Saturday, June 27, 2009

I'M SORRY, THERE'S NO REASON TO DO THIS SONG HERE: No, sadly, former AI competitor Brooke White's first single is not a cover of Elvis Costello's "Radio Radio," as you might guess from the title, but instead something that sounds like it'd fit on a seventies Carole King album.

Friday, June 26, 2009

AND JOHN ADAMS WAS ALL SET FOR THE COVER OF YE OLDE PEOPLE UNTIL JEFFERSON KICKED IT THAT SAME DAY: Via KR, New York Magazine places Farrah Fawcett in the context of other famous people whose deaths were eclipsed by those of others.
MY HEROES: I know I was going to return as quickly as possible to my policy of ignoring Perez Hilton in the hopes that he'd go away, but I had to share. Seems that Hilton is filing suit or threatening to file suit or something, and promised to donate any recovery to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. But because of Hilton's use of that slur, MSF said no thanks -- it didn't want to be seen as approving the use of the language Hilton used (and it probably didn't want to enable Hilton's self-aggrandizing publicity stunt). Some Hilton detractors (including What Would Tyler Durden Do, which, let's face it, uses a voice that's about as homophobic as what you'd probably hear in any middle-school locker room) are so elated by the snub that they're encouraging their readers to chip in a few bucks to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. If you feel the same way, you can too.
WITH THEM INDIANA BOYS ON AN INDIANA NIGHT: The NYT's Charlie Savage recalls (and links to the documents) from when Reagan White House aide John Roberts, of Long Beach, IN, weighed in on how much attention the President should pay to the Victory Tour and other affairs of fellow Hoosier Michael Jackson.

On Sept. 21, 1984, the now-CJOTUS wrote in a memo (see p7, PDF), "In today’s Post there were already reports that some youngsters were turning away from Mr. Jackson in favor of a newcomer who goes by the name 'Prince,' and is apparently planning a Washington concert. Will he receive a Presidential letter? How will we decide which performers do and which do not? ... Why, for example, was no letter sent to Mr. Bruce Springsteen, whose patriotic tour recently visited the area?"

ETA by Isaac: Follow the link trail and you'll get to the letter Reagan sent Jackson as he was recovering from his scalp-combustion incident. I trust that I am not violating our no-politics rule when I guess that the Reagan of 1984 would not have lauded the Jackson of 2009 for his "deep faith in God and adherence to traditional values."
PRIVATE EYES (CLAP CLAP) ARE WATCHING THIS:What hath the success of Rock of Ages and Jersey Boys wrought? Answer--the currently in development Hall and Oates musical.
OLIGARX WITH ATTITUDE: We're trying out some serious business reporting here at ALOTT5MA. Russia's oil giant Gazprom just reached a deal for a joint venture with Nigeria's NNC. The company will be called ...

Um ...

Oh, dear.

SOMETHING EXCITING, SOMETHING DELIGHTING, SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY! There's more than just comedy tonight this weekend--we have stuff for the geeks (Transformers II, a new-to-the-US Doctor Who special, the Virtuality pilot movie), the tweens (Princess Protection Program, Disney Channel's continuing effort to groom Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato as their next big things), the weepies (My Sister's Keeper), the musically-inclined (VH1 Classic's all-weekend MJ marathon), indie comedy fans (Whatever Works, Away We Go), and even the critics (the much-praised The Hurt Locker, Stephen Frears' Cheri). So, whatcha got this weekend?
DANCING MACHINE: Before Lucy went to bed last night, I sat her down with me on the couch to watch the MJ marathon on MTV -- "The Way You Make Me Feel" was on, and while I anticipated the details readily (the "you knock me off-a my feet now baby, hoo!" opening, etc) and told my daughter to pay attention to the dancing, she wasn't interested -- she wanted to finish viewing the previous night's SYTYCD, re-watching the "Moses" number three times in a row.

I didn't tell her Jackson was dead, and I didn't even get close to telling her about the life story or his troubles. But some day, she may wonder -- or at least some day she should learn about Jackson's music and legacy. Do I just focus on the Jackson 5 and Off the Wall? Because I feel like anything beyond that point -- even Thriller -- doesn't make sense and isn't that impressive outside its cultural context, which goes to Isaac's "what legacy?" comment from last night. Because a kid who's seen all the HSM movies isn't going to be that impressed with the mass choreography of "Bad" or "Thriller," and sonically everything that "Beat It" accomplished has been well-integrated into pop music for so long. [To borrow an example I've used before, it's like trying to get a modern teen to imagine the musical universe pre-Nirvana to understand what 1991 meant to us -- they can't.] And then it all gets weird and complicated.

So, how are we going to explain all this to the kids? [Bonus link: that Jackson Five/Cher medley CNN kept using for B-reel last night.]
AND STILL NIGEL HECTORED THE SHOW INTO ENDING ON TIME: Of course I don't expect the executive producer of a dance show to crap all over Michael Jackson in a eulogy, though I stand by my statement that that it is extravagantly weird to comment on his passing without even alluding to his extravagant weirdness. And while I didn't expect a dance show to eulogize Ed McMahon, the Star Search angle made some sense. But I would have expected somebody to tell Lythgoe, a man who claims to have been taught the art of the Great Pie by Farrah herself, to know that she dropped the "Majors" several decades ago. Meanwhile, Cat Deeley just goes on being her fabulous self, mocking the awful writing and coming undone and having to hide behind a cue card because she can't believe how cute the guest dancers are. It's dawning on me that maybe what's so fun to watch about Deeley is that she appears to enjoy her job more than anybody I've ever seen enjoys theirs.

Three questions: (1) What genius thought that the most appropriate clip for the Jackson tribute was the one where he was hanging around with decomposing corpses? (2) Wasn't the triple-eulogy night the right time to retire the awful and inaccurate phrase "dance for your life"? (3) Why do the men continue to show up in jeans on nights when they know they have better than a 1-in-3 chance of having to do a solo?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

THE THRILLER: The Los Angeles Times is reporting that legendary pop super-superstar Michael Jackson has died at the age of 50 of an apparent heart attack.

Upon his 50th birthday last year, I described him as "an entertainer once of extraordinary talent but for whom 'messed up' doesn't even begin to describe what his upbringing did to him, or what he is generally believed as having done to child victims (or his face)." Right now, I want to focus on that talent, vocally and physically -- a remarkable child prodigy who transitioned into a solo career that blended disco, pop and funk to become a 20th Century global icon on the level of few others -- Charlie Chaplin, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali and Princess Diana, I suppose. The man desegregated MTV and turned music video from amiable shlock into art, and really was the defining cultural superstar of my life, to date.

And then, of course, there is the other stuff, and one cannot tell the story of Michael Jackson without speaking of his child victims. There is no ratio of compensation or artistic output which excuses or negates child molestation. None. And then there's the stuff which seems so silly in comparison -- the face, "Blanket," Bubbles, the Pepsi fire, the financial troubles, the Bashir documentary, the Elephant Man, the marriages, Neverland.

Tragedy is the word -- so much potential, so much greatness, and yet so much to decry. I wish my strongest memory would be of circling the Palace Roller Skating rink to "P.Y.T.," but the abused became an abuser and it all got complicated, and now it's over without an Act III that could have included apology and some redemption. Instead, I wonder how often he's been happy in his life. I wonder what happens to his kids. There is so much to say and be sad about tonight.

Matt: Adam’s completely right about how Jackson’s late-in-life, increasingly bizarre, conduct overshadowed his musical career, but what stands out to me is the diversity—from the pure Motown of “ABC” and “Ease On Down The Road” to the funk/disco inflected “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough to the guitar riff and magnificent insanity in “Black or White” (George Wendt! Macaulay Culkin! Tyra Banks! Slash!) to the hyper-futuristic “Scream” and the pure cheese of “Will You Be There (Theme From “Free Willy”)”. That's what we've lost.

Isaac: First of all, the year that Thriller dominated the music world was a year when my entire playlist was Iron Maiden, Saxon, Fastback, older Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, and whatever was playing on the King Biscuit Flower Hour. "PYT" was playing when my older sister and I got into a fight that remains legendary in our family and I pushed her through the sheet rock in the bathroom of our rental house. In a summer in which I was seeding a garden of cultural marginalization -- a small but not insignificant patch of which I tend to this day -- Thriller was a little like the "Imperial March" from the Star Wars score, the soundtrack of a vast army out to crush everything that was different and good. I was not entirely accurate in my reading of the music, having given Jackson too little credit and spandex too much, but I've never shaken that visceral reaction to Jackson's work. Later, I grew to despise Jackson the person. I harbor a deep conviction that he, more so than even OJ, puts the lie to the notion that we can punish misdeeds equally no matter how rich or powerful the perpetrator. Even leaving aside the stuff we don't know about or will never confirm, the things that are undeniable -- the opportunistic anti-Semitism, the baby-dangling, the race-masking plastic surgery, to name a few -- were plenty sufficient. I may like a few of his songs (more accurately, a few covers of his songs), but I'm unlikely ever to remember him fondly.

Kim: It's not so much that I will remember Michael Jackson himself particularly fondly, but it's hard for me not to remember the phenomenon that was Michael Jackson without a big helping of nostalgia and respect for a man who was, at one point, an unprecedentedly popular artist. If Wikipedia is to be believed, Thriller is the best-selling album ever by a multiple of two. I was 11 in 1982 -- right in the sweet spot of pop fandom. I remember two things particularly clearly: a junior high school classmate who wore one of those Beat It red zippery jackets for a solid year in seventh grade without a whiff of irony, and waiting, waiting, waiting at the United Skates of America roller rink that same year for the big video screen to unfurl from the ceiling and show us all the 13-minute wonder that was the "Thriller" video for the first time. My best friend had one of Jackson's own sequined gloves, given to her by a cousin who had some connection to the artist -- I remember thinking how oddly small it was for a worldwide star. Jackson obviously turned out to be a wackadoo of singular proportions -- almost as bizarre as he was popular for a period of time there -- but I can't think of any other artist at any other point in my life who owned the spotlight the way Michael Jackson did in the early-mid eighties.

Alex: My earliest memories of Michael Jackson were of cartoon form on "The Jackson 5ive" (yes, I am ancient) and in a duet with Roberta Flack from "Free to Be You and Me", which is all the more poignant today. But for me, Michael Jackson is best remembered by a cassette tape of Thriller purchased along with a cassette of 1999 at The Electric Fetus in Duluth, Minn., during my final summer at summer camp as a birthday present from my dad who had made the drive up to visit. Those two tapes, in many ways, always reminded me of that summer, one more rooted in my the bubble gum pop of my childhood, the other representing my expanding musical and cultural tastes. 1999 got more listens over the years, to be honest, but Thriller, still held a special place in my heart. I later got the chance to see Jackson live at the Palace outside Detroit in the summer of 1989 for free. By then my tastes had evolved way beyond Jackson and I remember heading into thinking I was going mainly for the camp value, but, wow, say what you will about the two decades that followed (at that point his eccentricities were still eccentric and not criminal), the guy could put on a show. It's a shame we'll never get to see if he could put it all back together again in the London shows.

The Pathetic Earthling:It was the fall of 7th grade when Thriller was released everyone – except the most culturally reactionary – was a fan. Like Isaac, I think I studied in such anti-populist sentiment. In retrospect, of course, Thriller was a brilliant album. Perhaps not as big of a break from Off the Wall than Off the Wall was from his Jackson 5 stuff, nor as revolutionary, but brilliant. But what gives me a bit of comfort is that the culture was blessed with the best of his work. Unlike the mid-to-late-1990s work of Stevie Ray Vaughn, or early 2000s solo work of Kurt Cobain, there’s no alternate universe that branched out from today where we would have seen anything worth missing. And so, for all time, people will have a chance to see the entire arc of a real talent. In all events, I hope he has found the peace that was so obviously missing from every moment of his life.
DO YOU MEAN, "DON'T TOUCH"?: Farrah Fawcett, after a brave battle with cancer, has died at the age of 62. ALOTT5MA staff wish her family and friends well.

The Board meeting seemed to reach the consensus that the male staff members (all of us in our mid-to-late 30s) weren't quite of age enough to appreciate her for her smoking 1970s hotness. And I certainly didn't. Nevertheless, while I spent those years with posters of Star Wars and the Bashki version of Lord of the Rings, most older brothers around the neighborhood had the poster. The naughty banter no doubt sailed past me, but the image was a hint about what other things in life awaited me.

And Farrah Fawcett's Peak Hotness was such that she aged gracefully and was, even into her sixties, objectively stunning. Even as we mock the 1970s excesses of fashion, Ms. Fawcett was a woman who, even as icon of an era, transcends the limitations of the then-current fashion.

I don't really recall her talent as an actress -- or even many of her roles other than as an Air Force Major in Six Million Dollar Man, some sort of spacebabe in the horrendous Saturn Three (with Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keitel), and of course as a Charlie's Angel -- but she seemed to have lived her life well and done her profession credit.

She will be fondly remembered for the next sixty or seventy years by millions of old men who were once young.
THE BATTLE OF SHAQER HEIGHTS: CNBC's Darren Rovell needs help coining a new nickname for the latest addition to the Cleveland Cavaliers, ALOTT5MA Fave Shaquille O'Neal.

[From 2004: "I'm like toilet paper, toothpaste and certain amenities - I'm proven to be good. I've still got five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 years left."]
DO NOT LET MIA MICHAELS BABYSIT YOUR POODLE, SICKO: In Cat Deeley's EW Must List squib, she said that she does her own wardrobe. I love Cat Deeley, so I hope she's telling the truth. Casey McCall learned that lesson the hard way. And speaking of styling: Cat in Roman Serving Girl; Mary in Roman Empress; Nigel in Members Only over Brooks Brothers; Toni in an Ann Taylor set with an inverted wok in a ruffled cozy on her head. Which reminded me: fast-forward Toni Basil.

On to the sexy-walking, the ass-groping, and the pants-splitting:

The Good:
  • Randi & Evan. Mia Michaels likes powerful dancers with muscular thighs and strong shoulders, so you knew she was going to like Randi. Randi looks like Jessica Capshaw and talks like Jessica Stein (without the annoying), and she's been such a surprise ever since she ditched the Stick It! unitard-and-haircut schtick. She and Evan have feel-good chemistry and were mostly synchronized, and it was an interesting idea.
The Doubly Okay:
  • Ade & Melissa. Some cool tricks, like when he spun her around in her split (the Rotating Single Lohan), and they seemed to like each other, but this kind of dance never gets me. All the baroquely stylized walking and hand-waving and open-chested jumpsuits. It's $4.99 worth of sequins away from being the kind of thing Baz Luhrmann was lampooning in Strictly Ballroom. No way Melissa is 29, by the way, and what's the deal with the Chapman-to-SYTYCD pipeline?
  • Jason & Caitlin. They were believably angry, which surprised me a little. Also, Caitlin's balance is a nice trick -- a one-footed stand on Jason's thigh; some stop-start handstanding -- but I'm getting used to it. What I missed in this paso doble was the whole thing about the woman being the cape -- there was a lot of dance-fighting, but none of the flinging around of the woman that I've come to expect of my SYTYCD paso dobles.
The Half-Good/Half-Bad:
  • Kayla & Kapono. I probably shouldn't say he was bad, but I didn't watch him for a second. Kayla seems not particularly smart or interesting to me, but when she dances she is riveting. Every angle she makes with her legs seems completely effortless, like it's the most natural thing in the world to hold your legs at 170-degrees east-west while your partner jostles you vigorously, then unfurl slowly, without the hint of a hamstring quiver, to 180-degrees north-south for a change of pace. There was a point at which Kapono was spinning her and yanked her off-center, and she just did a tiny little adjustment to get back on her axis without missing a beat. I think it's too bad she's so low-key offstage, because being the best dancer isn't necessarily what gets you the most votes.
  • Brandon & Janette. He really carried this with his high-energy hip hop. Janette mostly just stood around looking like Lita Ford without her BC Rich.
  • Philip & Janine. I'm not wild about Tyce Diorio or Broadway in general, but I did like this routine. The feathers were an excellent prop, in large part because they (and the baby doll dress, which works for Janine in a way that last Thursday's Danskin bondage gear does not) supported the character Janine was playing, and Janine really sold it. Philip was not embarassing, but none of his choreography so far has shown off his best assets, his rubbery body and viscous movement.
  • Karla & Jonathan. The judges still haven't given Karla enough credit. If you just watched her, she did a great job, as she has every week. It's Jonathan who sucked the life out of this routine with his sluggishness and his softness. Karla hit every beat, did nice stops, and had plenty of energy. The women are better than the men this season, and Kayla and Karla are the ones who are suffering from it the most.
The All-Bad:
  • Vitolio & Asuka. This routine just seemed to have a lot of waiting around. Asuka in particular seemed to hit her marks and then look around for Vitolio (anagram: Tivo Oil) to pick her up or spin her. There was not a lot of energy and Asuka already has Killer Fatigue.
I've got Vitolio/Asuka and Karla/Jonathan in the bottom three with, I guess, Kayla/Kapono, since I don't know that Kayla is connecting with the audience emotionally, to buy into a Nigel concept. I'd guess Asuka goes home; none of those three men would surprise me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Eddie Murphy Flops Twice but Wins With Studios -

PORK BELLIES, WHICH IS USED TO MAKE BACON, WHICH YOU MIGHT FIND IN A BACON, LETTUCE AND TOMATO SANDWICH: The NYT explores the question of why movie studios keep paying Eddie Murphy $20M plus a share of the gross when so many of his films bomb:
Hollywood understands that big-time comedy careers are often volatile. Plot the box office runs of Will Ferrell and Mike Myers against those of dramatic stars like Will Smith and Tom Cruise, and the comedians’ are all over the map. Because comedies tend to be easier to film (if not to perform), those players are at bat more often, and so a few misses are considered normal.

That’s not to say Mr. Murphy isn’t paying a price for his track record. Paramount recently rejected a biopic about Richard Pryor that had Mr. Murphy attached to star. The studio’s plans for a fourth “Beverly Hills Cop” are also stalled. Web sites like Studio System that track movie projects list a remake of “The Incredible Shrinking Man” as one of his next films, but Universal Pictures put that project on the back burner more than a year ago (around the time “Meet Dave” tanked).

Arnold Robinson, Mr. Murphy’s publicist, said he would not trouble his client with an interview request from a newspaper. “Mr. Murphy does not do print interviews,” he said in an e-mail, adding, “For his age and body of work there are only one or two other actors that can compare to his career box office numbers.”

Mr. Murphy has other potential projects floating around — a third “Nutty Professor” is in development at Universal — and he has a guaranteed hit next spring in DreamWorks’ “Shrek Forever After,” in which he reprises his vocal role as the sassy Donkey.
Just one more R-rated comedy before he retires at 50 from films; that's all I'm asking.
I THOUGHT, "OH, BAD CHOICE, BAD CHOICE -- WHAT DOES A FRENCH GUY KNOW ABOUT A QUESADILLA?": After tonight's Top Chef Masters, I just want to say that if I ever need someone to tell me bad news in my life, I want it to be Chicago's Rick Bayless. I've never seen a chef with such a calm, reassuring demeanor -- like the world's best pediatrician, really.

We'll talk about the cooking itself and the gratifying, justified results in the comments. Next week: NPH!
JACKBACK: While I'm not a great fan of gratuitous threadjacking, ALOTT5MA management would appreciate your not using a threadjack to reveal the score of an important live sporting event that others in our audience may have TiVo'd for future enjoyment. While the offending commenter immediately realized his mistake and asked that we delete the comment, I felt obliged to delete the entire previous post on the Oscars to avoid spoilage. I do not think I am authorized for comment editing (or am at least unaware of how to edit comments) and felt the more radical step was necessary. Sorry for killing a productive thread.

edited by Adam: No need to end that comment thread -- I've deleted the offending spoiler, and you can click on this link to comment on the expansion of the Best Picture nominee list to ten.
WITH SPECIAL GUEST JESSICA CUTLER: Ana Marie Cox (FKA Wonkette) will apparently be sitting in for Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show on Friday.
NO YOUNG WHITE GUY HAS EVER GOTTEN ANYWHERE WITH ISAAC COMPARING HIMSELF TO ROSA PARKS: By now, you probably know the story -- Will.I.Am confronts Perez Hilton about Hilton's web site and its coverage of the Black Eyed Peas; an argument ensues; Hilton yells an epithet at Will.I.Am, and the Black Eyed Peas' manager punches Hilton. I'll repeat the line I used when Ozzie Guillen used the same word:
I won't repeat the slur here, but here's a hint: it starts with "f," ends with "ag," and has "I am a complete douchebag" all over the middle part. But the middle part is silent.
Yep, that works here too. Nobody should have punched Hilton, that much is obvious. It also seems pretty obvious that nobody is in the right here -- one person used a euphemism for "gay" intending it as a raising-the-stakes insult, and another one received it exactly as intended and predictably overreacted. But what I find most offensive about this whole thing is Hilton's campaign to make himself a martyr, to paint himself the victim of random political or societal violence instead of an incredibly stupid barroom fight in which he was not entirely blameless. I've been pretty successful avoiding Perez Hilton completely for most of his barely literate career and I'd like to go back to that.
IT IS A DUTY I TAKE ON RELUCTANTLY: But with Ms. Cosmopolitan away to Parts Unknown (no, not with Gov. Sanford), it falls upon me to share the news that Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are now the parents of twin girls Tabitha Hodge Broderick and Marion Loretta Elwell Broderick.

The Associated Press has compiled the views of three other baby-naming gurus to evaluate the names, which include middle names both from Parker's family tree. My lay view? Tabitha Hodge is well, but Marion for a girl works better as "Marian," no?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen :: :: Reviews

FALLEN, INDEED: Roger Ebert did not care for the new Transformers film -- "a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments ... If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination."
BILLY BEANE IS NOT MY LOVER:Who knows who long it will be up, but Jeffrey Wells has posted the 12/1/08 Steven Zaillian draft of the Moneyball screenplay. The project's been put on hold due to concerns about the commercial problems of the script.
FOR WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO BE TAKEN TO FUNKYTOWN: I was looking back, and many moons ago, we were amused by selections from the 1977 JC Penney catalog. With Manhattan's first JCP opening next month, let's look at some additional clothing selections, and exercise equipment from the same catalog.
ACTUALLY, CONSTRUCTION WAS BEGUN ON THE PROJECT IN THE 1970S: I don't know how much credence to give to this Internet report that Disney is hard at work on a new mini-park at WDW themed around Lost, and E! has shot it down as a rumor. but your imagineering suggestions are certainly invited.
YES SIR, YOU ARE CORRECT SIR! I AM DEAD! Ed McMahon has died at 86. After McMahon left, the talk show sidekick role went out of favor for a while (though Letterman has used Shaffer as something of a sidekick, and the Conan-Andy interplay in the early years of Late Night is naturally memorable)--he so defined that role. There are few performers who will be remembered for one line more than him. It's kind of fitting that he passed away just a few weeks into the Conan era, given that Conan has brought back a sidekick/announcer to the show.

ETA: SNL's "Carsenio" sketch, featuring the late, great Phil Hartman's moment in "Ed McMahon's Party Machine."
SOAPBOX: I forget who here was the reader who recommended that I start listening to the On the DL Podcast (iTunes link), but thank you (and please take credit). Dan Levy and co-host Nick Tarnowski provide a solid half-hour daily giving a Philadelphia-anchored take on the world of sports and those who cover it, including engaging interviews with folks like Tony Kornheiser, Ron Jaworski and Gov. Ed Rendell on a regular basis.

I bring this up today (a) because yes, that was my email regarding Gary Papa they discussed on yesterday's show, and (b) I, like many here, are always interested in other podcasts to which I should be listening, and I welcome your recommendations again.

Monday, June 22, 2009

NICE BRIGHT COLORS, GREENS OF SUMMER: But due to a lack of demand for all things non-digital, Kodak is taking its Kodachrome away.

It is weird, isn't it, that our children will never worry about the scarcity of film on a reel, and never will have to wait for their film to be developed to find out how well the pictures turned out? I have fond memories of receiving vacation photos in the mail the week later, and that thrill of anticipation and satisfaction is something that younger generations will never understand, much like the smell-the-ditto-fluid gag in Fast Times at Ridgemont High ...

Science in the Quest to Ease Figure Skating's Strains -

IN WHICH REAL LIFE FINALLY CATCHES UP TO THE MICHELLE TRACHTENBERG/KIM CATTRALL HIT MOVIE 'ICE PRINCESS': Figure skaters are consulting with scientists and researchers to figure out how to do a triple lutz without shredding their ligaments.
HER HAIR IS SEEKING SOLE CUSTODY: One might not think that the Bucks County Courthouse would be a fertile location for finding TV spoilers. Apparently, today, it is. (Personally, I'm much more upset about the Whitford/Kaczmarek divorce, though i'm sure we have some of our female readership swooning over the concept of a newly single Josh Lyman.)
I AIN'T 'FRAID OF NO TREYF: Apparently, in the new (and generally well-reviewed) Ghostbusters video game (featuring the vast majority of the original cast providing voices), you can score special points not only by busting ghosts, but busting a honey-glazed ham placed at a bar mitzvah. No word on whether the 'Busters are also equipped to bust werewolves.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE STOPPED THE FIGHT, AND TOLD ME IT WAS HIM: We haven't talked about Top Chef Masters yet, but we should. It's nice just seeing the cooking without the chaos of a large field or all the interpersonal bullshit, and seeing Hubert Keller deliver the Boom Boom Mancini of culinary ass-kickings in week one was something to behold.

Speaking of which -- and by that I mean the excessive metaphor -- a regular reader here has pointed me towards The Rosa Parks of Blogs, and many here will appreciate the collection of snowclones Mark Peters has assembled.
WHATEVER GOODWILL OBAMA BUILT UP WITH THAT SPEECH, IT'S GONE NOW: It generally takes a lot for this blog to cover the world's game, soccer, but that threshold is met whenever the Americans make a surprise trip to the semifinals of an international competition fueled, in part, by their Egyptian foes having spent their pre-game prep time getting ripped off after carousing with local prostitutes while claiming to have been burgled.