Thursday, January 31, 2008

Time to Get Lost

Lost is back! Starting tonight, according to the creators, Lost will slowly begin to fill in the blanks and start answering the questions we all have until it wrpas up all the mysteries and the show comes to an end. They say they have a specific plan in mind, as well as an outcome that they have been working toward the whole time. Let's hope they aren't full of it, and that the writer's strike doesn't derail anything.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How Do You Bake if You're High?

For the past several years, many products come with high altitude baking directions - usually it has you add more flour or cook for a little longer. What I have noticed, however is that these directions have the altitude listed for which they are applicable, and it is usually 3500-6500 ft. What I am wondering is, why the limit? What about people who live at higher elevations than 6500 ft? I for one live at 6700 ft, just out of range, so I figure I can get away with following directions for 6500, but what about the people in Leadville, CO which is over 10,000 ft? Are they supposed to figure it out by themselves? Or maybe, the high altitude directions are only for that particular range, and any higher or lower you can just use the regular directions. I doubt it. Basically, what I am saying is that the range is stupid - give us a lower limit for when the high altitude directions apply and leave the upper end open.
*By the way, in case you are in doubt of my intelligence, obviously all of these questions are sarcastic and meant to point out how the instructions are flawed. Of course, there are probably people out there who will need clarification for these types of things - you know, the ones who need safety warnings like "do not iron clothes while wearing" or "remove child before folding stroller." Here is a site that has more funny instructions.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Law and Slapstick

I watch a lot of the USA network, and they have recently started airing reruns of NCIS. This is not a show I have seen before, and I don't really plan to watch it, but it is in the vein of the other procedurals I like so I'm sure I would ejoy it if I gave it a chance. Anyway, what I want to focus on is the ads that ran for this show advertising its presence on USA. It was kind of a funny commercial - stating all the things NCIS has that other similar shows don't: more intials, more Mark Harmon, etc. But the one that struck me the most was: "the show with more slaps upside the head." This of course was accompanied by a montage of characters getting whacked upside their heads. Okay, now I get it, it is tv. And yes, the shows on tv do not have to be totally realistic or based in reality. But typically aren't procedurals supposed to be closer than other programs? I find it very unprofessional for those people - who are supposed to be in law enforcement, right? - to go around hitting each other like cartoon characters. Silly. This trait most likely does not affect the show in any way, and probably isn't all that obvious when not edited together, but I found the inclusion of "slaps upside the head" in the selling points to be very amusing and worth comment.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Read It Again, Sam

I don't understand why so many people think reading books over again is weird, or stupid. Every time it gets mentioned that I re-read my favorite books, I get looks like I am a crazy person and this just doesn't make sense to me. I mean, people watch their favorite movies over and over, why are books different? Entertainment is entertainment, in my mind; regardless of the format, if something is enjoyable I want to be able to continue to take pleasure from it on future occasions. It isn't all about finding out what happens - the whole experience should be fun. By the way, I like reruns of my favorite shows too!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Let's All Hum Along

In case you were wondering, the song in those Kate Walsh Cadillac commercials is "Stars" by the band Hum. This is of particular interest to me because the guitarist in the band is a friend of my husband's from high school. And he mentions the song everytime the commercial airs, which I guess is good since I wouldn't really notice it otherwise. And it provides a nice break from his mentions of every Electric Light Orchestra song in a commercial which can get a bit tedious(trust, me there are A LOT, apparently ELO can sell anything). Anyway, I thought you'd be interested too - and no, I wasn't suffering from writer's block today, I actually chose this topic out of literally one or two others.

additional note: we have it on fairly good authority that Cadillac didn't bother to secure the rights to the song before using it. Can you say "big fat settlement check?"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sunshine

Last night I watched Sunshine, a movie that you probably haven’t heard of, starring people whose names you most likely don’t know but whose faces you do. I liked it. It is about a bunch of astronauts and scientists on a mission to try to “jump start” the sun, which is dying out and taking life on Earth with it. There was one large weakness with the so called enemy or bad guy, which is typical of movies like this, because while it is easy to create suspense from the unknown in dangerous situations (and what is more unknown and inherently dangerous than space?), it is difficult to do justice to that suspense once everything is known. So the movie failed in that respect. However, it almost doesn’t matter because while that particular story line was somewhat necessary to drive the plot in points, in most respects it seemed more like a subplot. The movie itself, while being a thriller, developed as more of a rumination on Heaven, sanity, sacrifice, and humanity than anything else. The loneliness and confinement of being on a ship for so long; the mental stress of literally and figuratively setting your sights on the sun, all served to put the main focus of this film on the emotional journey that the astronauts were taking, as well as their various coping strategies (or failures). This was definitely aided by the score, which was very contemplative in several key areas, turning significant scenes into introspective moments instead of explosive ones. If you see this film, just ignore the “bad guy” (he’s only there for a short time, but it would have improved the entire movie if he had been even less of a presence), and instead focus on the journey taken by the main characters, as they struggle to balance saving the world with saving themselves.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Resurrgence of Curling

Pingu is a short cartoon included in the PBS Kid's Sprout shows The Let's Go Show and The Good Night Show, featuring the title character, a penguin and his familyt and friends. It should be annoying - it is claymation or animated to look like it, and the characters talk all the time, but in undecipherable gibberish. Somehow it manages to be charming rather than irritating. Anyway, today the main character and his seal friend were playing a one on one version of curling. Seriously. Curling. I liked it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

RIP model # 50562991

Everyone reading this should take a moment to go into your kitchen and kiss your refrigerator. Tell it how much you love its chilling skills, how 'cool' it is. Go ahead, I'll wait, fridges like puns. Isn't the hum reassuring? Isn't it fabulous to reach in and grab a nice cool drink, or perhaps, get some ice out of the freezer and chill a warm one? The little reliable light - a sure sign that there are fresh fruits and veggies just ready for you to enjoy. Today my refrigerator was pronounced dead - beyond the point of saving and I am very sad. The garage isn't quite as convenient a place to store my perishables, although I could get ALOT more stuff in there. And the front porch is definitely not the best place for frozen items, although I am thankful that it is cold enough outside to keep everything frozen. Or it would be if it hadn't thawed before we removed it from the defunct appliance. I do suppose however that I should go get the bottle of vodka we always have in the freezer out of there before the neighborhood kids get into it. Besides, I might need it to wash down my grief.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Emerald Nuts Are The Nuttiest

The people behind the Emerald Nut commercials have got to be smoking crack, and I mean that in the best way possible. Their commercials are so incredibly insane that there is no way the people coming up with the ideas are sober. The first round featured extremely odd characters performing even weirder activities and the announcer would explain what was going on and the words would all start with the letters of Emerald Nuts. You know, like: Even Magical Elves Running Around Lazy Donkeys Noisily Uttering Truthful Sayings love emerald nuts. Loony. Then they advanced to the now defunct Robert Goulet spot (RIP) where he comes to your office at 3pm when you are sleepy and ruins your keyboards and messes up your paper work. At face value this could be just another case of using a familiar face to sell a product, except for the coup de grace which shows Robert avoiding detection by someone savvy enough to use the nuts to keep the drowsies at bay by crawling away backwards. On the ceiling. Wacky. And now, the latest version features a woman whose husband refuses to employ said nutty remedy, and instead has the Swiss Family Robinson building tiny little tree forts all over his head while he sleeps in his easy chair. Say What? Seriously, if the brains behind these ads say that they were sober as judges and only inspired by the product they have got to be lying. But just in case I’m gonna get me some of them nuts.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Where Was I Again?

Anyone out there who reads my blog regularly (all five?) may notice that at times I digress on my topics. You will also notice an extensive use of parenthesis and dashes used to set aside separate remarks that occur to me as I m writing. While perhaps not grammatically correct, this is clever and funny and you will learn to love it. My favorite writing is the kind that starts somewhere and ends up a completely different place. Well, I like it in blogs and humor writing – in a novel not so much (sorry Mr. King). Writing that reads like stream of consciousness is the best – assuming of course the consciousness is not that of a scallop. But maybe they are hilarious – who knows? (By the way, I totally didn’t know there was that extra ‘s’ between the ‘con’ and ‘ciuosness’ – rock on spell check, learning is fun!) Now, random comments that begin with a discussion of various cheese making techniques and ends up at a pirate anniversary (Aarrgh, me matey didn’t get me the puffy shirt I wanted despite repeated email detailing where it was available and for how much – I’m fit to stick my peg leg up someone’s arse) may not be helpful to any aspiring dairy farmers looking for tips, but reading something that can effectively take you from one unrelated place to another, funnier one is awesome. I’m not so good at it myself, but hey, I got you to ponder the inner thoughts of a scallop and the sartorial desires of pirates, so maybe there’s hope for me yet.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cloverfield

****SPOILER ALERT******* PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU CARE ABOUT NOT KNOWING THE ENDING OR WHAT HAPPENS IN THIS MOVIE BEFORE YOU SEE IT!!
I was very intrigued by the entire concept of the movie Cloverfield. First, I’m a big J.J. Abrams fan, Alias is one of my all time favorites, I thought his version of Mission Impossible was pretty good, and I’m stuck on the island with everyone on Lost as well. Basically I just think the guy is really creative and I’m interested in his projects. And of course the teaser trailers and extreme secrecy about the movie and the monster were more than enough to peak my interest. Hello, headless Statue of Liberty - how can you resist that? So I went to the movie this weekend, and I will say that J.J. Abrams has definitely made a monster movie unlike any other. I’m not going to say it’s the best monster movie because it has a lot of negative points (which will vary depending on people’s opinions), but it is definitely unique. The most obvious point is that it is all shot as if it were a personal video from someone living through this nightmare – the main characters are regular New Yorkers going about their lives and they take a video tape along with them on their attempts to escape to figure out what is happening or whatever to document the events as proof of everything. As might be expected of people in such a situation, they do a lot of running and falling and hiding and panicking, which leads to some very jumpy filmwork. I recommend seeing this movie on a big screen because of this(its probably even harder to see on a TV), but also sit as far back as you can since it made me a bit nauseated until I moved my seat. However, as sickening as some of the jumpy shots are, I felt that they really served to bring a sense of reality to the movie because I was fighting for every little glimpse of what was going on at the beginning, as were all of the characters. Another potential negative for the film is that there is no easy wrap up in the end. It is not explained what the monsters are or where they came from, and we don’t actually really every find out if they are defeated. We assume that they are because the military basically nukes the city, but we don’t know. The entire film is presented as recovered evidence from the scene, and all we get to see is what the camera saw. My husband found this very frustrating, as did many others I’m sure, but I liked it. Again, I felt it added a sense of reality to the whole movie. The whole film to me really felt like a type of allegory to the events of 9/11 and how it feels to go through the chaotic first hours before you know what is even happening, as well as commentary on how our world has changed. I remember the initial reaction to the first plane hitting the towers as being a mistake or accident of some sort – no one’s first thought jumped to terrorism until that second plane hit. In this movie, when the first shock wave rolls through the city people think that it was an earthquake, but there is also an immediate fear that it might be more attacks. Our assumption of innocence has changed. One of the most unforgettable pieces of footage I saw after 9/11 was where an amateur camera man in standing in the street watching a wave of dust roll towards him and he escapes into a store only to watch as the dust rolls across the windows and renders everything black. This scene is recreated perfectly in the movie, right down to someone’s comment about people still being outside, and it really brought back into focus what a horrifying moment that was. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have something so terrible happen that it completely eradicates the reality you have been living in. No one in the movie would have ever thought that a 200 ft tall monster (from sea/space/military experiment gone wrong?) would show up and lay waste to Manhattan, but no one thought the World Trade Center was coming down that day either. But don’t get me wrong – I was not sitting in the theater pining away for a more gentler world during this movie – I was enjoying the thrills and wondering just what the hell that thing was anyway. Which I’m sure was the movie makers’ intention – to make a thrilling, exciting movie that reinvigorated the monster genre and did it in a totally believable modern way, targeted at all those YouTubers out there. But it did make me think a little too. Let’s just all hope that we have the fortitude to fight the horrors we can imagine, and the luck to survive the ones we can’t. And that J.J. Abrams keeps making movies, cause that guy rocks.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Right Time To Write

I have a book entitled The Right To Write, that was bought for me by my parents in an effort to get me to jump start my writing. I’m sure it is filled with all sorts of inspiration and helpful tips on getting started (I do think I read it, I just don’t remember). What should be included – and I will post here now for any aspiring writers who blunder across this site is that you have to find the right TIME to write. I usually write my posts in the morning when the kids haven’t gotten bored with all of their toys yet and turned to Mom as plaything, or in the early afternoon when they are asleep. This works for me in terms of convenience and because it turns of my procrastination alarm that warns me constantly that I have to get a post out and I don’t have anything to say and I better think of something and then type it up, blah blah blah, ad nauseum. However, what I have discovered is that perhaps I should be doing my writing in the evenings instead of blankly staring at a magazine and watching USA. I have discovered this because when I am in the shower at night preparing for bed I begin to think in my “writer’s” voice (read in cleverly thought out sentences that sound like I am talking to someone – namely you) about a topic or something interesting. And I’ll think, I should go write this down before I lose my train and end up tomorrow in the cycle of not having a thing to say and quickly blobbing down some boring observation about a commercial – oh, wait isn’t that the whole premise of my blog? Maybe I should rethink this. Anyway, my creative juices seem to be flowing right around bedtime, as are my fabulous renditions of all of the children’s show theme songs I hear all day which, trust me, when stuck in your head render sleep fairly impossible. But I digress (which is something I plan to talk about another day – haha, I sucked you in, and now you have to come back!). My point is that I think I will begin trying to write in the evenings and then just do my posting and such in the mornings. This also might help in my editing because as my husband likes to point out, my writing is chock full of typos. Well, the joke’s on him – I catch way more typos than ever end up in my columns, wait, how does that make the joke on him? Anyway, this is my first effort at writing down my thoughts after they get going before bed, what do you think? You are probably thinking “WOW, the juices are flowing but I’m sure not seeing the creativity kickin’ in” to which I reply – nothing. I have no time for naysayers and mockery – I have to go practice my typing.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Kids are the Cutest!

Okay - I try not to use this blog as a forum for gushing about how adorable my kids are because A) it would be rubbing it in to all the readers who aren't parents to my kids, (haha just kidding I'm sure your kids are awesome too), B) most of you have never seen them, and C) you probably don't care. But I have to make a comment about something that happened last night that was just really sweet. Every evening about 5pm my daughter decides that it is time to play in her room. She must be accompanied on this venture by one of her parents who is required to sit on the bed and do nothing else. We are not allowed to lay down (I suspect she's on to our little plan of taking naps during this period and that is not allowed) or leave the room, even if she does. Usually I can avoid this duty because I am feeding the baby or making dinner or lying about needing to do these things while I really read my magazines, but last night there were no excuses to be had, and since Jack wasn't sleeping on the floor as is his typical routine, he came with us. So Jack and I sat on the bed and watched Izzy going through the usual cycle of selecting toys from the enormous pile on the floor and placing them on the bed, then deciding certain ones belonged on the floor and throwing them off only to pick them up again and repeat the process, all the while chattering in gibberish. Sounds super fun I know - I'm thinking of writing the screenplay. Anyway, we watch this for a few minutes when Jack starts to laugh. And this is not the little baby giggles we have gotten out of him so far (remember he is barely 4 months old), this is real laughter. Far be it from me to tell you what she was doing that was so funny (or what she was doing at all), but man, did it crack him up! He was just chortling away at her, apparently amused by her running commentary or else he really understood the game and it was a doozy. It was hysterical, and my only regret was that because I was holding him on my lap I couldn't see his face. Izzy didn't even notice any of it, and she soon moved on to other, less humorous activities (they looked the same to me), and the moment was lost. But I got a really cute picture of what it will be like around our house in 6 months or so when Jack is really big enough to play with her (technically he is probably already big enough - the monster - but I think control of your limbs is a prerequisite to good play) and the two of them are giggling and involved in little games we could never understand. Of course, that's also when the bossing and tattling begins - and man, do I think Izzy's going to be a little dictator - but for now we'll focus on the positive.

Keep Your Eye on the Target

Apparently there is some controversy brewing (thanks for the heads up, Dad) about a Target ad in Times Square featuring a girl laying across the Target symbol in a snow angel-making position. Feminazis think this objectifies women because her "special area" is strategically located right on the bulls eye. Now I can't say I particularly think this is a great ad - my first reaction was "why is she on the target - should we shoot?", but I didn't especially notice where her genitalia was placed because let's face it - I hardly ever pay attention to that on people unless it happens to be somewhere it's not usually found or in immedite danger of jumping out at me. The people up in arms about this would no doubt be just as mad if it were some other 30 ft high ad featuring a girl - you're using women to sell objects - that's objectifying women! Duh, losers - pretty girls sell stuff to stop your whining - which I'm sure is just based in not looking like this yourselves and never getting picked in gym class or asked to the homecoming formal- and go back to filling your fat mouths with cheetos or ding dongs or all natural organic granola so we don't have to listen to you anymore. Here are some other people's views on the subject.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I want me a Sven

I like this new commercial for ATT smart phones where an extremely large Swedish man (seriously, is the guy 8 ft tall?) follows the whole family around reminding them of appointments and the weather and whatnot. Basically the message is that unless you have a Sven, you need a smartphone. Works for me since I am completely enamored of the Blackberry and totally want one - you know, to keep track of all of my kids appointments and play dates and such, even though they are currently both under 2 and don't have any of those things yet. But now maybe I'll hold out for a Sven - does anyone know if he cleans too?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

This Site is Fugging Awesome

There is a website I have recently become obsessed with: www.gofugyourself.com. I had been there before a long time ago, but it was brought to my attention again a little while ago by my fabulous aunt, and it is hysterical. Dedicated to identifying the fugly (read: f-ing ugly) fashion disasters that Hollywood regularly commits, the comments are both accurate and extremely funny. I especially love when their descriptions of someone's hideous outfit lead to an extended description of the people/ activities that must be involved to necessitate such an ensemble. For example yesterday they described an outfit as being for the maid of honor at a paratrooper wedding and the girl wearing it must:
"hope a rogue gust of wind accidentally dumped the bride somewhere in Arizona, or else she's going to get punished by being forced to do her next jump with Handsy Uncle Jack while catching the dreaded bouquet."

Too funny, I say. These girls write how I wish I could (and indeed, how I write when inside my own head and far away from the computer - usually showering or held captive by a 17 pound infant gumming bottle to death while simltaneously trying to look at all 360 degrees of the room as well as keep tabs on his whirling dervish sister- and once my fingers touch the keys I am rendered not just dull and witless, but often completely without words. Now perhaps you are saying "well, you probably aren't as clever when writing in your head either" to which I must respond:" Nonsense! I am wickedly funny, I just get so dazzled by the pretty pictures on my computer home page that all sentence structure flies right out of my head." Plus, they may actually spend more than five minutes a day on their comments and I don't. Anyway, as a celebrity gossip junkie and fashion fan I am thrilled that the knowledge of this website has been reentered into my brain since it had apparently been replaced with all of the necessary knowledge that comes along with being a mom. You know: birth weights and favorite foods for multiple chidren, where everyone's woobie is and when did everyone last poop. And because I love it so much, I thought I would pass along the website that has me laughing my sweatpant-clad (they would not approve) butt off everyday. And of course give them a link so maybe I can ride along on their coattails - which I'm sure are not at all fugly.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lock Your Doors and Plug Your Ears - American Idol is Back!

Listen up one and all, for American Idol has once again begun its fabulous, freaky cycle. I have often heard people wondering how long it can last – for how many years will people continue to line up to be ridiculed and mocked (and maybe handed a ‘golden ticket’) by Simon, Randy and Paula? And you can definitely see a difference in the people who audition now. The first several years you would see lots of people with decent voices who just weren’t quite good enough to make it all the way. Now, in the seventh season, there are fewer of these average Joes (or they just don’t make the show edits), and instead the hopefuls we see seems to be split into three categories: The people who can actually sing, the people who are trying to get on tv by being ridiculous (and seem to be weeded out pretty well by the producers, they mostly show up in the montages of auditions with the same song unless they have horrific costumes on), and the people who populate an alternative universe and have landed here by some terrible cosmic accident (a subset of this group being the ESL people who are so enthralled with America in general they missed the talent requirement for the contest). These are the ones I like to watch. Yeah, by the end I get sucked into the contest and am somewhat invested in the outcome (I voted for Carrie Underwood once), but mostly I like to see the auditions. Some of these characters (and they are characters) are so out of touch that it is really astonishing. I imagine that this is what Comic-Con looked like 10 years ago before it got hip, albeit with slightly fewer Star Trek costumes. Last year my husband and I actually vowed to avoid ever having to visit Seattle because of the freaks that auditioned in that city (for the record I’m sure it’s lovely, maybe just don’t drink the water). I can’t say I’ve really met too many crazies like this in my life, but man do they come out of the woodwork for a singing competition! Can you imagine what it must be like to wander into one of those stadiums with all of those loonies waiting around? As each year progresses I gain more and more respect for Ryan Seacrest’s ability to maintain a straight face (and seem interested) while speaking to them. Kudos, really. After the first night I have two hopes for the future: 1) that the weird glitter girl is never my veterinarian (good luck in “actressing” though), and 2) that I am never so deluded about my talents. For now, my money is on the kickboxing, horse trainer from Oregon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Piggy the Pig

Jakers, the tales of Piggly Winks - this cartoon is great because all of the characters are Irish and have awesome accents. Except for the sheep who never actually has anything to do with the main plot and is voiced either by Mel Brooks or a great impersonater. Anyway, the main character is a pig named Piggly Wiggly or just Piggy, which I thought was okay until I learned that his sister's name is Molly. Then I thought it was a little weird for a pair of pig parents to name their son Piggy. But then of course, I remembered that there are people out there who name their sons Guy, which is basically the same thing, so I guess it is okay after all. Besides, who can fault a show with such great accents?

Mea Culpa

by the way - this will be my last entry for a while in my current series on children's television. I have more opinions of course, but some of them have generated the wrath of some readers and I would like to cool things off before they come to my house and slap me! Keep in mind these are often spur of the moment comments, people - not intentionally scathing attacks on your life's work. I really don't mean them to be offensive (in most cases haha), they are just observations. I will do my best from now on to present my thoughts in a more positive light since they are meant to be amusing rather than overly critical. Sorry!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Super(Post)Man

Many Adventures of Mr Mailman - this little short cartoon has taught me many things about the postal service, and indeed the world. First, if you write a letter addressed to: Felipe, Rain Forest, Brazil, apparently there will be no problem delivering it. Second, the mailman personally flies the letter to Brazil using a hot air balloon that pops in and out of his backpack - very nifty. Third, the Amazon rainforest is populated by monkeys with umbrellas who will take you to Felipe. And finally, Felipe, and by assumption all Brazilians, is at least 12 feet tall. Pretty amusing

pps:

I'm getting this out before we leave, so my post script from yesterday may still apply.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

ps:

I will be leaving town early tomorrow morning and I am unsure whether I will have access to the internet for a few days. If I do I will be posting my usual entry every day. If not, I will return Monday evening with more of my trademark scathing banality.

Why Emily Yeung?

I am removing my intital comments on this show due to unhappy response and the fact that after rereading it I realize I didn't express myself clearly and came off much harsher than intended. I think Emily Yeung is a beautifully poised young woman and I do appreciate the fact that her show opens up new experiences to kids. I was trying to express that I thought the show could focus a little more on showing veiwers how to do the cool things Emily gets to do themselves. For example, the paper airplane episode did do a good job of demonstrating how to make different paper airplanes so kids could do it at home. The ballet episode however focused more on Emily just dancing around, which clearly is fun for all kids but takes no training. As a long time dancer, I would have preferred that the show demonstrate the proper way to do a couple of moves so that kids at home could try them too. And then maybe invite the veiwers to dance along with Emily. Anyway, I take back all of my previous comments - I am on a diet and must have been really hungry and crabby that day. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different

Why are kids show so short? Most of them are only 20 -25 minutes long (with commercials) and then there is a little filler program to round out the half hour. I get it that kids have shorter attention spans than adults, but that is why the shows are so repetitive - are we really helping things out by making the shows shorter? It seems to me that by catering to their attention issues we are probably compounding the problem. Okay, so maybe television isn't the best teacher / babysitter / influence for kids, but it is something most kids love, so wouldn't longer programs sort of prepare kids for sitting still for a longer period of time and help them learn to focus on one thing for longer than ten minutes? So many kids are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD now a days when maybe they just haven't ever learned that things can occupy them for more than a couple of minutes before haviong to move on to something new and more exciting. It seems to me that longer programs could serve as a "gateway drug" to longer attention spans that can maybe be diverted to books and learning later on.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mesmerizing Mickey Mouse Ears

Watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with my daughter, I have noticed a strange phenomenon: no matter what angle we are viewing Mickey Mouse from, both of his ears are always visible. Even when he does a complete 360 turn during a dance segment, his ears never move. I find this very strange and extremely distracting. Minnie Mouse's ears do the same thing, however her bow does not. I guess the Mickey Mouse ears are such a symbol that they must never be viewed from the side, but it really gives the impression that his ears aren't truly attached to his head and are just sliding around up there. Wierd.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Veggie Tales Movie

I have seen a preview for a new Veggie Tales movie - just what it sounds like: tomatoes and cucumbers walking and talking - entitled something like Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. Or maybe where nobody does anything, I don't remember. Anyway, I find this a strange title for a movie - what are they, Seinfeld buffs? I figure maybe it's a riff on the whole "veg out" phenomenon where you lie like broccoli, but it's a dumb title. Plus, before stating the title, the voice over says stuff that happens in the movie, such as rescuing a princess and some other events I also don't remember (I don't watch the kiddie channels too closely, ok?), which to me implies that these pirates do in fact do some things during the movie and therefore the title is false as well as stupid. Although I guess I shouldn't expect too much from vegetative buccaneers.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Life Lock Must Really Work

There is a new commercial on TV for a company called LifeLock. This company promises to protect you from identity theft, although they never realy specify how they do that. What is impressive about the commercials though, is that they feture a guy standing on the street next to a giant semi truck with his name and social security number on the side. He shows the truck driving all around the city and he even hands out flyers to people on the street with his personal information on it. I think this is a pretty impressive display of confidence in LifeLock's ability to prevent identity theft. I don't know if the company si really as good as they say, but I'm sure more inclined to think it might be after seeing this.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Stage Mom

A mother has recently been in the news for lying in an essay designed to win her daughter tickets to a Hannah Montana concert. She falsely said that her daughter's father had died in Iraq, and it worked - her daughter won the tickets, although they have been taken away since the lie has been exposed. I must admit I'm not sure what my reaction to this is. Of course I think that exploiting the loss of a family member that many people throughout this country have had to experience is completely tacky and inexcusable, but in some small way I can understand wanting so badly to give your child something that she wants. Obviously this woman got completely carried away with the thought of winning that she left her ethics behind - but at least no one was truly hurt. Let's just hope her daughter doesn't go into cheerleading.

Addition 1/7/8: I would just like to clarify that I am in no way trying to excuse or justify this woman's actions. I only commented on the story because I was surprised by my reaction. I would have expected to feel disgust at hearing what this woman did; instead I just feel sad that she could be so pathetic as to get so carried away and behave so reprehensibly.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Whodunit?

I watch a lot of procedural shows: Law and Order (and all of its permutations: SVU, CI), CSI, etc., and while I certainly don't mind the differences between them, they make me wonder about the actual processes involved in investigating crimes and who actually does the work. On the original Law and Order, the detectives do the initial investigating and then once an arrest is made any further information seems to be gathered by the ADA's working the case. On CSI, the forensic people do all the investigating, and there is hardly a cop in sight. On Shark, there aren't any police characters - the lawyers do all of the investigating themselves. And Bones has the pathologist doing a lot of the investigating, along with an FBI agent partner. I doubt there are a lot of agent/coroner pairings in the FBI. I suspect that SVU and CI are the closest to reality, with detectives handling the tracking down of clues and interrogating suspects, forensic people dealing with crime scene details and pathology, and the lawyers handling the trial. I certainly understand the artistic license taken by these shows, and I don't even really care about the presence or lack of legal reality - I enjoy each show on its own merits. But I do think there might be some mighty confused people out there wondering whose job it actually is to track down criminals.

PS: I'll be interested to see how involved Jack McCoy is in the cases on L&O now since becoming District Attorney. Typically the district attorney is a pretty small role on the show, advising the ADA's but letting them handle the cases mainly on their own. But I can't imagine Sam Waterston wanted to take a salary hit - unless of course he's tired after 18 years on the show.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I'm Back!!!

Happy New Year Everyone! I am finally feeling a bit better and after sullnely staring at the tv for the past week (it was all I could manage) I have lots of new things to talk about! I don't quite have my thoughts ib order, but I'll start tackling my list of new topics bright and early tomorrow. Be sure to check in!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Why He Do It?

There is a new show I've seen advertised called "Howie Do It", featuring Howie Mandel playing pranks on people - like candid camera. There is nothing really intersting or unusal about this premise except for one thing: in the ads the prank they show has Howie disguised as a waiter and putting his fingers in everyone's food when he brings it to the table. This strikes me as kind of odd since he is one of the most famous Hollywood germaphobes. I'm surprised having his fingers in people's food doesn't freak him out more than the unwitting participants.