I suspect that this season of TAR came down to two teams surprised no one, though there were surprises and turns on the way (for instance, why did no one pick what seemed like the easier side of the Detour especially given that we had at least one Racer proclaim their fear of heights, and what was the pretty obviously deleted Roadblock or task at Voodoo Doughnut?)--the now-typical "memory task" was pretty excellent. Add to that what was either a very close finish or an extra-Amazing editing job by the Amazing Editors, and you had a quite satisfying finale.
DENNYCRANE: There are few shows that have changed as much over such a short run as Boston Legal, which ends its five season run tomorrow night with a two hour episode beginning at 9 EST. When James Spader's Alan Shore was introduced in the final season of The Practice, it was something of a jolt for the aging show. No longer did we have a crusading attorney convinced of the righteousness of his cause, but instead an almost completely amoral character, whose goals were simple--winning and money. And Shore was very good at both (as was Spader, who won an Emmy for the final season of The Practice). Add to it the opportunity to unironically appreciate the acting of William Shatner playing an unrepetant dolt, and you had something very interesting.

That general tone carried over into the start of Boston Legal, with Shore going to work at a Boston Biglaw firm, but by no later than Season 3 (with the introduction of Clarence/Clarice and Jerry Espenson), the show had changed into something completely different. Gleefully aware of its own absurdity, extremely metafictional (particularly in this final season), and allowing David E. Kelley to use Shore as a mouthpiece for his views (mostly political, but sometimes about the media), the show became a comedy (and a pretty good one). Sure, sometimes you still would have mystery and personal plotlines, but the show had turned into something different--witness Alan Shore before the Supreme Court (sadly, the only version I can find has a prologue with an even more expressly partisan political rant). The Kelleyverse has always been a strange place, and I'll miss this corner of it. Share favorite moments (pretty much anything with Alan and Denny on the balcony), favorite characters (Parker Posey's nervous attorney? Betty White's gleefully homicidal secretary?), or rant about how Spader has repeatedly prevented worthier folks from getting an Emmy below.

Kennedy Center Honors: Morgan Freeman

WHEN YOU'RE FINISHED WITH IT, TELL ME, STOP BUYING TICKETS. I'LL GO BACK AND I'LL DO SOMETHING ELSE: You might think it difficult to say anything new about this year's set of Kennedy Center Honorees. So give some props to the Washington Post Style section for its set of profiles today in advance of tonight's ceremonies (to be broadcast on CBS later this year):

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend: "'We'd never been heard,' [Townshend] says, the 'we' referring to the British working class of his upbringing. 'So we created our own language, which was rock-and-roll. And this honor is the establishment saying, We hear you. And that's a strange thing, because if they can hear us, maybe we don't need to do this anymore. It's like somebody saying to Tupac Shakur, Ah, I understand what you're saying. Well, you're not supposed to understand what he's saying. You're supposed to be [expletive] scared.'"

Morgan Freeman: "'As an actor,' Freeman says, 'you like to be well rounded. But the industry puts you in a niche. I don't think Sidney [Poitier] ever successfully played a bad part. Fonda did once in 'Once Upon a Time in the West,' but it was the only time he played a really bad guy. Gary Cooper never did. Clark Gable never did. So you're in good company when you get packaged as Mr. Good Guy. Of course, you have to be careful in thinking that's who you are in life. It's called the Othello effect. Taking the character offstage.'"

Barbra Streisand: "When Hamlisch assembles the musicians for a Streisand tour, for example, he tells them that if they're not willing to bend the rules and work serious overtime, forget it: 'If we're going to do this by the letter of the law, then don't do this,' he instructs them. 'I'm not going to stop if she is on a creative roll.'

'Her talent is her voice and her unbelievable taste level,' he adds. 'Let's assume you were working for NASA and they're going to be putting a man on the moon. Everyone has to do a perfect job. What she is, is the vessel that can get you to the moon.'"

Twyla Tharp: "'Well, it's an old story,' Tharp says. 'It's called independence. It begins with Mozart. Haydn wasn't liberated. Haydn accepted that he ate in the kitchen with the servants and he wore the livery. Mozart wanted to eat at the table. It's about having control over the work that you do and controlling what you will do, and that is part and parcel of having the wherewithal to do it.'"

George Jones: "'You think about the things you done, the way you treated people,' he says. 'I'm troubled with those thoughts quite often. You just wished you hadn't hurt people like you'll do when you're messed up. It was pretty bad. I'll tell you what bothers me more than anything: All the dates I missed, when I got the title No-Show Jones. In my mind, I can envision these people, the old grandma and her daughter, they saved their money for probably a couple of months, gave up things, walked down the country roads or whatever to go to the show, and I'm not there. I can just see these people in my mind. I let 'em down. So many of them. That bothers me worst of all.'"