Friday, February 20, 2009

Honest to Pete. This is the THIRD picture I've seen of Mickey Rourke doing the Al Bundy on the red carpet.

Michael, get your hand out of your pants. If you need a place to put your hands, use your pocekts. Or get an age-inappropriate girlfriend with a nice booty to manhandle.

And does anybody else find that Return of Rourke heartening? I've always said going bugfu** crazy was my biggest fear. But if Mickey can come back from the bughouse, there's a little hope for everybody. Come to think of it, Britney Spears got carted off and she's on the comeback trail too. Hell, maybe if Courtney Love would quit slugging back the crazy juice, she could even return to the land of the living.

Also, does anybody remember when Mickey was so fine he could blow your mind? Dang close to pretty back before he decided to try a career as a speed bag. Kids, don't let people hit you in the face. Yikes.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sign o' the times

I hardly believe I'm saying this. I think I've had enough schadenfreude. I know. Gasp. Not that I've ever enjoyed just straight misfortune for other people. I just like it when it specifically involves the cocky, the entitled and the over-rated. Even, occasionally, when the cocky, the entitled and the over-rated is me. I even think it's funny when I get taken down a peg or two.

But lately, there's enought misfortune going around. I don't want to hear about the misery of others. I realized this when I saw that the Crazy Kid Lady/octuplets mom might lose her house. That just sucks. Not that I'm going to give her money to support her weirdoid lifestyle. But it still sucks.

I think this may be why TV shows like Highway to Heaven and Touched by an Angel flourish at times like these. Something nice. Where good people get help when they're in trouble. And bad people realize the error of their ways and decide to be good people. Nobody loses their house. The couple who just want honest work to support their family find it. There's a way out and we'll find it. Together. Awwww.

Poor Monkey

I've been watching the coverage of the chimpanzee attack. Why is that human stupidity regarding primates always end up with the monkey getting shot? People should just not own primates as pets. It's a mind bogglingly bad idea. Yes, chimps are adorable. They're like hairy little people. Hairy, little, potentially volatile people with highly efficient musculature that could throw you across the room if they get pissed. And most people don't have the kind of education and training it would take to begin to understand and properly care for as complicated a creature as a primate. Even people who are trained to care for them, in the best of situations, have to have a healthy respect for the fact that a chimp can go berserk.

One thing nobody seems to mention is that this chimp appears to have had a serious weight problem. I don't think you have to be politically correct regarding big boned simians. Brudda man was carrying some pounds. And if chimpanzees are like humans, and apparently in a lot of ways they are, carrying extra weight can screw with your hormones in a big way. And it's not like if they had put him on a diet, the chimp could have called Dominoe's himself. You'd have to chalk it up to owners who, even though they appeared to love him, were either not knowledgable enough or not emotionally equipped to be strict with him. One more case of humans being kind to be cruel when it comes to the animal kingdom.

We need to save these animals' habitats, make the world safe for them, then just let them go be themselves out in the wild. And in a perfect world, anybody who was truly interested would have the opportunity to go visit them in their own world. Because it's sure as hell not safe for them in ours.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No dial-tone on the hot line,8599,1879016,00.html

I read this yesterday on And I just keep thinking about it. It's about how there is a biological mechanism that becomes active when human beings are accessing their spiritual selves. No matter what your line to the infinite is, it fires up your parietal lobe. Whether you pray, chant, meditate or spin, that's the part of your brain that becomes active. And whether you think it's a biological mechanism or a divinely installed pre-paid phone that allows you to reach out and touch the Almighty, it's there.

I think I must have the world's most under-developed parietal lobe. When I was a kid, and other people would pray, and really seem to be getting into it, I'd know that they were really getting into it, because I'd be sneaking looks out the corners of my eye to see if we were done praying yet. I never had that sense of doing something or talking to someone when I was praying. Then later, I tried that whole meditation thing. Both the plain old "clearing your mind" kind of meditation. And also in conjunction with yoga, and even tai chi. Nothing. Tai chi is active enough that I just enjoy the exercise, but the sitting there or doing yoga is just excruciating for me. Bored. Bored. Bored. Because whatever that spiritual, subsumed feeling is, I never get there. I never get that sense of being outside myself, or in tune with the universe, or one with the infinite, or whatever that is that people who truly get it feel. I always know I'm me, feel a little silly, and really would just like to get up and go get a cup of coffee. Transcendence. I think that's the word for it. I've never really felt transcendence.

Which, I think, kind of sucks. There have been times in my life when that spiritual, in touch with something greater than myself feeling would have been very comforting. I've watched other people make it through hard times, and feel very exhilarated by that connection they get from prayer or meditation or whatever. But I seem to be on my own in this way. But it's kind of like being blind. I can feel a little envious of people who have this sense, because, in theory, it sounds wonderful. But I doubt I'll ever really know what it is that I'm missing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Texas and the Riders of the Purple Haze

The FAA has announced that the fireball in the sky over Austin was definitely not a piece of one of the sattelites that collided in space last week. Or aliens that killed John Kennedy. Or anything like that. In case you were wondering. Ahem.

There may be a lot of things in my home state that don't make me happy. But one thing I love is that we have regular sightings of mysterious things in mid-air. Even if, as in this case, they turn out to be just a fairly large meteor. Or swamp gas. Or a weather balloon. Or something like that. But definitely not aliens. Ahem.

Welcome to Dollhouse

I had a moderate amount of trepidation/anticipation regarding the premiere of Dollhouse on Friday. It's Joss Whedon. How could it go wrong? Well, like this: It could be a deeply involving series with a complex story arc that takes at least half a season to get truly going, struggles to find an audience, gets jacked around the schedule so that the audience that has found can't find it any more, and gets smashed into teeny-tiny pieces as I stand over the flaming wreckage shouting "DAMN YOU FOX! DAMN YOU TO HELLLLLLL!"

So, that's essentially how things could go bad. But the fact that they've teamed Dollhouse with Terminator (which they also seem to be trying to give a chance - not my cuppa, but whatevs) and turn it into a girl's-who-can-kick-booty night gave me enough hope that I thought I'd give it a try. And even bad Joss Whedon is better than no Joss Whedon. But this wasn't bad.

It wasn't great yet either. But go back and look at the first episode of Buffy some time. She didn't start out perfect either.

Long story shortish - the Dollhouse is a storage unit for "actives", people who've had their own memories erased (voluntarily? maybe. not sure.), so that they can be re-programmed, on-demand, with the personalities of other people who have useful skills. They are then rented out to wealthy clients who need skills in things like hostage negotiating, ass-kicking, being the perfect girlfriend, etc. Handy stuff. Then they're erased and wander around kinda blank and Paris Hilton-like until they're needed for another client. Sort of human GameBoys. Pop in a new cartridge and it's a completely different game.

Eliza Dushku is one of the actives. Like her or loathe her, she is very good at kicking ass and dropping the sci-fi one-liner. Maybe she has the chops to be able to pull off being completely different people, but it will take a few episodes to know that for sure.

The first episode is a lot of exposition. So the action gets bogged down every five minutes for somebody to explain WTF is going on. But there was enough going on that I'm definitely curious about how it's going to play out.

Two things that I had wished I had known ahead of time: one, Reed Diamond looks to be a series regular - excellent, even if it is only in a second bad banana capacity; and two, Matt Keelsar (who's he? Oh, he's just the Middleman) looks like he's going to be the baddie in ep 2. Ah, Joss Whedon really does love me. So, I'm glad I jumped on this one early. I'd have hated to miss them.

And, in the end, it was just nice to hear the Mutant Enemy "grrr-argh". All is right in the 'verse.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A matter of taste

So, I went to my usual subscriber tickets at Theatre 3 last night. It was Don't Dress for Dinner, a French farce from the same guy who wrote Boeing Boeing. Lots of sexual misbehaving, lying about one's sexual misbehavior, and trying to keep straight who is misbehaving with and/or lying to whom. And any play that culminates in a guy quivering on top of a chandelier has got a leg up with me.


You know when you make soup? And you take a tiny sip to see if it's soup yet. And it's good. But taste, taste, taste. What is it missing. Sip. Salt? Cumin? Onion? A ham bone?

Well, this play was missing something. Definitely not a ham bone, cause it teetered quite effectively on that hammy precipice. And the show was as tight and well staged as you can expect. The acting was better than just good. But I kept tasting it, trying to figure out what was missing. It's not like they left the chicken out of the chicken soup. It was something tiny and elusive. Bugged the snot out of me. Not enough to ruin the evening. But to this moment, I'm still not sure what more they could have done. But, I was in the minority, cause the crowd was rollin' in the aisles. So, in the end, probably me, not the show.

But I still feel like any minute I'll sit up and think - "Paprika!"

Quit crowding me

Well, the worm has indeed turned. There was an interview with Anna Wintour of Vogue magazine saying the days of ostentation are over, and nobody wants to look "too Dubai". Subtle, darling. It's all about value.


Everybody's jumping on my little bandwagon, and I'm starting to feel crowded. I've been on the anti-ostentation kick for years (i.e., my entire life). And for most of the last 10 years, I've been one of the few voices in the over-the-top wilderness. I liked it that way. It's my schtick. But now people want to bite my rap. It's just not as amusing making fun of fashionistas urging us to go to hell in a $10,000 handbag when everybody else is saying the same thing.

My first impulse is my usual contrarian reaction. If they're all thrifty, I'm going to be a gadabout in glad rags. The pricier the better. Bring on the gold-plated Manolo's. But, oh, wait. I'm cheap. There's no way my bank account could cash the checks my mouth would be righting.

So really. I'm at a loss. This cuts a big chunk out of my material. Well, just poop. The economy better turn quick. If I can't make fun of rich people buying diamond encrusted automatic cake servers, I might have to start talking about issues or something. Perish the thought.

TIME: Quotes of the Day