Saturday, January 22, 2011

2010's Top 50 Singles, #50-41

You may commence your eye rolling here and now: Hole, a song from Glee, and Lady Gaga. I'm sure any of those is sure to invoke some shit from more than a couple of you. Especially when you find out that I was really ambivalent about Hole and that the rationale for including Gaga is also meant to save Gang of Four's superb "Never Pay for the Farm" for the 2011 list.

I think I posted well over 120 candidates that I was listening to (see them all here), and flirted with doing a Top 100 instead, but I just couldn't bring myself to commit. Needless to say, there are a good 2-3 dozen songs that I also loved that aren't here. And probably some from artists cooler than Hole, or the cast of Glee.

But here we are, 2 songs that benefited relief for the earthquake in Haiti, a "technically late 2009" song that I didn't start liking until late 2010, the first of 2 Jay-Z appearances, 3 new (to me) bands that I can get really excited about (one of whom is even Scottish, and one from Northern Ireland, which is quasi-Scottish, I'm sure), and a bitch slap by the wonderful Nona Hendryx. Away we go...

50 Hole 'Pacific Coast Highway'
49 Amber Riley/Naya Rivera/cast of Glee/some auto-tune software 'River Deep, Mountain High'
48 Two Door Cinema Club 'Undercover Martin'
47 Jay-Z/Rihanna/Bono/The Edge 'Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)'
46 Rogue Wave 'Solitary Gun'
45 Nona Hendryx 'The Ballad of Rush Limbaugh'
44 Lady Gaga 'Bad Romance'
43 Codeine Velvet Club 'Hollywood'
42 Dean & Britta 'Teenage Lightning and Lost Highways'
41 Biffy Clyro 'Bubbles'

Notes on Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky makes movies that leave me feeling confused—mostly confused by their allure. And I'm pretty sure I was a fan of Aronofsky before you were, because I saw Pi, in the theater, and loved it. Way back in 1998.

So there.

I enjoyed Black Swan way more than The Wrestler. I think I enjoyed the odious All About Steve (the Sandra Bullock movie, not the play adaptation of All About Eve to the world of gay porn which is, naturally, FABULOUS) more than The Wrestler.

Fortunately this isn't a review, just Oscar odds. And I'm doing it late enough in awards season to make this pretty easy. Black Swan has as close to a lock as you can get for nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress (Natalie Portman), and Best Editing. I'm being conservative, and it's probably a slam dunk that Aronofsky will be nominated for Best Director, and further nominations for Best Make-Up, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction (although the whole white & black motif thing grew tiresome, I thought the splashes of red meant something, but I guess that was just too The Sixth Sense), but I'm hedging and saying they are "strong."

I'm struggling between Mila Kunis and Barbara Hershey for a Supporting Actress nomination. Hershey gives the better (and creepier) performance, and is the veteran, but Kunis has more traction at this point. Having not seen The Fighter, which also has 2 contenders in that categories, it's hard to know how to place/hedge my bets. Hershey picked up a BAFTA nomination where Kunis didn't.

I'd be happier with Hershey ahead of Kunis and Hallie Steinfeld from True Grit. But at this point I'd be thrilled to see some attention given to Patricia Clarkson (supporting) and Emma Stone (lead) from Easy A.

God I wish Annette Benning would have gone for Supporting Actress.

I don't know if the screenplay is Original or Adapted but it's strong for a nomination. I'm pretty sure the score is not eligible because of the preponderance of dude's Swan Lake music.

All in all, something of a mess, but I gotta admit it has an indelible quality that makes it worth seeing. Just don't expect to love it.

A peak into the fabulosity that is my Friday night out

Okay, Dave kicked shit off and he brought his own music, and props. And yes, I recorded it sideways but whatev.... props.

Then John 2: Electric Boogaloo rocked "Good Morning Baltimore."

Then a still-ailing Original Recipe John left his mark with "All That Jazz" and, if you listen real close, you might hear me singing. Ouch.

All while sober.

And, AND, after swimming!!!! My third time for the week. One week down, one to go (on the tribute to dad weeks).

For tonight's performance, the roles of Butter and Honey

Will be played by Buttery Spread and Honey Sauce, respectively.
H/T to Eric who is not, I repeat not, failing his family with these condiments.

Happy Birthday Piper Laurie

3 Oscar nominations spread over 3 decades; 9 Emmy nominations spread over 4 decades.

I still haven't seen Carrie, I'm sorry.

If I had to pick a favorite, it would, of course, be Twin Peaks... as I've seen it. And she was fun in it! Actually I thought for sure she'd won an Emmy for it (lost to Marg Helgenberger in China Beach once, and Madge Sinclair in Gabriel's Fire), but that was just a Golden Globe. Sigh.

Here's a sweet tribute to her.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

"Only boys who save their pennies make my rainy day"

More Nile Rodgers. Get well soon dude! Treatment vibes sent your ways!

Song of the Day: "Me and Tennessee"

Running through possible Oscar nominees for Original Song, and I saw "Tim McGraw &" next to this one. Can it be? Can Tim finally be investing a little more than lip service in his desire to let me remake his career?

Probably not. I have every expectation that he and Faith will simply add this to the duets portion of their next joint tour.

Here's what's interesting about the song (marginally interesting, by the way). It was all yellow... remember back in December when I played new Coldplay, and I said that Chris Martin got a rhyming dictionary?!

Now you know why. He wrote this. It also explains why the song is "Me and Tennessee" and not "Tennessee and I" (which, I grant, isn't always grammatically correct... but if you own a brand new rhyming dictionary, it's NEVER correct [no disrespect {I can do it too}]).

Oh yeah, it's Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw, so it's from Country Strong... duh.

Song: "Me and Tennessee"
Artist: Tim McGraw & Gwyneth Paltrow

Friday, January 21, 2011

New show=funny

Perfect Couples: It feels like Modern Family (tracking 3 couples), and appears to be as funny (between Modern Family and Big Bang Theory, I've had a good TV catch up day, while working at home and having squirrels eradicated from my life). Look for Perfect Couples on Hulu. No laugh track!

Irony wins again

Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day, and, AND, I just payed squirrel eradication dude $150 to help me eradicate some squirrels.

I am tired of enduring a 24/7 squirrel fiesta. And I am over paying $50+ per squirrel to have them "humanely removed" from my yard. At least feed the dogs.

Happy Birthday Ann Wedgeworth

Love her. LOVE!

Hey brilliant casting peeps at Modern Family, Cameron can use an aunt. A crazy, crazy aunt. And Ann can use a Guest Actress Emmy to go with her Tony.

Here she is in Filthy Rich. You might remember her from later seasons of Three's Company, or Steel Magnolias, but she'll always be Bootsie to me and Chris Wilson.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

You're halfway there John Boehner!

So it's totally epically awesome that House Republicans have effectively repealed "Obamacare."

But their campaign promise was to repeal and replace Obamacare.

So repeal, check.





Seriously, John Boehner, where's the replace? Keep in mind that my mother is fucked by the status quo, so I need "Obamacare" to get my mother insurance coverage.

So where is my motherfucking replace?


Where? 3 years ago you stood up with 3 circles and 2 lines to represent you version of healthcare reform. So what's the revised version?!

Lying fuckers.

"My favorite donut is every donut"

Rush Limbaugh everyman, Joe Keg, mocks the Chinese and offends Stephen Colbert.

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Song of the Day: "This is Why We Fight"

Another track from The Decemberists' recent foray into Americana. Becky says they're Guadalcanal Diary (presumably not meant to be an insult, certainly not taken as one by me--Murray Attaway, you're on your own). J-rod got to see them live at OPB and I'm pretty sure he said it was like "just okay" or something...

I really am loving The King is Dead. Now all of a sudden I want Colin Meloy and Morrissey to collaborate. Shit, I'm gonna be preoccupied by that genius idea all day (here's a hint at what that would sound like).

And don't be surprised to find this in my Top 10 singles of 2011, a year from now.
"And when we die, we will die with our arms unbound"

Song: "This is Why We Fight"
Artist: The Decemberists

"...let's turn up the heat 'til we fry"

Another *yes another* get well soon shout out to Nile Rodgers. OMG, if I know you personally and you are ailing and I am not doting on you appropriately, please yell at me, but otherwise, Nile, dude, get well soon! Another iconic hit from the man!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Identity Crisis

I ran across something at I Love Charts, then followed something to something else and found this, which is teh awesums...
Check out more brilliance from lunchbreath here.

A tale of two Davids

Clark's ailing again (survey says: asthma attack), and I left work early to check on him. There's someone at the house but it's like when your parents put your older sister in charge while they go out and you're never gonna listen to your older sister, plus she's probably gonna steal their pot, which is... what, where was I?

Right, so I left work early and while waiting at the stop for the train, some dude came up and started asking me a question. My headphones were on, I'm sure it was an incredibly hip band and not someone you would be snobbish about. Macy Gray. No, Aztec Camera. It was totally Aztec Camera. And not the shitty Aztec Camera near the end, like Frestonia... yawn. Where was I?

I had headphones on, and didn't hear him and he motioned toward the tracks, so I actually pulled an earplug out and listened to his question. "Do all the trains go to N Prescott?" or some shit like that.

Yes, we have 4 different color train lines, on different sets of tracks, going in 4 different directions, and each and everyone of them goes to N Prescott.


I am fine except for dealing with the humans.

I explained which train line, and how many stops, and he asked if I was going that way and OHMYGOD he was going to sit right by me, so he would know which was the correct stop. He got off just one stop after me. OHMYGOD.

That is so awesome. A brand new friend. I hoped he would want to big warm hug as I am totally a huggy person.

David, as my new friend introduced himself, is from upstate New York. He lives on the 16th floor of a 17 story building with a very nice apartment with a lot of nice art that I would like, I was told. How might David know my preferences for art, you might ask. Yes, indeed, I might add.

David was on his way to N. Prescott so that he could make his way to the Q Center which is the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender resource center for Portland. I don't mean to mock David's discretion, but I wanted you to fully understand the whispered nature of David's ramblings. The Q Center would give David information on all of the gay pubs in Portland.

I didn't want to ruin David's trip, and since I actually seldom go out, I figured they'd be a better resource than me, but technically, I could have sent him over to Fox & Hounds where he would have been quite at home and gotten some guide or map to all the bars in the city, I'm pretty sure. By this point we were still in Old Town, and it was just a few blocks. Like 4 short blocks.

But he'd already spent the $2+ on a train ticket. I said nothing.

In retrospect, my bad.

There was rambling. A goodly amount of rambling. And yes, I just said "goodly." It's an extended vacation. There was time in an Amish part of Wisconsin. (Amish? Wisconsin?) There was travel by Amtrak. There was a hostel involved. Correction, there IS a hostel involved.

Oh, and in September a friend, who's straight, but who likes him, but who likes his (the friend's) girlfriend more, was going to drive him (David) to Texas where he's had stuff in storage for 17 years (if I remember correctly). David would be keeping the yellow van filled with gas during the drive, and they would be sleeping in the back of the yellow van. Sleeping bags.

Did I mention that David elected to speak with me because of my lawyer-ly appearance. Today would be a day when I was running low on clean clothes and was dressier than average. Apparently lawyer-level dressy. Or so he claims.

I think that maybe wearing a sweater vest makes me look gay. I mean, I am gay, but come on, a sweater vest? Shit.

Did I mention the "old man" that David took to meet his mom? I didn't? There was an old man, in a wheelchair, who met David's mom. And David's mom, who doesn't even speak English, probably knew... (?)... she's very intuitive, like my mother was.

Was?! What does David know about my mother?

Anyway, David's mother even touched the dude's hair AND SHE NEVER DOES THAT. She doesn't.

The old man may or may not live in the 17-story building back in Albany, by the way... I know!

And yes, we were STILL ON THE TRAIN AT THIS POINT. Apparently I am a great listener.

Where was I? Oh, yes, David needs a place to stay cause he's staying in a hostel and his leg. Cramps. Which is why creepy older David is now also staying with me.

As if. Could you even imagine? When I told Clark the story he expected that as the punchline. I said, "no, he's not young and cute, those are the only total strangers that get invited back" (which, if you are a parent of mine, is not even true at all... also I have dogs to protect me).

No, I did recommend that he check a couple of the motels along Interstate Ave. And I gave him my Trimet pass that expires at midnight (he was on a 2-hour ticket, and this would give him more freedom to look around). A nicer guy would have actually driven him over to the Q Center because actually I drove right by it on my way home.

I mean right by it.

And, AND, I'll be there again on Friday night.

Oh noes, how much you wanna bet he'll be there singing showtunes.

Maybe I can find out what he knows about my mother!

Meanwhile, the other David, also from upstate New York, made brownies and biscuits and meatloaf.

And, AND, he's neither old nor creepy.

Song of the Day: "Better Days"

I'm running through the various contenders for an Original Song nomination for the Oscars, and I can't believe I haven't mentioned my (cough) excitement that Eddie Vedder did a song for a Julia Roberts movie!

It's like finding out that the Olive Garden is serving Starbucks coffee! A thing that I consume but admit isn't the best in its field, and a thing that I pretend not to like but, you know, it's fine, I'm just not gonna make an effort or anything. Julia Roberts has good breadsticks and salad, you've got to admit it.

OMG look at all the sad faces in the video. Oh noes...

Song: "Better Days"
Artist: Eddie Vedder (with inspiration of Julia Roberts's laugh, I'm sure)

"I'd been had, I was sad and blue"

Another Nile Rodgers "get well soon" shout out! I promised you iconic, and here you go. Madonna's first #1 single.

Get well soon dude!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"The reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark"

Another "get well" shout out to the wonderful Nile Rodgers. His magical touch helped make this Duran Duran's biggest selling single. Wanna find a Nile Rodgers song in the wild? Learn to listen to the bassline. They always kill! And the staccato percussion usually kicks ass.

Class will continue tomorrow with another iconic song. And dude, get well soon!!!!!!!!

"Petty woman"


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Song of the Day: "Just Another Rider"

[UPDATE: Holy crap I am influential--this is available as a free download from iTunes if you pick up a card from Starbucks. I guess one of my fans was so inspired that they had a bajillion cards printed up and distributed in the last 3 hours. I amaze myself.]

The 1 original song on Gregg Allman's Low Country Blues, an album he recorded during the limbo before a suitable donor was found for a life-saving liver transplant (I guess there aren't any elective liver transplants, so that's probably redundant and repetitive, sorry). Allman's one of those musicians that flies under my radar and when I encounter him, I just have to stop and listen. This isn't a song I expected to love, and while I don't love it the way I love, say, New Pornographers or The National, there's definitely something there.

Allman is #70 on Rolling Stone's list of the Greatest Singers of All Time. The album was produced by Oscar and Grammy-winner T-Bone Burnett, you like him. And, AND, once married to Cher. The ex-Mr. Cher. I believe I have covered all my peeps, so check this shit out...

Song: "Just Another Rider"
Artist: Gregg Allman

"The happiest corpse I'd ever seen"

My great aunt Dot used to have a player piano at her lake house. She had a handful of songs on roller sheet thingies, and you could pump with your feet or just click a switch and the piano would do the work. Among the songs was "Cabaret" from the Kander and Ebb classic, a song that, perhaps, kids and teens might not fully appreciate, but oh well. Drunken (the adults), atonal (all of us) sing-along sessions were a regular thing at Wonder Lake, and I found myself at the gathering after her funeral wishing I'd thought to find someone to play showtunes on the piano, or at least have t-shirts made up.

My Aunt Bonnie grimaced at the thought, although when I asked her if she thought Dot would have wanted them, she admitted I was right. Bonnie even came up with "So long, Dottie" as a great t-shirt idea (naturally Dot had "Hello Dottie" in her set of song rolls, although due to some strange typo it was printed as "Hello Dolly"--I get some of my (cough) self-effacing nature from Dottie).

Cabaret with a Q, the Q Center's monthly evening of musical and standard singing, is coming to a close this Friday. I've been a few times, I've given incorrect information about Liza at least once, I've learned way more than I ever cared to about Paul Robeson, and it's as close to karaoke as I will ever get.

As for me, as for me, I made my mind up that I will get out there one more time. I still plan to swim on Friday, but Q Center is convenient to my commute home, so there you go. Look for me in the comfy arm chairs in the back (I like comfy chairs, and to check out everyone's butts).

Some come hear the wine, come taste the band (...wait, that's not right), anyway, put down the knitting and the other things (don't make me try to work all the lyrics in, either you get it or you don't). Cause most of my friends, they're going like Elsie too... here's "ugly nose big face" from her West End run as Sally Bowles (I have no idea why Becky hates Judi Dench so much). And check out those lyrics, I really think I was like 11 or 12.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Jane Horrocks

It's been a long day, and I'm spent. So let's just say that if you haven't seen Little Voice, you're missing out on her amazing talent. So see it!

Also she was funny as shit on Absolutely Fabulous.

She tackled Sally Bowles on the West End (can't embed, see her sing "Cabaret" here).

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

WTF? blogs edition

Wow, so I got locked out of Rebel Agenda because of a security thingy. Which freaked me out since Blogger is a Google product, and I just got one of them fancy shmancy Android phones which is also a Google product (the OS is, the hardware is someone else).

So now I am double authenticatin' muthafuckas.

Except, yoinks, my other blog has been locked down by the robots. Or so Google describes it. Luckiest Dude in the World (here) has to be evaluated for possible SPAM content. It's my collection of emails regarding various inheritances, lottery wins and other special business deals, not SPAM. They are all legit.

Cross your fingers that it survives.

And if I found out this was some Nigerians fucking with my shit, look out. I will write nasty things about them. And I will contact Robert S. Mueller III, my good friend.

PS--a big Rebel Agenda hug to the very beefy Scott Caan whose very beefy photo (originally posted here) has been bringing me a shitload of web traffic.
Thanks for the traffic beefy Scott Caan
I have a special thank you for Scott personally, he just needs to drop by. That probably sounded just as creepy as it was meant...

"Put on your red shoes and dance the blues"

Another shout out to the fantastic Nile Rodgers... get well soon dude!

Your music touches us all! Except, maybe, the Amish.

Song of the Day: "Welcome to Burlesque"

There's still time for me to use Burlesque as a punchline! Life is great!

Dirty sexy Johnny really wants to see this. Really. I wonder if he will come see Biffy Clyro with me at Doug Fir if I agree to see this with him. Also who has fungi?

Song: "Welcome to Burlesque"
Artist: Cher

So Haiti's all good then?

I just realized something key missing from the Golden Globe Awards (aside from lavish production numbers, perhaps the Lord of the Dance clogging to "We Didn't Start the Fire" or the kids from the remake of Fame updating "Hot Lunch Jam"...): the reminder.

The reminder that they, the super A-list stars of the world, care.

They cared about Haiti. They cared about the war(s) [by the way, we're still fighting 2 of them--anyone who asked for a tax cut during a war is a traitor in my book]. They cared about the environment, breast cancer, AIDS, and the metric system (probably, it's early).

Sunday night? Not a damn thing. (Oh, their own children, great.... please stop naming your children "Eli" for, like 30 years.)

I'm thrilled that they didn't politicize the shooting--leave that for FOX News (if celebrity Sarah Palin wants to talk about it for 8 minutes on Facebook, it's fine, but if Natalie Portman had mentioned it, "FLAME ON!") but no new ribbons? No new lapel accoutrements? No auctions of dresses or gift bags?

Do you people see what happens when you leave George Clooney at home? You turn into assholes. You turn back into assholes. You stop pretending to care.

You can send your gift bags to me, and I will make sure the press release includes your include your name. I'll make it clear that you didn't say anything on the show because you didn't want to make it about you. Yes, they will laugh, but get over it, do you want an Oscar nomination or not, Mila Kunis?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Perhaps this will encourage me to swim a little longer

So I swam today. And I am very tired. A good tired.

As I left, 4 young men in board shorts were entering the pool. Clearly my timing is still off.

But my dad did get me new goggles for my birthday last year. He will be thrilled that I'm using them.

He might be less thrilled to hear they might be used to ogle young men in board shorts while laps are swum... swam... swimmed? But I think he will focus on the former and LALALALALA over the latter. It's a great W.A.S.P. tradition ;-)

Progress, not perfection.

Happy Birthday James Earl Jones

You can pick any number of lines, from any number of places. I'm going with Field of Dreams because I'll be damned, I cannot stop watching that movie if I run across it, anywhere, ever.

The man is a living legend. And deservedly so.

Happy birthday uncle James! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "If I Rise"

Among the 41 songs still in contention for Best Original Song is this one, from 127 Hours, by 2-time Oscar winner A. R. Rahman, and Dido. It's lovely and moody, and perfect for the Sunday morning new age-y show Jane used to host, a million years ago at the radio station. But I have no idea how Debbie Allen can choreograph around this. (Perhaps that's the kind of challenge she thrives on...)

Song: "If I Rise"
Artist: A. R. Rahman/Dido

"Our new state of mind, these are the good times"

Last Friday my coworkers and I got into an animated email exchange regarding Phil Collins and Sting (as one does on Fridays). These things tend to devolve, tangents are introduced, and we ended up with Tony Thompson, former drummer for Chic and Power Station. Thompson passed away back in 2003, but somehow the tangent brought me to proclaim (as I do), that Nile Rodgers rules all! Dude has produced and played on some iconic fucking music from the past 30 years. Do a little reading if you're interested (here).

But later I found out Rodgers is battling cancer. Which "is totally suck" as friend Sam would say (to his credit, his English is way better than my Arabic).

So all my best to Nile. In addition to thoughts, prayers and good vibes, I send you my funkiest energy (hopefully it doesn't overwhelm). Today let's all celebrate the "Good Times"!

Rock on dude! Rock on!

"For in peace our hearts will sing"

Saturday was Martin Luther King Jr's birthday (and John's), but today is the national holiday honoring him (King, not John).

King was a community organizer, Sarah Palin, a role you sneered at a couple of years ago, but he was also a man who genuinely gave everything for the greater good. As you recall, Sarah, "a call greater than yourself" is a phrase that gets tossed around a lot--quitting your elected post early to cash in on a $10 million job offer from FOX News actually doesn't qualify (even though you've probably twisted it in your mind that now you're serving all of America, so good for you).

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ, unless he's flip-flopped and he's now D, or from CA or something, maybe his new name is "Jenny") opposed the holiday, until he didn't. Like he supported repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell, until he didn't, but now he does begrudgingly.

Sen. Jesse Helms (R-Hell) also opposed the holiday, but not because Helms was a repugnant racist or anything. No, this was about King's, um birth certificate Marxism. Yes, totally. His black black Marxism.

But fuck the haters. I don't get today off, but I believe there's free on-street parking, so I might take advantage (or not, it's insanely mild outside and a 1-mile walk to MAX wouldn't hurt me one bit).

Here's a little Sir Stevie Wonder to get your holiday in gear!

And slightly-belated although officially-observed happy birthday dude! You did amazing, transformative, things. Rest in peace.

Inspiration, dedication, perspiration

I have recently enjoyed reading the really inspiring story of a man named Ben. Ben Does Life (here) records the amazing journey of a guy who has lost more than 100 pounds in the past couple of years, in part because of a promise he made to his grandmother. The stories, the pictures, it's all amazing and pretty much G-rated. There's a lot of great stuff there and I can't recommend it highly enough. You will be amazed at how not-at-all bitchy it is (given my recommendation).

I was talking to Clark over the weekend, he's still off cigarettes but is starting to struggle with temptation. I told him to quit cause he wants to quit, and if he needs help, to quit for Midge. She was telling me that she kinda likes having him around, so maybe he can use her for a little inspiration.

Which brings me around to myself (whoa, didn't see that one coming). I played phone-tag with my dad over the weekend, which got me off the hook for having to admit that I hadn't made it to the gym at all last week. He doesn't give me shit about not going, but he does that perfect "dad" thing where he makes me encourages me in a way that makes me feel disappointed in myself.

One of Ben's tips for "doing life" is to put it out there. To make your efforts public, so that maybe skipping a workout to go home and sit  and watch TV might not be as easy an option as it was. I was swimming back in September and October, and I felt really good about it. I haven't been since my trip to Louisiana, and had all kinds of "great excuses" but I'd really like to live a healthier life. And my dad does too. So whether he realizes it or not, the next few weeks are for him. I'm not going every day, and I'm probably not even gonna watch what I eat. But for the next 2 weeks I'm committing to get my ass to the pool, and swim, just 15-20 minutes at a pop, at least 3 times each week. I'm doing it for me, but I'm also doing it for him too.

And should something happen and I not get there, it won't be the end of the world (unless it truly IS the end of the world, in which case I believe we are all excused), and it won't mean I love my dad any less. It will just give me another chance to try again.

So I'm putting it out there. If you wanna ask me when my next swim is, please do. Hopefully I have an answer prepared for you.

Now who's the better looking quarterback?

Listen, I don't know anything about the NFL, except that I am starting to suspect that I've been lied to about the "pads-only second half" (listen, I know it's winter, but there really is no excuse in domed stadiums, and it's not like you're showing any mercy to the cheerleaders anyway). I don't even think I've used Brett Favre's penis as an excuse to write about football (although as  I type it, Brett Favre's penis, or BFP as I will now refer to the incident [and the penis itself], seems a good cultural reference, but that's not important now--for the time being, let's table Brett Farve's penis... that just rolls off the tongue... or it could [text me]).

You know, one of these days my posts won't make my dad wince. Perhaps the next one.

Anyway, back to non-BFP NFL. The Jets are not just a part of West Side Story, they are also a team that seems unaware of pads-only play. But they have a "pretty boy" quarterback (according to some gay sports blog that picked a fantasy football team using the writer's personal sense of hotness--much to the chagrin [not a gay word] of my co-worker). J-rod is my go-to sports reference crutch, even going so far as to explain that Mark Sanchez is the quarterback for the Jets, and that the quarterback is the guy who throws the ball, when I sent him a text during last year's Tony Awards (strangely he wasn't already watching). That made me sufficiently knowledgeable to be dubbed "Sporty Spice" the rest of the night, but frankly "NASCAR involves cars" would have done the same (I may never remember the name of the woman that's in all that stuff, but that ultimately I think is annoying [Donna Murphy], but I remember the cars).

Sometime between Friday and the Golden Globes it looks like pretty boy Mark Sanchez and his foot fetish porn-making coach (I don't think we're in BFP territory, but if you wondered that, good for you, it means you're paying attention) managed to [something something Sportscenter sassy reference "phi slamma jamma"] and beat Tom Brady and his shitty shitty shitty haircut. Tom Brady has the makings of near perfection, but that haircut is an affront to humanity, so rock on Mark Sanchez. I'm sure I can't pick you out if you were standing in the day laborer lot, but so long as you don't have Justin Beiber's haircut, I've got your back. Especially if you're playing in the white pants where you can see the line of the jock strap and... wait, lost my train of thought.

But the other reason I kinda love this story is the kinky coach dude. I got no problem with the porn, not one bit. I got problems with awkward denials about the porn (SEE ALSO: R. Kelly [you do not want your show business awards visible in your videos if you want to be able to deny that it's you in the video]), although I'm not even paying close enough attention to know if he's truly denying it (that's what I thought J-rod said, but it might not be the official word, which is officially, "it's none of your business unless you're in the foot fetish community and are interested in either video on demand, or the DVD copy with 3 bonus scenes").

No, I love kinky coach dude because, against most of the common sports wisdom ("sports wisdom" = oxymoron?) he wrote a guarantee that the Jets were going to win the Super Game (hmm, that might not be the correct name) this season. I think I read that. "Kinky coach dude" + guarantee isn't really a useful search string, and I can discuss with J-rod in a couple of hours, so I may update this.

But since nothing succeeds like success, it will be great to watch all the people talking smack about him suddenly deciding that his videos are none of their business if it means a Super Bowl ring (grown men fighting over jewelry, just saying). Oh hey, Super Bowl, I think that's the name of the day of commercials they do every Winter.

In summary: Tom Brady, get a fucking haircut!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Note on the Golden Globes

Have awards shows always been this tedious? What chemical imbalance did I have before that made me enjoy them? Thank Liza I had Becky and Johnny to help me get through.  Anyone who knows Sonya will smile knowingly to discover that she never got a digital broadcast converter thingy, so she's not even able to watch the fucking Golden Globes, on of a few awards shows where we could talk during commercials and have it be meaningful for us both. You remember the cut-over to digital, right? They rambled on about it for MONTHS and then, AND THEN, they like extended it 4 more months.

She's behind on that (love you girl, and you totally know it!).

At this point, it would be an amazing surprise to have any movie but The Social Network win Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Colin Firth seems to have a lock on Best Actor, and The Kids Are All Right a lock on Best Original Screenplay.

Christian Bale is strong for Supporting Actor, but Geoffrey Rush and Jeremy Renner are both possible spoilers. Perhaps Michael Douglas's return to health will take Wall Street 2: Electric Bugaloo out of contention, although I don't think Andrew Garfield will be enough of a player for anything but lucky break to be the fifth nominee. Mark Ruffalo is stronger (which is contrary to where I was last summer or whenever I saw The Kids are All Right).

127 Hours seems to have really faded from contention in most categories, although James Franco is probably a safe bet for a Best Actor nomination. Blue Valentine has a lot of buzz, as does Biutiful, so Ryan Gosling and Javier Bardem are much more likely to pick up a nomination than Paul Giamatti, who won tonight for a movie no one's seen or heard of, except for when he was on The Daily Show last week.

Yawn, okay, time for Venture Bros. then sleep. More later (I know, but try to get some rest too).

Notes on True Grit

I wasn't planning to see True Grit in the theater, when I first heard about it. And if I were perfectly honest, and said that it was Sonya's enthusiasm after seeing the movie, that prompted my interest, then she might get a big head and think she's all that, and go around expecting people to call her Ms. Ford or something pretentious like that. So officially I went to see True Grit based on its momentum going into Oscar nominations (it received 0 nominations for tonight's Golden Globes, so when the awards pundits start yapping, keep that in mind), and not because Sonya has any sway over the things I do.

Loved it. It might be that I'm desperate for something that feels like more of a movie to acclaim than The Social Network, but, phew, I found one. I'm not a big fan of Westerns, but I am of the Coen Brothers and of Jeff Bridges (despite the disappointment that was Crazy Heart), so factor that in. Really enjoyed it.

Oscar-wise, I think it's well on its way to nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Jeff Bridges), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography (OMGOMGOMGROGERDEAKINS). It's got strong shots at Best Supporting Actress (Hattie Steinfeld), Best Costume Design, and Best Editing. It's probably got a reasonable shot at Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, and let's say 1 of the 2 sound awards. Matt Dillon and Barry Pepper are both solid in their respective roles (Pepper is better, but in a smaller role), but I don't see either of them pulling out a nomination as Supporting Actor.

The only aspect I have reservations about is Steinfeld. I've heard that this movie is true to the book, but a 14-year old girl driven to bring her father's killer to justice would be a little more emotional, it seems to me. Steinfeld is good, she handles a big role, but it's not the stuff that Oscars should go to (and I will even defend Marisa Tomei at this point). If Steinfeld's nominated, it's largely because they've gamed the system by pushing her for Supporting Actress (based on her age) when she has a lead role (SEE ALSO: Timothy Hutton and Tatum O'Neal). I haven't seen any of the likely Supporting Actress nominees (Melissa Leo and Amy Adams for The Fighter, Mila Kunis and possibly Barbara Hershey for Black Swan, Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom, and, who's the girl in The Social Network... oh wait, there wasn't one) but it would be a shame for a great performance to miss out. Fortunately Mo'Nique is safe. [UPDATE: I would much rather see Helen Fucking Mirren nominated for RED.]

"Time for you to get a watch"

Pee Wee Herman improved SNL like 6800% last night.

"Oooooh, bop!"

Two more quick birthday shout-outs. First, I'm sure dude is asked about this blog all the time from my gazillions of readers, but Richard T. Jones isn't me (third cousin, I think). He's not (try as he might). He is a pretty good actor, so there's that. You know, it's almost like looking into a mirror... (in a blackened room).

The second is the wonderful Maxine Jones (second cousin, I think) who, along with Dawn Robinson, sang lead on this iconic 90s En Vogue track. Sadly En Vogue didn't get any Grammy love, living in the shadow of Boys II Men; but go into any gay bar, anywhere in the world, and people aren't singing "On Bended Knee" (even though they may, in fact, be on bended knees.... whole other context though). But put this song on and you will see dozens of wanna-be drag queens sing their hearts out. Take it away ladies!

Happy birthday to both cousins! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Ethel Merman

Respect, bitches. It would be nice to bend space and time and watch Ethel eat Christina Aguilera (not in a cannibalistic way, although I'd buy tickets for that too), you know, for breakfast. That being said, The Ethel Merman Disco Album is sad for many reasons. But then so is Burlesque.

Here's Merman talking to Johnny.

Now let us never speak of this again. John, if you're reading, you'll get a kick out of this:

I'm sure it's possible to craft a gay-er sign off than Ethel Merman with Judy Garland, but why bother gilding a lily?

Happy birthday dude! Rest in peace.

Song of the Day: "Father's Son"

Fistful of Mercy is Dhani Harrison, Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur. Dhani is George Harrison's son, and compared Fistful of Mercy with the Traveling Wilburys (in terms of the collaborative process, not in terms of stature, cause that would be laughable and I'd spend the better part of my morning mocking him for that... unfortunately he didn't, damn it, maybe I will vacuum instead).

Something Fistful of Mercy and Traveling Wilburys have in common is drummer Jim Keltner. I have a vague recollection of Eric fixating on Keltner and sending me his discography, like in real time, as he read the Wikipedia entry. So if you'd like to play Eric for a day, have at it (here).... "OMG he was in Little Village!"

Song: "Father's Son"
Artist: Fistful of Mercy

I couldn't remember Roger Deakins's name... and notes on A Single Man

I'm going to see True Grit today, which is not normally the Oscar-bait I'd prioritize over all others (my check list also includes The King's Speech, Black Swan, and The Fighter [by the way, why are there no movies about well-off, or even just middle-class, boxers?... well, if they're gonna be poor, at least make them all Caucasians... oh hey, they pretty much did])--between these 4, and The Social Network (which I've already seen but now I wonder if I missed an entire section that might explain why the movie is getting so much critical praise and awardness). But in my pre-nap phone chat with my mother I said the kicker for True Grit was that this movie might, FINALLY, win Roger Deakins his long-over due Oscar for Cinematography.

Only I couldn't remember Deakins's name. It was pre-nap, and I really was more interested in finding TV that was nap-appropriate (it's a long story, but I need a sleep timer to fall asleep, although it only needs to be on for like 48 seconds usually). But I felt really bad, because OMGOMGOMGROGERDEAKINS, right? This is how the Alzheimer's sets in. Next I will not remember trading arms to a sworn enemy only to use that money to illegally fund another country's anti-Communist resistance movement WHILE BEING DEIFIED (even though people won't have paid sufficient attention to things I actually did, making my followers 25-years later seem foolish for opposing immigration reform). Please send jellybeans. And Adderall (I, um, hear that helps too).

So Mom, it's Roger Deakins! And dude really has an amazing body of work (here). So amazing that I'm skipping Showgirls 2 (aka Black Swan) to go see a Western.

Next weekend is tentatively "I Heart Ryan Gosling weekend" (he's just so dreamy and so talented, and I'm pretty sure he and Channing Tatum are PERFECT for my new film adaptation, The Naked Odd Couple [patent pending]). Is it too early for me to talk to designers about who I'm going to wear on the red carpet?

For Dirty Sexy Johnny's birthday we watched A Single Man, starring last year Oscar-nominee Colin Firth (who's pretty much locked to win Best Actor this year for The King's Speech, unless Johnny Depp is injured or killed saving a small child in the next few days). If you told me the entire movie was a video portfolio for various beautiful things that Tom Ford (the director) has designed, I would have said "well done, but why do you keep changing the color saturation, are you a first-year art student in a junior college photography class"... but I probably would have been saying it to the back of Tom Ford's head since Tom can't hang with someone of my awesomeness. I think he's probably insecure. They say beauty is only skin deep, and imagine having to walk around all day covered in this:
Okay, sure, I'm totally jealous
NOTE TO SELF: Find a part for Tom Ford in The Naked Odd Couple.

That being said, lots of style, but very little emotion I connected with. But we had a brief round table on this question: "Accent aside, pretending dude and Charlie (Julianne Moore's character) were from the US and living in England instead, could George Clooney have played that role?" You may share your thoughts in the comments.