Friday, May 28, 2010

Podcast: An Interview With Micah

As promised, I give you the first ever Mindsilt Podcast.  This podcast is the first in a series of interviews with pH cast members.  In this installment I interview Micah Philbrook, Co-Artistic Director and all-around great guy.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

What To Do While Waiting for Your Dry Cleaning

1) Marvel at the amazing specificity of the rotating hanging rack.
2) Wonder about that smell.
3) Figure out why the dry cleaner adjoins a law office.
4) Check in to Foursquare and become the mayor of the dry cleaner (I don’t know what this means, either).
5) Think about taking a piece of candy and then realize all of the pieces have fused together.
6) Hate yourself for considering “open air” candy in the first place.
7) Wonder if they have secret stain identifying equipment.
8) Not that you have anything to hide.
9) It would be good to know if they did, though.
10) Because those clothes were covered in chocolate, not blood.

Special bonus:
Tomorrow I will be posting the first Mindsilt Podcast.  It's the first in a series of interviews with the cast of pH.  It all gets rolling with Micah Philbrook, Co-Artistic Director.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Bachelorette Premiere - A Review

Ed. Note - Originally published on  Reprinted with their permission.  They’re such nice folk.
I should have known that agreeing to write for a site called would result in my misery becoming your entertainment.  I barely managed to maintain my sanity during Dancing With the Stars and now I'm moving on to The Bachelorette.  You're welcome.  I hate me.

The good folks here at the Schadenfreude offices have seen the toll that Dancing With the Stars has taken on me and they have reveled in my pain.  As they should.  They have now decided to take it one step further.  They want to see if they can drive two of us to the edge of insanity with one show.  The brave Stephen Schmidt is test subject number two.  Stephen and I will take turns reviewing episodes.  However, we are not allowed to watch any episodes that we are not reviewing.  The theory is that continuity is not a necessity for this television show so it shouldn’t matter with the writers.  Thank the big brains in Schadenfreude Labs for that theory.  If you know a good straightjacket tailor, let Stephen and me know ASAP.

On with the review.

Introducing the the Bachelorette
This season's Bachelorette is Ali Fedotowsky.  She was a contestant on the previous season of The Bachelor with failed Dancing With the Star contestant Jake Pavelka.  On that show she established herself as the worst fake crier in television history.  On this show she will establish herself as the least interesting Bachelorette in television history.  At least her lips are shiny!

Now she has "a second chance at love."  Thank God for The Bachelorette or she would have never had another chance at love.

Introducing the Bachelors
I'm going to apologize right up front for overusing the word "douchenozzle," as in: They plugged in the biggest fire hose they could find, attached the douchenozzle and sprayed it all over this show.

They introduce the 25 men to Ali by driving them up in a limo to the front door of the mansion where she waits to greet them one by one.  I call it the Peacock Parade.  Each guy tries to outdo the last with a cheesy bit or ridiculous stunt in the hopes of being remembered.  It has the effect of making them all seem exactly alike, which saves me from the chore of describing each of them.

The Show
After an hour of lead-in they finally get to the cocktail party where Ali gets accosted buy a sea of douche.  Each of the guys pulls Ali away, gives her his jacket and then busts out that one thing that he thinks will melt a woman's heart.  For example:

Kirk made a scrapbook about himself to prove that he’s handy with a glue stick.
Kasey managed to avoid being asked why he talks like a deaf person.  He also decided to lead with the fact that his dad cheated on his mom. 
Hunter played the ukulele.  Didn't mention cheating.
Derrick decided to reveal that he’s called “Shooter” because he prematurely ejaculates.
Chris L. chose to lie to her about his dead mother.
Justin revealed that he is a "professional" wrestler who goes by the name "Rated-R."
Craig R. told Ali that he will be the Here For The Right Reasons Police because he doesn’t think women are smart enough to figure out anything on their own.
Jesse made a heart out of wood to prove that he’s handy with his wood.

The premiere wouldn’t be complete without a few twists.  This year they handed out the customary First Impression Rose and had all of the guys cast a secret ballot for who they thought wasn’t there “for the right reasons.”  The appearance of the First Impression Rose caused all the guys to turn it up from douchnozzle to douchewaterfall (doucherfall?) but she gave the rose to Roberto because he made her salsa.  Or something.  In the least surprising moment ever televised, the dudes overwhelmingly voted for the “professional” wrestler.  Ali gave him a rose anyway.  I guess his signature move is turning himself into rubber and you into glue because your doucheyness bounces off of him and sticks to you.  Don’t mess with Rated-R — unless you are 18 or older.

The Rose Ceremony
There's nothing quite like the first Rose Ceremony for a complete lack of drama.  First, you don't know who the hell these guys are.  Second, you don't care.  Third, you know there are at least four guys who are definitely getting roses.  Jonathan and Craig M. are definitely getting roses because they've set up Craig as the villain and Jonathan as his main adversary.  Every show needs a villain.  You also know that Frank is getting a rose because he's "the funny guy" and you have to give Hunter a rose because you can't play his ukulele song during the credits if he's been sent home.

My ceremonial roses go to:
Ali - for opening the Rose Ceremony by saying, “If you don’t get a rose tonight it’s not personal.”  Yes it is, Ali.  It is entirely personal.
Shooter - for thinking that admitting his ejaculatory issues would actually work.
Kyle - for summing it up perfectly, “I feel like a failure.”
Jay - for saying “I would have sent myself home.” Jay, you need to have a long talk with Jay.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review: Dancing With the Stars Finale

The Garage Sale Trophy.
Tonight it all comes to an end.  Evan, Erin and Nicole will dance their final dances and tomorrow night DWTS will award one of them a trophy.  Yes, they actually have a trophy on this show.  It’s a miniature disco ball on a pedestal.  Unfortunately, I won’t be reporting on who actually wins the trophy because it doesn’t matter.  Plus, I have a life to live.

This week the dancers are dancing one “redemption dance” chosen by the judges and one freestyle dance.  The “redemption dance” is a dance that the contestants did poorly earlier in the season.  It’s also a chance for them to finally get off the Island.  The freestyle dance is exactly what it sounds like.  Unlike DWTS, I know you’re smart enough to figure out what it means.

Erin Andrews
Dance One, Samba:
The super gay judge came to her rehearsal to give her some tips for properly dancing the Samba.  These tips consisted mostly of him shouting, “Look at her ass!  Look at her ass!”  I’m not sure how that’s helpful or gay.  This show has more twists than Lost.  She was at least smart enough to wear nearly nothing on the dance floor so that I wouldn’t completely fall asleep.  I really mean pass out.  I have to get wasted to get through these shows. 

Dance Two, Freestyle:
Erin and her partner decided to turn this into So You Think You Can Dance by doing a bad approximation of the interpretive dance that The Dude’s neighbor does in The Big Lebowski.  They brought in some choreographer that my wife knows and proceeded to flop around on a bed.

My score: I do not abide.

Evan Lysacek
Dance One, Viennese Waltz
The old judge gave Evan some tips at his rehearsal that actually sounded like dance tips so they were boring as hell.  He also told him to dance with his hot redhead partner like he was sexually attracted to her.  How many times have we heard this?  I don’t have this many gay jokes.

Evan danced to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” so his partner wore a black and white dress that looked like piano keys and he “played” those piano keys several times.  The dance world lives in a different reality where literal interpretation is not cheesy and snarky Internet bloggers don’t exist.  We can only hope this alternate reality is a construct of our collective subconscious.  Actually, I hope it’s not.  Why would we do this to ourselves?

Dance Two, Freestyle:
Evan finally decided to become the editor that no one on the show has been.  He refused to do the cheesy moves his partner choreographed.  So.  Many.  Twists.  While Evan ran off to ice skate, his partner remained behind to cry.  That’s the first time he’s acted like a dude all season.  Then some dude with a bad haircut came in and gave them some new moves and apparently suggested that Evan dress like Ed Grimley.  The dance was the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.  I’m pretty sure he had a seizure at some point.

Your winner.
My score: I need an alternate reality.

Nicole Scherzinger
Dance One, Rhumba:
The lady judge attended Nicole’s rehearsal and “gave her permission to be a woman.”  She was being totally serious.  I think it meant that she shouldn’t wear pants again (even though they were the sexiest pants ever).  She decided to wear a red dress.  So they danced to “Lady In Red.”  So much for the twists.

Dance Two, Freestyle:
Nicole and her partner decided to do some kind of crazy freakout where they slammed every kind of dance into one exhausting routine.  The best part was when Nicole ripped off her suit to reveal another pair of those awesome pants.  Winner.  Winner for pants.  And for cheating because she’s already a dancer.

My score: Cheater, cheater, pants on fire.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thoughts On the Lost Finale

After this morning’s post, you’re probably expecting me to give my thoughts on Lost now that it’s all over.  Lucky you.  I’ll do that very thing.

For those who didn't like the finale:

1) Just because you're disappointed in the final episode doesn't mean you wasted time watching the rest of the show.  You loved the show up until that last episode, didn't you?  One episode shouldn't change that fact.  Not even if it’s an episode that frames all of the rest.

2) Are you unsatisfied with the answers?  Welcome to Lost.  Lost has never been about the answers; it's always been about how you get those answers.  The finale was an emotional roller-coaster.  Plus, the show trusted us all to figure out the ending for ourselves.  How many TV shows give an audience that much credit?

3) If you’re not satisfied with this ending, I’m not sure that you’d be satisfied with any ending.  There were some things that were always going to remain a mystery but I think they answered the biggest question of all and they answered it well.

For those who did like the finale:
1) There are still questions to discuss.  That's what Lost does.  It gives us questions and let's us run with them.  That's what made the show fun.  Now we have one final debate.

2) Damn that show for choking me up so many times.  There were so many emotional moments throughout that finale.  The final scene with Jack and his dad was really hard for me.  I should have seen it coming but I didn't until he was alone in the room with the coffin.  I was crying before he even touched it.

3) Did anyone else laugh at Flying Fist Jack?  That was straight out of an anime cartoon.  The obligatory Ben face punch was much better.  That dude got beat up more than any television character ever.

4) Take a deep breath and relax.  It's over.  It's all finally over.  It was a great ride.  Now we'll have to deal with TV that doesn't make us work so hard or give us as much credit.

What do I think it all means?
I think that we have to listen to Christian.  He explains it all to us very clearly.  The Island was real.  The alternate LA (Sideways World) was something they all created together so that they could travel together to whatever is next (another afterlife?) with the people that meant the most to them.  That doesn’t mean that the Sideways World wasn’t entirely real.  The actuality of it is not real (Jack doesn’t really have a son) but the experiences are (Jack has the experience of having a son). 

The people who didn’t make it to the church either did something so terrible that their souls got stuck on the Island or they got off the Island and formed more important bonds with other people in their life — who they would presumably meet up with in a similar fashion once that group died.

The point I think they are trying to make is that the relationships we form with the people we love are the most important pieces of our lives.  They are so important that we can’t even move along to the next life unless we all do it together.  You know, like hippies.  Holding on to all of those other things is what keeps us from focusing on what’s really important.  Like the numbers.  Those things are fun to talk about but they’re not worth getting upset over.  Let go.

Now go watch Fringe.

250 Words: Lost

I’m writing this about a half hour before the series finale of Lost.  I’ll be watching and I’ll be soaking it in.  I’m not expecting to get all of the answers and I don’t really want all of the answers.  I just want a great ride and I think that’s exactly what we will get.  In my opinion, I think Lost has always been more about the way we get the answers than the answers themselves.  In fact, I think that getting too many answers would mean that the writers and producers no longer believe that we are smart enough to put things together and it would be inconsistent with the way they’ve run the show up to this point. 

I know that this is going to be posted after the Lost finale and all my speculation will have been replaced by satisfaction and joy or frustration and anger but right now I’m trusting that they’ll treat us right.  Maybe I’ll post more tomorrow and I’ll be all, “Damn, that alternate ending they showed on Jimmy Kimmel Live was totally the way it should have ended and I want my money back,” or “Can you believe that Jack killed Kate and Hurley ate Locke?” or “Wasn’t it awesome when Locke fought other Locke and everyone stood around looking confused at which Locke they should shoot?” or “Didn’t you wish they played that Victoria’s Secret commercial more often?” or “It was completely satisfying when Ben revealed himself to be a Visitor.”

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Answers To All Your Questions

The Lost finale is Sunday and all of the fans are excited to finally know how it’s going to end.  The producers have promised that we will get answers — maybe not all of the answers, but we will get answers.  I thought I’d jump on that bandwagon and publicly answer some questions that people have been asking me.  My questions may not be as compelling as the ones that Lost poses, but they are actual questions that I have been answering a lot recently and I will give you my honest answers.

How are you?
I’m good.  You know, keeping busy.  Trying to stay out of trouble.  The usual.

Is Notre Dame going to join the Big Ten?
Hell no.  Notre Dame is going to stay independent unless this Big Ten expansion thing blows everything up and changes the college football landscape in a major way.  I don’t think that’s going to happen.  There may be some minor changes but nothing that scares Notre Dame into joining a conference in football.

What is wrong with you?
Yikes.  Where do I start?  I’ve got all sorts of issues.  Mostly, it’s just that I’m kinda crazy and I don’t really care who knows it.  I also hate wasting time with pleasantries and prefer to get down to business.  I don’t have time to talk about the weather.  I can see what’s going on by looking out a window.  Let me get back to work.

Are you going to put this in your show?
No.  I’m definitely not going to put this mildly funny situation in one of my shows.  First, that’s not how it works.  It’s improv.  It’s made up on the spot.  Second, why would anyone think spilling a glass of water is funny?  Especially since it would be imaginary on stage.  How about you come see a show and then you’ll stop asking me this stupid question.

If you had to make dinner for a group of militant Pro-Lifers, what would you serve them?

Are you getting an iPad?
No.  Not yet, anyway.  In fact, I gave up wanting one after the first week they came out.  I have a laptop, thankyouverymuch.  Dee wants one, though.  Every time we see an iPad commercial Dee says, “Maybe I should have one of those.”  Before I met her she was not a gadget person at all, now she’s got an iPhone a new MacBook Pro and she wants an iPad.  I’ve created a monster.

How do you know when your house is haunted?
The Mystery Machine is parked outside.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review: Dancing With the Stars Week 9

It’s down to the final four and they made them dance two dances again.  They made me sit through 90 minutes without a single bright spot now that Niecy Nash is gone.  I guess I can’t expect to have at least one moment I enjoy each Monday. 

This week they made a big deal about how they’ve “wiped the slate clean.”  They made a very concerted effort to tell us about how this week’s scores and votes will determine who moves on to the finals.  You know, EXACTLY LIKE EVERY OTHER WEEK.

Not as fancy as Erin's pants.
DWTS thinks you are stupid.

Erin Andrews
Dance One, Viennese Waltz: 
Someone at Dancing With the Stars is reading these posts.  We didn’t see Erin whine once during the lead-in.  We did see her partner, Maks, talk about how badly he wanted to win this show.  You know, because it’s all about him and the eight years he’s struggled on this show.

Erin decided to wear the formal version of culottes for this dance.  I can’t even describe the jumpsuit/pantsuit/formal gown thing that she was wearing.

Dance Two, Paso Doble:
It’s downer week.  The second set of lead-ins are going to focus on all of the obstacles that each of the contestants have overcome.  After seeing a few seconds about how it was hard for Erin to be strikingly beautiful as a child we heard all about the stalker video incident.  She’s come such a long way from being a respected sports reporter being chased by a crazy man to becoming a whiny mediocre dancer who is banging her partner.  Women everywhere thank you.

My score: Is it football season yet?

Nicole Scherzinger
Dance One, Argentine Tango: 
This week must be Focus On the Pros Week as the lead-in was all about Nicole’s partner’s hurt neck.  He could barely move and we even got a shot of him writhing on the floor in pain.  I guess that’s better than listening to Nicole whine for three minutes.  It’s not nearly as good as watching anything else for three minutes.

The gay judge (the obviously gay one) loved the dance so much that he actually pooped his pants.  We saw his feces on live TV.  He showed it to us with his hands and then he wore it like a hat.

Dance Two, Cha-Cha:
Nicole was poor when she grew up and she also had a hard time being beautiful as a child.  Somehow she still managed to go to a private arts school where she trained to be a singer and dancer.  Yep, dancer.  Seems fair, right?  Once I saw her pants I didn’t care anymore.  I’m fine with Niecy Nash’s ouster so long as Nicole wears pants like that.

My score: Poop hats would actually make the show better.

Chad Ochocinco
Dance One, Viennese Waltz:
Doesn’t everyone know that this show is even more boring when you take everything so seriously?  You’d think Chad would know this better than anyone and take this chance to live up to his ridiculous personality on the football field.  He did not.  He just fished for compliments the entire time because he is a twelve-year-old child.

The judges decided that Chad had a breakthrough moment.  In fact, the gay judge fashioned fecal hats for everyone on the judge’s panel.  Then they all ate each other’s thumbs.

Dance Two, Samba:
We need more moments like Chad claiming that his first words were “child please.”  We need fewer moments where we hear that he grew up without parents.  We need more moments like Chad’s extremely awkward solos.  We need fewer moments where people allow this show to go on.

Evan's BFF?
My score: I need for this to all be over.

Evan Lysacek
Dance One, Foxtrot:
Evan’s partner decided that the key to this week’s dances was finding what made Evan happy.  Dancing with a super hot redhead isn’t enough for him and we’re all left to wonder why.  Things he actually listed: coffee, cars and sweater vests.

Dance Two, Paso Doble:
Evan grew up in Naperville, IL.  His life has not been hard.  The toughest thing that’s happened to him is that he had a growth spurt as a teenager.  Exactly like everyone else.  He also had Vera Wang talking about how driven he was in his lead-in.  What?  Did she make all of his costumes for the Olympics?  Was Elton John busy?

My score: Have I dropped enough hints?

Monday, May 17, 2010

250 Words: Smokey Salesman

Why would anyone hire a salesman who smokes?  I was in the pet store today and there was a guy selling some sort of fancy dog food.  I had Ruthie with me and he asked if I had ever heard of Bill Ass Dog Food (or something like that).  I started to tell him that I had not and that we already had a very specific dog food that we have to buy for our highly allergic dog when I took in a breath so that I could speak at length and shut him down.  At that point I began choking on his aura of cigarette smoke.  It didn’t appear that he was actively smoking at that moment but I looked around to see if he had a lit cigarette anywhere on his person.  He did not.  The smell was so strong that all I wanted to do was get as far away from him as I possibly could.  That’s a terrible feature to have in a salesman.  In fact, I can’t think of a worse feature for a salesman to have.  You want your salespeople to draw people to them not make them want to run away.  If your salesman reeks of stale cigarette smoke, people are going to want to run away from him and you’re not going to sell any of your Bill Ass Dog Food.  How does he live with himself?  Did he lose his sense of smell in the Gulf War?  He made my eyes

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If My Dog Was A Football Player

Shannon Shar-Pei?
If my dog was a running back (tailback?) I would name it Eric Lickerson.

If my dog was a quarterback I would name it Jimmy Clawson.

If my dog was a quarterback and a Jack Russell Terrier I would name it JaMarcus Russell Terrier.

If my dog was a wide receiver I would name it Hairy Rice.

If my dog was a tight end I would name it Shannon Shar-Pei.

If my dog was an offensive lineman I would name it Left Guard Dog.

If my dog was a defensive lineman I would name it Tony Siragusa.

If my dog was a linebacker I would name it Dick Buttsniff.

If my dog was a defensive back I would name it Rod Woofson.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Review: Dancing With the Stars Week 8

Ed. Note: Originally written for

Last week America proved that it doesn’t like sexy robots and sent Pamela Anderson home.  For the first time all season the judges will not make intentional double entendres.  I don’t really have any feelings about Pamela leaving the show except that I’m relieved that we’re a week closer to the end of this debacle.  Unfortunately they’ve decided to go back to a full two hours.  If Alyssa Milano’s sitcom didn’t suck they wouldn’t have to fill that time.

This is exactly what Chad wore.
This week the dancers will be doing two dances each which means that there will be lots and lots of whining and crying in the rehearsal segments.  There is also some sort of decade theme to the night.  They will be dancing in the style of the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘80s, ‘90s or the future.  Yes, the future.  Sometimes God gives me a wonderful gift.

Chad Ochocinco
Dance One, Tango:
During rehearsal Chad’s partner stopped him and had a very serious discussion with him about his constantly changing moods.  She basically accused him of having multiple personality disorder.  She’s probably right.  I’ve finally figured out exactly what the Tango is, however.  All you have to do is be really boring while wearing red.  I’m learning something new every week.

Dance Two, Jive — ‘60s:
Chad spent most of his rehearsal talking about his “pimp hand.”  We didn’t get to see him dish out his “pimp hand” but she wore a dress that covered her torso.  Smart abusers only leave bruises where they don’t show. 

He dressed like a pimp and she dressed like one of his girls because we all associate the ‘60s with prostitution. 

My score: Did this feel racist to anyone else?

Niecy Nash
Dance One, Viennese Waltz:
Hey everyone!  Did you know that Niecy Nash is a voluptuous woman?  Did you know that she’s got big boobs and a big butt?  No, you didn’t?  Well, you’re a freaking idiot because she reminds you every time she gets a chance.  You’re my favorite, Niecy, but you need to put a cap on that humor well.  It’s polluting everything.

Remember how the Viennese Waltz has been extra boring every other time on this show?  Still boring.

Dance Two, Paso Doble — ‘90s:
Okay, I’m calling bullshit on the decade theme.  You can play bad music and wear bad outfits and it’s still the same boring dance.  In fact, it’s exactly like every other dance they do on this show, including the bad music and outfits.  The decade theme is the opposite of putting lipstick on a pig.  It’s like putting acne on a horse.  That’s the opposite, right?

My score: I see through your ruse, DWTS.

Erin Andrews
Dance One, Argentine Tango:
Erin was in the bottom two last week and I’m completely shocked that it got into her feeble little mind.  Fortunately, we got to hear her whine about it for the entire rehearsal.  We also got to hear her freak out about the lift she was practicing.  I can’t believe that America didn’t vote for her.

Guess what, she’s still sexy and she sexed it up all over the floor.  It was almost as sexy as Pamela brushing her teeth.

Dance Two, Rhumba — ‘80s:
After this, Erin has to go back to being a journalist.  A real, not whiny journalist.  How could anyone possibly take her seriously now?  Good thing no one takes sideline reporters seriously in the first place.

My score: Real people suck.

Evan Lysacek
Dance One, Viennese Waltz:
I think Evan has decided to make every moment of this show a performance piece all his own.  When he’s assigned a boring dance, he makes sure that his rehearsal lead-in is just as boring.  He spent this week trying to work on developing a connection with his super hot redheaded partner.  I’m not saying he’s gay, but I’ve developed a connection with her and I’ve got two screens and time delay between me and her.

I’m pretty sure I fell asleep at some point during Evan’s dance.  To be fair, I could have passed out.  I’m pretty drunk right now.

Dance Two, Cha Cha — Futuristic:
Evan found his personality!  It’s gay nerd!  He does an awesome gay robot voice.  His partner also does an awesome nearly-naked hot girl.

My score: Gay robots!

Nicole Scherzinger
Dance One, Quickstep:
Please.  Don’t give me a sob story about how hard it is to learn how to dance when you are already a dancer.  Is there anything less sexy than a girl crying about her dance routine?  Yes, a girl pooping.  Erin and Nicole are why people hate America.

I can’t even tell you anything about her actual dance.  I was too busy trying to keep from stabbing something.

Dance Two, Paso Doble — ‘50s:
Nicole and her partner spent the entire lead-in trying to figure out how to incorporate the ‘50s into the dance because they are too dumb to realize that it’s about the music and the costumes.  There wasn’t any crying during this rehearsal but she couldn’t even let herself enjoy getting three 10s.  Why are these rich, beautiful people so miserable?  I’m rich and beautiful and I couldn’t be happier when I’m not watching this show.

My score: When will it all end?

Monday, May 10, 2010

250 Words: What I Don't Know

People say that you should write about what you know.  What if you don’t know what you know?  You suddenly become the writer that writes about how you don’t know what you know because that’s the only thing you really know.  The problem is that you can never really know what you don’t know.  If you truly did know what you didn’t know then you could no longer say that you didn’t know things because you would have to know about everything.  In order to know what you don’t know you have to have some knowledge of those things that you don’t know.  Which means that you would have to have some knowledge of everything.  If you knew something about everything then you would definitely be writing about something because you would know something.  The only way you can write about the things you don’t know is to either make stuff up and hope that it exists and that you actually don’t know about it or write about not knowing in general.  If you take the first option to writing about what you don’t know, do you hope that you get it completely wrong if that thing you don’t know about actually does exist?  If you get it right then it would seem that you know about that thing and then you are writing about what you know.  If you want to write about what you don’t know then you need to get it completely wrong.  Would that be fiction?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Neighborhood Friendly

Dee was watching The Celebrity Apprentice on Sunday and the teams were tasked with creating radio jingles for a company called Benjamin Franklin Plumbing (BFP).  Brett Michaels did a radio ad that used all of BFP’s little catch phrases.  One of the phrases he was told to use was “neighborhood friendly.”  What does that mean?  What could it possibly mean?  It’s obviously a euphemism for something.  Companies only use those kinds of euphemisms when they are trying to hide something that isn’t socially accepted.  When they say “neighborhood friendly” I think they’re saying, “We won’t send a black plumber to your lilly-white suburb.”  To be fair, they are also saying, “We won’t send a white plumber to your predominately black neighborhood.”

Is there anything else it could possibly be?  Am I just reaching for racism here?  Are my views tainted because I’m adopted?

Either way, I don’t think Benjamin Franklin would approve.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Review: Dancing With the Stars Week 7

Boo freakin' hoo.
I never watch the elimination shows because I can always find out who was voted out at the beginning of the next week’s show.  Or the Internet.  This week was different.  My wife informed me of two things: 1) Jake Pavelka was voted off. 2) He cried.  I had to go online and verify this for myself.  It is true.  America went above and beyond their duty and not only kept Niecy Nash on the show but got rid of Mr. Cheeseball himself.  And then he cried.  It was perfect.  THEN, in classic Jake style he managed to top his own crying by saying, “I can’t imagine what in life could top Dancing With the Stars.”

You can’t imagine what could top Dancing With the Stars?  Sounds like you’ve reached your apex, buddy; you should probably just end it now.

This week is the Cha-Cha-Challenge.  They are dividing the dancers into teams and they will compete against each other for more of those magical, meaningless points.  I assume they will be doing the Cha-Cha but there’s also a good chance that a producer stutters and no one else on the show has enough sense to remove the leading “Cha-Cha.”

This week’s hot gossip: Nicole Scherzinger is dating the middle judge.  You know, the old one.

Erin Andrews
Erin and her partner spent the whole lead-in arguing about how her partner shouldn’t take off his pants during the routine because the judges yelled at him last week for taking off his shirt.  He insisted on taking of his pants and walked out like a baby.  So tense, so dramatic.  How will they possibly survive?

They began their dance in black outfits.  She ripped off her skirt to reveal a pink dress underneath and then he ripped off his black pants to reveal pink pants underneath!  They fooled us!  We totally thought Maks was going to tear off his pants and piss off the judges and then he didn’t!  Oh my God!  It all would have been so perfect if we all weren’t complete idiots and didn’t know how television editing works.

My score: I’m insulted.

Chad Ochocinco
The lead-in and dancing was boring.  Really boring.  That’s why this show sucks. 

Things finally got interesting when the one female judge called him sexy and you could see him falling in love with her like a fourth-grader falls in love with his teacher.  During their post-dance interview, Brooke Burke grilled them about the lavish gifts Chad had been giving his partner for her birthday.  A Brooke Burke “grilling” consists of her asking, “Is there anything we should know” over and over.  It was easily the most dramatic thirty seconds of never.

My score: I confess that I walked my dog during his performance.

Nicole Scherzinger
How does a whiny hot girl combat my ridicule?  She dedicates her dance to her aunt with Down Syndrome.

How does a whiny hot girl regain my ridicule?  She dances the Viennese Waltz to a cover of a song that sounded like a cover when it was an original.  Have I mentioned how bad the band is?  The judges loved the dance because boring seems to be the goal on this show.  She should always be required to do a dance that involves jiggling.

My score: Play to your strengths.

Pamela Anderson
During the lead-in Pamela said, “You don’t want to know what’s going on in my head.”  She’s right.  In fact, she’s built her career on it.  We also got to see her hose animal poop out of a crate.  I’m not sure what that has to do with dancing, but we got to see a bunch of tiny animal boners.

Again, I’m amazed.  She doesn’t even have to do anything and everyone starts talking about sex.  The judges kept talking about her “firm upper body” and her “huge improvements.”  It’s not even her fault anymore.  Everyone goes sex crazy when she’s around.

My score: I think she’s a robot.

Niecy Nash
We need more contestants that tell off Kelly Osbourne, make references to divorced couples and actually seem to be having fun with her partner during rehearsal.  Right now we only have one.  Everyone else makes it seem like being on this show is a chore.  When she goes home, I’m going to need a Clockwork Orange type set-up to watch this show.

All the judges agree, BEST DANCE EVER!  Believe it or not, she was actually excited when she got good scores, screaming, “I can dance!”  I want to buy this woman a cookie.

Reaching for his manhood.
My score: Silver lining.

Evan Lysacek
Desperate times for Evan.  He didn’t dance well last week and was very concerned that he wouldn’t be able out dance all of the other contestants who don’t do something that is exactly like dancing for their professions.  This means that the lead-in was boring and we didn’t get to see his partner do the mind-erasing walk.

I started to listen to the judges critiques until one judge said, “Good on wood.”  Don’t they know that he’s trying to prove to the world that he’s not gay?

My score: The world is against him.

The Cha-Cha-Challenge
Team Gaga: Nicole, Pamela, Chad

Chad is the only contestant in this group with any personality.  Unfortunately, we only got to see him throw a temper tantrum and fall on the floor.  It couldn’t be more clear that this whole exercise is just filler because ABC doesn’t want to churn out another crappy sitcom.

They danced the Cha-Cha to a Lady Gaga song.  Surprise.  I just wish this show wouldn’t throw us so many curveballs.  I can barely keep up.  I could barely keep up with Nicole’s hips, either, but I gave it my best shot.

My score: More dancing is not better.

Team Madonna: Erin, Niecy, Evan
This show is so boring that they’ve been reduced to showing the contestants texting each other.  Yes, they chose to spend valuable airtime showing people sending text messages.  Every television writer in the world is now cleaning his gun.

They should have spent less time texting and more time rehearsing.  See what this show does?  It makes me sound like my mom.

My score: Do writers even have guns?

Monday, May 03, 2010

250 Words: Volume

Holy shit, the TV just got loud.  I’m not even in the same room and it’s hurting my ears.  Why does this happen?  Why do commercials crank up the volume?  Didn’t we figure out a way to fix this in the ‘90s?  I remember it was a problem and then it wasn’t.  Now it’s a problem again.  Is it just my audio set up?  If not, what the fuck?  How could advertisers think that blasting you out of your living room is going to do anything besides annoy the shit out of you?  My first reaction is to hit the mute button and walk away.  Instead of watching your ad I’m now actively ignoring it.  You’ve accomplished the exact opposite of your goal, Advertising Agency.  I know that TiVo has put a major dent in your effectiveness but you’re not helping yourselves.  Why hasn’t someone stepped in on this?  Didn’t the Government pass some sort of bill that required ads to stop pulling this shit back in the ‘90s?  Has this lapsed or are the ad people just ignoring it?  What government agency do I call to register a complaint?  If it wasn’t for Lost I’d just stop watching TV altogether.  Well, I’d still watch football and maybe some basketball and hockey.  And Mythbusters.  I love that show.  Have you seen it?  They spend a lot of time blowing shit up.  Who am I kidding, I’m a TV junkie.  I could never totally give it up, though it’s a noble