Thursday, November 30, 2006

I read this morning that Danny Devito was bleeped on more than one occasion yesterday morning while appearing on The View. You can watch the video here. Granted, he was drunk off his ass, but I can't tell what obscenity he used. It looks like he was bleeped for calling George Bush a "numb-nuts" during an anti-Bush tirade. I can understand the censorship for swearing the tirade, but it seems like they were just censoring his commentary.

As someone who works in television myself, I've come to have a huge problem with the division called "Standards and Practices." I can understand, during certain hours of programming, the need to be watchful of language and certain topics. However, since the Janet Jackson nipple incident, S&P has been especially wary of anything they think might offend someone. I guess my biggest problem with the so-called "Standards" departments is that there IS NO STANDARD. There's no guide book that tells them what can be said and what can't, what can be shown or not - it's up to the general opinion of the particular Standards person assigned to any given show. And it completely differs from network to network.

The show I work on airs after 10pm, yet we are not allowed to show people in the act of sex. Sure, they can be in the afterglow moment, but we've been advised we can not hear the sounds of lovemaking, can not "see him on top of her, " and that "you can either see him go up OR down, but not up AND down." And yet, we can show someone being shot. Tune into "24" and you can see Jack Bauer stab someone in the neck, but what you won't see is him getting a blow job. But watch "Two and a Half Men" on another network, and hear sexual innuendo from beginning to end.

It's a very slippery slope, and the networks don't seem to be loosing up their choke hold. That's my rant for today about the networks.

The song for today is "Red Skies At Night" by the Fixx from the 1982 album Shuttered Room. I've always loved the sound of the Fixx and enjoy all of their other hits, as well. And Cy Curnin was pretty easy on the eyes. I saw them play at a big 80s concert a few years ago, and they still sounded great, and Curnin had a great sense of humor about being able to cash in on music from 20 years ago. Of this song, he said, "What the hell was I on when I wrote this?" and then added, "'s still paying the mortgage!"

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 seems like it became winter all of a sudden. The plus to the cold weather is that Wally is more likely to crawl into bed in the morning to cuddle. He's a perfect angel when he's sleepy like that.

Even though it's not officially winter yet, winter weather has already arrived in colder parts of the country. It snowed an unusual 12 inches or so up in the Puget Sound earlier this week. I grew up in Western Washington, and though it will snow a couple of times a year, it's rare that you will get that much accumulation, or that it will even stick. I've included some photos here from my friend's Q13 web site in Seattle:

It almost makes me wish I was back. Alas, it does not always look like this and is usually just drizzly and cold in the winter.

I had to go take my car to the mechanic this morning (another mechanic) and get a rental car. I really wanted to get in and out of the rental car place, but the rental agent I had was quite peppy and talkative and was going on and on about their insurance, which I wasn't about to buy, while we were standing outside in the cold wind. Have you ever wished you could just make someone stop talking? I'd planned on renting the cheapest car they had, but upon seeing the little tin can called an "Economy Car," I decided to upgrade. I couldn't begin to wonder how Wally was going to fit in it.

Speaking of which, thanks to the reader who reminded me it's Wednesday. I could never forget about Wally, but it's not unusual for me to forget what day of week it is! Here's the little man from our hiking excursion last weekend.

The song for today is "Down Under" by Men at Work off their album Business as Usual. I'm not sure, but I think this may have been their first album. If not, it was definitely the one that broke them into mainstream America, and included their other hits "Who Can It Be Now" and "Be Good Johnny." I always thought the guys in Men at Work were funny, and can remember how humorous and over-the-top their videos were. "Down Under" gave me my first glimpse of Australia and what would become a lifelong fascination with that country. Unfortunately, Men at Work broke up in the 80s, members leaving one by one until all that was left was Colin Hay. He still records decent music, and you can check out an acoustic version of "Overkill" on the Scrubs soundtrack.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Went to a great Kings game last night. They actually WON, which makes them 8-13 (sigh). The game was very close, tied 2-2 at the end of regulation, and went into a 5 minute 4 on 4 sudden death overtime. No one scored, which by the New NHL rules, means a shootout. Kopitar and Frolov both put their pucks in the net to secure the 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. I forgot to snap any photos during the game, but here are the Kings celebrating after their victory.

Unfortunately, when I went out to get in my car at work so that I could GET to the game, I had problems with my car. This is pretty unusual because I have a relatively newer car and I try to take decent care of it. Plus, I haven't been having ANY problems with it. That is, until I tried to drive to the game last night to find the "Engine System Service URGENT" light on (not a good sign), and my car would not accelerate. I had no idea what to do, short of calling AAA. I was in a panic, since I was meeting a friend at the game and I was the one with the tickets. Somehow, my car eventually started up (though the light came on), and I was able to barely make the game on time.

My light has been on since that time, and I've been worried about it stalling out in the significant amount of traffic I sit in. I haven't had any problems. But I promptly took it to a mechanic this morning, and the Engine light promptly shut off just in time for the mechanic not to be able to see it. So not only was it not doing what it had been doing, there wasn't even any visible proof that anything was wrong. Hopefully, he can figure it out anyway.

The song for the day is "I Love Rock And Roll" by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. I loved Joan Jett. I don't usually like female acts, but for a girl, she could actually rock. I still have my black heart button, and still love to turn this song up when it comes on the radio. I did sort of lose some respect when she tried to act and played Michael J. Fox's sister in the movie Light Of Day. My friend, Reid, was completely in love with Jett and actually had a life size cut out of her in his room when we were kids. In a strange twist, both Joan AND Reid ended up being gay.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Jesus Christ,'s just f-ing rain! No need to drive 5 mph, just try to drive like a sane person! Rain in Los Angeles has the same effect as a foot of snow in any other city. It took me an hour and a half to get to work this morning. Well...Wally was happy. He did get to play fetch in the pouring rain this morning, and I had to take the time to towel him off before he could go back in the house. I should have known it would rain today. Just as with a car - I washed the dog yesterday.

I took this cool picture while breaking in my new mountain bike above Pasadena yesterday:

I'm going to the Kings game tonight. I hear the rain is tapering off by this evening, so hopefully, it won't be such a nightmare trying to get to the Staples Center. They play the Devils. We'll see if the good Kings or the bad Kings show up for the game. (Lately, it's been more of the latter).

Song of the day is "Tom Sawyer" by Rush off the 1981 album Moving Pictures. Much to my friend Jason's dismay, this is the only song I have ever really liked by Rush. (I think every other day I saw him in junior high, he had either a Rush or a Who t-shirt on). If you watched Family Guy last night, you saw a very funny reference to drummer Neil Peart and this song.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A friend mentioned to me yesterday that he had read in TV Guide that the show I work on has already "jumped the shark." For those of you unfamiliar with the term, "jumping the shark" means the point at which a tv show has desperately tried something new to avoid dying out in the ratings. (It can also mean the point at which a show should have just accepted its fate and died, instead of trying to hang in there.) The term comes from the Happy Days episode when Fonzie jumped over a shark on waterskis.

So, to me, it's really pretty clear when shows have jumped the shark. The show might have more than one point at which this actually happens, but it's pretty clear, nonetheless. It's generally when something happens like they add a new character to the show who is supposed to be more interesting than the ones actually LEFT on said show near the end of its run. For example, when they added Leonardo DiCaprio on Growing Pains because Kirk Cameron was barely on the show anymore, and younger brother Ben hadn't grown up cute enough to drag in the young female audience.

A show also jumps the shark when the couple with years of sexual tension finally hooks up (David & Maddie on Moonlighting), when someone is born and ages unnaturally (Andy on Family Ties), when the cute kid on the show hits puberty (Kevin in The Wonder Years), or when they have the "serious" episode on the "funny" show ("This week, on a very special Blossom..."). You get the picture.

The point I've brought this up is I think people (and I'm talking about TV Guide right now) often use the term incorrectly. They use it to mean the point at which a show has become annoying to them. I've seen people on web sites refer to Ally McBeal jumping the shark when the Dancing Baby appeared. Of COURSE that's not when the show jumped the shark - that's what put them on the map! They jumped the shark when they added Dame Edna to the regular cast and Ally's 10 year old daughter showed up from out of nowhere.

I'm not saying my show HASN'T jumped the just didn't happen when Al Sharpton showed up (episode 1, by the way), or when two adult lawyers started wrestling each other over a woman (that's just the goofy writing of the series' creator). I just wanted to spread the word so everyone would know how to properly use the term. I'm just sayin'...

Had lots of fun mountain biking yesterday, though I think I may be off to buy a new bike. My old bike is not in what I would call good shape to be coming down a mountain at 15 miles an hour in dirt. It scared the hell out of me because I didn't have the proper knobby tires.

Also, Wally and I managed to get a quick hike in yesterday, if only around the back and of the Rosebowl. At least there was some muddy water for him to get totally filthy and smelly in!

I talked to my sister on the phone last night, which made me think of the song for today, which shall be "Magic Power" by Canadian rockers Triumph. She LOVED these guys, and I remember her going to see them at some huge concert down in Oregon in the 80s with a bunch of other bands playing - it was an early version of Lollapalooza or that type of show. Anyway, Triumph were a bit of a Rush rip off, but they had their own sound, as well. In fact, I never really liked much Rush, but I did like a lot of Triumph, especially from their 1981 album Allied Forces, which had this song on it. Besides, their lead singer, Rik Emmett, was a lot easier on the eyes than Geddy Lee.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

For those of you who have not yet seen it, please watch the grainy cell phone video of UCLA campus police officers tasering a student for not leaving the library when they asked. The rough story as reported here is that the student was working in UCLA's Powell Library around 11:30 pm on Nov. 13 when a random check of IDs occurred (to ensure the safety of students, no one OTHER than a student with ID is allowed in the library after 11pm). This student could not produce a Bruin ID, and did not immediately leave. At this time, campus police were alerted. When the PD arrived at the library, the student had his backpack in hand and was already on his way out of the library. The PD grabbed his arm to stop him.

This is when things get a little hazy, but the student was pretty pissed off that he was being stopped - grabbed - when he was already on his way out. It built into a yelling match between the student and UCLA PD, which resulted in them tasering him to get him under control. He was tased 4 more times before they took him into custudy.

First off, I'm not sure I understand why they even bothered to stop him when they arrived to find him already in the process of leaving. Why not just let him exit and be done with it? Second, I'm not sure ANY unarmed student who is up against several police officers ever needs to be tased. Was it not possible for them to overcome him without the use of such force? OK - say the kid just went completely bat-shit on the officers, was cracked up on drugs, and was completely out of hand. I can understand tasing him ONCE. But it's my understanding that he was cuffed after the first tasing, so why the need to tase him 4 additional times while he was already restrained?

This is a big story at UCLA and is still in play as you can read here. You can also search UCLA and Taser in Google and see what comes up.

I was hoping to take Wally up to Switzer today for a big hike, but since I'm going to go mountain biking with some friends later in the day, I don't think I'll have the time. Maybe we'll go over behind the Rose Bowl.

The song of the day is "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears For Fears. The song comes from their 1985 album Songs From The Big Chair. This band was really big when I was in junior high. Friends had photos of the band's two leaders, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, on their bedroom walls. While I also appreciate the band's first release The Hurting, I think their strongest music is on this album, and "Everybody" is a great example of that. It was also used in the soundtrack for Val Kilmer's "Real Genius."

Friday, November 24, 2006

Had a really great time on Thanksgiving yesterday once dinner began. Before that, it was just errands and WAITING to eat some turkey! I was invited to spend the holiday with my neighbors, Jeff and Katherine, and their 2-year-old, Sofie, along with their other friend, Camille. To his credit, Jeff prepared most of the meal. Katherine helped, too, but hey - Jeff was cooking pecan pies for days, and was also the one to deep fry the turkey after injecting it with garlic and cajun spices. (Yum!) Not to mention the home made ice cream he made.

The dinner was great, as was the company. After dinner and desert, we began to play my new "Totally 80s" version of Trivial Pursuit. I have to admit, despite having grown up in the 80s, I have somehow avoided playing a full game of Trivial Pursuit until yesterday. I had NO IDEA how long it can take to play! I couldn't tell if a game normally takes that long, or if we, as a group, were just abnormally daft at answering questions. But I would guess that it took around 4 hours to play the entire game, and had we not been so desperate at that point for the game to be over, it could have gone on much longer.

The four of us playing all have artistic backgrounds, and were all relatively strong in the Music, Movies, and TV departments. The hardest category for us was Sports & Leisure. Most of the questions would start something like, "Who held the American League West record..." at which point, the player would just say, "Oh, God...I have no idea." Kat was leading the game until she had the last wedge needed in the Sports & Leisure category. She missed question after question. Then when Jeff needed that final wedge...he got a Leisure question about Pac Man. And somehow, though I know a LOT of movies from the 80s, I kept getting asked Woody Allen questions, and I don't think I've seen more than two of his movies ever (Hey, look! He's neurotic and self-deprecating! How novel!). Next time, we'll play teams, and I already have dibs on my friend, Kings Fan, who will know all those sporting questions none of us could answer.

At any rate, a great Thanksgiving evening. And the 80s theme will, of course, roll right into the song of the day which is "Modern Love" by David Bowie. I was a little too young for the whole 70s Bowie Ziggy Stardust thing, but I found myself fascinated by Bowie in 1983 when he released the album Let's Dance, which included "Modern Love" and some other great singles. Compared to other musicians of the time, who were all pretty much in their early 20s, this was an older guy (he was 35 when this album was released), wearing a fashionable suit, looking like some sort of model, singing rock music on stage. I remember Bowie considered himself some sort of actor (in fact, he still acts, and was recently in the Prestige) and his videos were always interesting to watch. I think the orginal version of "Blue Jean" was 19 minutes long or something. At any rate, "Modern Love" is a GREAT song, definitely a crank-it-up-in-your-car type of song.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite meal of the year. Fresh roast turkey, mashed potatoes, fresh rolls, pie...what's not to like? Our "dinner" today starts at 2pm. I only assume that it happens this early every year to ensure you have enough hours to totally gorge yourself on food before you have to go to sleep. I'm going to my neighbor's this year, where they will be deep frying a turkey. I've had it before, and it's very good, so I'm looking forward to it. One of the neighbors has also been making his own home made ice cream for the occasion, so I'm definitely looking forward to that, too.

I have to be honest. I'm having trouble thinking of things to write today because all I can think about is eating turkey later. Oh - I did go to the ENT yesterday, and the tonsils DO have to come out, so that will be a nice Christmas two weeks off. And I'm sure it's not nearly as painful as all the doctors have suggested. (Seriously - if any of you reading have had your tonsils removed as an adult, fill me in!)

I'll just skip to the song of the day today. It has occurred to me as I flip through my collection that I really should keep a list of songs that I've already used because I'm already forgetting what has and hasn't made the list so far. For today, I've chosen "Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco. I'm not sure what the actual stats are, but I'd guess Falco is probably the only person to have broken the American Top 10 with a song sung almost entirely in German. And more than once. I think "Der Kommisar" must have at least made the Top 20, and I'm talking about the original version by Falco, not the crappy english remake by After the Fire. "Rock Me Amadeus" came off the album Falco 3 in 1986 which featured the other hits "Vienna Calling" and "Jeannie." While I never bought any of his albums, I always liked the hits Falco had, and always loved his sound - an odd mix of European tehcno and mainstream american pop. Sadly, Falco (born Johann Hölzel) died in a car accident in 1998 at the age 0f 41 in the Dominican Republic where he was residing.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's Wednesday, and yet I don't have to be at work. Thanksgiving is a great holiday. You would think I'd sleep in, have a lazy morning, play with the dog, and enjoy my day off. Unfortunately, having an extra week day off when businesses are open means taking care of all the errands I don't usually get to take care of. So I took my car in to be serviced at 7:30, am currently waiting on a plumber, and will then drive to Century City to visit an ENT to see if my tonsils need to come out. Yep...just another fun, relaxing day off!

Whenever I have a day off, it doesn't take too long for Wally to start whining to play fetch. Since today is Wally Wednesday, I've included a photo I took of him last week while we were playing fetch on the back lot at work. I'm also including a photo of what I refer to as a "mud ball." Second to fetch, Wally's favorite past time with the tennis ball is to dig it around in the dirt, put it in his mouth, spit it back out, dig it in the dirt again, etc. The mixture of labrador saliva and dirt results in the aforementioned "mud ball." 15 minutes before I took this picture, this was a brand new tennis ball. You'd think I'd go through a lot of them, and I did, before my neighbor made an accidental and useful discovery: if you put "mud balls" and an old towel in the washing machine and run it through a cycle - nearly new tennis balls emerge.

It's been so long since I had more than a weekend off, I hardly know what to do with myself, other than run errands. I'm hoping to take Wally on a hike, do some more Christmas shopping (I haven't been to Old Town in awhile), and maybe actually go see a movie (in a theatre!!). I've also been wanting to take a Walking Tour of Chinatown, though that may have to wait until later. Some friends and I are supposed to play hockey the morning after Thanksgiving at 6am (!) in Yorba Linda (!!), and I may give mountain biking a try, as well.

I do know I have some Christmas presents to wrap. I know I'm in the minority when I say I LOVE to wrap Christmas presents! I have loved to do it since I was a kid, and it's still my favorite part of the holiday (aside from giving the actual gifts). I never understand people who go wrap presents the day of and set them under the tree, just to be ripped open a few hours later. I'm all about displaying the wrapping. (Just writing this, I am now realizing how pathetic my life is sometimes).

I suppose it's time to end the rambling and pick a song of the day (pulls out trusty iPod). In honor of the winter holidays, I'll go with "Hazy Shade of Winter" by the Bangles. I'm not much on girl bands (and never have been), but this song is proof that chicks can rock when they want to. The opening guitar riff kicks ass and really adds some power to the milder Simon and Garfunkel original. I don't remember which Bangles album this came from (though I'm sure my pal Kings Fan will know). I always remember it from the 1987 movie "Less Than Zero."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

For those of you who HAVEN'T heard Michael Richards' tirade at the Laugh Factory, click here. OK, now that you've seen it, and seen that Richards seemed to be off his nut, you can further appreciate his attempt at an apology last night on the Late Show with David Letterman. "For me to be at a comedy club and flip out and say this crap, I'm deeply, deeply sorry," he said. It seems like a weak apology, especially if you heard him say it. He continued, "I'm not a racist. That's what's so insane about this." It's hard to believe he's NOT after repeatedly yelling the word "nigger" at two black hecklers at the comedy club. I have to say, I was extremely surprised to see him apologizing on TV, instead of immediately announcing he was going into rehab, which would be the usual response to behavior like that. For some reason, agents think that addressing (or just having) a drug or alcohol problem excuses the actions of said actor. Remember how we found out Mel Gibson had been "battling" with alcohol abuse after his tirade?

In sad news, director Robert Altman died today at the age of 81. Altman was a prolific director and had a huge body of work, including "MASH," "The Player," and "Short Cuts" among others. While no cause of death was given, Altman had undergone a heart transplant 10 years ago. Hollywood definitely lost one of its greats today.

In even sadder news today, my neighbors had to return their new bulldog puppy. I mentioned the pup yesterday and how cute he was. Unfortunately, he got sick yesterday, and a visit to the vet revealed that he has heart disease that will ultimately kill him. It's hard not to feel bad for the cute puppy and my neighbors, who were clearly very attached to him even after only a couple of days.

The song for today is "She's a Beauty" by the Tubes. I wouldn't say the Tubes were a one-hit-wonder, but this is the only song I personally remember by them. The song came out in 1983 and I saw it on MTV. It has one of the best opening guitar riffs ever. It was also one of those great early MTV videos, and every time I hear that song, I always think of the video with it's circus fun house theme.

Monday, November 20, 2006

It was about 90 degrees in Pasadena Saturday and yesterday. Hello, Thanksgiving in Los Angeles! The up side of nice hot, clear days in L.A. is this view from my bedroom window:

I came home yesterday to find my neighbor out playing with his dogs. I found it a little strange, because up until yesterday, he only owned a dog (singular). I zeroed in on the new addition and realized it was an English Bulldog PUPPY! So cute. He doesn't have a name as of yet, but he's a character. So sweet and well behaved for a puppy with big paws and lots of extra fur. Lift him up and he feels like a bowling ball. I can't wait until he gets even bigger.

I just heard this morning about a new project David E. Kelley is undertaking - he'll be overseeing the script and producing a feature based on the life of hockey great Gordie Howe (Mr. Hockey). Apparently, this was announced Friday night at the Kings game at the Staples Center, on the 60th anniversary of Howe's first goal. The film will be co-produced by Howard and Karen Baldwin, who last paired with Kelley in the hockey movie "Mystery, Alaska."

The film will center around the 1973-1974 season of the World Hockey Association, when then retired Howe, at the age of 44, came out of retirement to play in the upstart hockey league with his two sons, then aged 18 and 19. Howe ultimately led the underdog Houston Aeros to the AVCO championship and won the league MVP.

Howe's is an incredible story, Kelley has a great love of hockey, and Producer Howard Baldwin previously owned and operated the WHA's Hartford Whalers. Together, these ingredients should make for a great film. It will be interesting to learn about the rough and tumble Howe (remember that a "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" refers to a goal, an assist, and a fight). There aren't enough hockey movies, especially GOOD ones, so I'll definitely be looking forward to this one.

The song for today is "Jump" by Van Halen. Now, I've never been much of a Van Halen fan, and to be honest, this is one of the only songs that I like from the period that David Lee Roth sang for them (which for most people, is the only REAL Van Halen). But this song came out in 1984 (off the album 1984), and was a HUGE hit. I distinctly remember someone playing it off a tape every single day for months during gym in the girls locker room, and the way everyone would jump and dance around while it was playing. Despite how anyone my age feels about Van Halen, you will find few people who grew up in the 80s who does not STILL have a copy of 1984 in their collection.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sorry for the somewhat late post. I had a hockey game that didn't start until 11:15 pm last night, so I got to bed super late and totally overslept this morning. I can't wait until it's time to go to bed tonight and I end up laying there with my eyes wide open, unable to sleep. The truth is, I needed a good sleep, so I got it. I won't bother recapping the game. It blew, we lost. The other team had a ringer they had just brought in. Gotta love rec league hockey.

I watched a DVD yesterday called "The Ballad of Jack and Rose." It was an IFC production, and I generally really love independent films much better than big budget ones. You can make the explosions and visual effects and stuff as big as you like, and hire the biggest names in Hollywood, but that just doesn't make your story any better. And this indie film DID have some decent names in it: Daniel Day Lewis, Beau Bridges, Catherine Keener and Jason Lee. It was an unexpected and unusual story about a terminally ill single father's relationship with his teenage daughter on an isolated island that was one a hippy commune. I don't know how else to explain it without giving away the whole story. Although none of the characteristics are similar, the tone is reminiscent of "What's Eating Gilbert Grape." So, if you're tired of the usual crap on TV and DVD, rent this film. You'll enjoy it.

While I was looking for Christmas presents yesterday, I moseyed over to Bed Bath & Beyond. I forgot how much I LOVE that store. It's always a challenge for me to get through the store and not buy anything for my house, because I actually have a bed, a bath, AND a beyond. I guess I know I'm getting older when I consider Bed Bath among my favorite stores.

Since I mentioned the Truth yesterday while talking about Eddie Money, I might as well use them as the song of the day. Most of you probably have never heard of them, and I hadn't before I saw them open for Eddie Money. They had recently started playing a song called "Weapons of Love" on KGON, probably in honor of the concert, because their rotation died down quickly after that. Despite knowing nothing about them, I was totally knocked out by their concert set. My friend, Jason, and I were like the only two people standing up and clapping while everyone else waited impatiently for Money to hit the stage. I went out and immediately bought their album (also entitled Weapons of Love), and it became one of my most played records of the 80s. While "Weapons" was their big hit (so to speak), my favorite song off that album is the song for today: "Edge of Town." If you CAN get ahold of this album, give it a listen, but good luck - in order to get it into my iPod I actually had to record off the record to make mp3s because I couldn't find it on the internet in digital format.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I woke up this morning and headed straight to the dentist for my 6 month teeth cleaning check up. I loathe going to the dentist, especially on a Saturday morning, but otherwise, I would never get to go. What makes it especially fun for me is that my teeth are very sensitive to cold water, so they have to clean my teeth predomonantly by scraping with metal objects. Now, I'm no dental know-it-all, but it seems that in the year 2006, there should be an easier way to have your teeth cleaned. They can fix your eyes with a LASER, but they have to scrape and drill your teeth? It just doesn't seem right. I'm just sayin'...

I had some Christmas shopping to do, as well. (I try to get it done early because most of it has to be shipped up to the NW). I knew a specific thing I needed to find for a specific person, and I thought Costco might have it. I almost never go there anymore, but it was right up the street from my dentist's, so I thought I'd give it a try.

As soon as I pulled into the Costco parking lot, I remembered why I never go there. It is horrific - one giant traffic jam, all so people can get a spot close to the door. God forbid they have to walk a few feet to get into the store. I headed way to the back of the lot and easily found a space. I went into the store, found what I was looking for, and checked out. On my way out of the store, I saw the kiosks for some of the other services Costco offers - hearing tests, eye glasses, tires, counter tops, and, as it turns out, caskets!

I checked out when I got home, and lo and behold - a whole selection of caskets. For instance, you can get this one, "The Mother Casket" (I'm sure my mom will appreciate that) for only $1299.99. You'll be glad to know that includes overnight shipping (who wants to WAIT for a casket?). Aside from the crowds of families and kids, the lines and the parking lots, Costco is quite possibly the perfect store. Where else can you get your veggies, your tube socks, your golf balls AND your casket - all in one place?

On a totally unrelated note, the song for today is "I Wanna Go Back" by Eddie Money. The song comes from the 1986 album Sounds of Money. You might wonder why I chose this specific song, because Money had a lot of hits, a lot of more classic hits ike "Baby Hold On" and "Two Tickets To Paradise." Those are all great songs. And while this song was released in 1986, I remember listening to it a lot in the spring of 1989, right before I graduated from high school. I don't know how graduation affected all of you, but for me, it was like they had set me up for 12 years of schooling, and then suddenly, I was being booted out to face the world alone. I had no idea what to do with myself, or what I SHOULD do. So, even though I was only 18, I was already, as Money's song says, "Feeling so much older."

If you've read my past blogs, it should not surprise you to learn that I also went to the Eddie Money concert. I remember staying the night in my car in the GI Joe's parking lot in Portland to score some good tickets. By 1987, the year of the concert, there really weren't that many people lined up to get Eddie Money tickets. As I recall, is was Jason LeMaster and I in one car, and a somewhat sketchy and high strung scapler and possible drug dealer in a BMW next to us. The Truth opened up. More on them later. That was a great show.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A few reasons why The Office is so damn good:

1) Steve Carrell. As Michael, Scranton’s delightfully ignorant branch manager, Carrell is simply hilarious. His comic timng is so perfect, from his goofy laugh, to repeatedly using the passé saying “That’s what SHE said,” all too often. After accidentally outing a gay co-worker, he says in disbelief, “When I was a kid, ‘gay’ meant ‘lame.’ Now, apparently, it means a man who likes to have sex with another man.” In last night's episode, upon meeting a new employee, he remarks. "Wow! You're really exotic looking. So was your dad a G.I., or what?" His relationship with temp, Ryan, is often unwittingly homoerotic. He is the idiot you love to love.

2) Pam and Jim: The perfect example of sexual tension on television today. We all want the two of them to just finally get together, but worry that when it finally DOES happen, the show will jump the shark, much like Moonlighting or Remington Steele. (Well, maybe YOU don’t worry about that, but I do!) Handsome and sweet Jim (John Krasinski) is just the guy to rescue loyal Pam (Jenna Fischer) from her years long engagement to unappreciative fiancée Roy (David Denman). Now that Roy and Pam have split up, and Jim is finally coming back to Scranton, will their relationshio finally come to fruition? Or will Pam lose Jim to new Office interest from Stamford?

3) The writing: While this show is a knockoff of a show that previously aired on the BBC, it is just as, if not funnier, than the original. The show continues to be produced by Ricky Gervais (the writer/producer who portrayed the Michael-type character in the British version), but is written by and large by an American writing staff. What makes this show even more unique than other shows on television is that several of the writers are also characters on the show. This includes Angela Kinsey (“Angela”), Brian Baumgartner (“Kevin”), and B.J. Novak (“Ryan”) among others.

Although these are more than enough reasons in themselves to tune in to watch The Office, I’ll give you a couple more: the antagonistic relationship between Michael and Human Resources representative, Toby; the incessant ass-kissing by Dwight (Rainn Wilson) to Michael; and the repeated harassing of Dwight’s character by Jim. (Most recently, Jim admitted to sending Dwight faxes from Dwight’s future self).

In short, if you haven’t seen it, do. Seasons One and Two are both available on DVD. Once you start watching, you’ll soon find yourself in an Office marathon.

The song for today is "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger from 1983's album Midnight Madness. While the band had had some previous semi-hits ("Don't Tell Me You Love Me" and "Sing Me Away"), they really broke big with "Sister Christian" which was, I believe, the second single off that album. I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. I remember walking from a friend's house to mine one day, and I had just gotten a small "boom box" for my birthday. We were listening to the radio and that song came on. We really wanted to record it, and had a tape in the machine, so we hit record, only to later find it recorded with an uneven rythem, fading up and back as we walked. (Oh, how I love old technology). If you also love this song and it brings back specific memories for you, you should rent "Boogie Nights" to see the scene where it is used in that movie. I actually saw these guys in concert later in the 80s - Richard Marx was opening for them and they had to have a sponsor - Prell, whose giant banner hung behind them during the entire show.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Los Angeles Kings this week named former player and fan favorite Luc Robitaille to an Executive Position within the organization. According to the press release, Robitaille will be "Assistant to the Governor and Alternate Governor for the Kings." If you're like me, and that title means absolutely nothing to you, the release also explained that Robitaille's duties will primarily focus on the Kings business operations and player/community relations. I miss seeing Robitaille on the ice, and am glad they found a place for him within the organization. He was such a favorite with the fans, I'm sure he will do well in his new position in regards to community relations. His jersey will be retired in a ceremony at a Kings game in January.

I've been collecting some interesting links this past week and thought I would pass some on to you. First is this interesting video. I don't quite know how to explain it without you watching it. It's a guy playing the drums. AND the piano. Who doesn't know how to play either instrument but has composed this song through video editing. Watch it, and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Have you ever heard of dice stacking? I hadn't, until I saw this video on the web. It seems to be a type of party trick. When I first watched that video, I thought it might be a trick done with video editing, until I searched YouTube and found several other similar videos.

I have nothing else to comment on today, except that this seems to be the longest week EVER in the history of mankind. And next week, which will be a short one because of Thanksgiving, will be just as long. I'm looking forward to having a deep fried turkey at my neighbor's house.

The song for today is "Dance Hall Days" by Wang Chung. This song came out in 1984 off the Points On A Curve album, two years before the Mosaic LP was released with "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" - the song that would make them famous. While I enjoyed their later songs, including "To Live And Die In L.A." (from the movie soundtrack), I always preferred this first taste of the band - a great simplistic sound and a good rocking feeling.