Monday, June 30, 2008

Arresting News!

Jeffrey Tambor, a/k/a George Bluth, Sr. and Oscar Bluth, has announced that Arrested Development the movie is on.

I was skeptical -- Tambor would hardly be the official mouthpiece -- so I went to, where I found a fleshed-out page for the film, including an "announced" status, although it's not clear what all that's based on.

I'm sure this is especially good news for Ron Howard, who served as the show's narrator and who could surely use the work.

We can hope, anyway.

In other happy viewing news, I look for Mad Men season 1 in the mail this week.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Back from Vacation

And of course, I'm now sick. Just the garden-variety body aches, sore throat, cough, etc. Not the more unpleasant symptoms that sometimes accompany minor illnesses.


And while I read blogs on the new laptop while I was gone, I didn't have time to post on my own blog. I was having too much fun.

This too-much-fun thing is quite unusual. I enjoyed it while I could.

Tomorrow I hope to feel better and get some work done for my employer.

Then back to blogging. :)

This Is a Criminal Intent

Law & Order: Criminal Intent's Chris Noth is moving on. While I like Noth well enough on the show, I can live with that. The one constant in the L&O family is change, after all, just like in "real" life.

What's criminal, however, is that his replacement is Jeff Goldblum.

Goldblum did an entirely too good job of being a Big Jerk in The Big Chill, and I've never found him anything but annoying.

Either I can live with it, or tune out every other episode. Or maybe Goldblum will surprise me and be, at worst, someone I love to hate.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

One Upside to Laptop Ownership

It serves as a nice alarm clock.

If the battery threatens to run out, clearly I've been on the computer too long.

It's good to have boundaries.

Blogging Has Just Cost Me $600

And counting.

Last night I bought a low-end laptop, even though I already have a perfectly good desktop.

I actually have a number of reasons for wanting one, several of them work-related, but no, I didn't really need a laptop. Except for one thing.

I'm about to go away for two weeks. I don't like to go a'blogging on others' computers, leaving behind my pinko liberal traitor browsing history (related post below).

Faced with two weeks away from reading blog posts, not to mention writing them, the stress pushed me over the edge and off I went to Best Buy with a store ad in hand.

I didn't buy the store ad on-sale laptop, but I didn't pay too much more for the one I got, and the helpful young man who answered my questions, including some I didn't know to ask, wasn't even working on commission, so there was nothing in it for him.

I'm not a big fan of the built-in computer mouse, but I got an optical wireless mouse. Yet I haven't even bothered to break it out.

Once I got home, I decided I really needed to set up wireless in my house. It was too late to go back to BB, so I went to WalMart. To shorten the story, I bought a router that I know I connected correctly, but that won't complete the set up. (Yes, I have an adapter for the desktop and a built-in in the laptop.) I went to the router's online support (connecting the conventional way), and found a chat area about my router, where I learned that many, many people have experienced exactly the problem I am having. With no resolution.

So I'm boxing the thing up and returning it today.

If anyone has any advice on an easy-to-use, reliable router, I'm hungry to hear it. I won't deal with this any more until I return from my trip, but other than going to Best Buy for advice, I really don't know what else to do.

Boogity, Boogity, Boogity!!! Or, Something Else I Saw Today

Exiting a stone store (as in pavers), I almost ran into a man wearing a t-shirt that read, "Beware Liberals Posing as Americans."

I wish I had run into him -- hard.

This equation is a big frame around my parts:

conservatives = Americans
non-conservatives = non-Americans

There's a bumper sticker on every fifth car with a flag graphic and the words, "Stand up for America. Be an American!"

Logic is totally missing from these slogans. If a person is an American, she's an American. Period. This isn't a recruiting bumper sticker, as in "come be a naturalized citizen!" Of that I am quite sure.

And as for Mr. T-shirt, he's up to here, literally, in scare tactics, either/or fallacies, strawman-baiting, etc. Another argument without evidence.

Boogity, boogity! Beware the liberal traitor! She might be buying stakes for her paver edging at a store near you, plotting the downfall of the greatest nation on the planet while making sure her pavers don't shift.

Or something like that.

Right Outside the Front Door of Best Buy

Not the place I would expect to see a stretch limousine idling, with four adult couples in formal wear standing beside it and laughing and hugging.

But that's what I saw.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I Can Go Home Again

On Monday, I begin a two-week trip that will take me to my daughter's home and then take her, her boys, and me to spend a week in Maryland, where my mother and most of my other relatives live.

This trip almost didn't happen, and then it was only going to be a few days in Maryland, but now, now it's a full week.

I haven't allowed myself to get excited. Until today.

And some of these guys will be meeting their fate when they meet me:

and I'll have some of this:

And I'll see my mother, my seven sisters, two brothers, six nieces and nephews (yes, among all those siblings, they could only manage six kids -- I contributed three to the pool all by myself! [well, I had a little help...]), a great-niece and great-nephew, my ex's mother and some of her relatives...

Women in Film

As we continue this Week of Wonder, in which a film about women actually made a lot of money, Shakesville's Question of the Day is generating quite a list of films carried by female leads here.

(The link to the NY Times article includes an hour-long video interview with Sarah Jessica Parker. I haven't had time to watch it all yet.)

Calling Norma Rae...

Ugly things happening at work. Betrayal-level things.

Since I will only talk about work in generalties, I'll just say that this reminds me that the powerful always have power over the powerless, no matter what reassurances the powerful might make.

And management always assumes that there's more and better where you came from.

(Don't fret -- I am not on the verge of losing my job. At least I don't think I am. Metaphorically, however, perhaps I am. Because it's never going to be the same again.)

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Teachable Moment

Although I'm not sure that I want to think of the study of poetry literally as punishment, one prosecutor and one teacher seem to have found just the right occasion to sentence vandals to two nights of poetry:

Call it poetic justice: More than two dozen young people who broke into Robert Frost's former home for a beer party and trashed the place are being required to take classes in his poetry as part of their punishment.

Using "The Road Not Taken" and another poem as jumping-off points, Frost biographer Jay Parini hopes to show the vandals the error of their ways -- and the redemptive power of poetry.

"I guess I was thinking that if these teens had a better understanding of who Robert Frost was and his contribution to our society, that they would be more respectful of other people's property in the future and would also learn something from the experience," said prosecutor John Quinn.

The vandalism occurred at the Homer Noble Farm in Ripton, where Frost spent more than 20 summers before his death in 1963. Now owned by Middlebury College, the unheated farmhouse on a dead-end road is used occasionally by the college and is open in the warmer months.


Parini, 60, a Middlebury College professor who has stayed at the house before, was eager to oblige when Quinn asked him to teach the classes. He donated his time for the two sessions.

On Wednesday, 11 turned out for the first, with Parini giving line-by-line interpretations of "The Road Not Taken" and "Out, Out-," seizing on parts with particular relevance to draw parallels to their case.

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood," he thundered, reciting the opening line of the first poem, which he called symbolic of the need to make choices in life.

"This is where Frost is relevant. This is the irony of this whole thing. You come to a path in the woods where you can say, `Shall I go to this party and get drunk out of my mind?"' he said. "Everything in life is choices."

Even the setting had parallels, he said: "Believe me, if you're a teenager, you're always in the damned woods. Literally, you're in the woods -- probably too much you're in the woods. And metaphorically you're in the woods, in your life. Look at you here, in court diversion! If that isn't `in the woods,' what the hell is `in the woods'? You're in the woods!"

Although some vandals were quoted making statements that suggested they got it,

[w]hen the session ended, the vandals were offered snacks -- apple cider, muffins, sliced fruit -- but none partook. They went straight for the door, several declining comment as they walked out of the building.

What's in a Name?

Or, a Muttering on Why I Really, Really, Really Hope That My DIL, Indian Princess, Doesn't Get Her Way about Naming Their Coming Baby, Should That Baby Be a Girl.

Based on what Indian Princess said to me recently about Marine Son suggesting other names, I dearly hope this is not a done deal. IP has had her heart set on a certain girl's name forever apparently, but you know what? Teenage dreams don't always go so well with adult realities. The only person I've ever heard of with IP's preferred name has had a tough, tough life, and as such, I'd hate to see a newborn baby be associated in any way with someone who's essentially famous for being, heartbreakingly, a walking disaster.

And she's made the news again.

Names should be a gift, not a burden.

(Grandmotherly rant over and out.)

Hat tip to Petulant at Shakesville.

Edit: On the same topic, what mother names her precious newborn Craphonso???

Sunday, June 01, 2008

I Told You So

Women pump up 'Sex and the City' to $55.7 million opening

("Pump up." Get it? Ha-ha.)

The women have spoken — with their designer wallets.

Female moviegoers, many of them decked out as their favorite Sex and the City character, helped drive the adaptation of the popular HBO show to a stunning $55.7 million this weekend, according to studio estimates from box office tracking firm Nielsen EDI.

The debut is nearly twice the projections of many analysts, who assumed the movie's R rating and cable TV fan base would limit it to a $30 million opening.

'Sex and City' beats 'Indy' for top box-office draw
"Sex and the City," a release from Time Warner Inc.'s New Line unit, not only prompted thousands of Cosmopolitan-fueled cocktail parties focused on its Friday debut, it also made nearly $27 million in its first day in theaters, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers.

It went on to rake in more than $17 million on Saturday and is expected to make more than $11 million on Sunday, Dergarabedian said. That's a surprise, considering the movie was expected to make somewhere around $35 million to $40 million for the entire weekend. "Sex and the City went off the air in 2004.

"We should never underestimate the clout of the female audience and the power of 'Sex and the City,'" Dergarabedian said. "This is the first real surprise of the summer."
Only to you and your ilk, sir.

Prior to Friday, [online ticket seller] Fandango reported that a survey of "Sex and the City" ticket buyers showed that 80% of all purchasers planned to attend a party devoted to the movie, and two-thirds planned to have Cosmopolitans, the signature drink of the television series' characters.

There's your financial stimulus. On Tuesday, Alanna and I will see the film and will also add to the economy by having a fabulous meal, but I'm not so sure about the Cosmos. (Well, I can only speak for myself.)

'Sex and the City': A Big Box Office Win

[T]hat $55.7 mil premiere is one for the history books. It is by far the best of all time for a romantic comedy, and it's also tops for a TV adaptation. It ranks as the No. 5 opening for an R-rated film (following those for a bunch of man-baiting movies like 300 and Hannibal). And when final weekend figures come out on Monday, it could be the fifth-top debut ever for New Line...

I told you so. Not that anyone who hangs around here was questioning my powers of observation. But it still feels really, really good to say.

Simple Math

I received by email a horribly offensive cartoon from my neighbor, one that hits on every big lie that's been spread about Barack Obama thus far (muslim extremist, Black Panther, anti-pledge of allegiance, etc.), and it occurs to me that in November we're going to raise our hands not to the question, "Who do you want for President?" but "How many of you are prejudiced and proud of it?"

And I'm afraid to know the answer to that question.

Let it Rain Down on Me

Two years ago just about right now, I was somewhere in the midst of a cross-country trip with my daughter, son-in-law, and their two little boys. SIL is in the Navy and had just finished a year of schooling in San Diego. They had two vehicles to get back to the East coast, and I was along partly to keep daughter company, partly to help with the boys, partly to vacation. (We saw the Grand Canyon, the Garden of the Gods (wowee!), the St. Louis arch -- all the wonders left of the Mississippi. ;) )

Outside Albuquerque, we stayed in our one and only Holiday Inn Express. To set itself apart from the rest, HIE has bumped up its amenities, and indeed it was the nicest place we stayed. The soft, thick towels were nice, the snow-white textured shower curtain was nice, that curved shower curtain rod that allowed plenty of move-around room in the shower/tub area was nice, etc. etc.

But the spray that came out of the shower head was heavenly.

A card in the HIE room indicated that all the luxuries in its Stay Smart collection -- including the shower head -- were for sale, and when I got home, I found the shower head and bookmarked it.

Two years later I still think of that shower, like a fondly remembered night of mysterious romance carried close to the heart for decades.

The only thing that stopped me from ordering the Holiday Inn Express shower head the moment I got home was that it was a stationary fixture. I like my shower heads detachable, on long hoses. This preference goes back to the days of having to shampoo small, wiggly heads, but the detachable heads also make spraying down the shower area a lot easier at cleaning time. I also like to rinse my hair with the spray right next to my scalp, and...

Enough about my showering habits.

Two years later I still pine for the HIE shower head, but we remain apart.

Now I need a new shower head. It's no longer a mere desire, and it'll be a critical need before too much longer. So I went shopping, and last night on a modest end display, I found my beloved, in hand-held form, waiting for me in Home Depot. (Compare the photos, the specs, etc. of the HIE shower head and the Forte. They're the same. The same!!! This Home Depot internet link shows the stationary head, but the brick and mortar store had the detachable version.)

Still, I didn't buy it just then, and I wasn't sure until this morning, when I came online and compared the Kohler Forte:

to the Holiday Inn Express Kohler Stay Smart:

Except for the hunky man having the shower of his life, the two photos look the same to me.

Time to go shopping!