Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jack (abram)Off Gets Nearly 6 years

Corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff got nearly 6 years in the slammer. Hopefully he does time in a real prison and not a club Fed type deal. He has to pay about 20 million in restitution for the crime he was convicted of. This is a start and I strongly hope it isn't the end. Hopefully we'll see Jack Off's buddy Tom Delay in the slammer soon as well.

Jill Carroll Released

CSM Reporter Jill Carroll was released after being a hostage for 3 months. Terrorists, criminals, insurgents, etc who take hostages are repulsive, dehumanized, evil scum. They will get what they deserve one way or another. However, it is great news to see that Carroll was released and unhurt.

Monday, March 27, 2006

TV Rec

When I was in high school I fell in love with a charming, good looking, touching, and at times insightful ensemble medical drama entitled "ER". It's been years since I've seen an episode of the show but I fondly recall watching it religiously as a teenager. Back then the tinge of soap opera mixed in with intense medical action was the perfect combination to turn me into an addict (though as a tv-holic that wasn't that hard to do). And even though today it takes a great deal of genuine emotion and sharp insight to make me bother with anything dramatic on the screen, I do remember certain episodes which I would rate high in both categories, even today.

Anyway, you're probably wondering why all the wax nostalgia for "ER". Well, I'll tell you why. Yesterday while making my 10pm bedtime I began flipping channels. With nothing much on I decided to check out what all the fuss is about and stopped the clicker on "Grey's Anatomy". While I'm not a Grey-Head, I will definitely check out future episodes. I must say the show is very enjoyable and reminds me a good deal of the first few seasons of "ER". I'm not sure the Dempsey is the next Clooney but the Pompeo sure is a hottie, maybe she's the next Clooney. I still enjoy the drama and action focusing on medicine over the portion of the show that deals with the (at times cliched) feminine navel-gazing and the "he likes me/he likes me not" in-depth discourse. I understand this criticism is a bit male biased and I'm no doubt jumping to conclusions after watching only a single episode. However I'll be sure to keep this in mind when viewing future episodes and I'll no doubt eat crow if my criticisms are off the mark. And please don't get me wrong, all in all "Grey's Anatomy" is a pleasing, engrossing drama and I look forward to the next episode.

I don't watch many dramas. Before I stumbled upon "Grey's Anatomy" my tv drama rotation consisted of Law and Order: CI and the original Law and Order from time to time. One drama I want to check out is "The Unit" ... unfortunately I haven't been able to check it out because one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time is airing in the same time slot. I'm talking about "Sons and Daughters" a simply hilarious semi-improvised situation comedy that's funny and sharp and warm and biting and even more. Seriously folks, if you haven't checked out this show I implore you to give it a shot. I am so enamored with this show that it isn't even funny ... well it is but only because the show is HIGH-larious. Anyway, if you've never heard of this show you are truly missing out. Watch it people!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

March Madness

As a hoop head I love all things basketball. Unfortunately this year, with school and my lazy-itis, I haven't kept up with the NCAA Basketball. However things all change when the Tourney rolls around as the matchups are intriguing for even the most casual of viewers.

I'm pretty sure everyone's brackets have already been busted. I'm glad to see UCLA make the final four. I'm a big fan of UCLA's coach Ben Howland who has been very successful during his young coaching career. And that Farmar kid is pretty good. It's funny, but I like to call the college athletes "kids" whenever I can refer to them. I'm about 7 to 8 years older than most of them ... and while this makes me feel old, at least I can call them "kids" --- heh.

And what a story the kids (there I go) from George Mason have created. A number 11 seed that many thought should not have made the tourney in the first place. Not only have they silenced the critics but they've changed the landscape, giving their conference mucho bragging rights.

The Final Four is rounded out with Florida and LSU. Florida under Billy Donovan has been perennial underachiever (at times) in the tourney. This time one could argue they're overachieving and that's a testament to the program Donovan has created.

I'm going with a UCLA vs George Mason matchup with UCLA winning it all. This isn't a knowledgeable prediction so don't head to Vegas with it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Blog Book Club Update

Well folks, it has been awhile since the last book club post ... and there's a reason behind that. I still haven't finished The Curious Incident, in fact I haven't read a page since the last book club post. School has taken up most of my time so

Blog buddy Sage has another book review post up, this time on the wonderrriffic travel writer Paul Theroux. Click here to read more.

My apologies in letting this bloggy book club thingy dwindle, but I'll let yall in on a little secret ... I'm kinda lazy.

If anyone else has a book club/review post please leave a comment and I'll link to it.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Time to Un-Pimp Your Auto

I dislike commercials for many reasons. First, they sell crap I don't need. Second, they do so in a (usually) annoying way. Third, they're too numerous --- PBS does fine with barely any commercials (or none if you want to call them sponsor notifications).

However, once in a blue moon a commerical will appear that's actually entertaining. A commercial like the recent VW "Time to Un-Pimp Your Auto" spots. If you haven't seen these ads you are missing out on insane hilarity. To view the commercials online check out this link:

Nonetheless, as much as I want to give VW credit I also want to give them a swift kick in the nads for their super-crappy "make friends with your fast" commercials.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

We were close people!?!?!?!

Some of you may remember the post about Slate's Oscar contest a week or so ago. Anyway, Slate finally posted the answers. We were 3 names off. Here's a link to the updated Slate Oscar Contest page:

Here are the answers with our 3 incorrect guesses in parentheses:

1. George Clooney
2. Christopher Walken
3. Catherine Zeta-Jones
4. Jack Lemmon
5. Joaquin Phoenix
6. Morgan Freeman
7. Vivien Leigh (Joan Crawford -- the color photo should have eliminated Crawford)
8. Ang Lee
9. Katharine Hepburn
10. Woody Allen
11. Meryl Streep
12. Russell Crowe
13. Renée Zellweger
14. Cary Grant
15. Reese Witherspoon
16. Bette Davis (Liz Taylor -- I still think this is Liz, lol)
17. Frank Sinatra (Henry Fonda -- I think someone mentioned Sinatra)
18. Hilary Swank
19. Diane Keaton
20. Marlon Brando

Anyway, 17 out of 20 ain't too shabby. Way to go blog buds!

Monday, March 20, 2006

So I've been meaning ...

to post this question to the blog buds out there ... people, I need your help!

What do people think is a generation --- 20 years, 25, 30? Ya know, like when someone says, "In a generation the technology will become ubiquitous ... yadda yadda" --- what's the time period that consists of a generation?

If I had to guess I would say 25 ... but that's just me.

Read Slate

I think Slate is the greatest thing since sliced bread. In Human Guinea Pig, one of the outstanding columns at Slate, author Emily Yoffe tries her hand at unique and interesting occupations. In the current edition of the column she tries lobbying. As usual it is a very enjoyable read, all the more so since her lobbying group deals with pets. Anyway, if I've piqued your interest here's the link:

Friday, March 17, 2006

Film Rec

Over the last few weeks I caught A Beautiful Mind and What Lies Beneath on the good ol' network tele. I might as well drop a lil' something-something on each.

Yes, I am one of the eleven people out there that had not seen A Beautiful Mind. As someone who tries extremely hard to retain judgement until he has seen a film, I must say I thought the Ron Howard helmed, Russell Crowe starring film was going to be overrated no matter what. I was a little surprised to find it an outstanding film that lives up to the hype. The acting is superb and the story unfolds in a magical, lyrical blend of happiness, fantasy, paranoia, and grim adversity. It is without a doubt a very poignant and insightful look at mental illness and the personal story of John Nash. However, I must add, there's some poetic license taken with Nash's biography. In real life Nash had a child out of wedlock and his wife (played by the raven haired beauty Jennifer Connelly) divorced him soon after the birth of their child. She then took him in as a basically a border and they lived as distant roommates for years. In 2001 they remarried.

Another lesson in not pre-judging a film is What Lies Beneath. Director Robert Zemeckis needed to keep busy with a film crew while Tom Hanks was getting ripped for CAST AWAY. What we have here is an old-fashioned thriller. While it's not Hitchcock it is Hitchcock-lite. Even the score reminds me of the Hitch classics. I found the movie to be quite enjoyable with a sexy Michelle Pfeiffer and a buff Harrison Ford (seriously check out his shirtless scenes, the guy made me tingle a little --- don't tell anyone! --- I'm not gay!). If you want a smart, sexy popcorn movie ... you'd do well with What Lies Beneath.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Nor Cal Weather

Here in Nor Cal we like to complain about the weather because it will jump from 60 to 80 in a day and from rain to sunshine. Now, all you non-Nor Cal people out there would call us spoiled weather brats ... and you're probably right. That said, the last few days have been cold and rainy. I'm not up on the weather so I have no idea if this has been a relatively cold winter or what ... but if I had to guess I would guess so.

So what am I getting at? A hail storm. Which I captured on the handy-dandy digital camera. I'm no Ansel Adams but at the least this is evidence Nor Cal gets some heavy duty weather every once in a blue moon or so.

I'm hoping to post a photo or three on a weekly basis. Hopefully my outdoor photography skills will improve ... otherwise I'll just have to post more nudie pics. Hah.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Phone Home!

They may have found liquid water on one of Saturn's moon. The moon in question is Enceladus and it seems the spacecraft Cassini has pics of a plume of ice and vapor emanating from underneath the moon's surface. The sciencey people think that means liquid water is underneath the surface and pressure is causing this plume.

This means there might be some form of life on the moon.

I think it means aliens. But not the scary type in movies that kill humans. I bet it's a dolphin-like race that likes to bake cookies.

Anyway, for those that are interested check out these news reports:

Monday, March 06, 2006

An Oscar Post

I'm a bit of a film snob so I haven't watched the Oscars in like years, but with the super-high-larious Jon Stewart hosting ... I had to catch this year's. Anyway, Jon Stew was on point and as long as he's hosting ... I'll probably watch. The attack ads with Stephen Colbert's great voiceover work were insanely funny.

As for the films, I haven't seen any of them (I've seen BATMAN BEGINS which was nominated for one award I think). I, like most I believe, thought Brokeback would be a shoe-in (especially after Ang Lee won for best director). I like to joke around that H-wood will soon be run by women and gays (which in a way it should since they're far more interested in a good film than the population as a whole). But I guess I forgot to calculate how many Angelinos reside in H-wood. Yeah, this is a bit cynical from me and I should probably view both films before talking trash ... but I need an Oscar post so this will do.

Glad to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman win as well as the lovely Rachel Weisz (I really need to see that Le Carre film).

Was it just me or did Jessica Alba look kinda scary thin? Like so thin her boobs shrunk a little?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Slate Oscar Contest - update #3

So Slate has an Oscar Contest and I think if we work together we can at least figure it out. It's basically identifying pics of Oscar winners and nominees. This is what I have so far:

(I have a good deal of guesses so if you want to take a look at the contest for yourself, click on the link before scrolling down)

1. George Clooney
2. Chris Walken
3. Catherine Zeta Jones ?? (Vi and BP agree)
4. Jack Lemmon
5. Joaquin Phoenix
6. Morgan Freeman
7. Joan Crawford ??
8. Ang Lee
9. Katherine Hepburn ??
10. Woody Allen
11. Meryl Streep
12. Russell Crowe
13. Renee Zellweger
14. Cary Grant ??
15. Reese Witherspoon
16. Liz Taylor ??
17. Henry Fonda ??
18. Hillary Swank (Idle to the rescue)
19. Diane Keaton
20. Marlon Brando