Category Archives: television

i feel the earth move

Apparently, there was an earthquake in northern Illinois early this morning. WGN Morning News talked about the number of viewers who called into the show about it (“My cat felt it!” “My husband slept through the whole thing!”), and then put up this page on their web site for viewer comments. I feel okay saying everybody’s feedback cracks me up because so far nobody has been injured or seen property damage or loss. But I can’t participate in the great quake of 2010 because I didn’t feel shit. I slept through the whole thing, just like I slept through the last one.

We also got something of a blizzard as well, but we’re used to that shit by now. So while I feel for people on the east coast who are having snow days and shutting down schools to deal with their extreme weather, I can’t say that what I feel exactly is sympathy. I want to send people in DC cards that say they now know something of what Chicago winters are like and really was that so terrible? Wussies.

I continue to watch “Lost”. I’m not having a lot of “WTF?” moments simply because I haven’t been watching this show consistently since its debut. So when stuff like (spoiler alert!) Ethan turning up as an LA doctor who treats Claire in the version-of-“Lost”-where-the-plane-never-crashed or Claire turns up as an Other on the island in the version-of-“Lost”-where-the-plane-crashed (looking like an Indigo Girl, according to Patrick), I just say “Oh, that’s pretty neat.” and then wait for Dogen to appear.

Because I love me some Dogen. For real, send me a curmudgeonly almost stereotypically cryptic Asian dude and I will bow down. Jin? Miles? Pierre fucking Chang? Hell yeah. Also he gave Jack the Heimlich Maneuver when he swallowed the poison meant for Sayid. Frankly, I would have let Jack die but that’s only because I find Jack annoying.

In addition to “Lost”, I watched “American Idol” for a bit so I could see how Ellen Degeneres did as a judge. I missed her stint as a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance”, but I think I read she wasn’t great then because all she did was tell everybody that they were awesome.

For American Idol, though, I thought Ellen did great. Some TV folks (read: TV columns the RSS feeds of which I subscribe to via Google Reader) seem to agree.

Joseph Brannigan Lynch reviewed AI for New York magazine’s Vulture column. Writing about Ellen’s style as a judge:

But Ellen hardly adopted Simon’s “impress me or die” attitude, either. She managed to cut into people without ever depriving them of their dignity, making jokes at their expense but not dismissing them outright. She also wasted no time addressing the fact that she has no musical background by assuring audiences that she has spent years learning what entertains people. So far, so good: Unlike two of her peers with actual music-biz résumés, she consistently offered meaningful feedback to each contestant. Instead of enigmatic platitudes such as, “I like you, dawg” or “One thousand percent yes,” Ellen explained to each performer how they made her feel.

Claire Zulkey of The A.V. Club remarked:

I was surprised that Simon seemed to enjoy Ellen’s gags, but then again, she’s the first person with a brain stem to appear on the judges’ table so maybe he’s just happy to have someone there to hang with.

Dude, I totally co-sign this statement. If I were Smokey Robinson, I would second this emotion.

But Ellen hardly adopted Simon’s “impress me or die” attitude, either. She managed to cut into people without ever depriving them of their dignity, making jokes at their expense but not dismissing them outright. She also wasted no time addressing the fact that she has no musical background by assuring audiences that she has spent years learning what entertains people. So far, so good: Unlike two of her peers with actual music-biz résumés, she consistently offered meaningful feedback to each contestant. Instead of enigmatic platitudes such as, “I like you, dawg” or “One thousand percent yes,” Ellen explained to each performer how they made her feel.

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a quick one before i go to bed

So I didn’t make it to the Chicago Nerds mashup last night. When Maurel went to pay the parking meter, she noticed that Sopo, a bar down the street from the Mystic Celt, had $2 burgers and $2 beers. Sorry, nerds, but $2 burgers beat $5 burgers always.

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Life, Rent, Felt

I know the last few days have been cheats for National Blog Posting Month. I will post harder, better, faster, stronger for the rest of the month, I swears. But first, a few quick notes:

I am obsessed with HGTV, For Rent in particular. Probably because I am a long-time renter with no real plans for buying a place any time soon. Also I think it’s hilarious that host Jodi Gilmour and her renters never refer to the cities or neighborhoods in which they work by name. It’s always “trendy downtown area” or “safe family-friendly neighborhood”. I can tell by their accents that they are Canadians (thanks, Degrassi!), so what’s the problem with saying “lovely central Toronto”? What’s that all aboot? Just say Vancouver already! Trust me, I don’t think you should worry so much about the possibility of alienating American viewers if you happen to let slip that you’re joining us from sunny Quebec. For crying out loud, rents are quoted in (Canadian, okay) dollars and spaces are measured in square feet! The metric system is nowhere to be found!

Soulbounce.com is doing a “Month of Mary” to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Mary J. Blige’s masterpiece, My Life. Most of the posts have been devoted to each track from the record, talking about production details, why it matters as part of a whole, and marveling at the amount of pain that Mary must have been in during this period in her life. She took her pain and used it to create one of my favorite albums of all time.

I bought this totally gorgeous brooch at the Art Institute gift shop this weekend. It’s a coral colored dahlia made out of felt. You can see it in this picture here. It’s the brighter one in the upper left hand corner. I think it’s fetching.

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questions I am having

  1. What’s the difference between typing ‘@username’ and ‘.@username’ when updating Twitter? What does a period do when added to the beginning of a Twitter username?
  2. Mike of Chicago Carless sent me an invite to Google Wave today. First of all, thank you! Second of all, what do I do with it now?
  3. Why am I still watching season 6 of Project Runway? It’s crap, isn’t it?. It makes me miss Leanne Marshall, aka “Judy Noodles”.
  4. What did you think of this week’s episode of Glee? Were you offended? Were you delighted? Did you just want to see Artie and Tina make out a whole bunch more?
  5. I am taking a vacation day tomorrow (Friday the 13th!). I plan to take my voice class at 11:30, so I have Saturday morning to go to parade school (yes, parade school, but more about that Saturday). But what should I do tomorrow afternoon? I could probably do anything. I’ve been craving waffles, though, so I think that’s what I’ll be having for brunch.

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By The People

I just finished watching By The People: The Election of Barack Obama on HBO. It was pretty good. It reminded me of how much I lived and died by this past campaign. I did a lot of it in private, though, because while I think of myself as passionate about the electoral process I am pretty uninformed about politics. And I didn’t want to get too much into discourse even with my friends who are of the same political stripe, lest I degrade the conversation. Nobody wants to be the annoying newbie asking all the questions they should have asked during AP US history in high school. PS: I got a 3 on that particular AP test. See? I’m a lightweight.

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i like to watch: The Big Bang Theory: “The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation”

Season 3 of ‘The Big Bang Theory” premiered last night with “The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation”, and I was not disappointed in its return. Though I have a few things to nitpick about:

  • So apparently living in a tiny research station in the Arctic with Sheldon was so awful that Raj, Leonard, and Howard plotted (though never carried about) ways to bring about his demise. We heard about it, but I would have liked to see some awfulness. Maybe in a short flashback?
  • Why didn’t we hear about what Penny was up to while they were away? Probably not germane, at least not at the moment, but I wonder if Penny’s going to work at the Cheesecake Factory forever. Could she at least get rid of that awful uniform? The servers at the Cheesecake Factory here in Chicago wear white shirts and pants with black ties. Or so I ‘ve heard. Because you know I only eat at fancy places. Because I’m fancy.
  • Chemistry between Sheldon and Penny seems stronger than between Leonard and Penny. I think everybody knows this, so I don’t see Leonard and Penny redux having a big future. At the same time, that epilogue with them in bed, acknowledging the weirdness of them finally, you know, doing it, makes sense of their chemistry? I don’t think that Leonard/Penny lacks chemistry, but Sheldon/Penny chemistry is just so wonderful that it would be hard to compete with.

Stuff I loved about “The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation” season premiere:

  • Arctic facial hair! The boys looked like cavemen Beatles.
  • Howard keeping the mustache
  • Howard in general
  • we meet Mrs. Cooper (played by the always awesome Laurie Metcalf) again
  • the return of “Soft Kitty”!

I like The Onion’s A.V. Club television coverage of this and many other shows. Click here to read their recap of “The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation”.

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Persuasion

Things that have been on my mind and I swear on Imelda Marcos’s bouffant I will write about. Here. On this blog. Maybe even today.

The Emmys

Every year, I look forward to the Emmys until I see that the nominated writers are overwhelmingly White and male. I ranted a bit on Twitter about this and then I wondered if I’m jeopardizing my own aspiring tv writer ass by doing so. I then got slightly depressed when I remembered that I’m in my 30’s, in not great health, and also so risk-averse it’s almost paralyzing. Seriously — who’s still an aspiring thing in their 30’s? I feel pathetic and small and petty.

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the summer wind

Violet margarita at Big Jones

Violet margarita at Big Jones

Quick rundown of the last few days. Lazy, I know, but I’ve been busy this week.

Monday: I went to a free screening of “Extract”. It was funny. You should see it. I’ll post a longer recap/review tonight.

Tuesday: Thom had a birthday. He wanted to go to Big Jones for an informal, impromptu birthday dinner. If you were to make a movie of that evening, you’d have to call it “10 Men and a Big Lady”, as I was literally the only lady at the dinner. So I deserve a prize? Oh no but you would be jealous if you knew their margaritas, their delicious delicious margaritas, cost only $5 on Tuesdays. I had a violet margarita. It was amazing. I took some pictures on my iPhone. They came out poorly, but I still posted them to Flickr and to Tumblr.

Wednesday: I saw “World’s Greatest Dad”. It was really fucking good. Go see it. I really mean it. I don’t know if the trailer really gives you a good sense of what the movie is like, which may be okay, as you don’t really want spoilers. The post-show Q&A with Bobcat Goldthwait (who wrote and directed the film) was the best Q&A I’ve ever been to. Lots of great anecdotes not just about writing and making the film but also about his career as an actor and stand-up. His story about opening for Nirvana was really great. When I got home from the movie, I stayed up and watched television instead of being a good girl and going straight to bed. I watched “Top Chef: Las Vegas” (which has been just slightly more boring than the current season of “Project Runway”) and a special episode of “So You Think You Can Dance” which highlighted the best 15 dances from the show’s history (I believe the current season starts soon). For real, these performances were spectacular. Made me wish I’d started watching the show sooner.

Another note about late night tv: The current cycle of “Roseanne” re-runs on TV Land is from one of my favorite periods — Mark and Becky have just gotten married and taken off, while Jackie and Roseanne have just opened the Lunch Box. One of my favorite episodes, “Good Girls, Bad Girls” should be running this week. Watch it for the laughs and a trip down memory lane to the heady days of the early 90’s. I mean, does anybody remember Daisy Chainsaw?

A note about Gapers Block: Gapers Block turns 6 this year, and you’re invited to the party. The party is Friday, September 4 at the Metro. Things kick off at 7pm, and admissions is FREE until 9:30. After which point, it’s a measley $6. Lots of bands and music and I will totally dance with whoever wants to. More information can be found here.

Some other stuff that demonstrates how awesome my friends are:

  1. The topic of vampires and their popularity in popular culture came up at Thom’s birthday dinner. Naturally, there was talk of “True Blood” and “Twilight”. While we were discussing the sexiness of vampires, and whether that was actually implicit in their nature, I wondered if vampires are capable of leaving hickeys. Seriously — is the suction they apply when feasting on someone the same kind as when they’re necking? Does necking have the same meaning for vampires as it does for humans? Do vampires even bother with hickeys or is that too juvenile for them?
  2. Last night I saw Jenni at the screening of “World’s Greatest Dad”. She was telling me about how her voice has deepened and gotten a bit hoarser, as she’s done a bit of public speaking this year. After we talked about sore throat remedies, we talked briefly about our voices maturing as we get older. I think I might have topped myself when I described the process as “our voices getting boobs”.

Seriously, folks, I’m fucking hysterical. BELIEVE IT.

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odds & sods

I’m thinking of things to write bout in my next blog post, and I keep coming back to something I said in my previous entry, a sorta recap of my experiences at BlogHer ’09, in particular the Women of Color and Marketing panel:

Didn’t she see me in all my Asian splendor? I may not speak Tagalog, but I certainly exhibited most (if not all) of the signs of typical Asian-ness: a proclivity for flip-flops, rice at every meal. I rep for Asian, I bleed for Asian, I eat for Asian, because I am Asian.

Because now I want to know: what the fuck do I even mean? I promise, we’ll get into that later, but right now I’m watching “Degrassi Goes Hollywood” and it is AWESOME. You should be able to find my tweets tagged #degrassigoeshollywood here.

Also, I saw Spring Awakening Thursday night (featuring Jake “Craig Manning” Epstein as Melchior!) and it made me all nostalgic for the sexed-up adolescence I never had. Also, I said, out loud, that I missed all the singing I did back in high school. Why did I stop singing when I hit college? I guess I’ll never know but I suspect my jampacked schedule of slacking and chain-smoking in front of Cobb had something to do with it.

But anyway, I miss singing so I finally sucked it up and signed up for a voice class at Old Town. If you sign up by Monday, you get $15 off registration. Yes! Vocal Techniques 1! I am so excited! I get to go buy a binder to keep my handouts in. I love binders! I love singing!

As you can tell, I will be totally insufferable once class begins.

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stuck in neutral

I actually had a nice day yesterday considering I spent it by myself. I know I’m awesome and all but I don’t always make the best company. So I compensated by eating too much, buying makeup, and then crying for a bit before eating a gigantic burger for dinner while watching “True Blood” (aka “Intercourse with A Vampire”).

More about my sad Sunday later.

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