Saturday, June 26, 2010

The More You Know: Marijuana edition

(Click image to embiggen.)

My dinner (brunch) with Andre (Leland)

I am confused by the name of the place we ate. It's possibly called "The Original" with the subtitle "A Dinerant"... what's a dinerant?

Anyway, since we both love diner-ish places, and since I have no ideas, generally, of where to go for food (seriously, I need to keep a list), we gave this place a try.

Because I have no idea how to organize photos, but I like the 2x2, I'll just give you the details.

Top left: my Cobb Omelet (bacon, avocado, chicken, etc.), like the salad. Yum.
Top right: a view of the place. It's in the new Courtyard by Marriott building (more or less) across from the UNICO Tower (aka US Bank Tower aka Big Pink).
Bottom right: Leland's Crème Brûlée French Toast--initially described as Lego-ish, then revised to Lincoln Logs-ish, but I'm thinking, in retrospect, it's Jenga.
Bottom left: our secluded booth. We sat on the same side, which really pisses someone off. I've forgotten who. Sorry, whoever...

Food generally good.

Here's how I got out of a parking ticket today

Took Leland to his birthday brunch, when we got back to my car there was a bright yellow ticket envelope on the windshield.

Fuck. It we went over the metered time, it couldn't have been more than 5 minutes. I paid for 90 minutes.

I pulled the ticket off--it wasn't for the meter, it was for my tags. Expired (front AND rear).

Wha? I checked. Nope.

I looked at the ticket again.

Not my tag.

I looked at the car behind me. We have a match.

I put it on that windshield.

Pay for your meter and keep your tags current, and THAT'S how you get out of a parking ticket.

You're welcome.

Hey look at these numbers

This is the cumulative cost of US military action in Afghanistan (warranted, but when George Bush let Bin Laden escape capture so he could use a faked relationship between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein to justify an invasion of Iraq so his oil business backers would control those oil fields, we probably should have called it quits), and Iraq (a war crime for which George W. Bush and criminal/profiteer Dick "go fuck yourself" Cheney ought to be held accountable, but probably won't).

Oh, Iraq represents more than 70% of this. So the unjustified 7+ year nightmare has cost every American over $2,400 each. And thousands of American troops were needlessly sent to die; tens of thousands had their lives disrupted by significant injury and/or trauma. And those people have families whose lives got fucked needlessly.

And, AND, that's not even considering the people of Iraq. We invade their country, destroy their infrastructure, kill hundreds of thousands millions of them (not a one of them had anything to do with 9/11, except maybe they felt sympathy for us when it happened).
Iraq Deaths Estimator

Who benefits from our unjustified invasion of Iraq? Maybe these line graphics will answer that for you.

Wow, I didn't plan for this to be quite such a big post, but wow. I mean wow. We have spent more than $700 billion in an unjustified invasion, killing more than a million people, disrupting the lives of tens of millions, while making Dick Cheney a lot wealthier (he refused to give up his Halliburton stock options when he became a candidate for VP, and through no bid contract awards made while Cheney was VP, Halliburton has become a GREAT investment).


Happy Birthday Chris Isaak

[Yes, it will be spelled Issak, Issac, Isaak and ISAK, probably, whatev.]

First, a shout out to James Wilsey, Rowland Salley, and Kenny Dale Johnson--they were (may still be, but I am not sure) in the band Silvertone with him back in the day. And I'm pretty sure they toured with him at least for a good decade plus (and they may still be), and they are all great. So I want to show a little love to guys who don't get the name recognition, but who definitely helped him get it (at least a little).

Okay, Isaak... I heard that he's got a large penis and sometimes, at parties, he would show off by giving himself a little kiss. Good morning everyone! Also, a little unfair God. I mean, here he is with all his good looks, and you give him musical talent, and you make him really funny and personable, and AND you give him a large penis and/or enough flexibility to get to it himself?! And I have to settle for being merely good looking, musically "talented" and exceedingly funny (oh, and a fucking joy to be around--admit it)? Wow, that's cold.

Isaak has been rocking since like 1986--Silvertone is a great album and it slipped in to my musical world view around the time of Dwight Yoakum, so I see interesting parallels in their careers. "Dancin'" is the first song of his I ever heard--it was a moody video, no telling where I saw it, but the one/two punch of music and looks definitely caught my attention. I am shallow. I wish I could find the original video, but with this live version you can see Kenny playing drums--if you go to many of my radio station peeps' houses you'll see pics of them with Chris and Kenny, and inevitably they all enthuse about how much fun Kenny is to hang out with. Thus the shout out earlier. (There are no known pictures of my peeps with Isaak's supposedly large penis, but then I haven't seen all of Dr. Eric's.)

Next up is "Suspicion of Love," his contribution to the Married to the Mob soundtrack. Isaak is an occasional actor, beginning with that movie (he plays a hitman dressed as a fast food clown who tried to kill Dean Stockwell at a drive-through window, um, menu thing (what's the thing with the menu and the speaker called?). He appears in Silence of the Lambs as a SWAT officer trying to get Hannibal Lechter as he's escaping (he's in the elevator shaft scene). By the way, the Married to the Mob soundtrack is actually pretty fucking sweet: this plus new (at the time) tracks from Debbie Harry and Sinead O'Connor, plus New Order and the Feelies and the wonderfully creepy "Goodbye Horses" (it's playing the SotL scene where Buffalo Bill is checking himself out in the mirror). Which is a really long way to say "here's 'Suspicion of Love.'"

I'm not going to post "Wicked Game" but I am going to say something about it, lyrically. At the risk of invoking the ire of liberal arts majors everywhere, the song is poetry. "The world was on fire and no one could save me but you" conveys a depth of passion seldom found in Top 40 hits. (I mean, aside from "Whoomp! There It Is") "I never dreamed that I'd love somebody like you/I never dreamed that I'd lose somebody like you" is a pretty nice coupling as well.

[Oh yeah, quick rant: 94Q took credit for being the first radio station in Atlanta to play Chris Isaak, 5 years after WRAS/Album 88 played Chris Isaak. I know, who's counting a tiny little college radio station? Go fuck yourself, that's who. End of rant.]

I confuse San Francisco Days and Forever Blue, but they seem to be two parts of a single piece to me. Here are the best tracks from each. "San Francisco Days" live in San Francisco--note the suit, the man knows how a showman should dress.

(Wow, I am not able to find any of his actual videos.) "Somebody's Crying"

Chris made my song of the day recently, a duet with Michelle Branch--here's a different duet from the same album (Mr. Lucky). This time he's paired with my friend Trisha Yearwood (she sat next to me and Lisa when we went to see The Mavericks [the band, not the NBA team] at a promo tour they did in Ft. Worth--later she married their drummer [Trisha, not Lisa; there's a drummer involved so I need to clarify]--later still she divorced him [Trisha, not Lisa, natch]). The song was cowritten by Chris Isaak and Diane "Blow It Out Your Heart" Warren for whom I have tremendous respect, DESPITE the shlockiness of her songs.

Isaak had a show on The Biography Channel (wait, that's a channel?) last year. Apparently they still air it despite the fact that it's not, actually, a biography. Go figure.

If you've never seen Isaak live, go. It's a show in the best sense of the word. Isaak, along with Nanci Griffith, Billy Bragg and Robyn Hitchcock, is more entertaining telling stories between his songs than he is singing (and his singing is really really great). I lucked into a show at Slim's while in SF on vacation in like 1988 or 89; friend Patrick Peter (he was still Peter then) went to sullenly cruise the San Francisco Eagle instead. I won!

At the end of his shows, Issak invites all the sexy ladies in the audience up on stage to dance--it's a great moment in Chris Wilson history when he unironically got up there at the Cotton Club and danced his heart (and kidneys) out. Chris Wilson is probably one of the early big fans, or big early fans, or something. Chris loves Chris. And if you go to Chris Wilson's house, you'll probably see a picture that includes Kenny Dale Johnson too.

EGOT? Not. I mean, I know he's picked up 3 or 4 Grammy nominations, but again, NARAS (the Grammy peeps) don't keep a comprehensive database of nominees, just winners. And he's not a winner. I mean, he's not a Grammy winner, but if the rumors of penis size are true, he's a winner. I mean, unless it's so large that he can't actually get and stay hard--there's a point of diminishing returns, so maybe having a Honda Civic instead of an Escalade isn't a bad bad thing.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on! And if you feel the need to prove or disprove that rumor, I am happy to watch.

Song of the Day: "Represent"

At the risk of seeming jingoistic, patriotic, or at all interested in a sport, I will take the day of US (Men's) Soccer's game against, whoever (some country that lacks WiFi and adequate Starbucks, that's all I need to know) to play Weezer's unofficial anthem for the team. I can't decide if this is supposed to be at all ironic, but that is how I'll be enjoying it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

This is what it sounds like when doves cry

My house with the painting/insulation/squirrel shit removal in progress. Hooray. Also, sigh.

Happy Birthday Sidney Lumet

5 Oscar nominations, 1 Emmy nomination--he has directed some pretty fucking iconic movies: Network, Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men, Serpico to name a few. I consider The Verdict to be iconic, but your mileage may vary.

But because Lumet's birthday coincides with the anniversary of Michael Jackson's death (I guess technically it coincides with the day he died, also), and because Lumet directed Jackson in The Wiz, let's look at that!

Okay, that's plenty.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Bottled in Cork"

Two years ago I discovered a "brand new" band called Kings of Leon. Last year, the "hot new" band was Guided by Voices.

This year, Capt. About-Damn-Time has discovered Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. From their, cough, "debut" (9th) album, The Brutalist Bricks. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Colbert welcomes another genius

Last night's Colbert Report featured an appearance by the wonderful Father Guido Sarducci,and the padre was as funny as ever.
Prophet Glenn Beck - Father Guido Sarducci
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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Happy Birthday Mindy Kaling

I will admit to having reached a point with The Office where I think it kinda needs to wrap it up. This past season's acquisition plot line was good (as opposed to "someone has a baby" which, yawn) and gave something of a new dynamic to the show, but even still, last season please?

That being said, I love the depth of field that they've given the characters, and Mindy Kaling's Kelly is a great example of that. And it helps that I know that Kaling (3-time Emmy nominee) is a writer/producer for the show (as are Ryan and Toby).

Characters like Kelly and Angela are funny precisely because they're so unpleasantly real. I've worked with people like this. You've worked with people like this. Hell, it's possible you ARE a person like this.

But not me, I'm a DELIGHT to work with. You know how I know? Because it said so on my blog just now (also, read my blog).

You know what, as I think about it, they can do 2 more seasons IF the last season consists of the produced documentary that they've been filming for 6 years now (I mean, c'mon), and an episode dedicated to each character (one episode per character), to show their post-Dunder Mifflin life (because let's be honest, with the company's acquisition by Sabre, only the sales people and anyone who works directly with the paper mills are needed, and that's tenuous at best). I want to see an episode focusing just on Kelly Kapur. Or a special hour-long episode featuring Kelly Kapur-Howard and her husband Ryan.

Here she is away from the show. Funny.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Welcome to the third world

John Oliver of The Daily Show explains how that happened, and why, actually, it's not so bad...
World Cup 2010: Into Africa - US Beats Algeria
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I'm fairly certain she said "yo mama" at least 4 times

(h\t Dlisted)

Bristol Palin is making the most of her lack of morals and self control by appearing on The Secret Life of the American Teenager as, get this, an unmarried teenage mother (I know). I wonder who was watching her bastard (bastards) while she was talking in a monotone.

Also I wonder how long it took before someone told her it's Yo-Yo Ma, and explained who that is.

But, and I can't say this enough kids, don't do what Bristol did, because, as you see, it ruined her life. Also she makes more per year than I do, and I took 3 years of Calculus in college.

Song of the Day: "Tear Down That Wall"

19 years ago Public Enemy released "By the Time I Get to Arizona" in response to the state not recognizing the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday (apparently when you give grumpy white retirees a chance to vote about whether or not to honor a colored with a holiday, they will vote "no"). And it should be noted that Sen. John McCain (R, AZ) was against the holiday before he was for it. He's consistently inconsistent, and so am I!

Thanks to the Public Enemy song, all racial strife in Arizona was forever solved.

Well, apparently that was only for 18 years, so Chuck D is injecting a little booster shot with a track that addresses the ridiculously onerous, ill-considered state law attempting to control this tidal wave of illegal aliens.

My favorite advocate for the law is Sheriff Joe Arpaio of, let's say Maricopa county (Phoenix) who, when appearing on The Colbert Report proudly proclaimed that HIS Italian ancestors were legal, as they stopped at Ellis Island (aka the instant citizenship station) which was right on the way to the US from Italy (incredibly convenient). And that makes perfect sense. Let's open a new Ellis Island in Southern Arizona and just require everyone to go through that, get citizenship in under an hour (and a social security number so they can start paying into that fund) and we will be good. Thanks for the idea Sheriff Joe! (Wait, you couldn't possibly think that the super easy method that avails your family shouldn't be offered to others, are you?)

Oh, and if you want to focus state efforts on "goo backs" (the time travelers who "tkrjbs"), just focus on finding employers who hire undocumented workers, and prosecute them. That's not racist or a burden on civil liberties. (Oh wait, that penalizes white people with money and not the brown ones... you people really are racist.)

Anyway, Chuck D, respect.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And yet the war criminal continues his life untarnished

[UPDATE: Maybe next time I will proof read my ecard before I submit it.]
(This is my user created ecard, that you can send to someone, if you're really that bored. It's here.)

I haven't actually read or heard any of the details about the Al Gore sex fiend stuff yet. I had  a busy afternoon at work, and on my bus ride home, there were like 8,000 tweets related to some event here in Portland OR.

Thanks to a really bad first day on the upgrade of iPhone OS (and the continued shitty AT&T data network), I decided to play Yahtzee for the rest of the bus ride.

Then I saw something shiny and forgot about it. And just now when I walked in from the grocery store I heard the phrase "DNA evidence" in relation to the Al Gore story.


Happy Birthday Joss Whedon

He won an Emmy last year for Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (and was nominated for writing an episode of Buffy), and was nominated for an Oscar as one of the screenwriters of Toy Story. I never got swept up in Firefly or Dollhouse, but I rather enjoyed Buffy and Angel.

Ideally I would post clips of Cordelia's best dialog, but there's nothing but angsty rock ballads with her and Angel, so instead here's Whedon.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Shout it Out"

Another track from Princeton's Cocoon of Love album.
  Shout It Out by rebelagenda

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Bruce Campbell

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Meryl Streep

I'll just let Cam speak for me.

Meryl Streep could play Batman and be the right choice from Kristian Møller Jørgensen on Vimeo.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Cyndi Lauper

"Here I am, just like I said I would be"--Cyndi Lauper, "Change of Heart"

Love her.


The whole wrestling thing was unfortunate, but it was clear to me, since 1984, that this woman was a talent. Is a talent.

She hides the voice under the persona. I don't know why. It's great. I've repeatedly watched her sing the Etta James classic "At Last" and she hits the note every time. Give this a try at home, but maybe close your windows first. The album of classics, also called At Last should have brought her a second Grammy award. Sigh.

She has an Emmy you know. Or maybe you don't know. For Guest Actress in a Comedy Series on Mad About You. She did Threepenny Opera with Alan Cumming, but no Tony love for her then. But then, that's such a dark piece that I can't see it as a big draw. Her character is called Jenny Diver in the Bobby Darrin version of "Mack the Knife" but playwright Berthold Brecht calls her character "Jenny, a whore." So it's one of those feel-good German operetta. Tonys for all! No wait, Tonys for none!

Try again, perhaps Mame?!

Into the 90s Cyndi's popularity began to fade, and right when her musical chops started to swell. It's easy to lose track of the fact that Cyndi the songwriter co-wrote "Time After Time." And co-wrote "Sally's Pigeons" with Mary Chapin Carpenter. Except for a small section when it seems like they don't trust the song and it gets a bit overwrought (around 2 minutes in), the arrangement is beautiful, sparse but compelling.

She is totally awesome and you should already know that. I need to find something from her new album of Memphis blues to feature as song of the day. Her Christmas duet with The Hives "A Christmas Duel" is a great cynical companion to "A Fairytale of New York" so remind me to feature it at the end of the year.

Because I live in (AND LOVE) Oregon, and because Cyndi is part of Oregon's contribution to classic American cinema, The Goonies (duh), I'm finishing with a song from that. But I'm going with a live version. Look at that face--anyone else see Portia DeRossi playing Cyndi in a biopic?

Happy birthday dude! Rock on! And on and on and on! Love you! Love!

Song of the Day: "Song for No One"

Once more back to Miike Snow, but I'm loving this song with its drum track, vaguely reminiscent of the James Brown "Funky Drummer" sample that was so ubiquitous back in the early 90s (in a good way guys, in a good way).

I would totally dance to this.

And you would totally be impressed with my moves. Trust me.

  Miike Snow - Song For No One by phreeza

Monday, June 21, 2010

Initial Emmy ballots are in

So my work here is done. I probably should have made an appeal for Harry Shearer for Voice Over work on The Simpsons. Sadly he has only 1 Emmy nomination--compared to every other core cast member who has won at least 1 Emmy. The show has been on 20 seasons for fuck sake.

Jackie Mason, Marsha Wallace and Kelsey Grammer have Emmys for their Voice Over work on The Simpsons and the man who provides the voice of Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Rev. Lovejoy, Kent Brockman, Dr. Hibbert, Principal Skinner, Lenny, Otto, and more has not.

Seriously, weak.

Also, in a move that is probably more defensive than offensive, I should have pushed Megyn Price for Lead Actress in a Comedy for Rules of Engagement. If at all possible, it would nice to see someone like Price, who is funny in a pretty basic role, but who actually seems to be acting, pick up a nomination ahead of Courtney Cox-Arquette and Patricia Heaton. Those 2 aren't awful, like Paula Marshall or Jena Elfman, but if the Emmy means to reward talent, Price is a better choice for a nomination.

But I should be clear, I expect (and therefor am not bothering to promote) Lea Michele, Tina Fey and Edie Falco to pick up nominations without my "help." They all deserve nominations, ahead of most anyone I've promoted. So, you know, keep that in mind.

Gary Unmarried and Accidentally on Purpose are still complete piece of shit TV shows.

We will pick up with the Emmys July 7th or 8th (I forget when nominations are announced).

For Your Consideration: Danny Pudi

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, Community
Community kinda doesn't suck. Even the generally awful Chevy Chase is quite not horrible. I am not sure how that happened. Oh, the premise is thin and it's getting worse. And Britta is a stupid name, so the Jeff & Britta, will they/won't they shit is already old. I'm hoping they're done with it. But this isn't about that, this is about Pudi. [Oh, and Donald Glover is similarly a great find, but I am letting the effort to cast him as the new Spider-Man be his present.]

Pudi, as the ADHD-afflicted pop culture junkie, is hysterical. His one man rendition of The Breakfast Club was great.

I doubt Pudi has much of a chance at a nomination this year, mostly because of the numbers working against him. He's very consistently funny but not yet a recognizable name. Michael Richards wasn't nominated for an Emmy until Seinfeld's fourth season, so hang in there. (But please don't nominate Chase just for being not horrible.)

Happy Birthday Leland

His birthday is the day of the Summer solstice. He's 1/2 Gemini, 1/2 Cancer, so we got along fabulously 50% of the time (his mileage may have varied, but then he has his own blog if he wants to post a counter-point).

He is my go-to resource for all things architectural, collectible, and design-related. And he knows how to rock a box of Hamburger Helper (and that is totally intended as a compliment but even as I type this I'm pretty sure it's not going to land well... yet I continue to type).

He's been working to preserve the Firefighter's Memorial near the soccer stadium. Check the details here.

When we rode the coat-tails of Dr. Botox to Penny Marshall's birthday party, and I was frozen in the corner gawking at everyone, Leland was cool as a cucumber, and chatted up Francis Ford Coppola (who had the monogram FFC on his shirt, in case you didn't recognize him--wouldn't want that 4XL shirt getting confused with anyone else's at the dry cleaners) just as casually as if they'd met 5 or 6 times. And Laurence Fishburne is SURE they worked together before, but can't quite remember when.  And Robert Downey Jr. talked to him about how he (Downey) was supposed to be nice and talk to a lot of people. I got to talk to Jeffrey Jones about the best way to get an appointment with Dr. Botox. Sigh.

None of this in the picture below is his, but it speaks to a design aesthetic he has (actually, it's a little messy for him). I think he'd agree that's a bad ass sign (stay off eBay dude!).

And eventually we will have brunch or possibly dinner here. The Original Diner in downtown Portland.
I'd say he's a mid-century enthusiast but then, who isn't. And he's way more knowledgeable than that. It's freaky to watch Antiques Roadshow with him since he's got great sense about is/isn't collectible.

And now for a bunch of songs...

Happy birthday dude! Rock on! And brunch eventually.

Song of the Day: "Lately"

I am trying a new method with these songs--I'm using a player from Soundcloud instead of hunting for videos I can embed. Let me know if you have problems listening to anything I post here.

Christina Aguillera (or however the fuck it's spelled) is a witch. Or something. She figured out how to win the Best New Artist Grammy, and yet shift the curse of the Best New Artist over to Macy Gray. Who promptly fell off the face of the world. And yes, for the purposes of THIS blog, Dancing with the Stars counts as off the face of the world.

But Macy's working on a return. Her new album The Sellout, will be released tomorrow, and here's a track that reminds me that I like her precisely because she doesn't sound like any other singer. But in a good way (sorry Yoko). I think this track has a great feel to it, so enjoy.
macy gray-lately by gorgeouz

For Your Emmy Rejection: Jenna Elfman

I literally was tempted to get up in the middle of the night when I realized I left her out of my rejection list for Accidentally on Purpose. The show is awful, and she (who has been good before) is awful in it.

Except for scenes where the guy who isn't Seth Rogen (but is supposed to be in as much as it's a total fucking rip off of Knocked Up) brushes his teeth in a towel. But those are far too few, so fuck it. Awful awful show.

It's not even 6:30 in the morning and I felt like it was important to say that.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

For Your Emmy Rejection: Lead Actor, Actress in a Comedy Series

Okay, we've touched on a few folks that I like and don't want overlooked. Some of them are probably easily on their way to a nominations, others not so easy.

But I've looked at the list of the 27 men submitted as Lead Actor, and the 26 women submitted as Lead Actress. This post is about rejecting, unequivocally, the idea that these performers deserve recognition for these roles for this season.

I'm not saying they are bad people, just that this combination of actor, writing and show = suck. Try again next year, perhaps in a different show.

Brad Garrett, 'Til Death--It pains me to run into new episodes when I am hoping for reruns of The Simpsons. Garrett is painfully unfunny in a pathetic show that was given a longer run than Arrested Development. Figure that one out.
Joely Fisher, 'Til Death--Ditto.

Jay Mohr, Gary Unmarried--I actually like Mohr. In fact, Action is an all-time favorite show, which is why I ever even watched this show. The fact that its second season has an entirely different premise than its first season is a true testament to how awful the show is. Mohr is wasted on a wacky family sitcom.
Paula Marshall, Gary Unmarried--I don't recall seeing her in any other shows (despite a variety of credits on shows I watched), but based on her work here, Paula Marshall is an awful actress.

Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men--He gets by okay thanks to some funny dialog, but if you watch objectively his range goes from A to B. Actually, not even that much. It's a show filled with really funny dialog and barely much else. Thanks to America's inertia when it comes to television, it's the highest rated comedy on TV, and Sheen the highest paid actor. And he's so fucking mediocre, when he's at his best, that I'm amazed. So Emmy voters, let him cash his really large checks, and toss some Emmy love over to Warburton or Joel McHale).

Thomas Jane, Hung--I thought comedies were supposed to be funny. And while I like Jane as an actor (wait, while I have liked Jane in the past), there's nothing about his work in Hung that is at all worth recognition. Since it's on HBO, he's probably a shoe-in. But listen to me, this is a show about a man with a large penis, starring an actor that I have, in the past, considered quite hot, and yet I find it so awful that I don't even watch it. If you at all understand how my mind works, I am telling you this show is bad. I watch Silent Library for fuck sake.

Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm--I will catch some shit for this, but hear me out. Shouting really funny dialog is not acting. Nominate the show as Best Comedy Series, nominate him for writing. But in the acting category, please, no.

For Your Emmy Consideration: Portia DeRossi

Lead Actress in a Comedy, Better Off Ted
Normally I think DeRossi would have a stronger position in the Supporting Actress category, but it turns out the Lead Actress in a Comedy has the smallest number of pre-nomination submissions this year (Lead Actor has 27, Lead Actress 26). She's taken some pretty thankless roles (Arrested Development and this), but been fantastic in them. I don't know if the fate of Better Off Ted has been decided--it feels tentative at best, but don't be surprised to see her on Desperate Housewives within the next 3 seasons.

For Your Emmy Consideration: Jim Parsons

Lead Actor in a Comedy, The Big Bang Theory
This isn't just because, in many ways, I behave much like his character, Sheldon Cooper. The show has a solid cast, but Parsons really shines. This clip features a single scene cameo by Mayim Bialik in what I hope is a story arc with her next season. If it were any longer I'd be FYCing her for Guest Actress.

For Your Emmy Consideration: Patrick Warburton

Lead Actor in a Comedy, Rules of Engagement
This is different from my FYC for him for The Venture Bros. Rules of Engagement is a funny show, despite David Spade and the laugh track cranked up to 11. And I probably like David Spade more than most of America, so CBS, cut his role down by 30%. And kill the laugh track. Amazingly they aren't needed if your show is actually funny.

My Open Letter to Rick Burgess

(h\t Towleroad)

If you don't know that I hate morning drive wacky DJs, I do. That whole concept annoys the living fuck out of me, so just the name "The Rick & Bubba Show" has me rolling me eyes already. They might not be morning drive, they might be wacky sports talk or some other shit, but Rick Burgess brings them to my attention, by saying this in response to the White House's proclamation of June as Pride month: "There is, absolutely, no way, impossible, to biblically justify this lifestyle."

Which is where I come in.

Dear Rick Burgess,

Welcome to America. You will enjoy the freedoms here. The first of which is my freedom of speech, allowing me to tell you as loudly and proudly as I can to go fuck yourself.

The second of which is a notion that we are not all of the same religion. I don't have to biblically justify my lifestyle; nor do Jews, people who have the audacity to divorce, women who don't believe they aren't merely property, and uppity negroes who aren't happily living as slaves. Look at us, all living contrary to what I'm inferring is acceptable to you. That's America. I'd say keep your hatred to yourself, but now your various gay and lesbian listeners, advertisers, and coworkers (and yes, you have them, whether you realize it or not) know you a little better.

I'm pretty fucking sure that if we gathered 1,000 people who "share your Biblical world view," and asked them a lot of specific questions about what things are and aren't Christian beliefs, you'd see a variety of answers. Calling oneself "Christian" is really easy but no real indication of an understand of, let alone living the teachings of, some dude named Jesus.

Let's take a few minutes to discuss Jesus's teachings on homosexuality. You can go first.

Wow, that was quick. It's like Jesus spent as much time discussing how Ewoks were a really stupid idea as he did admonishing against homosexuality. And he did. Jesus talked exactly as much talking about homosexuality as he did about Ewoks.

I know there's a lot more to the New Testament than just what Jesus did or said, but much of that also says women are property. Also I'm pretty sure fornication covers any sex not explicitly intending procreation. All of those things come with your condemnation, so have fun with it.

Of course, if this is about Leviticus, then I hope you are prepared to discuss where and how you are sprinkling blood around to honor God. Also I'm curious about where you purchase your slaves, and what you do with your filthy wife when she menstruates. I bet your issues with tattoos and shell fish (abomination!) cause you all kinds of problems down there in Alabama.

Bible-based hatred, you don't get to cherry pick.

But here's good news Rick. I love you. I don't want to have sex with you or anything (although, given how successful my slutty friend James is when he cruises Promise Keepers events, I am not saying it couldn't happen), I just love all my enemies. My retarded, hate-filled enemies. Just like that radical hippie Jesus taught me to. You'd have hated him.

Big kisses.

Happy Birthday Brian Wilson

This isn't about his life or career in general, or even Pet Sounds specifically.

This is about "Wouldn't it be Nice."

The song opens Pet Sounds, and stands as an overture for the album: the harmonies, the layering, the feelings. Birthday boy Brian Wilson wrote the music and co-wrote the lyrics with Tony Asher--Asher says the choice of words were his (Asher's) but the gist of the lyrics were Wilson's. (There is some dispute with singer Mike Love about his participation in the song's composition, but we'll save that for another episode of Oprah).

If you don't know Pet Sounds, seek it out. It is clear proof that genius and madness are probably two sides of the same coin. And it inspired Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The reason I love "Wouldn't it be Nice" is that, the older I get, the more I am amused by its naivete. I don't know the extent to which that was intentional on Wilson's part, but he refers to it as something children think, so probably. "We could be married, and then we'll be happy" is great. I don't know what Home Depot you shop at, but clearly it's not any of the ones I've been to, listening to couples fight over paint swatches. I think maybe church pre-marriage classes need to take a field trip there, but that might put them out of business.

To recap: innovative sound, pure pop perfection in around 2 minutes, with sweetly earnest yet amusingly naive lyrics. And it's not even the best song on the album.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

The World Naked Bike Ride comes to Portland

(h\t Clark)
The World Naked Bike ride is a conglomeration of events that happen around the world, in part to protest the world's dependence on fossil fuels, in part to celebrate bike culture, in part to celebrate body acceptance, and in part to just plain have fun.

And it's truly a grass roots event. It's not Pepsi's World Naked Bike Ride, or even secretly controlled by some cabal of big business who benefit from the events (SEE: Tea Party Protests Over Healthcare Reform; Tea Party Protests Over Taxes)--unless it's super secretly controlled, maybe by big oil, who try to marginalize the anti-big oil group by having them appear naked and on bicycles, in which case: GENIUS!

Portland's ride was last night which is a little weird since it's perfectly legal to be naked in public in Oregon, but I think it's more about the Portland bike community's love of night-time rides than anything else. Most rides coincide with Summer solstice, but there are many that seem to happen through the year (I think Seattle might have them on a monthly basis, at least part of the year). It's a shame that Portland observes the traditional timing because our Summer doesn't get here until well into July, so it was in the 50s last night when the ride happened.

Video from PDX Pipeline

World Naked Bike Ride - Portland, OR from Cooper Richardson on Vimeo.

Song of the Day: "Commander"

Last year's favorite song was a collaboration between Kelly Rowland and David Guetta. So this year's reunion deserves an SotD mention.


From the first time I heard "When Love Takes Over" I was smitten. I had a fresh but classic sound--a song I felt like I would love in 20 years. It takes a moment to breathe, it builds and by that time you're hooked.

"Commander" starts heavy, and while it kicks it up a notch just before the end of the first minute, it's not that same. I'm hoping that maybe, somehow, it will reveal itself to be an initially misunderstood gem, but for now this sounds exactly like some one said "let's make a song just like all the other songs that already sound just like Lady Gaga."

For Your Emmy Consideration: "The World Series Defense"

Best Writing in a Comedy Series, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, David Hornsby, writer
I'd seen the show before this past season, but became a regular viewer with this past season. And with "The World Series Defense" (aka "A Love Letter to Chase Utley") I am now something of an evangelist.

It's a great show, but I'm being somewhat parsimonious by only putting the writing for this episode into FYC. For their Emmy campaign, the cast are submitting themselves all in the Supporting Actor/Actress category. This is what ensemble casts like this think they ought to do, and I am telling them (and the cast of Reno 911) that this is a mistake. The cast of Friends figured it out, and they need to position themselves all in the respective Lead categories. Except possibly Danny DeVito, who joined that cast in the second season. And I'm saying this as much because of the numbers--the Lead Actor in a Comedy category has the smallest number of pre-nomination submissions of any of the comedy acting categories [UPDATE: not this year, it's 27 men, 26 women; supporting categories have more than twice that number each]--as it is that fact the the original 4 performers are all leads. I'll go ahead and marginalize DeVito, he's truly supporting (he's fine, he's funny, he's a good complement to the cast, and he's supporting).

This episode, specifically, captures all the characters at their best (which is to say their worst). The writer is also an actor who recurs as the character "Cricket."