You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2007.

C & C are not big fans of delayed gratification.
Oh, we’ve grown used to it.
Life does that.
But we don’t like it.

Which brings us to this…
Good News: There will be a season four of Battlestar Galactica.
Bad News: It will hit the airwaves in…. 2008.

2008?

That isn’t a hiatus. That isn’t a new season. That’s a whole new year.
An eternity (in TV time.)

This frackin’ sucks.

(And to think, I was upset when they moved it to Sunday night.)
I wonder if they sell a patch for this sort of thing.

C reminded me of something that was missing from my list.

June Bugs.

That is all.

Been meaning to do this for a while…

I present to you, my intrepid readers, this snapshot of those things in the vast media stream that much distract me and amuse me to no end.

    Podcasts

(I listen to podcasts a great deal these days. Here are my favorites.)
Bilibub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword – a top rated audio book about a fantasy dwarf playing the part of a hard-boiled private detective in Chicago of the roaring 20s.
It’s All In Your Hands (Satacracy 88) – an audience controlled science fiction video serial. Each chapter ends at a crossroads and the audience chooses the direction the story will take. A little wierd, violent and paranoid– but a modern day answer to the Choose Your Own Adventure books I used to collect.
Car Talk (Call of the Week) – a clip from that week’s show highlighting Click and Clack at their funniest.
NPR: Driveway Moments – selected pieces from NPR nominated by listeners for their engaging quality. Not all of them are my cup of tea, but many of them are fantastic.
This I Believe – a new piece every week from people famous and otherwise about what they truly believe. FANTASTIC!!!
Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me – a comedy quiz show about the week’s news.
Real Time with Bill Maher – comedy and frank discussion of recent events. (If you don’t want the whole show, they also podcast just the New Rules.)
Renaissance Festival Podcast – a collection of music from those that play the renaissance festival circuit. I like it for the humorous songs… but there is quite a variety. (I really enjoy the Limey Birds.)
Savage Love Podcast – an audio version of Dan Savage’s frank (almost too frank) sex advice column. The audio and printed versions do not overlap. Not for the faint of heart or the easily offended.
Slice of Sci-Fi – the most popular sci-fi related podcast out there. Funny and informative.
The Ethicist – an audio version of Randy Cohen’s advice column on ethics.
The Geeklable Podcast – a show by a bunch of “stealth-geeks” (geeks who have grown up, gotten married, have real jobs– yet still try to remain true to their geek selves). It is a shameless ongoing plug for their geek t-shirt company, but if you can get past that it is delightfully geeky and amusing. (The shirts are kind of cool. I gave myself a handful of them for Christmas.)
The Onion Radio News – short audio “news” stories from our favorite source of news, The Onion.
This American Life – Another wonderful show from NPR. A collection of stories, real and fictional, on a chosen theme presented in 3-4 acts. Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, always engaging.

    Television Shows

(A quick look at some of the things on our TIVO Season Pass list. “Some” only because we currently have 71 items on our list on the main TIVO. Sad, isn’t it.)

Robin Hood – a new version of the classic story by the BBC. (Not great, but good enough. And C&C are suckers for swashbuckler sorts with swords or bows.)
Heroes – only the 2nd best show currently on television. Makes me want to run role-playings games again so bad my teeth hurt. Are you on the list? (First – The site with this quiz requires you to type in registration information. Don’t know how obnoxious they will be with it. Caution advised. Second – The damn quiz pegged me as Mr. Bennet. Sigh. I should be getting used to this sort of thing. The Sorting Hat put me in House Slytherin. Of course, that was the old quiz. This new one put me in Ravenclaw. Some days, I’m amazed C even associates with me.)
Battlestar Galactica – this would be the best show currently on television. Considering my absolute fanaticism for all things super heroe related, just imagine how good this show must be to be above Heroes. Science Fiction doing what it does best– cloaking the important, difficult questions of our times in stories of other wheres and whens.
Survivor: Fiji – the original “reality show”. Last time they made race a focus of the game. This time, they are making class center stage. It is the Haves vs. the Have-Nots. Fascinating.
Doctor Who – More good sci-fi from our friends at the BBC. One of the longest running sci-fi shows on television. I confess, I’ve lost track of how many incarnations we are at now. It has been on hiatus in the States, and I miss it.
Stargate Atlantis and Stargate SG-1 – not as good as they were, but still good sci-fi. This is SG-1’s final season and that saddens me.
The Dresden Files – this translation of the mage-noir novels set in the modern day (also in Chicago) is actually pretty good. Dresden is a wizard who sets up shop as a “consultant” (think private dective) in a world where magic, demons, and other monsters exist–though we most of us don’t realize it. The novels are better and some episodes are better than others, but I think it is worth sticking with.
Medium – when I first heard about this show “based” on Allison Dubois, I was more than skeptical. I don’t believe in most of the “psychics” that I see or hear about on TV. But, as a story, as a good story with good characters, this show rocks. C and I both watch it and I think the actor playing the husband is amazing. So are the kids.
Mythbusters – I just love this show. Watching the Mythbusters crew try to prove/disprove various myths is a hoot. And I’ve even learned a thing or two in the process.

(There are more, but most of them I’ve either listed before or aren’t worthy of listing here.)

    Bonus – Favorite Commercials

(I really appreciate a well crafted commercial. These are the ones that make me stop fast-forwarding my TIVO.)

Traveler’s Insurance – Nope, didn’t remember what they were selling, but I sure do love the unfolding story and the twist at the end. The look on his face is priceless.
Aflac Insurance – I’ve about had it with the stupid duck, but this commercial just makes me giggle. It has added to my “favorite quote” list for everyday occasions. “This is not good.”
Dairy Queen – always makes me laugh. First time I saw it I said, “Why are talkng while they inhale? That is very uncomfortable and not good for your vocal cords.” (I used to do it a lot when I was a kid. I thought it was funny.) Then they answer that question and it reminds me of one of favorite sci-fi book series, Wild Cards. In the books, a virus infects part of the population. Nasty little bug, it kills 90% of those it infects. 9% live but are mutated in some nasty way (referred to as Jokers). .1% of those infected are mutated in some cool super heroe way (they were called Aces.) The remaining .9% were mutated in a way that gave them a super power, but not a terribly useful one. (Deuces). I imagine that the ability to breath flames like a small flame thrower uncontrollably whenever you exhaled would be Deuce power. Doesn’t make me want to buy the sandwhich, but it does make me giggle.

If you are not familiar with the Chad Vader series, you really ought to fix that.

They are funny shorts of a member of the Darth Vader family tree (Chad Vader) getting along in our modern day society.

Someone introduced this to me some months back and I thought it was mildly amuslng.
Today, while perusing a website of a former employer*, I saw a blurb about Chad Vader.
Turns out that the Chad Vader films are by people from my hometown.
Yup, Chad Vader is from Madtown.
All the people in it– my people. All the places– my old stomping grounds.
Including…
my old employer.

In Episode Five of Chad Vader, our protagonist is out of work and trying various jobs.
One of those jobs… well, as Steven Wright says “I didn’t lose my job. I know where it is. It’s just, when I go back to it, there is some other person doing it.”
Chad Vader is doing my old job.
WAY TOO COOL for words.

* You didn’t think I’d make it that easy did you? This is somewhat anonymous, remember.

Some friends and colleagues of mine recently had a continued conversation on Fall Back Jobs. You know… just in case what we are currently doing doesn’t work out. A Plan Z, if you will. (I know this is going to be somewhat of a shock to you, dear reader, but this idea/conversation did not originate with me. Nope. This one is all Honest B’s.)

Honest B’s back up plan is to be a VCR repair person.
Starbuck and Texas Shark have a joint back up plan that involves them opening a carnie funnel cake stand.
I, the person with contingency plans for my back-up plans, never had an adequate answer to this question.

I had an answer, just not one that fit the rules.

Rules?

Yes, there are rules. Here are the rules as they have been explained to me.

1. Your Fall Back Job can’t be anything you have actually done before.
2. You can’t have any of the requisite skills needed for the Fall Back Job currently.
3. And (this one, I think, is assumed), you actually would have to live off of it.

My Fall Back Job was to be a Hack. This was quickly shot down as a violation of the rules. (All three of them, actually.)

My second Fall Back Job was going to be owner/manager of a comic book store. (Wow, does that link hit way to close to home. EGADS!) But, that job also violates a couple of the rules. (I’ll let you figure out which ones.) Sorry, Obi, but our proposed Fall Back Job partnership can never be. Sigh.

But today– today, I heard my Fall Back calling.
Like all callings, it is actually something I’ve heard in the depths of my soul before but have triumphantly ignored. Well, no more I tell you.
Today I say with certainty and pride….

My Fall Back Job is . . . Traffic Cop.
frostycop.gif

I would get to wear the cool hat, tell people where to go without actually talking to them, and would have a severly limited level of authority.

Plus– I’m called to it.

I’ve stepped in and directed traffic a few times when no one else stepped forward to do it.
Today was just another one of those instances.
A fire broke out across from the store I was parked at. The fire trucks and cops came and shut down the intersection– but not the really busy one before it. Since I was blocked in on this one-way street, I just walked down to the other intersection and started waving the other people away from the blocked road. Five minutes later, a real cop showed up and took over. He was much better at it than me. (He had the orange vest, the cool hat, the whistle, and gloves. I still don’t have gloves.) He didn’t thank me for doing my civic duty. Nobody else ever steps forward to do these things when I encounter these situations…

so, either I was a Traffic Cop in a former life,
or I may yet be one in this one.

Some months ago, I posted an entry about my current behemoth status.

In that post, I laid out a goal and a plan.
The goal is still present, though the plan quickly withered on the vine.

Fast forward to today.
Today, I weigh this much:
white_lion_.jpg

This is, unfortunately, a big difference from where I had hoped to be (this much, actually):
octopus-14.jpg
(No, I’m no afraid of octopi. Just squid. Yes, I have my reasons, but they are as irrational as the fear itself– so let’s just accept it and move on.)

But, I’ve got a new plan I’ve put into action.
I’m using the fitness room at our apartment complex to get daily exercise.
I’m paying a little more attention to what I eat.

We’ll see how long I stay on this ol’ wagon this time.

So, the other day, I was feeling all nostalgic. Birthdays do that do me– what can I say.
And I started thinking about the fun things I remember from my early years.
Cartoons and TV shows and characters….

And I thought– “wow, you know, with the internet, I bet those things are out there…”

And they are.

So, here I present some of my childhood favorite things:

Felix the Cat
(He goes back a lot further, but he got his bag around the time I started watching him.)

Underdog

I loved Underdog. I liked him better than I liked Superman.
I still think he had the best theme song ever.
Which, of course, means I’ll be going to this movie this summer. (though I admit to being fearful.)
Don’t think I would have chosen Jason Lee as the voice for Underdog. Don’t get me wrong, I like Earl, but sardonic snark just wasn’t Underdog’s thing most of the time.

And of course, there was also….

Mighty Mouse

A few notes from this episode (one I don’t remember seeing before.)
1. The barbells just make me giggle everytime. Must be a heck of a supporter there.
2. Of course, wolves can play the flute and the trumpet. That’s how they blow the pig’s house down, you know.
3. Wolves like carrots in their stew.
4. They also use silverware. (Why? Because they wear clothes. Cartoon rule.)
5. OK, I really don’t remember MM wearing pink long underwear for his costume. I thought they were yellow-orange-tan. (In this one, his long underwear is blue. He also has a secret identity and apparently gets his powers from limberger cheese. Who knew?)
6. I never knew MM had magnetic powers. (Maybe it depends on the cheese he ingests.)
7. These are both earlier than the version I watched. In my version, MM had learned opera and always sang in operatic phrases when coming to rescue those in distress.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman
An “educational” story about a genius dog and his pet boy, Sherman.

And finally, no Saturday was complete without reruns of

The Lone Ranger
Unfortunately, no old black and white clips of the show are on YouTube, but they do have this

I hope you have enjoyed my birthday memories.

Hedonism – devotion to or pursuit of the pleasure of the senses.
Epicurean – displaying luxury and furnishing gratification to the senses.
CLD’s B-Day Rule #1 – a real birthday celebration is NOT limited to just one day, or even just one month.

How does C celebrate his birthday?

• An impromptu trip to a men’s salon last week for a hair cut and a full razor shave (complete with hot towels and oil facial rub). The hair cut was nice. Not too radical, but not too conservative. The scalp massage was a nice touch. And the shave? Wow. I lost count of the number of hot towel/oil rubs I got. Talk about luxury. It’s a dying art. Thumbs up!

• An impromptu trip to C’s salon for a massage, yesterday. C had visited this massage therapist twice before and had given her rave reviews. She did warn me ahead of time to let go of my expectations. And a good thing. The masseuse was a small blond waif of a girl– a mini-Barbie of sorts. Do not judge a book by the cover. Good rule. My body is still sore. There were some major kinks that needed working out– and work them out she did. I had to ask her to go lighter on my tender self… Wow. Thumbs up!

• I cuddled with the kitty this morning. Still had to go to work, but slept in for an extra hour. Nice. Very nice.

• Dinner out with my Sweetie at a restaurant she found. GREAT CHOICE. Uncrowded. Nice decor. And the food…. oh, I must tell you about the food.

First Course: Crispy Portabella Fries. A large cap, deep fried in a double dipped flaky batter, sliced, and served with a hearty-yet-subtle Boursin cheese sauce. C&C enjoyed it immensely.

Second Course: I had the Seafood Lobster Bisque. An almost beefy tomato base with an absolutely intense seafood essence. Sprinkled liberally with sweet scallps, firm shrimp, and a little lobster for good measure. I almost licked the bowl. C had the Seafood Chowder special. The bowl arrived with 5 small open clams in a very light broth. Usually, I like my chowders to be thick. Thi was a very thin– but the taste was not. It was hearty and multi-layered. The clams were cooked better than any I have ever had with out even the hint of chewiness. And again, there were the sweet scallops and bold shrimp. It was amazing. We could have eaten these soups with as our whole meal and been happy.

• Drinks: We split a split of Asti Spumante. An underated champaigne that we both enjoy a great deal. And half a split is just perfect for us. Enough to enjoy, not enough to make me loopy.

• Intermezzo: I didn’t even know what an intermezzo was. I’ve never been to a restaurant with one on the menu. C explained it to me and I decided to try one. I had the Midori Honeydew Sorbet. OMG! AMAZING! Like Spring and Summer infused directly onto the tongue. All cold and yet the essence of the summer sun. Little pieces of fruit surrounded by frozen melon juice. Amazing I tell you. Palate cleanser, indeed. It was wonderful.

• Main Course: I ordered the Grilled Sea Scallops and C ordered the Roast Duck Breast. The Duck was delicious, served with wild rice. My scallops were served with a truffle vinaigrette and a wild mushroom risotto. I was not as pleased with my dish. Nothing wrong with it– and the risotto was delicious. But the I didn’t enjoy the flavoring of the scallops (perhaps I’m not a truffle person– who knew?) and the scallops with the intense wild mushroom flavor didn’t work as well. Still, a good meal. Just not as amazing as everything else.

• Desert: We decided to split a Bailey’s Irish Cream Souffle with chocolate sauce. I had recently been introduced to souffle’s by a fellow foodie (well, actually, by fellow foodies partner— but I digress.) The souffle came out and looked nothing like what I expected. Didn’t taste as good as the one T had made for us, either. We didn’t eat it and we sent it back.

We had C’s Bailey’s cheesecake at home anyway– and it was DELICIOUS.

And the rest of the B-Day celebrations will have to remain under wraps.

Who knows what the next week will bring.

Happy Birthday to Me!

School House Rock – Interjections
(as interpreted by CDS)

HEY!
Where are my favorite gloves?

YOW!
(slapping hand to forehead) I left them in the van in another state…
(If school house rock was rewritten now, this would be a DOH!)

OUCH! That’s not fair…
“What do you mean you threw them away? Yes, I know they looked old and ripped up. But they were my favorite gloves. Actually, they were my only gloves. Those were gloves of power I tell you…”

WELL!
I don’t care if it never works, I’m going to hold another gaming party for my birthday!

OH!
Nobody can come to the party this year either? The party is cancelled.

HEY,
It is still my birthday and I don’t have to go to work next week.

HURRAY!
(courtesy of a pal and a restaurant in her neck of the woods–)

“ROOT BEER DINNER
Chef Berg is one of the foremost experts in the world on the subject of root beer. He’ll be creating a five-course dinner featuring a different root beer for each course. Members of the Lee family (of Viking brewery fame) will be present to explain the process of creating their fabulous brew and Chef Berg will be offering his own home brewed variety. Dinner starts promptly at 7 pm. $35/person.”

AW!
The Root Beer dinner is on Wednesday night, a day when I’ll be driving to and from Chicago–and then working in the evening.

EEK!
(Can’t think of anything here, other than the usual suspect.)

RATS!
We’re broke and I can’t buy myself all the things on my B-Day list!

WOW!
Which doesn’t mean I won’t be getting some presents! (Thanks, CLD!)

HEY!
Did I mention we have a new kitty?

AH!
Opal, get off the table/out of the office/away from that cord!

DARN!
Those claws are mighty sharp!

HURRAY!
She’s laying on my chest and purring like warp engine!

Hallelujah!
We posted on our blog, again!