Friday, April 28, 2006

Rock/Suck April 2006, or, how many Saved by the Bell references can I work into one blog entry.

Ok, quick reviews. Three things that rock, three things that suck this month because...why not? And yes, I'm embarrassed about using the term rock in this way, but...whatever.

Starting with the positive, in no particular order.

Three things that rock!

My new SBC/Yahoo DSL connection. No, we didn't wait to move. My wife got a laptop for work with wifi and suddenly was motivated to switch to a broadband connection with wifi hookup for home. go figure. That, and the endless "website cannot be displayed" messages all the time for everything were getting really old. The internet is no longer set up for dialup. Time to upgrade. We are, strangely enough, too far away from the main line for anything but the express connection, which is the slowest they have. My parents in Lake California, however, are right on the main line. Strange. It still feels like it flied, compared to the dial-up.

The Dixie Chicks' single "Not Ready to Make Nice." I should preface any discussion I have about music with a couple of caveats. I like some edgy stuff. I like mostly alternative, folk, and punk. I try to pretend to be a music snob. That said....I downloaded Kelly Clarkson and Bo Bice, y'all, so anything I have to say on the subject is immediately suspect. But I like this single for its bravery, and for the fact that they were pressured to release a generic country song to appease their fans after Natalie Maine's comments about president Bush. This song is basically a big fuck you to everyone who complained, and for that, I love them forever. It also gets stuck in your head, but in a good way. Bonus points for the video, with its images of Victorian repression, harkening back to a time when outspoken women were often locked up in sanitariums and treated as if they had mental disorders. There was even a diagnosis for it ... hysterical female syndrome. Have a problem with your wife, call her hysterical and have her committed. Even though I am male, I'm still glad we don't live in that world, and I love The Dixie Chicks and this song for standing up for the right of anyone to have an opinion, even when it's unpopular. NOt that their opinion of our dipshit in chief is really that unpopular anymore.

The Wonder Falls Complete Viewer Collection DVD set. OK, recent college grad, 24, with a useless philosophy degree from Brown University returns home to Niagara falls and starts working in a Gift shop. Underachievers of the world unite! After a particularly bad day, one of the little tsotchkes in the shop (it's a wax lion, incidentally) starts talking to her. And it's only the first. This short-lived TV series takes the legend of Joan of Arc puts it in a modern context, with a sublime mix of comedy and pathos. Throw in a supportive (overly suportive) family, a trailer park menagerie, a lesbian sister, a psychiatrist, an abandoned honeymooner, a russian mail-order bride, a sassy best friend, a "atheistic theologian" brother, a boss who's still in high school, Fatsquatch, an obsessive zookeper, an illegal canadian immigrant housekeepr, and the first woman who went over Niagara Falls in a barrell, put in a blender, and drink down the acerbic tone. It's now my second favorite TV series of all time. (If you can't guess my first, you probably haven't read much of this blog). One of my favorite tidbuts about this series... In Canada it airs on the religious cable network, in the US it airs on the Gay tv network. I'm pretty sure you can't say that about any other tv series. This set contain all 13 produced episodes, and brings the story arc to a resolution.

Three Things that Suck!

Being in the emergency room in Red Bluff, CA at 2:30 in the morning. Let me start off by sayig that everything is fine and someone just had a really major gas attack which made us think it was a disease-related liver problem (not me). But the people you share the space with during the three hour wait to be seen are...shall we say...a bit like the Wal Mart crowd at 1o:30 in the morning. Heavy on the grunting and excess redneck family members, light on the personal hygiene. Making this worse, we didn't have the remote control for the television and it was tuned to TBS, which at this time shows marathons of Mama's Family (which was a least entertaining) and the, horror of horrors Saved by the Bell. Even more horrific was the fact that it was that wierd, The College Years, sequel. I still have not recovered.

The new comedy Teachers should rock, but unfortunately sucks. I want to like the show. The characters are vaguely appealing. I've liked Justin Bartha ever since he was in National treasure, and his characetr seems a little, well....personally familiar. The show is well cast. It's just...not that funny. Kali Rocha, who plays Principal Wiggins, was much funnier as a vengeance Demon on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Most of the jokes are just really flat. The show has very little personality and I'm not feeling the chemistry between Justin Bartha and Sarah Alexander (I think that's her name. I'm sure xnickerx will correct me if I'm wrong.) But the thing that is most annoying is that the school does not act like a school. When they actually talk about educational issues, they get it wrong, more often than thought. It's like they need a technical advisor, which they probably have, but whoever they do have should be fired. I really want to like ths show, and will probably watch next week's season finale, but i have a feeling it's doomed. Which is too bad.

Cartoon network has started showing Saved by the Bell in their adult swim block. The hell? That's been the domain of edgy anime and off-color adult cartoons. Why is screech there? PLus, hello...CARTOON network? I guess its a part of their plan to turn themselves into Nickolodeon, but even I can predict how this is going to go. You're cartoon network. Do I need to say more.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Losin' It ... No, not that

I lose things.

Oh, I know, everybody says they lose things, everbody claims to be scatterbrained and disorganized. Tell someone you have ADD, and they’ll claim “I Think I have that too.” And about that, if you do that, unless you have a medical diagnosis (thus requiring you remove the “I think” from that statement), stop that! It’s annoying to people who actually have the condition. If someone said “I have a brain tumor” you wouldn’t say, “Oh, I think I have one too.

But really. I lose things. I also can’t seem to close cabinet doors, which seems a big enough issue to my wife that it should probably be its own entry. But I lose things. All kinds of things. It is amazing to me that I have not lost one of the children. Permanently.
Anyway, it started, as most things did, in my childhood. I still wonder what happened to my Sallah and Marion Ravenwood figures from my Indiana Jones action set. I looked for those two for weeks. I eventually found the puffy pantaloons Marion wore, which makes me suspect foul play (or fun play!) from Sallah, but I never found either of them. Indy is still in mourning. He and Belloqu have been alone, waiting for their friends for about 22 years now.

I could never keep track of my homework, when I remembered I had homework in the first place. I know all kids have black-hole backpack syndrome, but I think I had the most extreme case. I eventually got used to doing all my work in class because seriously, if it went into my bag, it wasn’t coming out. I would blame gremlins, but I lost all of those as well.

To this day, paperwork is my kryptonite. I cannot hold onto it. Anything in pulped wood form? It is doomed. Checks, money, tickets, important pieces of paper that I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT LOSE such as CLAD test results needed for my credentialing…doesn’t matter what I do with it, what system I put in place, it will be gone.

Car keys? HAH! In addition to the keys themselves, I have lost hours of my life. My wife lives in horror of the groundhog-day-like frequency with which the last conversation we have before one of us leaves is “Have you seen my cars keys?” I’ve started building the time into my day. And yes, I know I need to put things in the same place every time. Can’t do it. Seriously, ask my doctor. I have a note. The Americans with Disabilities Act covers people like me.

The problem has intensified ever since cell phones became the one device we were absolutely, positively never to leave home without. I got through the first 25 years of my life without it, but now … well, If I don’t have it I am officially in trouble, and we all know what that means. And this thing, I swear, I’ve spent more time in the past eight years looking for one of my various phones than I had in the previous 25 searching for keys. Despite the fact that I can call it and have it ring. I have found my cell phone in the following places: between the car seats, in the little organizer, under my seat, under the bed, under the couch, behind the fish tank, in my wife’s purse, on a shelf in the closet, in the freezer (the hell?), and behind a bookshelf.

My daughter, fortunately, is good at helping me find things. She totally saved my ass one time by finding a $3000 check from my school which was meant to pay for a field trip and which I had, or course, put in the chaos blender that is my life. My son? NO help at all. I think he may have been the one who put the cell phone in the freezer. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The upside? While looking for lost stuff I often find a lot of other cool stuff I had lost before, or had not realized I had lost before. In fact, I’ve found the best way to find something is to lose something else and then look for it.

But if anyone knows where our original DVD player remote is, let me know. And don’t worry, my ipod had a clip. The children, sadly, don’t.