Saturday, August 6, 2011

FOOTNOTE CONTINUATION NOTICE:  We have been known to cover nerdy student competitions here from time to time, but, whoa, I didn't know there was a World Microsoft Office Competition held last week for students ages 13-22 to show their stuff in creating Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents.  Official site here, and apparently the competition includes "a scenario-based task":
Contestants will be given a high-resolution copy of a Word document or Excel workbook to recreate, a printed set of guidelines containing specifications for the document or workbook, and data files that can be used as building blocks to speed up the recreation of the document or workbook. Students will be allowed up to 50 minutes to recreate the document or workbook they are provided.
I would really like to get a hold of these exams. Especially the one in Word 2007. (Hate Word 2010.)

Friday, August 5, 2011

THE BEST DANCER AT ST. BERNADETTE'S -- WITH THE WORST REPUTATION:  A melancholy farewell to Cal State-Northridge speech professor Annette Charles, better known to all of us for her memorable work as a character actress in one scene, in one movie, in 1978. When the producers of Grease needed a hussy to steal Danny Zuko on the dance floor, they found their Cha Cha DiGregorio in Annette Charles, and she absolutely delivered. Clip below the fold.
CANTEEN BOY, MY BEARD IS SCRATCHY, ISN'T IT?  News from earlier this week I've neglected to address from 30 Rockefeller—Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy will host the first two episodes of SNL this season, thus breaking the tie between Baldwin and Mr. Steve Martin atop the Five Timer's Club (both are at 15).

In addition, you know how we often do the "should go/will go" analysis of each year's SNL cast? This year, no one's leaving, whether the frequently-used (and flush with movie options) Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis or the underused Jay Pharoah and Paul Brittain. Others may be added.
YOU SHOULD TRY NATURAL DETERGENT: So a few days ago, Adam accuses us of failing to warn him of the awesomeness of Louie (note to Adam, culled from the better part of a decade of posts and comments: Friday Night Lights; Freaks & Geeks; Undeclared; Battlestar Galactica; Justified; Parks & Recreation; Arrested Development; Deadwood; The Wire; Better Off Ted). If that drew any of our readers still on the fence to this week's episode, then you have your pick of "you're welcome" and "we're sorry."

HE WAS A KING AND A GOD IN THE WORLD HE KNEW, BUT NOW HE COMES TO CIVILIZATION MERELY A CAPTIVE:  In honor of James Franco's latest screen venture, go ahead and name your favorite movie in which a monkey** appears.

** Or ape, orangutan, baboon, chimpanzee, or other primate like that. Let's not be sticklers.
JOHNNY WAS JUST A SCHOOL BOY, WHEN HE HEARD HIS FIRST BEATLES SONG. LOVE ME DO, I THINK IT WAS, AND FROM THERE IT DIDN'T TAKE HIM LONG: This week's Friday Playlist request: Songs about the career arc of the band in question or songs about a mythical band's career arc. There are many great songs, too, that editorialize about life as a rock n' roll star (e.g., Moody Blues - "I'm Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band" and The Byrds - "So You Want to be a Rock N' Roll Star"). Add those, too, but I'm really looking for a definitive list of songs about a guy who starts the song without a band, has one in the middle, and is either dead because of/nostalgic for/or jaded by his time with that band.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I GUESS THIS MEANS THAT SHE'S GETTING MORE CAF-POW: Adam previously expressed his shock at Pauley Perette's high Q Score, but news that she's now the #1 Q Score among all TV personalities, with other NCIS cast members taking up 4 more slots in the Top 10, may be even more shocking. Perhaps even more surprising is Jim Parsons, who's at #3 despite playing a character who's not exactly "accessible." Gratifyingly, the highest ranked non-CBS personality? Nathan Fillion, who comes in at #6.
OH GILLIAN, SHE'S A DONCASTER LASS: Commenter Bobby has a question:
Looking to tap into the hive mind of ALOTT5MA for some help with a trip to London. I'm going on my honeymoon there at the end of the month (and taking my wife with me!) and am interested in any advice, particularly dining recommendations for young couples on a budget. Things of the must-see/should-avoid variety would also be helpful.
THEY DO IT JUST A LITTLE BIT BETTER:  How big is Wawa?  It's the #8 seller of cups of coffee in America despite only having 587 stores in the midatlantic region, just one of the factoids you'll learn in this Don Steinberg profile.  (See also the five women from West Chester who visited every Wawa; lots of old school Wawa pictures.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

LABOR, LAW: Of course we're proud of our blog readers who endured and survived the Bar Exam last week (and in years past), but, honestly, it's not like y'all went into labor during the afternoon of the multistate and still finished the multiple choice exam before giving birth two hours later or anything.
I NEVER WANTED TO BE A STAR. IT WAS AN ANOMALY THAT I WAS ON SNL AT ALL:  Joe Piscopo sits down with New York magazine for an interview that is wholly unedited and unfiltered. Piscopo's far more revealing than he thinks he is -- I don't believe he's conscious of how name-droppy and self-aggrandizing he is, and the end of the interview is a beaut.
EGOT WATCH: While we debate whether Whoopi Goldberg's producing Tony for Millie and her pair of Daytime Emmys count, James Earl Jones will join EGOT next year, assuming the honorary Oscar he's getting counts. (Jones' other wins? Tonys for Great White Hope and Fences, three Emmys, most prominently for Gabriel's Fire, and a 1976 Grammy for Spoken Word, shared with Helen Hayes, Henry Fonda, and Orson Welles. Interestingly, that Grammy win for Hayes made her the first person to EGOT.)
MIDSUMMER UPDATE: Okay, so I didn't pick up on what you were saying about "Louie," and I don't want to make that mistake again. How about letting everyone know what things you're reading, watching, listening to, or eating this summer that the rest of us ought to check out?
WELCOME, MY FRIENDS. WELCOME TO MY CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Buzzfeed attempts to catalog the ten greatest entrances in movie history. Don't click on the link if you still don't know who played John Doe in Seven. Filmsite lists many more here ... and, really, how does this list not start with Clarice Starling's walk past the underground cells to meet Dr. Lecter?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

COME ON, BABY, THE LAUGH'S ON ME: Via Jay, below the fold it's time to Jazzercise with the Boss -- outtakes from the rehearsals for the "Dancing in the Dark" video:
DOES THIS LOOK LIKE "GUB" OR "GUN"?  A few days ago Linda Holmes tweeted that the pilot for "Take the Money and Run," a reality competition debuting on ABC tonight, was "silly and intriguing" but she was "instantly sucked in." Shall we give it a try?
SHERMAN MCCOY'S GPS: Joe Queenan muses on movie plots rendered impossible by the advent of modern technology.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I BELIEVE THEY'RE CALLED "BRAZIL NUTS," ACTUALLY:  Someone here was supposed to tell me sooner that I needed to start watching Louie.  Hot damn am I enjoying this quirky, dark, weird and fearless little show. I thought "Moving" was just genius and deeply affecting, and a show that can pull off that and "Blueberries" and the Joan Rivers episode ... yes, I will follow Louis C.K. wherever he wants this show to go.

(Okay, Sepinwall has been sounding the alarm.)
PAGING JOHN QUIÑONES: On a recent evening, I pulled into an unfamiliar parking lot which had a posted rate of $10. The lot had no gate, no booth, no ticket, just an attendant on a chair by the exit. I walked past the attendant after parking, who explained to me that the fee was $10, "pay now or pay later," but that he was leaving soon after having worked a 10 hour shift and, as such he explained, "or don't pay, and that's okay. I really don't care. Up to you."  He didn't indicate whether he was being relieved upon the end of his shift.

Tell me what you'd do, and then I'll tell you what happened ... a bit later.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

#MTV30:  Below the fold, some of the vintage clips I've seen on VH-1 Classic in the past hour that have left me unable to get off the couch:

HIS HAND WAS UP IN THE AIR, AND HE WAS ARCHING WAY BACK. SO I REACHED UP AND HIT HIS HAND. IT SEEMED LIKE THE THING TO DO: The current issue of ESPN's magazine has a fantastic longread on the origins of the high five, which goes in a number of unexpected directions that I shall not spoil.