Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

nobody puts baby in a corner

Monday, September 14th, 2009

It was only a matter of time before we saw this headline:

Patrick Swayze, star of Dirty Dancing and Ghost, dead of pancreatic cancer at age 57.

A few years back, I had the opportunity to walk with my family in a 5k to raise money for pancreatic cancer research. Now, at the three breast cancer walks I’ve participated in, there are many survivors. In fact, during the closing ceremonies of the Komen 3 Day, the survivors come in at the end and stand in the center and all of the walkers applaud for them. At the pancreatic cancer walk, there was one survivor…maybe two? The disease often goes undetected for months, so that when it finally is discovered that someone has pancreatic cancer, it’s often too late to do anything. I knew that when Patrick Swayze was diagnosed that this wouldn’t end well, and frankly I’m surprised and amazed he hung in there this long.

I hope now that a celebrity from *my era* has given this disease such a public face that pancreatic cancer will begin to see the research dollars it so desperately needs to up the survival rate for this disease. If you’re interested in supporting a great cause, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network would be most appreciative of your time, talent, or monetary donations.

Rest in Peace Patrick.

too dumb for cinema

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

So….Atonement. I DVR’ed the movie when it was played on HBO last week, for two reasons:

1. Keira Knightly + James McAvoy = HAWTNESS.
2. The movie won an Oscar, was nominated for a billion more Oscars and won 37 awards I’ve never heard of…so it had to be good, right?

I’m not ashamed to admit that the subtleties (had to retype that 3 times to avoid writing “subtitles”) of this movie confused the HELL out of me. Critics apparently love subtleties which is why the movie won all of the previously mentioned awards.

Me, I guess I need to stick with schlock like “The Notebook” with an ending I can see a mile away.

where the sidewalk ends

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Having been a fan of Shel Silverstein since my 2nd grade teacher (Miss Carol-Ann) introduced me to him, I was delighted find this piece of Mental Floss detailing how a guy who was thrown out of the University of Illinois rose to fame and became beloved by children (and adults) near and far.

After reading the link above, I felt compelled to pull down my own copy of A Light In The Attic (a gift for my 10th birthday) to share my favorite Shel Silverstein poem with you. I also feel compelled to share that I have been known to write rhyme to people I feel will get it – be they known followers of Shel or not. Which leads to emails like “My computer is fine for worky, but the fonts are kind of quirky.”

And now, on to the poem:


Clarence Lee from Tennessee
Loved the commercials he saw on T.V.
He watched with wide believing eyes
And bought everything they advertised-
Cream to make his skin feel better,
Spray to make his hair look wetter,
Bleach to make his white things whiter,
Stylish jeans that fit much tighter.
Tooth paste for his cavities,
Powder for his doggies fleas,
Purple mouthwash for his breath,
deodorant to stop his sweet.
He bought each cereal they presented,
bought each game that they invented.
Then one day he looked and saw
“A brand-new Maw, a better Paw!
New,improved in every way-
Hurry,orders yours today!”
So, of course, our little Clarence
Sent off for two brand-new parents.
The new ones came in the morning mail,
The old ones he sold at a garage sale.
And now they all are doing fine:
His new folks treat him sweet and kind,
His old ones work in an old coal mine.
So if your Maw and Pa are mean
And make you eat your lima beans
And make you wash and make you wait
And never let you stay up late
And scream and scold and preach and pout,
That simply means they’re wearing out.
So send off for two brand-new parents
And you’ll be as happy as little Clarence…

From A Light in the Attic
by Shel Silverstein

$240 dollars worth of pudding…oh yeah.

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

The State is one of my favorite sketch comedy shows ever. I can instantly bond with anyone who remembers this show…but not many people do. It only appeared on MTV for 3 seasons, maybe 1993-1995? You can still catch members of the troupe on TV – Thomas Lennon and a few others do Reno 911, and Michael Ian Black has apparently sold his soul to VH1, judging from the number of appearances he makes on “Best Week Ever” and the various “I Love (insert decade here)” shows.

They were at their best when they appeared on MTV though, and this video clearly proves it:

$240 worth of pudding

the sausage king of chicago

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

I’ve seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at least 100 times – how could you miss it when it’s on TBS every other weekend? I practiced scenes from The Breakfast Club in drama class in high school. I loved Jake Ryan. So it is with a heaviness in my heart that I reflect on the passing of John Hughes – the 80′s teen flick director who made teenage angst compelling time and time again. From Ferris skipping school to Claire Standish putting on her lipstick using her boobs, John Hughes was a freaking genius. Need I mention he wrote National Lampoons Vacation, giving us such quotable lines as “I don’t know why they call this stuff hamburger helper. It does just fine by itself, huh?” and “First ones here!” which we quote on a regular basis in my house.

Edited to add: Amy posted this amazing story of a teenaged girl who was pen pal to John Hughes during the 80′s. Good stuff.

this is why procrastinators shouldn’t use netflix

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

I watched The Kite Runner tonight, a movie I’ve been putting off seeing for 2 years. Read the book 3 years ago and had the chance to attend a preview of the film while I was in Las Vegas (Fall of 2007) but I didn’t. I put the disk on my Netflix queue and it arrived…back in November! Yes, it took me FIVE months to watch it. Couple of reasons:

1. The downstairs DVD player is a bit wonky and I can’t figure out if it’s completely died because I can’t get the thingamajig open to put a disk in. I dread pulling the whole thing out to diagnose it.
2. With the downstairs DVD player out of commission it means the only DVD player is up in my bedroom. I don’t typically want to watch a movie there because I like to eat and drink during movies and I don’t eat or drink in my bedroom.
3. My DVR is always packed full of goodies and it prevents me from watching my DVD’s from Netflix. This may sound silly, but I feel a sense of accomplishment when I get that DVR list down to 4 shows or less. Like I’ve really DONE something great. Don’t want to do laundry or organize my dirty desk, but damnit, I’ll watch 3 episodes of Heroes in a row and consider it a day well spent!

So today found me sick and sniffling and I deemed this afternoon a good time for a movie. I spent my morning in class (last one for 2 weeks!) and then came home and took a 3 or 4 hour nap. Knowing I had to get up at some point so that I could go BACK to bed tonight it seemed like a good time for The Kite Runner. Excellent movie by the way…I was just a bit shocked when I logged into Netflix to see what the next movie is that I’ll get and saw the estimated arrival date for The Kite Runner listed as “11/26/08″.

Excuse me now, I need to go watch 3 episodes of Chuck and clear ‘em off of my DVR in order to really consider this a productive day.

the inside joke on 30 rock

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Did anyone catch the inside joke Jack Donaghy (as played by Alec Baldwin) made last night during his confession scene on 30 Rock? He said, “I once stated that I was God in a deposition”…I nearly fell off my couch laughing! Maybe you sit in front of the idiot box less than I do, so you’re clueless…I’ll fill you in. In the movie Malice, Alec played a doctor with a God complex, and he gives a disposition in which he states “I am God!”

Here’s the scene in case you don’t recall it. You can also enjoy Alec’s youthful appearance – slim build and face, dark hair, practically wrinkle free….sigh. Those were the good old days, weren’t they?

norm freaking macdonald

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

About a month or so ago I got an email from a club mailing list I belong to letting me know that Norm MacDonald would be in town doing stand-up this weekend. I immediately booked 2 tickets to his show as a pre-Valentine’s date night for the husband and myself. norm macdonaldWe both remember watching Norm as the Weekend Update anchor on Saturday Night Live, and we loved him in the movie Dirty Work (which happens to be one of, if not the last film Chris Farley ever made.) Norm has also been the voice of “Death” on Family Guy, another favorite of ours.

Anyway, I ended up scoring 2nd row seats in this little club, and we sat with 2 ladies from out of town who were enjoying their first visit to the club. Jim was a little worried about the show, never having seen Norm do stand-up bits, and I got that – funny in a movie or on TV doesn’t always translate to funny in person. I’m happy to report that Norm MacDonald is hilarious in person. His dead pan delivery, the sarcastic style – he has this way about him that says “I’m not trying to be funny, but it just happens.” And sitting 6 feet away from him while he did that? Magical.

what the hell happened to eric nies?

Monday, January 5th, 2009

I’m laying in bed last night, enjoying a last hour of TV before shutting it all down and closing my eyes for the next 9 hours. I came across Confessions of a Teen Idol on VH1 (thank you, Brighthouse, for not completing screwing me by getting rid of all Viacom programming!) and I was instantly hooked. For those of you who didn’t catch the 1st episode, here’s a quick synopsis:

The eight-part series features former teen idols who have been brought together by Scott Baio to analyze where it all went wrong. Each hour-long episode provides a rare, never-before-seen look at fame and its consequences as the guys live together, forming a unique and exclusive support group.

confessions of a teen idol picture from VH1I seriously didn’t recognize half of the men on the show, from whatshisname who was on TJ Hooker (before my time) to the dudes from BayWatch (never watched it). I did take notice of Jamie Walters who played Ray Pruitt on Beverly Hills 90210…who could forget Donna Martin’s abusive ex-boyfriend? I couldn’t help but state at the shaggy haired surfer boy who kept a hat on for most of the scenes I saw him in…and finally the producers displayed his name…


Eric Nies of the first Real World in New York City? Eric Nies of The Grind? Eric Nies the model?

What the heck happened to Eric? Why does he look like a down and out Bill Ray Cyrus? (He’s the 3rd from the right in the picture above – the one who looks like an aging hippie.) I’ve got to keep watching, if only to find out how the golden boy of the 90′s got this tarnished image.

life on mars

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

One of the new fall shows I added to my DVR lineup a few weeks ago is Life On Mars. While it’s not exactly a suitable replacement for JourneyMan, it comes close enough to satisfy my thirst for TV about time travel. (I guess I watched Back To The Future one too many times in my youth, because any show about time travel instantly hooks me in.)

For those of you not watching Life On Mars yet, it’s about a cop in 2008 who is hit by a car and wakes up in 1973. What happened? It could be a coma, time travel, parallel universe….we don’t know yet, but that’s part of the fun. Harvey Keitel is amazing as Lt. Gene Hunt – kind of a kick ass combination of Starsky, Hutch, and all of those other 1970′s detectives we love.

The show does a good job of keeping it real as far as the 1973 authenticity. Of course, I wasn’t even around in 1973, so I’m not exactly an expert on how things should look and feel. One big goof I did notice was in this week’s episode, when Lt. Hunt and Detective Tyler were talking under the bridge at the end of the episode. In the background, on one of the skyscrapers, I could make out a very current version of the Verizon logo. Oops!