Archive for the ‘The Telly’ Category

Superb Owl 2014.

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Wow. Did everyone catch that amazing Super Bowl? Where the guy did the thing, and everyone cheered? That was something else.

Sports Exclamation

Truthfully, I didn’t watch. I came home at 9:30 at night and caught the last ten minutes when the Seahawks had destroyed the Broncos and everyone was just killing time until the pain was over. In case you didn’t watch (and chances are if you read this blog you did not) the final score was 43 to 8, Seahawks. I assumed that there would be two NFL teams playing, not one NFL team and a bunch of homeless people they rounded up from outside Metlife Stadium, but apparently I was wrong. Listening to the announcers try to fill up time in the fourth quarter when the game was clearly won was sad. I’m surprised they didn’t start reading their mail on air. Anyway, hooray or I’m sorry depending on which team you were rooting for and good luck to whoever plays next year that I will pay just the smallest amount of attention possible to.

And concerning the commercials: eh. I saw most of them and I didn’t really care about any of them. Radio Shack was good. Doberhuahua was decent. The Bud Light commercial was great only because Reggie Watts and a llama were in it. Other than that, whatevs. None of them were on par with the Mercedes chicken commercial. That, that was a masterpiece.

Addendum: ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

A few things I like and one thing I do not like.

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Let’s begin with the not-like: I was watching television the other day and I saw a commercial for the truly impressive Grand Prospect Hall. Have you seen this commercial? It is terrific.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC6AzmXrNbU

First of all, I immediately thought of the “Marble Columns” skit from SNL with Scarlett Johansson (you can watch the whole thing if you want, but her part is at about 1:17). Secondly, you may or may not notice that when the web address is up on the screen, the “s” in the middle is bigger for no reason. I took a photo of my TV in case you can’t watch the video.

font-sadness

…Why? Why is it bigger? Was that a design choice? I don’t understand. It may not bother you at all, but to me it looks like this:

font-failures

And I can’t look away. I guess it’s because I do this for a living and it’s top-of-mind for me. I need to try and let that stuff go. And get invited to a party at the Grand Prospect Hall because that place looks super-fun.

Now, things I like! I saw these while trawling the web for treasures and I thought they were cool.

tumblr_mybszi9ewH1qb5gkjo1_500 tumblr_mz577s7WEk1qb5gkjo1_1280 tumblr_mwq1kj3lCY1qjyasqo1_500

Also, there’s this artist named Myriam Dion and she does papercuts with newspapers that are ethereal and delicate and very creative.

dion-1 dion-2 dion-3 dion-6

Diametric opposites.

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

I haven’t had a chance to post about these things, but I went to two rather different events recently. First, I went to see Mythbusters: Behind the Scenes Tour.

mythbusters

Even though it was clearly geared towards their primary audience (11-year-old boys) I enjoyed myself quite a bit. Cricket came with me and I don’t think he liked it nearly as much due to the fact that he actually took adult-type science classes in high school like chemistry and physics. I did none of that. My senior year of high school I was assigned to Biology for Football Players and Poets where all we did was watch National Geographic videos. The school had given up on us at that point, probably for the best. My classmates and I were not going to be working in a lab anytime soon. But, due to my child-like knowledge of science, I found many of the experiments Jamie and Adam did on stage fascinating. They did this thing where a small boy from the audience lifted a chubby man simply by altering the pivot point of a lever and I was all, “Magic!” Cricket turned to me with a dumbfounded expression and said, “Yeah, it’s basic physics. It’s a lever. You didn’t know that would happen? Have you never lifted anything?” and I responded that I had not and Cricket was disappointed in me, the Rye school system and humanity in general. I learned what a “Bleve” is, and I learned that Adam grew up in Sleepy Hollow and his mom was in the audience (she stood up and we all cheered, it was very nice). During the audience Q&A, someone asked Adam what the scariest myth he worked on and he refused to answer because his mother is not allowed to watch that episode. The finale was taking an audience member, dressing him up in a medieval suit of armor and firing paintballs at him with one of those giant guns that you see in war footage. I found a video online and while you can’t see much, you can hear it.

http://youtu.be/8LaPnDx4t9A?t=37s

Great finale. If it comes to your town and you know a kid around the age of 11, take them because they will love it.

The other thing I went to was NOT geared towards children and while informative, it was not educational in nature. I went to see Nutcracker Rouge.

sign

I saw online that Shelly Watson was performing in it, and I loved her so much at Gotham Burlesque that I decided to go and check it out. It is a rough retelling of the Nutcracker ballet with elements of circus arts, burlesque and cabaret and it was, without a doubt, THE GAYEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN. I don’t mean “gay” in that unacceptable derogatory way meaning “lame” or “less than,” I mean “gay” like “The Logo Channel would explode from this.” Shelly did an operatic version of Madonna’s “Material Girl” in French. That gay. Look, see for yourself.

Nutcracker-Rouge-1024x953

I had a jolly good time. The audience was comprised of 75% meticulously groomed gay male couples and 25% other. There was a bunch of elderly foreign tourists in line with me at the ticket-taker’s station, I suspect they saw the sign and thought, “Huh, I guess we’ll go see this performance of The Nutcracker,” and I really wish I could have seen their faces when, near the end, the entire cast forms a can-can line where everyone is humping everyone else. Is this what you expected, Nana and Pop-Pop? Is it? I don’t want to tell you too much in case you go to see it next year, but my two favorite people was the woman who played the peppermint candy cane, Courtney Giannone. I found a picture of her online.

tn-1000_courtneygiannone

She performed in that gigantic hula hoop that spins and I always expect their fingers to get crushed but they don’t. Here, a video of one in action. She did it all topless and smiling, and her back muscles were intense. I wanted to chew on them. Here’s another pic I found of Courtney.

100227381.jhD13Z1Y

The other person I loved was a woman named Katrina Cunningham. She was a lovely dancer and singer and I found out later she is a graduate of SUNY Purchase’s Dance Conservatory! Hooray alma mater!* Katrina was beautiful and she helped answer a question that has been plaguing me for years: who the hell buys that crazy giant sparkle-encrusted jewelry and the dresses so covered in rhinestones and sequins they weigh eighty pounds? These people do. This cast does. Katrina wore several.

na-nutcracker-rouge-katrina-cunningham-underwear_460 1048058_10201056941293005_1332190917_o

So if you’re looking for a sexy opulent good time held together by a threadbare plot, this is what you need. There are chandeliers as stage lights. People do ballet wearing stag horns. Cannons shoot glitter all over the audience. Cross-dressing flamenco dancing. Drag queens. Whips and leather. Absolutely delightful.

 

*I didn’t graduate from the Dance Conservatory. I was in the Theater Arts Conservatory, but I still like to look out for my fellow conservatory graduates because hooo boy does being in a conservatory suck.

Kreeesmas.

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year! Two things I wanted to talk about. First, I designed a nice and tasteful card for our consultants. We gave them a coffee sampler. See, not everything I design is tugboats and dinosaurs. Sometimes I can be an adult too if need be.

nb-holiday-card

Two, in watching the myriad of Christmas films that are thrust into our respective maws at this time of year, I have come to the conclusion that my favorite is How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the live-action one with Jim Carrey. I’m not proud of that. I feel like as an avid theater-goer my tastes should be more refined. But they are not. I think Jim Carrey should win the Lifetime Achievement award at the Oscars for this film. My favorite moment is when he pulls the tablecloth off the table, nails it, and then comes back to knock all the stuff off and push it over. That in itself is a magical niblet of cinema. If you’ve met me, you’ve heard me quote this film. Go watch it again with people you love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBUwNpsRrRI

Stuff n’ things.

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

1. There’s a British website called Terrible Real Estate Agent Photographs. While the photos are indeed extremely terrible, the comments are great.
terrible1 terrible2 terrible3 terrible4 terrible5 terrible6

2. Et tu, Animal Planet? I understand The History Channel going over to the dark side for the sake of ratings (I mean, how much Hitler footage can you show in a day?), but animals are forever interesting. There’s no need to bring fake made-up animals into this. No Bigfoot and no mermaids. Stop it.

animalplanet

 

3. There is a TV show in England called “Quite Interesting,” and they put out a list of Animated Animal Facts. They are the greatest. And they are illustrated by a very talented man, Mr. Whaite. Some of my favorites:

tumblr_muenp4UGtc1qewacoo4_r1_500 tumblr_mt4yipi48U1rw872io4_500 tumblr_mt4yipi48U1rw872io6_500 tumblr_muenp4UGtc1qewacoo5_r1_500 tumblr_muenp4UGtc1qewacoo10_r1_500

And he did a great movie poster in neon:

tumblr_lo6bptjVeZ1qhv2wyo1_400

 

The Renaissance of Television.

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

We are living in an amazing time, television-wise. For the first time in maybe ever, everyone I know isn’t talking about any of the films coming out, only the TV shows, and specifically the TV shows on cable, not network. I don’t think anyone predicted this. I would like to talk about some of the shows I have seen recently, but because everyone watches shows in their own time the issues of spoilers is a big problem. I think if I put this here, I should be covered. No one can accuse me of springing surprise endings on them.

spoiler_alert_animationl

Since there are so many channels, I think executives are starting to allow the creatives to be creative. Creativity was never the issue. It was executives being scared of alienating viewers or losing sponsors. First there was late-night stuff, like Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, and that’s proven to be wildly popular. And then there’s the way Louie is handled, which is genius. FX said to Louie C.K. that if he could make a show for $250,000 an episode, which is not very much money when you consider how many people work on that show (approximately 70 people per episode), then he could do pretty much whatever he wanted. And Louie did, and it’s worked out well for everyone. That should be the system for tons of shows. I’m surprised they haven’t done an MST3K-type show yet. The budget on that must have been minute. It was really just funny people being funny, which is always entertaining. Anyway, my point being television right now is amazing. And I’m going to talk about a bunch of shows that I think have been amazing recently.

 

Breaking Bad

I know everyone and their cat has been waxing poetic on the awesomeness of this show, but I’m going to join them. Damn, this show is so good. I feel bad that Jon Hamm hasn’t been getting the Golden Globe and Emmy nods because Bryan Cranston keeps taking them, but (sorry Jon) Bryan deserves them. That role is crazy. The cinematography is fantastic. Hell, the songs they pick to go with different scenes is freaking great. I watch each episode like I’m watching a work of art being painted right in front of me. For crying out loud, did you see that train heist? I don’t think I drew a breath once during that. (Also, hey Bill Burr, one of my favorite comedians!) Now, this doesn’t mean the show is perfect. I know I’m in the minority, but I hate Jesse Pinkman. I have always hated him. I think he’s a useless tool. You know how some women are attracted to damaged men because they want to fix them or heal them or mommy them or whatever? I am not that woman. If I was Walter White, as soon as I had my connections set up and ready to go I would have dropped Pinkman like a Pizza Bite fresh from the microwave (they can be very hot). My other problem with the show is they keep killing off the characters I like. I liked Gale, the weird-music-listening-to, exceptional-coffee-drinking, vegan chemist. They killed him. I loved Gus Fring and he psycho OCD whatnot. Y’all know what happened to him. I thought Mike was a hell of a character. Surprise! Dead. POINTLESSLY dead. Totally did not need to die. I’m glad the next eight episodes are the last because I can’t deal with them introducing another super-dope character only to off him.

Will there be a Breaking Bad CD? I hope so. I would like all their musical selections in one place. Vince Gilligan, work on that.

 

Orange is the New Black

Yet another awesome TV thing that’s happening. Netflix is making their own shows. They made Lilyhammer, which I haven’t seen but is supposed to be great. Then there was House of Cards, which I also still haven’t seen but is supposed to also be great. I saw the original British series on PBS and that was dope, so when I get a chance I’m going to hunker down and watch the whole series in one day. There’s those episodes of Arrested Development that I need to see as well. A month ago Orange is the New Black came out on Netflix and I watched all thirteen hour-long episodes in basically a day and a half. So good. None of the actors are really famous. It’s mostly unknowns and character actors. And they are fantastic, I love them all. I can’t even name my favorite character because I enjoy so many of them. I guess my super-favorites might be Crazy Eyes, Miss Claudette and Tastee. And the old Chinese woman with the mustache. I did come to the sad realization that my personality would fit perfectly on that show. My spirit animal is an incarcerated woman in America. Wonderful realization to come to. Hooray for me. Also, there’s a prison guard that I have all kinds of feelings for. He is adorable. He ends up hooking up with an inmate who has full lips, a substantial rump and a wack dye job. I could totally be his girl. And oh? What’s that now?

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OH HELL YEAH I CAN DRAW. ALL DAMN DAY. Call me.

 

Game of Thrones

I just watched the latest season of Game of Thrones. It was a bit underwhelming. Not bad mind you, far from it, but I have come to expect a certain amount of incest and rape per episode, and this season just did not deliver. No one accidentally touches their sister, or intentionally touches their sister. Frankly, there’s a profound lack of sister-touching. Theon gets tortured a whole lot (I called this season, “Wow, Theon’s having a crappy time, isn’t he”), and then there’s the Red Wedding, which interestingly I did not find to be the most horrible thing to happen. Don’t get me wrong, it was awful and horrendous, but the next episode when they cut off Robb’s head and sewed his direwolf’s head on his torso and then paraded around with it, that just gross and disrespectful to both man and beast. It made me feel unwell. I found out later that the producers/directors split one book into two seasons, so this season was diluted by half. People are concerned that George R. R. Martin isn’t writing these books fast enough. It takes him about five to ten years to crank out one of these tomes. In fact, at the most recent Comic Con Paul and Storm (a comedic band that I’m a fan of) sang this song live on stage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7lp3RhzfgI

And then this happened.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqcqapoFy-w

Which personally, I think is just the bee’s knees.

 

Now, not everything on TV is glorious, blessed by the tears of the angels. There’s an irritating trend right now of making crime shows based on Swedish and Danish originals. There’s The Bridge and The Killing and Broadchurch and Wallander. Here’s a breakdown of every single one of those shows. Dead body in the village. Anyone could be a suspect. Cops do some investigating. Everyone looks serious all the time. Eyebrows are perpetually furrowed. At least twenty minutes an hour is devoted to someone pensively staring out onto the beach/the moors/the desert. And the pace must be mind-bendingly slow. They could cram so much more stuff into an episode if they didn’t take for-freakin-ever to do anything. I am presently trying to watch Broadchurch and The Bridge because I have high hopes that the closer it gets to the end, the more exciting it will get, but I think I will be let down. I shall heed the words of my co-worker Børkke, “High hopes and low expectations.”

The world be filled with weirdness. Yar.

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

1. Hands down, my favorite headline of an article this year:

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 2.36.56 PM

I read it about three times to see if it said what it really said. It does. The article is about a man who photographs people down on their luck, streetwalkers and junkies. This time he brought his telescope and these two ladies of the evening Takeesha and Deja were entranced by Saturn. Takeesha was inviting the johns who drove by to come look at the rings with her. I doubt any of the johns took her up on her offer, they were more concerned with Uranus ifyaknowwhatI’msayin’ I will not apologize for that.

2. I was walking past the enormous BCBG/Max Azria store on Fifth Avenue and I was struck by the oddness of one of the dresses in the window display. Let me take you through my journey. Dress #1:

dress1

Nice. Fine. Pretty.

Dress #2:

dress3

Equally nice, fine and pretty.

Dresses #3 and #4:

dress2

Again, nice, fine and– wait a sec, what the hell is going on with the dress on the left?

dress4

What’s going on there? Is this an homage to scoliosis braces? Or is the dress a lame attempt to mimic Leelo in The Fifth Element? Either way, fail. Crappity fashion.

3. Y’all watch Doctor Who? I do not. I do not enjoy like Doctor Who. I have no idea why. I SHOULD enjoy Doctor Who, but I don’t. It is a source of disappointment for me, my disinterest. It’s not for lack of trying, I can tell you that. I watched all of Season One on Netflix and thought, “I don’t care for this, but maybe it’s because of Christopher Eccleston. Perhaps I will care more with David Tennant.” So I watched all of Season Two and alas, I didn’t enjoy that either. I described it to Snorth as resembling a Christian gay conversion camp. An episode would start and I would say, “I like this! Yes I do! Like like like!” even though I was lying to myself. Then the episode would end, I would sigh deeply and with much dispair, straighten my spine, and forlornly click on the next episode, because that’s what you do. A ton of people I know and respect swear by this show, so eventually I will come around, right? RIGHT??? Nope. I was born this way.

Anyway, The Doctor is from a planet called Gallifrey, I believe, and he’s a Time Lord, so I think it is cool that the Gallifrean language looks like clock parts. That’s the point I was trying to make before I went on my self-hating Doctor Who rant.

gallifrean-language

4. I have found my dream chicken. They are called Ayam Cemani and they are from Indonesia. Their feathers are black. Their skin is black. Bones: black. Internal organs and muscles: black. For all I know, their souls are black. And I love them.

greenfire-farms3 Ayam-Cemani-2 chicks greenfire-farms1

There’s a place called Greenfire Farms that sell them, but they are rare because the USDA has a ban on chickens from Indonesia. However, this farm got a bunch (legally, I have no idea how) and they’re selling juvenile pairs. I got so excited until I saw the price.

greenfire-farms2

ARE YOU SERIOUS??? They’re CHICKENS. I looked into getting a wood duck back in the day and I was bothered by the $135.00 price tag for a juvenile pair. That is too much for chickens. Too much. Long story short: Jessica ain’t buyin’ no black chickens.

 

Stuff and also things.

Friday, July 5th, 2013

1. KeKe Wyatt. Oh Lordy, I have an unhealthy need to see more of KeKe. If you haven’t been watching The Soup, KeKe is a singer on the show R&B Divas and she is a reality TV producer’s dream come true. There’s this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9Q904QkZHI

And that’s fine, but this, THIS, from :19 to :33,  is magical:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dV1huVDLaU

Next time you see me, get ready for “Hahahaha – J. ROTH!!!” being yelled in your face for no reason. Prepare yourself for this inevitability.

Addendum 3/6/14: Best eyeroll of all time. I love KeKe SO MUCH.

tumblr_n02p2r9ffS1shbgx3o1_250

 

2. What a great ad campaign.

http://youtu.be/xGTptt7iwj8

 

3. Did everyone see the Pacific Rim trailer? I was watching Monsters vs. Aliens the other night, and it occurred to me, Pacific Rim is really similar. There’s a scene in M vs. A where a giant insect fights an alien robot over a bridge. And wouldn’t you know, same thing in Pacific Rim. Look, here’s a pic from M vs A:

monsters-vs-aliens-insectasaurus-and-robot-probe1

Aaaaaaaand here’s Pacific Rim.

pacific-rim-poster-banner

 

4. I love this. If I’m feeling low, I watch this and things get better. Poof. Like magic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVg2QEYtdIM

And they are the same people who made this treasure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfammxKoUYs&feature=youtu.be

Some things that have recently been brought to my attention.

Friday, March 8th, 2013

1. I am tired. While I was typing the title above, I wrote, “Some things that have breen to my attention.” Then I looked at it and thought, “That’s not right.” And it took me far too long to figure out what was incorrect. I need a nap.

2. Nowadays when people say something was decimated, they mean totally destroyed. Poof, gone. I just learned, though, that decimated actually means “reduced by a tenth” (deci = ten). That’s not totally destroyed at all. You got a thousand guys attacking a village and one hundred of them die, you still have nine hundred guys! How did this word evolve to this meaning?

3. I was watching The Jeselnik Offensive the other night on Comedy Central, and I think Anthony Jeselnik is a reptile. He says a joke, and then he slooooowwwwwly licks his lips and slooooowwwwwly blinks his eyes like a komodo dragon. I feel like one day I will turn on that show one day and he will be calmly and quietly consuming an entire waterbuck.

4. Speaking of antelopes and antelope-like creatures, did you know there’s a deer with fangs? Imagine a docile, pleasant deer. Now imagine it with those plastic vampire teeth you could wear at Halloween that never fit. That’s a pretty good description. Here, see for yourself:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdxozpT8T61rlhtaxo1_400.jpg

http://25.media.tumblr.com/3e077b70d57151fb2deef602b1fc46fb/tumblr_mh1ydeKaDx1rmgx38o1_500.jpg

5. I saw The Patriot for the first time recently (Alternate title: Braveheart in the U.S.) and it was good and all that, but every time Jason Isaacs and Mel Gibson had a scene together, this is all I heard:

6. I finished all the frost around the edges of all my leaves! Yay and hooray! The tapestry now looks like this:

Now I will attempt to put extra points of frost extending out from some of the leaves to create the appearance of… more frostiness, I guess that’s what I’d call it. Extreme frostitude. Then Snorth will teach me how to finish the edges and I will have completed a project that has been a bother for well over a decade! So exciting.

The Oscars.

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Normally when award shows roll around, I ignore them and continue my usual watching of whatever crap the glass teat horks at me. (Perhaps a show where people go to a swap meet to exchange taxidermied medical anomalies, like calfs with two heads? Sign me up!) However, this past award season I seemed to get caught up in the excitement of it all and I watched three, count ‘em, three let’s-congratulate-ourselves shows from beginning to end – The Golden Globes, The Grammys and The Oscars. The outfits were exactly the same as they are every year, the ladies all posed in the same position with the same half-smile on their face like Mona Lisas who have only been consuming juice and tapeworms for a month, same same same. However, throughout the cloud of who won what and who wore what I saw an article that said, “Nail art is officially dead” and I think I yelled, “The hell it is!” All the nice ladies at the Oscars wore either naked nails or a tasteful pale pink and that’s fine and all, but I loved the new surge of weird creative designs that people had been putting on their fingers and I don’t want to see it go, I don’t! Alas, the party nail, we hardly knew ye. In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, here are some examples. I made them the exact size of the blog entry so you don’t have to click on them, you can just scroll down slowly. Maybe put Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye” in the background while you do. It completes the experience.

Frankly, I blame Japan. Don’t get mad, I have a reason, I didn’t pick them at random. They took the idea of nail art and went to place that is not okay, not even if you don’t do much with your hands during the day. Their nail stuff made Gail Devers look reasonable, and that woman’s nails were unreasonable.

Again, I made these all blog-sized so you don’t have to click on them, you can just scroll down. If you would like music in the background for this, might I recommend a ten-hour loop of Nyan Cat?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZZ7oFKsKzY

Yeah. Never mind the usual question long-nailed-folk get, “How do you wipe your butt?”, my question is, “How do you do anything? Like, at all?” You ruined simple tasteful nail art for everyone. I hope you’re happy, Japan.

In Oscar news not in any way related to nail art, this happened: Okay, I was not really familiar with Dame Shirley Bassey’s performance style. I mean, I could recognize her extremely distinctive voice anywhere, but I had never seen her sing live previous to the Oscars. I didn’t even know what she looked like. They did a “50 Years of James Bond” thing at the Oscars, and then Shirley came out and scared the crap out of me.

http://oscar.go.com/video/PL55266051/_m_VD55278494

“GOLDFINGUH!!!!!

The other day I looked into her history a bit, and that’s not even the scariest she could get. Are you aware of The Beatles song “Something”? It’s a nice, placid, gentle sort of song. Then Shirley got a hold of it, and now I’m afraid again. That woman is terrifying. Super-talented, but terrifying.

http://youtu.be/AvWTYnc9vf0

I feel like she would hurl a dish at me if I said something that angered her. Yikes.

And that’s my wrap-up on The Oscars.