Pictures from Memorial Day Party 2004
I'm exhausted from being Gracelyn's favorite new toy. But I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. And I'm not too tired to put up a gallery of pictures of my favorite niece and nephew, plus their friend Connor who came over to join in the Memorial Day festivities with his family.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/31/2004 08:18:00 PM
Hello, my name is...
Name Acronym Generator
I'm not sure how to take the L standing for "little" but can you do?
I saw this on Daphne Laura's Blog and decided to give it a try.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/29/2004 12:15:00 PM |
Some days it's hard to not get irritated with people. I'm answering the phones for the office today becuase most of the staff is out at a team-building retreat. Well, one woman called and when I couldn't answer her questions, I apologized to her for not knowing, told her of the team being out on of the office and I was temporarily helping with the phones (because despite the voice mail to the contrary, people want a human being to hear them, plus I think the box filled up by noon yesterday!) She then told me, "Oh well, you're only a temp. No wonder you can't be more helpful." Which really got my gall up, but I didn't take the bait--as tempting as it was.
Yes, I'm a temp worker. That doesn't make me less of a person. It just means I'm doing my best and I don't have all the answers.
Speaking of temp work, another temp agency keeps trying to contact me about a job. Well, I am getting irritated with them also. See, when they call, they get a bit short that they've reached a machine and not you. Now, I've updated them with another number to reach me several times, but they don't use it. And when I do get to call them back, they get snippy that I didn't call back RIGHT AWAY so I could get this job. Well, I call them back as soon as I can, but if I don't get off work from one temp job and home until after the temp agency has closed, kind of hard to get hold of them. Also, if the person on the other end is NEVER available and won't call me at the number I ask them to call me at, well, what can you do? I've called three times today to try and get through, thinking the person calling me got busy and not wanting to miss it. Plus, I want to appear pro-active in this situation--not like I'm sitting around wishing I had a job while I eat chocolate animal crackers (which I could eat my body weight in those, but that's another story). No call back of yet. Now, when I first applied with this company, they told me they were considering me to do the same job as the woman calling me becuase she is swamped. But they didn't want to hurry the decision. Well, sounds like they need to move at a bit faster than snails pace. I almost feel like telling them--I can start Monday and help you out...sounds like you're missing a good bit of revenue by not having the proper staff.
Or it could just be the irritation talking.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/28/2004 02:32:00 PM |
Angel Review: The Girl In Question
My review of one of the final three episodes of Angel is now up. Click on the link above to read it.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/28/2004 12:42:00 PM |
"And I said, 'Go away, doggy!'"
Susan, Brian, Gracelyn and Davis all came over to dinner the other night--I cooked on the grill for everyone. Gracelyn got her new lawn mower that also blows out bubbles. So, we had to go outside and try it out in the driveway. Well, she also decided to take her big green ball outside to the driveway with her. So, we head out there and she drops the ball on the ground and it bounces along happily landing in the grass. From across the way, the neighbors large but extremely friendly dog comes bounding over to play with the ball since she thinks Gracelyn wants to play. (This is the same dog who wanders the neighborhood freely and chased sticks I was throwing into the woods (I was doing stick removal)) She is harmless, but when you're two and have to look up into the dog's face, it can be pretty scary. Well, Gracelyn sees the dog and climbs up me, crying and upset. In fact, if I could have grown six feet taller, that would have been just fine with her at this point. But she gets up there and I sternly tell the dog to go away, which causes the dog to bark at us with a digrunted woof.
Well, Grandma hears the dog bark and the grandchild crying and comes out. The dog is gone by this point--back home. The neighbors were outside and called her over to them. They come over, clearly embarassed and upset. Again, at no point was this dog in any way threatening unless you're two and the dog is taller than you. So, Gracelyn talks to Grandma who tells her it's OK to be scared of the dog, but she can tell the dog to "Go away, doggy!" and the dog will listen to her. She then climbs back to me and says, "Where did doggy go?" Now that the dog is gone, she wants to pet her. So, we discussed how Gracelyn can pet the dogs if she wants, but only with adults around.
Now, at this point, she starts to tell us about her view on the events that have transpired. "I was scared but I said, 'Go away, doggy!'" she keeps telling me. Visual a two-year old and when she says "Go away doggy" she does a finger point on each word. She was so hilarious it cracked me up--esp. as she told this story to anyone who would listen for several days. She also told me she plans to live in Tennessee forever and live next door to her parents when she grows up.
You gotta love the kids when they're that age. And Davis has figured out how to roll over and is staring to try and crawl. Man, that house should be fun when both kids are mobile. He was pretty much happy, go lucky the other night. He is pretty laid back about stuff, until he gets hungry and then it's like scenes from Little Shop of Horrors. ("Feed me, Seymour!") I am enjoying his being seven months old, but I keep seeing all this cool Spider-Man tie in stuff and wanting to buy it all for him. OK, I want it for me, but I can't use him as an excuse for it since it's all too small for him yet! Oh well, by the time Spider-Man 3 comes out, he'll be old enough for some of it! I gotta get a great paying job so I can afford all the toys I want to get he and his sister...
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/28/2004 11:03:00 AM |
Writer of the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie interviews himself
I stumbled across this link and found it really interesting. First of all, the idea that the guy who has adapted Douglas Adam's script for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy would interview himself is just perfect, considering the source material (which if you've not read them, I cannot recommend them enough!) Second of all, it's nice to see the honesty and humility with which he approaches adapting Douglas Adams' works for the big-screen. I like how he talks about how "fluid" the universe of Hitchhiker's is and that it's constantly changing--something this is incredibly obvious if you've read the books, heard the radio shows and seen the BBC TV show (which I have). I know this piece is really to drum up interest for the movie and it certainly has mine. I can't wait to see how it all plays out on the big screen.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/28/2004 09:53:00 AM |
Airliner diverted to Nashville because of bomb threat
One of the things that interests me about this story is how little coverage it received in this morning's Tennessean. I figured this would be front page news on at least the local news page, but nothing. I looked through the print edition and found no mention of this story. Now, I understand that President Bush was here yesterday and that Eddie George might not re-sign with the Titans. But surely this is just as big a story as either or those two stories are. Also, heard rumors on the radio that the pilot was originally told to re-route to Chattanooga, but wanted to come to Nashville. Hopefully it was because the airport here was better equipped to deal with the siutation or he was more familiar with landing here.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/27/2004 09:36:00 PM |
Smallville--Talisman, Forsaken, Covenant
I'm slowly catching up on some of the shows I've taped during the insanity that was May sweeps. One of those is Smallville, which I firmly file under the "guilty pleasure" category.
And the last three episodes of the season were firmly that--guilty pleasures. I've read somewhere that the most interesting part about Smallville is that we all know where the story ends--Lex and Clark become bitter enemies. One's a hero and the other is a supervillain. So, what's really of great interest in the show is the journey they take to get there. And the tag of--hey, Clark and Lex are friends really is an intersting one. So, as we slowly watch the friendship disolve and become what it later becomes is completely compelling and fascinating. Add to it that Michael Rosenbaum as Lex is a great actor, pulling off the most outrageous of situations with pure and total disregard for being a "serious actor" and you've got a fun way to kill an hour each week. And I have to admit, the best part of the run of final three was seeing Lex is "Talisman" say--you know, there's this superbeing from another planet coming with all this power and it sure would take one heck of a guy to have the cajones to stand up to him. That little revelation as to why Lex opposes Superman is what makes this show just worth watching. Sure we had to sit through some insanely ludicrous plot about the mythology and how it ties into ancient Native American myths, but that one scene made it all worth the effort.
That said, all of these episodes were huge on the let's push this whole plotline forward thing. We finally learned of Jonathan's deal with Jor-El and what it was--he promised to return Clark to Jor-El someday (and I was left thinking--OK, like Jor-El was gonna stop trying to get Clark to come to the dark side). We see the beginnings of the end of the Lex and Clark friendship and we see Pete leaving town because keeping Clark's secret is just too hard. Honestly, as much as I enjoy this show is it just me or does every season finale end with a)everyone in peril or b)tons of people leaving town? Seems like both of those have played into all three season cliffhangers. And the last two have featured Clark leaving Smallville in some way or another, only to return the next season. I just love how things happen on this show and no one bats an eye. You've got a naked girl walking around the countryside who waltzes up the Kent's farm, knocks on the door and when he opens it, Clark doesn't bat an eye. Now, I don't know about you, but when I was 16 if I'd opened the door and a naked girl was out there, well, I can say that I wouldn't act as if the pizza guy was dropping off my large pepperoni and bread sticks. But I guess this happens to Clark all the time so he's totally unfazed. Then, she's from Krypton and sent to bring him home and yada, yada, yada. Honestly, watching the season finale, I felt like some of the season cliffhangers of The X-Files where they'd suddenly pack in a ton of exposition and put the characters all in these dire straights and potential relationship crossroads to keep interest up over the summer and then totally ignore that the next year. Will Clark and Lex's friendship still be "over" next fall? I'm not sure. And how the heck will Chloe get out of the exploding house so she can dye her hair and become Lois Lane? (Seriously...we all know it's gonna happen! Why not just surrender to the inevitable!) As if the comparisons weren't enough, Mark Snow does the incidental music for both shows--sometimes borrowing from his themes and cues used in The X-Files. I tell ya, it's this kind of isanity that makes this show so much darn fun.
I'm still blinking in disbelief from this one. First of all, after all these years of Trek shows totally blowing the pivotal, final episodes of arcs or even two-part episodes, we finally get one that delivers on the promise for the first 45 or so minutes. But then you get to the end and....and here's the part that's got me. Archer apparently dies saving all of humanity, thus dooming the creation of the Federation and all of future Trek history (which I'm sure would only affect Kirk and company since Berman and Braga pay no attention to any Trek made before 1987) only to somehow get into an Earth that is a page out of the ending of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes and the classic Trek episode, "Patterns of Force." Yes, apparently the Nazis were helped by aliens and they've taken over the planet and....well, I can't say more because I was left scrtaching my head in pure disbelief. I'll give them credit for one thing--if they wanted to leave the audience totally befuddled and debating the direction the show will take next year, they did a great job. However, unlike "Best of Both Worlds, Part 1" or really any of the better TNG or DS9 cliffhangers, it's not a debate over what happened next but one of--how the **** did this happen and did we just watch 25 plus episodes of build-up to an alternate earth universe type of thing?
It just makes the head spin sometimes. Which is a shame that the image of evil alien Nazi is going to be the predominent one taken away from this episode because until that point, they'd done really well with it. It had the right amount of suspense, ending of plotlines, recurring characters coming in for the right reasons and action that actually affected the plot instead of being--oh, cool..violence! Sure, there were so many echoes of other shows--I particularily found myself wondering if Daniels would tell Archer to jump like Kosh did to Sheridan from Babylon Five's third season cliffhanger--but it all worked well. And for all the blustering about how the Xindi were different, I don't see them as much different than the Borg. And, ya know, for aliens who can jump around the time stream, the SphereBuilders sure as hell do seemed bound by things unfolding linearly. On an unrelated note: how awesome would it be to see Ben Sisko stop by and beat the hell out of them?
But I digress.
I have to say that I loved this episode right up until the last five minutes. Then, it lost me. Couldn't we have left it with the fall out of the arc to start next year? And maybe finding a way to get Archer back? Or did anyone else think--this is it, we're gonna get our Kirk cameo here. How great a cliffhanger would it be to see Archer wake up, see Kirk and Kirk say, "Son, you really messed things up good and you've doomed the entire future of the UFP?" Oh man...now that would get the tongues wagging!
Instead, we got evil Nazis who've appparently taken over Earth. I've gotta wonder if the rumors that Braga is taking a step back from the show next year aren't more that he has no idea how to get out of this and is leaving it to others to do instead of what he claims--that he feels he's done the best he can do and doesn't want to try and top it for fear of tainting what he's done until now. Whatever happens, it should be interesting to tune back in and see where it all goes from here. It may be crazy, but it will never, ever be boring.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/27/2004 02:07:00 PM |
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King has officially hit the stores this week (I bought the first copy at my local Borders yesterday). Trilogies have been popular in the movies for years. This week we look at questions based on some famous cinematic triumvarites:
1) The Back to the Future Trilogy sent Marty McFly 30 years into the future, 30 years into the past (twice!) and 100 years into the past. Which of these time periods would you like to visit in your 1.21 gigawatt-powered DeLorean, and why?
I think I'd be interested in visiting 30 years in the past, just to see how times have changed and how they haven't. I'm not sure I want to know too much about my own future--sometimes these things are better left as a surprise--some pleasant, some not so much. Plus then I'd worry all the time if every decision I made was affecting my future either by creating or destroying it.
2) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was, of course, based on a famous trio of novels by JRR Tolkien. What sci-fi/fantasy/genre novels or series would you like to see turned into a Peter-Jackson-directed/George-Lucas-written/Steven-Speilberg-produced trilogy?
Please, no more George-Lucas-written unless he gets a better script editor! LOL. I'd love to see a series of movies based on Issac Asimov's Robot novels--Caves of Steel, Naked Sun and Robots of Dawn.
3) Next summer, there will be two complete Star Wars trilogies in the history books. What's your strangest or most interesting Star Wars experience?
I don't really have any "strange" experiences with the films, though when they did the special editions I went with a whole group of friends to see them--including a girl who had not seen them. So, when we all groaned at Luke and Leia kissing in Empire, she had no idea why it was so GROSS! Overall, I'd have to say that my experiences at going to see them have all been enjoyable, namely because I've been to see them with friends who were also enthusiastic fans of the movies and it was fun to see it with them.
Bonus) While the Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones movies are currently only trilogies, plans are in the works for a fourth movie in both series. What trilogy might've been better served with a fourth movie? Which trilogy would've been better if they had left it at only one movie?
The American Pie series. First one was funny, the next two were just OK, but not great.
That's it till next time! Be sure to leave your name and blog address in the Comments when you've answered the questions.
And remember, as the Terminator said in the first part of his famous trilogy, "I'll be back."
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/27/2004 10:41:00 AM |
24: Day Three, 12:00-1:00 P.M.
FOX promised that the final hour of this year's 24 would be one to remember and they were right. The final hour of the season had all the things we've come to expect and then some. Just as you think the day can't get any worse, they keep managing to find ways to make it worse. First, Mrs. Gael shows up and kills Saunders just as he's about to tell us who the final virus carrier is. Then virus carrier runs into a middle school where Chase takes him down in a brutal fight (no wonder the poor guy is thinking of transferring to a desk job) and then he's asked to lend a hand literally to Jack to save the day. Just like a few weeks ago when Chapelle had to die to keep Saunders at bay, I kept figuring they're going to find a way to not either a)kill Chase or b)cut off his arm with axe until the second that Jack had to go Misery on him. You know, I don't watch some of the higher-brow dramas like West Wing but that scene alone should win 24 an Emmy this year.
Of course, the final few minutes features some of those absurdities that we've all come to excpect as part of the whole 24 watching experience--namely that everything in L.A. is within 2 minutes of each other and they would be able to get Chase under and operating on him that quickly. But hey, ya know, it's good to know that Chase will be OK and wasn't getting fitted for a red-shirt, as I'd assumed early in the episode when he spoke of wanting to retire from field ops and be there for his daughter and Kim.
And then to see Jack break down in the end. Wow, that's been three years coming. I'm glad to see that all of this affects him somehow and that he doesn't live in a vaccum.
And really, looking back now on the complete day that was the third day of 24, I think what it all comes down to is the characters deciding whether or not the cost of the life they've chosen is worth it. Tony decided it was--he is going to jail, but it was worth it to save the woman he loved. Palmer finally decided it had cost too much for him to continue to be president--all the things he had to do that day and then to have the mother of his children's life ended in addition to losing his new girlfriend. Also, his brother--what cost is there to Wayne, who lost Julia and was heading down a slippery sloap of morality (Gee, David, we can spin this to our advantage.) I wonder how much of Palmer's decision to get out now was so he could save not only what's left of his family but also save Wayne. Of course, we had Chase weighing the costs and deciding what he wanted most was a life with his daughter and Kim. And then we had Jack, who is overwhelmed by all this life has cost him--he's lost his wife, he's a drug addict, he's put his daughter in harm's way and he's had to chop off his partner's arm with an axe (yeah, that should make the rehearsal dinner really fun when that comes up!). Of all the characters, it's only Jack who can continue onward--he's chosen an existence that is a solitary one. He will get his accolades and be a hero, but at the end of the day he's still a tragic, lonely figure--kind of like John Wayne's character in The Searchers. He's even now kind of lost Kim, who he was slowly re-building a relationship with. She is establishing a life with Chase and Jack will be left alone--his dark side pushed away Sarah Wynter's character as we saw to start the season.
So, where do we go from here? Heaven only knows. But I can tell you one thing. In January, when 24 comes back, I am definitely signed up for the ride.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/26/2004 01:21:00 PM |
Scholars plan to espouse merits of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
This article was on the front page of yesterday's Tennessean. Man, I wish I could afford the $100 ticket to go and hear this, because it sounds really interesting. This is a list of some of the papers being presented.. This just makes it so much more a tragedy that the vision of Joss Whedon won't be on our small screens next year in any form.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/26/2004 10:13:00 AM |
Which American City Am I?
Take the quiz: "Which American City Are You?"
You are blue collar and Rock n Roll. You Work hard and party harder.
So, it looks like I'm Cleveland. Not sure how I feel about that...
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/26/2004 10:05:00 AM |
Things Making Headlines or Sex Sells
A popular photo
For some strange reason, this picture is one of the most forwarded photos according to Yahoo. I wonder why?
The Hill's Sex Diarist Reveals All (Well, Some)
Jessica Culter, a 24-year old staffer for Sen. Mike DeWine got the axe last week for improper use of a Senate computer during work. Turns out she was blogging. Now, blogging isn't necessarily a bad thing so much as what she was blogging about--namely that she was detailing her various encounters with various men (none named, all identified with initials). Apparently some of them were high-ranking government officials. I first found out about this story on this link. Her blog was removed, but someone was able to find a copy of it to reconstruct it here. Now, I can't disagree that she was using the office computers for the wrong reasons, but if they wanted to cover this up, they've done pretty much the opposite. In articles, Ms. Culter says she doesn't want to ruin the lives of those involved, but I wonder if it isn't already too late. Honestly, it seems like a really bad joke gone wrong. I find myself reading through the stories hoping to find the really bad punchline, but I never do. And my first thought was--this is a really elaborate hoax. And maybe it is. Maybe someone, somewhere is having a good laugh at all our expense.
UPDATE: The Calico Cat has set up on on-going blog of information about this story. I know I shouldn't be so intrigued by this story--esp. the fact that she apparently lied about her age and having a degree from Syracuse--but yet I am.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/26/2004 09:55:00 AM |
Everybody may or may not love Raymond
Ray Romano and co. just signed on for one more year of Everybody Loves Raymond, for record salaries. Situation comedies have been popular on TV since the beginning, with Lucy and co. being one of the first. So what's your take on sitcoms?
1. What's your favorite sitcom?
No question about it, I love Seinfeld. I could sit and watch any re-run of it from any season (even the last episode, which I know a lot of people hated but I didn't find it as horrifically bad as everyone else did) and always laugh. I still miss Thursday evenings with Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine.
2. Is there a sitcom you really don't like?
It seems like lately there have been a rash of sitcoms coming out that it wasn't that I didn't like them, it was just that they were largely forgetable. And I'm not sure which is worse--out and out disliking something or it just not being memorable at all. And while I never watched it, the previews for The Mullets that aired on UPN during Enterprise looked just awful!
3. Which sitcom did you used to like, but now it just seems too hokey?
The later seasons of Happy Days after Richie left. As much as I love the show, the loss of Ron Howard was just one they never recovered from.
~Bonus~ If your life was a sitcom, what would the title be?
I've always felt like, in some ways, that my life was a bit similiar to Happy Days. Not that I grew up in the 50s mind you, but just the way the family relationships of the Cunninghams played out--esp. the big brother/little sister thing with Richie and Joanie. Also, I studied journalism and so did Richie. Of course, I didn't have Fonzie around living upstairs, but then again, who did? But, I do feel like most of my days have been happy ones and so that title pretty well fits. Of course, I'm not sure who would play me in a sitcom, but that's a whole other issue for another time!
Thanks for playing, and be kind to Insane Faery, your new TV Tuesday guru. I've enjoyed playing along with you, and wish you many more seasons of fun! ~ Isabella
And remember the immortal words of Homer Simpson: "The answers to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a bottle. They're on TV."
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/25/2004 08:12:00 AM |
New Doctor Who Companion Cast!
Billie Piper has been cast in the role of Rose, the latest in a long line of companions for the good Doctor on the upcoming revival of Doctor Who. She is a musician in the UK who tried her hand at acting last year. I have no idea who she is, but this story from Outpost Gallifrey shows a picture of her as well as other details. Hopefully Piper is practicing up on her delivery of the line, "What is it, Doctor?" and her ability to scream for when she encounters Daleks and other assorted monsters. Can't wait to see the new series!
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/24/2004 02:59:00 PM |
1. I started blogging about a month and a half ago.
2. I try to post a new entry in my blog about every 2 days.
3. I read about 10-15 blogs on a regular basis.
4. I change my layout about a million and one times a year.
5. I used to use Live Journal and e-mail friends, and now I blog instead.
6. I spend more time blogging than I do commuting to work (well, somedays!).
7. I tend to blog (and visit blogs) most in the morning and early afternoon.
8. The thing I enjoy most about blogging is it gives me and outlet for my insanity and I enjoy meeting new friends through it.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/24/2004 02:05:00 PM |
Bush To Address Nation Tonight
It should be interesting to find out what the exit strategy for Iraq in this evening's address. A small, hopelessly TV addicted part of me wonders--did Bush pick Monday evening to do his address after all the uproar last time for pre-empting American Idol and 24. Last time it was just mid-sesaon and not finale time for both. Maybe he's wisened up and knows not to irritate voters any more than he already might have.
Of course, that would be an issue had the networks decided to air this address. TV Guide's On-Line News is reporting they won't air it but it will be on the cable channels. Which makes me wonder--if this weren't a crucial night of May sweeps, would the networks air the address?
McDonald's Wades Into DVD Rentals
Would you like fries with your rental today, sir?
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/24/2004 11:59:00 AM |
Alias Season Three Finale
While watching the season finale of Alias last evening, the thing that struck me was how similiar the third season of Buffy and Alias were--even to the point that the season finales followed a similar pattern. In both seasons, we had a new female character introduced who turns out to be a traitor--in the case of Faith though, it's more of a case of power corrupting where as Lauren was just plain evil from the first time she came on screen. Also, in the season finales of each show, we had a huge battle that has been building all year between the protagonist and the female character who turns out to be a villain. Of course, on Buffy, this fight between Buffy and Faith had some resonnance to it and was actually emotionally engaged because of what was at stake (no pun intended) for not only the episode for where the plotlines as a whole were going. Plus, that battle was just beautifully choreographed and a marvel to watch. Whereas the Alias fight just felt like--well, you've wanted Syd and Lauren to go toe to toe since Lauren first appeared on screen, so let's give the audience what it wants.
No, what I really want is that show that I enjoyed the first season or so. The one that was all about a woman fighting to do what's right and the delicate balance of weighing her professional life with her personal one. But the show has gone so far off that original concept to the point that I think everyone at the CIA works 24/7 on the off chance something dramatic happens. Also, there must only be about six total workers there since Syd and Vaughn go on every stinking mission. As for this whole Rimbaldi thing--I think it was a fun way to tie together the first season or so by giving Syd a compelling motive to compete with SD6 but now it's just descending into a late in the series X-Files like mess of convoluted plots and no real direction. Syd's step-sister who just one episode ago hated Sloan for doing all those horrible things to her and making her write out these words, suddenly decides after one speech by Slaone in the safehouse that maybe he's not so bad and she really did like being shot up with the Rimbaldi fluid and being a human printer. And oh yeah--to quote Salah from Raiders of the Lost Ark--"They're looking in the wrong place." Meanwhile, Vaughn has lost it in his attempts to take our Lauren, to the point that he gets out of a hospital bed with a punctured lung and flies halfway across the world in about five minutes (seriously...they must have the same planes, copters and cars that 24 does because damn he got there fast...can you say plot contrivance anyone??!)) to save Syd at a dramatic time and kill Lauren. Oh yeah and Laruen, by the way has a secret that she reveals to Syd during the big fight and her dying words are the number of a safety deposit box that contains all the secrets. Well, not really all the secrets. It's just another chance to churn up the whole Jack vs. Syd thing. Apparently since Jack has been kind of decent for two or three episodes, we have to be reminded that--hey, he really isn't that nice a guy because he had something horrible done to Syd. We're not sure what, but it sure did make Syd cry. (In a related note, Jennifer Garner's tear ducts deserve an honorary Emmy for as much crying as she's done on the show. Not since Demi Moore in Ghost has crying been to raised to a new artform.) Of course, we don't find out what Jack did to Syd, but he shows up in time to tell he she wasn't supposed to know. This makes about plotpoint one million and four she's not supposed to know but Syd has found out. If Sadaam had used the CIA of this show to hide the WMD, we'd've found them by now and President Bush would be smelling like roses and totally vindicated for invading Iraq.
The question that most of you are asking is--why do I keep watching? I keep watching, hoping there's a glimmer of hope for this show. It was entertaining as heck in an escapist way when it started. And I fully accepted the extreme plot twists from the left and right becuase that was part of the fun. But now I think they're running out of ideas. Season three has been a disappointment--from the denouncement of what happend to Syd those two years to just an overall sense of going through the motions. We all knew that Sloane hadn't gone good and yet they drug out that plotline longer than needed. The season finale did a decent job of wrapping up some plots and trying to generate some interest for next season. But with their long gap between now and the next new episode, I hope they make the writers sit in a room and map out a direction for the show and have the beginning, middle and end of the season set for season four before it all gets started. Otherwise we'll end up with the same convoluted mess that was season three.
Oh and who else expected Lena Olin to make a cameo at the end as the one behind all of this and now Jack? That would have been a GREAT moment and one to keep the buzz going all summer long.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/24/2004 10:04:00 AM |
Comeback clinches SEC berth
After looking bleak for a good bit of the game last night (being down 5-0 will do that to you!), the Vols rallied to secure a spot in the SEC Tournament. Great news, though the last time we went, we bowed out early. I am hoping that Delmanaco and company can get it on a roll and make some noise in the SEC Tournament and maybe get a bid for the NCAA Tournament. And how great was it that the game was on ComCast Sports South and that we got to the chance to see it? I can't say I enjoyed all of it--being down 5-0 is never fun. But I liked how it came out and that I actually got to watch a game where we won.
On a totally unrelated note...
Last night, I ran to Wal-Mart to pick up a few assorted items and was passing the area of the store where they keep the adult beverage. One caught my eye and since I'm an adult (have been for 10 years now...well, at least according to the legal definition...there are those would probably say I've yet to reach adulthood.) I figured why the heck not? So, I picked 'em up, put 'em in my cart and finished up my shopping (which included a big box of movie theater butter popcorn cause I thought I was gonna watch Matrix Revolutions but then got caught up in the Vols' baseball game, but i disgress...) So, I head up to the scan your own items and start on through. Well, I scan in my adult beverages (wild cherry Xima, which is kind of like the IBC wild cherry soda you can get but it has more of a kick) and the little attendant comes over. I'm told that she has to check my ID because, honestly, I do not even look close to 21 years old. Now, I know that I've been told I look younger than I am--something that now that I've hit 30 plus, I'm a whole lot happier about. But do I really look THAT young?!? So, I ask for your help. Assuming the picture of me shows up in the profile section over to the side, please look at it and tell me how old I look. Do I really look younger than 21?!? Leave a comment and let me know!
Note: Well, the picture is sometimes there, sometimes not. So, in order to help this out, here's a link to a picture of me. Please let me know what you think in relation to the note above!
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/23/2004 12:54:00 PM |
Book I’ve Finished Reading
Well of Lost Plays: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper Fforde.
One of the blurbs on the cover of this book says it’s in the same vein as Harry Potter, only written for an adult audience. And I think that a pretty apt summation of the books in this series. Certainly, Fforde has done a great job of establishing a fantasy world where one can enter books and the agencies and rules that govern it. In a lot of ways, this series is for book lovers what Shrek is for movie goers. There are a lot of references to other fictional works and stories and it all comes at you at a mile a minute pace. And if you get the reference, great; if not, well, the story is still well told enough that you won’t feel like you’re not understanding the main plotline if you don’t know the particular references. In fact, the references littered throughout the books may encourage you to want to seek out the original literature and read it again. (There’s one amusing sequence where Thursday and Ms. Havisham give anger management to the cast of Wuthering Heights. It’s really quite amusing and made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve thought about the basic plot of the story and even then, I’m not sure I read the book so much as I saw the movie). Thursday is hiding out from the forces of evil who went back into a book and erased her husband at the end of the last novel. She struggles to remember him, but is helped daily by her granny who is determined Thursday not forget him, lest he be lost forever. Meanwhile, a new system of presenting books is being developed and implemented—think a new software upgrade to make books more user friendly. But it may not be all that its cracked up to be.
Of course, that’s oversimplying things a good deal, but the main thing is, the story flowed well and went by at an extremely rapid pace. Fforde definitely leaves you wanting more and he does leave some things unresolved at the end of the story, thus setting up the fourth book in the series, due out in August. Overall, an enjoyable book that was a lot of fun to read and definitely a series that I will keep my eye out for in the future.
Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson
I’ve read Wilson’s The Chronoliths and found it extremely enjoyable. So, when I saw this one was up for this year’s Hugo award, I was eager to pick this one up and see if Wilson could live up to the promise he showed with his early book. And, for the most part, he does. Wilson’s stories here reminds me a good deal of some of the stories of Stephen King—you put a group of diverse people together, facing some kind of new and unexplained phenomen and you slowly watch how they deal with the situation and each other. And as far as that goes, this novel really, really works. There are some interesting characters here and there is, of course, the guy who isn’t quite right and slowly loses his grip on reality. There’s an echo or two of The Shining in this one—namely in the form of a little girl who turns out to be at the center of the weird, wacky events unfolding in the course of the novel. Again, this is one of those books that was a good page-turner, but in the end, I was left feeling like there was something missing. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was, but it felt like we rushed to a conclusion and then never got the satisfying resolution the storyline really deserved. Maybe Wilson is setting us up for a sequel—not an uncommon practice in sci-fi novels these days. In a lot of ways, the story felt like an episode of The X-Files, where you have this great situation set up and it’s interesting, dark and creepy but when you get to the denouncement you scratch your head and go—that’s it?!? Honestly, after investing 250+ pages into this, I was a bit disappointed that it got off track so quickly in the final 75 or so.
Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke.
A couple of posts ago, I lamented as to why Clarke was voted a grand master of sci-fi. Well, I take some of that back. Childhood’s End showed me why. Clarke takes the old concept of alien invaders coming to Earth and turns it on its head. Now, I know this book is about fifty years old, but I’m not going to give away why the aliens have come or some of the other twists and turns of this novel. I’m sure there are plenty of other web sites that can do that for you if you’re dying to know. What I will say is Childhood’s End does a great job of establishing a sense of mystery about these creatures who have come and then slowly giving out pieces of the puzzle. We don’t get the full picture of who they are and what their motivations are and there is a sense of mystery and frustration that humanity feels throughout the novel and it transfers well over to the reader. This is definitely a classic of sci-fi and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone just looking for an enjoyable summer read.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/23/2004 12:48:00 PM |
Do NOT follow this link if you haven't seen Shrek 2 yet!!
It's a listing of some of the in-jokes and references in Shrek 2 many of which I caught, but quite a few I missed. This is definitely one to see again and to get the DVD for so I can find all of them listed here...and maybe some they didn't list!
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/22/2004 06:24:00 PM |
First of all, I am really, really sunburned. Not badly mind you, but enough to be uncomfortable. I got up this morning and spent a couple of hours wandering around the flea market. As I may have stated in here somewhere before, please, please don't let anyone buy all my assorted collected junk at the end of my life and then sell it at the flea market. I cannot imagine complete strangers looking at the collected items from my life and thinking--why would anyone save that or even collect something as insane as that?!? I guess what sets me apart from my sister is that I go there and I see a lot of junk. She goes and sees the potential in the stuff to be more than it is--that is from a home decorating standpoint. Whenever I get a house that I own of my very own, I am going to beg her to help me decorate it because she really has an eye for it.
Not that I escaped the flea market without a few assorted treasures, mind you. I am happy that I resisted the urge to pick up that box set of X-Files season eight for the insanely low price they had it at. Insanely low price or not, I just don't need it right now and the money can be spent on other things. Or so I keep telling myself.
After the flea market, I wandered to the outdoor pool and loved it. The outdoor pool at Maryland Farm's YMCA is an Olympic sized pool, meaning it's 50 meters instead of just 25. This means I can do half as many total laps and get as much excercise. It also means it's twice as far across the pool. I have to admit I am in reasonably better shap than I'd hoped since it didn't bother me too much to do so. And I will find out just how strong a swimmer I am as I continue to use and don't have the wall to push off ever 25 meters or so. Oh, there is just nothing that says summer for me more than swimming laps in the outdoor pool and then resting on a lounge chair with a bottle of cool water and a good book. (And the water was surprisingly comfortable--not too hot, not too chilly. Also, a good thing).
And since I have declared this officially the start to my summer, I figured I'd cap off my day's adventure with a summer movie. I was glad that the adventures of Mulder, Sculy and Doggett had stayed with the nice man at the flea market so I could justify seeing Shrek 2. All I can say is--it's great. As much mad capped fun as the first one and definitely worth the ticket for admission. Antonio Bandaras as Puss In Boots...well, I won't ruin anything for you. The previews have only told you half the story and the story is so much fun. And it throws the movie homages at you like a Naked Gun movie. The homage to Spider-Man was particularily nicely done. And speaking of which...as if the movie wasn't enjoyable enough, we got to see the Spidey preview and the new Harry Potter preview. (Which reminds me I must re-read the third HP book before I go to the movie). Both look great, of course.
Here's my advice if you go to see Shrek 2...do NOT leave when the credits start to roll. You'll miss a great scene. Just be patient. And come on--you did pay the price to get in, might as well see it all.
Definitely one to put on my list for DVDs I want for Christmas--assuming it's out by then(as if it won't be!)
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/22/2004 05:57:00 PM |
My 50th Post!!!!
This entry is a little milestone for my blog--the fiftieth post. Who knew when I started out just 49 posts ago that I'd have this much to say about anything?!? Or conversely, that'd I've so much to say about essentially nothing. :-)
To mark this landmark anniversary, I've shortened the name to Big Orange Michael.
On a non-related note, the theme song for Family Guy is stuck in my head. I think it's from readng an article about how the show is coming back next summer on FOX. And man, it's starting to drive me a bit nuts...and the bad part is--there's no Family Guy on Cartoon Network tonight to let me at least watch the show and maybe get this theme out of my head! I tell ya, it just ain't fair!
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/21/2004 01:51:00 PM |
Enterprise officially renewed
What was rumored all week is now official--the Star Trek franchise will continue next fall as Enterprise got its official renewal notice. As I've said before, the last couple of episodes have really won me back over to the series and made me actually look forward to watching it each week, rather than just watching it out of some weird sense of duty since I'm a Star Trek fan.
However, before the new season begins, I'm a bit concerned. UPN is promising that next fall, we'll get more action and super special effects. I think they're missing the whole point. The reason there has been this huge ground swell of fan and critical praise for season three is that the series has finally found the right balance of all the elements. We have a show that is carrying off a rather cohesive, consistent and well done arc and is actually showing some character growth. And yes, we've had some action sequences, but they've been actually vital to continuing the plotline and we actually sort of care about those involved. Take for example this week's episode in which we had a rather nicely done space battle and an assualt to take back Hoshi in which we lost Major Hayes. The storyline had actually given us enough of a backstory to Hayes that we actually cared that he had died and we understood why he died and that he knew he was doing the right thing. Of course, looking back, I should have seen from all the speechifying he did early on about Hoshi being his friend too and he'd bring her back that they were fitting him for a red-shirt, but that thought never crossed my mind. Also, I have some worries about one scene where Archer says he can't wait to get back home and restart their original mission. Well, after all you've been through in the Xindi storyline, can you go back to just exploring space without any consequences? I think there is some great drama to be seen from that conflict within him and maybe that is why the Federation is founded in the way we come to know it in the future of the franchise.
And let's face it--there may be some crewmen who disagree with how Archer has done things and leave the crew because of it. Also, I'd love to see an episode that focuses on back home and how they're reacting to all this. I can only imagine how the population at home feels, waiting around and not hearing if Enterprise has succeeded or if the Xindi might just attack at some point like they did with their test weapon. Knowing the big weapon is coming and Enterprise is your only hope to stop it has got to make life a bit nerve wracking, don't you think?
Also, TV Guide On-Line is reporting that next season will be the last for Enterprise. I don't see any other confirmation of this--and I figure if that were the cast Trek Today would be all over it. So it is the final season or not? Of course, what TV Guide may be saying is that the original Star Trek moved to Fridays and that was its death knell. Maybe it will be the same for Enterprise.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/21/2004 09:47:00 AM |
Lottery scholarship seekers may need higher test scores
Reading this article, you get the feeling that Tennesseans got the old Professor Harold Hill treatment when it comes to instituting a state lottery. We were promised scholarships for students and given a set of standards and now less than two years later, they're changing the standards because the lottery isn't turning out to be the cash cow everyone imagined it would be. It feels like someone we've been SPAM mailed about this one--oh, you want to lose weight? The lottery can help! You want a lower interest rate on your mortgage? The lottery can help! You want a better sex life? The lottery can help!
We got promised a lot of things and now they are going back and changing the rules. Who'd've figured?
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/20/2004 12:58:00 PM |
Shrek 2 opens this weekend in theaters, hoping to be an even bigger hit than the prequel. From Antz, to Mulan, to The Lion King, to Heavy Metal, even Anime; There are hundreds of animated movies.
1. What is your favorite animated movie?
Just like picking my favorite movie of all time, the answer to this one can be really dependent on which one I've seen last. I admit I'm a huge sucker for Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King. But I also really like some of the older classics like Sleeping Beauty as well. And how can you forget the greatness that is Toy Story? (Co-written by the creator of Buffy himself and one of my personal writing heroes, Mr. Joss Whedon!)
2. Which animated movie is your least favorite?
I have to admit I don't really get anime. I've seen a couple of them over the years like Akira and Princess Monoke, but it just doesn't really click for me. Does this make me a bad person?
3. Who is your favorite animated movie character?
It's a tie really between Buzz Lightyear, Scar and Marvin the Martian (I'm cheating here since the Looney Toons were originally shown as shorts before movies!)
We miss you in Toontown.
Thanks for playing. Don't forget to leave a link to your blog in the comments, so we can all see what your thoughts are on animation.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/20/2004 10:02:00 AM |
What An Exciting Start To the Day...
In my never ending search to find permanent work, I was kind of excited that I got a call back from a local company that was eager to talk to me. So, I called them back this morning and spoke to their representative about the job. After describing myself, my previous work and how it would be of benefit to the position, they asked, "So how much do you need in salary to be comfortable?" I responded back with what I've learned at the Career Transition Support Group with a question--"What is the range, please?". Well, they hard pressed me and said, "Well, we need to know what you need" and so I told them and was promptly priced out of the range for being overqualified.
At which point, they thanked me and said if they decided to raise the compensation, they'd call me. Of course, I am thinking--yes, and pork products will also fly but thanked them for the time and consideration and hung up the phone. Not exactly a high point to start the day on is it?
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/20/2004 09:46:00 AM |
Be Careful What You Wish For...
One day after wishing that FOX would take a cue from the suits at ABC and their plans for Alias, my wish comes true. This story from TV Guide On-Line states that FOX will delay the premiere of 24 next fall until January and run all 24 hours without any hiatus. Now, my first thought was--what?!? You mean we gotta wait until January for the new day to begin?!? And then another thought struck me--with the baseball playoffs and the holidays in there, we don't get new 24 until November anyway so what's another month or so of waiting, right?
Also, in the news column was information that UPN has apparently decided to renew Enterprise. Guess they learned a lesson from NBC the last time they cancelled a Trek series. And you know, I have to admit, I'm happy that Enterprise will be back. If you'd asked me this time last year, I'd have been indifferent. But the third season of the show--and especially those episodes since "Azati Prime" onward have all been consistently good. Now, "E Squared" was pretty much a been there, done that in terms of plot but they did it well enough that it didn't bug me too much and it was interesting how it fit into arc. As the race to stop the Xindi has entered into a full-blown out of control machine, I've loved how it's ratcheted everything up a notch. And did anyone else think Hoshi's kidnapping by the Xindi at the end of last week's episode was eerily reminiscent of Picard being taken in "Best of Both Worlds, Part 1"?
An Hour With Jack Bauer: Or 24: Day Three--11 a.m to Noon
Look, I'm a poet and I didn't even know it!
I guess the producers are trying to not rest on their laurels anymore by killing off both Nina and Sherry in the same season. Honestly, this plotline just got to be a bit silly and after the past few weeks when I praised it for doing something reasonable with the situation, it's just descending into silliness. And I figured the only way out of it was for some of the characters to bite the bullet and let's face it, Julia was an expendable character (did she wear a red-shirt...I'm not sure). Anyway, the rest was all good as Jack shows how far he'll go to save the world and the race against time to stop the viles. They've got a whole lot to wrap up next week and I can't wait to see it all. I am wary that FOX is promising it as a finale that actually delivers....man, when they advertise them that way, it only sets you up for a disappointment.
I think that at least one or two more characters will bite the bullet before this day is over. Right now, I'm going with Chase or Wayne to fall on the sword as it were. If you want, click on my comments and leave me some thoughts on this one. (And I don't know any SPOILERS for next week--I dont' read 'em so don't post them, please! Thanks!)
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/19/2004 11:11:00 AM |
An Evening With Philip Gulley
Last evening, the Limbaugh Friends of the Library hosted an evening with author Philip Gulley.. I was introduced to his books a couple of years ago by Mom, when she recommended his Front Porch Tales and Hometown Tales, both of which are excellent. Since then, I've avidly read all of his other published works--including his fictional series about the town of Harmony and the long-suffering pastor of his Quaker church, Sam Gardner. So I have to admit I was pretty eager for a chance to get to meet him in person and hear him read from his stories.
Gulley read a previously published story and then gave us a sneak peak at his new Harmony novel, which is coming out sometime later this year or early next year. It's always interesting to sit back and hear someone read from his or her own work. Just to hear the story told in their own voice with their own vocal inflections and maybe how they "do" the voices of certain characters. I admit the only thing that disappointed me was neither story features Dale Hinshaw and so we didn't get to hear Gulley's voice for that character (guess I'll just have to make do with the one I've got in my head then!)
But beyond the readings, the thing that was most interesting was Gulley talking about the publishing world. He spoke about his first publisher, who was a Christian publisher and how they put a lot more restrictions on what he could and could not write about than the one he has now, which is a "secular" publisher. He summed it up by saying that if you restrict an author too much or tell them what to write, the books don't become by the author any longer but instead a long advertisment for the publisher. He also spoke of his conflict with the Quaker church (he is a Quaker minister) over a book he published about grace called If Grace Is True. Apparently a lot of people in his denomination took exception with his arguement that God's grace extends to everyone, not just those who are "saved." In fact, he spent two years being put under review to see if his preaching credentials might be revoked and in the end, four churches left his "district" in protest of his being allowed to continue following his calling.
Of course, the first thing this did was ingnite interet in me to read the book, which I already have checked out of the library. The second thing that struck me was how close to some of the events in the latest Harmony novel, Life Goes On. In the course of the story, Sam faces a faction within the local congregation that wants his ouster for taking a controversial stand and a good deal of the last half of the novel is spent on the struggle Sam faces as he answers the charges against him and the slander campaign that comes up. Interesting to hear how echoes of Gulley's real life trickle into his fictional world.
Of course, since it's a book tour, the stop wasn't complete without his trying to drum up interest for his web site the Harmony newspaper, The Harmony Herald. I looked at the sight and it's a treat--especially if you've read the book.
After his talk, he signed books and spoke to those who gathered. I had to ask him one burning question--is Dale Hinshaw based on a real person and does that person recongnize himself in the books? His answer was yes, he's based on a real person and that person thinks the character is based on someone else. Which is exactly how Dale would react, so that just makes it all the more perfect.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/19/2004 10:26:00 AM |
Things That Caught My Attention
OK, so I'm driving down the road today and this amazing song comes on the radio. It was on 94 FM, the Fish here in Nashville and it was a song about looking for that special someone and finding love. The song was just really wonderful and in the same vein as Rebecca St. James' "Wait for Me." Needless to say I loved it and want to hear it again--but frustratingly enough, they didn't say who it was by or the name of the song! Aacck! What ever am I going to do?!?
A Rave For Shrek 2
As if I weren't already drooling in anticipation enough to see the movie, USA Today comes out with a rave review, giving it four stars. Man, I'm gonna have to scrape up some money and go try for a matinee of this one this weekend! And the casting of John Cleese as Shrek's father-in-law is classic and I can't wait to hear Antonio Bandaras as Puss In Boots.
ABC announces fall schedule
So, Alias will survive but be run as a special 20-episode series starting in January. Oh-kay then. Makes as much sense as anything else ABC does. Honestly, this is one of those shows that really needs to be on as regularily as possible since more happens in one episode than in most seasons on other shows. And then to yank it around the schedule like they do with huge gaps between new episodes--no wonder the ratings haven't picked up despite the buzz and the critical accolades. Which means they had better have one hell of a cliffhanger this week to keep the interest up until January or else this one could be forgotten about. Now if only FOX could see fit to give us 24 straight weeks of 24. In a related story to this one--Teri Hatcher returns to TV. And that folks is a very good thing.
Were in not for Smallville, who would care about this?
So, they're taking Angel off the air for inane WB comedies?!? To quote the little guy at the end of all Joss Whedon shows, "Grrrr! Argh!" If it weren't that Smallville is just so much of fun in an escapist way, I'd tune out the WB entirely.
Someone should knight Dave Barry for this week's column about the rules. Read it and then give me your "Amen, brother!"
I haven't listened to any of the sports call in shows locally today, simply becuase I bet a lot of the talk is going to be about Ashley McElhiney becoming coach of the ABA Nashville Rhythm. As the first female coach of a professional men's basketball team, she faces a lot of scrutiny for everything she does. I wish her all the best and I really do hope she has a thick skin because she's going to need it. She's out there blazing a trail and there's nothing we love more in the sports world than to nitpick things to death (as in the end of the Lakers/Spurs game 5 or any decision made by Fulmer on fourth and inches in a UT game). I wish her all the best and I really do hope she succeeds in this role. From a marketing standpoint, I can understand this--it's created buzz in the community. I'd be willing to bet the first few games have an increased attendance just because we have a female coach. It's an experiment and I am sure there will be many who will be intrigued enough to buy a ticket just to see what happens. But the Tennessean's Joe Biddle makes some interesting points about the difficulties that McElhiney will face as coach of this team.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/18/2004 05:47:00 PM |
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...
Jay Leno once quipped when he was alone in an elevator his mind always reverted to the lowest song he could think of: "Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed..."
Love them or hate them, TV theme songs stick with us for years! If you're stuck on some lyrics, click here for a comprehensive page with words I never even knew existed. (Who knew I Dream of Jeannie had lyrics???)
On that musical note:
1. What is your favorite TV theme song?
In order to fully answer this, I have to break it down a bit more. First, there are theme songs that are just purely instrumentals--and for me, the two greatest are the theme to the original Star Trek and the theme from Doctor Who. I love them both and never get tired of hearing them. Also, special props have to go to the Buffy and Angel themes. Love those as well. As for theme songs with words, I've always kind of like the theme song from Cheers, though it does tend to go really wacky after the first verse (if you've heard the full version of it, you know what I mean!) Also, I have to admit I'm a big fan of the theme from Happy Days--the second one, that is. The one that isn't "Rock Around the Clock." Also, in thinking back on this, one memorable one from growing up was from The Greatest American Hero, the "Believe It Or Not" song...loved that. And wasn't it just great used as the outgoing message on George's machine on Seinfeld?!? And as many of you found out in your made-up memories section, I just love the Monkees, so I'd be remiss if I didn't include them as well. Man, I like way too many theme songs...I think the real question here is--do I watch too much TV for my own good?
2. Which song drives you crazy enough to hit mute on the remote?
I actually used to like the theme from Friends, back before it got played to death on the radio. Now it's just sort of tolerable. I've got to admit that the Green Acres theme is one that gets in my head and then gets stuck there..(The stores! The chores! Fresh air! Times square!)...aaaaaaaugh! I've started it! Make it stop, make it stop please!
3. Which song are your proud to say you remember (most of) the lyrics to???
~Bonus~ Put the lyrics on your page (from memory), and I'll list you next week in the TV Tuesday Theme Song Hall of Fame. Don't forget to leave a comment so I'll know you posted!
I'm not quite sure proud is the word I'd use...but I do remember most of the words to the Cheers theme--even the extra verses if you hear the full version. And since I promised it, here it is...
Makin' your way in the world today,
Takes everything you've got.
Takin' a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.
You wanna go where people know, people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows your name.
You want to go where people know, people are all the same;
You want to go where everybody knows your name.
Now, there's more to the Cheers theme that I can't recall--stuff about your shrink running off to Europe and not writing and your husband wantign to be a girl....scary, scary stuff.
And for one that's a bit more obscure and not daily on Nick-at-Night..here's the theme from Greatest American Hero.
Look at what's happened to me,
I can't believe it myself.
Suddenly I'm up on top of the world,
It should've been somebody else.
Believe it or not,
I'm walking on air.
I never thought I could feel so free-.
Flying away on a wing and a prayer.
Who could it be?
Believe it or not it's just me.
It's like a light of a new day-,
It came from out of the blue.
Breaking me out of the spell I was in,
Making all of my wishes come true-.
Believe it or not,
I'm walking on air.
I never thought I could feel so free-.
Flying away on a wing and a prayer.
Who could it be?
Believe it or not it's just me.
Thanks for playing, and remember:
"Got kind of tired packing and unpacking,
Town to town and up and down the dial
Maybe you and me were never meant to be,
But baby think of me once in awhile.
I'm at WKRP in Cincinnati..."
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/18/2004 02:00:00 PM |
Hollywood's summer is off to a cool start
Apparently, Troy didn't make nearly as much money as it should have over the weekend--this followed on the heels of Van Helsing not making nearly enough money on its opening weekend. Reading this article, there are a lot of reasons thrown out as to why this occurred--maybe it was the Lakers/Spurs game (as if anyone cares about the NBA Playoffs!) or maybe it was the long running time of Troy and the R-rating. Now, I haven't seen either film but I've got to wonder if maybe the reason neither made a lot of money doesn't come down to a simple economic reason--maybe there are just a lot of people like me who can't see every movie that comes out and are saving our hard earned movie going dollars for some of the other summer movies that are on the way. (Can't wait to see Shrek 2 and Spider-Man 2) And another part of it may be word of mouth--I've heard nothing but reports that VanHelsing is just two hours of your life you will never have back and while there have been some good reviews for Troy, they haven't been enough to really push it into a category of a Must See Movie. It look pretty good, but it definitely is on the rental category list since Nashville apparently does not have the dollar movie theaters.
Man, I miss the dollar movies.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/17/2004 01:12:00 PM |
With all the rain here in the great metropolis that is Nashville, I was not able to take Gracelyn to the zoo on Saturday, as per my plan going into the weekend. But I did still get to spend some quality Uncle Michael and Gracelyn time and I got to spend some quality bonding time with Davis as well--though we were unable to watch any Doctor Who together. (He heard the theme song a couple of weeks ago while I was watching him and smiled at it and giggled, not once but twice! A new Whovian in the making, I tell you!) But it's not like we don't have plenty of time to corrupt Davis to the wonderful world that is Doctor Who.
::insert evil laughter here:::
But I did get a chance to use the digital camera a bit and take some pictures of my favorite niece and nephew. You can see them by clicking on this link. Man, they are just growing up way too fast.
I was proud of myself yesterday because I was able to give blood without passing out. This is a major step for me to have a needle of any kind inserted into my body and not pass out. I tell you, I could not be a drug addict simply because I'm such a wimp when it comes to the needles. Also, I can't really afford it either. LOL.
Nope, that addiction to all things Doctor Who is more than enough.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/16/2004 01:09:00 PM |
I've got to be honest--I've enjoyed Frasier since the beginning and it's one of those shows that when I wander by a repeat of it, I'm likely to stay and watch. There was a special a couple of years ago where Kelsey Grammar payed homage to Jack Benny and in looking back at Grammar and Frasier as a series, you can see how true that is. One thing Benny understood was the best laughs were those you set up by establishing not only a great situation but also great characters. Both comedy programs were firmly established in the characters and each one had characteristics and foibles that we not only recognized in ourselves but we could laugh at. And just like Benny, it appears Kelsey Grammar recognized the talent around him and allowed them to often have some of the bigger laughs--even at the expense of his character. And let's face--Grammar's slow burns and stares are just right out of the mold of Jack Benny's pauses and stares at the audience.
And the finale of Frasier just showed how good the show is. It wasn't about wrapping up plotlines, but continuing some forward and keeping them going. And we didn't have everything gift wrapped for us--would Frasier taking a chance pay off for him with Charlotte? Did she even know he was coming? Was she waiting for him at the plane? We don't know. Not anymore than we know Daphne and Niles will be good parents, how their son will grow up to be or even if Martin and Ronnie will find married bliss. I like that we didn't have it all spelled out for us and it left us to fill in the gaps. Yes, we had some resolution to some things, but we didn't have a neat, tidy little package to end the stories on the series. Which, in the end, reminds me a bit more of how our lives are and why we care so much about these characters--because they're drawn out of the cloth of reality.
Frasier has left the building...and ya know, I think I'm gonna miss him.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/15/2004 10:44:00 AM |
Audience gives Rupert $1 million; next season will be Survivor Vanuatu.
There is justice in this world after all, with Rupert getting the cool million from America. But I honestly had sort of hoped that they'd get rid of snarky host Jeff Probst and give us all what we really want--Rupert as the host of all editions from now on! Now that would be AWESOME!
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/14/2004 09:14:00 AM |
Tropical Re-Mix Sprite, I Hardly Knew Ye
So, I guess they've decided to stop producing the Tropical Re-Mix Sprite, which is a shame as it was probably my favorite soda (not that I drink much, but every once in a while when the mood for carbonated goodness seized upon me, I would have one). Now they've got this Berry Re-Mix flavor which tastes a bit like grape soda, but it's not quite the same excitement that the original ReMix was. Is there anywhere I can protest this and get the Tropical Remix back into production? I'm sure my once in a blue moon purchases of it will really help its profitability.
An interesting sign
Driving up I-24 each day, there's a sign going north at the Harding Place exit that says--"Adultry--Filling Up Hell." And my thought is--I sure hope there is a special section of hell for people who put up signs that distract drivers, making some of them slow down or hit the brakes so they can read your sign, thus causing accidents and horrendous snarls of traffic.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/14/2004 08:07:00 AM |
ACLU lawsuit could spell end of specialty plates, lawmaker says
Why do they have to go and ruin the fun for the rest of us?!? It just stinks that the speciality plates might have to go away. Man, I just got my UT National Championship ones this year and I love them. I've wanted them for so long and now they might have to take them away! Man, that really, really stinks!
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/13/2004 01:40:00 PM |
As Angel winds down, the stars of the show are, of course, in the spotlight. Reading the interviews with David Boreanaz and James Marsters from TV Guide On-Line are interesting. One thing that strikes me is how Boreanaz claims he has no interest in resuming the character of Angel now that the series is over. Having not seen the finale, I can't say whether or not this is a good thing. But as this was intended as a season finale and not a series per se, I wonder if we'll be left with things hanging that might not be best resolved in a wrap-up. Of course, the one thing I've always appreciated about the Joss Whedon universe is there aren't neat and tidy endings to things--just the next chapter being turned. Kind of like in life, really. But I can't believe there isn't a set amount of money that would make Boreanaz come back. Surely he's learned from the example of SMG to not piss off the fans who helped make you a success and a household name. Certainly reading the article on James Marsters, he gets that. But then again, he's a better actor than Boreanaz is.
And speaking of the cast of Angel I was in Books-A-Million the other day when I noticed that the new issue of Playboy features none other than Charisma Carpenter. And my first thought was--sure am glad you left the show so you could pursue other artistic opportunties like this one. It's interesting because a few years ago, Maxim published their Girls of the WB issue and a lot of fans were upset by it. Now, we've had two former WB Girls features in Playboy in the past six or months--first Shannon Dougherty and now Charisma Carpenter. It just makes me wonder--who is next?
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/13/2004 10:20:00 AM |
Reunited and it feels so good!
Tuesday at 9/8 central CBS is running the 159th episode of one of it's classic TV series: The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited. This episode was written 40 years later, with all the surviving cast members in it. This will be an actual episode, with the actors in character, not just actors sitting around reminiscing about the good old days.
On that note, how do you feel about reunion shows?
If there's a good reason for it, I think it's fun to take a trip down memory lane--provided you don't stomp my fond memories into the ground. If the show was good enough to be considered a classic, don't subject us to a script that is really nothing more than an excuse to bring everyone together for a flimsy reason--namely driving some ratings. Also, make sure that it's a show that people have really missed and had time to miss. I was amused a few years ago when 90210 had a reunion special a little over a year after it went off the air.
1. What show would you like to see brought back for an hour or two episode, to see how the characters are doing now? (This should be a show that it might be possible to do a reunion on.)
I'd love to see them do a Happy Days reunion show just because I love Happy Days so much. Well, at least the years before Richie joined the Army and it became all about Fonzie, thus losing the central dynamic that made it so much fun. It would be fun to see if Joanie and Ciachi are still married and to see the C's as grandparents. Also, did Fonzie ever settle down? And do they all still go down to Arnold's or was it run out of business by McDonalds? Part of me wonders if a reunion show like this wouldn't be best in the spirit of the two big screen Brady Bunch movies where the world has moved on but not the characters and humor mined from that. Of course, then again, I did love Happy Days and this might only irritate me no end if this is what we get.
A Fawlty Towers reunion would be fun--provided they got the right script and did it well. To see where Basil and company ended up would be hilarious and we could always use a bit more un-PC humor!
2. Pick a show that could not realistically be brought back for a reunion, because some or all of the cast members are gone. What if they could have done a reunion before it was too late? Name the show you'd most like to see.
I'd love to have seen a reunion of the cast from Burns and Allen or the Jack Benny Show. They were also so influenctial in the radio days of creating the sit com and to see them all reflect on this would be great fun.
3. Which reunion show have you watched and thought "Wow, they should have left that one alone!"
The previously mentioned 90210 reunion special comes to mind. There was also Knight Rider 2000 and then anything with the Green Acres cast.
~Bonus~ Which do you prefer- a "reunion" episode of the series, or a "cast reunion" where the actors sit around and talk about the making of the show?
I've found that in most cases, the clips shows make me nostalgic to see whole episodes of the show. I'd far rather see something like Nick-at-Nite does, where you see whole classic episodes and then get some segments from the cast on the episode in question or working on the show. Sci-Fi did a great job with the Star Trek: TOS Special Edition episodes a few years ago when we got interviews with cast, crew and guest stars about the episode airing. And I learned stuff about the episodes in question--and this is from the guy who has read most of those kiss and tell books about the production of the show and knows a bunch about classic Trek. Man, why those weren't included as extras on the DVDs is beyond me. That was GREAT stuff.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/12/2004 10:38:00 AM |
24: Day Three, 10 to 11 a.m.
After the intensity of last week's episode, where it all came together, I guess part of me was just primed for a disappointment. And the good thing is--I wasn't really all that disappointed by this one. Yes, it lacked the overall, gut wrenching every second intensity that last week's did, but it was still gripping, taut and compelling at every turn. And the last few minutes with the exchange of Saunder's daughter for Michelle and how that went down--that is great TV. Also, the confrontation between Tony and Jack over what Jack considers acceptable losses in the game of cat and mouse with Saunders was great. That is the stuff Emmy's are made of--just becuase Keifer Sutherland said more with that one look than you can with ten pages of dialogue. Man, I love this show. I wonder some things though--will the Keller blackmailing Palmer storyline carry over to next year? And does this mean we've seen the last of Sherry if she does go to jail? And did I miss something or did she get Keeler to guarantee her a pardon if she helps him take down Palmer? You'd think she'd get that in the package and in writing.
Also, is it just me or does every episode now have the disclaimer for graphic violence before it? Is FOX just covering their collective rears or am I just becoming desensitized to it? Sure there was violence in this one, but not anything that I thought deserved the special warning. But I think FOX is running that before everything these days--even That 70s Show.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/12/2004 10:03:00 AM |
Books I’ve Finished Reading.
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
OK, so I picked this one up in a bit of confusion at the library, not remember that is was Childhood’s End that was published in 1953 and this one didn’t come down the pike until the early 70’s. But since it’s considered one of the classics of science-fiction and I hadn’t got around to reading it yet anyway, I figured why not give it a chance?
And you know, I wanted to like it. I really, really did. I find myself thinking that with a lot of Clarke’s novels. A lot of his books declare him the Grand Master of Science Fiction, which he won a couple of years ago but honestly, I’ve yet to see why he’s so revered among the science-fiction community. A couple of years ago, I sat down and read all of the 2001 series (better book than a movie IMHO) and, quite frankly, while the first one is pretty good, the rest go downhill really, really fast.
The central premise of the Rama story is intriguing—this giant asteroid comes into our solar system and is coming toward Earth. It’s got some type of propulsion system and is headed toward Earth so we send up a ship to investigate it. Inside it, there is an entire world for our heroes to explore and all kinds of adventure to be had. Only problem is, it honestly never becomes much more than a lot of explanation of really cool scientific things that could happen (such as the oceans being frozen and heating from the bottom up, thus creating potential hurricanes) and not much else. The central premise of what Rama is and why it’s passing by Earth is intriguing enough, but it takes a lot of exploring around and some blind alleys before you really get there. And it may be that this one was revolutionary in the 70’s but I guessed the central premise of why Rama was swinging by long before we got the revelation in the book. That may be partly because I’ve been so exposed to sci-fi novels that have taken a cue since Clarke wrote this book and explored similar themes—kind of like how when I first saw Chinatown and the famous slapping yourself scene, my first thought was of all those movies like the Naked Gun where that is spoofed or paid homage to. It just loses the initial impact.
That said, I see where Clarke has since gone back and written a whole bunch of sequels to this book—sequels that I am honestly in no hurry to read. The 2001 series kind of turned me off to the whole idea because he took a good concept and pretty much beat it into the ground. I don’t know what it is with the “classic” sci-fi writers, but at some point late in their lives, they all seem to get this strange urge to tie together all of their universes or write sequels that maybe people didn’t really want. Heinlein really started the tradition when he started writing books late in his life that brought together several of his earlier novels and Asimov did the same thing, trying to tie everything from the Robot novels, the novels about the Galactic Empire and the Foundation novels together under one banner of the Foundation story. It ends up being a bit confusing to some fans who might not have read everything and it also creates this elitist type mentality of—well, you’ve not read all these previous books and so you can’t understand fully what I’m trying to do here. So, I can’t say I’m in any hurry to read Clarke’s attempt to answer some of the unresolved questions of Rama. Honestly, it’s better to leave these questions up to the reader to decide for themselves.
Also of interest is that I've heard they've optioned this for a big-budget movie to come out in 2008. I wonder if they'll stay true to the book or do what so many other sf books turned into movies have done--take the cental concept and spin off in all new and maybe not quite as intersting directions.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
One of the interesting consequences of growing up in the military and moving around between school systems is the differences in what books are read at what grade in school. I think reading Lord of the Flies as high school freshman is pretty much the standard for most school systems and there’s the requisite Shakespeare plays, but beyond that, there are some wide differences. Because of that, I’ve not had the opportunity to read some of the “classics” in a classroom environment, but have instead read them on my own for my own pleasure and enjoyment. And it’s a good and a bad thing. The good part is that I was freed from feeling like I had to read the books and turning to Cliff’s Notes to meet classroom deadlines and thus missing forming ideas on the novels on my own. On the negative side, there’s a part of me that sometimes wonders what it might have been like to read these in a classroom setting and have the debate and discussion about them or to hear differing takes on the novel.
Fahrenheit 451 is one of those novels that I just kept missing in my moves as part of the curriculum, so I’ve had to read it on my own. I think this is probably the third time I’ve read and each time I’m struck by something different in the story. Of course, the central premise of book burning and keeping downs ideas is at the centerpiece of the book and the idea the censorship is a bad idea is an intriguing one.
But what really jumped out at me on this re-reading of the story wasn’t just the book burning metaphor but the society Bradbury depicts—and how scarily similar to our own it is. Montag’s wife, Milly is addicted to her entertainment—which is a bit like a virtual reality type of environment. There’s also the concept of a wars going on in the background. While they’re reported, no one seems to get upset about them—even one woman whose husband goes off to fight in the war. The wars are supposed to be quickly over—there’s a line about how the current conflict will be over in 48 hours, maybe 72 at the most. And if the woman’s husband dies, well, she’ll just find another one. Also, there are references to having kids, but not really being involved in their lives. It’s these small details that make this work standout this time. How strange it is to read about a society the Bradbury predicted would be the future and see it slowly come about. Today’s society isn’t exactly like the one he portrays, but there are some very eerie similarities to our world today.
Another thing I find scary is in the Bradbury’s society, the masses don’t care about reading. And how much is that like society today. Milly doesn’t understand Montag’s fascination with the books—she’d rather be with her family on the vids or talking about the family with friends. Indeed, how many times these days do we hear people say—well, I’ll just wait for the movie to come out. Echoes of that are here. When the ideas are all fed to you and you don’t learn how to find new ideas or think for yourself, that is when the danger comes. We lose part of what makes us basically human. The story is about how Guy Montag becomes free from that and learns to think for himself, but it’s also scary to see how Milly reacts. She loses herself in the television programs—she wants the fourth wall put in so she can be totally part of her fantasy world—and she even attempts the ultimate escape of suicide—though she doesn’t remember it later. Indeed, the value placed on human life in the book is scary—there is no value to it. Milly has her stomach pumped and her blood replaced so she won’t die, but they don’t deal with the problem. The war starts and it’s an abstract—it’ll be over soon and no one really dies in it. Well, at least no one you know.
Fascinating and scary all at the same time. I have to say that I think that this is one of the books that actually deserve the status of classic. There’s a reason it’s endured for so long—and part of that is that each time you read it, it stays fresh with you.
And please, please don’t let Mel Gibson butcher it into a movie. If he remains true the book, it could be great. But I fear it could be turned into a movie that is taken from a high concept book and watered/actioned down into a crowd pleaser to make a big box office. I am not sure we need that.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/11/2004 07:27:00 PM |
The New York Times (when they're not making up news) published an interesting article about SPOILERS. Click Here to Read. Interesting stuff, though I've learned to avoid SPOILERS like the plague--and I must be one of the few people who was surprised by the referenced plot point in Angel earlier this year.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/11/2004 02:13:00 PM |
On a happier note....
Sunday afternoon, Gracelyn, my two-year old niece, walked into the living room at Susan and Brian's with her toy purse (it comes with it's only little made-of-felt credit card so they can quickly learn to say things like, "Mommy," "Daddy" and "Charge it!") and announces to everyone, "I'll see you tomorrow, I'm going to Target."
BTW--Target is Gracelyn's favorite store. I really must get her to see the wonders that are Wal-Mart...well, except the Smyrna one which is not that hot, but yet I still go in there to shop. (Don't get me started on my rant that all Wal-Marts are the same one and the doors are just giant transporters that beam you to the central Wal-Mart...I'll rant about that one another time).
So, she and Davis came over for dinner that night. And as is her usual custom, Gracelyn wanted to go outside and explore, which Uncle Michael is only too happy to help her do. So, we were making our way on our usual circuit to see the dog next door (it was too early to see the stars...which that reminds me, she needs glow-in-the-dark stars and a moon for her room.) and we wandered by the azalia's we planted a few weeks ago. And along the fence I see this black stripe and I think--what the heck is that?!? Only to realize...holy cow, the black stripe is moving and holy mother of heaven, it's a snake! Now, I am firmly from the Indiana Jones school of disliking snakes and even though I am fairly certain that this one is not poisnous and wouldn't us any harm, I grab up Gracelyn and head back to the safety of the deck and sun porch. Of course, this irritates her as she was looking at the pretty flowers and we've now gone off course from the goal of our quest--to see the dog next door (who is a beagle and we call Snoopy, even though I don't think this is the dog's real name...but she answers to it...of course I also feed her treats and I think she'd answer to anything for a Pupperoni). So, after telling my parental units you've got a snake, I take Gracelyn out to see the puppy who is not outside and she is clearly unhappy.
Maybe that's why she was gonna go shopping...to drown her disappointment.
Of course some evil part of me says--be a good uncle and get Gracelyn and Davis a puppy. But then part of me remembers that what I do in the spoiling department now will come back to haunt me...and I'm pretty much screwed there for all the spoiling I've done to not only Gracie and Davis but also GiggleGirl and BrainyBoy from Inn of the Last Home's family. So, a puppy is out for now...
Notice that says, "for now..."
::Dr. Evil laughter goes here:::
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/11/2004 02:00:00 PM |
There is nothing like the feeling you've wasted most of a morning of your life--and no, I don't mean that I got up late, watched cartoons and vegged out around the house. Compared to what I went through this morning, that almost seems productive.
I had a job interview this morning and so I made sure to get up in plenty of time to properly groom, make sure my outfit looked respectable and said, "Hire me, I am a professional person!" and that I got to the interview on time. Well, my first clue that this wasn't going to go well was bad diretions from my contact at the interview. So, I haul it to get there on time and then get caught in traffic. I'm freaking out and upset, and generally cursing Nashville traffic for not being kind to me and having to call and tell them I might be late. Which I assume that they will pass along the message to the gentleman I am meeting with...
Except I get there right on time to find out he's not there yet. He owns the company and so he comes in whenever...and even though we've scheduled an interview for 9 a.m. he doesn't waltz in until 9:45 and has forgotten about me. (Nothing like this kind of experience to really help you find your place in the universe). So, we do the interview, which goes OK until he mentions the company is pretty much too small to offer anything silly like benefits. He basically tells me most people there are married and they get benefits with thier spouse--which having been in that situation as the provider of benefits for someone whose job doesn't have them--that is quite a burden for one person to carry. It can be kind of limiting in your choices and career opportunities, let me tell you. But the thing is part of me feels as if I nailed some parts of the interview and that I'll get a call back. But right now, this thing has two strikes against it and it doesn't honestly seem like somewhere I'd be happy long term. Heck, I'm not even sure I'd be happy there short-term.
Some days it's just frustration as all get out being a job seeker.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/11/2004 01:40:00 PM |